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Crete TOURnet: Home Crete Guide History of Crete Sub-Minoan and Hellenistic Era

Sub-Minoan and Hellenistic Era

The ancient throne or lectern seat near the site of Falasarna
The ancient throne or lectern seat near the site of Falasarna
Greek mainland tribes have migrated to Crete over the years. The form of writing in Knossos (Linear B) was later proved to be Greek language, although the symbols used for its writing are not Greek letters. The great Minoan civilization started its final decline after 1300 B.C. following new earthquakes and fires on the island.
The next wave of settlers, the Dorian Greeks, destroyed Mycenae on the mainland and invaded Crete about 1100 B.C. They established an aristocratic form of rule. Under the Dorians, Cretan society was divided into three social classes: the free citizens, those who submitted to the invaders; the landholders, those who kept their land and paid exorbitant taxes; and the slaves. The famous Law Code of Gortyn, indicates the absolute authority of the rulers in all aspects of life.
Minoan civilization still lived in isolated cities and villages, particularly in the eastern part of Crete. Cities like Karfi in the mountains of Lassithi were inhabited by Minoans calling themselves Eteocretans (true Cretans). Other powerful cities, like Praisos (in Lassithi), blended gradually Minoan and mainland Greek culture. Praisos maintained its own language (not deciphered yet) and remained powerful until the third century B. C.
For some time around the seventh century B.C., Crete once more became an important centre, but it declined again when the major emphasis of the Greek civilization was shifted to the centres of Athens, Sparta, and Macedonia.
The Greek city-states, such as Lato, Gortyn, Praisos, Itanos, Kydonia, Aptera and Knossos, were in constant strife among themselves, and civil wars raged continuously across the island. However, when a foreign enemy made advances, the island's people stood united. Despite this unity, the island fell to the Romans in 69 B.C.

Photos of Sub-Minoan and Hellenistic Era:


The Agora and main square of  ancient Lato
The Agora and main square of ancient Lato
The site of ancient Pressos
The site of ancient Pressos
The Hellenistic bridge in Eleftherna
The Hellenistic bridge in Eleftherna
The site of Gortyn
The site of Gortyn
The famous Code of Gortyn from the 5C B.C., Gortyn
The famous Code of Gortyn from the 5C B.C., Gortyn
The Eteocretan settlement of Karfi, above the Lassithi Plateau
The Eteocretan settlement of Karfi, above the Lassithi Plateau
The ancient throne or lectern seat near the site of Falasarna
The ancient throne or lectern seat near the site of Falasarna