The 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. The famous Law Code of Gortyn, indicates the absolute authority of the rulers in all aspects of life.
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.
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.