- Greek island in the E Mediterranean: 3,219 sq mi (8,336 sq km); cap. Iraklion
- S section of the Aegean Sea, between Crete and the Cyclades
An island of southeast Greece in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its Minoan civilization, centered at the city of Knossos on the northern coast, was one of the earliest in the world and reached the height of its wealth and power c. 1600 BC. Crete subsequently fell to the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, and Ottoman Turks. The islanders proclaimed their union with modern Greece in 1908.
- (archaic) A Cretan.
OriginSee also: crête
From Ancient Greek Κρήτη (Krētē).
- A special form of this " baetylic " cult in Minoan Crete was the representation of the two principal divinities in their fetish form by double axes.
- Crete thus forms the natural limit between the Mediterranean and the Archipelago.
- In the easternmost district of Crete, where the aboriginal " Eteocretan " element survived to historic times (Praesus, Palaikastro), later inscriptions have been discovered belonging to the 5th and succeeding centuries B.C., written in Greek letters but in the indigenous language (Comparetti, Mon.
- It is as yet difficult to determine the part which Rhodes played in prehistoric days during the naval predominance of the neighbouring island of Crete; but archaeological remains dating from the later Minoan age prove that the early Aegean culture maintained itself there comparatively unimpaired until the historic period.
- The population of Crete under the Venetians was estimated at about 250,000.