Cretan Chronology

Cretan history: an overview

For the purposes of this course, we have divided Cretan history into three epochs:

The first of these periods begins with the arrival of the first people on Crete and closes with the end of the Minoan palaces. The second consists of the Greek urban communities (poleis) which existed in some cases for around 1500 years (from ca. 800 BC to AD 700). The third epoch saw the island ruled by outsiders: Arabs, Byzantines, Ottoman Turks. After a brief period of semi-independence (1898-1913), Crete became part of the modern Greek state.

In the next three sections, we will provide a brief overview of these periods. A full account of each epoch is of course beyond the scope of this course, but we do offer some tips for further reading.

Introduction to map of Crete

Below you will see an interactive map of Crete. On the bottom pane are 4 different options.

You will notice in the right-hand corner a display which tells you which epoch currently is displayed on the map. A print button is provided for your convenience. We recommend that you use this method of printing rather than the print option provided by your browser, as the resultant quality is superior.

The highest points on the island of Crete are around 2400m above sea level. The map has Prehistoric, Graeco-Roman and Mediaeval-Modern settlements illustrated.