Crete is the main Greek island and also one of most southern of that country. It represents one of the symbolic borders between East and the West . Located to equidistance between Europe, Asia and Africa, the island occupies a geographic position that confers a rich history to him whereas its strategic position has been worth him the being land of numerous conflicts between towns in the context of the control of Mediterranean Sea . The island is a point of crossing between Europe and Smaller Asia, Europe and Near East, as well as between Europe and Africa.

Integral part of Greece at present, Crete did not comprise of this one but until 1913, Inhabited at least from Neolithic, Crete was the cradle of minoica Civilization that dominated to the Eastern Mediterranean from IV to I milenio  a., before collapsing before the blossoming of continental Greece.

When Rome directed its interests towards the East, the island comprised of a stage of expansion of Roman Empire . After the partition of the Empire, Crete integrated to Empire of East . She was successively Byzantine, Arab in Century IX, Venetian after Fourth Crossed and the partition of the Byzantine Empire between frank kingdoms . Since then, Crete been has divided between the Latin occupation and the Byzantine inheritance. Its position was strategic for the defense of the Venetian commerce in the Mediterranean.

In all the stages of its history, the island has been object of the greed of pirates, who made of her a base for their excursions. The acts of piracy and the threat that it meant for the Mediterranean commerce were frequently the pretext for the intervention and occupation in the island on the part of different towns with interests in the island.

Crete passed under the Ottoman dominion during Century XVII . Its history been has marked by rebellions of the cretense town against its different occupants. These rebellions were more frequent in the course of the three centuries of Ottoman occupation, and in particular during Century XIX . Crete managed to separate of the Turkish trusteeship from 1897, but it was not integrated to Greece but until 1913.

World War II was theater of confrontations during, besides being one of the Greek regions occupied by Germany during the distribution of Greece between Germany, Italy and Bulgaria .

Crete has been for enough time a land of Emigration, suffering of a Rural exodus . The height of Tourism from Decade of 1970 has contributed certain economic rise.


It is known enough little on the appearance of the old cretense civilization because very few testimonies written have survived until the present time. It resists with the wealth of Palaces Houses Ways Paintings and Sculptures of that time.

Cretense history is sprinkled of Legend (like those of the king Minos, Teseo, Minotauro, or Labyrinth and Ícaro ) that has arrived to the present time through the historians and Greek poets .

For want of testimonies written, the chronology of the history of Crete has been based on the style of Aegean Pottery and of Near East, so that the chronological studies have been realized from objects bought by the cretenses to other civilizations (for example to Egyptian ). For the oldest times, dating by carbon 14 of organic rest and Charcoal offers independent data. From these elements, one thinks that Crete was populated from VII milenio  a., as found to the east of Heraclión proves numerous chips of Obsidian, as well as Cave paintings of Asfendou Sfakion, that represent abstract animal with horns and reasons.

The presence of humans is concrete from Neolithic . In the region of Rétino tools of bone and horn were discovered corresponding to that period. Those tools would have belonged to men of the period Interglaciar, but no test is still too convincing. Another theory, apparently more solid, points at the human establishment in the island from Paleolithic . In last glacial period, the level of Mediterranean had to be one hundred meters under the present level, reason why would have been relatively easy to reach the island from the Peloponnese.

In Crete shortage is had the one existence Fauna of Pleistocene, with rest of dwarfed Hippopotami in the plateau of Katharos, Horses and dwarfed Elephants, Erosive dwarfed red deers ( Praemegaceros cretensis ), giant, Insectivorous tejones, and a species of terrestrial Otter . was great no Carnivorous and the majority of the animal disappeared at the end of the last freezing. He is not certainly the human being has played a role in that extinction of species, as if there are indications that it has happened in other Mediterranean islands like Sicily, Cyprus and Majorca . Until the present time, have not been bones of that endemic fauna in neolithic sites.

The first inhabitants possibly arrived from the east: Anatolia, Hair shirt, and perhaps of Palestine . introduced domestic animal, like Ewes Goats Pigs and Dogs but also the culture of Cereals and Vegetables Until today, the site of Cnosos, whose occupation goes back to VII the millenium adC (layer X), remains like the unique acerámico site (or preceramic ). Indeed, the cause that no piece of pottery has been in layer X makes think that the occupation of the site was previous to the appearance of Ceramic . The site occupies about 350 000 ms ². The rare bones found in the place are of animal above-mentioned, but also of red deers, tejones, Martas and mice : the extinction of megafauna local did not leave to too many pieces of Caza . The neolithic ceramics has been found in Cnosos and grottos of Lera and Gerani. In neolithic the delayed one the population centers proliferated, which gives testimony of a population increase. During this period, was introduced Ass and Rabbit, whereas was hunted Deer and Agrimi, a wild goat that conserves the characteristics of the first domestications.

The ceramics of the Neolithic one evolved during this period. Simple and without decoration in the beginning of the Neolithic one, she became more sophisticated, with the presence of engravings, whereas the manufacturing techniques seem too many outposts for the time. Of black and red color, the ceramics pieces were cooked in open furnaces. The first statuettes appear at this time, made of Clay, Slate, Stone, Marble or Shells At the end of the Neolithic one, is feminine figures generally with the corporal parts related to the fecundity stood out.

In neolithic the preceramic one, the room appears in the form of made cabins of trunks of Wood, with beaten earth ground. In Crete is an absent particularitity in the rest of the Aegean Sea : Tombs of children inside the houses. From neolithic the old one, the excavations of Cnosos show that the houses owned contiguous pieces of stone walls and Brick and covered with emplasto in the interior. The ceilings are flat and of entretejido of wood. In neolithic old the II, the houses equipped of steps of Terra-cotta . The deads were buried and accompanied by pieces of ceramics and Jewels by stone. Numerous grottos took care like rooms, mainly in the most mountainous regions. The deads were buried frequently in grottos, a quite current practice even after the men of the neolithic one registered those places to settle down themselves in constructed houses.

The relations of Crete with the rest of the Aegean Sea essentially seem to have developed towards the end of the Neolithic one. The ceramics polished guinea fowl of red and makes suppose that relations with the North regions existed and orients of the Aegean, where are identical ceramic. The introduction of obsidian, originating of Milo and Nisiros for the manufacture of small tools estimates the sprouting of Navigation in the Aegean Sea.


Minoica and micénica Crete

The chronology of the old history of Crete settled down from the excavations of Arthur Evans that dealed with reconstructing establishing it correspondences with the history of Troy, the Cyclades, Greece, Egypt and Mesopotamia from anatolios objects, siro - Phoenician or Egyptian found in Crete, and from found cretenses objects in those regions. The chronology of Evans relates the period between the Neolithic aim of and the invasion of Aqueos to king Minos and for that reason calls minoica to the cretense civilization of that time. Being based on the ceramics, Evans distinguishes three sub-periods of the minoico: the old minoico, the minoico one half, and the recent minoico, subdivided as well.

The most recent chronologies, trying to correct the weaknesses of the one of Evans, lean in the introduction of Metals in Crete and the construction and destruction of Palaces (times prepalacial, protopalacial and neopalacial).

Prepalacial time

The minoica civilization is the most important civilization of Age of bronze of the Greek world. The thesis of Arthur Evans who indicates that the introduction of metals in Crete had to immigrants arrived from Egypt nowadays is considered obsolete. The accepted present theory more leans in which all the region of the Aegean was inhabited by a preGreek or Aegean town designated like. Egypt seems very distant to exert an important influence at this time; on the contrary, the peninsula of Anatolia seems to have played certain role in the initiation of Crete in the arts of metals. The diffusion of the use of the bronze in the Aegean Sea is related to great movements of population from the coasts of Smaller Asia towards Crete, the Cyclades and the south of Greece; these regions entered a fast phase of social and cultural development, marked mainly by the height of commercial relations between Asia Menor and Cyprus.

Thanks to the development of navigation, Crete occupied a predominant place in the Aegean. The use of metals multiplied the transactions with the producing countries: the cretenses looked for Cobre in Cyprus, Gold in Egypt, and Silver and obsidian in the Cyclades . Under the influence of this activity in growth and Palaiokastro were developed to ports like Zakros in the Eastern coast, and the small barren islands of Mochlos and Pseira in the northern coast became the main centers of interchange with Asia Menor.La importance of this commerce explains the superiority of the Eastern part of the island, that constituted the most active center: while Cnosos did not have a sub-neolithic civilization more, Malia had category of metropolis. At this time to agriculturists communities of and cattle dealer in the plain of Messara were developed. It seems that from the old minoico, small Villages became the general rule, whereas isolated Farms went away more and more making little.

The generalization of the use of Bronze moved the center of gravity of the island towards its central geographic zone, where the emergent cities began to compete with those of the Eastern part. In addition, the new raw materials turned aside the attention of the cretenses of Smaller Asia; for example, Estaño of Spain, Galia, or Cornwall arrived at the Sicilian coasts and of the Adriatic and some cities oriented their commerce towards those regions. Thus it was as the population in the mouth of the Kairatos river were developed. A way crossed Crete in its average part, with Cnosos and Festos like main nuclei.

With regard to Agriculture, thanks to the excavations knows that several vegetable and cereal species were cultivated, and that important agricultural products as Oil and Vino already were elaborated in Crete.

Protopalacial time

Whereas for continental Greece it is considered to the Average Bronze like a period of transition, for Crete, on the contrary, it was of a great prosperity. The Crete of the great palaces knew exceptional a blossoming commercial, that was translated in a cretense superiority in the Aegean, so that the islands of Milo, Delos or Thera were not than branch commercial more of Crete. This superiority also reached to Egina, Argólida, central Greece and Cyprus. This commercial expansion of the minoicos left its track in the abundance of found minoicas pieces of ceramics outside Crete, like in Mesenia or Laconia . In the islands of Ceos or Samotracia has also been minoicos Seals in the form of terra-cotta discs. Historical sources written that describe the relations of Crete with other countries, like found texts exist in Mari of the century XVIII a. that mention that Crete imported raw materials (bronze, tin, Ivory ) and exported made objects of luxury in its factories, as Arms Clothes and Worn .

The archaeological investigations show to an important change in the minoica civilization in the neighborhood of 2000  a. the main factor of this change was the foundation of the first palaces, that represented the concentration of the power in some centers.

Neopalacial time

Towards 1700  a., the cretenses palaces were destroyed. The historians dissent on the origin of these destructions. Some consider that they had to an Indo-European invasion, in particular of luvitas originating of Anatolia. Some think more that was an invasion of Hicsos from Egypt, or even of internal conflicts, like one civil War . Finally, Earthquake possibly exists a hypothesis on due to the eruption of Volcano of Santorini; nevertheless, a wreck of such nature would have only affected the central part of the island, because the palace of Malia was saved of the destruction.

This catastrophe, whichever it is its origin, did not end the minoica civilization. The palaces were reconstructed from their ruins, and the minoica culture entered which its time has been considered sea bream. The period of the new palaces is divided in three phases: of 1700  a. was a period of reconstruction; of 1600  a. was the apogee of the minoicos, and 1500  a. happened the expansion of the minoica influence on the other towns of the Mediterranean, in particular on micénicos of the Peloponeso.En Cnosos, Festos, Hagia Triada or Malia, were constructed to new palaces or the old ones were recovered and embellished by architectonic innovations, such as the use of columns of Cypress or the light well system. The Eastern zone of the island participated in this Renaissance: the palace of Malia, left from 1900  a., was occupied again. These palaces were more of great dimensions, composed of two levels or, and show similar aspects to each other. They were erected around a great central patio and were compound of a complex system of intrincate buildings. The minoicos palaces were equipped with a system of supplying of water and a system of Drainage .

Micénica Crete

The eruption of the volcano of Santorini towards 1400  a. supposed a fatal blow for the minoica civilization. The earthquake brought about by the eruption and the destruction of cities that implied, favored the micénicos incursions of . The archaeological rest show to the existence of micénicos establishments in the island from the year 1300  a. This new phase of minoica history is called “micénica Crete”, which means that the island comprised of the micénico world, and therefore was a dependancy of the continent without for that reason lost its identity.

The micénica presence is verified by the later legend of times and the toponymy of certain places. Agamenón, king of Micenas, would be the founder of Lappa, Tegea, or Pérgamos . The names of places as Gortina or Arcadia is of origin peloponesio and could be bequeathed of the micénica occupation. Homero, in the Iliad, mentions that seven cretenses cities took part in War from Troy, directed by Idomeneo and other gentlemen, led as well by Agamenón. The eighty boats contributed by Crete formed one of the greatest contributions to the war, which would demonstrate that the island was not totally devastated by the eruption.

It is in this historical period that concerns Greek Gods to replace to the minoicas deities. Zeus, Poseidón, Athenian Hera and replaced the goddess mother. Nevertheless some elements of the minoica religion persisted, as they demonstrate to the tables in Linear B to it that mention to one Priestess of winds or an owner of labyrinth . The cult to young Zeus also is considered like cretense. In inverse sense, Cnosos maintains influence in some zones of the Aegean in certain aspects: the arms and the jewelry shop of Cnosos are adopted by the continent.

At the end of XII  century; a. Crete knew a combined time of chaos Towns the sea, even though the impact of these was minor who in continental Greece. More forts were the changes that took place after the catastrophe of Micenas, when groups of population arrived from the Peloponnese settled in Crete. Thus, they appeared new cultural elements in the life of the cretenses, like the incineration of deads, the use of Iron, the dresses with Broches or the geometric decoration of the ceramics. These new elements are of doric inheritance .

Doric Crete

According to Tucídides, Dorios invaded Greece eighty years after the destruction of Troy. Originating from the region of the Danube, the dorios arrived at Greece by Epiro and Iliria, or by Thrace and Macedonia . The populations expelled by this invasion found refuge in Crete and Cyprus. As well, Crete was reached about the invasion doria towards 1100  a. This invasion was far from being pacific. The archaeological findings show a resistance of the cretenses in the main population centers, and Cnosos would be destroyed. In Karpi, minoicos and micénicos were united and found refuge in that site escarped enough.

The dorios colonized the island of intensive way, establishing numerous cities. The myths narrate that Teutamos, son of Doros king of the dorios, founded the first dynasty doria on Crete, only one generation after the establishment of the first dorios. The tradition tells that the first colonists were Polis and Delphi of Sparta and Altaimenes of Argus . The dorios were distributed in three tribes: the Híleos, Dímanos and Pánfilos. Other tribes dorias arrived later at Crete.

The dorios took with them the use of the iron, the construction of temples (for minoicos and micénicos, the religious ceremonies were realized in the palaces) and the incineration of deads. Nevertheless, the cremation of deads could not be ligature to the arrival of the dorios. Realized in the same time in Rhodes, Cyprus or Cos, this practice settled in Crete very early at the time doria and could therefore have an mean-Eastern origin.

This invasion implied new migrations of the cretense population towards Asia Menor.ref name=" Detorakis40" >Detorakis, op.40 Minoicos, micénicos and dorios megred in a new ethnic and cultural organization. The descendants of the minoicos, also called Eteocretenses (cretenses pure), were marginalized and they settled down mainly in the east of the island, and were reduced to estatus of Periecos a study of the toponymy in Crete sample that 70% of the names of the places are of Greek origin, 20% of origin Pelasgo, and only a 10% minoico.

Dedálico period, or cretense Renaissance

In the centuries VIII and VII  a., Crete reclaimed part of their past splendor. The name of the dedálico period does not have anything to do with the Labyrinth of the minoica time that created the labyrinth, but with a sculptor to that the tradition grants the credit of the invention of the sculptor tools and the creation of the first marble statues. Although its existence is not proven, the one of his supposed disciples Dipoinos and Skyllis he is more likely. The basic characteristics of the dedálico art is the Eastern aspect of its works. The archaeological registries have allowed to find some dedálicas works important, like Lady of Auxerre .

The commerce and navigation were revitalized and Crete participated in the great big wave of Colonization that realized the Greek world., the cretenses established colonies in Sicily, Etruria and the present French coasts, near Marseilles, at where 100 years before focios arrived . In the VII  century; a., the cretenses were associated with Rhodes to found the Sicilian colonies of Gela and Agrigento, and later with Gela to found the city of Cirene on 631  a.

This cretense Renaissance was short and it was interrupted in the VI  century; a. The present isolation and the decay until the Roman conquest seem to have had two reasons: the appearance of city-been, like Athens or Mileto, among others, that monopolized the Mediterranean commerce, as well as the internal complaints in the island that they placed to this one in a permanent crisis.

Institutions and society dorias

The society doria in Crete organized of way very similar to the one of Sparta and other dorios centers of continental Greece. The population was divided in three classes: Citizen apetairoi and a numerous servile class . The free citizens were mainly the dorios conquerors and their descendants and constituted elite of city-been. Political Military man had the exclusive control in matter and, that rested on strict a military system and a collective formation . Each citizen belonged to one Hetería, whose members were companions battle and, like in Sparta, ate together during Sisitias

After the citizens, they were apetairoi (“outside heterías” in Greek ), who were men free but excluded from heterías and therefore lacking of political rights. By regulating, they were old citizens punished with Atimia, released or foreign servants. The servile class can be divided in two categories. The first inhabitants of Crete formed to the periecos; farmers were mainly who conserved a part of their earth and paid Imposed to their dorios masters. Finally, Enslaved comprised most numerous of the population of Crete, and they were made up of native cretenses or prisoners military; they dedicated themselves to the culture of territories of the citizens.

A direct consequence of the conquest doria was the abandonment of the monarchic system patriarchal, and the great families dorias were in charge of the administration of the island. The cretenses cities were administered by two schools: Cosmes and the Council of Gerontes. Cosmes frequently was ten by city, they were chosen by the great families by a period of a year and had considerable civilian and military powers: monitoring of the behavior, state of the finances, statute of the foreigners; they were the military leaders in the days of war and the highest civil servants in the days of peace. Its exit of the position, they entered the Council of the Gerontes ( Boulé ), where they held the position of by life. This " Advice of Ancianos" he guided Cosmes in his decisions.

Crete at the times classic and hellenistic

Crete besides the great conflicts

While Greece was in its economic and cultural apogee, Crete stayed in a marginal position in the Greek world. Confederation of Delos did not comprise of and could escape of the Spartan hegemony. Few sources that approach the relations between the island and the rest of Greece, with the exception of which exist is known of some alliances between cities: Cnosos and Tylisos with Argus in 450  a., and Pretty Litos with .

Crete stayed convulsed by the internal conflicts, and the mountainous character of its territory was a division factor. The state of the economy forced numerous cretenses settlers to enlist like Mercenary in the foreign armies. Tucídides more in one go mentions to arqueros cretenses of the athenian army., Later, Jenofonte evokes to the participant cretenses arqueros in Ten the Thousands Expedition of . From War of the Peloponnese, the sources mentions to mercenary cretenses in all the armies of the Mediterranean, even during the conquests of Julio Caesar ( Cretenses sagitarii ).

Although the mercenary cretenses participated in the different conflicts from the Greek world, Crete stayed besides these last ones. the Greeks, threatened by Jerjes, invited to the cretenses to be united them, but these remained indifferent, pretextando an unfavorable warning of Oracle of Delphi . In the same way, they remained neutral during the War of the Peloponnese, including after the attack of Cidonia on the part of the athenian fleet.

This isolation of the Greek world also indicated by the absence of cretenses in Panhelénicos Games . The cretenses runners, quite famous, only participated in 448  a.

As of half-full of IV  century; a., Crete left their isolation. The island returned to attract the attention of its neighbors by strategic aims, but also of the time became the object of great interest of Philosophers who were interested in the different models from government of city-been Greek. During second half of the IV  century; a. and at beginnings of III  century; a., when Sparta served as example the political theoreticians, these returned the eyes to Crete, finding very close similarities between the island and Sparta, affinities that are explained by their common ancestors: the dorios. Plato, Aristotle, Calístenes and Jenofonte among others, wrote on Crete (the works of both last disappeared). Plato Education was led in the system of and in the common meals. Aristotle thought that the bad operation of the cretense regime was compensated with its insular situation and that, unlike Sparta, in Crete was not afraid a rebellion of the periecos; nevertheless, he thought that Sparta was superior because had known to improve the laws of Minos thanks to Licurgo.

At the time of Great Alexander, knows that numerous cretenses served in their army and that its admiral Nearco era of cretense origin. The attitude of the cities of the island was not uniform during that time, because while some cities supported the Macedonian policy (Cnosos, Gortina, Cidonia), some others stayed next to Sparta (Litos). Through its allied cities, Sparta tried to propagate a antimacedónico feeling in the island. Thus, after the beginning of the expedition of Alexander in Asia, the Spartan king Agis III tried to promote a rise in Crete, in the context of a general feeling between several Greek cities by his independence., Agis sent to their Agesilao brother to Crete in order to take the control from the island, forcing to Alexander to honor an army in the island to dissipate the Spartan presence. Alexander sent his fleet commanded by Anfóteros, that released to Crete.

Hellenistic Crete

After the death of Great Alexander, the internal conflicts were accentuated by the attitude of the new Greek States that they looked for to establish relations with the cretenses cities. Thus, the island was divided in leagues, whose formation is explained by geographic factors, ethnic and political affinities. Historically four leagues are enumerated:
  • liga de the Cnosos, most important and extended, that it included twenty cities
  • liga de Gortina
  • liga de Festos
  • liga of the mountains, that extended by the suroccidental end of the island.

Although Crete was divided in four leagues, only two cities exerted a political and military domination on the other: Cnosos and Gortina. Nevertheless, the incessant rivalry between these two allowed Litos and Cidonia to compete sometimes by the supremacy.

In the III  century; a. took place a effort of unification against the foreign threat. He is when koinon was born, or assembly of the cretenses cities . The creation of this assembly goes back towards 221  a. when Cnosos and Gortina approached to reach an agreement that allowed them to control the totality of the island. The cretense assembly included an advice and a popular assembly, and it met mainly in Cnosos. It seems that koinon was the person in charge of a effort of legislation and regulation of the relations between the cretenses cities, with the aim of reaching La Paz. It also seems that there was a species of federal Court of Law, koinodikaion, destined to serve as referee in the conflicts between the cities. Although koinon represented a unification effort, the cities of Crete remained independent in some aspects, for example, in the management of its outer relations.

Although in the system of koinon the cretenses cities was equal, Cnosos and Gortina played the preponderant role in the assembly, and koinon became a scene of the fight of these two cities to exert major influences.

Egyptian intervention
From 270  a., numerous cities of the Eastern part of the island were under the influence of tolemaico Egypt . The necessity to control the sea lanes of the Eastern Mediterranean took Tolomeo II to be interested in Crete. The opportunity to take part was a dispute between the cities of Itanos and Praisos by the control of a sanctuary dedicated to Zeus. Egypt, called by Itanos, sent a Navy towards the east of the island. The Egyptian influence extended towards other parts of Crete, that became a protectorate of the Tolomeos, and some cities remained thus by near two centuries, inclusively when the island was considered a Macedonian protectorate from 216  a. Egypt was not the unique hellenistic State in being interested in Crete. Litos maintained good relations with Seléucida Empire . Eleuterna and Ierapetra, at first under the Egyptian influence, sealed to a treaty of friendship with Antígono III, king of Macedonia, between 227 and 224  a.

Macedonian intervention and the cretense war
Towards 220  a., Crete was knocked down by the civil war. Filipo V of Macedonia, ambitious monarch, saw in Crete an ideal base and a potential ally for its projects of expansion. It responded to the call of some cities that asked to him to take part in the conflict. It undertook the pacification of the island and assured the Eastern portion quickly. In 217 and 216  a., settled down a Macedonian protectorate and Filipo was recognized like " landlord of Creta".

In its expansionistic ambitions, Filipo hit Rhodes, until then its ally, but whose fleet controlled the sea lane - and therefore the commerce towards the East. Filipo V used two methods to destabilize to Rhodes: the piracy and the war. It turned around the eyes to Crete, accustomed the piracy, so that this one took part in the activities against Rhodes., the piracy was already a real threat for Rhodes and Filipo decided to enter a direct military confrontation. The cities of Olus and Ierapetra went first in going to the call of the Macedonian king. cretense War favored to Rhodes, that assumed the protection of Cnosos and other cities of the central Crete. Ierapetra and Olus could not maintain the fight in two fronts and had to capitulate. Most of the east of the island was under the control of Rhodes, that placed naval bases strategic to avoid all act of piracy.

Roman intervention
The control of the east of Crete by Rhodes ended the piracy in the region. The center of the island could also reach certain security, since Cnosos stayed ally of Rhodes. On the contrary, the western part remained like a referring one of the piracy, with the support of Sparta and its king Nabis, that exerted certain influence in the region and the ports of Crete served as reference to their fleet., Nabis was allied of Rome, date in which this one, considering that did not have more necessity of that alliance, demanded the Spartan to yield all ports to him in the island. This event marked the beginning of the interest of Rome by Crete.

The presence of Rome did not prevent the resurgence of the piracy. Rome took part in the conflicts like mediator. Thus, the second cretense war ( 155 - 153  a. ), that faced Crete against Rhodes because of the piracy again, finished by the mediation of Rome, to request of Rhodes.

Roman Crete

The conquest

In 74  a. Marco Antonio Crético was named Roman fleet commander of the Mediterranean with the aim of conquering Crete. As it causes of this decision were, first of all, the damages that the Roman fleet into the hands of the piracy suffered, and in second, the establishment of an alliance between Crete and Mitrídates I SAW, king of Ponto and enemy of Rome. Although at first obstinate to undertake such operation, Frame Antonio Crético finally decided to attack the island in 71  a. Although the victory of the Romans would be easy similarity, were defeated and the fleet annihilated between the present city of Heraclión and the island of Day . Numerous Roman ships were sunk and several more captured with their luggage. The majority of the Roman prisoners was hung of the masts of the boats, and the cretenses imposed to Frame Antonio Crético a treaty of so humiliating peace that Senate rejected to ratify it.

From fear of retaliation, the cretenses decided to look for at least the negotiation and sent to Rome thirty eminent representatives with the purpose of to conclude an alliance with the Romans. But the Senate had decided the conquest of Crete already., Rome managed to eliminate the danger of Mitrídates and ordered to the cretenses to give to the Roman prisoners, to the winners of Frame Antonio Crético, as well as 300 hostages and 400 talents of silver. As the cretenses rejected the proposal, the general Fifth Cecilio Metelo Crético was in charge to put under them. He disembarked in the West of Crete, waged war one long of siege and advanced towards the east with the aim of putting under all the pockets of resistance, devastating the populations that offered opposition.

The cretenses rejected to deal with Metelo because of the cruelty this one and preferred to present/display their capitulation in Pompei . But with the taking of Ierapetra in 67  a., the island was totally under Roman dominion, and Metelo would be in charge to completely pacify it until 63  a. The war was worth to Metelo the nickname to him of " Crético" (the cretense).

The Roman administration

At the beginning of the Roman government, the island stayed associate to the province of Cirenaica, but this situation changed in the following decades. Caesar separated Crete de Cirenaica; with Marco Antonio the two regions returned to be united in 40  a., before yielding to Cleopatra to him a part of the island and Cirene, in 38 and 34  a. Finally, in 27  a., Crete and Cirenaica were reunified, with Gortina like capital, and this situation would remain until the time of Diocleciano .

In the archaeological sites, it seems that there were few destructions related to the transference of the power to the Romans: a single palacial complex sample signs of to be devastated. On the contrary, there were numerous constructions, and the Romans built many ways and Aqueducts the city of Gortina seems to have had a pro-Roman behavior, which was worth to him to have estatus of provincial capital. In Gortina was constructed Pretorio, Theater, Odeón, Ninfeo, forum, among others importance buildings. The city became the main cretense locality and according to Estrabón, had 50 stages of diameter (around 10 km). Cnosos was relegated to the position of second city of the island; it was lived by Romans and transformed into colony, under the name of Colony Julia Nobilis, but it did not manage to become a Roman military center. Cities as Litos and Ierapetra were developed and like Gortina, became of their respective forums and temples. In the southern coast of the island small ports were developed that served as support to Galeras of the route of Smaller Asia and Egypt.

Arrival of the Christianity

is given San Pablo Evangelisation of Crete, as well as the organization of Church in the island. Because of storm, Pablo would have done scale for the first time in Crete, in Kali Thresholds (the “Good Ports” that they mention Done of the Apostles ), in the southern coast. After his first captivity in Rome, returned to the island, and there left to its disciple Tito, that would be first Bishop of Gortina and that according to the tradition, was cretense. Tito divided to the island in nine Diocese, although the sources of Century I SAW indicate that the ecclesiastical organization data of one more a more delayed time. It mainly seems that Christianity found resistance, between Jewish community . Felipe, the successor of Tito, managed to stop the Roman persecutions against the Christians. Nevertheless, one knows that in 250 the persecutions of the emperor Decio were particularly hard in Crete. The victims of Decio became first Martyrs of the cretense church, and are called Ten Saints . The cretense Christianity would have to wait for to Century I SAW to see finalized its first great monument: the basilica of San Tito de Gortina.

Byzantine period

First Byzantine period

Few sources exist about Crete during this time since, like other western provinces of Byzantine Empire, attracted little the attention of Byzantine Cronistas . Without a doubt, Crete was in the periphery of the Greek world and that situation explains the absence of cretenses bishops in First Council of Nicea in 325, unlike other smaller islands, like Cos, Rhodes and Quíos, that yes was represented.

From the reorganization of the empire by Diocleciano in 285, Crete separated of Cirenaica and it was gotten up to Mesia. Later, Constantino united to Iliria, and Crete was one of the twelve dioceses of this province. In Century IV, the cretense territory passed to province of Macedonia . Towards 754, Constantino V definitively united to Crete under the control of Church of Constantinople . This last reform happened Iconoclastic crisis in the heat of, in which Crete inclined at first towards the veneration of images.

The Byzantine Hierocles considered in 22 the number of cretenses cities in this period. From that data, the historian Theocharis Detorakis considers the population of the island in about 250 000 inhabitants.

During this first Byzantine period, Crete was theater of numerous enemy attacks and natural disasters. 9 of July of 365 a seism followed of Tidal wave destroyed several populations. In 415 Gortina was destroyed by a new earthquake. In 457 Vandals realized an incursion, and in 623 Slavic . From second half of Century VII appeared the Arab threat . The Arab pirates sacked to the cretenses coasts in 656, 671, 674, and of repeated way at beginnings of Century VIII .

Average age

Arab domination

The history of the Arab conquest of Crete began far from there. In 813, a Muslim group of rebellious against Alhakén I, Emir of Cordova, was defeated. Forced to leave Spain, they found refuge in Egypt, where they took advantage of the political crises to appropriate Alexandria ( 818 - 819 ), before leaving that country to be interested in Crete. The election to invade Crete perhaps was influenced by the Egyptians, who always had had interests by the island. In 824, Abu Hafs conducted one first operation of recognition in Crete, accompanied by looting, before initiating the conquest in 825 . Seduced by the kindness and the fertility of the climate, the Arabs decided to settle down themselves. Abu Hafs believed to see in Crete the “delicious earth where milk and the honey ran” that had promised to its followers. Certain theses consider that the Arabs disembarked in the present bay of Almiros, to the West of Heraclión, or in the bay of Sweats. Nevertheless, it could be that the invaders disembarked in the southern coast of the island, a zone that could not be defended by the Byzantine ones with the sufficient rapidity. The conquest was facilitated by an internal crisis in the Byzantine Empire, that could not assure the defense the island. Abu Hafs conquered Crete in few years, with the exception of the region of Sfakia.

The Arabs founded a new capital on the North coast of Crete, a city fortified and surrounded by a deep pit. This pit gave name to the locality, Kandax him (or Handakas), that parapet in Arab means and who derived later in Candía, a term that designated so much to Heraclión as to all the island. Crete was to a great extent independent Emirate of other Arab regions and it was transformed into a hereditary principality.

The piracy and the economic pressure on the local population allowed the existence of the Emirate, whereas the cretenses were put under a very severe servitud. Crete separated of the rest of the Byzantine Empire and decayed as much economic as culturally. It is not known of the existence of any cultural movement nor of any literary work, not even the name of some intellectual figure of that time. However, with the Arabs there was a dynamism of agriculture in Crete, being developed the culture of sugar Cane, of Cotton and Morera .

For the orthodox ones, the martyrdom of Cirilo, bishop of Gortina at the time of the invasion, seems to be one of the most important events. The sources available (Greek and Arab) do not allow to know if the Arabs were respectful of the religion and the Christian places of cult. With probability, the conversions to Islam were limited and surely, nonobligatory, to being excellent economically not speaking for the Arabs, since the cretenses had to pay kharadj, a hypothecating tax for the nonMuslim ones.

During the average century and of the Arab domination, the island returned to be, like in the antiquity, a base of the piracy. During the centuries IX and X, the sarracenos mounted attacks against Lesbos, the peninsula of Monte Athos ( 862 ), Calcídica ( 866 ), the adriáticas coasts ( 872 - 873 ), and sacked Tesalónica in 904 . Crete constituted during that average century and the main strongpoint for the Arabs in the Eastern river basin of the Mediterranean Therefore, for Byzantine the recapture of the island did not mean a liberation solely, but also the neutralization of this threat for the fleets of the Mediterráneoy the necessity to retake the control of the commercial routes of the region.

Secondly Byzantine period

To reconquer Crete was not a easy task for Byzantium, considering the great geographic extension of the empire and the presence of enemies in all the fronts, that the launching from a great offensive to Crete prevented. From 826, Miguel II appointed to Foteinos - governor of thema of Anatolia- strategist of Crete. Foteinos disembarked in the island, but the inhabitants did not respond to their exhortations of revolt. The Navy of aid lead by Crateros was destroyed by the sarracenos, in spite of some initial successes. Apparently, Crateros was made prisoner in the island of Cos and possibly empalado .

Between 826 and 949 three new Byzantine putsches failed. In 844, an army to the control of Logoteta Teoktistos, in spite of its promising beginning, was overcome in Bosphorus by the Arabs. In 948, Byzantium rejected Thracian the Hungarian threat of and and could be concentrated in Crete. Constantino VII sent against Crete an offensive of great magnitude, but without favorable result. The recapture would take place in 961 after the emperor Nicéforo Seals took the control from the military expedition. The strategy of Nicéforo rested in the numerical superiority of its soldiers and in the power of Byzantine navy. Themas of Asia and Europe recruited soldiers in all the, to which it added the elite troops of the guard, 2 000 provided Dromons of Greek Fire and several hundreds of transport ships. It reunited to its troops in Figela, Smaller Asia, during the summer of 960 . Nicéforo Seals disembarked in the north of the island in July of the same year and marched towards Chandax, to which put site from second half of 960 to 961 March of . Chandax resisted by several months but it finished for being taken 7 of March from 961 . The Muslims were massacreed and the sacked city. The rest of the island was taken quickly. The Byzantine ones obtained from Crete an immense booty: the sources mention that 300 boats for their transport were necessary. Nicéforo sent a part of the treasure to its confessor San Atanasio, used that it for the foundation of the first monastery of Monte Athos.

It seems that the Arab period was a period of sacking and a diminution of the natality. In order to resist that, Seals turned to the sarracenos in slaves, ordered to close all the Mosques and sent Missionaries to the island. It sent Greek, Slavic and Armenian to increase the population, and provided to the cities of fortifications .

In 1082, the emperor Alejo I Comneno sent colonists chosen between the main aristocratic families of the empire. It granted great surfaces and privileges to them. These new colonists were the founders of the new cretense aristocracy that would be related to the nationalistic rebellions of the island during the periods following of history.

Venetian domination

Fourth Crossed, initially sent against Egypt by the Pope Innocent II in 1198, finally took to the cruzados Constantinople, which produced the partition of the Byzantine Empire. The count Balduino IX of Flanders was chosen emperor by the cruzados. Bonifacio de Montferrato, proclaimed king of Salonica and Macedonia, became of the control of Crete; Genoa and Venice, attracted by the commercial importance of the islands of the Aegean, made supplies him to buy the island to him. The Venetian ones secured their objective in 1204 in exchange for 1000 marks of silver and earth in Macedonia. At the top of the government of the island was Jacopo Tiepolo, with the title of Duke of Candía.

In as much, Venice mainly took care to consolidate its possessions in the Peloponnese and it could not immediately take possession from the island. The genoveses were useful to seize of a great part of central Crete without finding resistance of the native population.

After an unfruitful putsch in 1206, the Venetian ones retook the island between 1208 and 1209, when Genoa was incapable to maintain troops in Crete. In 1212, Tiepolo reached an agreement with the genoveses, and these evacuated the island with the exception of some enclaves that conserved until 1217 . The Venetian domination lasted four centuries, although in 1294 the genoveses were able to appropriate themselves the Canea temporarily.

Venetian institutions

Crete depended directly on Venice and constituted an administrative region called Kingdom of Candía . The islands of Tinos and Citera were part also of that kingdom. At the beginning, the island was divided in six territories or sexteria :
  • Sexterio de Agioi Apostoloi, corresponding to the present prefecture of Lasithi.
  • Sexterio de Agios Markos
  • Sexterio de Stavros
  • Sexterio de Castello
  • Sexterio de Agios the Pablos
  • Sexterio de Dorsoduro

The administrative division of the island formed of four territories at the beginning of Century XIV : The Canea, Rétino, Surround, and Candía. These territories were subdivided as well in castellanías ( castelli ) and in populations ( casali ). Only the region of Sfakia was not put under completely. Handax remained like capital, but it took the name from Candía.

The magistrates were divided in two classes: the magistrates majors, named directly in Venice and part of the Venetian nobility, and the smaller magistrates, whose recruitment was local. The supreme magistrate was Duke de Candía, named directly by the Great Council of Venice for a period of two years. His he soothes it was Candía, and he was attended by two advisers, each also choosing for a period of two years. The organization of the army and the defense were responsibility of Captain de Candía, whose powers were also limited two years. The Camerlenghi had the responsibility of the finances. Castilian of Candía, ordered of the government of the city, it was also part of the magistrates majors. A director, chosen between the four advisers of Candía was appointed in 1252 in the Canea, after the foundation of the city. A similar organization was restored in Rétino in 1273 and later in Surrounds in 1314.

The smaller magistrates, selected between the Venetian nobility and the cretense, exerted functions of judges (arbitrated in the Latin and Greek conflicts between) or of notaries, specialized in depositions and investigations.

Economy and society

The interest of Venice by Crete was mainly strategic and commercial. For this reason, the Venetian ones did not settle at first more than in the cities majors. But Venice finished occupying all the island, and confiscated earth to distribute them to its colonists, favoring the installation of these in exchange for military duties., In time thus military the noble proprietors had to contribute with Horseman, two Escuderos besides arms and horses. The most modest proprietors had to grant to the army ten soldiers on foot.

Each colonist received with its earth twenty-five servants, probably descending of the sarracenos servants of the time of Nicéforo Seals. Little by little, a cretense nobility was developed. The first cretenses noble were in fact the descendants of the families bourgeois arrivals of Venice during first adminisering extreme unction to of colonization of Century XIII . With time, titles of nobility to helenizados Italian cretenses or in exchange for services were granted granted to the metropolis. The noble class reached so great proportions that the titles of nobility in Crete finished losing their prestige.

The cultures of the Venetian ones were mainly of the speculative order. The culture of Vine knew a great growth and the wine of Rétino, boiled for reasons of conservation, exported until Poland, Germany and Constantinople. Towards 1428 was developed the culture of the sugar cane, that later would be displaced by the one of the cotton. On the contrary, the cereal culture fell in high proportions, on the one hand, to leave space to cultures economically more interesting, but also because Venice sometimes prohibited the culture of wheat in the most fertile regions with the purpose of to avoid great concentrations of servants in a same place, besides avoiding discharges nutritional reserves in case of rebellion. Therefore, Crete was employee of the wheat of Thrace or Egypt.

The culture of Olivo does not seem to be practiced of intensive way in the first centuries of the Venetian occupation. The traveller Cristoforo Buondelmonti, who visited Crete between 1415 and 1417 indicates not to have found a single field of olive trees. Nevertheless, in the century following the production of Olive oil intensified. A report of 1629 indicates a mastata production of 500 000 (approximately 3 700 000 liters).

In the four centuries of presence, the progressive helenización of the Venetian population was clear. During the first centuries of occupation, Roman Catholicism would constitute the dividing line enters towns both. Since the beginning of century XVI, the Greek influence became more present. The marriages between Venetian cretenses and were more frequent, at the same time as many Venetian ones adopted the orthodox faith. The Greek language was adopted by the Venetian catholics, and was used even in the circles oficiales.ref name=" Tulard102" >J. 102

Cretenses rebellions

The unequal Earth distribution and the heavy fiscal load (a third of the agricultural production was the tax) were too much even for the colonists, which explains the rises of centuries XIII and XIV. Pierre Daru told to fourteen rebellions between 1207 and 1365 . In 1361, the collection of a tax for the repair of the port of Candía brought about a riot, that produced the destitution of the Duke and its replacement by Gradenigo Frame, and the proclamation of the independence of the island. The insurgents became to the Orthodoxy and the church of San Marcos de Candía was transformed into San Tito. Candía was reconquered in 1364 by Venice. The later repression produced the emigration of numerous colonists.

The cretense Renaissance

The intellectual and artistic life of the time stood out on the economic and social crisis. The education, for example, was developed during the Venetian period. Until the first century of occupation, there is no test that allows to state the existence of schools in Crete. In century XIV, education was developed quickly through monacales schools that organized the creation of libraries. Frequently, the young children of rich families studied in Italy, mainly in Venice and Padua, and took to Crete the spirit of Italian Renaissance . Some cretenses students followed political or religious races of first order in Europe. The cretense Petros Phylagris would be the first Greek university professor of University of Paris (1378-1381), before holding the position of Cardinal (1405-1409), and later the one of Pope with the name of Alexander V . In Milan, Demetrios Damilas published in 1476 Grammatical of Constantino Lascaris, the first published Greek work in Europe.

Of parallel way, numerous Byzantine artists who fled from the Ottoman advance installed in Crete and took to the island the tradition of Constantinople. Thus, the cretense society was in the last made of a flourishing culture years of the Venetian occupation, that is called the cretense Renaissance frequently, a movement marked by the resurgence of the Byzantine tradition, influenced by the Italian Renaissance. The Italian influence was sensible in Literature, and was habitual to write cretenses texts in Latin Alphabet . However, the traditional cretense language was used in a flourishing Literature, whose known example more was Erotókritos of Vicenzos Kornaros . Another great figure of the time was Georgios Hortatzis, author of the dramatic work Erófilo . Painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos, more known like Greco, was born in Crete during this period; he studied the Byzantine iconography before starting off finally for Italy and for Spain.

Modern and contemporary time

Ottoman Crete

The Turkish pressure was concrete in Century XVI . The islands of the Aegean were captured by the Turks during second half of Century XV, with the exception of Rhodes, Crete, Cyprus and some small islands. Rhodes fell in 1522 and in 1537 Venice lost its possessions of Morea, Monembasia and Nauplia ; in 1556 was taken Quíos and in 1570 the Turks disembarked in Cyprus, an island that the Pope tried to save. A cretense square in defense of Cyprus was equipped, but this one arrived after the fall from Nicosia . The surrender of Cyprus brought about commotion in Crete, where the imminent invasion of the Turks was expected.

In that time, Venice was only able to maintain a force of 4.000 soldiers in all the island. He raises, the metropolis was not able to assure the payment pays, and the soldiers had to carry out additional works to cover their needs. The cretenses fortifications were not in better state in spite of the efforts in the reconstruction. The Venetian policy towards the cretenses was smoothed against the Ottoman threat, and the relation between occupied occupants and improved, but Venice stayed reticent to let arm to the cretenses so that these defended their island. However, Venice could count on a civil militia of 14.

Like in several occasions from the Antiquity, it was again the pirate threat what served as pretext for the invasion of Crete. In 1644, a Turkish boat that transported an important personage of palace was attacked by Horsemen of Malta and the booty was sold in the Canea. Sultán accused the Venetian ones to be responsible, in particular because the city of Candía lodged the Maltese horsemen. When initiating the summer of 1645, 350 ships military left Istambul towards Crete. The Ottomans disembarked in the western part of the island, near the Canea, 23 of June of 1645 . They took that city after 57 days of site and a bombing day and night. In one second campaign in 1646, took Rétino. One after another one fell Sfakia, It surrounds, and later all the cities of the island. In the spring of 1648, the Venetian ones did not own more than three sites outside Candía: Gramvoussa, Spinalonga and Suda .

The site of Candía

In May of 1648 began the site of Candía. Directed by Delhi Hussein, the Turks installed their camping 7 km to the West of the city. The first assaults happened 2 of July of 1648, but they were rejected by the Venetian ones. The Turks destroyed the aqueduct that supplied water the city and surrounded this one almost totally, cut communications with the interior of the island. The marine route solely remained open to the Venetian ones surrounded.

Until 1666, the site seemed to be in a deadlock. When being in war in the Balkan Mountains, the Ottoman Empire could not to give high-priority aid to the sitiadores of Candía. At the same time, the subject began to take an European dimension. Venice insisted before great powers so that these took part in the conflict. In August of 1664, La Paz of Vasvar retired to Sublime Door of the front of the Balkan Mountains. Then aid to the Turkish troops of Crete could be offered. The great vizier Köprülü Fazıl Amhed, winner of German and Austrians in Neuhaüsel, took the lead of the operations 3 of November of 1666. In the spring of 1667 disembarked in Crete 64 Galeras that transported to 40 000 Turkish soldiers coming from the Peloponnese. Since then, the city of Candía was bombed of daily way.

The desertion in the side of the surrounded ones enough was promoted by the Turks. Köprülü spent 700 000 currencies of gold for that intention. In November of 1667 cretense colonel Andreas Barotsis deserted and he went Turkish alongside, indicating the weak points of the fortifications. This it was perhaps the decisive event of the site.

In spite of the regular flow of reinforcements, the dissension between the western commanders prevented the possibility of an improvement of the situation. The exit of the French troops (16 or 20 of August of 1699 ) precipitated the negotiations between Francesco Morosini and the Turks with respect to the surrender of the city. These conversations initiated at the end of August and lasted about twenty days, until 16 of September of 1669. Concluded the negotiation, the hostilities stopped immediately and the Venetian ones were twelve to evacuate the city. The treaty also authorized the Christian population to leave the city yet what they could take. 27 of September, the city was almost empty. A part of the inhabitants took refuge by day in the small barren island, to meters of Candía, and or Aegean would embark towards other islands of Ionian Sea there.

The cost in human lives of the site was important. The Turkish sources give account that, in 20 years of site, 137 116 Ottoman soldiers died, of which 25 000 were and 15 Jenízaros Pachás From then, the Venetian presence in Crete is limited three ports: Gramvoussa, Suda and Spinalonga.

Organization and administration

For the first time more ago of a century, the Ottoman Empire was with the heavy task of organizing a new province. To the eyes of the Ottomans, Crete had the sufficient importance to be designated like Eyalet, that is to say, a complete region, and it became the unique island of the empire that enjoyed such statute.

Initially, the Turks maintained the system Venetian of administrative division of the island. The four territoria Venetian became pashalikis (or sandjaks ): It surrounds, Candía, Rétino and the Canea. Each sandjak was directed by pachá and it was divided in districts ( kandiliks ) and in populations. The administrative center was located in Candía (that was famous like Kandiye). Pachá of Candía had predominance on the others. Kandilik of Mylopotamos belonged in turns to sandjak of Candía or to the one of Rétino. In a moment, eyalet was divided solely in three regions, when being united Sitia and Candía. Eyalet of Crete maintained this administrative division until 1867 when the 4 more Eastern districts of Candía separated to form a new region.

For a long time, one thought that the mountainous region of Sfakia enjoyed certain independence because of its little accessible geography. Nevertheless, some recent investigations try to demonstrate that the region was offered like feudo to a Gazi Hussein, that yielded as well to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in 1658 .

Until then, the Ottoman Empire had the custom to administer by the army the territories just conquered. The Ottoman military presence was translated in the strong presence of jenízaros; several of these were part of the islamizada cretense population. In Candía, there were five battalions, each with 5 000 imperial jenízaros, and 28 quarters of jenízaros Turk-cretenses. Also there were jenízaros in the Canea, to assure the control the part the west of the island.

Economy and society

One of the first consequences of the Ottoman conquest was the decrease of the population, that it initiated during the long fight by the possession of the island. The cities practically drained of their population. The urban life was made limited when decaying severely very the commerce in the cities; at least thus it was during the first fifty years of the Ottoman presence. The Ottoman numbers of 1671 than at the moment are the prefectures of Heraclión and Lasithi gave account of 16 516 homes, that is about 65 000 inhabitants for the Eastern portion of the island. Bernard Randolph, that visited Crete in 1687 considered the population in near 80 000 inhabitants, of who 50 000 were Christian and 30 000 Muslims. These numbers, although nonprecise, have the merit to show the little population of Crete. The number of inhabitants increased in significant form at the beginning of Century XVIII, with 53 753 registered homes, which corresponds approximately to 200 000 people, and reached the number of 350 000 people for the end of Century XVIII .

The Christians were reduced to the condition of raias . They were excluded from the military service and the payment of prevailed to them kharadj . Justice was in the hands of the Muslims and the jurisprudence was frequently unfavorable to the Christians. The load of the taxes and the rigor of the occupants took to many Christians to become to the Islam. Deprived earth were granted to the conquerors, who had then the title of aghas . These lands could be sold and happened of parents to children. The conversion to the Islam allowed the new Muslims to conserve its earth, their wealth and its privileges. They had to recite its confession before Kadi and to adopt a Muslim name. The conversion could, in addition, be reached through mixed marriages. The majority of the Turks arrived at Crete without wife, and they married and they trained a family in the island, although the mixed marriages were prohibited at first. One also knows that many Turks allowed his wifves to practice their original religion. On the other hand, some cretenses adopted the Muslim religion but they practiced the orthodox religion privily: it is known them as Criptocristianos and were a present phenomenon in other regions of the Ottoman Empire.

The main culture of the Ottoman time was the wheat, and the island was the supplier of Eubea, Quíos and Rhodes. During the extreme hunger in the north of Europe of 1678, France was supplied the wheat of Crete. The culture of the grapevine backed down, because of the religious prohibition. In century XVIII, the development of the industry of Soap caused that the cretenses inclined by the olive oil production; this one was exported mainly to Constantinople and to Marseilles, where the soap made with oil.

Cretenses rebellions

Crete and the Greek Revolution of 1821
While the independence war was prepared in the continent, it seemed that the members of Society of the Friendly ( Filiki Etairía ) had not been able to organize a true revolutionary activity in Crete, a moved away region of the rest of Greece and that did not present/display the favorable conditions for a rise. It would have to wait for until the last months before the insurrection and the support to the independentista cause by important personages of the island so that Etairía became active in Crete.

The first symptoms of rise reached Crete shortly after the beginning of the insurrection in the Peloponnese, even though those symptoms were quite weak: the great Ottoman population intimidated to the cretenses, that feared retaliation, apart from which the island had few arms (1 200 guns for all the island, of which 800 were concentrated in the city of Sfakia). 14 of June of 1821 is the official date of the beginning of the revolution in Crete, a date that corresponds to the victory of the cretenses ones on the Turks near the Canea, and to the first meeting of the Assembly of the Cretenses. The Greeks won some battles in the summer of 1821, but the complaints between the heads military prevented an effective insurrection.

Of 11 to 21 of May of 1822, a cretense assembly celebrated in Armeni voted a constitutional charter and proclaimed the union of Crete with Greece. The Turks, who faced the Greeks in the Peloponnese and the rest of Greece, did not manage to control the rebellions in the island and sultán Mahmut II had to call to pachá of Egypt, Mehmet Alí . This one, that considered the occasion propitious to infiltrate its interests in a new territory, accepted to take part and 28 of May of 1832, 30 ships military and 84 transport ships, commanded by their son Ibrahim Pachá, arrived at the bay from Sweats.

Due to the importance of the island and to its distance of the continent, the insurgents created a power different from the Greek government, based on the principles of National Assembly of Epidauro ( 22 of June of 1823 ). This government was made up of three ministries: inner war, economy and subjects. In addition, a commission of 16 members was in charge of the justice teaching.

To his arrival, Ibrahim Pachá offered La Paz and declared general Amnesty, but the insurgents refused themselves to lay down the arms. Then Mehmet Alí asked for the presence of its brother-in-law Hussein Bey. With an army of 12 000 men, Bein reconquered one to one the regions of the island, and its army could, from February of 1824, to go towards the heart of the rebellion: the city of Sfakia. Numerous cretenses commanders surrendered, while the Greek fleet evacuated 10 000 people from the town of Loutro. The number of cretenses that left Crete in the first months of 1824 has considered in 60 000. As of the spring of 1824, the revolution in Crete seemed to be choked, even though in 1825, was cretenses in the rebellion of the Peloponnese that tried to revivir the fight in the island.

In 1828, Treated about London had an impact in the development of the events. The rebellious commanders thought that the regions of Greek language in fight against the Ottoman Empire would comprise of the new Greek State. Therefore, the objective of the insurgents went to maintain to Crete in a state of permanent rebellion that guaranteed its independence. But Treated about Adrianópolis of 1829 left to Crete outside the Greek State and into the hands of the Ottoman Empire. the United Kingdom maneuvered enough to reach that solution, because it was against the independence of Crete, in spite of the protests of the Cretense Assembly. The United Kingdom tried to avoid that Crete returned to become a base of the piracy mainly and, that Russia could not increase its influence in the Eastern Mediterranean, at a time at which the Russian diplomacy prevailed in the Balkan Mountains and that the liberation of Greece seemed to be related to the victory of the Russian army.

Egyptian domination
The protocol of London of 1830 yielded Crete to Mehmet Alí, just like Cyprus and Syria, due to the services that had to sultán during the Greek revolution. Like governor of the island, Mehmet Alí named to Albanian, Mustafá Pachá, that took a right and impartial administration. Mustafá called to the calm, decided the general amnesty and invited the emigrants to return, which caused that the Christian population was increased of 90 000 120 000 inhabitants. Two mixed advice restored themselves, although a Christian minority completely prevented them to be taken care of. In that time, numerous public works were realized: ways, bridges, aqueducts and for the first time from the Venetian time, were constructed new ports.

The implication of Mehmet Alí in a conflict against the Ottoman Empire and its defeat in Syria broke the Egyptian power in Crete. The great powers, in their will to maintain intact to the Ottoman Empire and in order to preserve their interests, decided to grant Crete to the Ottoman Empire after Treated about London of 3 of July of 1840 . This decision was the pretext of a new putsch of insurrection, that was not successful (February to April of 1841 ).

The internal situation of Crete really did not change. Mustafá Pachá returned 31 of October of 1842 and there remained until 1850, date which it became great vizier. Between the realized changes, the capital of the island moved to the Canea in 1851 and the island was divided in 23 provinces ( Kazades ).

Revolutions of 1848 had a favorable echo in Crete, even though no rebellion exploded in the island in that year. 30 of March of 1856, Treated about Paris forced sultán to apply Hatti-Houmayoun, that is to say, the civil and religious equality between Christians and Muslims. But before the high number of conversions of Muslims to the Christianity (mainly old Christians), the empire tried to retractar itself on the freedom of brings back to consciousness.

In the four following decades, until the independence of 1898, the rises did not do more than to follow the way half-opened by Hatti-Houmayoun .

The great rebellion of 1866
Two main causes can explain the rise of the cretense town in 1866 . First it was the reluctance of the Ottoman authorities to apply Hatti-Houmayoun of strict way. The second cause was the intervention of Ismail Pachá, virrey of Egypt and governor of Crete from 1861, in an internal conflict related to the organization of the cretenses monasteries. This conflict brought about violent reactions in the Christian population of Creta.Una revolutionary assembly met in the spring of 1866 and demanded the union of Crete with Greece. The insurrection reached its apogee with the massacre of Monastery of Arkadi, in November of 1866, when several hundreds of cretenses rebels, besides women and children, preferred to die exploding the powder reserve of the monastery before to surrender.

In November of 1867, Alí proposed a new administrative project, the Statutory law, that contained certain privileges, standing out a limited representation of the cretenses in the administration of the island, lowerings of duties fiscal, the establishment of a bank and the equivalence total of the languages Turkish and Greek. In January of 1869, the Conference of Paris, that took place without Greek representatives, conminó to the Greek government to abstain from all military action in the island. Crete remained into the hands of sultán, but privileged province was declared, governed according to the decided special statutes in 1867. The 1866 insurrection caused that Crete was including by the diplomacy of the great European powers within the “Question of East”.

Contemporary Crete

Independence of Crete

In 1895, the massacre of Armenian in Anatolia shocked to international the public opinion and forced the great powers to be interested in the destiny of Crete. In order to show their good will, Sublime Door replaced to the governor of Crete by a Christian, Alexandros Karatheodoris. The Turk-cretenses, opposed that nomination, perpetuated massacres of Christians to force Karatheodoris to resign. In reaction, a revolutionary assembly with the support of the general consul of Greece constituted itself.

The tension increased with the acts of violence perpetrated by the Turk-cretenses. 11 of May of 1896, was massacreed several greco-cretenses of the Canea and their environs. Similar incidents happened in Heraclión. These events took to the powers to take part and to accentuate their pressure on Istambul so that the Ottoman government realized new concessions. In the Canea, the consuls of the great powers provided one Constitution to the Christian representatives of Crete. The main points were: a) the nomination by sultán, with the consent of the great powers, of a Christian governor by a period of five years; b) the number of uses reserved to the Christians had to be the double of the reserved ones to the Muslims; c) the cretense police had to reorganize itself and to be directed by European officials, and d) to guarantee a total economic and judicial independence to the island, that would be guaranteed by the great powers.

The situation relaxed a time, but the tension revivió as the Ottoman Empire delayed in putting in practice the Constitution. In the middle of January of 1897, the massacres of greco-cretenses were started again; in the Canea, the residence of the bishop was set afire, just like the Christian districts.

These new slaughters perpetrated by the Muslims brought about the intervention of Greece, that invaded the island proclaimed, it occupied and of 1897 unified to its territory 1 of February . The Ottoman Empire asked for the intervention of the European powers. France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, Austria-Hungary and Germany sent military ships military and contingents to the Canea, Candía, Rétino and Sitia. The powers did not recognize the union from Crete Greece, they directed an ultimatum to this last one to withdraw its, and proposed the autonomy of the island 17 of February of 1897 . Greece rejected that possibility, just like the idea of Principality .

In April, war that exploded between Greece and the Ottoman Empire forced that one to withdraw its of Crete to use them in the continent. The Greeks, defeated by the Turkish army trained by Germany asked for the intervention of the powers. Thus the possibility of a union with Greece was extinguished in Crete and the cretenses leaders had to accept the autonomy.

Crete remained under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire. Germany and Austria-Hungary evacuated their troops and due to its increasing interest by Turkey, they left the cretense question. Great Britain, France, Russia and Italy maintained their troops with the aim of recovering the order and introducing reforms. These four countries divided the island in four parts, that they administered separately, whereas the capital, the Canea, was administered of joint way. This administration, carried out by an advice of admirals was recognized by the Cretense Assembly. 26 of November of 1898, the powers proposed for governor of the island to the prince Jorge of Greece, son of the king heleno.

An executive advice, del that comprised Eleutherios Venizelos, was in charge of the administration of the island until the arrival of the prince. This advice was witness of the last tragic event of the Ottoman presence. 25 of August of 1898, a Turkish riot ended at a slaughter of hundreds of Christians, 17 British soldiers and the British consul in Crete. The Ottoman soldiers were conminados to leave the island: the last one of them left Crete 2 of November of 1898 . Prince Jorge arrived 9 from December and the powers immediately raised to the blockade on Crete, leaving only some military contingents in the island. As of that date, numerous Turk-cretenses left the island: the census of 1900 considered the Muslim population in 1/9 of the total population, against 1/3 in 1881 .

The government of prince Jorge elaborated a constitution, first of the island. Elections were organized, that designated to 138 Christian deputies and 50 Muslims. 1898 to 1904, Crete knew a period of peace, even though there were divergent opinions in its population on the destiny of the island.

In the spring of 1905 exploded a rebellion against the cretense government. It was directed by Eleutherios Venizelos, that denounced the corruption around prince Jorge. This last one had to resign to its functions and was replaced by Alexandros Zaimis, old president of the Greek advice. The mandate of Zaimis did not arrive at the five predicted years. In 1908, the commission replaced that it in an absence, proclaimed Enosis to Greece 10 of October of 1908 . The union finally was rejected by the pressure of the United Kingdom, but the evacuation of the foreign troops of the island was requested in return. Thus, Crete acceded to an independence De facto, although in theory it remained under the Turkish sovereignty.

The period of independence caused the economic and intellectual creation. Numerous infrastructure works were realized and luxurious buildings were elevated private public or. In Rétino, for example, it prospered the intellectual activity, as they demonstrate to the rooms of cinema or theaters to it of that time.

The Enosis

Taking advantage of the inner disorders in the Ottoman Empire in 1908, the cretenses declared the union with Greece, a act that was not internationally recognized but until 1913 .

At the outset, own Greece even refused to recognize the union, fearing retaliation of the great powers. Therefore, there was a series of provisional governments composed of cretenses politicians (the one of Eleutherios Venizelos lasted until 1910 ) who directed the island.

With Tried about Bucharest of 1913, that ended Second War of the Balkan Mountains, sultán Mehmet V resigned to its right ones on the island in December. Greek Flag hoisted in the strength of the Canea (turned into capital) in the presence of the king Constantino I of Greece and Eleutherios Venizelos 1 of December of 1913 . In the same place, a marble plate was elevated that had the following inscription:

The first Greek governor was old prime minister Stephanos Dragumis .

Crete in Greece

Economy and society in the first years of the union
The Detorakis historian esteem that, economically, Crete was in better situation than the majority of the regions of Greece. An indication of it was that the exports surpassed the imports, according to a study of 1928 .

The local economy was based mainly on agriculture, and in particular on the culture of the olive tree. There were 80 000 hectares of olive groves that produced 25 000 tons of oil. Immediately the production came from wine, in the neighborhoods of Heraclión and the Canea. Other cultures present/display in great scale were those of Citric Almonds nuts, Tobacco and Seda . The cattle ranch was developed quickly in this period, like the production of Cheese ; of this last one 650 tons in 1928 were exported.

The industry began to be implanted in the island. Besides the old woman soap factories of Heraclión, the transformation factories of the grape or the citruses made their appearance in that same city. Nevertheless, in 1928 the cretense industry did not represent more than 2% of all the industrial production of the kingdom of Greece.

Far-reaching works were realized in the island, like the construction of the new port of Heraclión, able to take care of boats of great tonnage, and the two opening of Airports in Maleme and Heraclión.

The Crete of years 1910 was a bastion of Venizelismo . In 1915, Eleutherios Venizelos was against to king Constantino I of Greece on the occasion of the entrance of Greece in World War I of the side allied, position that the minister defended. It supported it to the island when Venizelos founded Government of national defense with base on Tesalónica, that controlled the north of Greece and it was allied to France and the United Kingdom.

defeat of Greece in front of the Ottoman Empire in 1922 brought about the arrival to Greece of Greek refugees of Smaller Asia. Crete received numerous refugees, in particular coming from the region of Izmir, who settled mainly in Heraclión. Treated about Lausanne of 1923 allowed the population interchange enters countries both. The Turkish population of the island, 30 000 people, was evacuated and their old earth were distributed between the grecoone. 10 000 hectares were distributed between 17 000 Greeks. Near 33 900 refugees they settled in Crete. According to the numbers of 1928, the refugees arrived from Asia Menor and Eastern Thrace exceeded in some we give to cretenses 10% of the population; so it is the case we give of them of the Canea, Rétino and Pirgos, and in Heraclión they surpassed 20%.

Of general way, the population of the island increased. The 1928 census reported 386 427 inhabitants, against 336 151 of 1913 . After several centuries of Ottoman presence, the population was almost exclusively orthodox, except for some small concentrated Jewish and Armenian communities in the cities.

At the end of Decade of 1930, Greece was directed by the dictatorial government of Ioannis Metaxas . 28 of July of 1938, a group made up of military officials and old woman politicians took the control from the radio station from the Canea and made a call to the king Jorge II and to the army overthrow to the regime of Metaxas. That action comprised of a plan of greater spread directed by Emmanouil Tsouderos, then governor of Bank of Greece . Greek navy was sent to Crete and the rise was choked in a few hours. The caught leaders were condemned prison or to I exile in the Cyclades. Those that could escape to Cyprus were condemned until death by contumacia.

Crete during World War II

Invasion of Greece
In 1939, the United Kingdom guaranteed military aid to Greece if its territorial integrity were threatened. The main interest of the British government was that Crete did not fall in enemy hands, since the island was considered like a natural defense of Egypt and therefore of the Suez Channel and the route of India . The British troops occupied Crete with the consent of the Greek government from 3 of November of 1940, with the aim of releasing the fifth Greek division of Crete and to send it to the Albanian front.

The invasion of Greece by the forces of Axis began 6 of April of 1941 and of the side of Greece was obtained in few weeks in spite of the intervention of the armies of the Commonwealth. King Jorge II and the government of Emmanouil Tsouderos were themselves forced to leave Athens and to take refuge in Crete 23 of April . Crete also served as refuge for the troops of the Commonwealth who fled from beaches of the Attic and the Peloponnese towards Crete to organize a new front of resistance there.

Battle of Crete
After the conquest of continental Greece, Germany went towards Crete, that was the last stage of the campaign of the Balkan Mountains. The battle of Crete opposed the British troops and allies ( New Zealand, Australian and Greek) to the parachutists German during 10 days, of 20 to 31 of May of 1941 .

The morning of the 20 of May of 1941, Third Reich sent an invasion on Crete by air, with the name of Operation Mercury. Germans under the orders of the general sent themselves to 17 000 parachutists Kurt Student in three strategically important points: Maleme, Heraclión and Rétino. Its goal was to assure the control the three aerodromes to allow to the arrival of reinforcements transported by Luftwaffe, that now had the supremacy in the airspace, whereas Armed British still conserved the sea superiority and prevented any attempt of disembarkation.

During two weeks, the battle was difficult and would reach a proportion of pírrica Victory after the Germans. The invaders were with an iron resistance of the Greeks, of the troops of the Commonwealth, and the civilians. After a day of combats, Germany had not reached any of its objectives and had already lost more than 4 000 men.

On the following day, the airport of Maleme fell. Once assured that city, the Germans disembarked by thousands, although two of their boats were sunk by the British Navy the 21 and 22 of May, and put under all the western part of the island. After seven days of combats, the generals allied recognized that due to the nourished number of soldiers German, all hope of victory was had lost. For 1 of June of 1941 the allies had evacuated totally Crete, that was under German control. After the expensive losses suffered by the elite troops parachutists, Hitler resigned to all possibility of aerotransportación for the future battles. General Kurt Student declared that Crete had been “the cemetery of the parachutists German” and a “disastrous victory”.

Occupation and resistance
The German troops took revenge themselves of the difficulties that passed during the conquest of the island devastating the town of Kandanios, near the Canea, 3 of June of 1941. The taking of this town had cost the loss of numerous men. The 3 of June of 1942, 62 hostages, between whom were remarkable citizens of Heraclión, were executed in the airport of the city, in retaliation to the sabotages of the British and the Greeks in resistance. 3 of September of 1942, the distant major Alexandros Rautopoulos, head of the National Committee Revolutionary Cretense, was executed in the Canea after being tortured. The first groups of the cretense resistance formed in mountains from June of 1941. In January of 1942, the German troops surrounded to the members by the resistance by Asterousia in the region by Messara . The rebels resisted to escape after intense combats. In September of 1943, a combat opposed the troops of occupation to the resistant ones commanded by captain Bantouvas in the region of Symé: 83 soldiers German were dead and thirteen facts prisoners.

In retaliation, eleven villages were destroyed and 352 cretenses streamlinings. In addition, about 400 hostages were going to be executed, but she saved the intervention of the Eugenes Psalidakes, future archbishop of the island. 4 of May of 1944, the German troops devastated the village of Saktouria, near Rétino, and all their greater masculine population of 15 years was executed. 13 of August, touched to the turn to Anogeia, where the churches were only saved. 15 of October of 1944, the cretense resistance prevented the massacre of the town of Phournies in the region of the Canea and inflicted great casualties to the Germans. The same happened in Vryses, in the same region, two months later. The German trimming of Crete did not surrender but until 12 of May of 1945 .

Crete at present

Greek civil War that knocked down Greece in the years following to World War II not developed in the islands. Crete began a period of reconstruction of a way more night watchman than the other Greek regions.

The emigration, nevertheless, was important. The island contributed 9% of the immigrants of Athens. In Germany, 56% of the Greek immigrants were cretenses; 11% of the Greek immigrants of Belgium and Australia and 3.8% of those of the United States came from Crete.

Already in second half of century XX, the strategic aspect of the position of Crete continued interesting the great powers. The American army, worried to be implanted in Eastern Europe, abrió military bases in Greece, among them those of Gournes and Sweats in Crete ( 1969 ). The American government has been little popular in Greece to have supported dictatorship of the colonels of Decade of 1970 . In June of 1981, an important manifestation, supported among others by the mayor and the bishop of Heraclión, blocked the port of Sweats, in protest against the North American Greek ground presence. In 1985, Andreas Papandreu, reelecto prime minister, promised to the closing of all the North American bases in Greece before 1988 . The base of Gournes closed its doors in 1993, but the one of It sweats remains still open.

Second half of century XX represented a great splendor for Tourism in Crete, like for the rest of Greece. A comparison of the tourist facilities between 1975 and 1995 allows to include/understand better that splendor. If, generally, the variation of the number of places of Camping between these two dates is placed between 0 and -45%según the prefecture of Crete, by counterpart, the variation in the number of beds of Hotel and beds of rent rooms is very significant of the growth of the tourism. The four prefectures of Crete show a growth of 370%, and a 1000% for the prefecture of Rétino. The variation in the number of beds of rent rooms is superior to 700% for the set of the island and of 900% for the prefecture of Heraclión.En 2005, Crete counted on 1 506 hotels of all the categories, with 143 480 beds, a rate of 72.8% occupation, the most elevated of the regions of Greece. In 2006, Crete lodged 1 700 000 of the 11 million tourists who arrived at Greece. With near 764 000 tourists, the city of Heraclión and its environs are the second tourist destiny of the country, after Athens.

In 2004, during Olympic Games of Athens, Heraclión was one of the six cities you soothe of the games, along with Athens, Salonica, Ninepin, Olimpia and Patrás . The city of Heraclión, and indirectly the club of Soccer OFI Crete, benefitted from the construction of a new stage that would be soothes of 10 soccers match of the Olympic match.

The population was of 623 666 inhabitants for 2005 .

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