Frazer both explain Pasiphae's monstrous union as a sacred ceremony (iepos yap,os), at which the queen of Cnossus was wedded to a bull-formed god, just as the wife of the iip X wv lwnXein in Athens was wedded to Dionysus.
Candia, the former capital and the see of the archbishop of Crete (pop. in 1900, 22,501), is officially styled Herakleion; it is surrounded by remarkable Venetian fortifications and possesses a museum with a valuable collection of objects found at Cnossus, Phaestus, the Idaean cave and elsewhere.
Light at Cnossus and Phaestus, together with a minor but highly interesting royal abode at Hagia Triada near Phaestus.
" Minoan " towns, some of considerable extent, have been discovered at Cnossus itself, at Gournia, Palaikastro, and at Zakro.
The succeeding Late Minoan period, best illustrated by the later palace at Cnossus and that at Hagia Triada, corresponds in Egypt with the Hyksos period and the earlier part of the New Empire.
Late Minoan art in its finest aspect is best illustrated by the animated ivory figures, wall paintings, and gesso duro reliefs at Cnossus, by the painted stucco designs at Hagia Triada, and the steatite vases found on the same site with zones in reliefs exhibiting life-like scenes of warriors, toreadors, gladiators, wrestlers and pugilists, and of a festal throng perhaps representing a kind of " harvest home."
Of the more conventional side of Late Minoan life a graphic illustration is supplied by the remains of miniature wall paintings found in the palace of Cnossus, showing groups of court ladies in curiously modern costumes, seated on the terraces and balustrades of a sanctuary.
The earlier class (A) is already found in the temple repositories of Cnossus belonging to the age immediately preceding the great remodelling of the Earlier picto= graphic script.
The remains of several shrines within the building, and the religious element perceptible in the frescoes, show that a considerable part of the Palace of Cnossus was devoted to purposes of cult.
Shrines of the Double Axes have been found in the palace of Cnossus itself, at Hagia Triada, and in a small palace at Gournia, and many specimens of the sacred emblem occurred in the Cave Sanctuary of Dicte, the mythical birthplace of the Cretan Zeus.
The discovery that the great Minoan foundation at Cnossus was at once a palace and a sanctuary of the Double Axe and its associated divinities has now supplied a striking and it may well be thought an overwhelming confirmation of this view.
It appears certain from the associations in which they are found at Cnossus, that these Minoan bull sports formed part of a religious ceremony.
Up indeed just such a priest-king of antiquity as the palace-sanctuary of Cnossus itself presupposes.
The earlier and later palaces at Cnossus and Phaestus, and the interrupted phases of each, seem to point to a succession of dynasties, to which, as to its civilization as a whole, it is certainly convenient to apply the name " Minoan."
It is interesting, as bringing out the personal element in the traditional royal seat, that an inscribed sealing belonging to the earliest period of the later palace of Cnossus bears on it the impression of two official signets with portrait heads of a man and of a boy, recalling the " associations " on the coinage of imperial Rome.
The powerful fleet and maritime empire which Minos was said to have established will no doubt receive fuller illustration when the sea-town of Cnossus comes to be explored.
1n Melos, also attest a growing influence from the Cretan side, which, about the time of the later palace at Cnossus, becomes finally predominant.
The contents of the royal tombs, on the other hand, reveal a wholesale correspondence with the fabrics of the first, and, to a less degree, the second Late Minoan age, as illustrated by the relics belonging to the Middle Period of the later palace at Cnossus and by those of the royal villa at Hagia Triada.
The ceiling of that of Orchomenos, and the painted vases and gold cups from the Vaphio tomb by Sparta, with their marvellous reliefs showing scenes of bull-hunting, represent the late palace style at Cnossus in its final development.
His name is preserved in the Sicilian Minoa, and his tomb was pointed out in the neighbourhood of Agrigentum, with a shrine above dedicated to his native Aphrodite, the lady of the dove; and in this connexion it must be observed that the cult of Eryx perpetuates to much later times the characteristic features of the worship of the Cretan Nature goddess, as now revealed to us in the palace of Cnossus and elsewhere.
Shortly before this date the palaces both of Cnossus and Phaestus had undergone a great destruction, and though during the ensuing period both these royal residences were partially reoccupied it was for the most part at any rate by poorer denizens, and their great days as palaces were over for ever.
The evidence of a partial restoration of the domestic quarter of the palace of Cnossus tends to show a certain measure of dynastic continuity.
There is evidence, moreover, that the script and with it the indigenous language did not die out during this period, and that therefore the days of Hellenic settlement at Cnossus were not yet.
The palace of Cnossus is on the hill of Kephala about 4 m.
(For later discoveries see further CNossus.) Phaestus.
The west court and entrance belonging to the earlier building show many analogies with those of Cnossus, and the court was commanded to the north by tiers of stone benches like those of the " theatral area " at Cnossus on a larger scale.
North of the central court is a domestic quarter presenting analogies with that of Cnossus, but throughout the later building there was a great dearth of the frescoes and other remains such as invest the Cnossian palace with so much interest.
About a kilometre away from the palace was the cemetery.
In its structure and general arrangements it bears a general resemblance to the palace of Phaestus and Cnossus on a smaller scale.
At Cnossus, save some blocks of the amphitheatre, the Roman monuments visible in Venetian times have almost wholly disappeared.
According to the received tradition, Minos was a king of Cnossus in Crete; he was a son of Zeus, and enjoyed through life the privilege of habitual intercourse with his divine father.
CNOSSUS, KNOSSOS, or Gnossus, an ancient city of Crete, on the left bank of the Caeratus, a small stream which falls into the sea on the north side of the island.
Cnossus was also assigned as the site of the labyrinth in which the Minotaur was confined.
When the rest of Crete fell under the Roman dominion, Cnossus shared the same fate, and became a Roman colony.
As the excavations at Cnossus are discussed at length in the article Crete, it must suffice here briefly to enumerate the more important.
Where much is still obscure, all that seems certain is that the antiquity of Phoenicia as a sea and trading power has been greatly exaggerated both in ancient and in modern times; the Minoan power of Cnossus preceded it by many centuries; the influence of Phoenicia in the Aegean cannot be carried back much earlier than the 12th century B.C., and, comparatively speaking, it was " foreign, late, sporadic."' A vivid description of the Phoenicians' trade at the time of Tyre's prosperity is given by Ezekiel (xxvii.
Both subjects and style show close analogy to the paintings in the palace at Cnossus in Crete.
He lived at Cnossus for periods of nine years, at the end of which he retired into a sacred cave, where he received instruction from Zeus in the legislation which he gave to the island.
There is no doubt that there is a considerable historical element in the legend; recent discoveries in Crete (q.v.) prove the existence of a civilization such as the legends imply, and render it probable that not only Athens, but Mycenae itself, was once subject to the kings of Cnossus, of whom Minos was greatest.
Gortyna was, next to Cnossus, the largest and most powerful city of Crete.
DICTYS CRETENSIS, of Cnossus in Crete, the supposed companion of Idomeneus during the Trojan War, and author of a diary of its events.
AENESIDEMUS, Greek philosopher, was born at Cnossus in Crete and taught at Alexandria, probably during the first century B.C. He was the leader of what is sometimes known as the third sceptical school and revived to a great extent the doctrine of Pyrrho and Timon.