Mtvciravpos, from Mivws, and Taupos, bull), in Greek mythology, a fabulous Cretan monster with the body of a man and the head of a bull.
The story of Talos, the Cretan man of brass, who heated himself red-hot and clasped strangers in his embrace as soon as they landed on the island, is probably of similar origin.
An alphabet of fifty-two letters, some presenting ancient Phoenician and Cretan forms, was found by Hahn in partial use at Elbassan and Tirana; its antiquity, however, has not been established.
A third curve, from the south-easternmost promontory of the Peloponnese through Cerigo, Crete, Carpathos and Rhodes, marks off the outer deeps of the open Mediterranean from the shallow seas of the archipelago, but the Cretan Sea, in which depths occur over 1000 fathoms, intervenes, north of the line, between it and the Aegean proper.
Many of the islands are of volcanic formation; and a well-defined volcanic chain bounds the Cretan Sea on the north, including Milo and Kimolos, Santorin (Thera) and Therasia, and extends to Nisyros.
His chief publications are: Cretan Pictographs and Prae-Phoenician Script (1896); Further Discoveries of Cretan and Aegean Script (1898); The Mycenaean Tree and Pillar Cult (1901); Scripta Minoa (1909 et seq.); and reports on the excavations at Knossos.
Her name has been explained as (I) "grain-mother," from 8na1, the Cretan form of "ECai, " barley," or (2) " earth-mother," or rather " mother earth," 86, being regarded as the Doric form of AI).
It seems to point to the supersession of a primitive local Cretan divinity by Demeter, and the adoption of agriculture by the inhabitants, bringing wealth in its train in the form of the fruits of the earth, both vegetable and mineral.
Of the islands in the neighbourhood of the Cretan coast the largest is Gavdo (ancient Clauda, Acts xxvii.
Pears, apples, quinces, mulberries an d other fruit-trees flourish, as well as vines; the Cretan wines, however, no longer enjoy the reputation which they possessed in the time of the Venetians.
The expansion of Cretan commerce has been retarded by many drawbacks, such as the unsatisfactory condition of the harbours, the want of direct steamship lines to England and other countries, and the deficiency of internal communications.
The countries which accept the largest share of Cretan produce are Turkey, England, Egypt, Austria and Russia.
A long series of insurrections - those of 1821, 1833, 1841, 1858, 1866-1868, 1878, 1889 and 1896 may be especially mentioned - culminated in the general rebellion of 1897, which led to the interference of Greece, the intervention of the great powers, the expulsion of the Turkish authorities, and the establishment of an autonomous Cretan government under the suzerainty of the sultan.
In general the Cretan constitution is characterized by a conservative spirit, and contrasts with the ultra-democratic systems. established in Greece and the Balkan States.
The Cretan Church is not, strictly speaking, autocephalous, being dependent on the patriarchate of Constantinople.
The comparative evidence afforded by the discovery of Egyptian relics shows that the Great Age of the Cretan palaces covers the close of the third and the first half of the second millennium before our era.
In this, as in so many other respects, the old Cretan tradition receives striking confirmation.
According to the Cretan version preserved by Diodorus (v.
The evidence supplied by this and other Cretan sites shows that the principal Minoan divinity was a kind of Magna Mater, a Great Mother or nature goddess, with whom was associated a male satellite.
Under her native name, Britomartis (= the sweet maiden) or Dictynna, she approaches Artemis and Leto, again associated with an infant god, and this Cretan virgin goddess was worshipped in Aegina under the name of Aphaea.
It is noteworthy that whereas, in Greece proper, Zeus attains a supreme position, the old superiority of the Mother Goddess is still visible in the Cretan traditions of Rhea and Dictynna and the infant Zeus.
The story of the baetylus, or stone swallowed by Saturn under the belief that it was his son, the Cretan Zeus, seems to cover the same idea and has been derived from the same Semitic word.
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.
Actual figures of a monster with a bull's head and man's body occurred on seals of Minoan fabric found on this and other Cretan sites.
His legendary presentation as the " Friend of God," like Abraham, to whom as to Cretan Moses the law was revealed on the holy mountain, calls myths.
Cretan enterprise in the days of the New Egyptian empire is illustrated by repeated finds of Late Minoan pottery on Egyptian sites.
objects of typical Minoan forms. Farther to the east the recent excavations on the old Philistine sites like Gezer have brought to light swords and vases of Cretan manufacture in the later palace style.
The principal Philistine tribe is indeed known in the biblical records as the Cherethims or Cretans, and the Minoan name and the cult of the Cretan Zeus were preserved at Gaza to the latest classical days.
1n Melos, also attest a growing influence from the Cretan side, which, about the time of the later palace at Cnossus, becomes finally predominant.
remains both at Mycenae and Tiryns, still imperfectly investigated, show that this Cretan influence goes back to the Middle Minoan age, with its characteristic style of polychrome vase decoration.
The colder winter climate of mainland Greece dictated the use of fixed hearths, whereas in the Cretan palaces these seem to have been of a portable kind, and the different usage in this respect again reacted on the respective forms of the principal hall or " Megaron."
This circumstance deserves attention owing to the special connexion traditionally existing between the Minyans of Iolcus and those of Orchomenus, the point of all others on this side where the early Cretan influence seems most to have taken root.
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.
The abiding tradition of the Cretan aborigines, as preserved by Herodotus (vii.
It will be convenient here to give a general view of the more important Minoan remains recently excavated on various Cretan sites.
It contained a shrine of the Cretan snake goddess, and was rich in minor relics, chiefly in the shape of bronze implements and pottery for household use.
The remains supply detailed information as to the everyday life of a Cretan country town about the middle of the second millennium B.
- Near the village of Psychro on the Lassithi range, answering to the western Dicte, opens a large cave, identified with the legendary birthplace of the Cretan Zeus.
Milchhdfer (Anfdnge der Kunst) had called attention to certain remarkable examples of archaic Greek bronze-work, and the subsequent discovery of the votive bronzes in the cave of Zeus on Mount Ida, and notably the shields with their fine embossed designs, shows that by the 8th century B.C. Cretan technique in metal not only held its own beside imported Cypro-Phoenician work, but was distinctly ahead of that of the rest of Greece (Halbherr, Bronzi del antro di Zeus Ideo).
The Dorian dynasts in Crete seem in some sort to have claimed descent from Minos, and the Dorian legislators sought their sanction in the laws which Minos was said to have received from the hands of the Cretan Zeus.
Under the Pax Romana the Cretan cities again enjoyed a large measure of prosperity, illustrated by numerous edifices still existing at the time of the Venetian occupation.
The remarkable remains recently brought to light on Cretan soil tend to show that already some 2000 years before the Dorian conquest the island was exercising a dominant influence in the Aegean world.
It is certain that at a very early period the Cretan cities were celebrated for their laws and system of government, and the most extensive monument of early Greek law is the great Gortyna inscription, discovered in 1884.
The origin of the Cretan laws was of course attributed to Minos, but they had much in common with those of the other Dorian states, as well as with those of Lycurgus at Sparta, which were, indeed, according to one tradition, copied in great measure from those already existing in Crete.'
It is certain that whatever merits the Cretan laws may have possessed for the internal regulation of the different cities, they had the one glaring defect, that they made no provision for any federal bond or union among them, or for the government of the island as a whole.
Indeed, the Cretan system, like that of Sparta, appears to have aimed at training up the young, and controlling them, as well as the citizens of more mature age, in all their habits and relations of life.
These Cretan institutions were much extolled by some writers of antiquity, but receive only qualified praise from the judicious criticisms of Aristotle (Polit.
- Cretan constitutional history may be said to date from 1868, when, after the suppression of an insurrection which had extended over three years, the Turkish government consented to grant a certain measure of autonomy to the island.
Eventually the Cretan chiefs invoked the mediation of England, which Turkey, exhausted by her struggle with Russia, was ready to accept, and the convention known as the Pact of Halepa was drawn up in 1878 under the auspices of Mr Sandwith, the British consul, and Adossides Pasha, both of whom enjoyed the confidence of the Cretan population.
A new factor now became apparent in Cretan politics.
The aim of the society was a war with Turkey with a view to the acquisition of Macedonia, and it found a ready instrument for its designs in the growing discontent of the Cretan Christians.
The forces of the powers shortly afterwards occupied Candia and the other maritime towns, while the international fleet blockaded the Cretan coast.
Meantime Cretan autonomy had been proclaimed (loth March).
After the departure of the Greek troops the Cretan leaders, who had hitherto demanded annexation to Greece, readily acquiesced in the decision of the powers, and the insurgent Assembly, under its president Dr Sphakianakis, a man of good sense and moderation, co-operated with the international commanders in the maintenance of order.
On the 27th of April 1899 a new autonomous constitution was voted by a constituent assembly, and in the following June the local administration was handed over to Cretan officials by the international authorities.
Zaimis, as high commissioner, took the oath to the new constitution elaborated after much debate by the Cretan national assembly.
The first withdrawal of the troops (July 27), hailed with enthusiasm by the Cretan Christians, led to rioting by the Mussulmans, who believed themselves abandoned to their fate.
of October the Cretan Assembly once more voted the union with Greece, and in the absence of M.
The efforts of diplomacy were directed to allaying the resentment of the " Young Turks " on the one hand and the ardour of the Greek unionists on the other; and meanwhile the Cretan administration was carried on peaceably in the name of King George.
Stillman, The Cretan Insurrection of 1866-68 (New York, 1874); Edwardes, Letters from Crete (London, 1887); Stavrakis, ETaTLUTLai (Athens, 1890); J.
Any general statement as to the debt owed by early European civilizations to western Asia would at present be premature, for though important discoveries have been made in Crete and Babylonia the best authorities are chary of positive conclusions as to the relations of Cretan civilization to Egypt and Babylonia.
An impostor, who claimed to be a son of Antiochus Epiphanes, Alexander Balas (reigned 150-145), was installed as king by Ptolemy Philometor and given Ptolemy's daughter Cleopatra to wife, but Alexander proved to be dissolute and incapable, and when Demetrius, the son of Demetrius I., was brought back to Syria by Cretan condottieri, Ptolemy transferred his support and Cleopatra to the rightful heir.
Nicator (first reign 145-140) was a mere boy,' and the misgovernment of his Cretan supporters led to the infant son of Alexander Balas, Antiochus Vi.
Petrie found painted sherds of Cretan style at Kahun in the Fayum, and farther up the Nile, at Tell el-Amarna, chanced on bits of no fewer than Boo Aegean vases in 1889.
- The great Cretan palaces and the fortified citadels of Mycenae, Tiryns and Hissarlik, each FIG.
Chariots were in use in the later period, as is proved by the pictures of them on Cretan tablets, and therefore, probably, the horse also was known.
We find Cretan vessels exported to Melos, Egypt and the Greek mainland.
But their claims to be the principal authors of the Aegean remains grew fainter with every fresh Aegean discovery, and every new light thrown on their own proper products; with the Cretan revelations they ceased altogether to be considered except by a few Homeric enthusiasts.
The Cretan "larnax" coffins, also, have no parallels outside the Aegean.
- With the immense expansion of the evidence, due to the Cretan excavations, a question has arisen how far the Aegean civilization, whose total duration covers at least three thousand years, can be regarded as one and continuous.
At Phylakope, a "megaron" appears only in the uppermost Aegean stratum, the underlying structures being more in conformity with the earlier Cretan.
He goes so far as to pronounce the latter to be Cretan importations, their fabric and forms being unlike anything Nilotic. If that be so, the period at which stone implements were beginning to be superseded by bronze in Crete must be dated before 4000 B.C. But it will be remembered that below all Evans's "Minoan" strata lies the immensely thick Neolithic deposit.
Characteristic Cretan pottery of this period was found by Petrie in the Fayum in conjunction with XIIth Dynasty remains, and various Cretan products of the period show striking coincidences with XIIth Dynasty styles, especially in their adoption of spiraliform ornament.
certain Cretan coffins, and the faience industry of Cnossus.
Early Hissarlik shows less Cretan influence and more external (i.e.
If this dominance was Cretan, it was short-lived.
The security of the island was apparently violated not long after 150o B.C., the Cnossian palace was sacked and burned, and Cretan art suffered an irreparable blow.
BRITOMARTIS (" sweet maiden"), an old Cretan goddess, later identified with Artemis.
The name probably means "very holy" = apt - ayvr,; another (Cretan) form 'Apt67)Xa (_ Oavepa) indicates the return to a "bright" season of nature.
Meanwhile the Cretan campaign continued, and here also France lent her aid to the Venetians; this assistance could not, however, prevent the capture of Candia in 1669; on the 5th of September of that year Morosini, the Venetian commander, signed a treaty of peace with the Turks by which, after twenty-five years' warfare, they were placed in possession of the fortress of Candia, and with it of the effective rule over the whole island, Venice retaining only the fortresses of Suda, Grabusa and Spinalonga, and the islets along the coast.
The Cretan insurrection rose to a formidable height in 1868-69, and the active support given to the movement by Greece brought about a rupture of relations between that country and Turkey.
Changes of ministry at Constantinople were powerless to bring about an improvement, and early in 1896 Cretan affairs became so serious as to call for the intervention of the powers.
In September yet another Cretan charter of self-government was promulgated.
These are too numerous for detailed mention, but the following periods may be cited as the most interesting:1833-1841(Egyptian question);1849-1859(Crimean War and the events by which it was preceded and followed);1868-1869(Cretan insurrection);1875-1881(Bosnian and Herzegovinian insurrection, Russo-Turkish War, Berlin treaty and subsequent events);1885-1887(union of Eastern Rumelia with Bulgaria);1889-1890(Cretan disturbances);1892-1899(Armenian and Cretan affairs);1902-1907(Macedonia);1908-1910(revolution and reform).
The Cretan administrative committee swore allegiance to the king of the Hellenes in August, and again, after a change of government, at the end of December 1909.
Had this act been ratified by the government at Athens, a war between Greece and the Ottoman Empire could hardly have been avoided; but a royal rescript was issued by the king of the Hellenes on the 30th of September 1910, declaring vacant the three seats to which the Cretan representatives had been elected; the immediate danger was thus averted.
He arranged the collective guarantee of the neutrality of Luxemburg in 1867, negotiated a convention about the " Alabama," which, however, was not ratified, and most wisely refused to take any part in the Cretan troubles.
The whole plan bears more than a superficial resemblance to those of Cretan palaces in the later Minoan period.
'Ali, the son of a Cretan renegade, was proclaimed sovereign by the troops under the title of "Bey," and, being a prince of energy and ability, was able to establish the hereditary sovereignty, which has lasted without change of dynasty to the present time.2 Frequent wars with Algiers form the chief incidents in the internal history of Tunisia under the Beys.
Rhodes, and some Cretan towns, traced descent from Argos; Cnidus from Argos and Sparta; the rest of Asiatic Doris from Epidaurus or Troezen in Argolis.
Andron in Strabo 475) derived the Cretan Dorians of Homer from those of Histiaeotis, and that other legends connected Cretan peoples and places with certain districts of Macedon.
From the fact that several Cretan townships passed for colonies of Tegea, it may be inferred that this city had oversea connexions in prehistoric days.
And now, thanks to the efforts of a large company of workers, notably Dr Arthur Evans and his associates in Cretan exploration, we are coming to speak with some confidence not merely of a Mycenaean but of a pre-Mycenaean Age.
The Cretan inscriptions belong to a far older epoch, and are written in two non-Grecian scripts of undetermined affinities.
The point is of no very great significance, however, since no one has pretended that the Western civilization compared with the Eastern in point of antiquity; and in any event, no amount of negative evidence weighs a grain in the balance against the positive evidence of the Cretan inscriptions.
The Chinese: and Cretan questions were disturbing factors.
Minos; the resemblance between the Minaeans of South Arabia and Cretan Minos has afforded grounds for all kinds of speculations, ancient (Pliny vi.
On sea the empire suffered under the ravages of the Cretan corsairs; and in 865 the first pillaging expedition of the Russians endangered the Bosporus.
Capture of the Cretan bull subsequently slain by Theseus at Marathon.
Quite distinct was the Idaean Hercules, a Cretan Dactyl connected with the cult of Rhea or Cybele.
The word usage examples above have been gathered from various sources to reflect current and historial usage. They do not represent the opinions of YourDictionary.com.