Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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10.4.6

One language is intermixed with another, says the poet; there are in Crete, Achæi, the brave Eteocretans, Cydones, Dorians divided into three bands, [Note] and the divine Pelasgi. [Note] Of these people, says Staphylus, the Dorians occupy the eastern parts of the island, Cydonians the western, Eteocretans the southern, to whom Prasus, a small town, belonged, where is the temple of the Dictæan Jupiter; the other nations, being more powerful, inhabited the plains. It is probable that the Eteocretans [Note] and Cydonians were aboriginal inhabitants, and that the others were foreigners, who Andron says came from Thessaly, formerly called Doris, but now Hestiæotis, from which country he says the Dorians, who were settled about Parnassus, migrated, and founded Erineum, Bœum, and Cytinium, whence they are called by the poet Trichaïces, or tripartite. But the account of Andron is not generally admitted, who represents the Tetrapolis Doris as composed of three cities, and the metropolis of the Dorians as a colony of Thessalians. The epithet Trichaïces [Note] is understood to be derived either from their wearing a triple crest, [Note] or from having crests of hair. [Note] 10.4.7

There are many cities in Crete, but the largest and most distinguished are Cnossus, [Note] Gortyna, [Note] Cydonia. [Note] Both Homer and later writers celebrate Cnossus [Note] above the rest,

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calling it vast, and the palace of Minos. It maintained its pre-eminence for a long period. It afterwards lost its ascend- ency, and was deprived of many of its customs and privi- leges. The superiority was transferred to Gortyna and Lyc- tus. [Note] [Note] [Note] [Note] [Note] [Note] [Note]

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10.4.9

[Note]
Il. xiii. 450.

It is generally admitted with regard to Crete that in ancient times it was governed by good laws, and induced the wisest of the Greeks to imitate its form of government, and particularly the Lacedæmonians, as Plato shows in his Laws, and Ephorus has described in his work Europe. Afterwards there was a change in the government, and for the most part for the worse. For the Tyrrheni, who chiefly infested our sea, were followed by the Cretans, who succeeded to the haunts and piratical practices of the former people, and these again afterwards were subject to the devastations of the Cilicians. But the Romans destroyed them all after the conquest of Crete, [Note] and demolished the piratical strongholds of the Cilicians. At present Cnossus has even a colony of Romans. 10.4.10

So much then respecting Cnossus, a city to which I am no stranger; but owing to the condition of human affairs, their vicissitudes and accidents, the connexion and intercourse that subsisted between ourselves and the city is at an end. Which may be thus explained. Dorylaiis, a military tactician, a friend of Mithridates Euergetes, was appointed, on account of his experience in military affairs, to levy a body of foreigners, and was frequently in Greece and Thrace, and often in the company of persons who came from Crete, before the Romans were in possession of the island. A great multitude of mercenary soldiers was collected there, from whom

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even the bands of pirates were recruited. During the stay of Dorylaüs in the island, a war happened to break out between the Cnossians and the Gortynians. He was appointed general by the Cnossians, and having finished the war speed- ily and successfully, he obtained the highest honours. A short time afterwards, being informed that Euergetes had been treacherously put to death by his courtiers at Sinope, and that he was succeeded in the government by his wife and children, he abandoned everything there, remained at Cnossus, and married a Macedonian woman of the name of Sterope, by whom he had two sons, Lagetas and Stratarchas, (the latter I myself saw when in extreme old age,) and one daughter. Of the two sons of Euergetes, he who was surnamed Eupator succeeded to the throne when he was eleven years of age; Dorylaüs, the son of Philetærus, was his foster brother. Philetærus was the brother of Dorylaüs the Tactician. The king had been so much pleased with his intimacy with Dorylaüs when they lived together as children, that on attaining manhood he not only promoted Dorylaiis to the highest honours, but extended his regard to his relations and sent for them from Cnossus. At this time Lagetas and his brother had lost their father, and were themselves grown up to manhood. They quitted Cnossus, and came to Mithridates. My mother's mother was the daughter of Lagetas. While he enjoyed prosperity, they also prospered; but upon his downfal (for he was detected in attempting to transfer the kingdom to the Romans with a view to his own appointment to the sovereignty) the affairs of Cnossus were involved in his ruin and disgrace; and all intercourse with the Cnossians, who themselves had experienced innumerable vicissitudes of fortune, was suspended.

So much then respecting Cnossus.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 10.4.2 Str. 10.4.9 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 10.4.13

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