Home Region:  Southeastern Europe (Europe)

Classical Crete

EQ 2020  gr_crete_classical / GrCrCls

Population and political organization
In terms of the island’s population at this time, estimates vary for a minimum of 200,000 to a maximum of 1,000,000 people; however, the most likely estimate is of 450,000-500,000 people. [1] Political, military and religious control in Cretan city-states was exercised by the Kosmoi (Κόσμοι), a board of 3 to 10 nobles, annually elected by the Ecclesia, the body of free male citizens. One of the Kosmoi, known as protokosmos or stratagetas, was the president of the board. The council of elders, the Gerousia, whose members were chosen among the best Kosmoi, had legislative and juridical authority. [2] [3]

[1]: (Chaniotis 1987, 194-195) Angelos Chaniotis. 1897. ’Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη’, in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, edited by N. Panagiotakis. Heraklion: ΣΥΝΔΕΣΜΟΣ ΔΗΜΩΝ & ΚΟΙΝΟΤΗΤΩΝ ΚΡΗΤΗΣ.

[2]: (Willetts 1965, 56-75) Ronald F. Willetts. 1965. Ancient Crete. A Social History. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

[3]: (Chaniotis 1987, 196-199) Angelos Chaniotis. 1897. ’Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη’, in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, edited by N. Panagiotakis. Heraklion: ΣΥΝΔΕΣΜΟΣ ΔΗΜΩΝ & ΚΟΙΝΟΤΗΤΩΝ ΚΡΗΤΗΣ.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
35 S  
Original Name:
Classical Crete  
Capital:
absent  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
350 BCE  
Duration:
[500 BCE ➜ 323 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Supracultural Entity:
Classical Greece  
Succeeding Entity:
Hellenistic Crete  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Archaic Crete  
Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-European  
Language:
Doric Greek  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
4,000 people  
Polity Territory:
[210 to 240] km2  
Polity Population:
[5,000 to 30,000] people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[1 to 5]  
Religious Level:
5  
Military Level:
5  
Administrative Level:
5  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent  
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
absent  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
absent  
Bridge:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
absent  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
present  
Precious Metal:
present  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent  
General Postal Service:
absent  
Courier:
absent  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
present  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
absent  
  Earth Rampart:
unknown  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
present  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
absent  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
absent  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
absent  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
absent  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
present  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
absent  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
absent  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
absent  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
absent  
  Breastplate:
present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Classical Crete (gr_crete_classical) was in:
 (500 BCE 322 BCE)   Crete
Home NGA: Crete

General Variables
Identity and Location


Capital:
absent

Crete is the core territory of the Classical city-states and state-federations. The most important city-states of the period were these of Knossos, Gortys, Kydonia and Lyttos. Around these cities, a number of fragile unions of smaller cities was formed. None of these centers thought was seat of a political authority that controlled the island.


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
350 BCE

4th century BCE



Political and Cultural Relations





Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
4,000 people

The largest town of Classical Crete was Knossos. [1] It is also argued that the population of large cities was about 2,000-5,000 souls. [2]

[1]: Whitelaw, T. 2004. "Estimating the population of Neopalatial Knossos," in Cadogan, G., Hatzaki, E. and Vasilakis, A. (eds), Knossos: Palace, City, State: Proceedings of the Conference in Herakleion organized by the British School at Athens and the 23rd Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Herakleion, in November 2000, for the Centenary of Sir Arthur Evans’s Excavations at Knossos (BSA Studies 12), London, 147-58.

[2]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 195.


Polity Territory:
[210 to 240] km2

Km2. In this period Crete was divided into regional city-states and state-confederations that controlled well-defined regions. There seem to have been about 35-40 city states, of which most survived up to the early 2nd century BCE, as is shown by the treaty signed by Eumenes II with 30 individual Cretan states in 183 BCE. [1] The area of the whole island is 8,336 square kilometres, yielding a range of c. 210-240 square kilometres if divided up into 35-40 polities.

[1]: Sanders, I. F. 1982. Roman Crete. An Archaeological Survey and Gazetteer of Late Hellenistic, Roman and Early Byzantine Crete, Warminister, 11.


Polity Population:
[5,000 to 30,000] people

people. Estimates for the population of the whole island vary between 200,000 and 1,000,000 people. The most likely estimate, however, is that of 450,000 - 500,000 people. [1] The range coded here was arrived at by dividing the 200,000-1,000,000 range among the 35-40 city-states that occupied Classical Crete. [2]

[1]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 194-95.

[2]: Sanders, I. F. 1982. Roman Crete. An Archaeological Survey and Gazetteer of Late Hellenistic, Roman and Early Byzantine Crete, Warminister, 11.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[1 to 5]

levels. 1-2, 5 Crete is divided into regional city-states and state-confederations which controlled a well-defined region. In Classical period, there seem to have been about 35-40 city states of which most survived up to the early 2nd century BCE as is shown by the treaty signed by Eumenes II with 30 individual Cretan states in 183 BCE. [1] The settlement hierarchy within city-states is centered upon the city (its population usually is less that 1,000 souls and in very few cases arrives at 2,500-5,000 souls) where all the government, public and religious buildings were located, and villages and hamlets scatted throughout its rural countryside. State-confederations, located mostly on mountainous regions, are formed by villages and hamlets centered upon an important regional sanctuary. City-states and state-confederations were independent of their neighbors. [2]

[1]: Sanders, I. F. 1982. Roman Crete. An Archaeological Survey and Gazetteer of Late Hellenistic, Roman and Early Byzantine Crete, Warminister, 11.

[2]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 188-92.


Religious Level:
5

levels. Religious control was exercised by the Kosmoi (Κόσμοι), a board of 3 to 10 nobles, annually elected by the Ecclesia (Εκκλησία), the body of free male citizens. Kosmoi were responsible for the construction and maintenance of the sanctuaries, the organization of large religious festivals, and the offering of sacrifices. Cult was performed by priests annually elected by the Ecclesia (Εκκλησία). [1] [2]

[1]: Willetts, M. A. 1955. Ancient Crete. A Social History, London and Toronto, 56-75

[2]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 192-203.


Military Level:
5

levels. Military control was was exercised by the Kosmoi (Κόσμοι), a board of 3 to 10 nobles, annually elected by the Ecclesia (Εκκλησία), the body of free male citizens. [1] [2]

[1]: Willetts, M. A. 1955. Ancient Crete. A Social History, London and Toronto, 56-75

[2]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 192-203.


Administrative Level:
5

levels. Political, military and religious control in city-states was exercised by the Kosmoi (Κόσμοι), a board of 3 to 10 nobles, annually elected by the Ecclesia (Εκκλησία), the body of free male citizens. One of them was the president of the board (he was called πρωτόκοσμος, στραταγέτας, κόσμος ο επί πόλεως). The council of elders, the Gerousia (Γερουσία), whose members were chosen among the best Kosmoi, had legislative and juridical authority. The most senior member of the Kosmoi bore the title of protokosmos. Kosmoi were assisted by a secretary, the μνάμων or γραμματεύς των κόσμων. [1] [2]

[1]: Willetts, M. A. 1955. Ancient Crete. A Social History, London and Toronto, 56-75

[2]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 192-203.


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

Cretan mercenaries were especially valued in armies. [1] The difficult economic conditions forced many young men to found employment as mercenaries in foreign armies especially after the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE). They were employed in the armies of Sparta and Athens, in the armies of Cyrus (404 BCE), Amirtaios king of Egypt (end of 5th century BCE), and Alexander the Great. Cretan mercenaries were exclusively citizens who could provide their own arms.

[1]: Willetts, R. F. 1965. Ancient Crete. A Social History, London and Toronto, 145-48.


Professional Priesthood:
present

Cult was performed by priests annually elected by the Ecclesia (Εκκλησία). [1] [2]

[1]: Willetts, R. F. 1965. Ancient Crete. A Social History, London and Toronto, 56-75

[2]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 199.


Professional Military Officer:
present

Μilitary and religious control in city-states was exercised by the Kosmoi (Κόσμοι), a board of 3 to 10 nobles, annually elected by the Ecclesia (Εκκλησία), the body of free male citizens. One of them was the president of the board (he was called πρωτόκοσμος, στραταγέτας, κόσμος ο επί πόλεως). [1] [2]

[1]: Willetts, R. F. 1965. Ancient Crete. A Social History, London and Toronto, 56-75

[2]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 196-99.


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

The most important government buildings were the senate or council house (bouleuterion), the town-hall set of prytanes (prytaneion), the men’s hall used for public meals (andreion), the official court of justice (dikasterion), and the place of assembly (agora). [1] There was also a building where the public archives of the city were held.

[1]: Willetts, R. F. 1965. Ancient Crete. A Social History, London and Toronto, 74-5.


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

The bureaucrats in a city-state were the manon (μάνων or γραμματεύς των κόσμων), secretary of the Kosmoi, the ippis (ιππείς), assistants to Kosmoi, the gnomon (γνώμων) who kept the public records, the titai (τίται), epottas (επόττας), damioi (δάμιοι) and evnomiotai (ευνομιώται), supervisors of the public administration, the tamiai (ταμίαι), pratores (πράττορες), and esprattais (εσπράτταις), low-rank officers responsible for the public finance, the agoranomoi (αγορανόμοι), who control the order in the market and public spaces, the karpodaistai (καρποδαισται), produce-dividers responsible for the common meals (the sissitia), the spevdos (σπεύσδος), the public messenger, and the nakoroi (νακόροι) responsible for the sanctuaries [1] . These bureaucrats were either annually elected by the free-citizens or appointed by the Kosmoi.

[1]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 199


Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent

Crete owes much of its fame in Classical Greece to its internal organization and its cultivation of the laws. This prestige is partly due to mythological traditions and Minoan memories and survivals. The laws that, according to legend, Minos received every nine years, and the figure of Rhadamanthys the just judge, bear witness to a dim recollection of an earlier rule of law. From as early as the 7th century BCE, Crete had engaged in important legislative innovations, some of which can be reconstructed from the later laws of Gortyn. The famous legal inscription of Gortyn is not an isolated example. Fragments of laws dating from the 7th to the mid-5th century survive in many cities. The reasons for this legislative activity - an activity that includes both the recording of older laws and the introduction of new ones - were the major problems concerning land ownership, inheritance, small landowners’ dependence on creditors as a result of the gradual spread of a monetary economy, and the presence of individuals who lacked political rights but engaged in important financial activities as traders, craftsmen and freelance workers. There was very little interest in reform of the existing regime: the handful of laws on civic issues were intended to limit the arbitrary actions and immunity of the Kosmoi.


The council of elders, the Gerousia, whose members were chosen among the best Kosmoi, had legislative and juridical authority. [1] [2] Officials appointed by the state, they are called dikastai (δικαστές), acted as judges; they deal mostly with cases involving inheritances and pledges. Special judges, the hetaireai, deal with matters of tribal law and custom, others, called orfanodikastes (ορφανοδικαστές) were appointed to supervise the affairs of orphans or minors, the ksenios cosmos (ξένιος κόσμος) had important duties connected with the foreigners living in the city, and finally the cosmos hiarorgos (ιαροργός) was responsible for matters related to the religion.
Crete owes much of its fame in Classical Greece to its internal organization and its cultivation of the laws. This prestige is partly due to mythological traditions and Minoan memories and survivals. The laws that, according to legend, Minos received every nine years, and the figure of Rhadamanthys the just judge, bear witness to a dim recollection of an earlier rule of law. From as early as the 7th century BCE, Crete had engaged in important legislative innovations, some of which can be reconstructed from the later laws of Gortyn. The famous legal inscription of Gortyn is not an isolated example. Fragments of laws dating from the 7th to the mid-5th century survive in many cities. The reasons for this legislative activity - an activity that includes both the recording of older laws and the introduction of new ones - were the major problems concerning land ownership, inheritance, small landowners’ dependence on creditors as a result of the gradual spread of a monetary economy, and the presence of individuals who lacked political rights but engaged in important financial activities as traders, craftsmen and freelance workers. There was very little interest in reform of the existing regime: the handful of laws on civic issues were intended to limit the arbitrary actions and immunity of the Kosmoi.

[1]: Willetts, R. F. 1965. Ancient Crete. A Social History, London and Torondo, 77

[2]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 203.


Formal Legal Code:
present

Codes of laws and regulations were recorded in inscriptions (commonly incised on stone). Legal inscriptions were found in many city-states and provide a picture on the legal systems adopted by the Cretan city-states. [1] [2] . The most important inscription, the longest inscription of the Greek world, is the famous Gortyn Code or the Great Code. [3] [4] [5] . The inscription consists of 12 surviving columns of text written on the circular walls of a public building, perhaps the bouleuterion of Gortyn. The first fragment of code was discovered in the 1850s and the rest of the inscription was brought to light by Federico Halbherr and Ernst Fabricius. The inscription stones had been reused as part of the foundations of the Roman Odeion (1st century BCE). The text is written boustrophedonically in the Dorian dialect. The Great Code record laws related to inheritance, ownership of slaves, rape and adultery, matters of childhood, divorce and widowhood, and sale and mortgaging of land. The legislation make clear distinctions between the different social classes (free Cretan citizens, serf, slaves and foreigners). The absence of other legislative texts set this inscription aside as a unique source for the study of the economy and society of Cretan cities. The Great Code I. Whoever intends to bring suit in relation to a free man or slave, shall not take action by seizure before trial; but if he do seize him, let the judge fine him ten staters for the free man, five for the slave, and let him release him within three days. But if he do not release him, let the judge sentence him to a stater for a free man, a drachma for a slave, each day until he has released him. But if he deny that he made the seizure, the judge shall decide with oath, unless a witness testify. If one party contend that he is a free man, the other that he is a slave, those who testify that he is free shall be preferred. But if they testify either for both parties or for neither of the two, the judge shall render his decision by oath. But if the slave on account of whom the defendant was defeated take refuge in a temple, the defendant, summoning the plaintiff in the presence of two witnesses of age and free, shall point out the slave at the temple; but if he do not issue the summons or do not point him out, he shall pay what is written. And if he do not return him, even within the year, he shall pay in addition to the sums stated one-fold. But if he die while the suit is progressing, he shall pay his value one-fold. II. If one commit rape on a free man or woman, he shall pay 100 staters, and if on the son or daughter of an apetairos ten, and if a slave on a free man or woman, he shall pay double, and if a free man on a male or female serf five drachmas, and if a serf on a male or female serf, five staters. If one debauch a female house-slave by force he shall pay two staters, but if one already debauched, in the daytime, an obol, but if at night, two obols. If one tries to seduce a free woman, he shall pay ten staters, if a witness testify. . . III. If one be taken in adultery with a free woman in her father=s, brother=s, or husband=s house, he shall pay 100 staters, but if in another=s house, fifty; and with the wife of an apetairos, ten. But if a slave with a free woman, he shall pay double, but if a slave with a slave’s wife, five. . .IV. If a husband and wife be divorced, she shall have her own property that she came with to her husband, and the half of the income if it be from her own property, and whatever she has woven, the half, whatever it may be, and five staters, if her husband be the cause of her dismissal; but if the husband deny that he was the cause, the judge shall decide. . . V. If a man die, leaving children, if his wife wish, she may marry, taking her own property and whatever her husband may have given her, according to what is written, in the presence of three witnesses of age and free. But if she carry away anything belonging to her children she shall be answerable. And if he leaves her childless, she shall have her own property and whatever she has woven, the half, and of the produce on hand in possession of the heirs, a portion, and whatever her husband has given her as is written. If a wife shall die childless, the husband shall return to her heirs her property, and whatever she has woven the half, and of the produce, if it be from her own property, the half. If a female serf be separated from a male serf while alive or in case of his death, she shall have her own property, but if she carry away anything else she shall be answerable. VI. If a woman bear a child while living apart from her husband after divorce, she shall have it conveyed to the husband at his house, in the presence of three witnesses; if he do not receive the child, it shall be in the power of the mother to bring up or expose. . . VII. The father shall have power over his children and the division of the property, and the mother over her property. As long as they live, it shall not be necessary to make a division. But if a father die, the houses in the city and whatever there is in the houses in which a serf residing in the country does not live, and the sheep and the larger animals which do not belong to the serf, shall belong to the sons; but all the rest of the property shall be divided fairly, and the sons, howsoever many there be, shall receive two parts each, and the daughters one part each. The mother’s property also shall be divided, in case she dies, as is written for the father’s. And if there should be no property but a house, the daughters shall receive their share as is written. And if a father while living may wish to give to his married daughter, let him give according to what is written, but not more. . . X. As long as a father lives, no one shall purchase any of his property from a son, or take it on mortgage; but whatever the son himself may have acquired or inherited, he may sell if he will; nor shall the father sell or pledge the property of his children, whatever they have themselves acquired or succeeded to, nor the husband that of his wife, nor the son that of the mother. . . If a mother die leaving children, the father shall be trustee of the mother’s property, but he shall not sell or mortgage unless the children assent, being of age; and if anyone shall otherwise purchase or take on pledge the property, it shall still belong to the children; and to the purchaser or pledgor the seller or pledgee shall pay two-fold the value in damages. But if he wed another, the children shall have control of the mother’s property. XI. If a slave going to a free woman shall wed her, the children shall be free; but if the free woman to a slave, the children shall be slaves; and if from the same mother free and slave children be born, if the mother die and there be property, the free children shall have it; otherwise her free relatives shall succeed to it. XIV. The heiress shall marry the brother of the father, the eldest of those living; and if there be more heiresses and brothers of the father, they shall marry the eldest in succession. . . But if he do not wish to marry the heiress, the relatives of the heiress shall charge him and the judge shall order him to marry her within two months; and if he do not marry, she shall marry the next eldest. If she do not wish to marry, the heiress shall have the house and whatever is in the house, but sharing the half of the remainder, she may marry another of her tribe, and the other half shall go to the eldest. . .XVI.A son may give to a mother or a husband to a wife 100 staters or less, but not more; if he should give more, the relatives shall have the property. If anyone owing money, or under obligation for damages, or during the progress of a suit, should give away anything, unless the rest of his property be equal to the obligation, the gift shall be null and void. One shall not buy a man while mortgaged until the mortgagor release him. XVII.Adoption may take place whence one will; and the declaration shall be made in the market-place when the citizens are gathered. If there be no legitimate children, the adopted shall received all the property as for legitimates. If there be legitimate children, the adopted son shall receive with the males the adopted son shall have an equal share. If the adopted son shall die without legitimate children, the property shall return to the pertinent relatives of the adopter. A woman shall not adopt, nor a person under puberty. XVIII. Whatever is written for the judge to decide according to witnesses or by oath of denial, he shall decide as is written, but touching other matters shall decide under oath according to matters in controversy. If a son have given property to his mother, or a husband to his wife, as was written before these writings, it shall not be illegal; but hereafter gifts shall be made as here written. [6]
Crete owes much of its fame in Classical Greece to its internal organization and its cultivation of the laws. This prestige is partly due to mythological traditions and Minoan memories and survivals. The laws that, according to legend, Minos received every nine years, and the figure of Rhadamanthys the just judge, bear witness to a dim recollection of an earlier rule of law. From as early as the 7th century BCE, Crete had engaged in important legislative innovations, some of which can be reconstructed from the later laws of Gortyn. The famous legal inscription of Gortyn is not an isolated example. Fragments of laws dating from the 7th to the mid-5th century survive in many cities. The reasons for this legislative activity - an activity that includes both the recording of older laws and the introduction of new ones - were the major problems concerning land ownership, inheritance, small landowners’ dependence on creditors as a result of the gradual spread of a monetary economy, and the presence of individuals who lacked political rights but engaged in important financial activities as traders, craftsmen and freelance workers. There was very little interest in reform of the existing regime: the handful of laws on civic issues were intended to limit the arbitrary actions and immunity of the Kosmoi.

[1]: Willetts, R. F. 1965. Ancient Crete. A Social History, London and Torondo, 76-84

[2]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 200-03.

[3]: Guarducci, M. 1950. Inscriptiones Creticae IV, Rome, n. 72

[4]: Willetts, R. F. 1967. The Law Code of Gortyn, Berlin

[5]: Di Vita, A. (ed.). 1984. Creta Antica. Cento anni di archaeologia italiana (1884-1984), Rome, 73-9

[6]: http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/450-gortyn.asp.


Legal disputes were tried in the agora (the central gathering place) of the city.
Crete owes much of its fame in Classical Greece to its internal organization and its cultivation of the laws. This prestige is partly due to mythological traditions and Minoan memories and survivals. The laws that, according to legend, Minos received every nine years, and the figure of Rhadamanthys the just judge, bear witness to a dim recollection of an earlier rule of law. From as early as the 7th century BCE, Crete had engaged in important legislative innovations, some of which can be reconstructed from the later laws of Gortyn. The famous legal inscription of Gortyn is not an isolated example. Fragments of laws dating from the 7th to the mid-5th century survive in many cities. The reasons for this legislative activity - an activity that includes both the recording of older laws and the introduction of new ones - were the major problems concerning land ownership, inheritance, small landowners’ dependence on creditors as a result of the gradual spread of a monetary economy, and the presence of individuals who lacked political rights but engaged in important financial activities as traders, craftsmen and freelance workers. There was very little interest in reform of the existing regime: the handful of laws on civic issues were intended to limit the arbitrary actions and immunity of the Kosmoi.


Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System



Nonwritten Record:
present

"Significantly, however, the oral transmission of the traditions of the past allowed Greek culture to survive this loss [the loss of writing] by continuing its stories and legends as valuable possesions passed down thought time. Storytelling, music, singing, and oral performances of poetry, which surely had been a part of Greek life for longer than we can trace, transmitted the most basic cultural ideas of the Greeks about themselves from generation to generation." [1]

[1]: Martin, T. R. 1996. Ancient Greece. From Prehistory to Hellenistic Times, New Haven and London, 37.


Information / Kinds of Written Documents









Information / Money

Economic transactions were also based on a barter system of precious artifacts and metals, animals, food, and services. [1] [2]

[1]: e.g. Seaford, R. 2004. Money and the Eraly Greek Mind: Homer, Philosophy, Tragedy, Cambridge, 125-46

[2]: Tejado, R. and Guerra, G. 2012. "From barter to coins: shifting cognitive frames in Classical Greek economy," in Herrero-Soler, H. and White, A.(eds), Metaphore and Milles. Figurative Language in Business and Economics, Berlin/Boston, 27-48.


Precious Metal:
present

Economic transactions were also based on a barter system of precious artifacts and metals, animals, food, and services. [1] [2]

[1]: e.g. Seaford, R. 2004. Money and the Eraly Greek Mind: Homer, Philosophy, Tragedy, Cambridge, 125-46

[2]: Tejado, R. and Guerra, G. 2012. "From barter to coins: shifting cognitive frames in Classical Greek economy," in Herrero-Soler, H. and White, A.(eds), Metaphore and Milles. Figurative Language in Business and Economics, Berlin/Boston, 27-48.



Indigenous Coin:
present

Cretan cities started minting around 470 BCE as a response to the reduced supply of new Aiginetan coinage. [1] Most cities, except Kydonia, Gortyn, Phaistos, Knossos and Lyttos, started their coinage by overstriking Aiginetan staters. The 5th century BCE is a period of serious political developments in the Aegean with the raise of Athenian hegemony, a power in open rivality with Aigina. The decline of the Aiginetan coinage, the only currency in circulation in Archaic Crete, and the accustom of Cretans to use coinage for their transaction led the major cities to open their mints and overstrike the foreign coins from their treasuries. [2]

[1]: Stefanakis, M. I. 1999. "The introduction of coinage in Crete and the beginning of local minting," in Chaniotis, A. (ed.), From Minoan Farmers to Roman Traders. Sidelights on the Economy of Ancient Crete, Stuttgart, 257-59. For the cretan coins see the seminal work of Le Ride, G. 1966. Monnaies Crétoises du Ve au Ier Sicècle av. J.-C. (Études Crétoises XV), Paris.

[2]: Stefanakis, M. I. 1999. "The introduction of coinage in Crete and the beginning of local minting," in Chaniotis, A. (ed.), From Minoan Farmers to Roman Traders. Sidelights on the Economy of Ancient Crete, Stuttgart, 258.


Foreign Coin:
present

Samian and Aiginetian coinage. [1]

[1]: Stefanakis, M. I. 1999. "The introduction of coinage in Crete and the beginning of local minting," in Chaniotis, A. (ed.), From Minoan Farmers to Roman Traders. Sidelights on the Economy of Ancient Crete, Stuttgart, 247-68.


Article:
present

Economic transactions were also based on a barter system of precious artifacts and metals, animals, food, and services. [1] [2]

[1]: e.g. Seaford, R. 2004. Money and the Eraly Greek Mind: Homer, Philosophy, Tragedy, Cambridge, 125-46

[2]: Tejado, R. and Guerra, G. 2012. "From barter to coins: shifting cognitive frames in Classical Greek economy," in Herrero-Soler, H. and White, A.(eds), Metaphore and Milles. Figurative Language in Business and Economics, Berlin/Boston, 27-48.


Information / Postal System



Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

[1]

[1]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 178-92.


Stone Walls Mortared:
present

[1]

[1]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 178-92.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

[1]

[1]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 178-92.






Complex Fortification:
present

[1]

[1]: Chaniotis, A. 1897. "Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Κρήτη," in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 178-92.



Military use of Metals

[1]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.



Bronze:
present

[1]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.


Projectiles



Self Bow:
present

[1] Cretans were famous archers. [2]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.

[2]: Fischer-Bovet. 2014, Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt, Cambridge 135-138.


Javelin:
present

[1]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.





Composite Bow:
present

[1] Cretans were famous archers. [2]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.

[2]: Fischer-Bovet. 2014, Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt, Cambridge 135-138.



Handheld weapons

[1]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.


[1]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.



Dagger:
present

[1]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.



Animals used in warfare


Donkey:
present

[1]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.



Armor

Shield:
present

[1]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.




Limb Protection:
present

[1]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.


Leather Cloth:
present

[1] \

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.



Helmet:
present

[1]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.



Breastplate:
present

[1]

[1]: Everson, T. 2004. Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armour from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.