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The volcanic eruption of Thera may have been the cause of the downfall of the Minoan civilisation. The Byzantines launched a campaign that took most of the island back in and under Theoktistos.

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Under his rule, non-Catholics had to pay high taxes with no allowances. A number of city states developed in the Archaic period. The most notable representatives of this Cretan renaissance were the painter El Greco and the writers Nicholas Kalliakis —Georgios Kalafatis professor c.

Crete was subjected to an attack by Vandals inthe great earthquakes of anda raid by Slavs inArab raids in and the s, and again in the 8th century. Other fortifications include the Kazarma fortress at Sitia. When Diocletian redivided the Empire, Crete was placed, along with Cyrene, under the diocese of Moesia, and later by Constantine I to the diocese of Macedonia.

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After a brief period of autonomy — under a provisional Cretan government, it joined the Kingdom of Greece. The Gortyn code 5th century BC is evidence for how codified civil law established a balance between aristocratic power and civil rights.

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While the cities continued to prey upon one another, they invited into their feuds mainland powers like Macedon and its rivals Rhodes and Ptolemaic Egypt. As a result, the Macedonian king Philip V gained hegemony over Crete which lasted to the end of the Cretan War — BCwhen the Rhodians opposed the rise of Macedon and the Romans started to interfere in Cretan affairs.

Venice's rival the Republic of Genoa immediately seized the island and it was not until that Venice secured Crete as a colony.

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Gortyn was made capital of the island, and Crete became a Roman province, along with Cyrenaica that was called Creta et Cyrenaica. Byzantine Empire — second period[ edit ] Main article: Crete was initially granted to leading Crusader Boniface of Montferrat [38] in the partition of spoils that followed.

Early Cretan history is replete with legends such as those of King MinosTheseus and the Minotaurpassed on orally via poets such as Homer.

Prehistoric Crete The first human settlement in Crete dates beforeyears ago, during the Paleolithic age. However, Boniface sold his claim to the Republic of Venice[38] whose forces made up the majority of the Crusade. In BC the island was tormented by a war between two opposing coalitions of cities.