A History of Crete

Chris Moorey,

A History of Crete
For thousands of years, Crete has been of paramount strategic importance, thanks to its location close to the junction of three continents and the heart of the eastern Mediterranean. It’s perhaps not surprising, therefore, that when they ruled Crete, the Greeks called it “Megalónisos” or the “Great Island.” Yet the island has been ruled for much of its history by foreign invaders—including Mycenaeans, Dorians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, Ottoman Turks, and, briefly, the Third Reich. In A History of Crete, Chris Moorey explores the history of the Great Island from mythological Crete until today and sheds light on how the Cretans themselves have interacted with their conquerors.

A History of Crete portrays the Cretans as fierce lovers of freedom who worked around and with the influence of foreign rule on their culture. In an engaging and lively style, Moorey emphasizes and contrasts two periods at either end of these three thousand years of domination: the dazzling apogee of the Minoan civilization from the Bronze Age, representing the first advanced civilization in Europe, and the brief period of autonomy before union with Greece at the beginning of the twentieth century. A History of Crete shows how the history of the contested island affected its people and made them to the Cretans of today.

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