Crete

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Author: Laxman Burdak, IFS (R).
Map of Greece

Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete (Greek: Περιφέρεια Κρήτης), one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece. The capital and the largest city is Heraklion. Crete is probably same country named Kiriti (किरीटी) subjugated by Arjuna in Mahabharata. [1] Heraklion may be Harivarsha (हरिवर्ष) subjugated by Arjuna in Mahabharata (II.25.7). [2]

Origin of name

Geography

Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. Crete is mountainous, and its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains.

The rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, and Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes in Crete: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit.[3] Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was formerly a freshwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi.[4] Lakes that were created by dams also exist in Crete. There are three: the lake of Aposelemis dam, the lake of Potamos dam, and the lake of Mpramiana dam.

As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065.

Variants of Name

The island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC,[5] repeated later in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible (Caphtor). It was also known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu, strongly suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island.[6]

The current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words ke-re-te (*Krētes; later Greek: Κρῆτες, plural of Κρής),[7] ke-re-si-jo (*Krēsijos; later Greek: Κρήσιος),[8] "Cretan".[9] In Ancient Greek, the name Crete (Κρήτη) first appears in Homer's Odyssey.[10] Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luvian word *kursatta (cf. kursawar "island", kursattar "cutting, sliver").[11] In Latin, it became Creta.

The original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš (Arabic: اقريطش‎ < (της) Κρήτης), but after the Emirate of Crete's establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندق Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq (modern Iraklion), both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ (Khandhax) or Χάνδακας (Khandhakas), which gave Latin and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit (كريت).

History

Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry and music). It was once the centre of the Minoan civilisation (c. 2700–1420 BC), which is the earliest known civilisation in Europe.

In 2002, the paleontologist Gerard Gierlinski discovered fossil footprints left by ancient human relatives 5,600,000 years ago.[12]

Hominids settled in Crete at least 130,000 years ago. In the later Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, under the Minoans, Crete had a highly developed, literate civilisation. It has been ruled by various ancient Greek entities, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Emirate of Crete, the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire. After a brief period of autonomy (1897–1913) under a provisional Cretan government, it joined the Kingdom of Greece. It was occupied by Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

Prehistoric Crete: The first human settlement in Crete dates before 130,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic age.[13][14] Settlements dating to the aceramic Neolithic in the 7th millennium BC, used cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and dogs as well as domesticated cereals and legumes; ancient Knossos was the site of one of these major Neolithic (then later Minoan) sites.[15] Other neolithic settlements include those at Kephala, Magasa, and Trapeza.

Minoan civilisation: Crete was the centre of Europe's first advanced civilisation, the Minoan (c. 2700–1420 BC).[16] This civilisation wrote in the undeciphered script known as Linear A. Early Cretan history is replete with legends such as those of King Minos, Theseus and the Minotaur, passed on orally via poets such as Homer. The volcanic eruption of Thera may have been the cause of the downfall of the Minoan civilisation.

Mycenean civilisation: In 1420 BC, the Minoan civilisation was overrun by the Mycenean civilisation from mainland Greece. The oldest samples of writing in the Greek language, as identified by Michael Ventris, is the Linear B archive from Knossos, dated approximately to 1425–1375 BC.[17]

Archaic and Classical period: After the Bronze Age collapse, Crete was settled by new waves of Greeks from the mainland. A number of city states developed in the Archaic period. There was very limited contact with mainland Greece, and Greek historiography shows little interest in Crete, so that there are very few literary sources.

During the 6th to 4th centuries BC, Crete was comparatively free from warfare. The Gortyn code (5th century BC) is evidence for how codified civil law established a balance between aristocratic power and civil rights.

In the late 4th century BC, the aristocratic order began to collapse due to endemic infighting among the elite, and Crete's economy was weakened by prolonged wars between city states. During the 3rd century BC, Gortyn, Kydonia (Chania), Lyttos and Polyrrhenia challenged the primacy of ancient Knossos.

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. In 220 BC the island was tormented by a war between two opposing coalitions of cities. As a result, the Macedonian king Philip V gained hegemony over Crete which lasted to the end of the Cretan War (205–200 BC), when the Rhodians opposed the rise of Macedon and the Romans started to interfere in Cretan affairs.

In the 2nd century BC Ierapytna (Ierapetra) gained supremacy on eastern Crete.

Roman rule: Crete was involved in the Mithridatic Wars, initially repelling an attack by Roman general Marcus Antonius Creticus in 71 BC. Nevertheless, a ferocious three-year campaign soon followed under Quintus Caecilius Metellus, equipped with three legions and Crete was finally conquered by Rome in 69 BC, earning for Metellus the title "Creticus". Gortyn was made capital of the island, and Crete became a Roman province, along with Cyrenaica that was called Creta et Cyrenaica. 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.

Byzantine Empire: Crete was separated from Cyrenaica c. 297. It remained a province within the eastern half of the Roman Empire, usually referred to as the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire after the establishment of a second capital in Constantinople by Constantine in 330 AD. Crete was subjected to an attack by Vandals in 467, the great earthquakes of 365 and 415, a raid by Slavs in 623, Arab raids in 654 and the 670s, and again in the 8th century. Circa 732, the Emperor Leo III the Isaurian transferred the island from the jurisdiction of the Pope to that of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.[18]

Arab rule: The Byzantines under the general Damian attack Crete but are defeated by the Saracens, c. 828, as depicted by Ioannes Scylitzes (see Skylitzes Chronicle).

In the 820s, after 900 years as a Roman, and then Eastern Roman (Byzantine) island, Crete was captured by Andalusian Muladis led by Abu Hafs,[37] who established the Emirate of Crete. The Byzantines launched a campaign that took most of the island back in 842 and 843 under Theoktistos. Further Byzantine campaigns in 911 and 949 failed. In 960/1, Nikephoros Phokas' campaign completely restored Crete to the Byzantine Empire, after a century and a half of Arab control.

Byzantine Empire – second period: In 961, Nikephoros Phokas returned the island to Byzantine rule after expelling the Arabs. In 1204, the Fourth Crusade seized and sacked the imperial capital of Constantinople. Crete was initially granted to leading Crusader Boniface of Montferrat[19] in the partition of spoils that followed. However, Boniface sold his claim to the Republic of Venice,[20] whose forces made up the majority of the Crusade. Venice's rival the Republic of Genoa immediately seized the island and it was not until 1212 that Venice secured Crete as a colony.

Venetian rule: From 1212, during Venice's rule, which lasted more than four centuries, a Renaissance swept through the island as is evident from the plethora of artistic works dating to that period. Known as The Cretan School or Post-Byzantine Art, it is among the last flowerings of the artistic traditions of the fallen empire. The most notable representatives of this Cretan renaissance were the painter El Greco and the writers Nicholas Kalliakis (1645–1707), Georgios Kalafatis (professor) (c. 1652–1720), Andreas Musalus (c. 1665–1721) and Vitsentzos Kornaros.[21]

Under the rule of the Catholic Venetians, the city of Candia was reputed to be the best fortified city of the Eastern Mediterranean.[22] The three main forts were located at Gramvousa, Spinalonga, and Fortezza at Rethymnon. Other fortifications include the Kazarma fortress at Sitia. In 1492, Jews expelled from Spain settled on the island.[23] In 1574–77, Crete was under the rule of Giacomo Foscarini as Proveditor General, Sindace and Inquistor. According to Starr's 1942 article, the rule of Giacomo Foscarini was a dark age for Jews and Greeks. Under his rule, non-Catholics had to pay high taxes with no allowances. In 1627, there were 800 Jews in the city of Candia, about seven percent of the city's population.[24] Marco Foscarini was the Doge of Venice during this time period.

In Mahabharata

Sabha Parva, Mahabharata/Book II Chapter 24 mentions the countries subjugated by Arjuna that lay to the North: Kiriti (किरीटी) is listed in verse (II.24.20) [25]

He also subjugated Harivarsha (हरिवर्ष) mentioned in verse (II.25.7) [26]


Shalya Parva, Mahabharata/Book IX Chapter 44 mentions the ceremony for investing Kartikeya with the status of generalissimo (सेनागणाध्यक्ष), the diverse gods, various clans who joined it. Country Kiriti (किरीटी) is listed in verse (IX.44.66) [27]

Shalya Parva, Mahabharata/Book IX Chapter 44 mentions the ceremony for investing Kartikeya with the status of generalissimo (सेनागणाध्यक्ष), the diverse gods, various clans who joined it....Names of companions of diverse kinds of faces and arms,... Kiriti (किरीटी) is listed in verse (IX.44.89). [28]

Origin of naga race in western Asia from Aligi and Viligi

Dr Naval Viyogi writes that according to ancient myths of Iran, the tradition of Naga worship was taken to India from Iran. [29]Whenever we look for the earliest centre of origin of serpent or naga worship it is found in western Asia. Dr Bhagwatsharan Upadhyay [30] has mentioned some hymns of Atharva-Veda (V-13-6 to 10). These verses are as under: Atharv-Veda (V-13-6 to 10) [31]

asitasya tēmātasya babhrapod kasya cha ।
sātrā sānasyāhan manyo khājyomiv dhanvno vimunchāti rathoiva ।। (6)
aligī cha viligī ya pitā cha mātā cha. ।
vidma vah: sarvto banohva raṣāh: kim kariṇyatha. ।। (7)
urugulāyāduhitājātā dāsya sikanyā ।
prataṅ ke vatruso ṇām sarvāsāmaram viśama ।। (8)
tābu vam natābuvam vetva masi tābu yam tābuvenaraśām viśaṃ. ।। (10)

These verses are translated by an Indian scholar B.G. Tilak on the basis of research work of Bloomfield. This is as under:[32]


You are released from the most powerful upodak poison and black brown coloured snake Taimāt, like wise a chariot is released fom the horse and bow-string from the bow. (6)
I know Aligi and Viligi (Alai and Valai) who are your father and mother and all your relatives. You are poison less and you can not put to harm. (7)
This daughter of Urugulā is born from Karet (black). The poison of them all has become devoid of power, and they have run away to their shelters. (8)
Tābubam (or) and no Tabubam (0, serpent!) you are not Tabubam. Your poison has been made devoid of power with the help of Tabubam. (10)

B. G. Tilak has thrown light on the origin of the words like Taimāta, Aligi, Viligi, Urugula and Tabubam and informs us, "These words are non-Vedic and Akkadian (Khandi)". He has again tried to compare the word 'Taimāt' with the Timāyat and 'Tābubam' with the Tobā. But he could not trace the meaning of the words Aligi, Viligi and Urugula in Sanskrit language. He thinks these words are not Indian. But English scholars like Macdonell, Keith and Grifth are also connecting the words Taimata, Upodak, Aligi, Viligi and Urugula with some unknown species of snakes. Viligi is a deity of Assyrian myths. [33] [34]


But endeavour of Dr. Upadhyaya to trace out the origin of these words is highly appreciable. He has traced out the names of Aligi (Alalu) and Viligi (Balalu) in the genealogical table of Assyrian kings, belonging to the period of 3000 B. C. in the guide book composed by Dr. Burnette, department of Assyria and Sumeria. Alalu and Balalu are shown to be the names of father and son.[35] This genealogy is also given in the Cambridge Ancient History-Vol-I.

The study of above verses of Atharv- Veda and veiw-point of different scholars on them, brings out the following conclusions: [36]


(1) The ojhas (priests) of Atharv-Veda age had knowledge of above serpent kings.

(2) According to Yaska these are the words with no meaning.

(3) Macdonell, Kerth and Grifth connect them with some unknown species or snakes.

(4) Aligi and Viligi were father and son who were Assyrian kings of 3000 BC

(5) Above genealogical table has been traced out from excavation of Ur, an ancient city of Sumer.

(6) These names are non-Indian and "Akkadian" or semitics.

We can draw a final conclusion from the above study that certain serpent worshipper tribes of Assyria or Sumer came to India along with the above names of their kings in a period after 3000 B. C. or roughly Indus Valley period (2700-1600 B C ). Either the knowledge of above names and words was transferred to ojhas or priests or they were themselves among the immigrants. Although it is a farfetched idea, yet I think this will be the most acceptable view-point, because verses were composed at a very later period, the composer would have belonged to the institution of immigrant priest class. It is equally possible that Atharv-Veda would have been related to the black section of Rishi of Assyrian immigrants like wise a section of Yajurveda or Kanva as suggested by some scholars[37]. There are clear evidences of Indus seals or seal Impressions with figures of Nagas or serpents depicted on them. Similarly there is another supporting evidence of Rigvedic description (lV-28-l) of Nagas also. [38]

To understand this important secret we have to study the available evidences of Naga worship in Babylonia, Sumer and Assyria. (see Illustration Naga Seals from Indus Valley) James Fergusson [39] produces detail of such evidences as under,

"In addition to the Tyrian coins and other monuments which in themselves would suffice to prove the prevalence of serpent worship on the seaboard of Syria, we have a direct testimony in a quotation from Sanchoniathon, an author who is supposed to have lived before the Trojan War. This passage is in itself sufficient to throw light on the feelings of the ancients on this subject. It may be worthwhile to quote it fully. Taautus attributed a certain divine nature to dragons and serpents, an opinion which was afterwards adopted both by the Phoenicians and Egyptians. He teaches that this genus of animals abounds in force and spirit more than any other reptiles; that there is something fiery in their nature, and though possessing neither feet nor any external members for motion common to other animals, they are yet more rapid in their motion than any other. Not only has it the power of renewing its youth, but in doing so receives an increase of size and strength, so that after having run through a certain term of years it is again absorbed within itself. For these reasons this class of animals was admitted into temples, and used in sacred mysteries. By the Phoenicians they were called the good demon, which was the term also applied by the Egyptians to Cneph. who added to him the head of a hawk to symbolize the vivacity of that bird. [40]


After this, Eusebius or Philo goes on to quote several other authors to the same effect, among others the Magian Zoroasters, who describes the hawk-headed deity as "the chief, the best, and the most learned of the gods;" but from the context it appears that there is here some confusion between the serpent god and the eagle- headed deity of the Assyrians, who is generally supposed to represent Nisroch [41] and whose image so frequently occurs in the sculptures. It scarcely admits of a doubt but that this eagle-headed deity of the Assyrians became the Garuda of the Hindu mythology, who before the time when Eusebius wrote, had taken so important a position in the serpent worship of the Hindus, but it is still not clear how the confusion between the two objects, crept into the passage as we now find it. Eusebius certainly understood the quotations as applying to the serpent ................ The coins of Tyre represent in some instances a tree with a serpent coiled round its trunk, and on either hand two rude stone pillars (Petrae Ambrosiae... ?) or an altar with two serpents rising from the angles of its base. Others represent the serpent coiled around a rude stone obelisk, with Tyrian Hercules contending with serpent. Taken in conjunction with the above quotation, these, with others that might be quoted, suffice to show that the serpent was honoured, perhaps worshipped in Tyre from an early period down to the time of Alexander." [42]


It is crystal clear from the description of Sanchoniathon that, as a result of above thoughts of Taautus, the tradition of serpent worship came-into being in Western Asia and Egypt, which caused origin of a serpent worshipper Naga race. Not only it did become popular among the masses even the Assyrian Kings like Aligi (Alalu), Viligi (Balalu) adopted it as a part of their religion. This tradition was not only in practice in Babylonia, Sumer, Akkad and Assyria but also in Egypt, Crete and Greece. [43]

Ch 2.13 Flight of Macedonian Deserters into Egypt.—Proceedings of Agis, King of Sparta.—Alexander occupies Phoenicia

Arrian[44] writes....Darius fled through the night with a few attendants; but in the daytime, picking up as he went along the Persians and Grecian mercenaries who had come safely out of the battle, he had in all 4,000 men under his command. He then made a forced march towards the city of Thapsacus[1] and the river Euphrates,[2] in order to put that river as soon as possible between himself and Alexander. But Amyntas son of Antiochus, Thymondas son of Mentor, Aristomedes the Pheraean, and Bianor the Acarnanian, all being deserters, fled without delay from the posts assigned them in the battle, with about 8,000 soldiers under their command, and passing through the mountains, they arrived at Tripolis in Phoenicia.[3] There they seized the ships which had been hauled up on shore in which they had previously been transported from Lesbos; they launched as many of these vessel as they thought sufficient to convey them, and the rest they burnt there in the docks, in order not to supply their enemy with the means of quickly pursuing them. They fled first to Cyprus,[4] thence to Egypt; where Amyntas shortly after, meddling in political disputes, was killed by the natives.

Meantime Pharnabazus and Autophradates were staying near Chios; then having established a garrison in this island they despatched some of their ships to Cos and Halicarnassus, and with 100 of their best sailing vessels they put to sea themselves and landed at Siphnus. And Agis, king of the Lacedaemonians,[5] came to them with one trireme, both to ask for money to carry on the war, and also to urge them to send with him into the Peloponnese as large a force both naval and military as they could. At that very time news reached them of the battle which had been fought at Issus; and being alarmed at the report, Pharnabazus started off to Chios with twelve triremes and 1,500 Grecian mercenaries, for fear that the Chians might attempt to effect a revolution when they received the news of the Persian defeat. Agis, having received from Autophradates thirty talents of silver[6] and ten triremes, despatched Hippias to lead these ships to his brother Agesilaus at Taenarum,[7] ordering him also to instruct Agesilaus to give full pay to the sailors and then to sail as quickly as possible to Crete,[8] in order to set things in order there. For a time he himself remained there among the islands, but afterwards joined Autophradates at Halicarnassus.[9]

Alexander appointed Menon, son of Cerdimmas, viceroy of Coele-Syria,[10] giving him the cavalry of the Grecian allies to guard the country. He then went in person towards Phoenicia; and on the march he was met by Strato, son of Gerostratus, king of the Aradians and of the people living near Aradus.[11] But Gerostratus himself was serving in the fleet with Autophradates, as were also the other kings both of the Phoenicians and the Cyprians. When Strato fell in with Alexander, he placed a golden crown upon his head, promising to surrender to him both the island of Aradus and the great and prosperous city of Marathus, situated on the mainland right opposite Aradus; also Sigon, the city of Mariamme, and all the other places under his own dominion and that of his father.


between the ranges of Libanus and Anti-Libanus, in which Damascus and Baalbek are situated; in its wider meaning, it comprises the whole of Northern Syria, in opposition to- the countries of Phoenicia and Palestine.

1. Thapsacus is understood to be identical with the city called Tiphsach (passage) in 1 Kings iv. 24; which is there said to have been the eastern boundary of Solomon's empire. It is generally supposed that the modern Deir occupies the site of the ancient Thapsacus; but it has been discovered that the only ford in this part of the river is at Suriyeh, 165 miles above Deir. This was probably the site of Thapsacus. From the time of Seleucus Nicator the city was called Amphipolis (Pliny, v. 21). See Stephanus of Byzantium, sub voce Amphipolis. Cf . Xenophon (Anabasis, i. 4, 11).

2. The Euphrates is the largest river of western Asia, and rises in the mountains of Armenia. It unites with the Tigris, and after a course of 1,780 miles flows into the Persian Gulf. It is navigable by boats for 1,200 miles. The annual inundation, caused by the melting of the snow in the mountains of Armenia, takes place in the month of May. The Euphrates, Tigris, and Eulaeus had formerly three separate outlets into the Persian Gulf; but the three now unite in a single stream, which is called Shat-el-Arab, The Hebrew name for the river which the Greeks called Euphrates, was Pĕrath (rapid stream). It is called in the Bible, the Great River, and the River (Gen. xv. 18; Exod. xxiii. 31; et passim). In Jeremiah xiii. 4-7, the word Pĕrath stands for Ephrath, another name for Bethlehem; in our Bible it is mis-translated. See Fürst's Hebrew Lexicon.

3. The term Cĕnaan was applied to the lowland plain from Aradus to Gaza. The northern portion, from Aradus to Carmel, is known to as under its Grecian name of Phoenicia, which is probably derived front the Greek phoinix (a palm-tree), which grew abundantly in the country, and was the emblem of some of its towns. Others derive it from another Greek word phoinix (red dye), which formed one of its most important manufactures. The Phoenicians applied the term Cenaan to their land in contrast to the highlands to the west, which they called Aram (highland), the Hebrew name for Syria. The country of Phoenicia was 120 miles long and with an average breadth of 12 miles, never exceeding 20 miles. The chief cities of Phoenicia were Tyre, Sidon, Aradus, Byblus, Berytus, Tripolis, and Accho or Ptolemais. Its central position between the eastern and western countries, early developed its commercial power, and its intercourse with foreign nations at an early period produced an advanced state of civilization and refinement. The Phoenicians were a Semitic nation like the Israelites; and their language bears a remarkable affinity with the Hebrew, as is seen by fragments of the Carthaginian language preserved in Plautus. In an inscription discovered at Marseilles in 1845, out of 94 words 74 were found in the Hebrew Bible. The Phoenicians were asserted by the Greeks to have communicated to them the knowledge of letters; and this statement is corroborated by the similarity of the Hebrew and ancient Greek letters. Their colonies spread from Cyprus to Crete and the Cyclades, thence to Euboea, Greece, and Thrace. The coasts of Asia Minor and Bithynia were dotted with their settlements, and they carried their commerce into the Black Sea. They also had colonies in Sicily, Sardinia, Ivica, and Spain, where they founded Cadiz. The northern coast of Africa was lined with their colonies, the most flourishing of which was Carthage, which rose to be one of the great powers of the world. Strabo says that they had 300 colonies on the western coast of Africa. They visited the coasts of England for tin; and thus, to quote the words of Humboldt, "the Tyrian flag waved at the same time in Britain and the India Ocean." Herodotus (iv. 42, 43) says that under the patronage of Necho, king of Egypt, they circumnavigated Africa; but he states that he does not believe it was a fact. The reason which he assigns for his disbelief is, that the navigators alleged that the sun was on their right hand, which is the strongest argument in favour of the truth of their statement. In Isaiah xxiii. 11, Phoenicia is called Cĕnaan, where the English Bible has erroneously, the merchant city. In the Bible the word Cĕnaanim is frequently used for merchants, because the Phoenicians were the principal commercial people of antiquity (Job xli. 6; Prov. xxxi. 24; Isaiah xxiii. 8; Hos. xii. 7; Zeph. i. 2; Zech. xiv. 21). Tripolis consisted of three distinct cities, 600 feet apart, each having its own walls, but all united in a common constitution with one place of assembly. These cities were colonies respectively of Sidon, Tyre, and Aradus. Tripolis was a flourishing port on a headland whioh is a spur of Lebanon. It is now called Tripoli, and is still a large town. See Dr. Smith's Dictionary of Classical Geography.

4. The oldest towns in Cyprus,— Citium, Amathus, and Paphus,—were Phoenician colonies. These were afterwards eclipsed by the Greek colonies, Salamis, Soli, and New Paphus. In Hebrew the island is called Ceth, and the inhabitants Cittim. Gesenius says, that upon a Sidonian coin Ceth in Cyprus, which the Greeks called Citium, is described as a Sidonian colony. Diodorus (xvi. 42) says there were nine kings in Cyprus. It is probable that the kings of the Hittites mentioned in 1 Kings x. 29, were from Cyprus. Also the Hittite women whom Solomon married were probably Cyprians (1 Kings xi. 1). The kings of the Hittites of whom the Syrians were afraid were also Cypriotes (2 Kings Tii. 6); and the land of the Hittites mentioned in Judges i. 26, probably means Cyprus. Josephus, Eusebius, and Jerome understand these passages to refer to Cyprus. In Isaiah xxiii. 1, the land of Cittim refers to Cyprus, which belonged to Tyre, the revolt of which the prophet announced. This revolt is confirmed by Menander (Josephus, ix. 14, 9).

5. Agis III. was ultimately defeated and slain by Antipater, B.C. 330. See Curtius, vi. 1 and 2; Grote's Greece, vol. xii. pp. 102-106.

6. About £7,300.

7. Now Cape Matapan. Cf. Propertius, iii. 2, 11; Tibullus, iii. 3, 13; Homer (Hymn to Apollo, 411).

8. The Cretans were very early civilized and powerful, for we read in Homer of their 100 cities. Before the Trojan war lived the famous king Minos, who is said to have given laws to Crete, and to have been the first potentate who possessed a navy, with which he suppressed piracy in the Aegean Sea. The Cretans gradually degenerated, so that we find in the New Testament St. Paul quoting from their own poet, Epimenides: "Always liars and beasts are the Cretans, and inwardly sluggish" (Titus i. 12). The lying propensity of the Cretans is proved from the fact that the verb to Cretize, was used in Greek with the meaning "to speak falsely." In Hebrew, Crete is called Caphtor (cypress). It is mentioned in Jer. xlvii. 4. It was the native land of a tribe of Philistines called Caphtorim (Gen. x. 14; Deut. ii. 23; 1 Chron. i. 12). The fact that the Philistines came partly from Crete is also affirmed in Amos ix. 7. Another branch of the Philistines came from Casloach in Egypt. The Caphtorim emigrated originally from Egypt to Crete, from which island they were probably driven by the Greeks. Tacitus asserts that the inhabitants of Palestine came from Crete (Historiae, v. 2); and the early name of Gaza was Minoa, after the famous king of Crete. Another Hebrew name for Crete is Cӗrēth, whence the inhabitants were called Cӗrēthim. They are mentioned in Ezek. xxv. 16, and Zeph. ii. 5; where the Septuagint and the Syriac have Cretans. We find the Philistines, who were partly emigrants from Crete, called Cerethim in 1 Sam. xxx. 14. From among these Cerethim and Philistines David chose his body-guard, which was composed of men skilled in shooting and slinging (2 Sam. viii. 18, xv. 18, xx. 7, 23; 1 Kings i. 38, 44; 1 Chron. xviii. 17).

9. From Diodorus (xvii. 48) it appears that Agis went personally to Crete, and compelled most of the cities to join the Persian side. We also learn that the deputies of the Greeks assembled at the Isthmian games at Corinth sent an embassy to Alexander to congratulate him on his victory at Issus, and to present him with a golden wreath. (See also Curtius, iv. 22.)

10. Coele-Syria, or Hollow Syria, is, in its more limited sense, the country

11. Aradus is an island lying two or three miles from the mainland of Phoenicia. According to Strabo, a State was founded in it by refugees from Sidon. For a long time the island was independent, under its own kings; and even after it fell under the sway of the Macedonian kings of Syria, and subsequently under that of the Romans, it retained a great deal of its commercial prosperity. Aradus appears in Hebrew under the form Arvad. It is evident from Ezek. xxvii. 8, 11, that its inhabitants were skilful sailors and brave warriors. They sent out colonies to Aradus south of Carmel, the island of Aradus near Crete, and the islands in the Persian gulf. The present name of this island is Ruad. The Aradians inhabited the mainland opposite the island, as well as the island itself.


p.106-111

References

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  2. उत्तरं हरिवर्षं तु समासाथ्य स पाण्डवः इयेष जेतुं तं थेशं पाकशासननन्थनः (II.25.7)
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  8. Found on the PY Ta 641 and PY Ta 709 tablets.
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  26. उत्तरं हरिवर्षं तु समासाथ्य स पाण्डवः इयेष जेतुं तं थेशं पाकशासननन्थनः (II.25.7)
  27. तुहनश च तुहानश च चित्रदेवश च वीर्यवान, मधुरः सुप्रसादश च किरीटी च महाबलः (IX.44.66)
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