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date: 25 November 2020

Cnossus, Greek and Romanlocked

  • Lucia F. Nixon
  •  and Simon Price

Extract

A town on Crete. It flourished from the 9th to the 6th cent., to judge from the evidence of large numbers of tombs (protogeometric to orientalizing periods), but seems to have lost power in the 6th–5th cents. From the 4th cent. onwards it was again one of the principal cities of the island. Its main centre lay north-west of the *Minoan palace, but its buildings are poorly known; a shrine to *Demeter (protogeometric to 2nd cent. ce) lay just south of the palace. In the 4th–3rd cents. Cnossus frequently fought Lyttus, and then, after Lyttus’ destruction, *Gortyn. Cnossus, which resisted the Roman invasion, lost out to Gortyn, and in 36 bce suffered the attribution to *Capua of valuable territory (Vell. Pat. 2. 81. 2; Cass. Dio 49. 14. 5); after 27 bce it was turned into a colonia (Iulia Nobilis), perhaps receiving settlers from Capua. From the Roman period a basilica is known, and houses, including the ‘Villa Dionysus’. Despite a series of earthquakes, the city prospered until the 3rd cent. ce, extending by c.

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