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Myths

Historical Names of Crete
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Crete in antiquity and mythology was known with various names that were given, either for the sake of the grounds, of its people, or for another cause.

  1. Aeria (Αερία): This name was given due of the nice and healthy climate
  2. Chthonia (Χθονία): In the ancient times, the island was covered by fertile and dense forests. Therefore, it was called Chthonia, i.e. with rich and soily grounds. Even the name Chania of the second largest Cretan city is attributed to a corruption of the name Chthonia.
  3. Dolihi (Δολιχή): This name was taken after the oblong shape, as dolihos means oblong in ancient Greek.
  4. Telchinia (Τελχινία): Telchines were those who could process metals. Because the Cretans were very good at working metal, their land was named Telchinia.
  5. Idaean (Ιδαία): Idaean means covered by forests and the island was named so due to the ancient dense woods. Unfortunately, these forests, mainly of cypress, were devastated by the Minoans who traded timber.
  6. Makaria (Μακαρία): Means island of Makares, i.e. happy people.
  7. Kouritis (Κουρήτις): Kouretis after Kouros, i.e. the young men of Crete 
  8. Kaftor (Κάφτορ): A name we meet in the Bible. We also meet the name Kaptara and Keftiou.
  9. Crete (Κρήτη): The current name is attributed to one Kouretes who reigned and was called Kritas. According to another option, the name was taken after Crete, the daughter of one of the Kouretes, who married Ammon Zeus, who came from Libya and established a new kingdom.
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