Κυριακή, 12 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

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Minoan Era-Europe's oldest civilization among the centuries.Crete was the centre of Europe's most ancient civilization ; the Minoan, often referred to as the 'cradle' of European civilization. Little is known about the rise of ancient Cretan society, as very limited written records remain, and many are written in the undeciphered script known as Linear A. This contrasts with the superb palaces, houses, roads, paintings and sculptures that do remain. Though early Cretan history is replete with legends such as those of King Minos; Theseus and the Minotaur; and Daedalus and Icarus passed on via Greek historians and poets such as Homer, it is known that the first human settlement in Crete, dating to the aceramic Neolithic, introduced cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and dogs, as well as domesticated cereals and legumes.Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman EraCrete continued to be part of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine empire, a quiet cultural backwater, until it fell into the hands of Arabs (see Al-Hakam I) in 824, who established an emirate on the island. In 960 Nicephorus Phocas reconquered Crete for the Byzantines, who held it until 1204, when it fell into the hands of the Venetians at the time of the Fourth Crusade. The Venetians retained the island until 1669, when the Ottoman Turks took possession.In the partition of the Byzantine empire after the capture of Constantinople by the armies of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, Crete was eventually acquired by Venice, which held it for more than four centuries. During Venice's rule, the Greek population of Crete, most famously El Greco, were exposed to Renaissance culture. During the 17th century, Venice was pushed from Crete by the Ottoman Empire, with most of the island lost after the siege of Candia (1648-1669) ; this made up possibly the longest recorded siege in history.Modern Greek StateThe Greek War of Independence began in 1821 and Cretan participation was extensive ; an uprising by Christians met with a fierce response from the Ottoman authorities and the execution of several bishops, regarded as ringleaders. Between 1821 and 1828, the island was the scene of repeated hostilities.Shortly after Crete had been left outside the modern Greek state by the London Protocol of 1830, it was yielded to Egypt by the Ottoman sultan. Egyptian rule lasted for ten years, until 1840, when it was returned to the Ottoman Empire on July 3, 1840 by the Treaty of London.Several uprisings between 1833 and 1897 were unsuccessful, while in 1898 Crete became autonomous and remained so until 1913, when it joined Greece officially on December 1, 1913.Contemporary estimates vary, but on the eve of the Greek War of Independence a minority not more than 40% of the population in the island may have been Muslim. Some amongst these were crypto-Christians who converted back to Christianity; many others fled Crete because of the unrest. By 1900, 11% of the population was Muslim -- in the island's historical context they came often to be known as Turks regardless of language, culture, and ancestry. Those remaining were forced to leave in 1924 in the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey.In World War II, the island of Crete provided the setting for the Battle of Crete (May 1941), wherein German invaders, especially paratroops, drove out a British Commonwealth force commanded by General Sir Bernard Freyberg.MACEDONIA (Mακεδονία)Ancient Macedonia (500 bC to 146 bC)Macedonia is known to have been inhabited since Paleolitic times. Its recorded history began with the emergence of the ancient kingdom of Macedon centred somewhere between the northern part of Greek Macedonia and the Bitola district in the south of the present-day Republic of Macedonia. By 500 BC, the early Macedonian kingdom had become subject to the Persian Empire but played no significant part in the wars between the Persians and the Greeks.King Alexander I of Macedon (died 450 BC) was the first Macedonian king to play a significant role in Greek politics, promoting the adoption of the Attic dialect and culture. The Hellenic character of Macedon grew over the next century until, under the rule of Philip II of Macedon, Macedon extended its power in the 4th century BC over the rest of northern Greece. Philip's son Alexander the Great created an even bigger empire, not only conquering the rest of Greece but also seizing control of the Persian Empire, Egypt and lands as far east as the fringes of India.Much of the impetus towards the creation of this common identity was provided by Alexander the Great. Alexander's conquests produced a lasting extension of Greek culture and thought across the ancient Near East, but his empire broke up on his death. His generals divided the empire between them, founding their own states and dynasties - notably Antigonus I, Antipater, Lysimachus, Perdiccas, Ptolemy I, and Seleucus I. Macedon itself was taken by Cassander, who ruled it until his death in 297 BC. Antigonus II took control in 277 BC following a period of civil strife. During his long reign, which lasted until 239 BC, he successfully restored Macedonian prosperity despite losing many of the subjugated Greek city-states. His successor Antigonus III (reigned 229 BC-221 BC) re-established Macedonian power across the region.Macedon sovereignty was brought to an end at the hands of the rising power of Rome in the2nd century BC. Philip V of Macedon took his kingdom to war against the Romans in two wars during his reign(221 BC-179 BC). The First Macedonian War (215 BC-205 BC) was fairly successful for the Macedonians but Philip was decisively defeated in the Second Macedonian War in (200 BC-197 BC). Although he survived war with Rome, his successor Perseus of Macedon (reigned 179 BC-168 BC) did not; having taken Macedon into the Third Macedonian War in (171 BC-168 BC), he lost his kingdom when he was defeated. Macedonia was initially divided into four republics subject to Rome before finally being annexed in 146 BC as a Roman Province.Quite a number of traces of these Doric cities have survived down to the present day: at Prinia, some 40 km from Herakleion, traces have been found on a low hill of one of the most important Archaic sanctuaries of the 7th century B.C.Gortyna, approximately 45 km from Herakleio , was from time to time the most important and powerful city in Crete. Traces of all the periods in the history of the island have been found here. Of particular interest are the inscriptions giving the Laws of Gortyn, which include legislation in family law and the law of inheritance.fter the destruction of the palaces and the collapse of the Minoan culture, Crete was conquered by the Dorians, who sailed across from mainland Greece.The Doric cities of Crete had the same system of government as Sparta, that is, they a senate consisting of the nobility of the city.The towns were protected by walls and each had its own acropolis.The cities could be kept united under the leadership of Knossos, but only when this was necessary for the purposes of repelling some new invader.Crete is an island of significant ancient history and a very popular tourist destination; its attractions include the Minoan sites of Knossos and Phaistos, the Venetian castle at Rethymnon, and the Samaria Gorge, as well as many other natural sites, monuments, and beaches.Crete was the centre of the Minoan civilization, the oldest form of Greek and hence European civilization.Today Crete consists of four prefecture, Chania, Heraklion, Rethymnon and Lassithi. Crete island is known for the characteristic diversity in its mountainous landscape, natural beauty and coastal shores. Search for chania apartments , chania accommodation , chania villas, heraklion hotel, and accommodation in all areas of Crete. Find the correct car hire and explore all Crete's far places.About the Authorfor cheap car hire in Crete, contact http://www.rentcars24.com