A HISTORY OF CRETE
by Chris Moorey

Details

Travel, History
Publication Date: May 2020
RRP: £9.99
312 pp
PBK
9781912208968

Reviews

‘…a fascinating journey through Cretan history, from its mythological past to its tourist-crowded present.’Mick Reed, historian

‘Given that Crete is the most visited of Greek islands, this book will surely find favour with visitors past and present, to say nothing of readers gasping for lively single volume overviews instead of stuffy micro-specialisation. It turns out that the big sweep – 3,000 years in this case, to the present day – turns up two insights in particular. One is that Crete did very well at the start of the period as Minoan civilisation peaked, and briefly again in the early twentieth century when it was briefly autonomous, before union with Greece. The rest was defined (like Cyprus) by a bizarre litany of invaders and occupiers, from Romans to the Third Reich, not discounting Ottoman Turks and Arabs and capped by the tourists, described as a ‘Final Invasion.’ Splendid stuff.’ – Richard Lofthouse, Oxford University Quad Magazine 

Known by the Greeks as ‘Megalónisos’, the ‘Great Island’, Crete has been of paramount strategic importance for thousands of years thanks to its location close to the junction of three continents and the heart of the eastern Mediterranean. The island has been ruled for much of its history by foreign invaders – Mycenaeans, Dorians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, Ottoman Turks and, briefly, the Third Reich – and thus much of its past has revolved around how the Cretans themselves, fierce lovers of freedom, have interacted with their conquerors and the influence of foreign rule on their culture. Two periods at either end of these three thousand years of domination form an intriguing contrast: the dazzling apogee of the Minoan civilisation and the brief period of autonomy before union with Greece at the beginning of the twentieth century. Moorey has written an engaging and lively account of Crete from the Stone Age to the present day.

Author Bio

Chris Moorey is a writer and historian. The author of A Glimpse of Heaven, he has lived in Crete for over twenty years.

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