Herodotus on King Minos of Crete


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Herodotus on King Minos of Crete by
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Herodotus writes of the Minoan civilization which had long since disappeared. He refers to famine and pestilence which may have followed the volcanic eruption of Thera (Santorini), now believed to have precipitated the end of this once great civilization, though he apparently does not know of the cause.

Herodotos: The History, VII.170-171

Excerpt

Minos, according to tradition, went to Sicania, or Sicily, as it is now called, in search of Daidolos, and there perished by a violent death....Men of various nations now flocked to Crete, which was stripped of its inhabitants; but none came in such numbers as the Hellenes. Three generations after the death of Minos the Trojan war took place; and the Cretans were not the least distinguished among the helpers of Menelaos. But on this account, when they came back from Troy, famine and pestilence fell upon them, and destroyed both the men and the cattle. Crete was a second time stripped of its inhabitants, a remnant only being left; who form, together with fresh settlers, the third Cretan people by whom the island has been inhabited.

Source: Herodotus, The History, George Rawlinson, trans., (New York: Dutton & Co., 1862).


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