Crete & Rhodes

Crete

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Crete (Greek: Κρήτη, Kríti [‘kriti]; Ancient Greek: Κρήτη, Krḗtē) is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete (Greek: Περιφέρεια Κρήτης), one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece. The capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065.

Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry and music). It was once the centre of the Minoan civilization (c. 2700–1420 BC), which is currently regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe.

The island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC,[2] repeated later in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible (Caphtor). It was also known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu, strongly suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island.[3]

The current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words , ke-re-te (*Krētes; later Greek: Κρῆτες, plural of Κρής),[4] and , ke-re-si-jo (*Krēsijos; later Greek: Κρήσιος),[5] “Cretan”.[6][7] In Ancient Greek, the name Crete (Κρήτη) first appears in Homer’s Odyssey.[8] Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luvian word *kursatta (cf. kursawar “island”, kursattar “cutting, sliver”).[9] In Latin, it became Creta.

The original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš (Arabic: اقريطش‎ < (της) Κρήτης), but after the Emirate of Crete’s establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندقRabḍ al-Ḫandaq (modern Iraklion), both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ (Khandhax) or Χάνδακας (Khandhakas), which gave Latin and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit (كريت).

 

Rhodes

Rhodes (Greek: Ρόδος, Ródos [ˈroðos]) is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece in terms of land area and also the island group’s historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes.The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes’ nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the land.

Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe

 

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