Gortys Crete





In ancient times Gortys was for a long time the largest city on the island of Crete. In its prime, the city had more than a quarter of a million inhabitants. These are even slightly more than the largest city of Crete Heraklion today. By then gigantic.

The highest number of inhabitants was in the time of the Romans. Gortys already existed with the Minoans. But it is one of the few important excavation sites on the island, which had its climax in the time of the Dorians and the Romans.

How to get to Gortys: The site is close to the south coast between Agia Deka and Mires in the Messara plain. Gortys is located directly on the road between the two towns. The many buses between Iraklio and Mires stop next to the ancient city. Some buses go to Mires and then to Matala or Agia Galini.

Entrance fee Gortys: 6 Euro, students, children and persons over 65 years pay 3 Euro.

Opening hours Gortys: To our knowledge every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. is open. In winter, the excavation closes at 15 o'clock.

The data are from the year 2015.

Caution: On the Peloponnese there is also an ancient city called Gortys.

The following article describes the ancient sight of Gortys / Crete in more detail:


Gortys (Greek: Γορτυς, also Gortis, Gortyn or Gortyna) was an ancient city in central southern Crete, about 40 km south of Heraklion near Agia Deka in the Messara plain.

History:
The great inscription of Gortyn. The different founding myths all refer to the legendary King Minos. In fact, traces of first settlements date back to the Neolithic; a Minoan settlement was located in the southwestern part of the area.

At the time of the Doric immigration Gortys became the most important town of the Messera before Festos - a walled acropolis originates from this phase. Since the 8th century, the city has expanded into the plain in front of the hill of the Acropolis. In the archaic period the city centre was already there with an Agora (market place) and a temple of Apollon Pythios.

During the heyday of the city-states in classicism and Hellenism, Gortis, with Knossos, Eleftherna, Kydonia and Lyktos, was one of the most important and, with 40,000 to 80,000 inhabitants, most populous cities on the island.
In the 3rd century B.C. the city dominated the southern central Crete without restrictions. In 189 BC Hannibal found asylum here. When Gortis became involved in the conflict with Rome on the latter's side against Knossos, it became the capital of the Roman province Creta et Cyrene in 69 BC, for which, for example, the Praetorium, the official seat and residence of the proconsular governor, was built.

The city was early a center of Christianization: in 59 A.D. the apostle Paul preached here. In 250 A.D. the "Ten Holy Bishops" are said to have found martyrdom in the vicinity. The name of the town Ag. Deka goes back to this event. In a medieval source Gortys is already called for the 2nd century next to Knossos as a bishop's seat, first bishop is said to have been the holy Titus, a pupil of the apostle Paulus. Gortys had several early Byzantine churches and after the conquest by the Arabs (824 or 828) was abandoned by its inhabitants and remained for a while significant as the only bishop's seat of Crete in ecclesiastical terms.

Since 1884 the ancient city has been excavated by Italian archaeologists.


Buildings:
Titus Basilica
Ruin of an early Christian basilica from the 6th century. The church got its name from the local tradition by its excavators in the 19th century. Since another older church was discovered during later excavations in Mitropolis, it is now considered questionable.

Odeion:
The Odeion of Gortyn, on the back wall of which the inscriptions of the law are located Code of Law (The Great Inscription of Gortyn) 
An extensive inscription from the 5th century B.C., written alternately from left to right and right to left in a Doric dialect and located on the northern wall of the Odeion, is considered to be the oldest law codex in Europe. Astonishingly liberal, it contains all provisions important for common life, such as marriage and family law.


Literature:
Antonis Vasilakis: Gortyn. V. Manouras Editions, Heraklion o.J. (2000 or later).

This article is based on Gortys article from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.

 

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