What Happened in Crete Ancient Greece?

Crete, an island located in the Mediterranean Sea, was once a significant civilization in ancient Greece. The history of Crete is fascinating, as it has been occupied by many different cultures throughout time, each leaving their mark on the island. Let’s take a closer look at what happened in Crete ancient Greece.

The Minoans

The first significant civilization that inhabited Crete was the Minoans. They lived on the island from around 3000 BC until 1450 BC and were known for their advanced culture and sophisticated architecture. The Minoans were skilled traders who established relationships with other cultures around the Mediterranean Sea.

One of the most remarkable achievements of the Minoans was their architectural prowess. They built grand palaces with intricate designs that still amaze historians today. The Palace of Knossos is one such palace that showcases the Minoan’s engineering skills.

The Mycenaeans

Around 1450 BC, the Mycenaeans conquered Crete and took control of the island for several centuries. They were a militaristic society that had their roots in mainland Greece. The Mycenaeans greatly influenced Crete’s culture during their occupation.

One of the most notable things that happened during this time was the establishment of a writing system on Crete called Linear B. This system was used to record economic transactions, and it provides valuable insight into Mycenaean society.

The Dorians

Around 1100 BC, another group invaded Crete – this time, it was the Dorians who came from mainland Greece. They overthrew the existing Mycenaean rulers and established their own society on Crete.

The Dorians were responsible for reintroducing Greek language to Crete after it had been lost during Mycenaean rule. They also brought new customs and beliefs with them to the island.

The Hellenistic Period

During the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great conquered Crete, and it became part of the Hellenistic world. The island became a center for trade and commerce during this time, and many important Greek figures visited Crete.

One of the most significant events during this period was the establishment of the city of Gortyn. It became one of the most important cities on Crete and was known for its impressive legal code.

The Roman Period

In 67 BC, Crete was conquered by the Romans, and it became part of the Roman Empire. Many Roman structures were built on Crete during this time, including aqueducts, bridges, and roads.

One of the most remarkable things to happen in Crete during this period was the conversion to Christianity. Saint Titus is credited with introducing Christianity to Crete in AD 62.

The Ottoman Empire

In 1645, the Ottoman Empire conquered Crete, and it remained under their control until 1898. During this period, many Ottoman-style buildings were constructed on Crete.

One significant event that happened during Ottoman rule was The Cretan Revolt (1866-1869), where Cretans rebelled against their Ottoman rulers in a bid for independence.


Crete’s history is a long and complex one that has been shaped by many different cultures over time. From the Minoans to the Ottomans, each civilization has left its mark on this beautiful island. Today, visitors can explore the ancient ruins left behind by these civilizations and learn about their unique history firsthand.