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Crete (Greek: Κρήτη, Modern: Kríti, Ancient: Krḗtē) is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. Crete rests about 160 km (99 mi) south of the Greek mainland, and about 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Anatolia. Crete has an area of 8,450 km2 (3,260 sq mi) and a coastline of 1,046 km (650 mi). It bounds the southern border of the Aegean Sea, with the Sea of Crete (or North Cretan Sea) to the north and the Libyan Sea (or South Cretan Sea) to the south. Crete covers 260 km from west to east but is narrow from north to south, spanning three longitudes but only half a latitude.


  • The Cretans had as leader Idomeneus, famed for his spear, even they that held Cnosus and Gortys, famed for its walls, Lyctus and Miletus and Lycastus, white with chalk, and Phaestus and Rhytium, well-peopled cities; and all they beside that dwelt in Crete of the hundred cities.
    • Homer, Iliad, II, 645–650 (tr. A. T. Murray)
  • Therein furthermore the famed god of the two strong arms cunningly wrought a dancing-floor like unto that which in wide Cnosus Daedalus fashioned of old for fair-tressed Ariadne. There were youths dancing and maidens of the price of many cattle, holding their hands upon the wrists one of the other. Of these the maidens were clad in fine linen, while. the youths wore well-woven tunics faintly glistening with oil; and the maidens had fair chaplets, and the youths had daggers of gold hanging from silver baldrics. Now would they run round with cunning feet exceeding lightly, as when a potter sitteth by his wheel that is fitted between his hands and maketh trial of it whether it will run; and now again would. they run in rows toward each other. And a great company stood around the lovely dance, taking joy therein; and two tumblers whirled up and down through the midst of them as leaders in the dance.
    • Homer, Iliad, XVIII, 580–609 (tr. A. T. Murray)
  • 'Tis love of thee hath brought me to make so far a sea-course in a bull's likeness; and ere 'tis long thou shalt be in Crete, that was my nurse when I was with her; and there shall thy wedding be, whereof shall spring famous children who shall all be kings among them that are in the earth.
    • Moschus, Europa, 157–166 (tr. J. M. Edmonds)
  • Encyclopedic article on Crete on Wikipedia
  • Media related to Crete on Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionary definition of Crete on Wiktionary
  • Crete travel guide from Wikivoyage