Gortys

Location:  HERAKLION, HERAKLION
GORTYS 2 STATUE AGIOS ISIDAS NAOS PITHIOU APOLLONA ODEIO
GORTYS 3 GORTINAS GORTYS 1

Details:
Gortyn was first inhabited at the end of the Neolithic period (3000 B.C.) and flourished much later, in the Late Minoan period (1600-1100 B.C.), when the villa with the shrine was founded at the site of Kannia, near Metropolis.

Remains of the Archaic habitation (7th century B.C.) were located in the area of the Acropolis, while the large inscription, the Gortyn Law Code, dated to the 5th century B.C., attests the prosperity of the city, which continued until the Hellenistic period (3rd-2nd century B.C.).

Gortyn became an ally of Rome and during the Roman period (1st-5th centuries A.D.) reached the peak of its prosperity as the capital of the province of Crete and Cyrene. Here, Apostle Titus preached Christianity and in A.D. 250 the Ten Saints martyred. In A.D. 824 the city, which had become the seat of an Archbishop, was destroyed by the Arabs
The archaeological sites of Gortys are found in the plain of Messaras, between Agioe Deka and Metropolis, 45,5 km away from Herakleion. Italian archaeologists discovered the remnants of a Minoan house of 16th B.C.. This dorian town was built on the banks of Lethaus river. Gorthys is mentioned by Plato in the Laws. Plato admires it for its good laws. These laws are written on plates which are walled up in some buildings of the town. They date back to the 6th cent. B.C. and include civil, family laws etc.

They are written in the Dorian dialect. In the ancient times Gorthys had two ports, Leviena and Matala. The inhabitants of Gortys showed hostility against Knossos. They had friendly relationships with Ptolemys of Egypt. They had also helped Roman to occupy Crete. As a result their town was not destroyed by the Roman coin to Metelo in 68 B.C. Gortys, thus, flourished during the Roman Times, and became the capital of Crete. In the Byzantine times it went on flourishing, but Saracens destroyed it in 824 A.D.
The archaeological sites of Gortys are found in the plain of Messaras, between Agioe Deka and Metropolis, 45,5 km away from Herakleion. Italian archaeologists discovered the remnants of a Minoan house of 16th B.C.. This dorian town was built on the banks of Lethaus river. Gorthys is mentioned by Plato in the Laws. Plato admires it for its good laws. These laws are written on plates which are walled up in some buildings of the town. They date back to the 6th cent. B.C. and include civil, family laws etc. They are written in the Dorian dialect. In the ancient times Gorthys had two ports, Leviena and Matala. The inhabitants of Gortys showed hostility against Knossos. They had friendly relationships with Ptolemys of Egypt. They had also helped Roman to occupy Crete. As a result their town was not destroyed by the Roman coin to Metelo in 68 B.C. Gortys, thus, flourished during the Roman Times, and became the capital of Crete. In the Byzantine times it went on flourishing, but Saracens destroyed it in 824 A.D.

The temple of Pythia Apollo The statiou of the ancient Gothinas The place was excavated by Italian archaeologists who revealed: The citadel on the hill where archaic remnants were found. The theatre is found on the southern side of the hill. The Praetorian. It was the seat of the Roman administrator, built in the 2nd century A.D. The temple of Pythia Apollo, to the west of Praetorion, was constructed in the 7th cent. B.C.. In the 2nd cent. B.C., a narthex was added (with six dorian demicolumns ). The temples of the Egyptian Gods were found to the north of Apollos temple.

Other sights are: the remnants of a fountain, the amphitheatre, the stadium. Most of the buildings date back to the 2nd century B.C.. The remnants of the Market, the temple of Aesculapius, the music school were also found. The famous laws of Gorthys, which are walled up, are nowadays protected by a construction made of brick.

 

 

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