Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenaean, and Archaic Greek Mythology

The Cyclades and Crete

What was the nature of Minoan cultural contacts with Greece?

The Minoan contact with the Greeks and pre-Greeks (sometimes called Pelasgians) of the mainland and Anatolia were more frequent and more direct. The Greek language would eventually become the language of Crete, and Crete would become important in Greek mythology. The Mycenaean Greeks would bring their version of the Greek pantheon to Crete and were themselves influenced by certain aspects of Minoan religion and mythology. The Greeks, in fact, had a fascination with Crete and its palaces—especially the great one at Knossos—and developed a whole mythology with the island as the setting. That mythology, particularly the stories related to Theseus, the Labyrinth, and the Minotaur, and the familiar stories of Daedalus and Icarus may have had some connection with the history of rivalry and warfare between the Mycenaeans and the Minoans.


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