(now also Kaloi Limniones) Kainourgio District, Crete.
A bay on the S coast
of Crete, 7 km E of Cape Lithinon, 2 km W of Lasaia
and 10 km W of Lebena; the bay is well protected from
the sudden N winds and offers good anchorage except
from the SE winds of winter; offshore islands provide
protection from the SW.
The site is famous only for the visit of St. Paul on his
voyage to Rome in ca. A.D. 47 (Acts 27:8); one of the
offshore islands is known as St. Paul's Island. The words
used in Acts (“we came to a place called Fair Havens,
near which is the city of Lasaia”) make it clear that Fair
Havens was not a city but a locality, and imply that it
was in the territory of Lasaia, which seems certain. The
point is confirmed by the Stadiasmus
(322), which mentions Halai (= Lasaia) but not Kaloi Limenes.
On the promontory hill which bears the chapel of St.
Paul and encloses the bay from the W, a considerable
scatter of sherds attests occupation in the Roman and
Late Roman periods. There is no visible evidence of
earlier occupation, and no remains of harbor installations
in the bay except to the E at Lasaia. Just NW of the
modern village, on a rounded hill, stand the foundations
of a Roman farmstead with an enclosure wall, and close
by to the NW are two Early Minoan tholos tombs and
traces of a Minoan and Roman settlement.
Farther inland from Kaloi Limenes are considerable
remains of occupation of the Minoan and Graeco-Roman
periods. The remains are concentrated in the valley of a
stream which runs W from Pigaidakia in the Asterousia
mountains past the deserted villages of Gavaliana and
Yialomonochoro, and then, joined by a tributary running
S from the Odigitria Monastery, turns S past the chapel
of Hag. Kyriaki and reaches the sea 2 km W of Kaloi
Limenes, through the gorge of Agiopharango.
Besides a number of isolated farmsteads of the Minoan
and Roman periods, there are important groups of Early
Minoan tombs and Early to Late Minoan settlements at
Hag. Kyriaki and at Megaloi Skoinoi to the NE. At Hag.
Kyriaki there are also considerable remains of a settlement of the late 5th to 1st c. B.C.; remains can be distinguished of a large courtyard house and a (probably
public) building (over 18 x 8 m). On the opposite (E)
bank of the stream is a farmstead with an enclosure wall,
occupied in the Roman and Late Roman periods, and
just to the N a settlement of the Hellenistic and Roman
periods. A clay tablet inscribed with a dedication to
Asklepios was found at Hag. Kyriaki.
The area seems to have had little or no occupation
between the end of the Bronze Age and the late 5th c.
B.C., and from the Late Roman period until after the
Arab occupation of Crete (824-961).
T.A.B. Spratt, Travels and Researches
II (1865) 1-7I
; Bürchner, “Kaloi Limenes” RE
10, 2 (1919) 1756-57; J. Sakellarakis, Deltion
3, 562-64; St. Alexiou, Deltion
2, 482-84; C. Davaras, Deltion
2, 405-6; D. J. Blackman & K. Branigan, “An
archaeological survey on the south coast of Crete,” BSA
; see also Brit. Adm. Chart 1633M
Asklepios dedication: M. Guarducci, ICr
I, 106 no. 3.
D. J. BLACKMAN