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KALOI LIMENES (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 in Crete II (1865) 1-7I; Bürchner, “Kaloi Limenes” RE 10, 2 (1919) 1756-57; J. Sakellarakis, Deltion 20 (1965) Chronika 3, 562-64; St. Alexiou, Deltion 22 (1967) Chronika 2, 482-84; C. Davaras, Deltion 23 (1968) Chronika 2, 405-6; D. J. Blackman & K. Branigan, “An archaeological survey on the south coast of Crete,” BSA forthcomingMPI; see also Brit. Adm. Chart 1633M; Asklepios dedication: M. Guarducci, ICr I, 106 no. 3.


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