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POIKILASION (Voukoliasi) Greece.

Small city in the Sphakia district on the S coast of W Crete, E of Syia and W of Tarrha. On a small bay cut off from the interior by the White Mountains, it is barely accessible except by sea and has little agricultural land. Little is known of its history; in the 3d c. B.C. it was a member of the league of Oreioi, and its gods are mentioned in the league's treaty with Magas of Kyrene (see Lisos). It is mentioned only by Ptolemy (3.15.3: site wrongly placed E of Tarrha) and a coastal pilot (Stadiasmus 330: Poikilassos, a city with an anchorage and water). No coins can definitely be ascribed to it, and it may never have been an independent city. A Temple of Serapis was consecrated or reconsecrated in the 3d c. A.D.

A few remains of houses survive on ancient terraces on the inland side of the valley at the mouth of the Tripiti gorge, about 1.6 km from the sea; there is now no safe anchorage, but if the relative sea level was some 6 m higher in antiquity there would have been at least a sheltered creek at the river mouth.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

R. Pashley, Travels in Crete II (1837; repr. 1970) 263-64; T.A.B. Spratt, Travels and Researches in Crete II (1865) 244-46; G. De Sanctis, MonAnt 11 (1901) 513-15; J.D.S. Pendlebury, Archaeology of Crete (1939) 371; M. Guarducci, ICr II (1939) 230-32; E. Kirsten, “Orioi,” RE xvIII, 1 (1942) 1063-65; id., “Poikilasion” & “Poikilassos,” ibid. XXI, 1 (1951) 1191; H. van Effenterre, La Crète et le monde grec de Platon à Polybe (1948) 120-26; S. G. Spanakis, Kriti II (nd.) 303-4.

D. J. BLACKMAN

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