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LYTTOS (Xydas) Pedhiadha, Crete.

An important Classical and Roman city ca. 25 km SE of Herakleion. Although said by Polybios to be the most ancient (Dorian) town of Crete, the earliest material from the site is of the archaic period. The city rose to prominence in the 4th c. and was occupied by Knossos in 343 B.C. When Lyttos resisted the Knossian conquest of the rest of the island in 221-219 B.C. it was captured and razed. Subsequently rebuilt, the city was again overwhelmed when it resisted the Roman occupation. The city is situated on a hill with three small peaks, the largest of which seems to have formed the acropolis. At the foot of this acropolis hill the theater probably stood, built into the slope of the hill. Fragmentary remains of houses have been noted on the S slopes of the remaining two hills, and on the peak of the W hill are traces of a substantial structure which might have been a temple. Traces of the aqueduct which brought its water supply from Kournia can still be found. The port for Lyttos was Chersonisos. Two marble statues from the site (of Marcus Aurelius and Trajan) are in the Herakleion museum.


Diod. Sic. 16.62; Polyb. 4.53-55; T. B. Spratt, Travels and Researches in Crete (1865) I 89-94; A. Taramelli, “Richerche archeologiche cretesi,” MonAnt 9 (1899) 387M; M.S.F. Hood & J. Boardinan, “Archaeology in Greece, 1955,” Archaeological Reports (1956) 30.


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    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 16.62
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