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SOULIA or Soulena (Agia Galini), Crete.

A small ancient city on S coast of Crete in the Agios Vasileios district. Mentioned only by a coastal pilot (Stad. 324-25: a harbor with good water), it was the harbor of inland Sybrita; no coins of it are known. Its main deity was Artemis.

Remains, including an aqueduct, were noted by Buondelmonti at “Suveta” (1415); Halbherr confirmed the site's identification, first suggested by Pashley. When the site was reoccupied and rebuilt after 1884, remains were found of the sanctuary of Artemis (and many votive inscriptions to her), but no clear ground plan was recovered. All remains found were of Roman Imperial date, but the sanctuary could be of earlier origin. Halbherr also noted traces, not now visible, of poor buildings, perhaps ancient houses, around the sanctuary, which lies in a small coastal valley at the mouth of a stream, and tombs have been found above to the NE and E, but no traces of other public buildings. Near the shore are remains of a Roman concrete wall, probably a quay or seawall. The main settlement, or part of it, may have lain on a hill ca. 1 km NE of Agia Galini, on the W side of the mouth of the Platis (ancient Elektra), where sherds have been found on the top and E slope of the hill.

Remains of an ancient wreck have been found in shallow water by Cape Kakoskalo, E of Agia Galini and near Kokkinos Pirgos; the finds were mainly bronze objects, including statuettes and statue fragments, with a coin hoard probably dating from the reign of Probus (276-282). The collection was either the stock in trade of an itinerant smith or a pirate's haul.


R. Pashley, Travels in Crete II (1837; repr. 1970) 303-4; F. Halbherr, AJA 11 (1896) 593-94; G. de Sanctis, MonAnt 11 (1901) 535-39; Honigmann, “Sulia,” RE IV A1 (1931) 727; M. Guarducci, ICr II (1939) 278-88; E. Kirsten in F. Matz (ed.), Forschungen auf Kreta (1951) 136-37; S. Hood & P. Warren, BSA 61 (1966) 167-69MI.


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