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PHALASARNA (τὰ Φαλάσαρνα : Eth. Φαλασάρνιος), a town of Crete, situated on the NW. side of the island, a little S. of the promontory Cimarus or Corycus, described by Dicaearchus as having a closed--up port and a temple of Artemis called Dictynna. Strabo says that Phalasarna was 60 stadia from Polyrrhenia, of which it was the port-town; and Scylax observes that it is a day's sail across from Lacedaemon to the promontory of Crete, on which is Phalasarna, being the first city to the west of the island. (Strab. x. pp. 474, 479; Scylax, pp. 17, 18; Dicaearch. Descrip. Graec. 119; Steph. B. sub voce Plin. Nat. 4.12. s. 20.) The Cydonians had at [p. 2.587]one time taken possession of Phalasarna, but were compelled by the Romans to give it up. (Plb. 23.15.)

There are considerable remains of the walls of Phalasarna. They exist in a greater or less degree of preservation, from its northern side, where it seems to have reached the sea, to its south-western point, cutting off the acropolis and the city along with it as a small promontory. There are other remains, the most curious of which is an enormous chair on the SW. side of the city, cut out of the solid rock; the height of the arms above the seat is 2 feet 11 inches, and its other dimensions are in proportion. It was no doubt dedicated to some deity, probably to Artemis. Near this chair there are a number of tombs, hewn in the solid rock, nearly 30 in number. (Pashley, Travels in Crete, vol. ii. p. 62, seq.)

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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Polybius, Histories, 23.15
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 4.12
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