After Cnossus, the city Gortyna seems to have held the second place in rank and power. For when these cities acted in concert they held in subjection all the rest of the inhabitants, and when they were at variance there was discord throughout the island; and whichever party Cydonia espoused, to them she was a most important accession. The city of the Gortynians lies in a plain, and was perhaps anciently protected by a wall, as Homer also intimates,
it lost afterwards its walls, which were destroyed from their foundation, and it has remained ever since without walls; for Ptolemy Philopator, who began to build a wall, proceeded with it to the distance only of about 8 stadia. Formerly the building occupied a considerable compass, extending nearly 50 stadia It is distant from the African sea, and from Leben its mart, 90 stadia. It has also another arsenal, Matalum.2 It is distant from that 130 stadia. The river Lethæus3 flows through the whole of the city.
“ and Gortyna, a walled city;1”Il. ii. 646.