CODEX Entry 3204: Crete


Crete was the centre of Europe’s first advanced civilization, the Minoan, c. 2700–1420 BC. This civilization wrote in the undeciphered script known as Linear A. Early Cretan history indicates that Zeus (Baal in the Canaanite Pantheon) fell madly in love with the human daughter, or possibly grand daughter, of the Phoenician demi-god King Agenor. Zeus gave her the name Europa, and it is from her that the name of the European continent is sourced. In Crete Zeus would visit Europa regularly where she was married to the King of Crete, Asterion. With Zeus, she conceived King Minos who, in turn, gave birth to the deranged Minotaur that was locked up and fed young children. The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women fr. 140, says of Zeus’ establishment of Europa in Crete: “… he made her live with Asterion the king of the Cretans. There she conceived and bore three sons, Minos, Sarpedon and Rhadamanthys.” The volcanic eruption of Thera may have been the cause of the downfall of the Minoan civilization, it was the largest eruption on Earth in the past 4000 years. In 1420 BC the Mycenaean civilization invaded from mainland Greece.