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Home > Catalog > |Greek Coins| > |Geographic - All Periods| > |Greece| > |Crete| > GB87205
Knossos, Crete, Alliance with Gortys, c. 220 B.C.
Europa riding a bull is the symbol of Gortyna and the labyrinth is the symbol of Cnossus. An alliance of Cnossus and Gortys, formed c. 220 B.C., took control of all of Crete, except for the Spartan colony of Lyttos. Cnossus and its allies moved against Lyttos, but for some unknown reason the Cretans began to quarrel. Polyrrhenia, Lappa, and some other cities defected to Lyttos. In Gortys the citizens were divided, the elder Gortynians remained loyal to Cnossus, while the younger Gortynians favored Lyttos. Perhaps this coin was struck at this time to help regain Gortynian support. While the Cnossians were occupied at Gortys, the mass of the Lyttian warriors left their city to invade the enemy territory. The Cnossians learned of their plan, attacked undefended Lyttos, captured all the women and children, and razed the city to the ground. The Lyttian warriors abandoned their devastated city and settled in Lappa. The war continued for several years, but the further history is lost. We do know it favored Cnossus' enemies. The Lyttians eventually returned to their territory and rebuilt their city on a nearby hill.Crete
GB87205. Bronze AE 19, cf. BMC Crete p. 9, 36 ff.; Svoronos Numismatique 118 ff.; SNG Cop 378 f.; Lindgren II 1721; SGCV I 3228, F, green patina, tight flan, earthen deposits, obverse die wear, uneven weak obverse strike, Knosos (Heraklion, Crete, Greece) mint, weight 6.219g, maximum diameter 19.3mm, c. 220 B.C.; obverse Europa seated facing aside a bull prancing left, her veil billowing out above her head, two small dolphins confronted below, border of rays; reverse KNΩΣINΩN (or similar), possibly with a star between K and N, Labyrinth; SOLD










REFERENCES|

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