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July 27, 2007

Road Trip Day #8: Gortyn

Just outside of Agii Deka was our next stop, the ancient site of Gortyn.

This features two monuments of great importance to the history of the island.


One is the extremely early Gortyn Cathedral, which dates from the 6th century. It is thought that it is built upon the site of an earlier Christian church, and since Gortyna was the old Roman capital of the island it is generally believed that St Paul would have visited the site. And if you've been foloowing our travels a while you'll know I am a bit partial to a bit of Saint Paul.


It was on Paul's visit to Crete that he left Titus behind as the fist bishop to found the Cretan Church, and the 6th century cathedral is named after him.

The second important find on the site is a legal code from the Dorian era inscribed into a series of stone tablets. The translations find that the law then was seemingly as mundane as it is now, concerning itself with matters of property, neighbourly disputes and D.I.V.O.R.C.E.


We didn't stay on the site very long, chiefly because it was so hot, and although we saw the theatre, we opted out of the 1km trek up the hill to see the remains of the acropolis.


Lazy, I know, but we'd already crammed in a lot of old relics on the trip, and we wanted to press on for lunch in Matala.

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