Island Nations

The Minoans came from one place—Crete—as far as evidence shows, yet their influence stretches across the Aegean to mainland Greece. The reconstruction of the palaces at Pylos, Tiryns and Mycenae show similar structural features as did the artwork. The confluence of such occurrences was a result of trade which the Minoans were renowned. The fame of the three city-states mentioned was due to Homer and his tale of the Iliad. The era he spoke of 1300 BCE was 500 years before his time and the three cities were no longer in power.

"Knossos fresco women" by cavorite - Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons -
“Knossos fresco women” by cavorite – Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons –

The Minoans were featured in the Iliad and the king painted in an unfavourable light, a greedy man with anger issues. At this time in Minoan history, the volcano on Thera (Santorini) had erupted and affected the power of this island state. This was the onset of the Bronze Age on Greece and of Mycenaean control even though each region in Greece and Crete had their own kings. The mythology of the period also reflects these changes.

Prior to the eruption, Thera was a thriving island and a major port for traders from east to west, and north to south. It was settled around the same time as Crete, 5000 BCE and its progression was parallel to the Minoans. Akrotiri, a city buried like Pompeii, was well populated, had paved streets, drainage systems and quite prosperous. It had two and three storey houses, storage facilities and pottery which would not be out of place in Minoan Crete. The similarities between the two island nations must have been more than just trade and exchange of ideas.

Mistress of the Animals from Xeste 3 on Thera.
Mistress of the Animals from Xeste 3 on Thera.

The artefacts found on Akrotiri, now in the museum in Thera and Athens, have a strong correlation with those in the Heraklion museum. Is it possible that Thera was an outpost for the Minoans and hence settled by them to control trade route in the Aegean? If an expert in Minoan/ancient history can answer this, please do! I would love to know.

I watched a documentary on the extensive trading between the mainlanders and the islanders, and it was fascinating to learn how influential the Minoans and Thera had been. It is the world’s oldest submerged city, off the Greek coast of Laconia. This was probably where Paris had arrived and departed by ship, taking Helen with him.

City beneath the waves: Pavlopetri
(I could only find 8 minute footage of the documentary but there is a website by the University of Nottingham you can check out with extra videos. Extra exciting too is that Australian’s have invented an ocean scanning device that looks like a torpedo! and takes photos of the ocean floor.)

Thank you for visiting and reading. As always, your comments are valued and welcomed.

Historical fiction novelist and a secondary teacher, Luciana Cavallaro, likes to meander from contemporary life to the realms of mythology and history. Subscribe to her free short story at

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  1. Aquileana

    Excellent introduction to the minoan civilisation…
    I wonder if you are making reference to King Minos when you mention that Homer depicted the king as a
    greedy man with anger issues. I read that there was a previous King called Asterius, though.
    It is amazing to learn that there was even a geographical correlation by then regarding that point… Specifically, the volcano on Thera (Santorini ) which, as you say, had erupted and affected the power of this island state.
    Your hypothesis regarding Thera being an outpost for the Minoans settled with the purpose of controlling the Aegean sounds very interesting… I´ll have to watch the documentary you recommend us give an tentative answer…
    Thanks so much for the post… All my best wishes, cara… Happy weekend. Aquileana ★⭐

    Liked by 1 person

    • cav12

      Thank you, Aquileana!
      If memory serves me, the Minotaur’s name was Asterion, so there may be a connection to King Asterius. The king in Homer’s Iliad wasn’t Minos, it was Idomeneus, his grandson.
      The ties between Thera and Minoan Crete for me are strong, hence my hypothesis. Would be interesting to see if it is true.
      Mille grazie 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Linnea Tanner

    Reblogged this on Apollo's Raven and commented:
    Reblog ETERNAL ATLANTIS by Luciana Cavallaro (@ClucianaLuciana)
    Fascinating post in a continuing series on the Ancient Minoans from Crete. Their influence stretched to mainland Greece due to active trading.

    The ancient civilization of the Minoans was highlighted in Luciana Cavallaro’s recently released historical fantasy, SEARCH FOR THE GOLDEN SERPENT, available at

    Enjoy the post!

    Liked by 1 person

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