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Crete's Lasithi Prefecture Overview continued Page Two

ancient ports to troyIn ancient times Milatos had been an important city mentioned by Homer in the Iliad as one of the seven Cretan cities that had sent soldiers to Troy. There are at least a couple of versions in mythology about King Minos' brother Sarpedon, with different reasons for his having left Crete for Asia Minor, where he founded the city of Miletus (whose name is almost the same as that of the city he left behind in Crete).

Though many will take the paved road from here toward Neapolis, there are old dirt roads that go there as well, and others around the Aghios Ioannis peninsula. Neapolis was the old capital of Lasithi province before Aghios Nikolaos. It is a pleasant town with almond groves and a green central square, as well as a museum (open Tues-Sun 10am-1pm and 6-9pm) with traditional craft items and some finds from Dreros. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum houses the hammered bronze statues (the oldest in Greece) found there in a seventh-century BC Temple of Apollo Dhelphinios (one of the oldest temples found in Greece). The name 'Dhelphinios' comes from the cult surrounding Apollo in the form of a dolphin (dhelfini), which was the form he took when guiding sailors. The delphic cult existed in Miletus in Asia Minor, echoing the story about King Minos' brother who had gone there to found that city. Found in the same temple were Eteocretan inscriptions (Minoan words in Greek letters).

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