Do the Ancient Cretans have their own Cretan mythology?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-13 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Culture

Like Niko Vasileas said, we don’t have deciphered writings from the Minoans, so we don’t know for certain much of anything. But:

  • We know the Greeks were Indo-European, and the Minoans likely were not.
  • We know much of Greek mythology has Indo-European content in it.
  • We know some things about Minoan religion from their sculptures and frescoes: Minoan religion. And they don’t look Greek.
  • We suspect there was at least some Mother Goddess stuff going on in Minoan religion. Or at least a lot of stuff involving boobs and snakes.
  • We know there were some faint echoes of something in later Greek mythology, including the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, but also the infancy of Zeus in Crete.

But no, the pre-Greek Cretans would have had their own mythology. The Dorian Cretans would have had Greek mythology, though maybe with some admixture. The people speaking Eteocretan language a thousand years after Minoa may have had Greek mythology, or they may have had syncretism: there is a bilingual Eteocretan–Greek inscription (Dreros 1) in a Delphinium, a temple of Leto, Apollo and Artemis.

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