Classical period
In the 5th and 4th centuries BC Crete avoided involvement in contemporary wars. At the congress called by the Greeks at the Isthmus of Corinth in order to decide how to face the Persians, the Cretans declined to take part in the common war effort. This decision was probably motivated by the political instability and economic problems on the island, though the pretext was a dissuasive Delphic oracle, reminding the Cretansof the woes they had suffered in the Trojan War.

All the same, ties were maintained with the rest of Greece; Knossos in particular had dealings with Argos, Sparta, Athens, Cyprus, Sicily and areas in the Persian Empire. Relations between the towns were limited to short-lived alliances, common cause only ever being made in the face of external danger or internal strife.

In the field of art, stagnation and adherence to the archaic tradition are observed in this period. Several well-known artists left Crete, while production on the island was not exported, sufficing only to cover local demand. Noteworthy artefacts of the period include clay figurines and relief tiles made in casts.



900B.C.  |  800B.C.  |  688B.C.  |  600B.C.  |  481B.C.  |  450B.C.  |  350B.C.  |  336B.C.  |  330B.C.  |  323B.C.  |  62  |  250  |  296  |  304
Young hunter's headstone (Heraklion Archaeological Museum)
Cretan coin from the Classical Period (Historical Archive of Crete, Historical Museum of Crete, S.C.H.S, Heraklion)
Stone bird (Heraklion Archaeological Museum)
900B.C.
800B.C.
688B.C.
600B.C.
481B.C.
450B.C.
350B.C.
336B.C.
330B.C.
323B.C.
62
250
296
304