The Name "Heraklion"
The name Heraklion was first used during the 1821 revolution. Its existence as a place name had of course been known since antiquity, and was chosen by the revolutionaries to boost national consciousness and link the revolutionary present to the glorious past. Over the following decades the name was used with increasing frequency by Greek intellectuals, merchants and several locals, until it acquired the official sanction of the Ottoman authorities in the Organic Act of 1869.

In parallel with the new name, ordinary folk did of course continue to use earlier names for the town: Megalo Kastro, Kastro and Chora (the last being a generic term used for Greek island capitals).

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The Haci Ibrahim Aga sebil as seen by the English traveller Robert Pashley, 1834 (Robert Pashley, Historical Museum of Crete, © S.C.H.S, Heraklion)
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