Crete's demographic and social structure has undergone manifold changes. The features and attributes of each historical period are reflected in Cretan society - over time these have moulded different profiles and social behaviours, some of which are still evident to this day.

For all the progress made in historical research, questions still remain unanswered regarding the number of inhabitants and settlements and the coexistence of different cultures and religions, to say nothing of social organisation and stratification, particularly in periods relatively poor in archival and archaeological testimony, such as the Byzantine era and Arab rule.

A family photograph (Ioannis M. Tzanis Collection)
Crowds in Eleftherias Square (photograph: Ioannis Valergas, Ioannis M. Tzanis Collection)
All the types of Cretan man in 1900, 1900 (R. Behaeddin, Naftilos)
A parade by the Lions' Square, with the Basilica of St. Mark and the Loggia visible in the background, 1907 (R. Behaeddin, Vikelaia Municipal Library, Heraklion)