GORTYS (Heraklion) CRETE

Gortyn, Gortys or Gortyna (Heraklion Prefecture)

Gortys, that was one of the most important cities of Crete, lay 46km south of Heraklion.
The history of the city has its origins in the Minoan era, as testified by the ruins of the 16th century B.C. farmhouse, which has been excavated, but the city flourished particularly during the Roman era. Gortys was the capital of the Roman province of Crete and Cyrenaica.
The most distinctive monuments are the Praetorium (2nd century A.D.), residence of the Roman governor of the province and the Nymphaion (2nd century A.D.), where the Nymphs were worshipped; the temple of Pythian Apollo; the sanctuary of the Egyptian divinities; and the Odeon, where the famous inscription with the laws of Gortyn was found. Plato spoke of these laws, which were written in a Doric dialect and date from the 6th century B.C., with admiration.