New book: The Creativity of Crete. City States and the Foundations of the Modern World by Malcolm Cross
Oxford, Signal Books in association with the Greengage Press, 31 October 2011
It is rare to find a book on ancient Greece that is written by anyone other than a classicist, archaeologist or ancient historian. In this innovative new book, Malcolm Cross, a social scientist, re-examines the evidence on ancient Crete from the 7th to the 1st centuries BCE, a period that is normally glossed over as one of ‘cultural exhaustion’ following the Great Island’s illustrious Minoan past.
What the author shows is that Crete’s achievements during this period cannot be so lightly disregarded. Starting with the probable invention of the ‘city-state’ concept in the middle of the 7th century, Crete quickly evolved the rule of written law, most notably in the famous ‘Great Code’ at Gortyn dating from the early 5th century, but also at Gortyn and elsewhere on the island from an earlier period.