Life in Ancient Crete II: Atlantis

Charles Seltman shows how Egyptian memories of Crete and its inhabitants may have given rise to the Platonic legend of the lost island of Atlantis.

Under the careful analysis of archaeologists, making their deductions after the manner of detectives, the history of a great civilization has emerged and Minos himself has ceased to be a shadowy figure. During his reign, or that of some member of his dynasty about the middle of the fifteenth century B.C., a sense of security and of wellbeing probably prevailed among the people of Crete, and one may suppose that the density of population gave them no cause for alarm because a working economic system functioned, and because a large well-organized fleet maintained the first world thalassocracy against every piratical or hostile ship. One measure of the well-being of the Minoans is the amount of time they seemingly were able to devote to the watching of sports. It is natural to mankind, not only to play, but also to watch the play of others, whether games that demand individual effort or team games are taking place. Of the two, the team games have, until our own period, been the rarer, and Minoan bull-baiting may be the earliest of them all.

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