Mr. Dyer's Last Lecture on Crete.
Mr. Louis Dyer, M.A., gave the last of his lectures on "Recent Discoveries in Crete" in the Fogg Lecture Room last night, taking as his special subject "Old Knossos and the Labyriuth of Minos." He said in part:
The first point to bear in mind about Crete and Knossos is primarily a geographical one, since the leadership in the Amorgan era and the great maritime empire in the Mycenaean Age were due entirely to the advantageous position of Crete. Thus when commerce and enterprise were fairly under way, Crete found itself nearer to Cyprus and Troy and also nearer to the Delta of the Nile than any other Greek or Aegean land. Crete, then, could be taken as a middle point between Europe, Africa and Asia, and it was made possible for the diffusion of Egyptian germs to be transmitted through Crete into Northern Europe. Hence we need feel no surprise when we note that the first historical datum in the history of the West and the Mediterranean is the tale of the Cretan king, Minos, and of his sea-empire by which piracy was kept in check and the expansion of peaceful commerce fostered.
Everyone associates with Knossos the old legend of the Labyrinth and its Minotaur. The atr cities of this legend however were recognized in Plutarch's day as inventions, due chiefly to Athenian patriotism, which glorified Theseus at the expense of Minos. Nevertheless, Minos is in reality the sole and genuine embodiment of the political greatness achieved in Mycenaean days, just as Daedalus, the architect of Minos, impersonates the marvellous skill in handicrafts and arts that marked the days when Minos ruled the sea. Both of them are strangely metamorphosed by many whimsical legends which bear more or less on Knossian history. It is important to note, however, that the discoveries just made at Knossos indicate the palace at Knossos to have been of earlier date than the strongholds at Tiryns and Mycenae, as Homer intimates, this might be explained by noting that Crete was at the centre while Mycenae and Tiryns were more nearly on the outskirts of Mycenaean civilization, and that Knossos was further back in point of time than either of the other places. There is ample proof at hand to justify this, as all possible comparisons show the more practised and metropolitan skill in Crete and at Knossos.
Seventy-two steriopticon illustrations concluded the lecture.