Crete ((ギリシア語:Κρήτη), ' (:'kriti); Ancient Greek: , ''Krḗtē'') is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete (), one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece. The capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065.
Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry and music). It was once the center of the Minoan civilization (), which is currently regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe.〔(Ancient Crete ) Oxford Bibliographies Online: Classics〕
The island is first referred to as ''Kaptara'' in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC,〔Stephanie Lynn Budin, ''The Ancient Greeks: An Introduction'' (New York: Oxford UP, 2004), 42.〕 repeated later in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible (''Caphtor''). It was also known in ancient Egyptian as ''Keftiu'', strongly suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island.〔O. Dickinson, ''The Aegean Bronze Age'' (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 1994), 241-244.〕
The current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words , ''ke-re-te'' (
*''Krētes''; later Greek: , plural of ),〔Found on the PY An 128 tablet.〕 and , ''ke-re-si-jo'' (
*''Krēsijos''; later Greek: ),〔Found on the PY Ta 641 and PY Ta 709 tablets.〕 "Cretan".〔(【引用サイトリンク】website=Palaeolexicon. Word-study tool for ancient languages )〕〔, .〕 In Ancient Greek, the name Crete () first appears in Homer's Odyssey.〔Book 14, line 199; Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, ''A Greek-English Lexicon''〕 Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luvian word ''
*kursatta'' (cf. ''kursawar'' "island", ''kursattar'' "cutting, sliver").〔Edwin L. Brown, "Linear A on Trojan Spindlewhorls, Luvian-Based ϜΑΝΑΞ at Cnossus", in ''Qui miscuit utile dulci: Festschrift Essays for Paul Lachlan MacKendrick'', eds., Gareth Schmeling, Jon D. Mikalson, 1998, p. 62.〕 In Latin, it became ''Creta''.
The original Arabic name of Crete was ''Iqrīṭiš'' ((アラビア語:اقريطش) < , but after the Emirate of Crete's establishment of its new capital at ''Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq'' (modern Iraklion), both the city and the island became known as (Khandhax) or (Khandhakas), which gave Latin and Venetian ''Candia'', from which were derived French ''Candie'' and English ''Candy'' or ''Candia''. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called ''Girit'' .
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