Lasithi & Milatos Gaves
The Milatos Cave is situated 2,5 km outside
the village of Milatos on the steep slope of a gorge and has
an area of 2100 sq m. The number of stalactites and stalagmites
in the Milatos Cave is small, but offer a wonderful picture.
The amazing arrangement
of the pillars divides the cave into numerous caverns.
The chapel of Saint Thomas in the cave commemorates the catastrophe
in the year 1823. 3,600 men, women and children sought refuge
in the cave but had to surrender after 15 days and were then
either killed or mistreated or even sold to Egypt as slaves
by the Turkish occupying troops.
LASITHI: CAVES OF SATURN AND JUPITER
In the surrounding country side of Lassithi there are several
caves of archaeological interest, one of which is the Trapeza
cave or cave of Cronos (“Kronion cave”, Kronos
= Saturn, father of Jupiter), east of the village at a height
of 90 metres above the plain, and the other is the Dictaion
Andron or cave of Jupiter, the birthplace of Zeus (and here
was born the King Minos, the son of Jupiter and Europa) according
to Greek Mythology.
DIKTAEO ANTRO = CAVE OF JUPITER
The Dictaeon antro is the place (the cave),
according to ancient writers (Hommer, Plato, Hesiodus etc )
and the legend-delivery,
1) The god Jupiter was born (like the Cave of Bethlehem of
Classical antiquity) and nourished (bring up). His mother Rea
to prevent father Kronos from eating the young successor to
the Olympian Throne hid Zeus in this caves.
2) The Minoan, his son Jupiter and critic of the Hades, came
each nine years and it met his father Jupiter, where his which
dictated his wise legislation, his wise commands, something
as the Moses in term Sjna',
3) Epimenides fell asleep for very a lot of years (somewhere
57). The Cretan Epimenides, the most renowned seer, wonder
- worker and poet of ancient Greece, who was also connected
with the cult of Orphism, "slept" in this cave for
many years and had various divine visions. Epimenides is considered
to have been a historical person.
4) The Jupiter (Zeus) met (brought) Europa and he slept with
her, after him stolen from the Phoenicia (= ancient country),
and born Minos.
The Dictaeon antro is situated on the side of a mountain
above the picturesque plateau of Lassithi at a height of
1025 m. west of the village of Psychro. The legendary birthplace
of Zeus (Jupiter), this cave can be reached by going to the
outskirts of the village of Psichro (48 km. east of Heraklion
and 2 km. west of Agios Nicholaos), where, there is a path
ascending to it.
Dictaeon Cave is overlooking the Lassithi Plateau; the view
from the cave entrance is marvellous.
The cave of Dictaeon andro is not only a famous archaeological
site, and among the most important in prehistoric Greece, but
also one of the most beautiful and impressive of the 3.400
caves on Crete. One can go from the village to the cave on
foot or by mule or donkey, which can be rented from the locals.
A steep path leads to a small level area in front of the narrow
entrance to the cave.
The descent into the fascinating cave demands some caution.
Stalactites of various shapes adorn the lower cave. On the
right there is a small "upper chamber'. At the end an
irregular enclosure formed a kind of temenos with a roughly
paved floor in places. Beside it was a square altar built of
fieldstones. The visitor then descends a steep, slippery passage,
60 m. long, to reach an underground pool and various chambers
with stalactites and stalagmites. One imposing stalactite has
been given the name of the "Mantle of Zeus'.
Archaeologists have uncovered many icons and votive symbols,
confirming that the cave was an important place of worship
during the Minoan era. In the background of the cave is a small
pond, where - according to myth - Zeus bathed and around which
most of the offerings were found.
According to ancient writers, Zeus was born and hidden in
a cave of mountain Dicti (it called “dictaion antro” =
cave of mountain Dicti) by his mother Rea to prevent father
Kronos (Saturn) from eating the young successor to the Olympian
According to Hesiodus (“Theogony” = the gender
of Gods), Zeus parents were Rhea and Kronos (Saturn, time),
the children of Uranus and Gaia (Earth). Kronos intended to
eat Zeus, in order to preserve his kingdom. This had been the
fate of all his brothers and sister. Rhea tried to save Zeus.
So she put a diaper on a stone to fool Kronos, and he swallowed
it, believing it was his son. The Saturn, his father Jupiter,
ate all the children as soon as they were given birth, because
his parents to him had said that is destiny one day somebody
from his children to him to take the power (kingdoms). The
Rhe'a, mother of Jupiter, when she was to give birth Jupiter,
begged her parents, the Ground (= the earth) and Sky, organize
some drawing with which she could slip somewhere far, when
she would give birth Jupiter, in order rescues him from the
Saturn the teeth. These they obeyed also him they sent Jupiter
his medium darkness of rapid night in the city Ly'kto of Crete
and from there in term Dicti, where she gave birth Jupiter.
Of course as soon as the Rhe'a gave birth Jupiter, she touched
with her hand and hid him in abrupt and hidden from the vegetation
cavern. However some moment learned the Saturn details (results)
and he came in the Dicti and asked to see the child. The Rhe'a
knowing his intentions Saturn bided (dressed) a rock and gave
in the Saturn, which immediately eaten (devoured), believing
that it is the Jupiter and which later vomited (rejected) in
the Parnassus. When grew the Jupiter, he murdered with the
enormous force of his hands his father and became the same
father of gods and persons, immortals and mortals, in Olympus.
According to the other ancient writers, newer Hesio'dos: ¢ratos,
Dio'doros Sikelio'ti, Virgilius etc when the Re'a gave birth
Jupiter in the mountain Dicti in Crete, delivered him conceitedly
in there Diktaean Kuri'tes, in one hand order to him they hide,
because his father ate his children, and in other hand they
attend his upbringing. They him hid in a cavern of Dicti, called "Diktaeon ¢ntro" .
The Nymphs Adrasti and Ida raised Zeus, feeding him wild honey,
milk (from the goat Amalthia), ambrosia, nectar and royal pulp.
When Zeus cried, the Kourites covered his cries by hitting
their swords against their shields.
When the Jupiter grew and became god and in particular head
of gods of Olympus of (Olympic Pantheon) immediately visited
his mother country Dicti and she built there a city (it is
not reported who), sample of his love for this. Since then
in deed he did not omit visits the Dicti each year.
In the Diktaian Cave the divine infant was suckled by the
goat-nymph Amaltheia, who was a daughter of Oceanus. Also the
nymphs and her father was King Melissaios (= the father of
bees). Out of gratitude Zeus later set an image of her among
the stars, the image that became known as Capricorn. He also
took one of her horns the famous Horn of Plenty.
According to myths, Zeus was reared in the Diktaian Cave by
bees or doves, and even by a sow. According to Athenaios it
was owing to this belief of the Cretans that they never ate
pork. Here, too, there must have been some totemic connection
between the tribe and pigs. The god's upbringing was closely
connected with the nine Kouretes, the sons of Gaia, the Earth-goddess.
The Kouretes were the first to tame animals, invent the bow
and teach men to live in peace together. They were worshipped
all over Greece, but especially in Crete, and chiefly by the
ZEUS AND EUROPE
One tradition also holds that it was here (at Lassithi, Dictaean
cave), and too at Gortyn, that Zeus coupled with the lovely
princess, Europa. Son of Jupiter and Europe was Minos or Minoas.
Minos, a famous see man (Captain) and lawgiver, went down the
Diktaean cave to receive the laws of Zeus.
Milatos, Crete , Greece