(redirected from Cnossos)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Cnossos: Mycenae, Cnossus, Palace of Minos




(both: nŏs`əs), ancient city of Crete, on the north coast, near modern Iráklion. The site was occupied long before 3000 B.C., and it was the center of an important Bronze Age culture. It is from a study of the great palace, as well as other sites in Crete, that knowledge of the Minoan civilizationMinoan civilization
, ancient Cretan culture representing a stage in the development of the Aegean civilization. It was named for the legendary King Minos of Crete by Sir Arthur Evans, the English archaeologist who conducted excavations there in the early 20th cent.
..... Click the link for more information.
 has been drawn. The city was destroyed c.1700 B.C. (possibly by earthquake, perhaps by invasion) and was splendidly rebuilt only to be destroyed again c.1400 B.C., possibly by an earthquake, by invaders from the Greek mainland, or both. This marked the end of Minoan culture. The palace was restored by Sir Arthur EvansEvans, Sir Arthur John,
1851–1941, English archaeologist. He was (1884–1908) keeper of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. From 1900 to 1935 he conducted excavations on the Greek island of Crete, principally at Knossos, and there uncovered the remains of a previously
..... Click the link for more information.
, the English archaeologist who excavated (1900–35) the site. Based on fragmentary evidence, his reconstructions have proved to be controversial, as have the celebrated Knossos frescoes whose fragmentary remains were extensively restored by artists in the 1920s. Knossos later became an ordinary but flourishing Greek city, and it continued to exist through the Roman period until the 4th cent. A.D. In Greek legend it was the capital of King MinosMinos
, in Greek mythology, king of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa. He was the husband of Pasiphaë, who bore him Androgeus, Glaucus, Ariadne, and Phaedra. Because Minos failed to sacrifice a beautiful white bull to Poseidon, the god caused Pasiphaë to conceive a lustful
..... Click the link for more information.
 and the site of the labyrinth. The name also appears as Cnosus and Knossus.


See Sir A. J. Evans, Palace of Minos (4 vol., 1921–35); L. Cottrell, Bull of Minos (1953); L. R. Palmer, A New Guide to the Palace of Knossos (1969); C. Gere, Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism (2009).


, Cnossus
a ruined city in N central Crete: remains of the Minoan Bronze Age civilization
References in periodicals archive ?
Habitat Egeen et reconstitutions; quelques reflexions methodologiques a propos du quartier nordest du palais de Cnossos, in P.
10) As in the tropoi tes epoches (grounds of suspense of judgment) ascribed to Aenesidemus of Cnossos.
Captain John Pendlebury, 36, had been for ten years curator of the Palace of Minos at Cnossos and just before war broke out, in 1939, he had published a book on the archaeology of Crete which, the last time I checked, was still in print.