Tarra, Crete

Tarra, Crete

Tarra is an ancient city of western Crete, near Samaria Gorge, at Agia Roumeli village. It is near the sea, on the hill, on the left bank of the stream bank. It was probably established in the Classical period and was very important religious centre. The city flourished in the Greco-Roman period. There was the cult of Apollo Tarraios. There were found parts of his temple. Tarra in frequently cited in the ancient sources.

Although it was small town, Tarra had its own coins. The coins have the head of Cretan wild goat, arrow, and bee. Tarra had monetary union with Elyros, Yrtakina and Lissos. The coins belong to the 3rd and 2nd century BC, when Tarra became member of the Republic of Cretans. The city had established colony of the same name at Caucasus. It is also believed that Tarra of South Italy was another colony of the city.

In 1415, Buondelmonti detected in the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, an inscription in Greek that was saying: “Peel your shoes, cover your head and come in.” Similar inscription was found at the Temple of Matala. The custom of entering the temple without shoes is ancient. Apollo, after the murder of Python, went to Tarra, where there were done purgatorial rituals by priest Karmanoras. According to Pausanias, Apollo “in the house of Karmanor, Apollo made love with nymph Akakallidi”. The nymph gave birth to twins, Phylakides, and Philanders. A goat fed them. Therefore, the Elyrians presented to Delphi bronze goat feeding to infants. In Tarra, there were glassworks workshops.

Loukillos was from Tarra. He commented on the Argonautics by Apollonios of Rhodes. Chrysothemis, a lyre player, son of Karmanor, who won at the Pythian festival, was from Tarra as well. Tarra is one of the city that signed decree with Eumenes B’ in 170 BC. Pashley was the first who detected the location of the city. In the area, there was found stone stele with inscribed double axe. It is exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Chania.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tharros — For the ancient city in Crete, see Tarra, Crete. Tharros (also spelled Tharras, Greek: polytonic|Θάρρας, Ptol., Tarrae or Tarras) was an ancient city on the west coast of Sardinia, Italy, and is currently an archaeological site near the village… …   Wikipedia

  • List of archaeological sites sorted by country — This is a list of notable archaeological sites sorted by country. For one sorted by continent and time period, see the list of archaeological sites sorted by continent and age.Afghanistan*Buddhas of Bamyan *Haji Piyada mosque in… …   Wikipedia

  • Yrtakina — (Greek Υρτακίνα ) was an ancient city in south west Crete. The city was located between the existing villages Temenia and Papadiana, on Kastri hill, where the ruins of the city are situated. Tthethox believes that Yrtakos was the capital city of… …   Wikipedia

  • South China Sea — Not to be confused with East China Sea. South China Sea A map of t …   Wikipedia

  • Lissos — and Syia was the harbours of the city of Elyros, the most important ancient city of the area, located near the village Rodovani. It was established in the Classical period and flourished until the Late Antiquity. Its name was made certain by… …   Wikipedia

  • Syia — ( Συία in Greek) is an ancient city in south west Crete. It is located in Sougia village, 70 km south of Chania.Like Lissos, Syia was a capacious and safe harbour of Elyros. Strabo calls the town Syba. The name derives probably from the word… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”