Candia, Or Crete(anc. Greta). I. An island forming the southern limit of the Grecian archipelago, lying between the Morea on the N". W., Asia Minor on the N". E., and Africa on the S., and constituting the Turkish vilayet of Ghirit. It extends from E. to "W. about 160 m., across three fourths of the breadth of the AEgean, which is entered on the western side of the island by the channel or strait of Ceri-gotto, and on the eastern by the strait of Scar-panto; average breadth, 20 m.; area, about 3,300 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 270,000, of whom 200,000 were Christians, 60,000 Mohammedans, 2,000 Jews, and the rest foreigners, chiefly French, Italians, and Austrians. The Mohammedans, Jews, and foreigners generally live in the cities, and the Christians in the villages. Throughout its entire length, it is nearly centrally ridged by a chain of mountains, which send off to the south spurs terminating in bluffs, rendering the S. coast inhospitable; while to the north the spurs gradually slope to a low coast, forming several tolerable harbors, of which the principal are Canea, Retimo, Candia, and Suda, the last mentioned being the best the island affords, and the station for all foreign men-of-war. The mountain chain of Can-dia is naturally divided into three parts: the eastern, or ancient Dictsean mountains, now called Sitia; the western, or ancient Leuci (white) mountains, now the Sphakiote mountains; and the "central chain, anciently called Ida, whose middle and principal peak is now known as the Psiloriti, rising to a height of 8,000 ft. above the sea.
The coasts are very irregular, and are deeply indented by the spurs of the mountain chain. The mountains, of calcareous formation, abound in caverns and grottoes. In this island was the famous labyrinth of the Minotaur, which was probably one of these grottoes, rendered more intricate by the art of Daedalus, under the directions of Minos. Some travellers have placed this labyrinth in the neighborhood of ancient Gortyna, S. E. of Mount Ida. Cape Matala, the southern point of the island, is the most southern land of Europe. Candia can scarcely be said to have any rivers, the watershed of the mountains not exceeding 15 m. in breadth either way to the sea. In the rainy season torrents are precipitated from the mountains, but they dry up in the summer, and the only resources for the irrigation of the land are the small springs which abound among the hills. The island is nevertheless tolerably fertile, but not more than one third of the arable land is cultivated. The neglect of agriculture is owing to the idleness of the people and the many holidays they keep. The farm implements are of the rudest kind; and of wheat, barley, oats, cotton, and corn, not enough is raised for home consumption.
The products of the ground for exportation are olives, raisins, figs, almonds, chestnuts, oranges, lemons, and other fruits requiring little cultivation. But much attention is paid to silk raising; the silk is of superior quality, and, with cocoons and silkworm eggs, is exported in considerable quantities, principally to Austria and France. There is good pasturage among the hills, and large numbers of goats and sheep are raised, but comparatively few cattle, mules, and horses. The climate is mild and generally healthy, with the exception of those portions of the valleys not readily drained, which in the summer months are extremely unhealthy. Leprosy is the only endemic. The thermometer ranges from 60° to 70° F., in extreme instances rising to 88°. The N. wind (called by the natives ebnat) tempers the summer heat. The peaks of the mountains, especially in the western and central part of the chain, are covered with snow for three fourths of the year. Among the numerous birds of beautiful plumage and song is the kajabulbul, which is so much esteemed in Turkey as to command a price of $100. Many of the trees and shrubs are aromatic. The commerce of Candia is chiefly in the hands of Turks, and very few Greek merchants are engaged in foreign trade.
The Cretans in 1871 owned 28 vessels of small size, employed only in coast trade and in carrying fruit to Turkish and Greek ports, and the foreign freights are wholly in foreign vessels. The commerce for the year ending Sept. 30, 1870, at the ports of Candia, Canea, and Retimo, was: imports, $2,014,760; exports, $2,340,200. There are four silk factories, manufactories for bags, cotton shirtings, and towellings, and 36 soap factories, which in 1871 made 600 tons of soap. - Crete was originally settled by Phrygians, Pelasgians, and Phoenicians, and so populous in early times that Homer spoke of it as the island " of a hundred cities" (eKaTdfiiroTas). The legends of Minos, whose power swayed the island and the surrounding seas, are part of the numerous traditions referring to its remote antiquity. About 1000 B. C. Crete was conquered by the Dorians, who had occupied the Peloponnesus. They founded in the island a number of independent republics, whose constitutions closely resembled those of Sparta, and of which Cnossus in the northeast, Cydonia in the northwest, and Gortyna in the south were the most prominent. In later times democracy supplanted the Dorian institutions, and the Cretans became proverbially degenerate.
They preserved, however, their renowned ability as archers, serving as mercenaries in foreign armies. The island was conquered by the Romans in 67 B. C. In the partition of the empire, Crete fell to the East, and was held till about A. D. 823, when it was taken by the Saracens, who retained its possession till 961, when it was reconquered by Nicephorus Phocas. On the conquest of Constantinople by the crusaders, it was allotted to Boniface, marquis of Montferrat, who sold it to the Venetians, Aug. 12, 1204: The Venetians ruled the island with ability and rigor, and successfully defended it against the Genoese, and for a long time also against the Turks. After various attempts and long sieges, however, it was occupied by the latter toward the close of the 17th century, the capital, Candia, having succumbed in 1669. In the west alone, the Sphakiote mountaineers continued to defend their independence. The island was devastated and impoverished by oppression and futile attempts at insurrection, especially in 1821. It was ceded to the viceroy of Egypt in 1830, and was restored to the Porte in 1841. A new insurrection broke out in 1858, and in 1866 began an almost general struggle of the Christian population against Turkish rule.
In 1867 there were several important engagements between Omer Pasha, commanding the Turks, and the insurgents, and vigorous fighting at intervals from April to September, when, by order of the Turkish government, hostilities were suspended for four weeks. The Turkish grand vizier, Aali Pasha, arrived on the island Oct. 4, 1867, and proclaimed amnesty. The insurgents protested against amnesty, and demanded an international commission of inquiry and universal suffrage. Hostilities were renewed even before the expiration of the armistice. During the year attempts were' made by negotiation to settle the difficulties. In January Mussulman and Christian delegates went, by order of the sultan, to Constantinople, to express the wishes of the people; but they effected nothing, and on May 3 went back to Crete, leaving a protest to the great powers. In June a collective note from France, Russia, Prussia, and Italy urged a suspension of hostilities, and an inquiry into the grievances of Crete by a joint commission of the powers and the Porte; but the Turkish government refused the proposal.
Another collective note from the same powers (Oct. 29) urged the same advice, and the English and Austrian ministers addressed separate notes advising liberal concessions to the Cretans. The Cretan assembly (November) asked for exemption for several years from imposts, establishment of banks to develop and foster agriculture, and other measures, all of which the Turkish government granted (Dec. 11). The grand vizier was recalled from Crete lFeb. 11, 1868, and made an elaborate report on the insurrection. During that struggle the Greeks generally sympathized with the Cretans, which led to a grave complication between Turkey and Greece, afterward settled by a conference of the great powers meeting in Paris, Jan. 9,1869. Finally, under the pressure of the great powers in favor of Turkey, the Cretan insurrection came to a close. The insurgent leaders submitted to the Turkish government in February, 1869; the Greek patriarch, in a pastoral, urged the Christian Cretans to peace; the island became tranquil, and the Porte in March reopened all the ports of Crete. - Since the last insurrection Candia, forming a vilayet, is governed by a pasha, who is military and civil governor, and has two councillors, one Turk and one Christian. It is divided into five provinces, viz.: Canea, under the immediate supervision of the governor general; Retimo and Candia, under Turkish pashas with one Christian councillor to each; and Sphakia and Lasiti, under Christian pashas with one Turkish councillor to each.
The provinces are divided into 20 districts or kaimakamlics, each of which sends to the general assembly four members, who are elected by the people. The assembly sits annually for 40 days, and is presided over by the governor general. The monthly expenses for civil service are 1,500,000 piastres, and the number of paid civil officials is 1,500. The military force consists of 16,000 regulars, stationed in the forts and blockhouses built since the insurrection on the smaller mountains, or near mountain passes, and a gendarmerie of 2,000 mounted men, who are couriers and patrols on the roads, and 3,000 men stationed in the towns and villages. The eight forts on the island built by the Venetians are in a dilapidated condition; a fort is now building (1873) on an island in Suda bay; and the naval force at this station consists of one frigate, two corvettes, and three steamers, under the command Of a rear admiral. The prevailing religion is that of the Greek church, with an archbishop and six bishops. - See Hock's Kreta (Gottin-gen, 1823); Sieber's Seise riach der Inset Kreta (Leipsic, 1823); Pashley's "Travels in Crete" (2 vols. 8vo, London, 1837); Capt. Spratt's " Travels and Researches in Crete " (London, 1865); Melena, Die Insel Creta unter der Ot-tomanischen Verwaltung (Vienna, 1867); and Bolanachi and Fazy, Histoire de Crete (2 vols., Paris, 1869). II. A town, called by the Greeks Megalocastron, formerly the capital of the island, on the N. coast, 30 m.
E. of Retimo and 60. m. E. by S. of Canea; pop. about 16,000, of whom more than half are Mohammedans. It is the seat of the Greek archbishop, and contains several churches, convents, and mosques, one of the latter being named after St. Catharine. The port is poor, and is so choked with sand that vessels of deep draught cannot enter. The fortifications, which are' massive, are of Venetian construction, and ruins and other relics of Venetian sway in Candia are numerous. The streets are wide, paved, and shaded by trees; the houses, though not generally more than one story high above the ground floor,.are well built, and fountains and fine gardens are frequent. There are some silk and cotton factories, but soap is the chief manufacture, and employs in its preparation a large part of the oil produced on the island. Candia is connected by telegraph with Rhodes, Mitylene, Cyprus, and the mainland. Not far from the town are the ruins of ancient Cnos-sus. The Saracens founded Candia about 823, but for more than four centuries the Venetians had possession of it. In 1648 the city, then containing more than four times its present population, was blockaded by the Turks. It was assaulted, but in vain, in 1649 and in 1656, and the blockade was continued till 1667, when a regular siege began.
During that period the Venetians were reenforced by auxiliaries from the order of Malta, the pope, the duke of Savoy, and Louis XIV.; but in September, 1669, having exhausted every resource, they surrendered. In the last three years of the blockade and siege about 30,000 Christians and 70,000 Turks were killed.