The House of the Double Axe: The Palace at Knossos

The House of the Double Axe: The Palace at Knossos

The House of the Double Axe: The Palace at Knossos

The House of the Double Axe: The Palace at Knossos

Excerpt

Few modern travelers, in these breathless days of rapid transit by plane or motor car, have either the time or the opportunity to wander on foot and alone over a Greek island. A visitor from Athens to Crete can be whisked there in a matter of minutes, only seventy-five, unless his plane encounters head winds. Fifty years ago this would not have been possible. Then, like Sir Arthur Evans or his predecessor, Heinrich Schliemann, he would have arrived by slow boat, tramped the island on foot, following the goats over the high mountains and through the fertile valleys, or, astride a mule or donkey, have made his way in somewhat dubious comfort wherever he could.

The nineteenth century saw many intrepid wanderers in Crete, not all as well acquainted as Evans or Schliemann with the storied history of the island, but each one with enough in his head to fancy that wherever he set foot to the ground he might be treading on the roof of an ancient palace or temple, buried centuries ago by the accumulated debris of the past. Yet no one, historian, archaeologist, scholar, or poet, however vivid his imagination, could have credited his ears . . .

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