Hellenistic and Roman Pottery from Hierapytna, Crete
Chapter Ten: Hierapytna in the Early Roman Period
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Hierapytna in the Early Roman Period
Hierapytna reached the apex of its prosperity during the period from the first through third century A.D. The city’s ceramic record attests numerous economic connections and archaeological evidence points to an expansion of the harbor and the site in general. This was in spite of Hierapytna’s role in the resistance against Rome’s invasion of the island from 69–67 B.C. Dio Cassius (36.18) records that the city may have been the site of several different battles. Following the loss of Chania (ancient Kydonia), the Cretan general Aristion retreated to Hierapytna, but was resisted there by a certain Lucius Bassus, a Roman seemingly in control of the city. Aristion was soon joined by Octavius, the legate of Pompey who had been dispatched to oppose Metellus so that the Cretans could surrender to Pompey. Hierapytna served as an effective stronghold for a short period, but the approach of Metellus with the main component of his army caused the commanders to abandon the town. Soon after sailing out of the city, a storm arose, causing the ships to be driven ashore. Dio goes on to report that Metellus conquered the entire island soon after this and one could presume that this involved some sort of siege, or at least punishment, of Hierapytna for its role in opposing his forces. The Yiomelaki Plot produced several destruction deposits, including roof collapses and burned patches, datable to the mid-first...
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