Today in European history: the Siege of Chandax ends (961)

The island of Crete has changed hands so many times over the past few centuries that it can be hard to keep track of all of its various owners and operators. Before it became Greek again (which includes a period of Axis occupation during World War II), Crete was (briefly) independent, and before that Ottoman, before that Venetian, Byzantine, Roman…and it just keeps going like this until you get all the way back to when it was Greek the first time.

Crete was also Arab, which can get lost in the shuffle even though we’re talking about a more than 130 year-long state of affairs. Part of the reason it gets lost in the shuffle is that Crete’s Arab period is bookended by the two halves of its Byzantine period, which I suspect makes it easier to overlook. There’s also not very much historical evidence from the period–mostly Byzantine sources, very little in any Muslim source and likewise very little archeological evidence. The Siege of Chandax (modern Heraklion), which ended on this date in 961, marks the end of Arab rule over the island and its return to Byzantine control.

Source: Today in European history: the Siege of Chandax ends (961)


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