Creta et Cyrenaica

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Provincia Creta et Cyrene
Ἐπαρχία τῆς Κρήτης καὶ τῆς Κυρηναϊκῆς
Province of the Roman Empire
20 BC–c. 297 AD
Location of Creta et Cyrenaica
Roman province of Creta et Cyrenaica highlighted.
Capital Gortyn
 •  Established 20 BC
 •  Disestablished c. 297 AD
Today part of  Greece

Creta et Cyrenaica was a senatorial province of the Roman empire created in 20 BC. It comprised the island of Crete and the region of Cyrenaica in north Africa (mod. E. Libya).


Marcus Antonius Creticus attacked Crete in 71 BC and was repelled. Rome then sent Quintus Caecilius Metellus with three legions to the island. After a ferocious three-year campaign Crete was conquered for Rome in 69 BC, Metellus earning the agnomen "Creticus" for his efforts. At the archaeological sites, there seems to be little evidence of widespread damage associated with the transfer to Roman power: a single palatial house complex seems to have been razed. Gortyn seems to have been pro-Roman and was rewarded by being made the capital of the joint province of Creta et Cyrenaica. The Kitos War in 115-117CE, however, seems to have devastated the region. In the widespread revolts it was estimated that around 220,000 Cyrenean Greeks were killed.

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