Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(869 words)

Crete is an island in the Mediterranean 96 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of the Peloponnesus that had a Jewish community from the Hellenistic period to World War II. The island, called Iqrītish by medieval Arabs, was captured from the Byzantines in 827 by a band of Andalusian Muslims under Abū Ḥafs ʿUmar al-Ballūṭī, who established a dynasty that remained in power until the island was retaken by Nicephorus Phocas in 961. Crete is mentioned in Cairo Geniza documents as an important exporter of cheese. There are documents mentioning Egyptian Jewish women marrying in Cre…

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Onur Yildirim, “Crete”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 27 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0005910>
First published online: 2010

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