CRETE KRÍTI; Creta (Lat); Candia (It); Girit (Tk).

Satellite image of Crete

Island in the eastern Mediterranean (the fifth largest Mediterranean island) and the southernmost region of Greece.

It was part of the Roman Empire, forming a province with Cyrenaica on the north African coast until the reforms of the late 3rd century made it a separate province which became part of the diocese of Macedonia. In 825 it was occupied by the Arabs and became a base for raids on the mainland until it was reconquered for Byzantium in 960-61.

In the division of the spoils after the Fourth Crusade had seized Constantinople in 1204, Crete was allocated to Boniface of Montferrat, but he preferred to concentrate on what became his Kingdom of Thessalonica, and so he sold his rights to Venice. It became the greatest of the Mediterranean possessions of the Most Serene Republic – Cyprus was bigger, but only came to Venice as the Turkish menace gathered, and was lost earlier.

The Venetians called the island Candia, from the Italian name for the port of Heraklion (Iráklion). It remained Venetian until the Turkish conquest of 1669, and even then two coastal enclaves at Suda and Spinalonga survived until they were captured by the Turks in 1715. In 1718 they were ceded by the Republic.

With the increasing revolt in Greece against Ottoman rule, Egyptian troops occupied Crete in 1822 (the ruler of Egypt, nominally subordinate to the Ottoman Empire, was behaving like an independent ally at this time). Ottoman authority returned in 1840 but a series of revolts followed, encouraged and aided by mainland Greeks: the problem on the island was compounded by the fact that some of the Cretans had become Muslims and it was on them that the Ottoman government tended to rely for administering Crete.

The revolts led to international crises and eventually to war between the Ottoman Empire and Greece in 1897, a war which the Turks won, though the diplomatic intervention of the Great Powers saved Greece itself from too great punishment. So far as Crete was concerned, the Great Powers insisted that the island become autonomous, though it remained part of the Empire. They set up a Commission of their representatives to supervise the island’s government. In the autumn of 1898, after the withdrawal of the forces of the Powers most strongly opposed to Greece – Austria and Germany – Prince George of Greece became the High Commissioner for the island.

The majority of the island’s representatives wanted union with Greece, though the Muslims did not. The Greek government had to behave with caution; even when the Cretan leader, Venizelos, became involved in Greek politics, he was obliged to give up his Cretan offices and as Greek Prime Minister he acted carefully. Prince George was replaced by a former Greek Prime Minster in 1906. The Young Turk revolution in the Ottoman Empire in 1908 increased the tensions of the area and the forces of the Great Powers withdrew from the island in 1909, though a naval presence remained.

Britain, with much influence in the region, was of split mind, for it was influenced both by the sentimental philhellenism of classically educated men and by the realpolitik of the rulers of a world Empire, who, with many Muslim subjects, did not wish to alienate the leading Muslim power. Drift became policy; when for example the High Commissioner’s term expired in 1911 no successor could be appointed and ad hoc arrangements operated. The matter was resolved by war, not in Crete, but on the mainland, when in 1912-13 the Balkan Powers almost drove Turkey out of Europe.

The peace settlement for that conflict had as a by-product the union of Crete with Greece.

Crete is now a region of Greece, divided into four provinces: (from west to east) Khanía, Réthimnon, Iráklion, and Lasíthi.

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Map showing location of Cres off the Croatian coast.

Island in the Gulf of Quarnero (Kvanerić), east of Istria. It belonged to medieval Croatia (and so to Hungary after 1102). For a couple of decades in the 14th century it was under Venetian suzerainty, but had returned to Hungary by 1358. In 1409 it returned once more to Venetian control.

It became Austrian when the Venetian Republic was destroyed in 1797, was ceded to Napoleon’s Kingdom of Italy in 1805 and transferred to the Illyrian Provinces of the French Empire in 1809.

In 1814 the island reverted to Austria, became Italian after the First World War and Yugoslav after the Second.

It is now in Croatia.

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  1. City, the seat of a Bishop, on the River Po in northern Italy, southeast of Milan; and
  2. A province in modern Italy.


The city was taken in 553 from the Ostrogoths by the Byzantines, and lost by them to the Lombards in 604.

Later the Holy Roman Emperors gave much political authority to the Bishop, but he was expelled from the city c.1027, and the city then enjoyed two to three centuries of virtual independence. It was a member of the Lombard League in 1168 but its rivalry with Milan, the leading opponent of the Emperor among the north Italian cities, made its attitude sometimes equivocal, sometimes actively Ghibelline.

By the mid-13th century its independence was under threat, and the northern warlord Pallavicini held it, 1254-66, before being ousted by a local associate, after which Guelph influence (anti-Imperial) was strong. The Emperor Henry VII took the city in 1311, the Visconti briefly controlled it in 1313, two or three years later Robert of Naples temporarily held the city.

Its independence petered out until in 1334 it submitted to the Visconti rulers of Milan. It remained part of Milan, except for a Venetian interlude 1499-1509, until Lombardy was lost by Austria to uniting Italy in 1860.

The province of Cremona lies between the Po, the lower Adda, and the lower Oglio, and is now in the Lombardia region.

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Town in northern Italy, ESE of Milan and northwest of Cremona. It was an ally of Milan in the early struggles against the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, but fell to him in 1160 and was largely destroyed.

Cremona was given dominance over it. Rebuilt in the 1180s and sold to Cremona in 1191, its independence was reestablished in 1196 with the help of Milan. It became part of the lands of Milan in 1335, but after the death of Gaingaleazzo Visconti in 1402 it recovered independence for a time, but fell under Milanese control again in 1422.

In negotiations with Venice in 1449, Sforza, the claimant of Milan, offered Crema to Venice and this was confirmed in the Peace of Lodi in 1454. Thereafter Crema and the district around it formed a Venetian enclave within the Duchy of Milan.

In 1797, when the Venetian Republic was consigned to the dustbin, Crema became part of the Cisalpine Republic and is today in the province of Cremona and the region of Lombardia.

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The Bishop of Durham owned the manor of Crayke, which lay southeast of Thirsk, southwest of Helmsley, and a short distance east of Easingwold.

It was therefore an exclave of the County Palatine of Durham within the North Riding of Yorkshire until 1844.

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  1. District in the West Riding of Yorkshire, now divided between North Yorkshire and Lancashire;
  2. A local government district in North Yorkshire since 1974.

Craven is the district in and around the Aire Gap, where the valley of the River Aire separates the northern and southern Pennines. The medieval rural deanery of Craven in the Archdiocese of York extended to all the Yorkshire lands west of the Aire Gap, so it included Gisburn on the Ribble and the Yorkshire sector of the Forest of Bowland.

The medieval rural deanery of Craven in the Archdiocese of York extended to all the Yorkshire lands west of the Aire Gap, so it included Gisburn on the Ribble and the Yorkshire sector of the Forest of Bowland.

In 1974 these more distant parts, together with the districts around Barnoldswick and Eadsby, in the Aire Gap itself, went to Lancashire. The rest became a district in North Yorkshire, with its administrative centre in Skipton, the principal town in Craven.

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The west of the Principality of Wallachia (now the southwestern region in Romania) was sometimes called the Banat of Craiova, from its capital, a city on the River Jiu, which flows southwards from the Transylvanian Alps to the Danube.

The city is today the capital of the Romanian county of Dolj. See OLTENIA.

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A Royal Burgh on the North Sea coast of Fife, Crail was the seat of a Sheriffdom in eastern Scotland, which appeared some time in the period 1154/78, at a time when the King’s mother held the area.

By 1214, when King William the Lion died, it had disappeared, and the sheriff for Fife had responsibility.

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CRACOW KRAKÓW; Krakau (Ger).

  1. Principality in medieval Poland;
  2. A Free City, 1815-46;
  3. A voivodship (Województwo krakowskie) in 20th century Poland.

All are named after the city, which was probably founded in the 8th century and which stands on the upper Vistula.

Cracow was also the seat of a Bishop, who was himself a territorial prince as Duke of Siewierz, a territory in Silesia bought in 1443 and held until 1795.The city became the most important in Małopolska (Little Poland), whose Prince or Duke was recognised as the Senior Prince of Poland after the partition of the Polish lands in 1138 among several Piast princes.

The Senior Prince held his own Principality (for example, the first held Silesia, the second Mazovia) plus Little Poland. After the death of Henry II fighting the Mongols in 1241 the Senior Principate was titular and Little Poland was then often called the Principality or Duchy of Cracow.

In the Third Partition of Poland in 1795 Cracow became part of the Habsburg lands but was transferred to the Grand Duchy of Warsaw in 1809. In 1815 the city of Cracow, together with a strip of territory along the upper Vistula, was declared in the Treaty of Vienna to be “for ever a Free, Independent and strictly Neutral City,” under the protection of Austria, Russia and Prussia.

The new city-state lay at the point where the three protecting powers met in the Poland they had divided between them: the Congress Kingdom under the Tsar, the Kingdom of Galicia under the Austrian Emperor, and Prussian Silesia.”

“For ever” came to an end in 1846, when the protecting powers, irritated by Polish conspiracies against them – conspiracies encouraged and helped by the Free City of Cracow – ended Cracow’s independence and added its territory to Austrian Galicia.

The Austrian Emperor added another title to his collection: Grand Duke of Cracow. The conspiracies were bungled and reckless, but the instinct of the three powers was to repress, as though the Poles were ungraciously ungrateful for having had their independence destroyed.

After the First World War Cracow became Polish again and the capital of a large voivodship in southern Poland bearing its name.

During the German occupation, 1939-44, it was the residence of Hans Frank, the FreeGovernor-General of the General Government. After the war it was capital of a smaller voivodship in restored Poland (see KRAKÓW).

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Ancient district in western Scotland, the peninsula that lies between Loch Fyne, on the one hand, and Loch Goil, Loch Long and the Firth of Clyde, on the other.

It belonged to the Scottish Kingdom of Dariada, and was held by a branch of the Cenél Gabráin, called the Cenél Comgaill. This was descended from a prince called Comgall, from whom family and district derived their names.

Cowal became southeastern Argyllshire.

Picture Credit

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Former județ (county) in Romania, once part of Moldavia, bounded in the east by the Prut, and in the south by the Siret and, after their confluence, the Danube.

Its capital, Galați, now gives its name to the equivalent county in modern Romania.

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English: Sfîntu Gheorghe – also known as Sfânt...

English: Sfîntu Gheorghe – also known as Sfântu Gheorghe. In Hungarian (before 1919 and also between 1940 and 1944 it was part of Hungary and) officially called Sepsiszentgyörgy. The town has a 3/4 Hungarian population. Behind the camera TRICOTAJE … The machine is a Gloria CP-12 made in Romania by Semanatoarea which built Claas and Laverda combines under licence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Present-day județ (county) in central Romania. Before 1918 it formed easternmost Transylvania (the county of Háromszék) and between the wars was, more or less, the Romanian județ of Trei Scaune. Sfîntu Gheorghe, the capital of all these counties, is on the River Olt, northeast of Brașov.

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COUSERANS Or, Conserans.

Coat of arms of Couserans

Coat of arms of Couserans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Vicomté in the central Pyrenees;
  2. A diocese, which belonged to the province of Auch.

The Vicomté became separate in the late 10th century, when it was held by the younger son of a Count of Carcassone, as his share of that County. In the early 12th century it became part of the County of Foix, which lay to its east, but later in the century it passed to a member of the family of the Counts of Comminges, which lay to its west. The rights of the Vicomté were eventually scattered among several families through heiresses. In the Ancien Régime Couserans was the southeasternmost corner of the immense gouvernement of Guyenne & Gascony and is now in the Department of the Ariège. The Bishop lived at St Lizier. The diocese was suppressed in 1790.

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