the north coasts of Africa, and in the isles of Greece. Settled by force, and to some degree protected by nature, they could begin to accumulate possessions, and to improve them with art. They could begin to build houses, and develop morals and polities.
Thus geography has made it exceedingly probable that Crete will play a momentous part in the earliest history of Europe. That island lies like a doorstep at the threshold of Europe. If civilisation was to rise with the sun in the East, out of the extremely ancient civilisations of Egypt and Babylon, by way of those earliest carriers to the world’s markets, the Phœnicians of Tyre and Sidon, clearly this island of Crete would be their stepping-stone to Europe. Thus we reason, knowing it to be the truth. But we should never have learnt the truth from literature. In Homer, for example, Crete is of little importance. It was famous for its “ninety cities” and its mixed nationalities, and it was