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This article is about the ancient city of Kydonia. For the previous province of Kydonia, see Kydonia Province. For other uses, see Cydonia.
Early Minoan bird-shaped vessel (3000-2300 BC). Archaeological Museum of Chania (Kydonia)

Cydonia or Kydonia (Ancient Greek: Κῠδωνία) was an ancient city-state on the northwest coast of the island of Crete. It is at the site of the modern-day Greek city of Chania. In legend Cydonia was founded by King Cydon, a son of Hermes and of Akakallis, the daughter of King Minos.

There's also an alternative version that Kydonia was settled from the central Greece, in particular from Tegea, by Cydon, the descendant of king Tegeates.[1]

Cydonians are mentioned in book 12 of the Aeneid, where their excellent bow skills are used in an extended Virgilian simile describing the Fury's descent to Juturna.

The exact location of Kydonia was not understood until Robert Pashley worked it out[2] based solely on ancient historical literature, without any archaeological recovery;[3] Kydonia was centred on the present-day harbour area and Kastelli Hill. Today's archaeological recoveries from the ancient city of Kydonia are largely stored in the Chania Archaeological Museum in present-day Chania.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ William Ridgeway, The Early Age of Greece, Volume 1 Cambridge University Press, 2014 (originally 1901) ISBN 1107434580
  2. ^ Pashley, 1837
  3. ^ Hogan, 2008


  • C. Michael Hogan, Cydonia, Modern Antiquarian, January 23, 2008 [1]
  • Robert Pashley, Travels in Crete, 1837, J. Murray
  • Ian Swindale, Kydonia, [2]

Coordinates: 35°31′02″N 24°01′11″E / 35.5173°N 24.0196°E / 35.5173; 24.0196