One of the most interesting myths of Crete is the story of the daughter of one of the Cretan Curetes (Korybantes), Crete, who supposedly married Ammon. It is said that she gave her name to the Island the Egyptians called Keftiu.
As the daughter of one of the attendants (Kouretes or first Kretan men) of the Earth goddess Rhea (or Idaea) and her son mighty Zeus, Crete inherited the original worship practices of the cult of Rhea. This cult practiced a fascinating rhythmic dance and chanting focused on provoking religious ecstasy. The myth of her marriage to Ammon is one of her most interesting histories since this Libyan/Egyptian god was the supreme Zeus to later Greeks.
Another curious point in the study of the name of Crete is the fact the island was previously been called Idaea, which was associated with a Cretan autochthon. Autochthon’s, for those unfamiliar, are mortals who have sprung from the soil, rocks, and trees. The original Cretans, or Eteocretans, are thought by some to be autochthons and the originators of technologies and ideas key to the development of original civilizations. They are humans who are rooted in and belong to the land eternally. This aspect, no doubt, has some basis in early Minoan animism, the belief that God exists in everything.
In another version of the myth of Crete (or Cres), Cinaethon of Sparta said that Cres was the father of Talos. This giant automaton made of bronze supposedly circled the island three times a day in order to protect the goddess Europa from pirates. Interestingly, maybe legends tell of Talos being a last survivor of one of the Ages of Man, a descendant of the brazen race that sprang from meliae “ash-tree nymphs” according to Argonautica.
As the reader can begin to see, so many of the myths and legends of Crete intertwine. Living here and stumbling among the ancient ruins, the spirit of the place resonates like subtle notes from a far off harp. The places, and even the people, they remind us of the truth and the enigma of this ancient land. According to Cinaethon in his poem, Talos was the son of Cres (son of Idaea and Zeus) and the father of Hephaestus, who also fathered Rhadamanthys.
According to myth, the Daimones Daktyloi-Kouretes Daimones fathered the first one hundred men of Krete. These were said by some to have been the Silver Race of Men described by Hesiod.
Some authors contend that Cres was the king of the Curetes, and the lead caretaker of the young Zeus who was hidden by him in a cave on Crete. As is often the case, sorting out the various myths from rock-solid history is difficult. What’s certain is that the footprints of these gods, priests, and priestesses are cast in the bedrock of Crete.