Two Aromatic Herbs of Ancient Crete

by P. Faure

From the Minoan era, in the middle of the second millennium BC, and still today, Crete has been famous for the variety and wealth of its flora and its aromatic herbs, in particular. The most celebrated among them, known especially for their healing properties, are the ladanos, or labdanum, of the Cistus Creticus Boissieri genus, called po-ni-ki-jo by the Mycenaeans; and the dictamos, a marjoram, known in Botany as Origanum Dictamnus. This plant, being an attribute of the goddesses Dictyna and Artemis Vritomartys and of god Eros, was also called «theangelis» (= gods' messager) after the role Eros usually has played among the other deities.