A SHORT HIStory of CRETE
The current name “Crete” is first attested in the 15th century BC in Mycenaean Greek texts, written in Linear B, through the words ke-re-te (*Krētes; later Greek: Κρῆτες [krɛː.tes], plural of Κρής [krɛːs] and ke-re-si-jo (*Krēsijos; later Greek: Κρήσιος [krέːsios], “Cretan”). In Ancient Greek, the name Crete (Κρήτη) first appears in Homer’s Odyssey. Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luwian word *kursatta (cf. kursawar “island”, kursattar “cutting, sliver”).
In Latin, the name of the island became Creta. The original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš (Arabic: اقريطش < (της) Κρήτης), but after the Emirate of Crete’s establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندق Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq (modern Iraklion), both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ (Chandax) or Χάνδακας (Chandakas), which gave Latin, Italian, and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit (كريت).