|Psiloritis (summit Ida)|
View of Psiloritis mountains from west
|Elevation||2,456 m (8,058 ft) |
|Prominence||2,456 m (8,058 ft) |
Mount Ida, known variously as Idha, Ídhi, Idi, Ita. In Crete is called Psiloritis (Greek: ?) the mountain range as a whole and the summit Ida (Greek: ), at 2,456 m (8,057 feet), is the highest mountain on Crete. Located in the Rethymno regional unit, it was sacred to the Greek Titaness Rhea, and on its slopes lies one of the caves, Idaion Antron, in which, according to legend, Zeus was born. Its summit Ida has the highest topographic prominence in Greece. A natural park which includes Mt. Ida is a member of UNESCO's Global Geoparks Network.
The Psiloritis is located on the water divide between the southern part fo Crete, tributary of the Libyan Sea, and the northern one, facing the Aegean sea. A saddle at 2,321 m East of the summit connects it with Mount Agathias, while westwards the ridge contiunes with Mount Stolistra (2,336 m)
Mount Ida is the locus for a race of legendary ancient metal workers Dactyls.
«ferrum Hesiodus in Creta eos qui vocati sunt Dactyli Idaei.» (Hesiod attributes the invention of metallurgy in Crete to those who were called Idaean Dactyls.)-- Pliny the Elder, Historia naturalis, VII.197
In ancient times the Idaean cave, "cave of the Goddess" (Dea) was venerated by Minoans and Hellenes alike. By Greek times the cave was rededicated to Zeus. The cave where Zeus was nurtured is variously stated to be this cave, or another of the same name, or the Dictaean cave.
Votive seals and ivories have been found in the cave. Like the Dictaean cave, the Idaean cave was known as a place of initiations. It may have served as the site of an oracle, symbolized by the frequent depiction of a tripod on coins of nearby Axos, which presumably controlled the territory around the cave.
Shepherd's hut (mitato) on Nida Plateau, eastern side of Mt Ida