This volume on Cretomania illustrates some examples of modern responses to the material culture of Minoan Crete. In other words, it focuses on the enthusiasm and desire for what we now call the Minoan past – enthusiasm and desire that are often manifested in the allusion to and citation of fragments from this past in various cultural practices, from literature to painting, and from architecture to religious movements. As noted by Sylvie Humbert-Mougin, the term ‘Cretomania’ itself, in its French version ‘crétomanie’, was fi rst used by the renowned author Paul Morand in a 1960 article on Crete published in the
Revue des Voyages , which described this particular mania for things Minoan among Viennese artists and Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, especially in the period of the Belle Époque. 1
The use of allusions to and quotations from the past in the works of modern authors and artists, and the continuous dialogue and negotiation between past and present, are, to a large extent, fundamental and essential elements in every history of scholarship and in reception studies. In the fi eld of Minoan studies, there has been considerable previous work on the history of Minoan scholarship and, to a much lesser extent, on Minoan reception (and this volume continues a dialogue started by such work). 2 This, however, is the fi rst publication entirely devoted to modern responses to the material culture of Minoan Crete.