added by archaeologs Ancient Greek city of western Crete, considered the most important city of Classical Greek and Roman Crete. Although unimportant in Minoan times, Gortyn displaced Phaestus as the dominant city in the Mesara. It shared or disputed control of the island with Knossos until the Roman annexation in 67 BC. It controlled the sea route between east and west through its ports of Matalon and Leben. The great civic inscription, or code of Gortyn, dating to c 450 BC, was discovered in 1884; it is the most extensive monument of Greek law before the Hellenistic Age. The Gortynian Law Code was incorporated by the Romans into the back wall of an Odeum when this was being reconstructed in 100 AD under Trajan. The Code, written boustrophedon (alternately from left and right), contains rules of civil law concerning such matters as family, adultery, divorce, property, mortgage, and the rights of slaves. Later excavations disclosed most of the plan and public buildings of the Roman city, which was the administrative capital of the Roman province of Crete and Cyrenaica; identifiable are a preaetorium, agora, and odeum. The acropolis appears to have Neolithic and Late Bronze Age evidence and there are traces of a temple of the 8th-7th centuries BC. Homer refers to the city , and describes it as walled, though no walls survive. A votive deposit associated with an altar on the slope of the hill contained a wide selection of objects from all periods from Late Minoan III through to Roman. Gortyn maintained its importance through early Christian times, becoming an early Byzantine religious center.