The Myrtoan Sea is bounded by the Cyclades islands to the east and by the Peloponesse peninsula to the west and by the Sea of Crete to the south.
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The Myrtoan Sea was one of the first seas of the world to appear in recorded history. Strabo provides insights as to the dimensions, limits and specifc islands within the Myrtoan. In antiquity the northern, western and eastern limits are in accord with modern designations, although the southern limits extended clearly to the island of Crete itself; this southern limit would have included the ancient port of Kydonia on the Gulf of Chania, a Minoan stronghold and ancient trading center well known to the mainland Greeks. In fact Kydonia, at the southern limit of the Myrtoan Sea, was an important staging area for Greek ships continuing further into the distant Mediterranean ports visited by the ancient Greek mariners.
The name of the sea is traditionally derived from Myrtilus, charioteer to Oenomaus in Greek mythology. According to myth, Myrtilus was thrown into the sea by Pelops king of Pisa in the Peloponnesus.
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