Lato was an ancient city of Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

, the ruins of which are located approximately 3 km from the small town of Kritsa
Kritsa is one of the oldest and most picturesque villages in Crete, Greece, built amphitheatrically on a rock hill, named Kastellos, surrounded by olive groves, at an altitude of 375 m. It is part of the municipality of Agios Nikolaos. During the Middle Ages, it was thought to be the largest...

. The Dorian city-state was built in a defensible position overlooking Mirabello Bay
Mirabello Bay
Mirabello Bay is an embayment of the Sea of Crete on the eastern part of Crete in present day Greece. This locale was important in prehistoric settlement of the island of Crete.-In ancient times:...

 between two peaks, both of which became acropolis
Acropolis means "high city" in Greek, literally city on the extremity and is usually translated into English as Citadel . For purposes of defense, early people naturally chose elevated ground to build a new settlement, frequently a hill with precipitous sides...

es to the city. Although the city probably predates the arrival of the Dorians, the ruins date mainly from the Dorian period (fifth and fourth centuries BC). The city was destroyed ca. 200 BCE, but its port (Lato Etera or Lato pros Kamara), located near Agios Nikolaos
Agios Nikolaos, Crete
Agios Nikolaos is a coastal town on the Greek island of Crete, lying east of the island's capital Heraklion, north of the town of Ierapetra and west of the town of Sitia. In the year 2000, the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos, which takes in part of the surrounding villages, claimed around 19,000...

 was in use during Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 rule. This has led to the confusion, repeated by Stephanus of Byzantium
Stephanus of Byzantium
Stephen of Byzantium, also known as Stephanus Byzantinus , was the author of an important geographical dictionary entitled Ethnica...

 quoting Xenion, a Cretan historian, that Kamara
Lato pros Kamara
Lato pros Kamara or simply Kamara or Camara or Lato Etera, was an ancient city of Crete, situated to the east of Olous , at a distance of 15 stadia according to the Maritime Itinerary, currently the site of Agios Nikolaos, Crete...

 and Lato were one and the same. Modern scholarship distinguishes the two.

There is some suggestion that the city was named after the goddess Leto
In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe. The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins, Apollo and Artemis, the Letoides, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus...

 (of which Lato is the usual Doric form) and may be mentioned in Linear B
Linear B
Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, an early form of Greek. It pre-dated the Greek alphabet by several centuries and seems to have died out with the fall of Mycenaean civilization...

 tablets as RA-TO. Lato also minted coins in antiquity, bearing the likeness of the goddess Eileithyia who appears to have been the one particularly worshipped at Lato.

Nearchus was one of the officers, a navarch, in the army of Alexander the Great. His celebrated voyage from India to Susa after Alexander's expedition in India is preserved in Arrian's account, the Indica....

, admiral of Alexander the Great, was born at Lato.
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