Even in the Homeric poems, which belong to an age when the great Minoan civilization was already decadent, the Cretans appear as the only Greek people who attempted to compete with the Phoenicians as bold and adventurous navigators.
In the first phase of this the Minoan civilization attains its acme, and the succeeding style already shows much that may be described as rococo.
The above summary gives, indeed, a very imperfect idea of the extent to which the remains of the great Minoan civilization are spread throughout the island.
At the same time, to whatever cause this serious setback of Minoan civilization was owing, it would be very unsafe to infer as yet any large displacement of the original inhabitants by the invading swarms from the mainland or elsewhere.
The outcome for the absolute dating of Minoan civilization thus remains uncertain.