The name Navy or Naval is actually derived from what we call our belly button or navel which is on the surface of the abdomen of mammals in the center where the umbilical cord was attached during gestation. The navel is also called umbilicus and it simply means "a central point; and or a middle."
Not only does the name of their maritime activities called "Navy or Naval" indicate center, but also the name of the Mediterranean Sea in which the island sits is derived from the Latin medius, meaning middle, and terra, meaning earth. This was the highway that brought the Phoenician (Sidonian and or Minoan) colonists to Greece, Rome, and Carthage. For well over 3,000 years it was the great thoroughfare of the world.
Crete is naturally fortified by the sea and was protected by the powerful Sidonian navy. A navy at the time who had no real rivals and or empires who could compete with them on the Sea for many centuries. By being one of the first, and largest navies and also by taking dominion of the Land of Milk and Honey called Crete, they were able to build a vast empire that stretched across most the Western and Eastern world. When they didn't conquer other kingdoms, they made royal alliances and brotherhood trade agreements with the other powerful dynasties around the globe.
Author Sir Charles William Wilson in his book, Picturesque Palestine, Sinai, and Egypt, Volume 3 explains how the Sidonians with their Gods, Goddesses, religion and Navy had imported them into Greece, Italy, and Carthage:
“Sidoniiquelares . . . . Sidonaque pulchram."
“ The gods of Sidon . . . . Sidon the beautiful."
These two lines from two of the later Latin poets sum up the two striking features in the history of Sidon, the antiquity of its religious cult, and the beauty of its scenery. Sidon was the Divine City, which gave gods to the Phoenicians, and through them to Greece, Italy, and Carthage. It was the Jerusalem of Baal worship. Here was worshipped that divine couple of the Phoenician religion, Baal Sidon and Ashtaroth, the same which at Gebal (Jebeil) was called Thammuz and Baalath, at Carthage Baal Hamon and Tanith, among the Hittites Shed and Shedath, and in Damascus Hadad and Atargath.
Here was the home of—“
“ Astoreth, whom the Phcenicians called
Astarte, queen of Heaven with crescent horns :
To whose bright image nightly by the moon.
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs."
The hardy navigators of Sidon and Tyre, in pushing their adventurous prows into the Euxine, the ./Egean, and beyond the Pillars of Hercules, carried with them their religion and their peculiar divinities. Their Ashtaroth became Aphrodite in Greece, and the temple of Thasos in the /Egean was dedicated to Melkarth, the Tyrian Hercules. In the island of Malta a dedicatory inscription speaks of “the lord Melkarth, Baal of Tyre."
Old Sidon, named by the grandson of Noah, and styled Great Zidon by Joshua, is, perhaps, the oldest living city in the world, and claims the honour of being mentioned both in the book of Genesis and in the Homeric poems. Homer speaks of Sidon as rich in ore; but its ores were not native, excepting the iron, brought down from Southern Lebanon. Its tin was brought from Britain (Ber-et-tanic), Spain, and the Caucasus, its steel from Colchis, its gold and copper from the Red Sea and Cyprus, and the Sidonian and Tyrian artificers became famous for their bronzes and other works in metallurgy.
The Sidonians were already a commercial nation when the Egyptians expelled the shepherd kings, and from the first half of the seventeenth till the end of the thirteenth century B.C., the Sidonians were subject to the Egyptians.
A papyrus in the British Museum contains the account of an imaginary journey made by an Egyptian officer into Syria, at the end of the reign of Rameses II., which indicates that Beirut, Sidon, and Tyre at that time were peaceful tributaries of Egypt.
The Sidonians supplied the mercantile and military navy of Egypt, and during this period, when no rival navy existed, Sidonian trade and commercial prosperity reached their highest point. Beyond the Nile valley, the sailors of Sidon and Beirut coasted along the shores of Africa and founded Cambe, afterwards Carthage, and Hippo. The Egyptians had a superstitious horror of the sea, regarding it as impure, and as the domain of Set, the god of evil, the adversary of Osiris. An Egyptian navy was therefore out of the question. Sidonian officers and seamen manned the Egyptian fleets."
The only way to attack Crete was by sea, and for that a strong navy was needed, but no one in the Mediterranean world had a naval power like that of the Cretan Sidonians. This is why Crete was not only the central point of the world's first organized Navy, but the world's first true super power.
The ancient Holy Island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea is halfway between Europe, Africa and Asia, it was considered in ancient times as being at the center of the world, and the original location of the first city of Jerusalem. The Center of the World's Naval power is at Sidon which is easily connected to what is now called Souda Bay by its older name of Saida, and these people are described is the same exact mannerisms and culture as that of the Phoenicians/Cretans/Sidonians. In the Old Testament Sidon or Zidon, now called Souda (Saida) Bay, was the most celebrated city of all of Phoenicia, on the Mediterranean Sea.
It is from the Sidonians who we also know as the Phoenicians and Cretans who invented the ancient myth of the God Neptune was born and the Navy men known as the “Sons of Neptune,” who are the great Initiates of the Sacred Isles of Crete. Their symbol is the three pronged Trident. It is from this island, where we find the first true tales being told of sea-faring men, and who had formed the first navy under the leadership of the first law giving kings of the sea. A people known in myth and biblical stories, as the Minoans, Phoenicians, Curetes, Telchines, Philistines, Judeans, Greeks, the Sea Peoples, etc.
For about 1,500-2,000 years, the Sea Peoples and Navy of Crete would dominate much of the world. Eventually the Cretan and Greek naval supremacy would diminish under the dominion of the Latin Romans, the Rus Vikings and the Ottoman Turks whose navies and foot soldiers eventually conquered all their old centers of naval power.
Today Crete is the largest and most populated island in all of Greece. The Greek Navy along with the United States Navy have a joint naval base there at Souda (Saida) Bay. It also is a strategic NATO naval base. In fact, it is in the very same bay of the ancient mariners who went before them who knew of it by the Old Testament name of Sidon or Zidon.
This Phoenician text is taken from Crete at the Cave of Apollo in ancient Sidon, where, in 1855, was discovered the beautiful black basalt sarcophagus now in the museum of the Louvre in Paris that had this Phoenician inscription below: “ It is we who have built this temple of the gods—in Sidon by the sea, and the heavenly powers have rendered Astarte favourable. It is we who have erected the temple to Esmuno and the sanctuary of Ene Delil in the mountain . . . . the temple of Baal Sidon, and the temple of Astarte, the glory of Baal, lord of kings, who bestowed on us Dor and Joppa and ample corn lands which are at the root of Dan . "