Egypt the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, across the Mediterranean lie Greece and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt saw some of the earliest developments of writing, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and popular interest. Egypt's long and rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which has endured, assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Roman, Ottoman Turkish, Nubian.
Egypt was an early and important centre of Christianity, but was Islamised in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant Christian minority. From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers: The Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained nominal independence from the British Empire as a monarchy. However, British military occupation of Egypt continued, many Egyptians believed that the monarchy was an instrument of British colonialism. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt expelled British soldiers and bureaucrats and ended British occupation, nationalized the British-held Suez Canal, exiled King Farouk and his family, declared itself a republic. In 1958 it merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Egypt endured social and religious strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts with Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, occupying the Gaza Strip intermittently until 1967.
In 1978, Egypt signed the Camp David Accords withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and recognising Israel. The country continues to face challenges, from political unrest, including the recent 2011 revolution and its aftermath, to terrorism and economic underdevelopment. Egypt's current government is a presidential republic headed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, described by a number of watchdogs as authoritarian. Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa, the Middle East, the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, the fifteenth-most populous in the world; the great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
The sovereign state of Egypt is a transcontinental country considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world, a middle power worldwide. Egypt's economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, is projected to become one of the largest in the world in the 21st century. In 2016, Egypt became Africa's second largest economy. Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. "Miṣr" is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern official name of Egypt, while "Maṣr" is the local pronunciation in Egyptian Arabic. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew "מִצְרַיִם"; the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian "mi-iṣ-ru" related to miṣru/miṣirru/miṣaru, meaning "border" or "frontier". There is evidence of rock carvings in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BCE, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture.
Climate changes or overgrazing around 8000 BCE began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralised society. By about 6000 BCE, a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt; the Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade; the earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BCE. A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BCE
2nd millennium BC
The 2nd millennium BC spanned the years 2000 through 1001 BC. In the Ancient Near East, it marks the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age; the Ancient Near Eastern cultures are well within the historical era: The first half of the millennium is dominated by the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and Babylonia. The alphabet develops. At the center of the millennium, a new order emerges with Minoan Greek dominance of the Aegean and the rise of the Hittite Empire; the end of the millennium sees the transition to the Iron Age. Other regions of the world are still in the prehistoric period. In Europe, the Beaker culture introduces the Bronze Age associated with Indo-European expansion; the Indo-Iranian expansion reaches the Iranian plateau and onto the Indian subcontinent, propagating the use of the chariot. Mesoamerica enters the Pre-Classic period. North America is in the late Archaic stage. In Maritime Southeast Asia, the Austronesian expansion reaches Micronesia. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the Bantu expansion begins.
World population rises possibly surpassing the 100 million mark for the first time. Please see the article on Chronology of the ancient Near East for a discussion regarding the accuracy and resolution of dates for events of the 2nd millennium BC in the Near East. Spending much of their energies in trying to recuperate from the chaotic situation that existed at the turn of the millennium, the most powerful civilizations of the time and Mesopotamia, turned their attention to more modest goals; the Pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and their contemporary Kings of Babylon, of Amorite origin, brought good governance without much tyranny, favoured elegant art and architecture. Farther east, the Indus Valley civilization was in a period of decline as a result of intense, ruinous flooding. Egypt and Babylonia's military tactics were still based on foot soldiers transporting their equipment on donkeys. Combined with a weak economy and difficulty in maintaining order, this was a fragile situation that crumbled under the pressure of external forces they could not oppose.
About a century before the middle of the millennium, bands of Indo-European invaders came from the Central Asian plains and swept through Western Asia and Northeast Africa. They were riding fast two-wheeled chariots powered by horses, a system of weaponry developed earlier in the context of plains warfare; this tool of war was unknown among the classical civilizations. Egypt and Babylonia's foot soldiers were unable to defend against the invaders: in 1630 BC, the Hyksos swept into the Nile Delta, in 1595 BC, the Hittites swept into Mesopotamia; the people in place were quick to adapt to the new tactics, a new international situation resulted from the change. Though during most of the second half of the 2nd millennium BC several regional powers competed relentlessly for hegemony, many developments occurred: there was new emphasis on grandiose architecture, new clothing fashions, vivid diplomatic correspondence on clay tablets, renewed economic exchanges, the New Kingdom of Egypt played the role of the main superpower.
Among the great states of the time, only Babylon refrained from taking part in battles due to its new position as the world's religious and intellectual capital. The Bronze Age civilization at its final period of time, displayed all its characteristic social traits: low level of urbanization, small cities centered on temples or royal palaces, strict separation of classes between an illiterate mass of peasants and craftsmen, a powerful military elite, knowledge of writing and education reserved to a tiny minority of scribes, pronounced aristocratic life. Near the end of the 2nd millennium BC, new waves of barbarians, this time riding on horseback, wholly destroyed the Bronze Age world, were to be followed by waves of social changes that marked the beginning of different times. Contributing to the changes were the Sea Peoples, ship-faring raiders of the Mediterranean. Ancient Near East Middle Kingdom of Egypt New Kingdom of Egypt Old Assyrian Empire Middle Assyrian Empire Elam Hittites Old Kingdom in Anatolia Vedic India Kuru Kingdom Bronze Age China Shang Dynasty Zhou Dynasty Most people known by name from this period are kings or emperors: First Babylonian Dynasty: Hammurabi Middle Assyrian Empire: see List of Assyrian kings Ancient Egypt: see list of pharaohs Bronze Age China: Shang dynasty, Zhou dynastyAn exception is may be Sinhue, protagonist of an Egyptian tale set in the 20th century BC, although the general consensus considers him a fictional character.
EuropeEurope is still within the prehistoric era. Aegean civilization Cycladic culture Helladic period Minoan civilization Mycenaean Greece Beaker culture Terramare culture Tumulus culture Unetice culture Urnfield cultureCentral AsiaAndronovo culture Oxus civilizationEast AsiaErlitou culture Wucheng cultureSouth AsiaOchre Coloured Pottery cultureAmericasOlmecSub-Saharan AfricaThe desiccation of the Sahara is complete. Neolithisation of Sub-Saharan Africa is initiated via expansion from the dried Sahara, reaching West and East Africa. In the 2nd millennium, pastoralism is spread to Central Africa via the Bantu migration. Iron metallurgy in Africa may arise towards the end of the millennium. Kerma culture Savanna Pastoral Neolithic Nok culture c. 2000 BC—Seima-Turbino Phenomenon c. 1700 BC–1300 BC—Palace complex in Knossos, was built. C. 1700 BC earthquake damages palaces at Phaistos. 1627 BC Minoan eruption c. 1600 BC–1360 BC Egyptian domination over Canaan and Syria. C. 1575 BC Nubian Kerma sacks Egypt.
1520 BC Egypt conquers Nubia. 1478 BC Battle of Megiddo 1269 BC
Cecrops was a mythical king of Attica which derived from him its name Cecropia, having borne the name of Acte or Actice. He was the founder and the first king of Athens itself though preceded in the region by the earth-born king Actaeus of Attica. Cecrops was a culture hero, teaching the Athenians marriage and writing, ceremonial burial; the name of Cecrops was not of Greek origin according to Strabo, or it might mean'tail-face': it was said that, born from the earth itself and was accordingly called a γηγενής, described as having his top half shaped like a man and the bottom half in serpent or fish-tail form. Hence he was called διφυής or of two natures. Diodorus rationalized that his double form was because of his double citizenship and barbarian; some ancients referred the epithet διφυής to marriage. Cecrops married Aglaurus, the daughter of Actaeus, former king of the region of Attica, whom he succeeded to the throne, it is disputed. Erysichthon predeceased him, he was succeeded by Cranaus, said to have been one of the wealthiest citizens of Athens at that time.
Cecrops was the father of three daughters: Herse and Aglaurus. To them was given a box or jar containing the infant Erichthonius to guard unseen, they looked, terrified by the two serpents Athena had set within to guard the child, they fled in terror and leapt from the Acropolis to their deaths. Some accounts say. Cecrops was represented in the Attic legends as the author of the first elements of civilized life such as marriage, the political division of Attica into twelve communities, as the introducer of a new mode of worship, he was said to have been the first who deified Zeus, ordained sacrifices to be offered to him as the supreme Deity. Cecrops was affirmed to have been the first who built altars and statues of the gods, offered sacrifices, instituted marriage among the Athenians, before his time, it seems, lived promiscuously. Pausanias tells us that he forbade the sacrificing of any living creatures to the gods, as well as any sort of other offering, only allowing cakes formed into the shape of an ox with horns, called by the Athenians Pelanous, which signifies an ox.
He is said to have taught his subjects the art of navigation. Some make him the founder of the areopagus; the Acropolis was known as the Cecropia in his honor. The Athenians are said to have called themselves Cecropidæ, during the reigns of the five following kings, in his honor. During his reign which lasted for 50 years, the gods resolved to take possession of cities in which each of them should receive his own peculiar worship. Athena became the patron goddess of the city of Athens in a competition with Poseidon as judged by Cecrops; the two raced ferociously towards the Acropolis and it was a close race. Poseidon was the first that came to Attica and struck the acropolis with his trident and thereby created a salt sea, known in times by the name of the Erechthean well, from its being enclosed in the temple of Erechtheus. After him came Athena who having called on Cecrops to witness her act of taking possession, she planted an olive tree on the hill of the acropolis which continued to be shewn in the Pandrosium down to the latest times.
But when the two strove for possession of the country, Zeus parted them and appointed arbiters, not, as some have affirmed and Cranaus, nor yet Erysichthon, but the twelve gods. And in accordance with their verdict the country was adjudged to Athena, because Cecrops bore witness that she had been the first to plant the olive. Athena, called the city Athens after herself, Poseidon in hot anger flooded the Thriasian plain and laid Attica under the sea. A rationalistic explanation of the fable was propounded by the eminent Roman antiquary Varro. According to him, the olive-tree appeared in Attica, at the same time there was an eruption of water in another part of the country. So king Cecrops sent to inquire of Apollo at Delphi; the oracle answered that the olive and the water were the symbols of Athena and Poseidon and that the people of Attica were free to choose which of these deities they would worship. Accordingly, the question was submitted to a general assembly of the citizenesses. All the men voted for the god, all the women voted for the goddess.
Chagrined at the loss of the election, the male candidate flooded the country with the water of the sea, to appease his wrath it was decided to deprive women of the vote and to forbid children to bear their mother's names for the future. The Athenians said that the contest between Poseidon and Athena took place on the second of the month Boedromion, hence they omitted that day from the calendar; the name of Cecrops occurs in other parts of Greece where there existed a town of the name of Athenae, such as in Boeotia, where he is said to have founded the ancient towns of Athenae and Eleusis on the river Triton, where he had a heroum at Haliartus. Tradition there called him a son of Pandion. In Euboea, which had a town Athenae, Cecrops was called a son of Erechtheus and Praxithea, a grandson of Pandion. Fro
The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean in Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the historical region of Syria. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the eastern Mediterranean with its islands; the term entered English in the late 15th century from French. It derives from the Italian Levante, meaning "rising", implying the rising of the sun in the east, is broadly equivalent to the term Al-Mashriq, meaning "the east, where the sun rises". In the 13th and 14th centuries, the term levante was used for Italian maritime commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Syria-Palestine, Egypt, that is, the lands east of Venice; the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine and Egypt. In 1581, England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire; the name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and Lebanon after World War I.
This is the reason why the term Levant has come to be used more to refer to modern Syria, Palestine, Israel and Cyprus. Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking. Today the term is used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references, it has the same meaning as "Syria-Palestine" or Ash-Shaam, the area, bounded by the Taurus Mountains of Turkey in the North, the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the north Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia in the east. It does not include Anatolia, the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper. Cilicia and the Sinai Peninsula are sometimes included; the term Levant was used to describe the region from the 18th to the mid-19th centuries, has had steady but lower usage since the late 19th century. Both the noun Levant and the adjective Levantine are now used to describe the ancient and modern culture area called Syro-Palestinian or Biblical: archaeologists now speak of the Levant and of Levantine archaeology; the Levant has been described as the "crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, northeast Africa", the "northwest of the Arabian plate".
The populations of the Levant share not only the geographic position, but cuisine, some customs, history. They are referred to as Levantines; the term Levant, which appeared in English in 1497 meant the East in general or "Mediterranean lands east of Italy". It is borrowed from the French levant "rising", referring to the rising of the sun in the east, or the point where the sun rises; the phrase is from the Latin word levare, meaning'lift, raise'. Similar etymologies are found in Greek Ἀνατολή, in Germanic Morgenland, in Italian, in Hungarian Kelet, in Spanish and Catalan Levante and Llevant, in Hebrew. Most notably, "Orient" and its Latin source oriens meaning "east", is "rising", deriving from Latin orior "rise"; the notion of the Levant has undergone a dynamic process of historical evolution in usage and understanding. While the term "Levantine" referred to the European residents of the eastern Mediterranean region, it came to refer to regional "native" and "minority" groups; the term became current in English in the 16th century, along with the first English merchant adventurers in the region.
The English Levant Company was founded in 1581 to trade with the Ottoman Empire, in 1670 the French Compagnie du Levant was founded for the same purpose. At this time, the Far East was known as the "Upper Levant". In early 19th-century travel writing, the term sometimes incorporated certain Mediterranean provinces of the Ottoman empire, as well as independent Greece. In 19th-century archaeology, it referred to overlapping cultures in this region during and after prehistoric times, intending to reference the place instead of any one culture; the French mandate of Syria and Lebanon was called the Levant states. Today, "Levant" is the term used by archaeologists and historians with reference to the history of the region. Scholars have adopted the term Levant to identify the region due to it being a "wider, yet relevant, cultural corpus" that does not have the "political overtones" of Syria-Palestine; the term is used for modern events, states or parts of states in the same region, namely Cyprus, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Turkey are sometimes considered Levant countries.
Several researchers include the island of Cyprus in Levantine studies, including the Council for British Research in the Levant, the UCLA Near Eastern Languages and Cultures department, Journal of Levantine Studies and the UCL Institute of Archaeology, the last of which has dated the connection between Cyprus and mainland Levant to the early Iron Age. Archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation, neither biblical n
Nubia is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between Aswan in southern Egypt and Khartoum in central Sudan. It was the seat of one of the earliest civilizations of ancient Africa, with a history that can be traced from at least 2500 BC onward with the Kerma culture; the latter was conquered by the New Kingdom of Egypt under pharaoh Thutmose I around 1500 BC. Nubia was home to several empires, most prominently the kingdom of Kush, which conquered Egypt during the 8th century BC during the reign of Piye and ruled the country as its Twenty-fifth Dynasty; the collapse of Kush in the 4th century AD after more than a thousand years of existence was precipitated by an invasion by Ethiopia's Kingdom of Aksum and saw the rise of three Christian kingdoms, Nobatia and Alodia, the last two again lasting for a millennium. Their eventual decline initiated not only the partition of Nubia into the northern half conquered by the Ottomans and the southern half by the Sennar sultanate in the 16th century, but a rapid Islamization and partial Arabization of the Nubian people.
Nubia was again united with the Khedivate of Egypt in the 19th century. Today, the region of Nubia is split between Sudan; the archaeological science dealing with ancient Nubia is called Nubiology. The name Nubia is derived from that of the Noba people, nomads who settled the area in the 4th century CE following the collapse of the kingdom of Meroë; the Noba spoke a Nilo-Saharan language, ancestral to Old Nubian. Old Nubian was used in religious texts dating from the 8th and 15th centuries. Before the 4th century, throughout classical antiquity, Nubia was known as Kush, or, in Classical Greek usage, included under the name Ethiopia; the people of Nubia spoke at least two varieties of the Nubian language group, a subfamily that includes Nobiin, Kenuzi-Dongola and several related varieties in the northern part of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan. Until at least 1970, the Birgid language is now extinct. However, linguistic evidence indicates that the languages spoken in the ancient Kerma Culture in Nubia, belonged to the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages.
Nubia was divided into three major regions: Upper and Lower Nubia, in reference to their locations along the Nile. Lower refers to regions upper refers to regions upstream. Lower Nubia lies within the current borders of Egypt. Middle Nubia lies between the Third Cataracts. Upper Nubia lies south of the Third Cataract. Early settlements sprouted in both Lower Nubia. Egyptians referred to Nubia as "Ta-Seti," or "The Land of the Bow," since the Nubians were known to be expert archers. Modern scholars refer to the people from this area as the "A-Group" culture. Fertile farmland just south of the Third Cataract is known as the "pre-Kerma" culture in Upper Nubia, as they are the ancestors; the Neolithic people in the Nile Valley came from Sudan, as well as the Sahara, there was shared culture with the two areas and with that of Egypt during this period. By the 5th millennium BC, the people who inhabited what is now called Nubia participated in the Neolithic revolution. Saharan rock reliefs depict scenes that have been thought to be suggestive of a cattle cult, typical of those seen throughout parts of Eastern Africa and the Nile Valley to this day.
Megaliths discovered at Nabta Playa are early examples of what seems to be one of the world's first astronomical devices, predating Stonehenge by 2,000 years. This complexity as observed at Nabta Playa, as expressed by different levels of authority within the society there formed the basis for the structure of both the Neolithic society at Nabta and the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Around 3500 BC, the second "Nubian" culture, termed the A-Group, arose, it was a contemporary of, ethnically and culturally similar to, the polities in predynastic Naqada of Upper Egypt. The A-Group people were engaged in trade with the Egyptians; this trade is testified archaeologically by large amounts of Egyptian commodities deposited in the graves of the A-Group people. The imports consisted of gold objects, copper tools, faience amulets and beads, slate palettes, stone vessels, a variety of pots. Around 3300 BC, there is evidence of a unified kingdom, as shown by the finds at Qustul, that maintained substantial interactions with the culture of Naqadan Upper Egypt.
The Nubian culture may have contributed to the unification of the Nile Valley. Toby Wilkinson, based on work by Bruce Williams in the 1980s, wrote that "The white crown, associated in historic times with Upper Egypt, is first attested than the red crown, but is directly associated with the ruler somewhat earlier; the earliest known depiction of the white crown is on a ceremonial incense burner from Cemetery at Qustul in Lower Nubia". Based on a 1998 excavation report, Jane Roy has written that "At the time of Williams' argument, the Qustul cemetery and the'royal' iconography found there was dated to the Naqada IIIA period, thus antedating royal cemeteries in Egypt of the Naqada IIIB phase. New evidence from Abydos, however the excavation of Cemetery U and the tome U-j, dating to Naqada IIIA has shown that this iconography appears earlier in Egypt." Around the turn of the protodynastic period, Naqada, in its bid to conquer and unify the whole Nile Valley, seems to have conquered Ta-Seti and harmonized it with the Egyptian state.
Thus, Nubia became the first
The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiations held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. They are the "most famous of the secret religious rites of ancient Greece", their basis was an old agrarian cult, there is some evidence that they were derived from the religious practices of the Mycenean period. The mysteries represented the myth of the abduction of Persephone from her mother Demeter by the king of the underworld Hades, in a cycle with three phases: the descent, the search, the ascent, with the main theme being the ascent of Persephone and the reunion with her mother, it was a major festival during the Hellenic era, spread to Rome. Similar religious rites appear in Minoan Crete; the rites and beliefs were kept secret and preserved from antiquity. For the initiated, the rebirth of Persephone symbolized the eternity of life which flows from generation to generation, they believed that they would have a reward in the afterlife. There are many pieces of pottery that depict various aspects of the Mysteries.
Since the Mysteries involved visions and conjuring of an afterlife, some scholars believe that the power and longevity of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a consistent set of rites and experiences that spanned two millennia, came from psychedelic drugs. The name of the town, Eleusís, seems to be Pre-Greek and it is a counterpart with Elysium and the goddess Eileithyia. Eleusinian Mysteries was the name of the mysteries of the city Eleusis; the name of the city Eleusis is Pre-Greek, may be related with the name of the goddess Eileithyia. Her name Ἐλυσία in Laconia and Messene relates her with the month Eleusinios and Eleusis, but this is debated; the ancient Greek word "mystery" means "mystery or secret rite" and is related with the verb mueō, which means initiation into the mysteries, the noun mustēs, which means one initiated. The word mustikós means "connected with the mysteries", or "private, secret"; the Mysteries are related to a myth concerning Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and fertility as recounted in one of the Homeric Hymns.
According to the hymn, Demeter's daughter Persephone was assigned the task of painting all the flowers of the earth – before completion, she was seized by Hades, the god of the underworld. He took her to his underworld kingdom. Distraught, Demeter searched low for her daughter; because of her distress, in an effort to coerce Zeus to allow the return of her daughter, she caused a terrible drought in which the people suffered and starved, depriving the gods of sacrifice and worship. As a result, Zeus allowed Persephone to return to her mother. According to the myth, during her search Demeter traveled long distances and had many minor adventures along the way. In one she taught the secrets of agriculture to Triptolemus. By consulting Zeus, Demeter reunites with her daughter and the earth returns to its former verdure and prosperity: the first spring. Zeus, pressed by the cries of the hungry people and by the other deities who heard their anguish, forced Hades to return Persephone. However, it was a rule of the Fates that whoever consumed food or drink in the Underworld was doomed to spend eternity there.
Before Persephone was released to Hermes, sent to retrieve her, Hades tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds, which forced her to return to the underworld for some months each year. She was obliged to remain with Hades for six or four months and lived above ground with her mother for the rest of the year; this left a long period of time when Demeter was unhappy due to Persephone's absence, neglecting to cultivate the earth. When Persephone returned to the surface, Demeter cared for the earth again. If one supposes that Persephone stayed with Hades for four months and Demeter eight months, corresponding to eight months of growth and abundance to be followed by four months of no productivity, the parallel with the Mediterranean climate of ancient Greece can be seen; the four months during which Persephone is with Hades correspond to the dry Greek summer, a period during which plants are threatened with drought. At the beginning of autumn when the seeds are planted, Persephone returns from the underworld and is reunited with her mother, the cycle of growth begins anew.
This reading of the ritual, does not square with the central foundation document of the mystery, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter line 415, where Persephone is explicitly said to return in the spring of the year, not the fall: "This was the day, at the beginning of bountiful springtime."Her rebirth is symbolic of the rebirth of all plant life and the symbol of eternity of life that flows from the generations that spring from each other. The Eleusinian Mysteries are believed to be of considerable antiquity; some findings in the temple Eleusinion in Attica suggest. Some practices of the mysteries seem to have been influenced by the religious practices of the Mycenaean period and thus predating the Greek Dark Ages. Excavations showed that, a private building existed under the Telesterion in the Mycenean period, it seems that the cult of Demeter was private. In the Homeric Hymn is mentioned the palace of the king Keleos. One line of thought by modern scholars has been that the Mysteries were intended "to elevate man above the human sphere into the divine and to assure his redemption by makin
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians, share many similar traits including language family and beliefs, they had a strong tradition of sailing and using stars to navigate at night. The largest country in Polynesia is New Zealand; the term Polynesia was first used in 1756 by a French writer named Charles de Brosses, applied to all the islands of the Pacific. In 1831, Jules Dumont d'Urville proposed a restriction on its use during a lecture to the Geographical Society of Paris; the islands of the South Seas have been known as South Sea Islands, their inhabitants as South Sea Islanders though the Hawaiian Islands are located in the North Pacific. Another term, the Polynesian Triangle, explicitly includes the Hawaiian Islands, as they form its northern vertex. Polynesia is characterized by a small amount of land spread over a large portion of the mid and southern Pacific Ocean.
Most Polynesian islands and archipelagos, including the Hawaiian Islands and Samoa, are composed of volcanic islands built by hotspots. New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Ouvéa, the Polynesian outlier near New Caledonia, are the unsubmerged portions of the sunken continent of Zealandia. Zealandia is believed to have sunk 23 million years ago and resurfaced geologically due to a change in the movements of the Pacific Plate in relation to the Indo-Australian plate, which served to uplift the New Zealand portion. At first, the Pacific plate was subducted under the Australian plate; the Alpine Fault that traverses the South Island is a transform fault while the convergent plate boundary from the North Island northwards is called the Kermadec-Tonga Subduction Zone. The volcanism associated with this subduction zone is the origin of the Kermadec and Tongan island archipelagos. Out of 300,000 or 310,000 square kilometres of land, over 270,000 km2 are within New Zealand; the Zealandia continent has 3,600,000 km2 of continental shelf.
The oldest rocks in the region are found in New Zealand and are believed to be about 510 million years old. The oldest Polynesian rocks outside of Zealandia are to be found in the Hawaiian Emperor Seamount Chain and are 80 million years old. Polynesia is defined as the islands within the Polynesian Triangle, although some islands inhabited by Polynesian people are situated outside the Polynesian Triangle. Geographically, the Polynesian Triangle is drawn by connecting the points of Hawaii, New Zealand, Easter Island; the other main island groups located within the Polynesian Triangle are Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tokelau, Niue and Futuna, French Polynesia. Small Polynesian settlements are in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Caroline Islands, Vanuatu. An island group with strong Polynesian cultural traits outside of this great triangle is Rotuma, situated north of Fiji; the people of Rotuma speak a non-Polynesian language. Some of the Lau Islands to the southeast of Fiji have strong cultural links with Tonga.
However, in essence, Polynesia is a cultural term referring to one of the three parts of Oceania. The following are the islands and island groups, either nations or overseas territories of former colonial powers, that are of native Polynesian culture or where archaeological evidence indicates Polynesian settlement in the past; some islands of Polynesian origin are outside the general triangle that geographically defines the region. The Phoenix Islands and Line Islands, most of which are part of Kiribati, had no permanent settlements until European colonization, but are sometimes considered to be inside the Polynesian triangle. In pre-colonial times, Polynesian populations existed in the Kermadec Islands, the Auckland Islands and Norfolk Island. However, when European explorers arrived, these islands were uninhabited. Anuta Bellona Island Emae Fiji Mele Nuguria Nukumanu Ontong Java Pileni Rennell Sikaiana Takuu Tikopia The United States Minor Outlying Islands Kapingamarangi Nukuoro Auckland Islands The Polynesian people are considered to be by linguistic and human genetic ancestry a subset of the sea-migrating Austronesian people.
Tracing Polynesian languages places their prehistoric origins in the Malay Archipelago, in Taiwan. Between about 3000 and 1000 BCE speakers of Austronesian languages began spreading from Taiwan into Island Southeast Asia. There are three theories regarding the spread of humans across the Pacific to Polynesia; these are outlined well by Kayser et al. and are as follows: Express Train model: A recent expansion out of Taiwan, via the Philippines and eastern Indonesia and from the northwest of New Guinea, on to Island Melanesia by 1400 BCE, reaching western Polynesian islands around 900 BCE. This theory is supported by the majority of curren