Heracles, born Alcaeus or Alcides was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon. He was a half-brother of Perseus, he was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae, a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules, with whom the Roman emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian identified themselves; the Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and works unchanged, but added anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Central Mediterranean. Details of his cult were adapted to Rome as well. Many popular stories were told of the most famous being The Twelve Labours of Heracles, his figure, which drew on Near Eastern motifs such as the lion-fight, was known. Heracles was the greatest of Hellenic chthonic heroes, but unlike other Greek heroes, no tomb was identified as his.
Heracles was both god, as Pindar says heros theos. The core of the story of Heracles has been identified by Walter Burkert as originating in Neolithic hunter culture and traditions of shamanistic crossings into the netherworld, it is possible that the myths surrounding Heracles were based on the life of a real person or several people whose accomplishments became exaggerated with time. Based on commonalities in the legends of Heracles and Odysseus, author Steven Sora suggested that they were both based on the same historical person, who made his mark prior to recorded history. Heracles' role as a culture hero, whose death could be a subject of mythic telling, was accepted into the Olympian Pantheon during Classical times; this created an awkwardness in the encounter with Odysseus in the episode of Odyssey XI, called the Nekuia, where Odysseus encounters Heracles in Hades: Ancient critics were aware of the problem of the aside that interrupts the vivid and complete description, in which Heracles recognizes Odysseus and hails him, modern critics find good reasons for denying that the verses beginning, in Fagles' translation His ghost I mean... were part of the original composition: "once people knew of Heracles' admission to Olympus, they would not tolerate his presence in the underworld", remarks Friedrich Solmsen, noting that the interpolated verses represent a compromise between conflicting representations of Heracles.
In Christian circles a Euhemerist reading of the widespread Heracles cult was attributed to a historical figure, offered cult status after his death. Thus Eusebius, Preparation of the Gospel, reported that Clement could offer historical dates for Hercules as a king in Argos: "from the reign of Hercules in Argos to the deification of Hercules himself and of Asclepius there are comprised thirty-eight years, according to Apollodorus the chronicler: and from that point to the deification of Castor and Pollux fifty-three years: and somewhere about this time was the capture of Troy." Readers with a literalist bent, following Clement's reasoning, have asserted from this remark that, since Heracles ruled over Tiryns in Argos at the same time that Eurystheus ruled over Mycenae, since at about this time Linus was Heracles' teacher, one can conclude, based on Jerome's date—in his universal history, his Chronicon—given to Linus' notoriety in teaching Heracles in 1264 BCE, that Heracles' death and deification occurred 38 years in 1226 BCE.
The ancient Greeks celebrated the festival of the Heracleia, which commemorated the death of Heracles, on the second day of the month of Metageitnion. What is believed to be an Egyptian Temple of Heracles in the Bahariya Oasis dates to 21 BCE. A reassessment of Ptolemy's descriptions of the island of Malta attempted to link the site at Ras ir-Raħeb with a temple to Heracles, but the arguments are not conclusive. Several ancient cities were named Heraclea in his honor. Although the Athenians were among the first to worship Heracles as a god, there were Greek cities that refused to recognize the hero's divine status. There are several polis that provided two separate sanctuaries for Heracles, one recognizing him as a god, the other only as a hero; this ambiguity helped create the Heracles cult when historians and artists encouraged worship such as the painters during the time of the Peisistratos, who presented Heracles entering Olympus in their works. Some sources explained that the cult of Heracles persisted because of the hero's ascent to heaven and his suffering, which became the basis for festivals, ritual and the organization of mysteries.
There is the observation, for example, that sufferings gave rise to the rituals of grief and mourning, which came before the joy in the mysteries in the sequence of cult rituals. Like the case of Apollo, the cult of Hercules has been sustained through the years by absorbing local cult figures such as those who share the same nature, he was constantly invoked as a patron for men the young ones. For example, he was considered the ideal in warfare so he presided over gymnasiums and the ephebes or those men undergoing military training. There were ancient towns and cities that adopted Hera
Bistones is the name of a Thracian people who dwelt between Mount Rhodopé and the Aegean Sea, beside Lake Bistonis, near Abdera. From the worship of Dionysus in Thrace, female Bacchanals were sometimes called Bistonides, just as in some Latin poems, Edonis refers to female Bacchanals. Pliny mentions one town as belonging to the Bistones: Tirida. According to myth Biston founded the Bistones tribe, he introduced the practice of tattooing eye-like patterns on their men and women to guarantee victory over the nearby Edonians. The Bistones were a warlike people who worshipped Ares, Biston's father, in the form of an upright standing sword. Biston List of Thracian tribes
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
The Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology is an encyclopedia/biographical dictionary. Edited by William Smith, the dictionary spans 3,700 pages, it is a classic work of 19th-century lexicography. The work is a companion to Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities and Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography; the work lists thirty-five authors in addition to the editor, an author for some definitions and articles. The authors were classical scholars from Oxford, Rugby School, the University of Bonn, but some were from other institutions. Many of the mythological entries were the work of the German expatriate Leonhard Schmitz, who helped to popularise German classical scholarship in Britain. With respect to biographies, Smith intended to be comprehensive. In the preface, he writes:The biographical articles in this work include the names of all persons of any importance which occur in the Greek and Roman writers, from the earliest times down to the extinction of the Western Empire in the year 476 of our era, to the extinction of the Eastern Empire by the capture of Constantinople by the turks in the year 1453.
Samuel Sharpe thought Edward Bunbury had plagiarised his work, as he wrote of in his diary entry on 3 September 1850: I felt mortified on reading the articles on the Ptolemies in Dr. Smith's "Dictionary of Classical Biography." They were all written by E. H. Bunbury with the help of my "History of Egypt," and with-out any acknowledgment, though he borrowed the volume from my brother Dan for the purpose. Many of the Dictionary's definitions and articles have been referred to in more recent works, Robert Graves has been accused of "lifting his impressive-looking source references straight, unchecked" from it when writing The Greek Myths; the work is now in the public domain, is available in several places on the Internet. While still accurate, much is missing more recent discoveries and epigraphic material. More the context in which ancient evidence is viewed has changed in the intervening century and a half. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
Vol. I online at University of Michigan Library. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. II online at University of Michigan Library. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. III online at University of Michigan Library; the Internet Archive has a derivative work: Smith, William. A new classical dictionary of biography and geography based on the "Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology.". London: Murray. Anthon, Charles. A new classical dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and geography: based upon the Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology by William Smith. New York: Harper and Brothers
Abdera is a municipality and a former major Greek polis on the coast of Thrace. The ancient polis is to be distinguished from the municipality, named in its honor; the polis lay 17 km east-northeast of the mouth of the Nestos River directly opposite the island of Thasos. It was a colony placed in unsettled Thracian territory, not a part of Hellas, during the age of Greek colonization; the city that developed from it became of major importance in ancient Greece. After the 4th century AD it declined, contracted to its acropolis, was abandoned, never to be reoccupied except by archaeologists. Meanwhile, life went on as the changing population settled in other communities in the region. One named. In 2011 the municipality of Abdera was synoecized from three previous municipalities comprising a number of modern settlements.. The ancient site remains in it as a ruin, it now lies in the Xanthi regional unit of Greece. The municipality of Abdera has 19,005 inhabitants; the seat of the municipality is the town Genisea.
The name "Abdera" is a Phoenician one, shared in antiquity by a town in Spain and another in North Africa. It was variously hellenized as Ábdēra, Ábdēron, Ábdēros before being Latinized as Abdera. Greek legend attributed the name to an eponymous "Abderus" who fell nearby and was memorialized by Hercules's founding of a city at the location; the present-day town is pronounced in modern Greek. The Phoenicians began the settlement of Abdera at some point before the mid-7th century and the town long maintained Phoenician standards in its coinage; the Greek settlement was begun as a failed colony from Klazomenai, traditionally dated to 654 BC. Herodotus reports that the leader of the colony had been Timesios but, within his generation, the Thracians had expelled the colonists. Timesios was subsequently honored as a local protective spirit by the Abderans from Teos. Others recount various legends about this colony. Plutarch and Aelian relate that Timesios grew insufferable to his colonists because of his desire to do everything by himself.
The successful foundation occurred in 544 BC, when the majority of the people of Teos migrated to Abdera to escape the Persian yoke. The chief coin type, a griffon, is identical with that of Teos. In 513 and 512 BC, the Persians, under Darius conquered Abdera, by which time the city seems to have become a place of considerable importance, is mentioned as one of the cities which had the expensive honour of entertaining the great king on his march into Greece. In 492 BC, after the Ionian Revolt, the Persians again conquered Abdera, again under Darius I but led by his general Mardonius. On his flight after the Battle of Salamis, Xerxes stopped at Abdera and acknowledged the hospitality of its inhabitants by presenting them with a tiara and scimitar of gold. Thucydides mentions Abdera as the westernmost limit of the Odrysian kingdom when at its height at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, it became part of the Delian League and fought on the side of Athens in the Peloponnesian war. Abdera was a wealthy city, the third richest in the League, due to its status as a prime port for trade with the interior of Thrace and the Odrysian kingdom.
In 408 BC, Abdera was reduced under the power of Athens by Thrasybulus one of the Athenian generals in that quarter. A valuable prize, the city was sacked: by the Triballi in 376 BC, Philip II of Macedon in 350 BC. In 170 BC the Roman armies and those of Eumenes II of Pergamon sacked it; the town seems to have declined in importance after the middle of the 4th century BC. Cicero ridicules the city as a byword for stupidity in his letters to Atticus, writing of a debate in the Senate, "Here was Abdera, but I wasn't silent"; the city counted among its citizens the philosophers Democritus and Anaxarchus, historian and philosopher Hecataeus of Abdera, the lyric poet Anacreon. Pliny the Elder speaks of Abdera as being in his time a free city. Abdera had flourished in ancient times for two reasons: because of the large area of their territory and their strategic position; the city controlled two great road passages. Furthermore, from their ports passed the sea road, which from Troas led to the Thracian and the Macedonian coast.
The ruins of the town may still be seen on Cape Balastra. The municipality Abdera was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of three former municipalities that became municipal units: Abdera and Vistonida; the municipality has an area of 352.047 km2, the municipal unit 161.958 km2. The municipal unit Abdera is subdivided into the communities Abdera, Mandra and Nea Kessani; the community Abdera consists of the settlements
Opuntian Locris or Eastern Locris was an ancient Greek region inhabited by the eastern division of the Locrians, the so-called tribe of the Locri Epicnemidii or Locri Opuntii. Opuntian Locris consisted of a narrow slip upon the eastern coast of central Greece, from the pass of Thermopylae to the mouth of the river Cephissus; the northern frontier town was Alpeni, which bordered upon the Malians, the southern frontier town was Larymna, which at a time belonged to Boeotia. The Locrians, did not inhabit this coast continuously, but were separated by a narrow slip of Phocis, which extended to the North Euboean Gulf, contained the Phocian seaport town of Daphnus; the Locrians north of Daphnus were called Epicnemidii, from Mount Cnemis. On the west, the Locrians were separated from Phocis and Boeotia by a range of mountains, extending from Mount Oeta and running parallel to the coast; the northern part of this range, called Mount Cnemis, now Talanda, rises to a considerable height, separated the Epicnemidii Locri from the Phocians of the upper valley of the Cephissus.
Lateral branches extended from these mountains to the coast, of which one terminated in the promontory Cnemides, opposite the islands called Lichades. In consequence of the proximity of the mountains to the coast there was no room for any considerable rivers; the largest, however, is only a mountain torrent, is the Boagrius, called Manes by Strabo, rising in Mount Cnemis, flowing into the sea between Scarpheia and Thronium. The only other river mentioned by name is the Platanius, a small stream, which flows into the Opuntian gulf near the Boeotian frontier: it is the river which flows from the modern village of Proskyná; the Opuntian Gulf, at the head of which stood the town of Opus, is a considerable bay, shallow at its inner extremity. In this bay, close to the coast, is the small island of Atalanta; the Eastern Locrians, are mentioned by Homer, who describes them as following Ajax, the son of Oïleus, to the Trojan War in forty ships, as inhabiting the towns of Kynos, Calliarus, Scarphe, Augeiae and Thronium.
Neither Homer, Thucydides, nor Polybius, make any distinction between the Opuntii and Epicnemidii. Strabo, from whom the distinction is chiefly derived, in one place describes Opus as the metropolis of the Epicnemidii. In the Persian War the Opuntian Locrians fought with Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae, sent seven ships to the Greek fleet; the Locrians fought on the side of Sparta in the Peloponnesian War. The Locri Opuntii minted coins in antiquity, some of which survive; the cities and towns of the Locri Epicnemidii, along the coast from north to south, were: Alpenus, Scarphe, Cnemis, more inland, Tarphe Pharygae, Augeiae. The cities and towns of the Locri Opuntii, along the coast from north to south, were: Alope, Opus, Larymna which belonged to Boeotia, more inland, Calliarus and Corseia. Regions of ancient Greece Locris This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "Locris". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
On the geography of the Locrian tribes, see William Martin Leake, Northern Greece, vol. ii. pp. 66, seq. 170, seq. 587, seq