Seven Against Thebes
Seven Against Thebes is the third play in an Oedipus-themed trilogy produced by Aeschylus in 467 BC. The trilogy is sometimes referred to as the Oedipodea, it concerns the battle between an Argive army led by Polynices and the army of Thebes led by Eteocles and his supporters. The trilogy won the first prize at the City Dionysia; the trilogy's first two plays and Oedipus, as well as the satyr play Sphinx, are no longer extant. When Oedipus, King of Thebes, realized he had married his own mother and had two sons and two daughters with her, he blinded himself and cursed his sons to divide their inheritance by the sword; the two sons and Polynices, in order to avoid bloodshed, agreed to rule Thebes in alternate years. After the first year, Eteocles refused to step down, leading Polynices to raise an army of Argives to take Thebes by force; this is. Seven Against Thebes features little action. Dialogues show aspects of Eteocles' character. There is a lengthy description of each of the seven captains that lead the Argive army against the seven gates of the city of Thebes as well as the devices on their respective shields.
Eteocles, in turn, announces. The commander of the troops before the seventh gate is revealed to be Polynices, the brother of the king. Eteocles remembers and refers to the curse of their father Oedipus. Eteocles resolves to fight his brother in person before the seventh gate and exits. Following a choral ode, a messenger enters, announcing that the attackers have been repelled but that Eteocles and Polynices have killed each other in battle, their bodies are brought on stage, the chorus mourns them. Due to the popularity of Sophocles' play Antigone, the ending of Seven against Thebes was rewritten about fifty years after Aeschylus' death. While Aeschylus wrote his play to end with somber mourning for the dead brothers, it now contains an ending that serves as a lead-in of sorts to Sophocles' play: a messenger appears, announcing a prohibition against burying Polynices; the seven attackers and defenders in the play are: The mytheme of the "outlandish" and "savage" Seven who threatened the city has traditionally seemed to be based on Bronze Age history in the generation before the Trojan War, when in the Iliad's Catalogue of Ships only the remnant Hypothebai subsists on the ruins of Thebes.
Yet archaeologists have been hard put to locate seven gates in "seven-gated Thebes": In 1891 Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff declared that the seven gates existed only for symmetry with the seven assailants, whose names vary: some have their own identity, like Amphiaraus the seer, "who had his sanctuary and his cult afterwards... Others appear as stock figures to fill out the list," Burkert remarks. "To call one of them Eteoklos, vis-à-vis Eteokles the brother of Polyneikes, appears to be the desperate invention of a faltering poet" Burkert follows a suggestion made by Ernest Howald in 1939 that the Seven are pure myth led by Adrastos on his magic horse, seven demons of the Underworld. The city is saved when the brothers run each other through. Burkert adduces a ninth-century relief from Tell Halaf which would illustrate a text from II Samuel 2: "But each seized his opponent by the forelock and thrust his sword into his side so that all fell together"; the mythic theme passed into Etruscan culture: a fifth-century bronze mirrorback is inscribed with Fulnice and Evtucle running at one another with drawn swords.
A gruesome detail from the battle, in which Tydeus gnawed on the living brain of Melanippos in the course of the siege appears, in a sculpted terracotta relief from a temple at Pyrgi, ca. 470–460 BC. The Seven Against Thebes were Adrastus Amphiaraus Capaneus Hippomedon Parthenopeus Polynices TydeusAllies: Eteoclus and Mecisteus; some sources, state that Eteoclus and Mecisteus were in fact two of the seven, that Tydeus and Polynices were allies. This is because both Polynices were foreigners. However, Polynices was the cause of the entire conflict, Tydeus performed acts of valour far surpassing Eteoclus and Mecisteus. Either way, all nine men were present in the battle; the defenders of Thebes included Melanippus Polyphontes Megareus Hyperbius Actor Lasthenes EteoclesSee Epigoni, the mythic theme of the Second War of Thebes Of the other two plays that made up the trilogy that included Seven Against Thebes and Oedipus, of its satyr play The Sphinx, few fragments have survived. The only fragment definitively assigned to Oedipus is a line translated by Herbert Weir Smyth as "We were coming on our journey to the place from which three highways part in the branching roads, where we crossed the junction of the triple roads at Potniae."
The only two fragments definitively assigned to The Sphinx were translated by Smyth as "For the stranger a garland, an ancient crown, the best of bonds, as Prometheus said," and "The Sphinx, the Watch-dog that presideth over evil days." Translators David Grene and Richmond Lattimore wrote that "the rise of German Romanticism, the consequent resurgence of enthusiasm for Aesc
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus, a distinct city prior to its 5th century BC incorporation with Athens. A center for the arts and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent, in particular the Romans. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, industrial, maritime and cultural life in Greece. In 2012, Athens was ranked the world's 39th richest city by purchasing power and the 67th most expensive in a UBS study. Athens is a global one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe.
It has a large financial sector, its port Piraeus is both the largest passenger port in Europe, the second largest in the world. While at the same time being the sixth busiest passenger port in Europe; the Municipality of Athens had a population of 664,046 within its administrative limits, a land area of 38.96 km2. The urban area of Athens extends beyond its administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,090,508 over an area of 412 km2. According to Eurostat in 2011, the functional urban area of Athens was the 9th most populous FUA in the European Union, with a population of 3.8 million people. Athens is the southernmost capital on the European mainland; the heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.
Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament and the so-called "architectural trilogy of Athens", consisting of the National Library of Greece, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Academy of Athens. Athens is home to several museums and cultural institutions, such as the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, the Acropolis Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, 108 years it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics, making it one of only a handful of cities to have hosted the Olympics more than once. In Ancient Greek, the name of the city was Ἀθῆναι a plural. In earlier Greek, such as Homeric Greek, the name had been current in the singular form though, as Ἀθήνη, it was rendered in the plural on, like those of Θῆβαι and Μυκῆναι.
The root of the word is not of Greek or Indo-European origin, is a remnant of the Pre-Greek substrate of Attica. In antiquity, it was debated whether Athens took its name from its patron goddess Athena or Athena took her name from the city. Modern scholars now agree that the goddess takes her name from the city, because the ending -ene is common in names of locations, but rare for personal names. During the medieval period, the name of the city was rendered once again in the singular as Ἀθήνα. However, after the establishment of the modern Greek state, due to the conservatism of the written language, Ἀθῆναι became again the official name of the city and remained so until the abandonment of Katharevousa in the 1970s, when Ἀθήνα, Athína, became the official name. According to the ancient Athenian founding myth, the goddess of wisdom, competed against Poseidon, the god of the seas, for patronage of the yet-unnamed city. According to the account given by Pseudo-Apollodorus, Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a salt water spring welled up.
In an alternative version of the myth from Vergil's Georgics, Poseidon instead gave the Athenians the first horse. In both versions, Athena offered the Athenians the first domesticated olive tree. Cecrops declared Athena the patron goddess of Athens. Different etymologies, now rejected, were proposed during the 19th century. Christian Lobeck proposed as the root of the name the word ἄθος or ἄνθος meaning "flower", to denote Athens as the "flowering city". Ludwig von Döderlein proposed the stem of the verb θάω, stem θη- to denote Athens as having fertile soil. In classical literature, the city was sometimes referred to as the City of the Violet Crown, first documented in Pindar's ἰοστέφανοι Ἀθᾶναι, or as τὸ κλεινὸν ἄστυ. In medieval texts, variant names include Setines and Astines, all derivations involving false splitting of p
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
Homer is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms, it focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary; the Homeric Question – concerning by whom, when and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed – continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion falls into two groups. One holds that most of the Odyssey are the works of a single poet of genius; the other considers the Homeric poems to be the result of a process of working and reworking by many contributors, that "Homer" is best seen as a label for an entire tradition.
It is accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC. The poems are in Homeric Greek known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries. Most researchers believe that the poems were transmitted orally. From antiquity until the present day, the influence of the Homeric epics on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music and film; the Homeric epics were the greatest influence on education. Today only the Iliad and Odyssey are associated with the name'Homer'. In antiquity, a large number of other works were sometimes attributed to him, including the Homeric Hymns, the Contest of Homer and Hesiod, the Little Iliad, the Nostoi, the Thebaid, the Cypria, the Epigoni, the comic mini-epic Batrachomyomachia, the Margites, the Capture of Oechalia, the Phocais; these claims are not considered authentic today and were by no means universally accepted in the ancient world.
As with the multitude of legends surrounding Homer's life, they indicate little more than the centrality of Homer to ancient Greek culture. Many traditions circulated in the ancient world concerning Homer. Modern scholarly consensus is; some claims were repeated often. They include that Homer was blind, that he was born in Chios, that he was the son of the river Meles and the nymph Critheïs, that he was a wandering bard, that he composed a varying list of other works, that he died either in Ios or after failing to solve a riddle set by fishermen, various explanations for the name "Homer"; the two best known ancient biographies of Homer are the Life of Homer by the Pseudo-Herodotus and the Contest of Homer and Hesiod. The study of Homer is one of the oldest topics in scholarship, dating back to antiquity. Nonetheless, the aims of Homeric studies have changed over the course of the millennia; the earliest preserved comments on Homer concern his treatment of the gods, which hostile critics such as the poet Xenophanes of Colophon denounced as immoral.
The allegorist Theagenes of Rhegium is said to have defended Homer by arguing that the Homeric poems are allegories. The Iliad and the Odyssey were used as school texts in ancient Greek and Hellenistic cultures, they were the first literary works taught to all students. The Iliad its first few books, was far more intently studied than the Odyssey during the Hellenistic and Roman periods; as a result of the poems' prominence in classical Greek education, extensive commentaries on them developed to explain parts of the poems that were culturally or linguistically difficult. During the Hellenistic and Roman Periods, many interpreters the Stoics, who believed that Homeric poems conveyed Stoic doctrines, regarded them as allegories, containing hidden wisdom; because of the Homeric poems' extensive use in education, many authors believed that Homer's original purpose had been to educate. Homer's wisdom became so praised that he began to acquire the image of a prototypical philosopher. Byzantine scholars such as Eustathius of Thessalonica and John Tzetzes produced commentaries and scholia to Homer in the twelfth century.
Eustathius's commentary on the Iliad alone is massive, sprawling nearly 4,000 oversized pages in a twenty-first century printed version and his commentary on the Odyssey an additional nearly 2,000. In 1488, the Greek scholar Demetrios Chalkokondyles published the editio princeps of the Homeric poems; the earliest modern Homeric scholars started with the same basic approaches towards the Homeric poems as scholars in antiquity. The allegorical interpretation of the Homeric poems, so prevalent in antiquity returned to become the prevailing view of the Renaissance. Renaissance humanists praised Homer as the archetypically wise poet, whose writings contain hidden wisdom, disguised through allegory. In western Europe during the Renaissance, Virgil was more read than Homer and Homer was seen through a Virgilian lens. In 1664, contradicting the widespread praise of Homer as the epitome of wisdom, François Hédelin, abbé d'Aubignac wrote a s
In Greek mythology, Tiresias was a blind prophet of Apollo in Thebes, famous for clairvoyance and for being transformed into a woman for seven years. He was the son of the nymph Chariclo. Tiresias participated in seven generations in Thebes, beginning as advisor to Cadmus himself. Eighteen allusions to mythic Tiresias, noted by Luc Brisson, fall into three groups: one, in two episodes, recounts Tiresias' sex-change and his encounter with Zeus and Hera. Like other oracles, how Tiresias obtained his information varied: sometimes, he would receive visions. Pliny the Elder credits Tiresias with the invention of augury. On Mount Cyllene in the Peloponnese, as Tiresias came upon a pair of copulating snakes, he hit the pair with his stick. Hera was displeased, she punished Tiresias by transforming him into a woman; as a woman, Tiresias became a priestess of Hera and had children, including Manto, who possessed the gift of prophecy. After seven years as a woman, Tiresias again found mating snakes; as a result, Tiresias was permitted to regain his masculinity.
This ancient story was recorded in lost lines of Hesiod. In Hellenistic and Roman times Tiresias' sex-change was embellished and expanded into seven episodes, with appropriate amours in each written by the Alexandrian Ptolemaeus Chennus, but attributed by Eustathius to Sostratus of Phanagoria's lost elegiac Tiresias. Tiresias is presented as a complexly liminal figure, mediating between humankind and the gods and female, blind and seeing and future, this world and the Underworld. According to the mythographic compendium Bibliotheke, different stories were told of the cause of his blindness, the most direct being that he was blinded by the gods for revealing their secrets. An alternative story told by the poet Pherecydes was followed in Callimachus' poem "The Bathing of Pallas", his mother, Chariclo, a nymph of Athena, begged Athena to undo her curse. In a separate episode, Tiresias was drawn into an argument between Hera and her husband Zeus, on the theme of who has more pleasure in sex: the man, as Hera claimed.
Tiresias replied, "Of ten parts a man enjoys one only." Hera struck him blind for his impiety. Zeus could do nothing to stop her or reverse her curse, but in recompense he did give Tiresias the gift of foresight and a lifespan of seven lives, he is said to have understood the language of birds and could divine the future from indications in a fire, or smoke. However, it was the communications of the dead he relied on the most, menacing them when they were late to attend him. Tiresias makes a dramatic appearance in the Odyssey, book XI, in which Odysseus calls up the spirits of the dead. "So sentient is Tiresias in death," observes Marina Warner "that he comes up to Odysseus and recognizes him and calls him by name before he has drunk the black blood of the sacrifice. In Greek literature, Tiresias' pronouncements are always given in short maxims which are cryptic, but never wrong; when his name is attached to a mythic prophecy, it is introduced to supply a personality to the generic example of a seer, not by any inherent connection of Tiresias with the myth: thus it is Tiresias who tells Amphytrion of Zeus and Alcmena and warns the mother of Narcissus that the boy will thrive as long as he never knows himself.
This is his emblematic role in tragedy. Like most oracles, he is extremely reluctant to offer the whole of what he sees in his visions. Tiresias appears as the name of a recurring character in several stories and Greek tragedies concerning the legendary history of Thebes. In The Bacchae, by Euripides, Tiresias appears with Cadmus, the founder and first king of Thebes, to warn the current king Pentheus against denouncing Dionysus as a god. Along with Cadmus, he dresses as a worshiper of Dionysus to go up the mountain to honor the new god with the Theban women in their Bacchic revels. In Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, the king of Thebes, calls upon Tiresias to aid in the investigation of the killing of the previous king Laius. At first, Tiresias refuses to give a direct answer and instead hints that the killer is someone Oedipus does not wish to find. However, after being provoked to anger by Oedipus' accusation first that he has no foresight and that Tiresias had a hand in the murder, he reveals that in fact it was Oedipus himself who had committed the crime.
Outraged, Oedipus throws him out of the palace, but afterwards realizes the truth. Tiresias appears in Sophocles' Antigone. Creon, now king of Thebes, refuses to allow Polynices to be buried, his niece, defies the order and is caught. The gods express their disapproval of Creon's decision through Tiresias, who tells Creon'the city is sick thr
Argos is a city in Argolis, the Peloponnese, Greece and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is a major center for the area. Since the 2011 local government reform it has been part of the municipality of Argos-Mykines, of which it is a municipal unit; the municipal unit has an area of 138.138 km2. It is 11 kilometres from Nafplion, its historic harbour. A settlement of great antiquity, Argos has been continuously inhabited as at least a substantial village for the past 7,000 years; the city is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network. A resident of the city of Argos is known as an Argive. However, this term is used to refer to those ancient Greeks who assaulted the city of Troy during the Trojan War. Numerous ancient monuments can be found in the city today. Agriculture is the mainstay of the local economy; the name of the city is ancient and several etymological theories have been proposed as an explanation to its meaning. The most popular one maintains that the name of the city is a remainder from the Pelasgian language, i.e. the one used by the people who first settled in the area, in which Argos meant "plain".
Alternatively, the name is associated with Argos, the third king of the city in ancient times, who renamed it after himself, thus replacing its older name Phoronikon Astu. It is believed that "Argos" is linked to the word "αργός", which meant "white". According to Strabo, the name could have originated from the word "αγρός" by antimetathesis of the consonants. Argos is traditionally considered to be the origins of the ancient Macedonian royal Greek house of the Argead dynasty; the most celebrated members were Philip II of Alexander the Great. As a strategic location on the fertile plain of Argolis, Argos was a major stronghold during the Mycenaean era. In classical times Argos was a powerful rival of Sparta for dominance over the Peloponnese, but was shunned by other Greek city-states after remaining neutral during the Greco-Persian Wars. There is evidence of continuous settlement in the area starting with a village about 7000 years ago in the late Neolithic, located on the foot of Aspida hill.
Since that time, Argos has been continually inhabited at the same geographical location. Its creation is attributed to Phoroneus, with its first name having been Phoronicon Asty, or the city of Phoroneus; the historical presence of the Pelasgian Greeks in the area can be witnessed in the linguistic remainders that survive up to today, such as the name of the city and "Larisa", the name of the city's castle located on the hill of the name. The city is located at a rather propitious area, among Nemea and Arcadia, it benefitted from its proximity to lake Lerna, which, at the time, was at a distance of one kilometre from the south end of Argos. Argos was a major stronghold of Mycenaean times, along with the neighbouring acropolis of Mycenae and Tiryns became a early settlement because of its commanding positions in the midst of the fertile plain of Argolis. Argos experienced its greatest period of expansion and power under the energetic 7th century BC ruler King Pheidon. Under Pheidon, Argos regained sway over the cities of the Argolid and challenged Sparta’s dominance of the Peloponnese.
Spartan dominance is thought to have been interrupted following the Battle of Hyssiae in 669-668 BC, in which Argive troops defeated the Spartans in a hoplite battle. During this time of its greatest power, the city boasted a pottery and bronze sculpturing school, pottery workshops and clothes producers. Moreover, at least 25 celebrations took place in the city, in addition to a regular local products exhibition. A sanctuary dedicated to Hera was found at the same spot where the monastery of Panagia Katekrymeni is located today. Pheidon extended Argive influence throughout Greece, taking control of the Olympic Games away from the citizens of Elis and appointing himself organizer during his reign. Pheidon is thought to have introduced reforms for standard weight and measures in Argos, a theory further reinforced with the unearthing of six "spits" of iron in an Argive Heraion remainders of a dedication from Pheidon. Argos remained neutral or the ineffective ally of Athens during the 5th century BC struggles between Sparta and Athens.
This, led to its weakening and loss of power, which in turn led to the shift of commercial focus from the Ancient Agora to the eastern side of the city, delimited by Danaou and Agiou Konstadinou streets. Argos played a minor role in the Corinthian Wars against Sparta, for a short period of time considered uniting with Corinth to form an expanded Argolid state. However, this plan never came to fruition, Argos continued to remain a minor power in Greek affairs. Argos was a democracy for most of the classical period, with only a brief hiatus between 418 and 416. Democracy was first established after a disastrous defeat by the Spartans at the Battle of Sepeia in 494. So many Argives were killed in the battle that a revolution ensued, in which disenfranchised outsiders were included in the state for the first time. Argive democracy included an Assembly, a Council, another body called'The Eighty,' whose precise responsibilities are obscure. Magistrates served six-month terms of office, with few exceptions, were audited at the end of their terms.
There is some evidence that ostracis
Megara is a historic town and a municipality in West Attica, Greece. It lies in the northern section of the Isthmus of Corinth opposite the island of Salamis, which belonged to Megara in archaic times, before being taken by Athens. Megara was one of the four districts of Attica, embodied in the four mythic sons of King Pandion II, of whom Nisos was the ruler of Megara. Megara was a trade port, its people using their ships and wealth as a way to gain leverage on armies of neighboring poleis. Megara specialized in the exportation of wool and other animal products including livestock such as horses, it possessed two harbors, Pegae, to the west on the Corinthian Gulf and Nisaea, to the east on the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. According to Pausanias, the Megarians said that their town owed its origin to Car, the son of Phoroneus, who built the citadel called'Caria' and the temples of Demeter called Megara, from which the place derived its name. In historical times, Megara was an early dependency of Corinth, in which capacity colonists from Megara founded Megara Hyblaea, a small polis north of Syracuse in Sicily.
Megara fought a war of independence with Corinth, afterwards founded Chalcedon in 685 BC, as well as Byzantium. Megara is known to have early ties with Miletos, in the region of Caria in Asia Minor. According to some scholars, they had built up a "colonisation alliance". In the 7th/6th century BCE these two cities acted in concordance with each other. Both cities acted under the sanction of an Apollo oracle. Megara cooperated with that of Delphi. Miletos had her own oracle of Apollo Didymeus Milesios in Didyma. There are many parallels in the political organisation of both cities. In the late 7th century BC Theagenes established himself as tyrant of Megara by slaughtering the cattle of the rich to win over the poor. During the second Persian invasion of Greece Megara fought alongside the Spartans and Athenians at crucial battles such as Salamis and Plataea. Megara defected from the Spartan-dominated Peloponnesian League to the Delian league due to border disputes with its neighbour Corinth and it became one of the causes of the First Peloponnesian War.
By the terms of the Thirty Years' Peace of 446–445 BC Megara was returned to the Peloponnesian League after revolting from the Delian league. In the Peloponnesian War, Megara was an ally of Sparta; the Megarian decree is considered to be one of several contributing "causes" of the Peloponnesian War. Athens issued the Megarian decree with the aim of choking out the Megarian economy; the decree banned Megarian merchants from territory controlled by Athens. The Athenians claimed that they were responding to the Megarians' desecration of the Hiera Orgas, a sacred precinct in the border region between the two states. Arguably the most famous citizen of Megara in antiquity was Byzas, the legendary founder of Byzantium in the 7th century BC; the 6th century BC poet Theognis came from Megara. In the early 4th century BC, Euclid of Megara founded the Megarian school of philosophy which flourished for about a century, which became famous for the use of logic and dialectic. During the Celtic invasion in 279 BC, Megara sent a force of 400 peltasts to Thermopylae.
During the Chremonidean War, in 266 BC, the Megarians were besieged by the Macedonian king Antigonus Gonatas and managed to defeat his elephants employing burning pigs. Despite this success, the Megarians had to submit to the Macedonians. In 243 BC, exhorted by Aratus of Sicyon, Megara expelled its Macedonian garrison and joined the Achaean League, but when the Achaeans lost control of the Isthmus in 223 BC the Megarians left them and joined the Boeotian League. Not more than thirty years however, the Megarians grew tired of the Boeotian decline and returned their allegiance to Achaea; the Achaean strategos Philopoemen fought off the Boeotian intervention force and secured Megara's return, either in 203 or in 193 BC. The Megarians were proverbial for their generosity in endowing temples. Saint Jerome reports "There is a common saying about the Megarians'They build as if they are to live forever. Megara seems to have experienced democracy on two occasions; the first was between 427, when there was a democratic uprising, 424, when a narrow oligarchy was installed.
The second was in the 370s, when we hear that the people of Megara expelled some anti-democratic conspirators. By the 350s, Isocrates is referring to Megara in terms that suggests that it was an oligarchy again. One of the first actions of the new oligarchy in 424 was to compel the people to vote which suggests that the democracy had made use of the secret ballot. Megarian democracy made use of ostracism. Other key institutions of the democracy included a popular Assembly and Council, a board of five generals. Megara is located in the westernmost part of Attica, near the Megara Gulf, a bay of the Saronic Gulf; the coastal plain around Megara is referred to as Megaris, the name of the ancient city state centered on Megara. Megara is 8 km west of Nea Peramos, 18 km west of Eleusis, 19 km east of Agioi Theodoroi, 34 km west of Athens and 37 km east of Corinth; the Motorway 8 connects it with Corinth. The Megara railway station is served by Proastiakos suburban trains to Kiato. There is a small military airfield south of the town, ICAO code LGMG.
The main town Megara had 23,456 inhabitants at the 2011 census. The largest other settlements in the municipal unit are Vlychada, Kineta and Lakka Kalogirou; the municipa