Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and myth. He was god of other waters. In pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece, he was venerated as a chief deity at Thebes, his Roman equivalent is Neptune. Poseidon was protector of seafarers, of many Hellenic cities and colonies. In Homer's Iliad, Poseidon supports the Greeks against the Trojans during the Trojan War. In the Odyssey, during the sea-voyage from Troy back home to Ithaca, the Greek hero Odysseus provokes Poseidon's fury by blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus, resulting in Poseidon punishing him with storms, the complete loss of his ship and companions, a ten-year delay. Poseidon is the subject of a Homeric hymn. In Plato's Timaeus and Critias, the island of Atlantis was Poseidon's domain; the earliest attested occurrence of the name, written in Linear B, is Po-se-da-o or Po-se-da-wo-ne, which correspond to Ποσειδάων and Ποσειδάϝονος in Mycenean Greek. The form Ποτειδάϝων appears in Corinth. A common epithet of Poseidon is Ἐνοσίχθων Enosichthon, "Earth-shaker", an epithet, identified in Linear B, as, E-ne-si-da-o-ne, This recalls his epithets Ennosidas and Ennosigaios indicating the chthonic nature of Poseidon.
The origins of the name "Poseidon" are unclear. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning "husband" or "lord" and another element meaning "earth", producing something like lord or spouse of Da, i.e. of the earth. Walter Burkert finds that "the second element da- remains hopelessly ambiguous" and finds a "husband of Earth" reading "quite impossible to prove."Another theory interprets the second element as related to the word *δᾶϝον dâwon, "water". There is the possibility that the word has Pre-Greek origin. Plato in his dialogue Cratylus gives two alternative etymologies: either the sea restrained Poseidon when walking as a "foot-bond", or he "knew many things". At least a few sources deem Poseidon as a "prehellenic" word, considering an Indo-European etymology "quite pointless". If surviving Linear B clay tablets can be trusted, the name po-se-da-wo-ne occurs with greater frequency than does di-u-ja. A feminine variant, po-se-de-ia, is found, indicating a lost consort goddess, in effect the precursor of Amphitrite.
Poseidon carries the title wa-na-ka in Linear B inscriptions, as king of the underworld. The chthonic nature of Poseidon-Wanax is indicated by his title E-ne-si-da-o-ne in Mycenean Knossos and Pylos, a powerful attribute. In the cave of Amnisos Enesidaon is related with the cult of the goddess of childbirth, she was related with the annual birth of the divine child. During the Bronze Age, a goddess of nature, dominated both in Minoan and Mycenean cult, Wanax was her male companion in Mycenean cult, it is possible that Demeter appears as Da-ma-te in a Linear B inscription, however the interpretetion is still under dispute. In Linear B inscriptions found at Pylos, E-ne-si-da-o-ne is related with Poseidon, Si-to Po-tini-ja is related with Demeter. Tablets from Pylos record sacrificial goods destined for "the Two Queens and Poseidon"; the "Two Queens" may be related with Demeter and Persephone, or their precursors, goddesses who were not associated with Poseidon in periods. The illuminating exception is the archaic and localised myth of the stallion Poseidon and mare Demeter at Phigalia in isolated and conservative Arcadia, noted by Pausanias as having fallen into desuetude.
The violated Demeter was Demeter Erinys. In Arcadia, Demeter's mare-form was worshiped into historical times, her xoanon of Phigaleia shows. A Medusa type with a horse's head with snaky hair, holding a dove and a dolphin representing her power over air and water, it seems that the Arcadian myth is related with the first Greek speaking people who entered the region during the Bronze Age.. Their religious beliefs were mixed with the beliefs of the indigenous population, it is possible that the Greeks did not bring with them other gods except Zeus and the Dioskouroi. The horse was related with the liquid element, with the underworld. Poseidon appears as a beast, the river spirit of the underworld, as it happens in northern-European folklore, not unusually in Greece. Poseidon “Wanax”, is the male companion of the goddess of nature. In the relative Minoan myth, Pasiphaë is mating with the white bull, she bears the hybrid creature Minotaur; the Bull was the old pre-Olympian Poseidon. The goddess of nature and her paredros survived in the Eleusinian cult, where the following words were uttered: " Mighty Potnia bore a strong son"In the sea-dependent Mycenaean culture, there is not sufficient evidence that Poseidon was connected with the sea.
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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
In Greek mythology, Medusa was a monster, a Gorgon described as a winged human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Those who gazed upon her face would turn to stone. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, though the author Hyginus makes her the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto. According to Hesiod and Aeschylus, she lived and died on an island named Sarpedon, somewhere near Cisthene; the 2nd-century BCE novelist Dionysios Skytobrachion puts her somewhere in Libya, where Herodotus had said the Berbers originated her myth, as part of their religion. Medusa was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head, which retained its ability to turn onlookers to stone, as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion; the three Gorgon sisters—Medusa and Euryale—were all children of the ancient marine deities Phorcys and his sister Ceto, chthonic monsters from an archaic world.
Their genealogy is shared with other sisters, the Graeae, as in Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, which places both trinities of sisters far off "on Kisthene's dreadful plain": Near them their sisters three, the Gorgons, winged With snakes for hair— hatred of mortal man— While ancient Greek vase-painters and relief carvers imagined Medusa and her sisters as having monstrous form and vase-painters of the fifth century began to envisage her as being beautiful as well as terrifying. In an ode written in 490 BC Pindar speaks of "fair-cheeked Medusa". In a late version of the Medusa myth, related by the Roman poet Ovid, Medusa was a ravishingly beautiful maiden, "the jealous aspiration of many suitors," but because Poseidon had raped her in Athena's temple, the enraged Athena transformed Medusa's beautiful hair to serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight of it would turn onlookers to stone. In Ovid's telling, Perseus describes Medusa's punishment by Minerva as just and well earned.
In most versions of the story, she was beheaded by the hero Perseus, sent to fetch her head by King Polydectes of Seriphus because Polydectes wanted to marry his mother. The gods were well aware of this, Perseus received help, he received a mirrored shield from Athena, winged sandals from Hermes, a sword from Hephaestus and Hades's helm of invisibility. Since Medusa was the only one of the three Gorgons, mortal, Perseus was able to slay her while looking at the reflection from the mirrored shield he received from Athena. During that time, Medusa was pregnant by Poseidon; when Perseus beheaded her, Pegasus, a winged horse, Chrysaor, a giant wielding a golden sword, sprang from her body. Jane Ellen Harrison argues that "her potency only begins when her head is severed, that potency resides in the head. Harrison's translation states "the Gorgon was made out of the terror, not the terror out of the Gorgon."According to Ovid, in northwest Africa, Perseus flew past the Titan Atlas, who stood holding the sky aloft, transformed him into stone when he tried to attack him.
In a similar manner, the corals of the Red Sea were said to have been formed of Medusa's blood spilled onto seaweed when Perseus laid down the petrifying head beside the shore during his short stay in Ethiopia where he saved and wed his future wife, the lovely princess Andromeda. Furthermore, the poisonous vipers of the Sahara, in the Argonautica 4.1515, Ovid's Metamorphoses 4.770 and Lucan's Pharsalia 9.820, were said to have grown from spilt drops of her blood. The blood of Medusa spawned the Amphisbaena. Perseus flew to Seriphos, where his mother was being forced into marriage with the king, turned into stone by the head. Perseus gave the Gorgon's head to Athena, who placed it on her shield, the Aegis; some classical references refer to three Gorgons. It is obvious that the Gorgons are not three but one + two; the two unslain sisters are mere appendages due to custom. A number of early classics scholars interpreted the myth of Medusa as a quasi-historical – "based on or reconstructed from an event, style, etc. in the past", or "sublimated" memory of an actual invasion.
According to Joseph Campbell: The legend of Perseus beheading Medusa means that "the Hellenes overran the goddess's chief shrines" and "stripped her priestesses of their Gorgon masks", the latter being apotropaic faces worn to frighten away the profane. That is to say, there occurred in the early thirteenth century B. C. an actual historic rupture, a sort of sociological trauma, registered in this myth, much as what Freud terms the latent content of a neurosis is registered in the manifest content of a dream: registered yet hidden, registered in the unconscious yet unknown or misconstrued by the conscious mind. In 1940, Sigmund Freud's "Das Medusenhaupt". In Freud's interpretation: "To decapitate = to castra
In Greek mythology, Nereus was the eldest son of Pontus and Gaia, who with Doris fathered the Nereids and Nerites, with whom Nereus lived in the Aegean Sea. R. S. P. Beekes suggests a Pre-Greek origin. In the Iliad the Old Man of the Sea is the father of Nereids, he was never more manifestly the Old Man of the Sea than when he was described, like Proteus, as a shapeshifter with the power of prophecy, who would aid heroes such as Heracles who managed to catch him as he changed shapes. Nereus and Proteus seem to be two manifestations of the god of the sea, supplanted by Poseidon when Zeus overthrew Cronus; the earliest poet to link Nereus with the labours of Heracles was Pherekydes, according to a scholion on Apollonius of Rhodes. During the course of the 5th century BC, Nereus was replaced by Triton, who does not appear in Homer, in the imagery of the struggle between Heracles and the sea-god who had to be restrained in order to deliver his information, employed by the vase-painters, independent of any literary testimony.
In a late appearance, according to a fragmentary papyrus, Alexander the Great paused at the Syrian seashore before the climacteric battle of Issus, resorted to prayers, "calling on Thetis and the Nereids, nymphs of the sea, invoking Poseidon the sea-god, for whom he ordered a four-horse chariot to be cast into the waves."Nereus was known for his truthfulness and virtue: But Pontos, the great sea, was father of truthful Nereus who tells no lies, eldest of his sons. They call him the Old Gentleman because he is trustworthy, gentle, never forgetful of what is right, but the thoughts of his mind are mild and righteous; the Attic vase-painters showed the draped torso of Nereus issuing from a long coiling scaly fishlike tail. Bearded Nereus wields a staff of authority, he was shown in scenes depicting the flight of the Nereides as Peleus wrestled their sister Thetis. In Aelian's natural history, written in the early third century CE, Nereus was the father of a watery consort of Aphrodite named Nerites, transformed into "a shellfish with a spiral shell, small in size but of surpassing beauty."
Nereus was father to Thetis, one of the Nereids, who in turn was mother to the great Greek hero Achilles, Amphitrite, who married Poseidon. Kerenyi, Karl; the Gods of the Greeks. Graves, Robert; the Greek Myths. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Nereus". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Theoi Project, Nereus—the sea-god in classical literature and art
In Greek mythology, a Gorgon is a mythical creature portrayed in ancient Greek literature. While descriptions of Gorgons vary across Greek literature and occur in the earliest examples of Greek literature, the term refers to any of three sisters who had hair made of living, venomous snakes, as well as a horrifying visage that turned those who beheld her to stone. Traditionally, while two of the Gorgons were immortal and Euryale, their sister Medusa was not and she was slain by the demigod and hero Perseus; the name derives from the ancient Greek word γοργός gorgós, which means "grim, dreadful", appears to come from the same root as the Sanskrit: गर्जन, defined as a guttural sound, similar to the growling of a beast, thus originating as an onomatopoeia. Gorgons were a popular image in Greek mythology, appearing in the earliest of written records of Ancient Greek religious beliefs such as those of Homer, which may date to as early as 1194–1184 BC; because of their legendary and powerful gaze that could turn one to stone, images of the Gorgons were put upon objects and buildings for protection.
An image of a Gorgon holds the primary location at the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece, is dated to c. 600 BC. The concept of the Gorgon is at least as old in classical Greek mythology as Zeus; the name is being derived from "gorgos" and translating as terrible or dreadful. Gorgoneia first appear in Greek art at the turn of the eighth century BC. One of the earliest representations is on an electrum stater discovered during excavations at Parium. Other early eighth-century examples were found at Tiryns. Going further back into history, there is a similar image from the Knossos palace, datable to the fifteenth century BC. Marija Gimbutas argues that "the Gorgon extends back to at least 6000 BC, as a ceramic mask from the Sesklo culture...". In her book, Language of the Goddess, she identifies the prototype of the Gorgoneion in Neolithic art motifs in anthropomorphic vases and terracotta masks inlaid with gold; the large Gorgon eyes, as well as Athena's "flashing" eyes, are symbols termed "the divine eyes" by Gimbutas.
They may be represented by spirals, concentric circles, swastikas and other images. The awkward stance of the gorgon, with arms and legs at angles is associated with these symbols as well; some Gorgons are shown with broad, round heads, serpentine locks of hair, large staring eyes, wide mouths, tongues lolling, the tusks of swine, large projecting teeth, flared nostrils, sometimes short, coarse beards. In some cruder representations, stylized hair or blood flowing under the severed head of the Gorgon has been mistaken for a beard or wings; some reptilian attributes such as a belt made of snakes and snakes emanating from the head or entwined in the hair, as in the temple of Artemis in Corfu, are symbols derived from the guardians associated with early Greek religious concepts at the centers such as Delphi where the dragon Delphyne lived and the priestess Pythia delivered oracles. The skin of the dragon was said to be made of impenetrable scales. While seeking origins others have suggested examination of some similarities to the Babylonian creature, Humbaba, in the Gilgamesh epic.
A number of early classics scholars interpreted the myth of the Medusa as a quasi-historical, or "sublimated", memory of an actual invasion. Transitions in religious traditions over such long periods of time may make some strange turns. Gorgons are depicted as having wings, brazen claws, the tusks of boars, scaly skin; the oldest oracles were said to be protected by serpents and a Gorgon image was associated with those temples. Lionesses or sphinxes are associated with the Gorgon as well; the powerful image of the Gorgon was adopted for the classical images and myths of Athena and Zeus being worn in continuation of a more ancient religious imagery. In late myths, the Gorgons were said to be the daughters of sea deities, Ceto the sea monster and Phorcys. Homer, the author of the oldest known work of European literature, speaks only of one Gorgon, whose head is represented in the Iliad as fixed in the centre of the aegis of Athena: About her shoulders she flung the tasselled aegis, fraught with terror... and therein is the head of the dread monster, the Gorgon and awful...
Its earthly counterpart is a device on the shield of Agamemnon:...and therein was set as a crown the Gorgon, grim of aspect and about her were Terror and Rout. In the Odyssey, the Gorgon is a monster of the underworld into which the earliest Greek deities were cast:...and pale fear seized me, lest august Persephone might send forth upon me from out of the house of Hades the head of the Gorgon, that awful monster... Around 700 BC, Hesiod imagines the Gorgons as sea daemons and increases the number of them to three – Stheno and Medusa, makes them the daughters of the sea deities Keto and Phorcys, their home is on the farthest side of the western ocean. Ancient Libya is identified as a possible source of the deity, a creation deity in Ancient Egypt and, when the Greeks occupied Egypt, they said that Neith was called Athene in Greece; the Attic tradition, reproduced in Euripides, regarded the Gorgon as a monster, produced by Gaia to aid her children, the Titans, against the new Olympian deities.
Pompeii was an ancient Roman city near modern Naples in the Campania region of Italy, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was buried under 4 to 6 m of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Volcanic ash buried inhabitants who did not escape the lethal effects of the earthquake and eruption. Preserved under the ash, the excavated city offers a unique snapshot of Roman life, frozen at the moment it was buried and providing an extraordinarily detailed insight into the everyday life of its inhabitants. Organic remains, including wooden objects and human bodies, were entombed in the ash and decayed away, making natural molds; the numerous graffiti carved on the walls and inside rooms provides a wealth of examples of the lost Vulgar Latin spoken colloquially, contrasting with the formal language of the classical writers. Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, with 2.5 million visitors every year.
Excavations recommenced in several unexplored areas of the city, in 2018 new discoveries were reported. Pompeii in Latin is a second declension plural noun. According to Theodor Kraus, "The root of the word Pompeii would appear to be the Oscan word for the number five, which suggests that either the community consisted of five hamlets or it was settled by a family group." The ruins of Pompeii are located near the modern town of Pompei and about 8 km away from Mount Vesuvius. It stands on a spur about 40 m above sea level formed by an ancient lava flow to the north of the mouth of the Sarno River. Three sheets of sediment from large landslides lie on top of the lava triggered by extended rainfall. Today, Pompeii is some distance inland, it covered a total of 64 to 67 hectares and was home to 11,000 to 11,500 people, on the basis of household counts. The first stable settlements on the site date back to the 8th century BC when the Oscans, a people of central Italy, founded five villages in the area.
With the arrival of the Greeks in Campania from around 740 BC Pompeii entered into the orbit of the Hellenic people and the most important building of this period is the Doric Temple, built not near the centre, but in a more isolated position in what would become the Triangular Forum, as the Greeks wanted to control just the streets and the port. At the same time the cult of Apollo was introduced. Greek and Phoenician sailors used the location as a safe port. Around the 6th century BC, it merged into a single community on the important crossroad between Cumae and Stabiae and was surrounded by a tufa city wall, it began to flourish and the first maritime trade started with the construction of a small port near the mouth of the river. The earliest settlement was focussed in regions VII and VIII of the town as identified from stratigraphy below the Samnite and Roman buildings. 524 BC saw the arrival and settlement of the Etruscans in the area including Pompeii, finding in the river Sarno a communication route between the sea and the interior.
To the Greeks, the Etruscans did not conquer the city militarily, but controlled it and Pompeii enjoyed a sort of autonomy. Pompeii became a member of the Etruscan League of cities. Recent excavations have shown the presence of a 6th-century BC necropolis. Under the Etruscans a primitive forum or simple market square was built, as well as the temple of Apollo, in both of which objects including fragments of bucchero were found by Maiuri. Several houses were built with typical of this people; the city wall was strengthened in the early 5th century BC with two façades of thin, vertically set, slabs of Sarno limestone some 4 m apart filled with earth. In 474 BC the Greek city of Cumae, allied with Syracuse, conquered the Etruscans definitively at the Battle of Cumae and gained control of the area; the period between about 450–375 BC witnessed large areas of the city being abandoned while important sanctuaries such as the Temple of Apollo show a sudden lack of votive material remains. The Samnites, people coming from the areas of Abruzzo and Molise, allies of the Romans, conquered Greek Cumae between 423 and 420 BC and it is that in advance, all the surrounding territory, including Pompeii, was conquered around 424 BC.
The new rulers imposed their architecture and enlarged the town. From 343 BC the first Roman army entered the Campanian plain bringing with it the customs and traditions of Rome and in the Roman war against the Latins the Samnites were faithful to Rome. Pompeii, although governed by the Samnites, entered in effect in the Roman orbit, to which it remained faithful during the third Samnite war and in the war against Pyrrhus; the city walls were reinforced in Sarno stone in the early 3rd century BC. It formed the basis for the visible walls with an outer wall of rectangular limestone blocks as an enormous terrace wall supporting a large agger, or earth embankment, behind it. After the Samnite Wars from 290 BC, Pompeii was forced to accept the status of socii of Rome, however and administrative autonomy. From the outbreak of the Second Punic War in which Pompeii remained faithful to Rome, an addit
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