Boeotia, sometimes alternatively Latinised as Boiotia, or Beotia, is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Central Greece, its capital is Livadeia, its largest city is Thebes. Boeotia was a region of ancient Greece, since before the 6th century BC. Boeotia lies to the north of the eastern part of the Gulf of Corinth, it has a short coastline on the Gulf of Euboea. It bordered on Megaris in the south, Attica in the southeast, Euboea in the northeast, Opuntian Locris in the north and Phocis in the west; the main mountain ranges of Boeotia are Mount Parnassus in the west, Mount Helicon in the southwest, Cithaeron in the south and Parnitha in the east. Its longest river, the Cephissus, flows in the central part, where most of the low-lying areas of Boeotia are found. Lake Copais was a large lake in the center of Boeotia, it was drained in the 19th century. Lake Yliki is a large lake near Thebes; the earliest inhabitants of Boeotia, associated with the city of Orchomenus, were called Minyans.
Pausanias mentions that Minyans established the maritime Ionian city of Teos, occupied the islands of Lemnos and Thera. The Argonauts were sometimes referred to as Minyans. According to legend the citizens of Thebes paid an annual tribute to their king Erginus; the Minyans may have been proto-Greek speakers, but although most scholars today agree that the Mycenean Greeks descended from the Minyans of the Middle Helladic period, they believe that the progenitors and founders of Minyan culture were an autochthonous group. The early wealth and power of Boeotia is shown by the reputation and visible Mycenean remains of several of its cities Orchomenus and Thebes; the origin of the name "Boeotians" may lie in the mountain Boeon in Epirus. Some toponyms and the common Aeolic dialect indicate that the Boeotians were related to the Thessalians. Traditionally, the Boeotians are said to have occupied Thessaly, the largest fertile plain in Greece, to have been dispossessed by the north-western Thessalians two generations after the Fall of Troy.
They moved south and settled in another rich plain, while others filtered across the Aegean and settled on Lesbos and in Aeolis in Asia Minor. Others are said to have stayed in Thessaly, withdrawing into the hill country and becoming the perioikoi. Though far from Anthela, which lay on the coast of Malis south of Thessaly in the locality of Thermopylae, Boeotia was an early member of the oldest religious Amphictyonic League because her people had lived in Thessaly. Many ancient Greek legends are set in this region; the older myths took their final form during the Mycenean age when the Mycenean Greeks established themselves in Boeotia and the city of Thebes became an important centre. Many of them are related to the myths of Argos, others indicate connections with Phoenicia, where the Mycenean Greeks and the Euboean Greeks established trading posts. Important legends related to Boeotia include: Eros, worshiped by a fertility cult in Thespiae The Muses of Mount Helicon Ogyges and the Ogygian deluge Cadmus, said to have founded Thebes and brought the alphabet to Greece Dionysus and Semele Narcissus Heracles, born in Thebes The Theban Cycle, including the myths of Oedipus and the Sphinx, the Seven against Thebes Antiope and her sons Amphion and Zethus Niobe Orion, born in Boeotia and said to have fathered 50 sons with a local river god's daughters.
Many of these legends were used in plays by the tragic Greek poets, Aeschylus and Euripides: Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes Sophocles's Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone, known as the Theban plays Euripides's Bacchae, Phoenician Women and HeraclesThey were used in lost plays such as Aeschylus's Niobe and Euripides's Antiope. Boeotia was notable for the ancient oracular shrine of Trophonius at Lebadea. Graea, an ancient city in Boeotia, is sometimes thought to be the origin of the Latin word Graecus, from which English derives the words Greece and Greeks; the major poets Hesiod and Pindar were Boeotians. Boeotia had significant political importance, owing to its position on the north shore of the Gulf of Corinth, the strategic strength of its frontiers, the ease of communication within its extensive area. On the other hand, the lack of good harbours hindered its maritime development; the importance of the legendary Minyae has been confirmed by archaeological remains. The Boeotian population entered the land from the north before the Dorian invasion.
With the exception of the Minyae, the original peoples were soon absorbed by these immigrants, the Boeotians henceforth appear as a homogeneous nation. Aeolic Greek was spoken in Boeotia. In historical times, the leading city of Boeotia was Thebes, whose central position and military strength made it a suitable capital, it was the constant ambition of the Thebans to absorb the other townships into a single state, just as Athens had annexed the Attic communities. But the outlying cities resisted this policy, only allowed the formation of a loose federation, religious. While the Boeotians, unlike the Arcadians acted as a united whole against foreign enemies, the constant struggle between the cities was a serious check on the nation's development. Boeotia hardly figures in history before the late 6th century BC. Previous to this, its people are chiefly known as the makers of a type of geometric pottery, similar to
Thrace is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split between Bulgaria and Turkey, bounded by the Balkan Mountains to the north, the Aegean Sea to the south and the Black Sea to the east. It comprises northeastern Greece and the European part of Turkey; the word Thrace was established by the Greeks for referring to the Thracian tribes, from ancient Greek Thrake, descending from Thrāix. It referred to the Thracians, an ancient Indo-European people inhabiting Southeast Europe; the name Europe first referred to Thrace proper, prior to the term vastly extending to refer to its modern concept. The region could have been named after the principal river there, Hebros from the Indo-European arg "white river", According to an alternative theory, Hebros means "goat" in Thracian. In Turkey, it is referred to as Rumeli, Land of the Romans, owing to this region being the last part of the Eastern Roman Empire, conquered by the Ottoman Empire. In terms of ancient Greek mythology the name appears to derive from the heroine and sorceress Thrace, the daughter of Oceanus and Parthenope, sister of Europa.
The historical boundaries of Thrace have varied. The ancient Greeks employed the term "Thrace" to refer to all of the territory which lay north of Thessaly inhabited by the Thracians, a region which "had no definite boundaries" and to which other regions were added. In one ancient Greek source, the Earth is divided into "Asia, Libya and Thracia"; as the Greeks gained knowledge of world geography, "Thrace" came to designate the area bordered by the Danube on the north, by the Euxine Sea on the east, by northern Macedonia in the south and by Illyria to the west. This coincided with the Thracian Odrysian kingdom, whose borders varied over time. After the Macedonian conquest, this region's former border with Macedonia was shifted from the Struma River to the Mesta River; this usage lasted until the Roman conquest. Henceforth, Thrace referred only to the tract of land covering the same extent of space as the modern geographical region. In its early period, the Roman province of Thrace was of this extent, but after the administrative reforms of the late 3rd century, Thracia's much reduced territory became the six small provinces which constituted the Diocese of Thrace.
The medieval Byzantine theme of Thrace contained only. The largest cities of Thrace are: Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Komotini, Xanthi, Istanbul, Çorlu, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ. Most of the Bulgarian and Greek population are Orthodox Christians, while most of the Turkish inhabitants of Thrace are Sunni Muslims. Ancient Greek mythology provides the Thracians with a mythical ancestor Thrax, the son of the war-god Ares, said to reside in Thrace; the Thracians appear in Homer's Iliad as Trojan allies, led by Peiros. In the Iliad, another Thracian king, makes an appearance. Cisseus, father-in-law to the Trojan elder Antenor, is given as a Thracian king. Homeric Thrace was vaguely defined, stretched from the River Axios in the west to the Hellespont and Black Sea in the east; the Catalogue of Ships mentions three separate contingents from Thrace: Thracians led by Acamas and Peiros, from Aenus. Ancient Thrace was home to numerous other tribes, such as the Edones, Bisaltae and Bistones in addition to the tribe that Homer calls the “Thracians”.
Greek mythology is replete with Thracian kings, including Diomedes, Lycurgus, Tegyrius, Polymnestor and Oeagrus. Thrace is mentioned in Ovid's Metamorphoses, in the episode of Philomela and Tereus: Tereus, the King of Thrace, lusts after his sister-in-law, Philomela, he kidnaps her, holds her captive, rapes her, cuts out her tongue. Philomela manages to get free, however, she and her sister, plot to get revenge, by killing her son Itys and serving him to his father for dinner. At the end of the myth, all three turn into birds – Procne into a swallow, Philomela into a nightingale, Tereus into a hoopoe; the indigenous population of Thrace was a people called the Thracians, divided into numerous tribal groups. The region was controlled by the Persian Empire at its greatest extent, Thracian soldiers were known to be used in the Persian armies. On, Thracian troops were known to accompany neighboring ruler Alexander the Great when he crossed the Hellespont which abuts Thrace, during the invasion of the Persian Empire itself.
The Thracians did not describe themselves by name. Divided into separate tribes, the Thracians did not form any lasting political organizations until the founding of the Odrysian state in the 4th century BC. Like Illyrians, the locally ruled Thracian tribes of the mountainous regions maintained a warrior tradition, while the tribes based in the plains were purportedly more peaceable. Discovered funeral mounds in Bulgaria suggest that Thracian kings did rule regions of Thrace with distinct Thracian national identity. During this period, a subculture of celibate ascetics called the Ctistae lived in Thrace, where they served as philosophers and prophets. Sections of Thrace in the south star
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis is from the Greek words ἄκρον and πόλις. Although the term acropolis is generic and there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is known as "The Acropolis" without qualification. During ancient times it was known more properly as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, the supposed first Athenian king. While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site's most important present remains including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike; the Parthenon and the other buildings were damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians during the Morean War when gunpowder being stored in the Parthenon was hit by a cannonball and exploded.
The Acropolis is located on a flattish-topped rock that rises 150 m above sea level in the city of Athens, with a surface area of about 3 hectares. While the earliest artifacts date to the Middle Neolithic era, there have been documented habitations in Attica from the Early Neolithic period. There is little doubt that a Mycenaean megaron palace stood upon the hill during the late Bronze Age. Nothing of this megaron survives except a single limestone column-base and pieces of several sandstone steps. Soon after the palace was constructed, a Cyclopean massive circuit wall was built, 760 meters long, up to 10 meters high, ranging from 3.5 to 6 meters thick. This wall would serve as the main defense for the acropolis until the 5th century; the wall consisted of two parapets built with large stone blocks and cemented with an earth mortar called emplekton. The wall uses typical Mycenaean conventions in that it followed the natural contour of the terrain and its gate, towards the south, was arranged obliquely, with a parapet and tower overhanging the incomers' right-hand side, thus facilitating defense.
There were two lesser approaches up the hill on its north side, consisting of steep, narrow flights of steps cut in the rock. Homer is assumed to refer to this fortification when he mentions the "strong-built House of Erechtheus". At some time before the 13th century BC, an earthquake caused a fissure near the northeastern edge of the Acropolis; this fissure extended some 35 meters to a bed of soft marl. An elaborate set of stairs was built and the well served as an invaluable, protected source of drinking water during times of siege for some portion of the Mycenaean period. Not much is known about the architectural appearance of the Acropolis until the Archaic era. During the 7th and the 6th centuries BC, the site was controlled by Kylon during the failed Kylonian revolt, twice by Peisistratos. Apart from the Hekatompedon mentioned Peisistratos built an entry gate or Propylaea, it seems that a nine-gate wall, the Enneapylon, had been built around the biggest water spring, the Clepsydra, at the northwestern foot.
A temple to Athena Polias, the tutelary deity of the city, was erected between 570–550 BC. This Doric limestone building, from which many relics survive, is referred to as the Hekatompedon, Ur-Parthenon, H–Architecture or Bluebeard temple, after the pedimental three-bodied man-serpent sculpture, whose beards were painted dark blue. Whether this temple replaced an older one, or just a sacred precinct or altar, is not known; the Hekatompedon was built where the Parthenon now stands. Between 529–520 BC yet another temple was built by the Peisistratids, the Old Temple of Athena referred to as the Arkhaios Neōs; this temple of Athena Polias was built upon the Dörpfeld foundations, between the Erechtheion and the still-standing Parthenon. Arkhaios Neōs was destroyed as part of the Achaemenid destruction of Athens during the Second Persian invasion of Greece during 480-479 BC; the temple may have been burnt down during 406/405 BC as Xenophon mentions that the old temple of Athena was set afire. Pausanias does not mention it in his 2nd century AD Description of Greece.
Around 500 BC the Hekatompedon was dismantled to make place for a new grander building, the "Older Parthenon". For this reason, Athenians decided to stop the construction of the Olympieion temple, connoted with the tyrant Peisistratos and his sons and, used the Piraeus limestone destined for the Olympieion to build the Older Parthenon. In order to accommodate the new temple, the south part of the summit was cleared, made level by adding some 8,000 two-ton blocks of limestone, a foundation 11 m deep at some points, the rest was filled with soil kept in place by the retaining wall. However, after the victorious Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, the plan was revised and marble was used instead; the limestone phase of the building is referred to as Pre-Parthenon I and the marble phase as Pre-Parthenon II. In 485 BC, construction stalled to save resources as Xerxes became king of Persia and war seemed imminent; the Older Parthenon was still under
The Cyclades are an island group in the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece and a former administrative prefecture of Greece. They are one of the island groups; the name refers to the islands around the sacred island of Delos. The largest island of the Cyclades is Naxos; the significant Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic culture is best known for its schematic, flat idols carved out of the islands' pure white marble centuries before the great Middle Bronze Age Minoan civilization arose in Crete to the south. A distinctive Neolithic culture amalgamating Anatolian and mainland Greek elements arose in the western Aegean before 4000 BCE, based on emmer and wild-type barley and goats, tuna that were speared from small boats. Excavated sites include Saliagos and Kephala with signs of copperworking, Each of the small Cycladic islands could support no more than a few thousand people, though Late Cycladic boat models show that fifty oarsmen could be assembled from the scattered communities, when the organized palace-culture of Crete arose, the islands faded into insignificance, with the exception of Delos, which retained its archaic reputation as a sanctuary throughout antiquity and until the emergence of Christianity.
The first archaeological excavations of the 1880s were followed by systematic work by the British School at Athens and by Christos Tsountas, who investigated burial sites on several islands in 1898–1899 and coined the term "Cycladic civilization". Interest lagged picked up in the mid-20th century, as collectors competed for the modern-looking figures that seemed so similar to sculpture by Jean Arp or Constantin Brâncuși. Sites were looted and a brisk trade in forgeries arose; the context for many of these Cycladic figurines has been destroyed and their meaning may never be understood. Another intriguing and mysterious object is that of the Cycladic frying pans. More accurate archaeology has revealed the broad outlines of a farming and seafaring culture that had immigrated from Anatolia c. 5000 BCE. Early Cycladic culture evolved in three phases, between c. 3300 – 2000 BCE, when it was swamped in the rising influence of Minoan Crete. The culture of mainland Greece contemporary with Cycladic culture is known as the Helladic period.
In recent decades the Cyclades have become popular with European and other tourists, as a result there have been problems with erosion and water shortages. The Cyclades comprise about 220 islands, the major ones being Amorgos, Andros, Delos, Kea, Kythnos, Mykonos, Paros, Serifos, Sikinos, Syros and Thira or Santoríni. There are many minor islands including Donousa, Gyaros, Koufonisia, Makronisos and Schoinousa; the name "Cyclades" refers to the islands forming a circle around the sacred island of Delos. Most of the smaller islands are uninhabited. Ermoupoli on Syros is the chief town and administrative center of the former prefecture; the islands are peaks of a submerged mountainous terrain, with the exception of two volcanic islands and Santorini. The climate is dry and mild, but with the exception of Naxos the soil is not fertile. Cooler temperatures are in higher elevations and do not receive wintry weather; the Cyclades are bounded to the south by the Sea of Crete. The Cyclades Prefecture was one of the prefectures of Greece.
As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was abolished, its territory was divided into nine regional units of the South Aegean region: Andros Kea-Kythnos Milos Mykonos Naxos Paros Thira Syros Tinos The prefecture was subdivided into the following municipalities and communities. These have been reorganised at the 2011 Kallikratis reform as well. Province of Amorgos: Amorgos Province of Andros: Andros Province of Kea: Ioulis Province of Milos: Milos Province of Naxos: Naxos Province of Paros: Paroikia Province of Syros: Ermoupoli Province of Tinos: Tinos Province of Thira: ThiraNote: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece. Local specialities of the Cyclades include: Brantada Fava santorinis Fourtalia Kalasouna Kalogeros Kakavia Ladopita Louza, similar to the Cypriot lountza Mastelo Strapatsada Lazarakia Melopita Aegean cat Nisiotika music Santorini wine Mosaics of Delos J. A. MacGillivray and R. L. N. Barber, The Prehistoric Cyclades 1984. R. L. N. Barber, The Cyclades in the Bronze Age 1987.
Peter Saundry, C. Michael Hogan & Steve Baum. 2011. Sea of Crete. Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. M. Pidwirny & C. J. Cleveland. National Council for Science and Environment. Washington DC. Jeremy B. Rutter, "The Prehistoric Archaeology of the Aegean": Lessons 2 and 4: chronology, bibliography Cyclades The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation
The Greeks or Hellenes are an ethnic group native to Greece, southern Albania, Turkey, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world. Greek colonies and communities have been established on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea, but the Greek people have always been centered on the Aegean and Ionian seas, where the Greek language has been spoken since the Bronze Age; until the early 20th century, Greeks were distributed between the Greek peninsula, the western coast of Asia Minor, the Black Sea coast, Cappadocia in central Anatolia, the Balkans and Constantinople. Many of these regions coincided to a large extent with the borders of the Byzantine Empire of the late 11th century and the Eastern Mediterranean areas of ancient Greek colonization; the cultural centers of the Greeks have included Athens, Alexandria and Constantinople at various periods. Most ethnic Greeks live nowadays within the borders of Cyprus.
The Greek genocide and population exchange between Greece and Turkey nearly ended the three millennia-old Greek presence in Asia Minor. Other longstanding Greek populations can be found from southern Italy to the Caucasus and southern Russia and Ukraine and in the Greek diaspora communities in a number of other countries. Today, most Greeks are registered as members of the Greek Orthodox Church. Greeks have influenced and contributed to culture, exploration, philosophy, architecture, mathematics and technology, business and sports, both and contemporarily; the Greeks speak the Greek language, which forms its own unique branch within the Indo-European family of languages, the Hellenic. They are part of a group of classical ethnicities, described by Anthony D. Smith as an "archetypal diaspora people"; the Proto-Greeks arrived at the area now called Greece, in the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, at the end of the 3rd millennium BC. The sequence of migrations into the Greek mainland during the 2nd millennium BC has to be reconstructed on the basis of the ancient Greek dialects, as they presented themselves centuries and are therefore subject to some uncertainties.
There were at least two migrations, the first being the Ionians and Aeolians, which resulted in Mycenaean Greece by the 16th century BC, the second, the Dorian invasion, around the 11th century BC, displacing the Arcadocypriot dialects, which descended from the Mycenaean period. Both migrations occur at incisive periods, the Mycenaean at the transition to the Late Bronze Age and the Doric at the Bronze Age collapse. An alternative hypothesis has been put forth by linguist Vladimir Georgiev, who places Proto-Greek speakers in northwestern Greece by the Early Helladic period, i.e. towards the end of the European Neolithic. Linguists Russell Gray and Quentin Atkinson in a 2003 paper using computational methods on Swadesh lists have arrived at a somewhat earlier estimate, around 5000 BC for Greco-Armenian split and the emergence of Greek as a separate linguistic lineage around 4000 BC. In c. 1600 BC, the Mycenaean Greeks borrowed from the Minoan civilization its syllabic writing system and developed their own syllabic script known as Linear B, providing the first and oldest written evidence of Greek.
The Mycenaeans penetrated the Aegean Sea and, by the 15th century BC, had reached Rhodes, Crete and the shores of Asia Minor. Around 1200 BC, the Dorians, another Greek-speaking people, followed from Epirus. Traditionally, historians have believed that the Dorian invasion caused the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization, but it is the main attack was made by seafaring raiders who sailed into the eastern Mediterranean around 1180 BC; the Dorian invasion was followed by a poorly attested period of migrations, appropriately called the Greek Dark Ages, but by 800 BC the landscape of Archaic and Classical Greece was discernible. The Greeks of classical antiquity idealized their Mycenaean ancestors and the Mycenaean period as a glorious era of heroes, closeness of the gods and material wealth; the Homeric Epics were and accepted as part of the Greek past and it was not until the time of Euhemerism that scholars began to question Homer's historicity. As part of the Mycenaean heritage that survived, the names of the gods and goddesses of Mycenaean Greece became major figures of the Olympian Pantheon of antiquity.
The ethnogenesis of the Greek nation is linked to the development of Pan-Hellenism in the 8th century BC. According to some scholars, the foundational event was the Olympic Games in 776 BC, when the idea of a common Hellenism among the Greek tribes was first translated into a shared cultural experience and Hellenism was a matter of common culture; the works of Homer and Hesiod were written in the 8th century BC, becoming the basis of the national religion, ethos and mythology. The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi was established in this period; the classical period of Greek civilization covers a time spanning from the early 5th century BC to the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 BC. It is so named because it set the standards by which Greek civilization would be judged in eras; the Classical period is described as the "Golden Age" of Greek civilization, and
Thessaly is a traditional geographic and modern administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, appears thus in Homer's Odyssey. Thessaly became part of the modern Greek state in 1881, after four and a half centuries of Ottoman rule. Since 1987 it has formed one of the country's 13 regions and is further sub-divided into 5 regional units and 25 municipalities; the capital of the region is Larissa. Thessaly lies in northern Greece and borders the regions of Macedonia on the north, Epirus on the west, Central Greece on the south and the Aegean Sea on the east; the Thessaly region includes the Sporades islands. In Homer's epic, the Odyssey, the hero Odysseus visited the kingdom of Aeolus, the old name for Thessaly; the Plain of Thessaly, which lies between Mount Oeta/Othrys and Mount Olympus, was the site of the battle between the Titans and the Olympians. According to legend and the Argonauts launched their search for the Golden Fleece from the Magnesia Peninsula.
Thessaly was home to extensive Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures around 6000–2500 BC. Mycenaean settlements have been discovered, for example at the sites of Iolcos and Sesklo. In Archaic and Classical times, the lowlands of Thessaly became the home of baronial families, such as the Aleuadae of Larissa or the Scopads of Crannon. In the summer of 480 BC, the Persians invaded Thessaly; the Greek army that guarded the Vale of Tempe evacuated the road before the enemy arrived. Not much Thessaly surrendered to the Persians; the Thessalian family of Aleuadae joined the Persians subsequently. In the 4th century BC, after the Greco-Persian Wars had long ended, Jason of Pherae transformed the region into a significant military power, recalling the glory of Early Archaic times. Shortly after, Philip II of Macedon was appointed Archon of Thessaly, Thessaly was thereafter associated with the Macedonian Kingdom for the next centuries. Thessaly became part of the Roman Empire as part of the province of Macedonia.
Thessaly remained part of the East Roman "Byzantine" Empire after the collapse of Roman power in the west, subsequently suffered many invasions, such as by the Slavic tribe of the Belegezites in the 7th century AD. The Avars had arrived in Europe in the late 550s, they asserted their authority over many Slavs. Many Slavs were galvanized by the Avars. In the 7th century the Avar-Slav alliance began to raid the Byzantine Empire, laying siege to Thessalonica and the imperial capital Constantinople itself. By the 8th century, Slavs had occupied most of the Balkans from Austria to the Peloponnese, from the Adriatic to the Black seas, with the exception of the coastal areas and certain mountainous regions of the Greek peninsula. Relations between the Slavs and Greeks were peaceful apart from the initial settlement and intermittent uprisings. Being agriculturalists, the Slavs traded with the Greeks inside towns, it is that the re-Hellenization had begun by way of this contact. This process would be completed by a newly reinvigorated Byzantine Empire.
With the abatement of Arab-Byzantine Wars, the Byzantine Empire began to consolidate its power in those areas of mainland Greece occupied by Proto-Slavic tribes. Following the campaigns of the Byzantine general Staurakios in 782–783, the Byzantine Empire recovered Thessaly, taking many Slavs as prisoners. Apart from military expeditions against Slavs, the re-Hellenization process begun under Nicephorus I involved transfer of peoples. Many Slavs were moved to other parts of the empire such as Anatolia and made to serve in the military. In return, many Greeks from Sicily and Asia Minor were brought to the interior of Greece, to increase the number of defenders at the Emperor's disposal and dilute the concentration of Slavs. In 977 Byzantine Thessaly was raided by the Bulgarian Empire. In 1066 dissatisfaction with the taxation policy led the Aromanian and Bulgarian population of Thessaly to revolt against the Byzantine Empire under the leadership of a local lord, Nikoulitzas Delphinas; the revolt, which began in Larissa, soon expanded to Trikala and northwards to the Byzantine-Bulgarian border.
In 1199–1201 another unsuccessful revolt was led by Manuel Kamytzes, son-in-law of Byzantine emperor Alexios III Angelos, with the support of Dobromir Chrysos, the autonomous ruler of Prosek. Kamytzes managed to establish a short-lived principality in northern Thessaly, before he was overcome by an imperial expedition. Following the siege of Constantinople and the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire by the Fourth Crusade in April 1204, Thessaly passed to Boniface of Montferrat's Kingdom of Thessalonica in the wider context of the Frankokratia. In 1212, Michael I Komnenos Doukas, ruler of Epirus, led his troops into Thessaly. Larissa and much of central Thessaly came under Epirote rule, thereby separating Thessalonica from the Crusader principalities in southern Greece. Michael's work was completed by his half-brother and successor, Theodore Komnenos Doukas, who by 1220 completed the recovery of the entire region; the Vlachs of Thessaly first appear in Byzantine sources in the 11th century, in the Strategikon of Kekaumenos and Anna Komnene's Alexiad).
In the 12th century, the Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela records the