Sparta was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece. In antiquity the city-state was known as Lacedaemon, while the name Sparta referred to its main settlement on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. Around 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece. Given its military pre-eminence, Sparta was recognized as the leading force of the unified Greek military during the Greco-Persian Wars. Between 431 and 404 BC, Sparta was the principal enemy of Athens during the Peloponnesian War, from which it emerged victorious, though at a great cost of lives lost. Sparta's defeat by Thebes in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC ended Sparta's prominent role in Greece. However, it maintained its political independence until the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC, it underwent a long period of decline in the Middle Ages, when many Spartans moved to live in Mystras. Modern Sparta is the capital of the Greek regional unit of Laconia and a center for the processing of goods such as citrus and olives.
Sparta was unique in ancient Greece for its social system and constitution, which configured their entire society to maximize military proficiency at all costs, focused on military training and excellence. Its inhabitants were classified as Spartiates, mothakes and helots. Spartiates underwent the rigorous agoge training and education regimen, Spartan phalanges were considered to be among the best in battle. Spartan women enjoyed more rights and equality to men than elsewhere in the classical antiquity. Sparta was the subject of fascination in its own day, as well as in Western culture following the revival of classical learning; this love or admiration of Sparta is known as Laconophilia. At its peak around 500 BC the size of the city would have been some 20,000–35,000 citizens, plus numerous helots and perioikoi; the total of 40,000–50,000 made Sparta one of the largest Greek cities. The French classicist François Ollier in his 1933 book Le mirage spartiate warned that a major scholarly problem regarding Sparta is that all the surviving accounts were written by non-Spartans who presented an excessively idealized image of Sparta.
The earliest attested term referring to Lacedaemon is the Mycenaean Greek, ra-ke-da-mi-ni-jo, "Lacedaimonian", written in Linear B syllabic script, being the equivalent of the written in the Greek alphabet, latter Greek, Λακεδαιμόνιος, Lakedaimonios. The ancient Greeks used one of three words to refer to the home location of the Spartans; the first refers to the main cluster of settlements in the valley of the Eurotas River: Sparta. The second word was Lacedaemon. Herodotus seems to denote by it the Mycenaean Greek citadel at Therapne, in contrast to the lower town of Sparta, it could be used synonymously with Sparta, but it was not. It denoted the terrain. In Homer it is combined with epithets of the countryside: wide, lovely and most hollow and broken; the hollow suggests the Eurotas Valley. Sparta on the other hand is the country of a people epithet; the name of the population was used for the state of Lacedaemon: the Lacedaemonians. This epithet utilized the plural of the adjective Lacedaemonius.
If the ancients wished to refer to the country more directly, instead of Lacedaemon, they could use a back-formation from the adjective: Lacedaemonian country. As most words for "country" were feminine, the adjective was in the feminine: Lacedaemonia; the adjective came to be used alone. "Lacedaemonia" was not in general use during the classical period and before. It does occur in Greek as an equivalent of Laconia and Messenia during the Roman and early Byzantine periods in ethnographers and lexica glossing place names. For example, Hesychius of Alexandria's Lexicon defines Agiadae as a "place in Lacedaemonia" named after Agis; the actual transition may be captured by Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae, an etymological dictionary. He relied on Orosius' Historiarum Adversum Paganos and Eusebius of Caesarea's Chronicon as did Orosius; the latter defines Sparta to be Lacedaemonia Civitas but Isidore defines Lacedaemonia as founded by Lacedaemon, son of Semele, relying on Eusebius. There is a rare use the earliest of Lacedaemonia, in Diodorus Siculus, but with Χὠρα suppressed.
The immediate area around the town of Sparta, the plateau east of the Taygetos mountains, was referred as Laconice. This term was sometimes used to refer to all the regions under direct Spartan control, including Messenia. Lakedaimona was until 2006 the name of a province in the modern Greek prefecture of Laconia. Sparta is located in the south-eastern Peloponnese. Ancient Sparta was built on the banks of the Eurotas River, the main river of Laconia, which provided it with a source of fresh water; the valley of the Eurotas is a natural fo
Darius II Ochus Darius II Nothus, was king of the Persian Empire from 423 BC to 404 or 405 BC. The Elephantine papyri mention Darius II as a contemporary of the high priest Johanan of Ezra 10:6. Artaxerxes I, who died in 424 BC, was followed by his son Xerxes II. After a month and a half Xerxes II was murdered by his brother Sogdianus, his illegitimate brother, satrap of Hyrcania, rebelled against Sogdianus, after a short fight killed him, suppressed by treachery the attempt of his own brother Arsites to imitate his example. Ochus adopted the name Darius. Neither the names Xerxes II nor Sogdianus occur in the dates of the numerous Babylonian tablets from Nippur. Historians know little about Darius II's reign. A rebellion by the Medes in 409 BC is mentioned by Xenophon, it does seem. In excerpts from Ctesias some harem intrigues are recorded, in; as long as the power of Athens remained intact he did not meddle in Greek affairs. When in 413 BC, Athens supported the rebel Amorges in Caria, Darius II would not have responded had not the Athenian power been broken in the same year at Syracuse.
As a result of that event, Darius II gave orders to his satraps in Asia Minor and Pharnabazus, to send in the overdue tribute of the Greek towns and to begin a war with Athens. To support the war with Athens, the Persian satraps entered into an alliance with Sparta. In 408 BC he sent his son Cyrus to Asia Minor. Darius II may have expelled various Greek dynasts, ruling cities in Ionia: Pausanias wrote that the sons of Themistocles, which include Archeptolis, Governor of Magnesia, "appear to have returned to Athens", that they dedicated a painting of Themistocles in the Parthenon and erected a bronze statue to Artemis Leucophryene, the goddess of Magnesia, on the Acropolis, they may have returned from Asia Minor in old age, after 412 BC, when the Achaemenids took again firm control of the Greek cities of Asia, they may have been expelled by the Achaemenid satrap Tissaphernes sometime between 412 and 399 BC. In effect, from 414 BC, Darius II had started to resent increasing Athenian power in the Aegean and had Tissaphernes enter into an alliance with Sparta against Athens, which in 412 BC led to the Persian conquest of the greater part of Ionia.
Darius is said to have received the visit of Greek athlete and Olympic champion Polydamas of Skotoussa, who made a demonstration of his strength by killing three Immortals in front of the Persian ruler. A sculpture representing the scene is visible in the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games of antiquity. Darius II died in 404 BC, in the nineteenth year of his reign, was followed as Persian king by Artaxerxes II. Prior to his accession, Darius II was married to the daughter of Gobryas. With the daughter of Gobryas, Darius II had four sons, one of whom fathered Artabazanes, who served as King of Media Atropatene in the second half of the 3rd century BC. By Parysatis Artaxerxes II Cyrus the Younger Oxathres or Oxendares or Oxendras Artoxexes Ostanes Amestris wife of Teritouchmes & Artaxerxes II & seven other unnamed childrenBy other wives Artostes The unnamed satrap of Media at 401 B. C. Artoxares Kay Darab
Battle of Arginusae
The naval Battle of Arginusae took place in 406 BC during the Peloponnesian War near the city of Canae in the Arginusae islands, east of the island of Lesbos. In the battle, an Athenian fleet commanded by eight strategoi defeated a Spartan fleet under Callicratidas; the battle was precipitated by a Spartan victory which led to the Athenian fleet under Conon being blockaded at Mytilene. This inexperienced fleet was thus tactically inferior to the Spartans, but its commanders were able to circumvent this problem by employing new and unorthodox tactics, which allowed the Athenians to secure a dramatic and unexpected victory. Slaves and metics who participated in the battle were granted Athenian citizenship; the news of the victory itself was met with jubilation at Athens. Their joy was tempered, however, by the aftermath of the battle, in which a storm prevented the ships assigned to rescue the survivors of the 25 disabled or sunken Athenian triremes from performing their duties, a great number of sailors drowned.
A fury erupted at Athens when the public learned of this, after a bitter struggle in the assembly six of the eight generals who had commanded the fleet were tried as a group and executed. At Sparta, traditionalists who had supported Callicratidas pressed for peace with Athens, knowing that a continuation of the war would lead to the re-ascendence of their opponent Lysander; this party prevailed, a delegation was dispatched to Athens to make an offer of peace. In 406 BC, Callicratidas was appointed as the navarch of the Spartan fleet. Callicratidas was a traditionalist Spartan, distrustful of Persian influence and reluctant to ask for support from the Persian prince Cyrus, a strong supporter of Lysander. Thus, Callicratidas was forced to assemble his fleet and funding by seeking contributions from Sparta's allies among the Greek cities of the region. In this fashion, he assembled a fleet of some 140 triremes. Conon, meanwhile, in command of the Athenian fleet at Samos, was compelled by problems with the morale of his sailors to man only 70 of the more than 100 triremes he had in his possession.
Callicratidas, once he had assembled his fleet, sailed against Methymna, on Lesbos, which he laid siege to and stormed. From Methymna, Callicratidas could move to capture the rest of Lesbos, which would clear the way for him to move his fleet to the Hellespont, where he would be athwart the all-important Athenian grain supply line. To defend Lesbos, Conon was forced to move his numerically inferior fleet from Samos to the Hekatonnesi islands near Methymna; when Callicratidas attacked him, with a fleet that had swollen to a size of 170 ships, Conon was forced to flee to Mytilene, where, in the Battle of Mytilene, he was blockaded with his fleet after losing 30 ships in a clash at the mouth of the harbor. Besieged by land and sea, Conon was powerless to act against the vastly superior forces that surrounded him, was only able to slip a messenger ship out to Athens to carry the news of his plight; when the messenger ship reached Athens with news of Conon's situation, the assembly wasted no time in approving extreme measures to build and man a relief force.
The golden statues of Nike were melted down to fund the construction of the ships, slaves and metics were enlisted to crew the fleet. To ensure a sufficiently large and loyal group of crewmen, the Athenians took the radical step of extending citizenship to thousands of slaves who rowed with the fleet. Over a hundred ships were prepared and manned through these measures, contributions from allied ships raised the fleet's size to 150 triremes after it reached Samos. In a unorthodox arrangement, the fleet was commanded collaboratively by eight generals. After leaving Samos, the Athenian fleet sailed to the Arginusae islands, opposite Cape Malea on Lesbos, where they camped for an evening. Callicratidas, who had sailed south to Malea with most of his fleet upon learning of the Athenians' movements, spotted their signal fires and planned to attack them by night, but was prevented from doing so by a thunderstorm, so was forced to delay his attack until morning. At dawn the next day, Callicratidas led his fleet out to meet the Athenians.
He had 140 ships to match the Athenians' 150. For the first time in the war, the Spartan crews and commanders were more experienced than their Athenian opposites, as the Athenians' best crews had been at sea with Conon. To counter the Spartans' superior skill and maneuverability, the Athenian commanders implemented several new and innovative tactics. First, the Athenian fleet was divided into eight autonomous divisions, each commanded by one of the generals; as the Athenians advanced, they extended their left flank out to sea. The superior Athenian numbers, combined with the tactics they had implemented, created a dangerous situation for the Spartans, Callicratidas'
The Achaemenid Empire called the First Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, the development of civil services and a large professional army; the empire's successes inspired similar systems in empires. By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the south-western portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis, which came to be their heartland. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, establishing the Achaemenid Empire.
Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the empire by 330 BC. Upon Alexander's death, most of the empire's former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence at that time; the Iranian elites of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire. The Achaemenid Empire is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon; the historical mark of the empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social and religious influences as well. Despite the lasting conflict between the two states, many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their daily lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange, some being employed by or allied to the Persian kings; the impact of Cyrus's edict is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts, the empire was instrumental in the spread of Zoroastrianism as far east as China.
The empire set the tone for the politics and history of Iran. The term Achaemenid means "of the family of the Achaemenis/Achaemenes". Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh-century ruler of the Anshan in southwestern Iran, a vassal of Assyria. Astronomical year numbering Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details The Persian nation contains a number of tribes as listed here....: the Pasargadae and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the remainder -the Dai, Dropici, being nomadic; the Achaemenid Empire was created by nomadic Persians. The name "Persia" is a Greek and Latin pronunciation of the native word referring to the country of the people originating from Persis; the Persians were an Iranian people who arrived in what is today Iran c. 1000 BC and settled a region including north-western Iran, the Zagros Mountains and Persis alongside the native Elamites.
For a number of centuries they fell under the domination of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, based in northern Mesopotamia. The Persians were nomadic pastoralists in the western Iranian Plateau and by 850 BC were calling themselves the Parsa and their shifting territory Parsua, for the most part localized around Persis; the Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as the Medes, another group of Iranian peoples, established a short-lived empire and played a major role in the overthrow of the Assyrian. The Achaemenids were rulers of the Elamite city of Anshan near the modern city of Marvdasht. There are conflicting accounts of the identities of the earliest Kings of Anshan. According to the Cyrus Cylinder the kings of Anshan were Teispes, Cyrus I, Cambyses I and Cyrus II known as Cyrus the Great, who created the empire. In Herodotus' Histories, he writes that Cyrus the Great was the son of Cambyses I and Mandane of Media, the daughter of Astyages, the king of the Median Empire. Cyrus revolted against the Median Empire in 553 BC, in 550 BC succeeded in defeating the Medes, capturing Astyages and taking the Median capital city of Ecbatana.
Once in control of Ecbatana, Cyrus styled himself as the successor to Astyages and assumed control of the entire empire. By inheriting Astyages' empire, he inherited the territorial conflicts the Medes had had with both Lydia and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. King Croesus of Lydia sought to take advantage of the new international situation by advancing into what had been Median territory in Asia Minor. Cyrus led a counterattack which not only fought off Croesus' armies, but led to the capture of Sardis and the fall of the Lydian Kingdom in 546 BC. Cyrus placed Pactyes in charge of collecting tribute in Lydia and left, but once Cyrus had left Pactyes instigated a rebellion against Cyrus. Cyrus sent the Median general Mazares to deal with the rebellion, Pactyes was captured. Mazares, aft
The Dardanelles known from Classical Antiquity as the Hellespont, is a narrow, natural strait and internationally significant waterway in northwestern Turkey that forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey. One of the world's narrowest straits used for international navigation, the Dardanelles connects the Sea of Marmara with the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, while allowing passage to the Black Sea by extension via the Bosphorus; the Dardanelles is 61 kilometres long, 1.2 to 6 kilometres wide, averaging 55 metres deep with a maximum depth of 103 metres at its narrowest point abreast the city of Çanakkale. Most of the northern shores of the strait along the Gallipoli Peninsula are sparsely settled, while the southern shores along the Troad Peninsula are inhabited by the city of Çanakkale's urban population of 110,000. Together with the Bosphorus, the Dardanelles forms the Turkish Straits; the contemporary Turkish name Çanakkale Boğazı, meaning "Çanakkale Strait", is derived from the eponymous midsize city that adjoins the strait, itself meaning "Pottery Fort"—from Çanak + Kale —in reference to the area's famous pottery and ceramic wares, the landmark Ottoman fortress of Sultaniye.
The English name Dardanelles is an abbreviation of Strait of the Dardanelles. During Ottoman times there was a castle on each side of the strait; these castles together were called the Dardanelles named after Dardanus, an ancient city on the Asian shore of the strait which in turn was said to take its name from Dardanus, the mythical son of Zeus and Electra. The ancient Greek name Ἑλλήσποντος means "Sea of Helle", was the ancient name of the narrow strait, it was variously named in classical literature Hellespontium Pelagus, Rectum Hellesponticum, Fretum Hellesponticum. It was so called from Helle, the daughter of Athamas, drowned here in the mythology of the Golden Fleece; as a maritime waterway, the Dardanelles connects various seas along the Eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans, the Near East, Western Eurasia, connects the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. The Marmara further connects to the Black Sea via the Bosphorus, while the Aegean further links to the Mediterranean. Thus, the Dardanelles allows maritime connections from the Black Sea all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean via Gibraltar, the Indian Ocean through the Suez Canal, making it a crucial international waterway, in particular for the passage of goods coming in from Russia.
The strait is located at 40°13′N 26°26′E. The strait is 61 kilometres long, 1.2 to 6 kilometres wide, averaging 55 metres deep with a maximum depth of 103 metres at its narrowest point at Nara Burnu, abreast Çanakkale. There are two major currents through the strait: a surface current flows from the Black Sea towards the Aegean Sea, a more saline undercurrent flows in the opposite direction; the Dardanelles is unique in many respects. The narrow and winding shape of the strait is more akin to that of a river, it is considered one of the most hazardous, crowded and dangerous waterways in the world. The currents produced by the tidal action in the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara are such that ships under sail must await at anchorage for the right conditions before entering the Dardanelles; as part of the only passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the Dardanelles has always been of great importance from a commercial and military point of view, remains strategically important today.
It is a major sea access route including Russia and Ukraine. Control over it has been an objective of a number of hostilities in modern history, notably the attack of the Allied Powers on the Dardanelles during the 1915 Battle of Gallipoli in the course of World War I; the ancient city of Troy was located near the western entrance of the strait, the strait's Asiatic shore was the focus of the Trojan War. Troy was able to control the marine traffic entering this vital waterway; the Persian army of Xerxes I of Persia and the Macedonian army of Alexander the Great crossed the Dardanelles in opposite directions to invade each other's lands, in 480 BC and 334 BC respectively. Herodotus says that, circa 482 BC, Xerxes I had two pontoon bridges built across the width of the Hellespont at Abydos, in order that his huge army could cross from Persia into Greece; this crossing was named by Aeschylus in his tragedy The Persians as the cause of divine intervention against Xerxes. According to Herodotus, both bridges were destroyed by a storm and Xerxes had those responsible for building the bridges beheaded and the strait itself whipped.
The Histories of Herodotus vii.33–37 and vii.54–58 give details of building and crossing of Xerxes' Pontoon Bridges. Xerxes is said to have thrown fetters into the strait, given it three hundred lashes and branded it with red-hot irons as the soldiers shouted at the water. Herodotus commented that this was a "highly presumptuous way to address the Hellespont" but in no way atypical of Xerxes. Harpalus the engineer helped the invading armies to cross by lashing the ships together with their bows facing the current and, so it is said, two additional anchors. From the perspective of ancient Greek mythology, it was said that Helle, the daughter of Athamas, was drowned at the Dardanelles in the legend of the Golden Fleece; the strait was the scene of the legend of Hero and Leande
Corinth is an ancient city and former municipality in Corinthia, located in south-central Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Corinth, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit, it is the capital of Corinthia. It was founded as Nea Korinthos or New Corinth in 1858 after an earthquake destroyed the existing settlement of Corinth, which had developed in and around the site of ancient Corinth. Located about 78 kilometres west of Athens, Corinth is surrounded by the coastal townlets of Lechaio, Isthmia and the inland townlets of Examilia and the archaeological site and village of ancient Corinth. Natural features around the city include the narrow coastal plain of Vocha, the Corinthian Gulf, the Isthmus of Corinth cut by its canal, the Saronic Gulf, the Oneia Mountains, the monolithic rock of Acrocorinth, where the medieval acropolis was built. Corinth derives its name from a city-state of antiquity; the site was occupied from before 3000 BC. But historical sources about the city concerns the early 8th century BC, when Corinth began to develop as a commercial center.
Between the 8th and 7th centuries, the Bacchiad family ruled Corinth. Cypselus overthrew the Bacchiad family, between 657 and 550 BC, he and his son Periander ruled Corinth as the Tyrants. In about 550 BC, an oligarchical government seized power; this government allied with Sparta within the Peloponnesian League, Corinth participated in the Persian Wars and Peloponnesian War as an ally of Sparta. After Sparta's victory in the Peloponnesian war, the two allies fell out with one another, Corinth pursued an independent policy in the various wars of the early 4th century BC. After the Macedonian conquest of Greece, the Acrocorinth was the seat of a Macedonian garrison until 243 BC, when the city was liberated and joined the Achaean League. Nearly a century in 146 BC, Corinth was captured and destroyed by Roman armies; as a Roman colony in 44 BC, Corinth flourished and became the administrative capital of the Roman province of Achaea. In 1858, the old city, now known as Ancient Corinth, located 3 kilometres south-west of the modern city, was destroyed by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake.
New Corinth was built to the north-east of it, on the coast of the Gulf of Corinth. In 1928 a magnitude 6.3 earthquake devastated the new city, rebuilt on the same site. In 1933 there was a great fire, the new city was rebuilt again; the Municipality of Corinth had a population of 58,192 according to the 2011 census, the second most populous municipality in the Peloponnese Region after Kalamata. The municipal unit of Corinth had 38,132 inhabitants, of which Corinth itself had 30,176 inhabitants, placing it in third place behind Kalamata and Tripoli among the cities of the Peloponnese Region; the municipal unit of Corinth includes apart from Corinth proper the town of Archaia Korinthos, the town of Examilia, the smaller settlements of Xylokeriza and Solomos. The municipal unit has an area of 102.187 km2. Corinth is a major industrial hub at a national level; the Corinth Refinery is one of the largest oil refining industrial complexes in Europe. Copper cables, petroleum products, medical equipment, gypsum, ceramic tiles, mineral water and beverages, meat products, gums are produced nearby.
As of 2005, a period of deindustrialization has commenced as a large pipework complex, a textile factory and a meat packing facility diminished their operations. Corinth is a major road hub; the A7 toll motorway for Tripoli and Kalamata, branches off the A8/European route E94 toll motorway from Athens at Corinth. Corinth is the main entry point to the Peloponnesian peninsula, the southernmost area of continental Greece. KTEL Korinthias provides intercity bus service in the peninsula and to Athens via the Isthmos station southeast of the city center. Local bus service is available; the city has been connected to the Proastiakos, the Athens suburban rail network, since 2005, when the new Corinth railway station was completed. The port of Corinth, located north of the city centre and close to the northwest entrance of the Corinth Canal, at 37 56.0’ N / 22 56.0’ E, serves the local needs of industry and agriculture. It is a cargo exporting facility, it is an artificial harbour (depth 9 metres, protected by a concrete mole.
A new pier finished in the late 1980s doubled the capacity of the port. The reinforced mole protects anchored vessels from strong northern winds. Within the port operates a customs office facility and a Hellenic Coast Guard post. Sea traffic is limited to trade in the export of local produce citrus fruits, marble and some domestic imports; the port operates as a contingency facility for general cargo ships, bulk carriers and ROROs, in case of strikes at Piraeus port. There was a ferry link to Catania and Genoa in Italy; the Corinth Canal, carrying ship traffic between the western Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea, is about 4 kilometres east of the city, cutting through the Isthmus of Corinth that connects the Peloponnesian peninsula to the Greek mainland, thus making the former an island. The builders dug the canal through the Isthmus at sea level, it is 6.4 kilometres in length and only 21.3 metres (70