Thomas Maitland (British Army officer)
Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Thomas Maitland was a British soldier and colonial governor. He served as a Member of Parliament for Haddington from 1790–1796, 1802–06 and 1812–13, he was made a Privy Councillor on 23 November 1803. He was the second surviving son of James Maitland, 7th Earl of Lauderdale and the younger brother of James Maitland, 8th Earl of Lauderdale. Maitland never married. Maitland was commissioned into the Edinburgh Light Horse, shortly after his birth, but did not take up his commission until he joined the 78th Foot as a Captain in 1778, he transferred to the 72nd Foot, to the 62nd Foot as a Major in 1790. He was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel in 1794 and Colonel and Brigadier-General in 1798. While serving at St. Domingue, he proactively dealt with Toussaint Louverture, a general in the French colonial force, to disengage Britain. Elkins and McKitrick write: It was in fact Maitland and not the War Ministry who had determined that Britain's only sensible choice, rather than try to maintain any kind of presence at Jérémie and Môle-Saint-Nicolas, was to deal directly with Toussaint and negotiate a total evacuation of the island.
Accordingly he and the black general concluded a secret agreement on August 31, 1798. Great Britain would desist from any further attack on St. Domingue and any interference with its internal affairs. Maitland served as Governor of Ceylon during 1805 to 1811. While at Ceylon, Maitland was attracted to a place at "Galkissa" and decided to construct his palace there. During this time, Maitland fell in love with a half-caste dancing-girl named Lovina, born to Portuguese and Sinhalese parents. During the construction of the palace, Maitland gave instructions for the construction of a secret tunnel to Lovina's house, located close to the governor's palace. One end of the tunnel was inside the well of Lovina's house and the other end was in a wine cellar inside the governor's palace; when the governor came to reside there, he would use the tunnel to meet Lovina. The Sinhalese village that surrounded the Governor’s mansion developed into a modern city named "Galkissa"; the city was renamed "Mount Lavinia" in honour of Lovina.
In 1920 the tunnel was sealed up. The bicentenary celebration of the Mount Lavinia Hotel was held in 2005; some of Sir Thomas Maitland's relatives living in the UK attended the ceremony. Two roads in central Colombo in modern-day Sri Lanka, are named for him, Maitland Crescent and Maitland Place. In early 1812, The 1st Earl of Wellington began the campaign that resulted in his victory at the Battle of Salamanca on 22 July. To prevent Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet from sending French reinforcements from the east coast of Spain, Wellington requested that Lord William Bentinck launch a diversionary operation using the British garrison of Sicily. At first Bentinck agreed to send 10,000 of his soldiers. After much persuasion, he allowed the operation to go forward and on 7 June he put 8,000 men aboard naval transports under the command of Maitland; the fickle Bentinck changed his mind again on 9 June. At last on 28 June Maitland sailed for Menorca; the fleet first picked up 6,000 Spanish troops at Menorca and landed on 31 July at Palamós, 65 miles northeast of Barcelona.
He wisely decided that Barcelona was too strong to attack, but he refused to try to capture weakly held Tarragona. Maitland soon received news that Joseph O'Donnell's Army of Murcia had been routed at the Battle of Castalla on 21 July. Without the support of O'Donnell, Maitland decided, he re-embarked his expeditionary force and sailed to Alicante instead, joining his troops with the garrison to form an army of 15,000 men. Because of the disaster at Salamanca, the French were forced to evacuate both Madrid in central Spain and Andalusia in the south, their combined forces joined Suchet in the province of Valencia. In close proximity to 80,000 French soldiers, Maitland declined to move from Alicante. Maitland asked to be relieved in September 1812 due to illness. Maitland became Lieutenant-Governor of Portsmouth and General Officer Commanding South-West District in May 1813 and was appointed as Governor of Malta on 23 July 1813, when the island became a crown colony instead of a protectorate; the plague had broken out in Malta in March 1813 and the disease began to spread in Valletta and the Grand Harbour area.
When Maitland arrived, he enforced stricter quarantine measures. The plague spread to Gozo by the following January, but the islands were free of the disease by March 1814. Overall, 4486 people were killed, it is thought. After the eradication of the plague, Maitland made several reforms, he removed British troops from Lampedusa on 25 September 1814, ending the dispute that had started in 1800. On Malta, he was autocratic and he refused to form an advisory council made up of Maltese representatives, so he was informally known as "King Tom", he formed the Malta Police Force in 1814, while the local Italian-speaking Università was dissolved in 1819. Various reforms were undertaken in the law courts as well. Maitland remained Governor until his death from apoplexy on 17 January 1824, he was attended on his death-bed by Alexander Broadfoot and John Hennen. While he was Governor of Malta, Maitland served as Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands during 1815 to 182
Ionian Islands (region)
The Ionian Islands Region is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. The administrative region does not include all of the Ionian Islands; the population of the Ionian Islands in 2011 was 207,855, decreased by 1,50% compared to the population in 2001. The region remains the third by population density with 90.1/km² nationwide, well above the national of 81.96/km². The most populous of the major islands is Corfu with a population of 104,371, followed by Zante, Cephalonia and Ithaca; the foreign-born population was in 2001 19,360 or 9.3%, the majority of, concentrated in Corfu and Zante. Most of them originate from Albania; the fertility rate for 2011 according to Eurostat was 1.35 live births per woman. The regional Gross Domestic Product for 2010 was 4,029 million euros; the GDP per capita for the same year was 18,440 euros per capita, lower than the national median of 20,481. However, the GDP per capita of Cephalonia and Zante, 23,275 and 24,616 was much higher than the national figure.
Additionally, unemployment for 2012 was 14.7, the lowest among all Greek regions, much lower compared to the national unemployment of 24.2. The region is a popular tourist destination; the airports of Corfu and Cephalonia were in the top ten in Greece by number of international arrivals, with 1,386,289 international arrivals for 2012, with Corfu being the sixth airport by number of arrivals nationwide, while Zante and Cephalonia being in the top ten. Cephalonia Airport had the biggest increase nationwide by 13.11% compared to 2011, while Corfu had an increase of 6.31%. The region was established in the 1987 administrative reform, comprising the prefectures of Corfu and Ithaca, Lefkada and Zakynthos. With the 2010 Kallikratis plan, its powers and authority were extended. Along with West Greece and Peloponnese regions, it is supervised by the Decentralized Administration of the Peloponnese, West Greece and the Ionian Islands based at Patras; the region is based at Corfu and is divided into 5 regional units: Corfu Ithaca Kefalonia Lefkada ZakynthosThe region's governor is, since 1 September 2014, Theodoros Galiatsatos, elected in the May 2014 local administration elections for the Coalition of the Radical Left party.
World Heritage Site
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area, selected by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization as having cultural, scientific or other form of significance, is protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity. To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance, it may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet. The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones; the list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 "states parties" that are elected by their General Assembly.
The programme catalogues and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund; the program began with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since 193 state parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most recognized international agreements and the world's most popular cultural program; as of July 2018, a total of 1,092 World Heritage Sites exist across 167 countries. Italy, with 54 sites, has the most of any country, followed by China, France, Germany and Mexico. In 1954, the government of Egypt decided to build the new Aswan High Dam, whose resulting future reservoir would inundate a large stretch of the Nile valley containing cultural treasures of ancient Egypt and ancient Nubia. In 1959, the governments of Egypt and Sudan requested UNESCO to assist their countries to protect and rescue the endangered monuments and sites.
In 1960, the Director-General of UNESCO launched an appeal to the member states for an International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. This appeal resulted in the excavation and recording of hundreds of sites, the recovery of thousands of objects, as well as the salvage and relocation to higher ground of a number of important temples, the most famous of which are the temple complexes of Abu Simbel and Philae; the campaign, which ended in 1980, was considered a success. As tokens of its gratitude to countries which contributed to the campaign's success, Egypt donated four temples: the Temple of Dendur was moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Temple of Debod was moved to the Parque del Oeste in Madrid, the Temple of Taffeh was moved to the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in the Netherlands, the Temple of Ellesyia to Museo Egizio in Turin; the project cost $80 million, about $40 million of, collected from 50 countries. The project's success led to other safeguarding campaigns: saving Venice and its lagoon in Italy, the ruins of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, the Borobodur Temple Compounds in Indonesia.
UNESCO initiated, with the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a draft convention to protect the common cultural heritage of humanity. The United States initiated the idea of cultural conservation with nature conservation; the White House conference in 1965 called for a "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry". The International Union for Conservation of Nature developed similar proposals in 1968, they were presented in 1972 to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. Under the World Heritage Committee, signatory countries are required to produce and submit periodic data reporting providing the World Heritage Committee with an overview of each participating nation's implementation of the World Heritage Convention and a "snapshot" of current conditions at World Heritage properties. A single text was agreed on by all parties, the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
The Convention came into force on 17 December 1975. As of May 2017, it has been ratified by 193 states parties, including 189 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See and the State of Palestine. Only four UN member states have not ratified the Convention: Liechtenstein, Nauru and Tuvalu. A country must first list its significant natural sites. A country may not nominate sites. Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File; the Nomination File is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee; the Committee meets once per year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country which nominated the site. There are ten selection criteria – a site must meet at least one of them to be included on the list
Corfu or Kerkyra is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, including its small satellite islands, forms the northwesternmost part of Greece; the island is part of the Corfu regional unit, is administered as a single municipality, which includes the smaller islands of Ereikoussa and Othonoi. The municipality has an area of 610,9 km2, the island proper 592,8 km2; the principal city of the island and seat of the municipality is named Corfu. Corfu is home to the Ionian University; the island is bound up with the history of Greece from the beginnings of Greek mythology. Its history is full of conquests. Ancient Korkyra took part in the Battle of Sybota, a catalyst for the Peloponnesian War, according to Thucydides, the largest naval battle between Greek city states until that time. Thucydides reports that Korkyra was one of the three great naval powers of fifth century BC Greece, along with Athens and Corinth. Medieval castles punctuating strategic locations across the island are a legacy of struggles in the Middle Ages against invasions by pirates and the Ottomans.
Two of these castles enclose its capital, the only city in Greece to be surrounded in such a way. As a result, Corfu's capital has been declared a Kastropolis by the Greek government. From medieval times and into the 17th century, the island, having repulsed the Ottomans during several sieges, was recognised as a bulwark of the European States against the Ottoman Empire and became one of the most fortified places in Europe; the fortifications of the island were used by the Venetians to defend against Ottoman intrusion into the Adriatic. Corfu fell under British rule following the Napoleonic Wars. Corfu was ceded by the British Empire along with the remaining islands of the United States of the Ionian Islands, unification with modern Greece was concluded in 1864 under the Treaty of London. In 2007, the city's old quarter was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, following a recommendation by ICOMOS. Corfu is a popular tourist destination; the island was the location of the 1994 European Union summit.
The Greek name, Kerkyra or Korkyra, is related to two powerful water deities: Poseidon, god of the sea, Asopos, an important Greek mainland river. According to myth, Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra, daughter of Asopos and river nymph Metope, abducted her. Poseidon brought Korkyra to the hitherto unnamed island and, in marital bliss, offered her name to the place: Korkyra, which evolved to Kerkyra, they had a child they called Phaiax, after whom the inhabitants of the island were named Phaiakes, in Latin Phaeaciani. Corfu's nickname is the island of the Phaeacians; the name Corfù, an Italian version of the Byzantine Κορυφώ, meaning "city of the peaks", derives from the Byzantine Greek Κορυφαί, denoting the two peaks of Palaio Frourio. The northeastern edge of Corfu lies off the coast of Sarandë, separated by straits varying in width from 3 to 23 km; the southeast side of the island lies off the coast of Greece. Its shape resembles a sickle, to which it was compared by the ancients: the concave side, with the city and harbour of Corfu in the centre, lies toward the Albanian coast.
With the island's area estimated at 592.9 square kilometres, it runs 64 km long, with greatest breadth at around 32 km. Two high and well-defined ranges divide the island into three districts, of which the northern is mountainous, the central undulating, the southern low-lying; the more important of the two ranges, that of Pantokrator stretches east and west from Cape Falacro to Cape Psaromita, attains its greatest elevation in the summit of the same name. The second range culminates in the mountain of Santi Jeca, or Santa Decca, as it is called by misinterpretation of the Greek designation Άγιοι Δέκα, or the Ten Saints; the whole island, composed as it is of various limestone formations, presents great diversity of surface, views from more elevated spots are magnificent. Beaches are found in Agios Gordis, the Korission lagoon, Agios Georgios, Kassiopi, Sidari and many others. Corfu is located near the Kefalonia geological fault formation. Corfu's coastline spans 217 kilometres including capes.
The full extent of capes and promontories take in Agia Aikaterini, Drastis to the north and Asprokavos to the southeast, Megachoro to the south. Two islands are to be found at a middle point of Gouvia and Corfu Bay, which extends across much of the eastern shore of the island. Camping areas can be found in Palaiokastritsa, with four in the northern part, Roda and Messonghi; the Diapontia Islands are located in the northwest of Corfu, about 40 km away from Italian coasts. The main islands are Othonoi and Mathraki. Lazaretto Island known as Aghios Dimitrios, is located two nautical miles northeast of Corfu. During Venetian rule in the early 16th century, a monastery was built on the islet and a leprosarium established in the century, after which the island was
Temple of Artemis, Corfu
The Temple of Artemis is an Archaic Greek temple in Corfu, built in around 580 BC in the ancient city of Korkyra, in what is known today as the suburb of Garitsa. The temple was dedicated to Artemis, it is known as the first Doric temple built with stone. It is considered the first building to have incorporated all of the elements of the Doric architectural style. Few Greek temple reliefs from the Archaic period have survived, the large fragments of the group from the pediment are the earliest significant survivals; the temple was a peripteral–styled building with a pseudodipteral configuration. Its perimeter was rectangular, with width of 23.46 m and length 49 m with an eastward orientation so that light could enter the interior of the temple at sunrise. It was one of the largest temples of its time; the metope of the temple was decorated, since remnants of reliefs featuring Achilles and Memnon were found in the ancient ruins. The temple has been described as a milestone of Ancient Greek architecture and one of 150 masterpieces of Western architecture.
The Corfu temple architecture may have influenced the design of an archaic sanctuary structure found at St. Omobono in Italy, near Tiber in Ancient Rome, at the time of the Etruscans, which incorporates similar design elements. If still in use by the 4th-century, the temple would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire, when the Christian Emperors issued edicts prohibiting non-Christian worship. Kaiser Wilhelm II, while vacationing at his summer palace of Achilleion in Corfu and while Europe was preparing for war, was involved in excavations at the site of the ancient temple; the ruins were found during the Napoleonic Wars by soldiers of French General François-Xavier Donzelot as they were digging, preparing for trench warfare. Kaiser Wilhelm II had a "lifelong obsession" with the Gorgon sculpture, attributed to his attendance at seminars on Greek Archaeology while at the University of Bonn; the seminars were given by archaeologist Reinhard Kekulé von Stradonitz, who became the Kaiser's advisor.
Kaiser himself, while residing at his summer palace of Achilleion in Corfu and while Europe was preparing for war, was involved in excavations at the site of the ancient temple. In 1911 the Kaiser, along with Greek archaeologist Federiko Versakis on behalf of the Greek Archaeological Society and the famous German archaeologist Wilhelm Dörpfeld on behalf of the German Archaeological Institute, started excavations at the Artemis Temple of Corfu; the Kaiser's activities in Corfu at the time involved both archaeological matters. The excavations involved political manoeuvering due to the antagonism that had developed between the two principal archaeologists at the Corfu Temple site. Little remains today on the site, with only the foundation of the temple and other fragments still existing there. However, the existing ruins have provided sufficient information for a complete reconstruction of the architectural details of the temple; the building was supported around its perimeter by colonnades consisting of two rows of eight columns each for the front and back of the building, while the sides were supported by two rows of seventeen columns each.
At the centre of the temple, there was a rectangular inner chamber or cella 9.4 m wide and 34.4 m long, subdivided in three spaces by two colonnades consisting of ten columns each. The temple of Artemis in Corfu and the Parthenon are the only Greek temples with eight columns between antae; the outer colonnade of eight by seventeen columns called the peristyle, had enough separation from the inner chamber that a second colonnade could be added in the interior. The Corfu Temple, does not have this inner colonnade, for economy reasons; this configuration of a single colonnade, in a space allowing for a second, is called pseudodipteral. The Artemis Temple in Corfu is the earliest known example of this architectural style; the front and back of the temple featured two pediments, of which only the western one survives in good condition, while the eastern pediment lies in fragments. The pediments were decorated with mythical figures, sculpted in high relief; this is the first known example of a decorated pediment in Greece.
Both pediments appear to be decorated in an identical manner and they feature a large relief of the Gorgon Medusa, more than 9 ft. high. The pediment measures 9 ft. 4 inches high at the centre. The sculptures incorporated in these pediments are considered the first substantial specimens of Greek sculpture from a Doric building; the western pediment along with other architectural fragments are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Corfu. The pediment has been described by The New York Times as the "finest example of Archaic temple sculpture extant"; the pediment depicts Medusa in a stylised fashion. The Medusa is wearing a mini–skirt which allows her legs freedom of movement while she is fleeing from Perseus, her motion is further indicated by the formulaic positioning of her legs in the so–called Knielauf position which stylistically resembles a swastika. The Gorgon is shown with a girdle of intertwined serpents; the presence of the snakes, adds a demonic quality as well as an element of danger.
Two more snakes radiate outward from her neck. The Medusa figure resembles "Mistress of Animals" deities found in the Near East and resembles Mesopotamian demoness Lamashtu, the equivalent of the Greek deity Lamia, her children
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
The city of Athens during the classical period of Ancient Greece was the major urban center of the notable polis of the same name, located in Attica, leading the Delian League in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Isagoras; this system remained remarkably stable, with a few brief interruptions remained in place for 180 years, until 322 BC. The peak of Athenian hegemony was achieved in the 440s to 430s BC, known as the Age of Pericles. In the classical period, Athens was a center for the arts and philosophy, home of Plato's Akademia and Aristotle's Lyceum, Athens was the birthplace of Socrates, Pericles, Aristophanes and many other prominent philosophers and politicians of the ancient world, it is referred to as the cradle of Western Civilization, the birthplace of democracy due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC on the rest of the then-known European continent.
Hippias, son of Peisistratus, had ruled Athens jointly with his brother, from the death of Peisistratus c527. Following the assassination of Hipparchus c514, Hippias took on sole rule, in response to the loss of his brother, became a worse leader and disliked. Hippias exiled 700 of the Athenian noble families, amongst them Cleisthenes' family, the Alchmaeonids. Upon their exile, they went to Delphi, Herodotus says they bribed the Pythia to always tell visiting Spartans that they should invade Attica and overthrow Hippias; this worked after a number of times, Cleomenes led a Spartan force to overthrow Hippias, which succeeded, instated an oligarchy. Cleisthenes disliked the Spartan rule, along with many other Athenians, so made his own bid for power; the result of this was democracy in Athens, but considering Cleisthenes' motivation for using the people to gain power, as without their support, he would have been defeated, so Athenian democracy may be tinted by the fact its creation served the man who created it.
The reforms of Cleisthenes replaced the traditional four Ionic "tribes" with ten new ones, named after legendary heroes of Greece and having no class basis, which acted as electorates. Each tribe was in turn divided into three trittyes, while each trittys had one or more demes – depending on their population – which became the basis of local government; the tribes each selected fifty members by lot for the Boule, the council which governed Athens on a day-to-day basis. The public opinion of voters could be influenced by the political satires written by the comic poets and performed in the city theaters; the Assembly or Ecclesia was open to all full citizens and was both a legislature and a supreme court, except in murder cases and religious matters, which became the only remaining functions of the Areopagus. Most offices were filled by lot. Prior to the rise of Athens, Sparta, a city-state with a militaristic culture, considered itself the leader of the Greeks, enforced a hegemony; the silver mines of Laurion contributed to the development of Athens in the 5th century BC, when the Athenians learned to prospect and refine the ore and used the proceeds to build a massive fleet, at the instigation of Themistocles.
In 499 BC Athens sent troops to aid the Ionian Greeks of Asia Minor, who were rebelling against the Persian Empire. This provoked two Persian invasions of Greece, both of which were repelled under the leadership of the soldier-statesmen Miltiades and Themistocles. In 490 the Athenians, led by Miltiades, prevented the first invasion of the Persians, guided by king Darius I, at the Battle of Marathon. In 480 the Persians returned under a new ruler, Xerxes I; the Hellenic League led by the Spartan King Leonidas led 7,000 men to hold the narrow passageway of Thermopylae against the 100,000–250,000 army of Xerxes, during which time Leonidas and 300 other Spartan elites were killed. The Athenians led an indecisive naval battle off Artemisium. However, this delaying action was not enough to discourage the Persian advance which soon marched through Boeotia, setting up Thebes as their base of operations, entered southern Greece; this forced the Athenians to evacuate Athens, taken by the Persians, seek the protection of their fleet.
Subsequently, the Athenians and their allies, led by Themistocles, defeated the Persian navy at sea in the Battle of Salamis. Xerxes had built himself a throne on the coast. Instead, the Persians were routed. Sparta's hegemony was passing to Athens, it was Athens that took the war to Asia Minor; these victories enabled it to bring most of the Aegean and many other parts of Greece together in the Delian League, an Athenian-dominated alliance. Pericles – an Athenian general and orator – distinguished himself above the other personalities of the era, men who excelled in politics, architecture, sculpture and literature, he fostered arts and literature and gave to Athens a splendor which would never return throughout its history. He improved the life of the citizens. Hence, he gave his name to the Athenian Golden Age. Silver mined in Laurium in southeastern Attica contributed to the prosperity of this "Golden" Age of A