Phocis (ancient region)
Phocis was an ancient region in the central part of Ancient Greece, which included Delphi. A modern administrative unit called Phocis, is named after the ancient region, although the modern region is larger than the ancient one. Ancient Phocis was about 1,619 km² in area, bounded on the west by Ozolian Locris and Doris, on the north by Opuntian Locris, on the east by Boeotia, on the south by the Gulf of Corinth; the massive ridge of Parnassus, which traverses the heart of the country, divides it into two distinct portions. Being neither rich in material resources nor well placed for commercial enterprise, Phocis was pastoral. No large cities grew up within its territory, its chief places, such as Delphi and Elatea, were of strategic or cultural importance; the early history of Phocis remains quite obscure. During the Second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC the Phocians at first joined in the national defence, but, by their irresolute conduct at the Battle of Thermopylae lost that position for the Greeks.
In 457 BC an attempt to extend their influence to the headwaters of the Cephissus in the territory of Doris brought a Spartan army into Phocis in defence of the "metropolis of the Dorians". A similar enterprise against Delphi in 448 BC was again frustrated by Sparta, but not long afterwards the Phocians recaptured the sanctuary with the help of the Athenians, with whom they had entered into alliance in 454 BC; the subsequent decline of Athenian land power had the effect of weakening this new connection. In the 4th century BC Phocis was endangered by its Boeotian neighbours. After helping the Spartans to invade Boeotia during the Corinthian War, the Phocians were placed on the defensive, they received assistance from Sparta in 380 BC, but were afterwards compelled to submit to the growing power of Thebes. The Phocian levy took part in the inroads of Epaminondas into Peloponnesus, except in the final campaign of Mantinea, from which their contingent was withheld. In return for this negligence the Thebans fastened a religious quarrel upon their neighbours, secured a penal decree against them from the Amphictyonic synod.
This led to the Third Sacred War. The Phocians, led by two capable generals and Onomarchus, replied to the penal decree by seizing Delphi and using its riches to hire a mercenary army. With the aid of their mercenaries, the Phocians carried the war into Boeotia and Thessaly, fighting two important battles: the Battle of Crocus Field. Though driven out of Thessaly by Philip of Macedon, the war maintained itself for ten years, until the exhaustion of the temple treasures and the treachery of its leaders placed Phocia at Philip's mercy; the conditions which he imposed – the obligation to restore the temple funds, the dispersion of the population into open villages – were soon disregarded. In 339 BC, the Phocians began to rebuild their cities. Again in 323 BC, they took part in the Lamian War against Antipater, in 279 BC helped to defend Thermopylae against the Gauls. Henceforth little more is heard of Phocis. During the 3rd century BC, Phocis passed into the power of Macedonia and of the Aetolian League, to which in 196 BC it was annexed.
Under the dominion of the Roman republic the Aeotolian League was dissolved, but was revived by Augustus, who restored to Phocis the votes in the Delphic Amphictyony, which Phocis had lost in 346 BC. Augustus instituted an Achaean synod comprising the dependent cities of Peloponnese and central Greece; this Achaean synod is last heard of under Trajan. Fanaticus website: Phokians, 668–450BC
Publius Papinius Statius was a Roman poet of the 1st century AD. His surviving Latin poetry includes an epic in the Thebaid, he is known for his appearance as a guide in the Purgatory section of Dante's epic poem, the Divine Comedy. Information about Statius' life is entirely drawn from his Silvae and a mention by the satirist Juvenal, he was born to a family of Graeco-Campanian origin. The poet's father was a native of Velia but moved to Naples and spent time in Rome where he taught with marked success. From boyhood to adulthood, Statius' father proved himself a champion in the poetic contests at Naples in the Augustalia and in the Nemean and Isthmian games, which served as important events to display poetic skill during the early empire. Statius declares in his lament for his father that his father was in his time equal to any literary task, whether in prose or verse, he mentioned Mevania, may have spent time there, or been impressed by the confrontation of Vitellius and Vespasian in 69. Statius' father may have lost his status because of money troubles.
At Naples, he was a teacher of Greek and Roman literature who attracted many pupils who were destined for religious offices in Rome. He died in 79 AD. From Pliny the Younger's Letters, it has been deduced that Statius wrote under the pseudonym of Propertius. Less is known of the events of Statius' life, he was born c. 45 AD. From his boyhood he was victorious in poetic contests many times at his native Naples and three times at the Alban Festival, where he received the golden crown from the hand of the emperor Domitian who had instituted the contest. For the Alban Festival, Statius composed a poem on the German and Dacian campaigns of Domitian which Juvenal lampoons in his seventh satire. Statius is thought to have moved to Rome c. 90 after his father's death where he published his acclaimed epic poem the Thebaid c. 92. In the capital, Statius seems to have made many connections among the Roman aristocracy and court, he was supported through their patronage. Statius produced the first three books of occasional poetry, his Silvae, which were published in 93, which sketch his patrons and acquaintances of this period and mention his attendance at one of Domitian's Saturnalia banquets.
He competed in the great Capitoline competition, although it is not known in what year, although 94 has been suggested. Statius failed to win the coveted prize, a loss he took hard; the disappointment may have prompted his return to Naples around 94, the home of his youth. In existence is a poem he addressed to his wife, the widow of a famous singer who had a musically talented daughter by her first husband, on this occasion. Statius' first three books of the Silvae seem to have received some criticism, in response he composed a fourth book' at Naples, published in 95. During this period at Naples, Statius maintained his relations with the court and his patrons, earning himself another invitation to a palace banquet, he seems to have taken an interest in the marriage and career of his stepdaughter and he took a young slave boy under his wing, as he was childless, who died c. 95. In that same year Statius embarked on a new epic, the Achilleid, giving popular recitations of his work only to complete a book and a half before dying in 95, leaving the poem unfinished.
His fifth book of Silvae were published after his death c. 96. As a poet, Statius was versatile in his contrived to represent his work as otium. Taught by his educated father, Statius was familiar with the breadth of classical literature and displayed his learning in his poetry, densely allusive and has been described as elaborate and mannerist, he was able to compose in hexameter, hendecasyllable and Sapphic meters, to produce researched and refined epic and polished impromptu pieces, to treat a variety of themes with the dazzling rhetorical and poetic skill that inspired the support of his patrons and the emperor. Some of Statius' works, such as his poems for his competitions, have been lost. Based on Statius' own testimony, the Thebaid was written c. 80 – c. 92 AD, beginning when the poet was around 35, the work is thought to have been published in 91 or 92. The poem is divided into twelve books in imitation of Virgil's Aeneid and is composed in dactylic hexameter. In the Silvae, Statius speaks of his extensive work in polishing and revising the Thebaid and his public recitations of the poem.
From the epilogue it seems clear that Statius considered the Thebaid to be his magnum opus and believed that it would secure him fame for the future. In the poem, Statius follows Virgil as a model, but he refers to a wide range of sources in his handling of meter and episodes; the poem's theme is the myth of the Seven Against Thebes, the story of the battle between the sons of Oedipus for the throne of Thebes. The poem opens with the disgraced Oedipus' curse on his two sons and Polyneices, who have decided to hold the throne of Thebes in alternate years, one ruling, the other in exile. Jupiter plans a war between Thebes and Argos, although Juno begs him not to inc
Euripides was a tragedian of classical Athens. Along with Aeschylus and Sophocles, he is one of the three ancient Greek tragedians for whom a significant number of plays have survived; some ancient scholars attributed 95 plays to him but, according to the Suda, it was 92 at most. Of these, 18 or 19 have survived more or less complete and there are fragments, some substantial, of most of the other plays. More of his plays have survived intact than those of Aeschylus and Sophocles together because his popularity grew as theirs declined—he became, in the Hellenistic Age, a cornerstone of ancient literary education, along with Homer and Menander. Euripides is identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times in the representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances; this new approach led him to pioneer developments that writers adapted to comedy, some of which are characteristic of romance. Yet he became "the most tragic of poets", focusing on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way unknown.
He was "the creator of...that cage, the theatre of Shakespeare's Othello, Racine's Phèdre, of Ibsen and Strindberg," in which "...imprisoned men and women destroy each other by the intensity of their loves and hates", yet he was the literary ancestor of comic dramatists as diverse as Menander and George Bernard Shaw. Unique among writers of Ancient Athens, Euripides demonstrated sympathy towards the underrepresented members of society, his male contemporaries were shocked by the'heresies' he put into the mouths of characters, such as these words of his heroine Medea: His contemporaries associated him with Socrates as a leader of a decadent intellectualism, both of them being lampooned by comic poets such as Aristophanes. Whereas Socrates was put on trial and executed as a corrupting influence, Euripides chose a voluntary exile in old age, dying in Macedonia. Recent scholarship casts doubt on ancient biographies of Euripides. For example, it is possible that he never visited Macedonia at all, or, if he did, he might have been drawn there by King Archelaus with incentives that were offered to other artists.
Traditional accounts of the author's life are found in many commentaries and include details such as these: He was born on Salamis Island around 480 BC, with parents Cleito and Mnesarchus, a retailer who lived in a village near Athens. Upon the receipt of an oracle saying that his son was fated to win "crowns of victory", Mnesarchus insisted that the boy should train for a career in athletics. In fact the boy was destined for a career on the stage, where however he was to win only five victories, one of, after his death, he served for a short time as both torch-bearer at the rites of Apollo Zosterius. His education was not confined to athletics: he studied painting and philosophy under the masters Prodicus and Anaxagoras, he had two disastrous marriages and both his wives—Melite and Choerine —were unfaithful. He became a recluse. "There he built an impressive library and pursued daily communion with the sea and sky". He retired to the "rustic court" of King Archelaus in Macedonia, where he died in 406 BC.
However, as mentioned in the introduction, biographical details such as these should be regarded with scepticism. They are derived entirely from three unreliable sources: folklore, employed by the ancients to lend colour to the lives of celebrated authors; this biography is divided into three sections corresponding to the three kinds of sources. Euripides was the youngest in a set of three great tragedians who were contemporaries: his first play was staged thirteen years after Sophocles' debut and only three years after Aeschylus's masterpiece, the Oresteia; the identity of the threesome is neatly underscored by a patriotic account of their roles during Greece's great victory over Persia at the Battle of Salamis—Aeschylus fought there, Sophocles was just old enough to celebrate the victory in a boys' chorus and Euripides was born on the day of the battle. The apocryphal account that he composed his works in a cave on Salamis island was a late tradition and it symbolizes the isolation of an intellectual, rather ahead of his time.
Much of his life and his whole career coincided with the struggle between Athens and Sparta for hegemony in Greece but he didn't live to see the final defeat of his city. It is said that he died in Macedonia after being attacked by the Molossian hounds of King Archelaus and that his cenotaph near Piraeus was struck by lightning—signs of his unique powers, whether for good or ill. In an account by Plutarch, the catastrophic failure of the Sicilian expedition led Athenians to trade renditions of Euripides' lyrics to their enemies in return for food and drink. Plutarch is the source for the story that the victorious Spartan generals, having planned the demolition of Athens and the enslavement of its people, grew merciful after being entertained at a banquet by lyrics from Euripides' play Electra: "they felt that it would be a barbarous act to annihilate a ci
In Greek mythology, Achilles or Achilleus was a Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad. His mother was the immortal Nereid Thetis, his father, the mortal Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons. Achilles' most notable feat during the Trojan War was the slaying of the Trojan hero Hector outside the gates of Troy. Although the death of Achilles is not presented in the Iliad, other sources concur that he was killed near the end of the Trojan War by Paris, who shot him in the heel with an arrow. Legends state that Achilles was invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel because, when his mother Thetis dipped him in the river Styx as an infant, she held him by one of his heels. Alluding to these legends, the term "Achilles' heel" has come to mean a point of weakness in someone or something with an otherwise strong constitution; the Achilles tendon is named after him due to these legends. Linear B tablets attest to the personal name Achilleus in the forms a-ki-re-u and a-ki-re-we, the latter being the dative of the former.
The name grew more popular becoming common soon after the seventh century BC and was turned into the female form Ἀχιλλεία, attested in Attica in the fourth century BC and, in the form Achillia, on a stele in Halicarnassus as the name of a female gladiator fighting an "Amazon". Achilles' name can be analyzed as a combination of ἄχος "distress, sorrow, grief" and λαός "people, nation", resulting in a proto-form *Akhí-lāu̯os "he who has the people distressed" or "he whose people have distress"; the grief or distress of the people is a theme raised numerous times in the Iliad. Achilles' role as the hero of grief or distress forms an ironic juxtaposition with the conventional view of him as the hero of κλέος kléos. Furthermore, laós has been construed by Gregory Nagy, following Leonard Palmer, to mean "a corps of soldiers", a muster. With this derivation, the name obtains a double meaning in the poem: when the hero is functioning rightly, his men bring distress to the enemy, but when wrongly, his men get the grief of war.
The poem is in part about the misdirection of anger on the part of leadership. Another etymology relates the name to a Proto-Indo-European compound *h₂eḱ-pṓds "sharp foot" which first gave an Illyrian *āk̂pediós, evolving through time into *ākhpdeós and *akhiddeús; the shift from -dd- to -ll- is ascribed to the passing of the name into Greek via a Pre-Greek source. The first root part *h₂eḱ- "sharp, pointed" gave Greek ἀκή, ἀκμή and ὀξύς, whereas ἄχος stems from the root *h₂egʰ- "to be upset, afraid"; the whole expression would be comparable to the Latin acupedius "swift of foot". Compare the Latin word family of aciēs "sharp edge or point, battle line, engagement", acus "needle, bodkin", acuō "to make pointed, whet; some topical epitheta of Achilles in the Iliad point to this "swift-footedness", namely ποδάρκης δῖος Ἀχιλλεὺς or more πόδας ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς. Some researchers deem the name a loan word from a Pre-Greek language. Achilles' descent from the Nereid Thetis and a similarity of his name with those of river deities such as Acheron and Achelous have led to speculations about him being an old water divinity.
Robert S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin of the name, based among other things on the coexistence of -λλ- and -λ- in epic language, which may account for a palatalized phoneme /ly/ in the original language. Achilles was the son of the Nereid Thetis and of Peleus, the king of the Myrmidons. Zeus and Poseidon had been rivals for the hand of Thetis until Prometheus, the fore-thinker, warned Zeus of a prophecy that Thetis would bear a son greater than his father. For this reason, the two gods withdrew their pursuit, had her wed Peleus. There is a tale which offers an alternative version of these events: In the Argonautica Zeus' sister and wife Hera alludes to Thetis' chaste resistance to the advances of Zeus, pointing out that Thetis was so loyal to Hera's marriage bond that she coolly rejected the father of gods. Thetis, although a daughter of the sea-god Nereus, was brought up by Hera, further explaining her resistance to the advances of Zeus. Zeus was furious and decreed. According to the Achilleid, written by Statius in the 1st century AD, to non-surviving previous sources, when Achilles was born Thetis tried to make him immortal by dipping him in the river Styx.
However, he was left vulnerable at the part of the body by: his left heel. It is not clear. In another version of this story, Thetis anointed the boy in ambrosia and put him on top of a fire in order to burn away the mortal parts of his body, she was abandoned both father and son in a rage. However, none of the sources before Statius make any reference to this general invulnerability. To the contrary, in the Iliad Homer mentions Achilles being wounded: in Book 21 the Paeonian hero Asteropaeus, son of Pelagon, challenged Achilles by the river Scamander, he cast two spears at once, one grazed Achilles' elbow, "drawing a spurt of blood". In the fragmentary poems of the Epic Cycle
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad; the core of the Iliad describes a period of four days and two nights in the tenth year of the decade-long siege of Troy. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid; the war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Hera and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked "for the fairest". Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the "fairest", should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris, who took her to Troy.
Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen's husband Menelaus, led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy and besieged the city for ten years because of Paris' insult. After the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, the Trojans Hector and Paris, the city fell to the ruse of the Trojan Horse; the Achaeans desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods' wrath. Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many founded colonies in distant shores; the Romans traced their origin to Aeneas, Aphrodite's son and one of the Trojans, said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern-day Italy. The ancient Greeks believed that Troy was located near the Dardanelles and that the Trojan War was a historical event of the 13th or 12th century BC, but by the mid-19th century AD, both the war and the city were seen as non-historical. In 1868, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann met Frank Calvert, who convinced Schliemann that Troy was a real city at what is now Hissarlik in Turkey.
On the basis of excavations conducted by Schliemann and others, this claim is now accepted by most scholars. Whether there is any historical reality behind the Trojan War remains an open question. Many scholars believe that there is a historical core to the tale, though this may mean that the Homeric stories are a fusion of various tales of sieges and expeditions by Mycenaean Greeks during the Bronze Age; those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict date it to the 12th or 11th century BC preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VII. The events of the Trojan War are found in many works of Greek literature and depicted in numerous works of Greek art. There is no authoritative text which tells the entire events of the war. Instead, the story is assembled from a variety of sources, some of which report contradictory versions of the events; the most important literary sources are the two epic poems traditionally credited to Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey, composed sometime between the 9th and 6th centuries BC.
Each poem narrates only a part of the war. The Iliad covers a short period in the last year of the siege of Troy, while the Odyssey concerns Odysseus's return to his home island of Ithaca following the sack of Troy and contains several flashbacks to particular episodes in the war. Other parts of the Trojan War were told in the poems of the Epic Cycle known as the Cyclic Epics: the Cypria, Little Iliad, Iliou Persis and Telegony. Though these poems survive only in fragments, their content is known from a summary included in Proclus' Chrestomathy; the authorship of the Cyclic Epics is uncertain. It is thought that the poems were written down in the 7th and 6th century BC, after the composition of the Homeric poems, though it is believed that they were based on earlier traditions. Both the Homeric epics and the Epic Cycle take origin from oral tradition. After the composition of the Iliad and the Cyclic Epics, the myths of the Trojan War were passed on orally in many genres of poetry and through non-poetic storytelling.
Events and details of the story that are only found in authors may have been passed on through oral tradition and could be as old as the Homeric poems. Visual art, such as vase painting, was another medium. In ages playwrights and other intellectuals would create works inspired by the Trojan War; the three great tragedians of Athens—Aeschylus and Euripides—wrote a number of dramas that portray episodes from the Trojan War. Among Roman writers the most important is the 1st century BC poet Virgil. In Book 2 of the Aeneid, Aeneas narrates the sack of Troy; the following summary of the Trojan War follows the order of events as given in Proclus' summary, along with the Iliad and Aeneid, supplemented with details drawn from other authors. According to Greek mythology, Zeus had become king of the gods by overthrowing his father Cronus. Zeus was not faithful to his wife and sister Hera, had many relationships from which many children were born. Since Zeus believed that there were too many people populating the earth, he envisioned
Skyros is an island in Greece, the southernmost of the Sporades, an archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Around the 2nd millennium BC and later, the island was known as The Island of the Magnetes where the Magnetes used to live and Pelasgia and Dolopia and Skyros. At 209 square kilometres it is the largest island of the Sporades, has a population of about 3,000, it is part of the regional unit of Euvoia. The Hellenic Air Force has a major base in Skyros, because of the island's strategic location in the middle of the Aegean; the municipality Skyros is part of the regional unit of Euboea. Apart from the island Skyros it consists of the small inhabited island of Skyropoula and a few smaller uninhabited islands; the total area of the municipality is 223.10 square kilometres. The north of the island is covered by a forest, while the south, dominated by the highest mountain, called Kochila, is bare and rocky; the island's capital is called Skyros. The main port, on the west coast, is Linaria; the island has a castle that dates from the Venetian occupation, a Byzantine monastery, the grave of English poet Rupert Brooke in an olive grove by the road leading to Tris Boukes harbour.
There are many beaches on the coast. The island has its own breed of Skyrian ponies. One account associates the name Skyros with skyron or skiron, meaning "stone debris". According to Greek mythology, Theseus died on Skyros when the local king, threw him from a cliff; the island is famous in the myths as the place from where Achilles set sail for Troy after Odysseus discovered him in the court of Lycomedes. Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, was from Skyros, as told in the play by Philoctetes. A small bay named Achili on the east coast of the island is said to be the place from where Achilles left with the Greeks, or rather where Achilles landed during a squall that befell the Greek fleet following an abortive initial expedition landing astray in Mysia. In c. 475 BC, according to Thucydides, Cimon conquered the entire island. From that date, Athenian settlers colonized it became a part of the Athenian Empire; the island lay on the strategic trade route between the Black Sea. Cimon claimed to have found the remains of Theseus, returned them to Athens.
In 340 BC the Macedonians took over the island and dominated it until 192 BC, when King Philip V of Macedon and the Roman Republican forces restored it to Athens. After the Fourth Crusade of 1202-1204, the island became part of the domain of Geremia Ghisi. Rupert Brooke, the famous English poet, is buried on Skyros, having died on board a French hospital-ship moored off the island on 23 April 1915, during World War I. Present at Brooke's burial that same evening, were William Denis Browne. In 1941 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Karl Shapiro wrote the World War II poem Scyros, which he set on the island Skyros "because it was a tribute to and irony upon Rupert Brooke."In 1963 the Archaeological Museum of Skyros was established, with the inauguration taking place 10 years in 1973. The Faltaits Folklore Museum was founded in 1964 - one of the first local folklore museums to operate in Greece. Skyros is home to a one-runway airport. Skyros Shipping Company operates the ferry service to Skyros. During holiday season the ferry runs twice daily from Kymi to Linaria on Skyros.
During the winter months the service operates daily.. The boat has a name: Achilleas SKYROS SHIPPING CO.. The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation The official website of the Skyros Shipping Company
In Greek mythology, Orestes was the son of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon. He is the subject of several Ancient Greek plays and of various myths connected with his madness and purification, which retain obscure threads of much older ones. In the Homeric telling of the story, Orestes is a member of the doomed house of Atreus, descended from Tantalus and Niobe. Orestes is absent from Mycenae when his father, returns from the Trojan War with the Trojan princess Cassandra as his concubine, thus not present for Agamemnon's murder by his wife Clytemnestra's lover, Aegisthus. Seven years Orestes returns from Athens and avenges his father's death by slaying both Aegisthus and his own mother Clytemnestra. In the Odyssey, Orestes is held up as a favorable example to Telemachus, whose mother Penelope is plagued by suitors. According to Pindar, the young Orestes was saved by his nurse Arsinoe or his sister Electra, who conveyed him out of the country when Clytemnestra wished to kill him. In the familiar theme of the hero's early eclipse and exile, he escaped to Phanote on Mount Parnassus, where King Strophius took charge of him.
In his twentieth year, he was urged by Electra to avenge his father's death. He returned home along with Strophius's son; the same myth is told differently by Euripides in their Electra plays. In The Greek Myths the mythographer and poet Robert Graves translates and interprets the legends and myth fragments about Clytemnestra and Orestes, as suggesting a ritual killing of a "king" in early religious ceremonies that were suppressed when patriarchy replaced the matriarchies of ancient Greece. Graves interprets the sacrilege for which the Erinyes pursued Orestes, namely the killing of his mother, as representing symbolically the destruction of the ancient matriarchy and its replacement by patriarchy, he suggests that worship of the female deity Athena was retained as a cult because, despite the overthrow of matriarchy and woman-rule it was too strong to be suppressed. As a character in Aeschylus' trilogy, Athena was given the incomprehensible role of justifying the overthrow, rationalizing as a "new way of justice" what would have been a horrific crime against the old, matriarchal religious customs.
Graves, many other mythographers including most notably those of the Cambridge Ritualist school, were influenced by The Golden Bough of James Frazer, who postulated that myths reveal clues to ancient religious practices and rituals. The story of Orestes was the subject of the Oresteia of Aeschylus, of the Electra of Sophocles, of the Electra, Iphigeneia in Tauris, Iphigenia at Aulis and Orestes, all of Euripides. In Aeschylus's Eumenides, Orestes goes mad after the deed and is pursued by the Erinyes, whose duty it is to punish any violation of the ties of family piety, he takes refuge in the temple at Delphi. At last Athena receives him on the acropolis of Athens and arranges a formal trial of the case before twelve judges, including herself; the Erinyes demand their victim. Athena votes last announcing; the Erinyes are propitiated by a new ritual, in which they are worshipped as "Semnai Theai", "Venerable Ones", Orestes dedicates an altar to Athena Areia. As Aeschylus tells it, the punishment ended there, but according to Euripides, in order to escape the persecutions of the Erinyes, Orestes was ordered by Apollo to go to Tauris, carry off the statue of Artemis which had fallen from heaven, to bring it to Athens.
He went to Tauris with Pylades, the pair were at once imprisoned by the people, among whom the custom was to sacrifice all Greek strangers to Artemis. The priestess of Artemis, whose duty it was to perform the sacrifice, was Orestes' sister Iphigenia, she offered to release him. After a conflict of mutual affection, Pylades at last yielded, but the letter brought about the recognition of brother and sister, all three escaped together, carrying with them the image of Artemis. After his return to Greece, Orestes took possession of his father's kingdom of Mycenae to which were added Argos and Laconia, he was said to have died of a snakebite in Arcadia. His body was conveyed to Sparta for burial or, according to a Roman legend, to Aricia, when it was removed to Rome. Before the Trojan War, Orestes was to marry daughter of Menelaus and Helen. Things soon changed after Orestes committed matricide: Menelaus gave his daughter to Neoptolemus, son of Achilles and Deidamia. According to Euripides' play Andromache, Orestes slew Neoptolemus just outside a temple and took off with Hermione.
He seized Argos and Arcadia after their thrones had become vacant, becoming ruler of all the Peloponnesus. His son by Hermione, became ruler after him but was killed by the Heracleidae. There is extant a Latin epic poem, consisting of about 1000 hexameters, called Orestes Tragoedia, ascribed to Dracontius of Carthage. Orestes appears to be a dramatic prototype for all persons whose crime