Macedonia (ancient kingdom)
Macedonia called Macedon, was an ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. The kingdom was founded and ruled by the royal Argead dynasty, followed by the Antipatrid and Antigonid dynasties. Home to the ancient Macedonians, the earliest kingdom was centered on the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south. Before the 4th century BC, Macedonia was a small kingdom outside of the area dominated by the great city-states of Athens and Thebes, subordinate to Achaemenid Persia. During the reign of the Argead king Philip II, Macedonia subdued mainland Greece and Thrace through conquest and diplomacy. With a reformed army containing phalanxes wielding the sarissa pike, Philip II defeated the old powers of Athens and Thebes in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. Philip II's son Alexander the Great, leading a federation of Greek states, accomplished his father's objective of commanding the whole of Greece when he destroyed Thebes after the city revolted.
During Alexander's subsequent campaign of conquest, he overthrew the Achaemenid Empire and conquered territory that stretched as far as the Indus River. For a brief period, his empire was the most powerful in the world – the definitive Hellenistic state, inaugurating the transition to a new period of Ancient Greek civilization. Greek arts and literature flourished in the new conquered lands and advances in philosophy and science spread throughout much of the ancient world. Of particular importance were the contributions of Aristotle, tutor to Alexander, whose writings became a keystone of Western philosophy. After Alexander's death in 323 BC, the ensuing wars of the Diadochi, the partitioning of Alexander's short-lived empire, Macedonia remained a Greek cultural and political center in the Mediterranean region along with Ptolemaic Egypt, the Seleucid Empire, the Kingdom of Pergamon. Important cities such as Pella and Amphipolis were involved in power struggles for control of the territory. New cities were founded, such as Thessalonica by the usurper Cassander.
Macedonia's decline began with the Macedonian Wars and the rise of Rome as the leading Mediterranean power. At the end of the Third Macedonian War in 168 BC, the Macedonian monarchy was abolished and replaced by Roman client states. A short-lived revival of the monarchy during the Fourth Macedonian War in 150–148 BC ended with the establishment of the Roman province of Macedonia; the Macedonian kings, who wielded absolute power and commanded state resources such as gold and silver, facilitated mining operations to mint currency, finance their armies and, by the reign of Philip II, a Macedonian navy. Unlike the other diadochi successor states, the imperial cult fostered by Alexander was never adopted in Macedonia, yet Macedonian rulers assumed roles as high priests of the kingdom and leading patrons of domestic and international cults of the Hellenistic religion; the authority of Macedonian kings was theoretically limited by the institution of the army, while a few municipalities within the Macedonian commonwealth enjoyed a high degree of autonomy and had democratic governments with popular assemblies.
The name Macedonia comes from the ethnonym Μακεδόνες, which itself is derived from the ancient Greek adjective μακεδνός, meaning "tall" descriptive of the people. It has the same root as the adjective μακρός, meaning "long" or "tall" in Ancient Greek; the name is believed to have meant either "highlanders", "the tall ones", or "high grown men". Linguist Robert S. P. Beekes claims that both terms are of Pre-Greek substrate origin and cannot be explained in terms of Indo-European morphology; the Classical Greek historians Herodotus and Thucydides reported the legend that the Macedonian kings of the Argead dynasty were descendants of Temenus, king of Argos, could therefore claim the mythical Heracles as one of their ancestors as well as a direct lineage from Zeus, chief god of the Greek pantheon. Contradictory legends state that either Perdiccas I of Macedon or Caranus of Macedon were the founders of the Argead dynasty, with either five or eight kings before Amyntas I; the assertion that the Argeads descended from Temenus was accepted by the Hellanodikai authorities of the Ancient Olympic Games, permitting Alexander I of Macedon to enter the competitions owing to his perceived Greek heritage.
Little is known about the kingdom before the reign of Alexander I's father Amyntas I of Macedon during the Archaic period. The kingdom of Macedonia was situated along the Haliacmon and Axius rivers in Lower Macedonia, north of Mount Olympus. Historian Robert Malcolm Errington suggests that one of the earliest Argead kings established Aigai as their capital in the mid-7th century BC. Before the 4th century BC, the kingdom covered a region corresponding to the western and central parts of the region of Macedonia in modern Greece, it expanded into the region of Upper Macedonia, inhabited by the Greek Lyncestae and Elimiotae tribes, into regions of Emathia, Bottiaea, Mygdonia and Almopia, which were inhabited by various peoples such as Thracians and Phrygians. Macedonia's non-Greek neighbors included Thracians, inhabiting territories to the northeast, Illyrians to the northwest, Paeonians to the north, while the lands of Thessaly to the south and Epirus to the west were inhabited by Greeks with similar cultures to that of the Macedonians.
A year after Darius I of
Messina is the capital of the Italian Metropolitan City of Messina. It is the third largest city on the island of Sicily, the 13th largest city in Italy, with a population of more than 238,000 inhabitants in the city proper and about 650,000 in the Metropolitan City, it is located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina, opposite Villa San Giovanni on the mainland, has close ties with Reggio Calabria. According to Eurostat the FUA of the metropolitan area of Messina has, in 2014, 277,584 inhabitants; the city's main resources are its seaports, cruise tourism and agriculture. The city has been a Roman Catholic Archdiocese and Archimandrite seat since 1548 and is home to a locally important international fair; the city has the University of Messina, founded in 1548 by Ignatius of Loyola. Messina has a light rail system, Tranvia di Messina, opened on 3 April 2003; this line is 7.7 kilometres and links the city's central railway station with the city centre and harbour. The city is home to a significant Greek-speaking minority, rooted in its history and recognised.
Founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was called Zancle, from the Greek ζάγκλον meaning "scythe" because of the shape of its natural harbour. A comune of its Metropolitan City, located at the southern entrance of the Strait of Messina, is to this day called'Scaletta Zanclea'. In the early 5th century BC, Anaxilas of Rhegium renamed it Messene in honour of the Greek city Messene; the city was sacked in 397 BC by the Carthaginians and reconquered by Dionysius I of Syracuse. In 288 BC the Mamertines seized the city by treachery, killing all the men and taking the women as their wives; the city became a base from which they ravaged the countryside, leading to a conflict with the expanding regional empire of Syracuse. Hiero II, tyrant of Syracuse, defeated the Mamertines near Mylae on the Longanus River and besieged Messina. Carthage assisted the Mamertines because of a long-standing conflict with Syracuse over dominance in Sicily; when Hiero attacked a second time in 264 BC, the Mamertines petitioned the Roman Republic for an alliance, hoping for more reliable protection.
Although reluctant to assist lest it encourage other mercenary groups to mutiny, Rome was unwilling to see Carthaginian power spread further over Sicily and encroach on Italy. Rome therefore entered into an alliance with the Mamertines. In 264 BC, Roman troops were deployed to Sicily, the first time a Roman army acted outside the Italian Peninsula. At the end of the First Punic War it was a free city. In Roman times Messina known as Messana, had an important pharos. Messana was the base of Sextus Pompeius, during his war against Octavian. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city was successively ruled by Goths from 476 by the Byzantine Empire in 535, by the Arabs in 842, in 1061 by the Norman brothers Robert Guiscard and Roger Guiscard. In 1189 the English King Richard I stopped at Messina en route to the Holy Land for the Third Crusade and occupied the city after a dispute over the dowry of his sister, married to William the Good, King of Sicily. In 1345 Orlando d'Aragona, illegitimate son of Frederick II of Sicily was the strategos of Messina.
Messina may have been the harbour at which the Black Death entered Europe: the plague was brought by Genoese ships coming from Caffa in the Crimea. In 1548 St. Ignatius founded there the first Jesuit college in the world, which gave birth to the Studium Generale; the Christian ships that won the Battle of Lepanto left from Messina: the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, who took part in the battle, recovered for some time in the Grand Hospital. The city reached the peak of its splendour in the early 17th century, under Spanish domination: at the time it was one of the ten greatest cities in Europe. In 1674 the city rebelled against the foreign garrison, it managed to remain independent for some time, thanks to the help of the French king Louis XIV, but in 1678, with the Peace of Nijmegen, it was reconquered by the Spaniards and sacked: the university, the senate and all the privileges of autonomy it had enjoyed since the Roman times were abolished. A massive fortress was built by the occupants and Messina decayed steadily.
In 1743, 48,000 died of plague in the city. In 1783, an earthquake devastated much of the city, it took decades to rebuild and rekindle the cultural life of Messina. In 1847 it was one of the first cities in Italy. In 1848 it rebelled against the reigning Bourbons, but was suppressed again. Only in 1860, after the Battle of Milazzo, the Garibaldine troops occupied the city. One of the main figures of the unification of Italy, Giuseppe Mazzini, was elected deputy at Messina in the general elections of 1866. Another earthquake of less intensity damaged the city on 16 November 1894; the city was entirely destroyed by an earthquake and associated tsunami on the morning of 28 December 1908, killing about 100,000 people and destroying most of the ancient architecture. The city was rebuilt in the following year, it incurred further damage from the massive Allied air bombardments of 1943. The city was awarded a Gold Medal for Military Valour and one for Civil Valour in memory of the event and the subsequent effort
Cassander was king of the Hellenic kingdom of Macedon from 305 BC until 297 BC, de facto ruler of southern Greece from 317 BC until his death. Eldest son of Antipater and a contemporary of Alexander the Great, Cassander was one of the Diadochi who warred over Alexander's empire following the latter's death in 323 BC. Cassander seized the crown by having Alexander's son and heir Alexander IV murdered. In governing Macedonia from 317 BC until 297 BC, Cassander restored peace and prosperity to the kingdom, while founding or restoring numerous cities. In his youth, Cassander was taught by the philosopher Aristotle at the Lyceum in Macedonia, he was educated alongside Alexander the Great in a group that included Hephaestion and Lysimachus. His family were distant collateral relatives to the Argead dynasty. Cassander is first recorded as arriving at Alexander the Great's court in Babylon in 323 BC, where he had been sent by his father, most to help uphold Antipater's regency in Macedon, although a contemporary, hostile to the Antipatrids suggested that Cassander had journeyed to the court to poison the King.
Whatever the truth of this suggestion, Cassander stood out amongst the Diadochi in his hostility to Alexander's memory. As Cassander and the other diadochi struggled for power, Alexander IV, Alexander's supposed illegitimate son Heracles were all executed on Cassander's orders, a guarantee to Olympias to spare her life was not respected. Cassander's decision to restore Thebes, destroyed under Alexander, was perceived at the time to be a snub to the deceased King, it was even said that he could not pass a statue of Alexander without feeling faint. Cassander has been perceived to be ambitious and unscrupulous, members of his own family were estranged from him; as Antipater grew close to death in 319 BC, he transferred the regency of Macedon not to Cassander, but to Polyperchon so as not to alarm the other Diadochi through an apparent move towards dynastic ambition, but also because of Cassander's own ambitions. Cassander rejected his father's decision, went to seek the support of Antigonus and Lysimachus as his allies.
Waging war on Polyperchon, Cassander destroyed his fleet, put Athens under the control of Demetrius of Phaleron, declared himself Regent in 317 BC. After Olympias’ successful move against Philip III in the year, Cassander besieged her in Pydna; when the city fell two years Olympias was killed, Cassander had Alexander IV and Roxanne confined at Amphipolis. Cassander associated himself with the Argead dynasty by marrying Alexander's half-sister, he had Alexander IV and Roxanne poisoned in either 310 BC or the following year. By 309 BC, Polyperchon began to claim that Heracles was the true heir to the Macedonian inheritance, at which point Cassander bribed him to have the boy killed. After this, Cassander's position in Greece and Macedonia was reasonably secure, he proclaimed himself king in 305 BC. After the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC, in which Antigonus was killed, he was undisputed in his control of Macedonia. Cassander's dynasty did not live much beyond his death, with his son Philip dying of natural causes, his other sons Alexander and Antipater becoming involved in a destructive dynastic struggle along with their mother.
When Alexander was ousted as joint king by his brother, Demetrius I took up Alexander's appeal for aid and ousted Antipater II, killed Alexander V and established the Antigonid dynasty. The remaining Antipatrids, such as Antipater Etesias, were unable to re-establish the Antipatrids on the throne. Of more lasting significance was Cassander's refoundation of Therma into Thessalonica, naming the city after his wife. Cassander founded Cassandreia upon the ruins of Potidaea. In the Oliver Stone film Alexander, he is portrayed by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca chapters xviii, xix, xx Green, Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007. ISBN 9780297852940 Plutarch, Parallel Lives, "Demetrius", 18, 31. Vita e opere di Cassandro di Macedonia. Stuttgart 2003. ISBN 3-515-08381-2 A genealogical tree of Cassander
The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the Isthmus of Corinth land bridge which separates the Gulf of Corinth from the Saronic Gulf. During the late Middle Ages and the Ottoman era, the peninsula was known as the Morea, a name still in colloquial use in its demotic form; the peninsula is divided among three administrative regions: most belongs to the Peloponnese region, with smaller parts belonging to the West Greece and Attica regions. In 2016, Lonely Planet voted the Peloponnese the top spot of their Best in Europe list; the Peloponnese is a peninsula that covers an area of some 21,549.6 square kilometres and constitutes the southernmost part of mainland Greece. While technically it may be considered an island since the construction of the Corinth Canal in 1893, like other peninsulas that have been separated from their mainland by man-made bodies of waters, it is if referred to as an "island".
It has two land connections with the rest of Greece, a natural one at the Isthmus of Corinth, an artificial one by the Rio–Antirrio bridge. The peninsula has a mountainous interior and indented coasts; the Peloponnese possesses four south-pointing peninsulas, the Messenian, the Mani, the Cape Malea, the Argolid in the far northeast of the Peloponnese. Mount Taygetus in the south is the highest mountain in the Peloponnese, at 2,407 metres. Οther important mountains include Cyllene in the northeast, Aroania in the north and Panachaikon in the northwest, Mainalon in the center, Parnon in the southeast. The entire peninsula has been the site of many earthquakes in the past; the longest river is the Alfeios in the west, followed by the Evrotas in the south, the Pineios in the west. Extensive lowlands are found only in the west, with the exception of the Evrotas valley in the south and in the Argolid in the northeast; the Peloponnese is home to numerous spectacular beaches. Two groups of islands lie off the Peloponnesian coast: the Argo-Saronic Islands to the east, the Ionian to the west.
The island of Kythira, off the Epidaurus Limera peninsula to the south of the Peloponnese, is considered to be part of the Ionian Islands. The island of Elafonisos used to be part of the peninsula but was separated following the major quake of 365 AD. Since antiquity, continuing to the present day, the Peloponnese has been divided into seven major regions: Achaea, Argolis, Laconia and Elis; each of these regions is headed by a city. The largest city is Patras in Achaia, followed by Kalamata in Messenia; the peninsula has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Its modern name derives from ancient Greek mythology the legend of the hero Pelops, said to have conquered the entire region; the name Peloponnesos means "Island of Pelops". The Mycenaean civilization, mainland Greece's first major civilization, dominated the Peloponnese in the Bronze Age from its stronghold at Mycenae in the north-east of the peninsula; the Mycenean civilization collapsed at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Archeological research has found that many of its palaces show signs of destruction.
The subsequent period, known as the Greek Dark Ages, is marked by an absence of written records. In 776 BC, the first Olympic Games were held at Olympia, in the western Peloponnese and this date is sometimes used to denote the beginning of the classical period of Greek antiquity. During classical antiquity, the Peloponnese was at the heart of the affairs of ancient Greece, possessed some of its most powerful city-states, was the location of some of its bloodiest battles; the major cities of Sparta, Corinth and Megalopolis were all located on the Peloponnese, it was the homeland of the Peloponnesian League. Soldiers from the peninsula fought in the Persian Wars, it was the scene of the Peloponnesian War of 431–404 BC; the entire Peloponnese with the notable exception of Sparta joined Alexander's expedition against the Persian Empire. Along with the rest of Greece, the Peloponnese fell to the expanding Roman Republic in 146 BC, when the Romans razed the city of Corinth and massacred its inhabitants.
The Romans created the province of Achaea comprising central Greece. During the Roman period, the peninsula remained prosperous but became a provincial backwater cut off from the affairs of the wider Roman world. After the partition of the Empire in 395, the Peloponnese became a part of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire; the devastation of Alaric's raid in 396–397 led to the construction of the Hexamilion wall across the Isthmus of Corinth. Through most of late antiquity, the peninsula retained its urbanized character: in the 6th century, Hierocles counted 26 cities in his Synecdemus. By the latter part of that century, building activity seems to have stopped everywhere except Constantinople, Thessalonica and Athens; this has traditionally been attributed to calamities such as plague and Slavic invasions. However, more recent analysis suggests that urban decline was linked with the collapse of long-distance and regional commercial networks that underpinned and supported late antique urba
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the Gulf of Aden. To the north lie the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, the Gulf of Suez; the Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion. The sea is underlain by the Red Sea Rift, part of the Great Rift Valley; the Red Sea has a surface area of 438,000 km2, is about 2250 km long and, at its widest point, 355 km wide. It has a maximum depth of 3,040 m in the central Suakin Trough, an average depth of 490 m. However, there are extensive shallow shelves, noted for their marine life and corals; the sea is the habitat of over 1,000 invertebrate species, 200 soft and hard corals. It is the world's northernmost tropical sea; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Red Sea as follows: On the North. The Southern limits of the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba. On the South. A line joining Husn Murad and Ras Siyyan. Red Sea is a direct translation of the Greek Erythra Thalassa, Latin Mare Rubrum, Arabic: البحر الأحمر, translit.
Al-Baḥr Al-Aḥmar, Somali Badda Cas and Tigrinya Qeyyiḥ bāḥrī. The name of the sea may signify the seasonal blooms of the red-coloured Trichodesmium erythraeum near the water's surface. A theory favoured by some modern scholars is that the name red is referring to the direction south, just as the Black Sea's name may refer to north; the basis of this theory is that some Asiatic languages used colour words to refer to the cardinal directions. Herodotus on one occasion uses Red Southern Sea interchangeably; the name in Hebrew Yam Suph (Hebrew: ים סוף, lit.'Sea of Reeds' is of biblical origin. The name in Coptic: ⲫⲓⲟⲙ `ⲛϩⲁϩ Phiom Enhah is connected to Egyptian root ḥḥ which refers to water and sea, it was known to western geographers as Mare Mecca, Sinus Arabicus. Some ancient geographers called the Red Sea the Arabian Gulf of Arabia; the association of the Red Sea with the biblical account of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea is ancient, was made explicit in the Septuagint translation of the Book of Exodus from Hebrew to Koine Greek in the third century B.
C. In that version, the Yam Suph is translated as Erythra Thalassa; the Red Sea is one of four seas named in English after common color terms — the others being the Black Sea, the White Sea and the Yellow Sea. The direct rendition of the Greek Erythra thalassa in Latin as Mare Erythraeum refers to the north-western part of the Indian Ocean, to a region on Mars; the earliest known exploration of the Red Sea was conducted by ancient Egyptians, as they attempted to establish commercial routes to Punt. One such expedition took place around 2500 BC, another around 1500 BC. Both involved long voyages down the Red Sea. Scholars argued whether these trips were possible; the biblical Book of Exodus tells the account of the Israelites' crossing of a body of water, which the Hebrew text calls Yam Suph. Yam Suph was traditionally identified as the Red Sea. Rabbi Saadia Gaon, in his Judeo-Arabic translation of the Pentateuch, identifies the crossing place of the Red Sea as Baḥar al-Qulzum, meaning the Gulf of Suez.
In the 6th century BC, Darius the Great of Persia sent reconnaissance missions to the Red Sea and extending navigation by locating many hazardous rocks and currents. A canal was built between the northern end of the Red Sea at Suez. In the late 4th century BC, Alexander the Great sent Greek naval expeditions down the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean. Greek navigators continued to compile data on the Red Sea. Agatharchides collected information about the sea in the 2nd century BC; the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a Greek periplus written by an unknown author around the 1st century AD, contains a detailed description of the Red Sea's ports and sea routes. The Periplus describes how Hippalus first discovered the direct route from the Red Sea to India; the Red Sea was favored for Roman trade with India starting with the reign of Augustus, when the Roman Empire gained control over the Mediterranean and the northern Red Sea. The route grew in the volume of traffic under the Romans. From Indian ports goods from China were introduced to the Roman world.
Contact between Rome and China depended on the Red Sea, but the route was broken by the Aksumite Empire around the 3rd century AD. During the Middle Ages, the Red Sea was an important part of the spice trade route. In 1513, trying to secure that channel to Portugal, Afonso de Albuquerque laid siege to Aden but was forced to retreat, they cruised the Red Sea inside the Bab al-Mandab, as the first European fleet to have sailed these waters. In 1798, France ordered General Napoleon to take control of the Red Sea. Although he failed in his mission, the engineer Jean-Baptiste Lepère, wh
As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose and verse narrative, popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures of a chivalric knight-errant portrayed as having heroic qualities, who goes on a quest, it developed further from the epics. Romances reworked legends, fairy tales, history to suit the readers' and hearers' tastes, but by c. 1600 they were out of fashion, Miguel de Cervantes famously burlesqued them in his novel Don Quixote. Still, the modern image of "medieval" is more influenced by the romance than by any other medieval genre, the word medieval evokes knights, distressed damsels and other romantic tropes. Romance literature was written in Old French, Anglo-Norman and Provençal, in Portuguese, English and German. During the early 13th century, romances were written as prose. In romances those of French origin, there is a marked tendency to emphasize themes of courtly love, such as faithfulness in adversity.
Unlike the form of the novel and like the chansons de geste, the genre of romance dealt with traditional themes. These were distinguished from earlier epics by heavy use of marvelous events, the elements of love, the frequent use of a web of interwoven stories, rather than a simple plot unfolding about a main character; the earliest forms were invariably in verse, but the 15th century saw many in prose retelling the old, rhymed versions. The romantic form pursued the wish-fulfillment dream where the heroes and heroines were considered representations of the ideals of the age while the villains embodied the threat to their ascendancy. There is a persistent archetype, which involved a hero's quest; this quest or journey served as the structure. With regards to the structure, scholars recognize the similarity of the romance to folk tales. Vladimir Propp identified a basic form for this genre and it involved an order that began with initial situation followed by departure, first move, second move, resolution.
This structure is applicable to romance narratives. Overwhelmingly, these were linked in some way only in an opening frame story, with three thematic cycles of tales: these were assembled in imagination at a late date as the "Matter of Rome", the "Matter of France" and the "Matter of Britain". In reality, a number of "non-cyclical" romances were written without any such connection. Indeed, some tales are found so that scholars group them together as the "Constance cycle" or the "Crescentia cycle"—referring not to a continuity of character and setting, but to the recognizable plot. Many influences are clear in the forms of chivalric romance; the medieval romance developed out of the medieval epic, in particular the Matter of France developing out of such tales as the Chanson de Geste, with intermediate forms where the feudal bonds of loyalty had giants, or a magical horn, added to the plot. The epics of Charlemagne, unlike such ones as Beowulf had feudalism rather than the tribal loyalties; the romance form is distinguished from the earlier epics of the Middle Ages by the changes of the 12th century, which introduced courtly and chivalrous themes into the works.
This occurred regardless of congruity to the source material. Chivalry was treated as continuous from Roman times; this extended to such details as clothing. When Priam sends Paris to Greece in a 14th-century work, Priam is dressed in the mold of Charlemagne, Paris is dressed demurely, but in Greece, he adopts the flashier style, with multicolored clothing and fashionable shoes, cut in lattice-work—signs of a seducer in the era. Historical figures reappeared, reworked, in romance; the entire Matter of France derived from known figures, suffered somewhat because their descendants had an interest in the tales that were told of their ancestors, unlike the Matter of Britain. Richard Coeur de Lion reappeared in romance, endowed with a fairy mother who arrived in a ship with silk sails and departed when forced to behold the sacrament, bare-handed combat with a lion, magical rings, prophetic dreams. Hereward the Wake's early life appeared in chronicles as the embellished, romantic adventures of an exile, complete with rescuing princess and wrestling with bears.
Fulk Fitzwarin, an outlaw in King John's day, has his historical background a minor thread in the episodic stream of romantic adventures. The earliest medieval romances dealt with themes from folklore, which diminished over time, though remaining a presence. Many early tales had the knight
The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology the Works and Days of Hesiod, is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages, Gold being the first and the one during which the Golden Race of humanity lived. Those living in the first Age were ruled by Kronos, after the finish of the first age was the Silver the Bronze, after this the Heroic age, with the fifth and current age being Iron. By extension "Golden Age" denotes a period of primordial peace, harmony and prosperity. During this age peace and harmony prevailed, people did not have to work to feed themselves, for the earth provided food in abundance, they lived to a old age with a youthful appearance dying peacefully, with spirits living on as "guardians". Plato in Cratylus recounts the golden race of humans, he clarifies that Hesiod did not mean made of gold, but good and noble. In classical Greek mythology the Golden Age was presided over by the leading Titan Cronus. In some version of the myth Astraea ruled.
She lived with men until the end of the Silver Age, but in the Bronze Age, when men became violent and greedy, fled to the stars, where she appears as the constellation Virgo, holding the scales of Justice, or Libra. European pastoral literary tradition depicted nymphs and shepherds as living a life of rustic innocence and peace, set in Arcadia, a region of Greece, the abode and center of worship of their tutelary deity, goat-footed Pan, who dwelt among them; the earliest attested reference to the European myth of the Ages of Man 500 BCE–350 BCE appears in the late 6th century BCE works of the Greek poet Hesiod's Works and Days. Hesiod, a deteriorationist, identifies the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, the Heroic Age, the Iron Age. With the exception of the Heroic Age, each succeeding age was worse than the one. Hesiod maintains that during the Golden Age, before the invention of the arts, the earth produced food in such abundance that there was no need for agriculture: lived like gods without sorrow of heart and free from toil and grief: miserable age rested not on them.
When they died, it was as though they were overcome with sleep, they had all good things. They dwelt in peace. Plato in his Cratylus referred to an age of golden men and at some length on Ages of Man from Hesiod's Works and Days; the Roman poet Ovid simplified the concept by reducing the number of Ages to four: Gold, Bronze and Iron. Ovid's poetry, known to schoolboys from Antiquity through the Middle Ages and beyond, was a prime source for the transmission of the myth of the Golden Age during the period when Western Europe had lost direct contact with Greek literature. In Hesiod's version, the Golden Age ended when the Titan Prometheus conferred on mankind the gift of fire and all the other arts. For this, Zeus punished Prometheus by chaining him to a rock in the Caucasus, where an eagle eternally ate at his liver; the gods sent the beautiful maiden Pandora to Prometheus's brother Epimetheus. The gods had entrusted Pandora with a box; the Orphic school, a mystery cult that originated in Thrace and spread to Greece in the 5th century BCE, held similar beliefs about the early days of man denominating the ages with metals.
In common with the many other mystery cults prevalent in the Graeco-Roman world, the world view of Orphism was cyclical. Initiation into its secret rites, together with ascetic practices, was supposed to guarantee the individual's soul eventual release from the grievous circle of mortality and communion with god. Orphics sometimes identified the Golden Age with the era of the god Phanes, regent over the Olympus before Cronus. In classical mythology however, the Golden Age was associated with the reign of Saturn. In the 5th century BCE, the philosopher Empedocles, like Hesiod before him, emphasized the idea of primordial innocence and harmony in all of nature, including human society, from which he maintained there had been a steady deterioration until the present. A tradition arose in Greece that the site of the original Golden Age had been Arcadia, an impoverished rural area of Greece where the herdsmen still lived on acorns and where the goat-footed god Pan had his home among the poplars on Mount Maenalus.
However, in the 3rd century BCE, the Greek poet, writing in Alexandria, set his pastoral poetry in on the lushly fertile island of Sicily, where he had been born. The protagonist of Theocritus's first Idyll, the goat herder, Daphnis, is taught to play the Syrinx by Pan himself. Writing in Latin during the turbulent period of revolutionary change at the end of the Roman Republic, the poet Virgil moved the setting for his pastoral imitations of Theocritus back to an idealized Arcadia in Greece, thus initiating a rich and resonant tradition in subsequent European literature. Virgil, introduced into his poetry the element of political allegory, absent in Theocritus intimating in his fourth Eclogue that a new Golden Age of peace and justice was about to return: Somewhat shortly before he wrote his epic poem the Aeneid, which dealt with the establishment of Roman Imperial rule, Virgil composed his Georgics, modeled directly on Hesiod's Works and Days an