Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. Its boundaries have changed over time. Today the region is considered to include parts of six Balkan countries: Greece, North Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo, it covers 67,000 square kilometres and has a population of 4.76 million. Its oldest known settlements date back to 7,000 BC. From the middle of the 4th century BC, the Kingdom of Macedon became the dominant power on the Balkan Peninsula; the definition of Macedonia has changed several times throughout history. Prior to its expansion under Alexander the Great, the ancient kingdom of Macedonia, to which the modern region owes its name, lay within the central and western parts of the current Greek province of Macedonia and was consisted of 17 provinces/districts or eparchies. Expansion of Kingdom of Macedon: Kingdom of Perdiccas I: Macedonian Kingdom of Emathia consisting of six provinces Emathia, Bottiaea, Mygdonia and Almopia. Kingdom of Alexander I: All the above provinces plus the eastern annexations Crestonia and the western annexations Elimiotis and Lynkestis.
Kingdom of Philip II: All the above provinces plus the appendages of Pelagonia and Macedonian Paeonia to the north, Sintike and Edonis to the east and the Chalkidike to the south. In the 2nd century, Macedonia covered the area where it is considered to be today, but the northern regions of today Republic of North Macedonia were not identified as Macedonian lands. For reasons that are still unclear, over the next eleven centuries Macedonia's location was changed significantly; the Roman province of Macedonia consisted of what is today Northern and Central Greece, much of the geographical area of the present-day Republic of North Macedonia and southeast Albania. Put, the Romans created a much larger administrative area under that name than the original ancient Macedon. In late Roman times, the provincial boundaries were reorganized to form the Diocese of Macedonia, consisting of most of modern mainland Greece right across the Aegean to include Crete, southern Albania, parts of south-west Bulgaria and southern Republic of North Macedonia.
In the Byzantine Empire, a province under the name of Macedonia was carved out of the original Theme of Thrace, well east of the Struma River. This thema variously gave its name to the Macedonian dynasty. Hence, Byzantine documents of this era that mention Macedonia are most referring to the Macedonian thema; the region of Macedonia, on the other hand, ruled by the First Bulgarian Empire throughout the 9th and the 10th century, was incorporated into the Byzantine Empire in 1018 as the Themе of Bulgaria. With the gradual conquest of southeastern Europe by the Ottomans in the late 14th century, the name of Macedonia disappeared as an administrative designation for several centuries and was displayed on maps; the name was again revived to mean a distinct geographical region in the 19th century, defining the region bounded by Mount Olympus, the Pindus range, mounts Shar and Osogovo, the western Rhodopes, the lower course of the river Mesta and the Aegean Sea, developing the same borders that it has today.
During medieval and modern times, Macedonia has been known as a Balkan region inhabited by ethnic Greeks, Vlachs, Bulgarians and Turks. Today, as a frontier region where several different cultures meet, Macedonia has an diverse demographic profile. Macedonian Greeks self-identify culturally and regionally as "Macedonians", they form the majority of the region's population. They number 2,500,000 and, they live entirely in Greek Macedonia; the Greek Macedonian population is mixed, with other indigenous groups and with a large influx of Greek refugees descending from Asia Minor, Pontic Greeks, East Thracian Greeks in the early 20th century. This is due to the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, during which over 1.2 million Orthodox Christian refugees from Turkey were settled in Greece, 638,000 of whom were settled in the Greek province of Macedonia. Smaller Greek minorities exist in Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, although their numbers are difficult to ascertain. In official census results, only 86 persons declared themselves Greeks in Bulgarian Macedonia in 2011, out of a total of 1,379 in all Bulgaria.
Ethnic Macedonians self-identify as "Macedonians" in an ethnic sense as well as in the regional sense. They are the second largest ethnic group in the region; because of their Slavic origin they are known as "Macedonian Slavs" and "Slav Macedonians". They form the majority of the population in the Republic of North Macedonia where according to the 2002 census 1,300,000 people declared themselves as Macedonians. According to the latest Bulgarian census held in 2011, there are 561 people declaring themselves ethnic Macedonians in the Blagoevgrad Province of Bulgaria; the official number of ethnic Macedonians in Bulgaria is 1,654. A small number of ethnic Macedonians exist among the Slavic-speakers of Greek Macedonia. There has not been a census in Greece on the question of mother tongue since 1951, when the census recorded 41,017 Slavic-speakers, mostly
The Frankokratia known as Latinokratia and, for the Venetian domains, Venetokratia or Enetokratia, was the period in Greek history after the Fourth Crusade, when a number of French and Italian Crusader states were established on the territory of the dissolved Byzantine Empire. The term derives from the name given by the Orthodox Greeks to the Western European Latin Church Catholics: "Latins". Most Latins had Norman, or Venetian origins; the span of the Frankokratia period differs by region: the political situation proved volatile, as the Frankish states fragmented and changed hands, the Greek successor states re-conquered many areas. With the exception of the Ionian Islands and some isolated forts which remained in Venetian hands until the turn of the 19th century, the final end of the Frankokratia in the Greek lands came with the Ottoman conquest, chiefly in the 14th to 16th centuries, which ushered in the period known as "Tourkokratia"; the Latin Empire, centered in Constantinople and encompassing Thrace and Bithynia, while exercising nominal suzerainty over the other Crusader states.
Its territories were reduced to little more than the capital, captured by the Empire of Nicaea in 1261. Duchy of Philippopolis, fief of the Latin Empire in northern Thrace, until its capture by the Bulgarians. Lemnos formed a fief of the Latin Empire under the Venetian Navigajoso family from 1207 until conquered by the Byzantines in 1278, its rulers bore the title of megadux of the Latin Empire. The Kingdom of Thessalonica, encompassing Thessaly; the brief existence of the Kingdom was continuously troubled by warfare with the Second Bulgarian Empire. The County of Salona, centred at Salona, like Bodonitsa, was formed as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, came under the influence of Achaea, it came under Catalan and Navarrese rule in the 14th century, before being sold to the Knights Hospitaller in 1403. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1410; the Marquisate of Bodonitsa, like Salona, was created as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, but came under the influence of Achaea.
In 1335, the Venetian Giorgi family took control, ruled until the Ottoman conquest in 1414. The Principality of Achaea, encompassing the Peloponnese peninsula, it emerged as the strongest Crusader state, prospered after the demise of the Latin Empire. Its main rival was the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea, which succeeded in conquering the Principality, it exercised suzerainty over the Lordship of Argos and Nauplia. The Duchy of Athens, with its two capitals Thebes and Athens, encompassing Attica and parts of southern Thessaly. In 1311, the Duchy was conquered by the Catalan Company, in 1388, it passed into the hands of the Florentine Acciaiuoli family, which kept it until the Ottoman conquest in 1456; the Duchy of Naxos or of the Archipelago, founded by the Sanudo family, it encompassed most of the Cyclades. In 1383, it passed under the control of the Crispo family; the Duchy became an Ottoman vassal in 1537, was annexed to the Ottoman Empire in 1579. The Triarchy of Negroponte, encompassing the island of Negroponte a vassal of Thessalonica of Achaea.
It was fragmented into three baronies run each by two barons. This fragmentation enabled Venice to gain influence acting as mediators. By 1390 Venice had established direct control of the entire island, which remained in Venetian hands until 1470, when it was captured by the Ottomans; the County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos. It encompassed the Ionian Islands of Cephalonia, Ithaca, from ca. 1300 Lefkas. Created as a vassal to the Kingdom of Sicily, it was ruled by the Orsini family from 1195 to 1335, after a short interlude of Anjou rule the county passed to the Tocco family in 1357; the county was split between Venice and the Ottomans in 1479. Rhodes became the headquarters of the military monastic order of the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John in 1310, the Knights retained control of the island until ousted by the Ottomans in 1522. Various Genoese domains in the northeastern Aegean: The fiefs of the Gattilusi family, under nominal Byzantine suzerainty, over the island of Lesbos and also the islands of Lemnos and Samothrace, as well as the Thracian town of Ainos.
The Lordship of Chios with the port of Phocaea. In 1304–1330 under the Zaccaria family, after a Byzantine interlude, from 1346 and until the Ottoman conquest in 1566 under the Maona di Chio e di Focea company; the Republic of Venice accumulated several possessions in Greece, which formed part of its Stato da Màr. Some of them survived until the end of the Republic itself in 1797: Crete known as Candia, one of the Republic's most important overseas possessions, despite frequent revolts by the Greek population, it was retained until captured by the Ottomans in the Cretan War. Corfu, was captured by Venice from its Genoese ruler shortly after the Fourth Crusade; the island was soon retaken by the Despota
Helladic chronology is a relative dating system used in archaeology and art history. It complements the Minoan chronology scheme devised by Sir Arthur Evans for the categorisation of Bronze Age artefacts from the Minoan civilization within a historical framework. Whereas Minoan chronology is specific to Crete, the cultural and geographical scope of Helladic chronology is mainland Greece during the same timespan. A Cycladic chronology system is used for artifacts found in the Aegean islands. Archaeological evidence has shown that, civilisation developed concurrently across the whole region and so the three schemes complement each other chronologically, they are grouped together as "Aegean" in terms such as Aegean civilization. The systems apply to pottery, a benchmark for relative dating of associated artifacts such as tools and weapons. On the basis of style and technique, Evans divided his Cretan Bronze Age pottery finds into three main periods which he called Early and Late Minoan; these were sub-divided into some of those into sub-phases.
The Helladic and Cycladic schemes were devised and have similar sub-divisions. Evans' system has stood the test of time remarkably well but his labels do not provide firm dates because change is never constant and some styles were retained in use much longer than others; some pottery can be dated with reasonable precision by reference to Egyptian artifacts whose dates are more certain. Helladic society and culture have antecedents in Neolithic Greece when most settlements were small villages which subsisted by means of agriculture and hunting; the gradual development of skills such as bronze metallurgy, monumental architecture and construction of fortifications brought about the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. The Late Helladic is sometimes called the Mycenaean Age because Mycenae was the dominant state in Greece. At the end of the Bronze Age, Aegean culture went into a long period of decline, termed a Dark Age by some historians, as a result of invasion and war; the three terms Cycladic and Minoan refer to location of origin.
Thus, Middle Minoan objects might be found in the Cyclades, but they are not on that account Middle Cycladic, just as an Early Helladic pot found in Crete is not Early Minoan. The scheme tends to be less applicable in areas on the periphery of the Aegean, such as the Levant or North Africa. Pottery there might imitate Aegean cultural models and yet be locally manufactured. Archaeology has found evidence in the form of pottery, that a broadly similar way of life was spread over mainland Greece, the Cyclades and Crete as the Neolithic Age was superseded by the Bronze Age before 3000 BCE. Evidence increases through Bronze Age strata with social and economic development seen to develop more quickly. Unlike the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations, the Aegean peoples were illiterate through the third millennium and so, in the absence of useful written artifacts, any attempt at chronology must be based on the dating of material objects. Pottery was by far the most widespread in terms of everyday use and the most resistant to destruction when broken as the pieces survive.
Given the different styles and techniques used over a long period of time, the surviving pots and shards can be classified according to age. As stratified deposits prove which of similar objects from other sites are contemporary, they can therefore be equated chronologically; the Early and Late scheme can be applied at different levels. Rather than use such cumbersome terms as Early Early, archaeologists follow Evans' convention of I, II, III for the second level, A, B, C for the third level, 1, 2, 3 for the fourth level and A, B, C for the fifth. Not all levels are present at every site. If additional levels are required, another Early, Middle or Late can be appended; the Helladic chronology is subdivided as: These are the estimated populations of hamlets and towns of the Helladic period over time. Note that there are several problems with estimating the sizes of individual settlements, the highest estimates for a given settlements, in a given period, may be several times the lowest; the Early Helladic period of Bronze Age Greece is characterized by the Neolithic agricultural population importing bronze and copper, as well as using rudimentary bronze-working techniques first developed in Anatolia with which they had cultural contacts.
The EH period corresponds in time to the Old Kingdom in Egypt. Important EH sites are clustered on the Aegean shores of the mainland in Boeotia and Argolid or coastal islands such as Aegina and Euboea and are marked by pottery showing influences from western Anatolia and the introduction of the fast-spinning version of the potter's wheel; the large "longhouse" called a megaron was introduced in EHII. The infiltration of Anatolian cultural models was not accompanied by widespread site destruction; the Early Helladic I period known as the "Eutresis culture" c.3200–c.2650 BC, is characterized by the presence of unslipped and burnished or red slipped and burnished pottery at Korakou and other sites. In terms of ceramics and settlement patterns, there is considerable continuity between the EHI period and the preceding Final Neolithic period; the transition from Early Helladic I to the Early Helladic II period c.2650–c.2200 BC, occurred and without disruption where multiple socio-cultural innovations were developed such as meta
First Balkan War
The First Balkan War, lasted from October 1912 to May 1913 and comprised actions of the Balkan League against the Ottoman Empire. The combined armies of the Balkan states overcame the numerically inferior and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success; as a result of the war, the League captured and partitioned all remaining European territories of the Ottoman Empire. Ensuing events led to the creation of an independent Albania which angered the Serbs. Despite having the greatest success, the main victor, was dissatisfied over the division of the spoils in Macedonia, which provoked the start of the Second Balkan War. Tensions among the Balkan states over their rival aspirations to the provinces of Ottoman-controlled Rumelia, namely Eastern Rumelia and Macedonia, subsided somewhat following intervention by the Great Powers in the mid-19th century, aimed at securing both more complete protection for the provinces' Christian majority and protection of the status quo.
By 1867, Serbia and Montenegro had both secured independence, confirmed by the Treaty of Berlin. The question of the viability of Ottoman rule was revived after the Young Turk Revolution of July 1908, which compelled the Sultan to restore the suspended Ottoman constitution. Serbia's aspirations to take over Bosnia and Herzegovina were thwarted by the Bosnian crisis and the Austrian annexation of the province in October 1908; the Serbs directed their expansionism to the south. Following the annexation, the Young Turks tried to induce the Muslim population of Bosnia to emigrate to the Ottoman Empire; those who took up the offer were re-settled by the Ottoman authorities in districts of northern Macedonia where there were few Muslims. The experiment proved to be a catastrophe for the Empire since the immigrants united with the existing population of Albanian Muslims, they participated in the series of Albanian uprisings before and during the spring Albanian Revolt of 1912. Some Albanian government troops switched sides.
In May 1912, the Albanian Hamidian revolutionaries, who wanted to reinstall Sultan Abdulhamit II to power, drove the Young Turkish forces out of Skopje and pressed south towards Manastir, forcing the Young Turks to grant effective autonomy over large regions in June 1912. Serbia, which had helped arm the Albanian Catholic and Hamidian rebels and sent secret agents to some of the prominent leaders, took the revolt as a pretext for war. Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria had all been in talks about possible offensives against the Ottoman Empire before the Albanian revolt of 1912 broke out. On 18 October 1912, Peter I of Serbia issued a declaration,'To the Serbian People', which appeared to support Albanians as well as Serbs: The Turkish governments showed no interest in their duties towards their citizens and turned a deaf ear to all complaints and suggestions. Things got so far out of hand, it became unbearable for the Albanians, too. By the grace of God, I have therefore ordered my brave army to join in the Holy War to free our brethren and to ensure a better future.
In Old Serbia, my army will meet not only upon Christian Serbs, but upon Muslim Serbs, who are dear to us, in addition to them, upon Christian and Muslim Albanians with whom our people have shared joy and sorrow for thirteen centuries now. To all of them we bring freedom and equality. In a search for allies, Serbia was ready to negotiate a treaty with Bulgaria; the agreement provided that, in the event of victory against the Ottomans, Bulgaria would receive all of Macedonia south of the Kriva Palanka–Ohrid line. Serbia's expansion was accepted by Bulgaria as being to the north of the Shar Mountains; the intervening area was agreed to be "disputed". During the course of the war, it became apparent that the Albanians did not consider Serbia as a liberator, as suggested by King Peter I, nor did the Serbian forces observe his declaration of amity toward Albanians. After the successful coup d'état for unification with Eastern Rumelia, Bulgaria began to dream that its national unification would be realized.
For that purpose, it developed a large army, identified as the "Prussia of the Balkans." But Bulgaria could not win a war alone against the Ottomans. In Greece, Hellenic Army officers had rebelled in the Goudi coup of August 1909 and secured the appointment of a progressive government under Eleftherios Venizelos, which they hoped would resolve the Crete question in Greece's favour, they wanted to reverse their defeat in the Greco-Turkish War of 1897 by the Ottomans. An emergency military reorganization led by a French military mission had been started for that purpose, but its work was interrupted by the outbreak of war in the Balkans. In the discussions that led Greece to join the Balkan League, Bulgaria refused to commit to any agreement on the distribution of territorial gains, unlike its deal with Serbia over Macedonia. Bulgaria's diplomatic policy was to push Serbia into an agreement limiting its access to Macedonia, while at the same time refusing any such agreement with Greece. Bulgaria believed that its army would be able to occupy the larger part of Aegean Macedonia and the important port city of Salonica before the Greeks.
In 1911, Italy had launched an invasion of Tripolitania in present-day Libya, whi
Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin; this was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea; the Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire. Classical Greek culture philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe.
For this reason, Classical Greece is considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization. Classical Greek culture gave great importance to knowledge. Science and religion were not separate and getting closer to the truth meant getting closer to the gods. In this context, they understood the importance of mathematics as an instrument for obtaining more reliable knowledge. Greek culture, in a few centuries and with a limited population, managed to explore and make progress in many fields of science, mathematics and knowledge in general. Classical antiquity in the Mediterranean region is considered to have begun in the 8th century BC and ended in the 6th century AD. Classical antiquity in Greece was preceded by the Greek Dark Ages, archaeologically characterised by the protogeometric and geometric styles of designs on pottery. Following the Dark Ages was the Archaic Period, beginning around the 8th century BC.
The Archaic Period saw early developments in Greek culture and society which formed the basis for the Classical Period. After the Archaic Period, the Classical Period in Greece is conventionally considered to have lasted from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 until the death of Alexander the Great in 323; the period is characterized by a style, considered by observers to be exemplary, i.e. "classical", as shown in the Parthenon, for instance. Politically, the Classical Period was dominated by Athens and the Delian League during the 5th century, but displaced by Spartan hegemony during the early 4th century BC, before power shifted to Thebes and the Boeotian League and to the League of Corinth led by Macedon; this period saw the Greco-Persian Wars and the Rise of Macedon. Following the Classical period was the Hellenistic period, during which Greek culture and power expanded into the Near and Middle East; this period ends with the Roman conquest. Roman Greece is considered to be the period between Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC and the establishment of Byzantium by Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire in AD 330.
Late Antiquity refers to the period of Christianization during the 4th to early 6th centuries AD, sometimes taken to be complete with the closure of the Academy of Athens by Justinian I in 529. The historical period of ancient Greece is unique in world history as the first period attested directly in proper historiography, while earlier ancient history or proto-history is known by much more circumstantial evidence, such as annals or king lists, pragmatic epigraphy. Herodotus is known as the "father of history": his Histories are eponymous of the entire field. Written between the 450s and 420s BC, Herodotus' work reaches about a century into the past, discussing 6th century historical figures such as Darius I of Persia, Cambyses II and Psamtik III, alluding to some 8th century ones such as Candaules. Herodotus was succeeded by authors such as Thucydides, Demosthenes and Aristotle. Most of these authors were either Athenian or pro-Athenian, why far more is known about the history and politics of Athens than those of many other cities.
Their scope is further limited by a focus on political and diplomatic history, ignoring economic and social history. In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages which followed the fall of the Mycenaean civilization. Literacy had been lost and Mycenaean script forgotten, but the Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet, modifying it to create the Greek alphabet. Objects with Phoenician writing on them may have been available in Greece from the 9th century BC, but the earliest evidence of Greek writing comes from graffiti on Greek pottery from the mid-8th century. Greece was divided into many small self-governing communities, a pattern dictated by Greek geography: every island and plain is cut off from its neighbors by the sea or mountain ranges; the Lelantine War is the earliest documented war of the ancient Greek period. It was fought between the important poleis of Chalcis and Eretria over the fertile Lelantine plain of Euboea. Both cities seem to have suffered a decline as result of the long war, though Chalcis was the nominal victor.
A mercantile class arose in the first half of the 7th century BC, shown by the introduction of coinage in about 680 BC. This
History of Greece
The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation state of Greece as well as that of the Greek people and the areas they inhabited and ruled historically. The scope of Greek habitation and rule has varied throughout the ages and as a result the history of Greece is elastic in what it includes; the history of Greece is divided into the following periods: Neolithic Greece covering a period beginning with the establishment of agricultural societies in 7000 BC and ending in 3200/3100 BC, Helladic chronology covering a period beginning with the transition to a metal-based economy in 3200/3100 BC to the rise and fall of the Mycenaean Greek palaces spanning five centuries, Ancient Greece covering a period from the fall of the Mycenaean civilization in 1100 BC to 146 BC spanning multiple sub-periods including the Greek Dark Ages, Archaic period, the Classical period and the Hellenistic period, Roman Greece covering a period from the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC to 324 AD, Byzantine Greece covering a period from the establishment of the capital city of Byzantium, Constantinople, in 324 AD until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD, Ottoman Greece covering a period from 1453 up until the Greek Revolution of 1821, Modern Greece covering a period from 1821 to the present.
At its cultural and geographical peak, Greek civilization spread from Greece to Egypt and to the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. Since Greek minorities have remained in former Greek territories and Greek emigrants have assimilated into differing societies across the globe. Nowadays most Greeks live in the modern states of Cyprus; the Neolithic Revolution reached Europe beginning in 7000–6500 BC when agriculturalists from the Near East entered the Greek peninsula from Anatolia by island-hopping through the Aegean Sea. The earliest Neolithic sites with developed agricultural economies in Europe dated 8500–9000 BPE are found in Greece; the first Greek-speaking tribes, speaking the predecessor of the Mycenaean language, arrived in the Greek mainland sometime in the Neolithic period or the Early Bronze Age. The transition from the Greek Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age occurred when Greece's agricultural population began to import bronze and copper and used basic bronze-working techniques. During the end of the 3rd millennium BC, the indigenous inhabitants of mainland Greece underwent a cultural transformation attributed to climate change, local events and developments, as well as to continuous contacts with various areas such as western Asia Minor, the Cyclades and Dalmatia.
The Cycladic culture is a significant Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age culture, is best known for its schematic flat female idols carved out of the islands' pure white marble centuries before the great Middle Bronze Age culture arose in Crete, to the south. The Minoan civilization in Crete, which lasted from about c. 3000 BC to c. 1400 BC, the Helladic culture on the Greek mainland from circa 3200/3100 BC to 2000/1900 BC. Little specific information is known about the Minoans, including their written system, recorded on the undeciphered Linear A script and Cretan hieroglyphs, they were a mercantile people engaged in extensive overseas trade throughout the Mediterranean region. Minoan civilization was affected by a number of natural cataclysms such as the volcanic eruption at Thera and earthquakes. In 1425 BC, the Minoan palaces were devastated by fire, which allowed the Mycenaean Greeks, influenced by the Minoans' culture, to expand into Crete; the Minoan civilization which preceded the Mycenaean civilization on Crete was revealed to the modern world by Sir Arthur Evans in 1900, when he purchased and began excavating a site at Knossos.
Mycenaean civilization originated and evolved from the society and culture of the Early and Middle Helladic periods in mainland Greece. It emerged in circa 1600 BC, when Helladic culture in mainland Greece was transformed under influences from Minoan Crete and lasted until the collapse of the Mycenaean palaces in c. 1100 BC. Mycenaean Greece is the Late Helladic Bronze Age civilization of Ancient Greece and it is the historical setting of the epics of Homer and most of Greek mythology and religion; the Mycenaean period takes its name from the archaeological site Mycenae in the northeastern Argolid, in the Peloponnesos of southern Greece. Athens, Pylos and Tiryns are important Mycenaean sites. Mycenaean civilization was dominated by a warrior aristocracy. Around 1400 BC, the Mycenaeans extended their control to Crete, center of the Minoan civilization, adopted a form of the Minoan script called Linear A to write their early form of Greek; the Mycenaean-era script is called Linear B, deciphered in 1952 by Michael Ventris.
The Mycenaeans buried their nobles in beehive tombs, large circular burial chambers with a high-vaulted roof and straight entry passage lined with stone. They buried daggers or some other form of military equipment with the deceased; the nobility were buried with gold masks, tiaras and jeweled weapons. Mycenaeans were buried in a sitting position, some of the nobility underwent mummification. Around 1100–1050 BC, the Mycenaean civilization collapsed. Numerous cities were sacked and the region entered what historians se
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age Aegean civilization on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands which flourished from c. 2700 to c. 1450 BC, before a late period of decline ending around 1100 BC. It represents the first advanced civilization in Europe, left behind massive building complexes, stunning artwork, writing systems, a massive network of trade; the civilization was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. The name "Minoan" derives from the mythical King Minos and was coined by Evans, who identified the site at Knossos with the labyrinth and the Minotaur; the Minoan civilization has been described as the earliest of its kind in Europe, historian Will Durant called the Minoans "the first link in the European chain". The Minoan civilization is notable for its large and elaborate palaces, some of which were up to four stories high, featured elaborate plumbing systems and were decorated with frescoes; the most notable Minoan palace is that of Knossos, followed by that of Phaistos.
The Minoan period saw extensive trade between Crete and Mediterranean settlements the Near East. Through their traders and artists, the Minoans' cultural influence reached beyond Crete to the Cyclades, the Old Kingdom of Egypt, copper-bearing Cyprus and the Levantine coast and Anatolia; some of the best Minoan art is preserved in the city of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini, destroyed by the Minoan eruption. The Minoans wrote in the undeciphered Linear A and in Cretan hieroglyphs, encoding a language hypothetically labelled Minoan; the reasons for the slow decline of the Minoan civilization, beginning around 1550 BC, are unclear. The term "Minoan" refers to the mythical King Minos of Knossos, its origin is debated, but it is attributed to archeologist Arthur Evans. Minos was associated in Greek mythology with the labyrinth, which Evans identified with the site at Knossos. However, Karl Hoeck had used the title Das Minoische Kreta in 1825 for volume two of his Kreta. Evans read Hoeck's book, continued using the term in his writings and findings: "To this early civilization of Crete as a whole I have proposed—and the suggestion has been adopted by the archaeologists of this and other countries—to apply the name'Minoan'."
Evans said. Hoeck, with no idea that the archaeological Crete had existed, had in mind the Crete of mythology. Although Evans' 1931 claim that the term was "unminted" before he used it was called a "brazen suggestion" by Karadimas and Momigliano, he coined its archaeological meaning. Instead of dating the Minoan period, archaeologists use two systems of relative chronology; the first, created by Evans and modified by archaeologists, is based on pottery styles and imported Egyptian artifacts. Evans' system divides the Minoan period into three major eras: early and late; these eras are subdivided—for example, Early Minoan I, II and III. Another dating system, proposed by Greek archaeologist Nikolaos Platon, is based on the development of architectural complexes known as "palaces" at Knossos, Phaistos and Zakros. Platon divides neo - and post-palatial sub-periods; the relationship between the systems in the table includes approximate calendar dates from Warren and Hankey. The Minoan eruption of Thera occurred during a mature phase of the LM IA period.
Efforts to establish the volcanic eruption's date have been controversial. Radiocarbon dating has indicated a date in the late 17th century BC. Although stone-tool evidence suggests that hominins may have reached Crete as early as 130,000 years ago, evidence for the first anatomically-modern human presence dates to 10,000–12,000 YBP; the oldest evidence of modern human habitation on Crete is pre-ceramic Neolithic farming-community remains which date to about 7000 BC. A comparative study of DNA haplogroups of modern Cretan men showed that a male founder group, from Anatolia or the Levant, is shared with the Greeks; the Neolithic population lived in open villages. Fishermen's huts were found on the shores, the fertile Messara Plain was used for agriculture; the Early Bronze Age has been described as indicating a "promise of greatness" in light of developments on the island. The Bronze Age began on Crete around 3200 BC. In the late third millennium BC, several locations on the island developed into centers of commerce and handiwork, enabling the upper classes to exercise leadership and expand their influence.
It is that the original hierarchies of the local elites were replaced by monarchies, a precondition for the palaces. At the end of the MMII period there was a large disturbance on Crete—probably an earthquake, but an invasion from Anatolia; the palaces at Knossos, Phaistos and Kato Zakros were destroyed. At the beginning of the neopalatial period the population increased again, the palaces were rebuilt on a larger scale and new settlements were built across the island; this period was the apex of Minoan civilization. After around 1700 BC, material culture on the Greek mainland reached a new high due to Minoan influence. Another natural catastrophe occurred around 1600 BC an eruption of t