Oriental Orthodoxy is the fourth largest communion of Christian churches, with about 76 million members worldwide. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Armenia, Eritrea, Ethiopia and parts of the Middle East and India. An Eastern Christian communion of autocephalous churches, its bishops are equal by virtue of episcopal ordination, its doctrines can be summarised in that the communion recognizes the validity of only the first three ecumenical councils; the Oriental Orthodox communion is composed of six autocephalous churches: the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Collectively, they consider themselves to be the One, Holy and Apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles.
Most member churches are part of the World Council of Churches. All member churches share a identical theology, with the distinguishing feature being Miaphysitism. Three different rites are practiced in the communion: the western-influenced Armenian Rite, the West Syrian Rite of the two Syriac churches, the Alexandrian Rite of the Copts and Eritreans. At the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD, the Oriental Orthodox churches separated from the Imperial Roman Church over differences in Christology. Oriental Orthodoxy developed distinctively under the Patriarchate of Alexandria in Egypt part of the Pentarchy, the only episcopal see besides the Holy See to maintain the title "Pope"; the majority of Oriental Orthodox Christians live in Egypt, Ethiopia and Armenia, with smaller Syriac communities living in the Middle East–decreasing due to persecution–and India. There are many in other parts of the world, formed through diaspora and missionary activity; the Oriental Orthodox churches are distinguished by their recognition of only the first three ecumenical councils during the period of the State church of the Roman Empire –the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the First Council of Constantinople in 381 and the Council of Ephesus in 431.
Oriental Orthodoxy shares much theology and many ecclesiastical traditions with the Eastern Orthodox Church. The primary theological difference between the two communions is the differing Christology. Oriental Orthodoxy rejects the Chalcedonian Definition, instead adopts the Miaphysite formula, believing that the human and divine natures of Christ are united; the early prelates of the Oriental Orthodox churches thought that the Chalcedonian Definition implied a possible repudiation of the Trinity or a concession to Nestorianism. Other differences include minor deviations in social teaching and different views on ecumenism. Oriental Orthodox churches are considered to be more conservative with regard to social issues as well more enthusiastic about ecumenical relations with non-Orthodox churches; the break in communion between the Imperial Roman and Oriental Orthodox churches did not occur but rather over 2-3 centuries following the Council of Chalcedon. The two communions developed separate institutions, the Oriental Orthodox did not participate in any of the ecumenical councils.
The Oriental Orthodox churches maintain their own ancient apostolic succession. The various churches are governed by holy synods, with a primus inter pares bishop serving as primate; the primates hold titles like patriarch and pope. Among these patriarchs, the Pope of Alexandria takes precedence, is sometimes considered the "face" of Oriental Orthodoxy; the Alexandrian Patriarchate, along with Rome and Antioch, was one of the most prominent sees of the early Christian Church, contains a majority population of Coptic Christians, unlike Antioch is still a major population center. That said, the Pope of Alexandria has no governing powers with respect to the non-Coptic churches. Oriental Orthodoxy does not have a magisterial leader like the Roman Catholic Church, nor does the communion have a leader who can convene ecumenical synods like the Eastern Orthodox Church; the schism between Oriental Orthodoxy and the adherents of Chalcedonian Christianity was based on differences in Christology. The First Council of Nicaea, in 325, declared that Jesus Christ is God, to say, "consubstantial" with the Father.
The third ecumenical council, the Council of Ephesus, declared that Jesus Christ, though divine as well as human, is only one being, or person. Thus, the Council of Ephesus explicitly rejected Nestorianism, the Christological doctrine that Christ was two distinct beings, one divine and one human, who happened to inhabit the same body; the churches that became Oriental Orthodoxy were anti-Nestorian, therefore supported the decisions made at Ephesus. Twenty years after Ephesus, the Council of Chalcedon reaffirmed the view that Jesus Christ was a single person, but at the same time declared that this one person existed "in two complete natures", one human and one divine; those who opposed Chalcedon saw this as a concession to Nestorianism, or as a conspiracy to convert the Church to Nestorianism by stealth. As a result, over the following decades, they separated from communion with those who accepted the Council of Chalcedon, formed the body, today called Oriental Orthodoxy. At times, Chalcedonian Christians have referre
Late antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages in mainland Europe, the Mediterranean world, the Near East. The popularization of this periodization in English has been accredited to historian Peter Brown, after the publication of his seminal work The World of Late Antiquity. Precise boundaries for the period are a continuing matter of debate, but Brown proposes a period between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD, it can be thought of as from the end of the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century to, in the East, the early Muslim conquests in the mid-7th century. In the West the end was earlier, with the start of the Early Middle Ages placed in the 6th century, or earlier on the edges of the Western Roman Empire; the Roman Empire underwent considerable social and organizational changes starting with the reign of Diocletian, who began the custom of splitting the Empire into Eastern and Western halves ruled by multiple emperors.
Beginning with Constantine the Great, Christianity was made legal in the Empire, a new capital was founded at Constantinople. Migrations of Germanic tribes disrupted Roman rule from the late 4th century onwards, culminating in the eventual collapse of the Empire in the West in 476, replaced by the so-called barbarian kingdoms; the resultant cultural fusion of Greco-Roman and Christian traditions formed the foundations of the subsequent culture of Europe. The term Spätantike "late antiquity", has been used by German-speaking historians since its popularization by Alois Riegl in the early 20th century, it was given currency in English by the writings of Peter Brown, whose survey The World of Late Antiquity revised the post-Gibbon view of a stale and ossified Classical culture, in favour of a vibrant time of renewals and beginnings, whose The Making of Late Antiquity offered a new paradigm of understanding the changes in Western culture of the time in order to confront Sir Richard Southern's The Making of the Middle Ages.
The continuities between the Roman Empire, as it was reorganized by Diocletian, the Early Middle Ages are stressed by writers who wish to emphasize that the seeds of medieval culture were developing in the Christianized empire, that they continued to do so in the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire at least until the coming of Islam. Concurrently, some migrating Germanic tribes such as the Ostrogoths and Visigoths saw themselves as perpetuating the "Roman" tradition. While the usage "Late Antiquity" suggests that the social and cultural priorities of Classical Antiquity endured throughout Europe into the Middle Ages, the usage of "Early Middle Ages" or "Early Byzantine" emphasizes a break with the classical past, the term "Migration Period" tends to de-emphasize the disruptions in the former Western Roman Empire caused by the creation of Germanic kingdoms within her borders beginning with the foedus with the Goths in Aquitania in 418; the general decline of population, technological knowledge and standards of living in Europe during this period became the archetypal example of societal collapse for writers from the Renaissance.
As a result of this decline, the relative scarcity of historical records from Europe in particular, the period from the early fifth century until the Carolingian Renaissance was referred to as the "Dark Ages". This term has been abandoned as a name for a historiographical epoch, being replaced by "Late Antiquity" in the periodization of the late West Roman Empire, the early Byzantine empire and the Early Middle Ages. One of the most important transformations in Late Antiquity was the formation and evolution of the Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism and Islam. A milestone in the rise of Christianity was the conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great in 312, as claimed by his Christian panegyrist Eusebius of Caesarea, although the sincerity of his conversion is debated. Constantine confirmed the legalization of the religion through the so-called Edict of Milan in 313, jointly issued with his rival in the East, Licinius. By the late 4th century, Emperor Theodosius the Great had made Christianity the State religion, thereby transforming the Classical Roman world, which Peter Brown characterized as "rustling with the presence of many divine spirits."Constantine I was a key figure in many important events in Christian history, as he convened and attended the first ecumenical council of bishops at Nicaea in 325, subsidized the building of churches and sanctuaries such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, involved himself in questions such as the timing of Christ's resurrection and its relation to the Passover.
The birth of Christian monasticism in the deserts of Egypt in the 3rd century, which operated outside the episcopal authority of the Church, would become so successful that by the 8th century it penetrated the Church and became the primary Christian practice. Monasticism was not the only new Christian movement to appear in late antiquity, although it had the greatest influence. Other movements notable for their unconventional practices include the Grazers, holy men who ate only grass and chained themselves up. Late Antiquity marks the decline of Roman state religion, circumscribed in degrees by edicts inspired by Christian advisors such as Eusebius to 4th century emperors, a period of dynamic religious experimentation and spirituality with many syncretic sects, some formed centuries earl
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding
The Maghreb known as Northwest Africa or Northern Africa, Greater Arab Maghreb, Arab Maghreb or Greater Maghreb, or by some sources the Berber world and Berbery, is a major region of North Africa that consists of the countries Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania. It additionally includes the disputed territories of Western Sahara and the cities of Melilla and Ceuta; as of 2018, the region has a population of over 100 million people. In historical English and European literature, the region was known as the Barbary Coast or the Barbary States, derived from the native Berbers. Sometimes it was referred to as the Land of the Atlas, derived from the Atlas Mountains. In current Berber language media and literature, the region is part of; the region is defined as much or most of northern Africa, including a large portion of Africa's Sahara Desert, excluding Egypt, part of Mashriq. The traditional definition of the region that restricted it to the Atlas Mountains and the coastal plains of Morocco, Algeria and Libya was expanded by the inclusion of Mauritania and of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
During the era of Al-Andalus in the Iberian Peninsula, the Maghreb's inhabitants, the Muslim Berbers or Maghrebis, were known by Europeans as "Moors", or as "Afariqah". Morocco transliterates into Arabic as "al-Maghreb". Before the establishment of modern nation states in the region during the 20th century, Maghreb most referred to a smaller area, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlas Mountains in the south, it also included the territory of eastern Libya, but not modern Mauritania. As as the late 19th century, Maghreb was used to refer to the Western Mediterranean region of coastal North Africa in general, to Algeria and Tunisia, in particular; the region was somewhat unified as an independent political entity during the rule of the Berber kingdom of Numidia, followed by the Roman Empire's rule or influence. That was followed by the brief invasion of the Germanic Vandals, the brief re-establishment of a weak Roman rule by the Byzantine Empire, the rule of the Islamic Caliphates under the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate and the Fatimid Caliphate.
The most enduring rule was that of the local Berber empires of the Almoravid dynasty, Almohad Caliphate, Hammadid dynasty, Zirid dynasty, Marinid dynasty, Zayyanid dynasty, Wattasid dynasty - from the 8th to 13th centuries. The Ottoman Empire for a period controlled parts of the region. Mauritania, Tunisia and Libya established the Arab Maghreb Union in 1989 to promote cooperation and economic integration in a common market, it was envisioned by Muammar Gaddafi as a superstate. The union included Western Sahara implicitly under Morocco's membership, putting Morocco's long cold war with Algeria to a rest. However, this progress was short-lived, the union is now dormant. Tensions between Algeria and Morocco over Western Sahara re-emerged, reinforced by the unsolved border dispute between the two countries; these two main conflicts have hindered progress on the union's joint goals and made it inactive as a whole. However, the instability in the region and growing cross-border security threats revived the calls for regional cooperation, with foreign ministers of the Arab Maghreb Union declaring a need for coordinated security policy in May 2015 at the 33rd session of the follow-up committee meeting, which revived hope of some form of cooperation.
In classical antiquity, the Maghreb or portions of the region were known by various toponyms, including Barbary, Mauretania, Libya and the Land of the Atlas. The toponym maghrib is a geographical term that the Muslim Arabs gave to the region extending from Alexandria in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Etymologically it means both the place where the sun sets, it is composed of the prefix m−, which makes a noun out of the verb root, غرب. Muslim historians and geographers divided the region into three areas: al-Maghrib al-Adna, which included the lands extending from Alexandria to Tarabulus in the west, they disagreed, over the start of the eastern boundary. Some authors extend it as far as the sea of Kulzum and thus include Egypt and the country of Barca in the Maghrib. Ibn Khaldun does not accept this definition because, he says, the inhabitants of the Maghreb do not consider Egypt and Barca as forming part of Maghrib; the latter commences only at the province of Tripoli and includes the districts of which the country of the Berbers was composed in former times.
Maghribi writers repeated the definition of Ibn Khaldun, with a few variations in details. As of 2017 the term Maghrib is still used in opposition to Mashriq in a sense near to that which it had in medieval times, it denotes only Morocco when the full al-Maghrib al-Aksa is abbreviated. Certain politicians seek a political union of the North African countries, which they call al-Maghrib al-Kabir or al-Maghrib al-Arabi. Berber-language speakers now call this region Tamazɣa or Tama
The Albanians are an ethnic group native to the Balkan Peninsula and are identified by a common Albanian ancestry, culture and language. They live in Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia as well as in Croatia and Italy, they constitute a diaspora with several communities established in the Americas and Oceania. The ethnogenesis of the Albanians and the Albanian language is a matter of controversy among the historians and ethnologists, they appear for the first time in historical records from the 11th century mentioning a tribe of people living in the area which today constitutes the mountainous region around the Mat and Drin. The Shkumbin splits the Albanians into two cultural and linguistical subgroups, the Ghegs and Tosks, though both groups identify with a common ethnic and national culture; the history of the Albanian diaspora is centuries old and has its roots in migration from the Middle Ages established in Southern Europe and subsequently on across other parts of the world. Between the 13th and 18th centuries, sizeable numbers of Albanians migrated to escape either various social, economic or political difficulties.
One population who became the Arvanites settled Southern Greece between the 13th and 16th centuries assimilating into and now self-identifying as Greeks. Another population who emerged as the Arbëreshës settled Sicily and Southern Italy constituting the oldest continuous Albanian diaspora. Smaller populations such as the Arbanasis whose migration dates back to the 18th century are located in Southern Croatia and scattered across Southern Ukraine. In the 13th century, the Ghegs converted to Roman Catholicism from Eastern Orthodoxy as a means to resist the Slavic Serbs. In the 15th century, Skanderbeg led the medieval Albanian resistance to the Ottoman conquest. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Albanians in large numbers converted to Islam, in part due to the privileged legal and social position of Muslims in the empire and coercion by Ottoman authorities in times of war. Albanians attained important political and military positions within the Ottoman Empire and culturally contributed to the wider Muslim world.
Following the Albanian National Awakening, during the Balkan Wars, in 1912, Albanians were partitioned between the newly-formed Independent Albania and Serbia and Montenegro. From 1945 to 1992, Albania was ruled by a communist government. Albanians in neighbouring Yugoslavia underwent periods of discrimination that concluded with the breakup of that state in the early 1990s and the independence of Kosovo in 2008; the Albanians and their country Albania have been identified by many ethnonyms. The most common native ethnonym is "Shqiptar", plural "Shqiptarë". From these ethnonyms, names for Albanians were derived in other languages, that were or still are in use. In English "Albanians"; the term "Albanoi" is first encountered twice in the works of Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates, the term "Arvanitai" is used once by the same author. He referred to the "Albanoi" as having taken part in a revolt against the Byzantine Empire in 1043, to the "Arbanitai" as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium; these references have been disputed as to.
Historian E. Vranoussi believes, she notes that the same term in medieval Latin meant "foreigners". The reference to "Arvanitai" from Attaliates regarding the participation of Albanians in a rebellion around 1078 is undisputed. In Byzantine usage, the terms "Arbanitai" and "Albanoi" with a range of variants were used interchangeably, while sometimes the same groups were called by the classicising name Illyrians; the first reference to the Albanian language dates to the latter 13th century. The ethnonym Albanian has been hypothesized to be connected to and stem from the Albanoi, an Illyrian tribe mentioned by Ptolemy with their centre at the city of Albanopolis. Linguists believe that the alb part in the root word originates from an Indo-European term for a type of mountainous topography, from which other words such as alps are derived. Through the root word alban and its rhotacized equivalents arban and arbar, the term in Albanian became rendered as Arbëneshë/Arbëreshë for the people and Arbënia/Arbëria for the country.
The Albanian language was referred to as Arbërisht. While the exonym Albania for the general region inhabited by the Albanians does have connotations to Classical Antiquity, the Albanian language employs a different ethnonym, with modern Albanians referring to themselves as Shqiptarë and to their country as Shqipëria. Two etymologies have been proposed for this ethnonym: one, derived from the etymology from the Albanian word for eagle. In Albanian folk etymology, this word denotes a bird totem, dating from the times of Skanderbeg as displayed on the Albanian flag; the other is within scholarship that connects it to the verb'to speak' from the Latin "excipere". In this instance the Albanian endonym like Slav and others would have been a term connoting "those who speak [intelligibly, th
The Greeks or Hellenes are an ethnic group native to Greece, southern Albania, Turkey, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world. Greek colonies and communities have been established on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea, but the Greek people have always been centered on the Aegean and Ionian seas, where the Greek language has been spoken since the Bronze Age; until the early 20th century, Greeks were distributed between the Greek peninsula, the western coast of Asia Minor, the Black Sea coast, Cappadocia in central Anatolia, the Balkans and Constantinople. Many of these regions coincided to a large extent with the borders of the Byzantine Empire of the late 11th century and the Eastern Mediterranean areas of ancient Greek colonization; the cultural centers of the Greeks have included Athens, Alexandria and Constantinople at various periods. Most ethnic Greeks live nowadays within the borders of Cyprus.
The Greek genocide and population exchange between Greece and Turkey nearly ended the three millennia-old Greek presence in Asia Minor. Other longstanding Greek populations can be found from southern Italy to the Caucasus and southern Russia and Ukraine and in the Greek diaspora communities in a number of other countries. Today, most Greeks are registered as members of the Greek Orthodox Church. Greeks have influenced and contributed to culture, exploration, philosophy, architecture, mathematics and technology, business and sports, both and contemporarily; the Greeks speak the Greek language, which forms its own unique branch within the Indo-European family of languages, the Hellenic. They are part of a group of classical ethnicities, described by Anthony D. Smith as an "archetypal diaspora people"; the Proto-Greeks arrived at the area now called Greece, in the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, at the end of the 3rd millennium BC. The sequence of migrations into the Greek mainland during the 2nd millennium BC has to be reconstructed on the basis of the ancient Greek dialects, as they presented themselves centuries and are therefore subject to some uncertainties.
There were at least two migrations, the first being the Ionians and Aeolians, which resulted in Mycenaean Greece by the 16th century BC, the second, the Dorian invasion, around the 11th century BC, displacing the Arcadocypriot dialects, which descended from the Mycenaean period. Both migrations occur at incisive periods, the Mycenaean at the transition to the Late Bronze Age and the Doric at the Bronze Age collapse. An alternative hypothesis has been put forth by linguist Vladimir Georgiev, who places Proto-Greek speakers in northwestern Greece by the Early Helladic period, i.e. towards the end of the European Neolithic. Linguists Russell Gray and Quentin Atkinson in a 2003 paper using computational methods on Swadesh lists have arrived at a somewhat earlier estimate, around 5000 BC for Greco-Armenian split and the emergence of Greek as a separate linguistic lineage around 4000 BC. In c. 1600 BC, the Mycenaean Greeks borrowed from the Minoan civilization its syllabic writing system and developed their own syllabic script known as Linear B, providing the first and oldest written evidence of Greek.
The Mycenaeans penetrated the Aegean Sea and, by the 15th century BC, had reached Rhodes, Crete and the shores of Asia Minor. Around 1200 BC, the Dorians, another Greek-speaking people, followed from Epirus. Traditionally, historians have believed that the Dorian invasion caused the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization, but it is the main attack was made by seafaring raiders who sailed into the eastern Mediterranean around 1180 BC; the Dorian invasion was followed by a poorly attested period of migrations, appropriately called the Greek Dark Ages, but by 800 BC the landscape of Archaic and Classical Greece was discernible. The Greeks of classical antiquity idealized their Mycenaean ancestors and the Mycenaean period as a glorious era of heroes, closeness of the gods and material wealth; the Homeric Epics were and accepted as part of the Greek past and it was not until the time of Euhemerism that scholars began to question Homer's historicity. As part of the Mycenaean heritage that survived, the names of the gods and goddesses of Mycenaean Greece became major figures of the Olympian Pantheon of antiquity.
The ethnogenesis of the Greek nation is linked to the development of Pan-Hellenism in the 8th century BC. According to some scholars, the foundational event was the Olympic Games in 776 BC, when the idea of a common Hellenism among the Greek tribes was first translated into a shared cultural experience and Hellenism was a matter of common culture; the works of Homer and Hesiod were written in the 8th century BC, becoming the basis of the national religion, ethos and mythology. The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi was established in this period; the classical period of Greek civilization covers a time spanning from the early 5th century BC to the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 BC. It is so named because it set the standards by which Greek civilization would be judged in eras; the Classical period is described as the "Golden Age" of Greek civilization, and
The Goths were an East Germanic people, two of whose branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire through the long series of Gothic Wars and in the emergence of Medieval Europe. The Goths dominated a vast area, which at its peak under the Germanic king Ermanaric and his sub-king Athanaric extended all the way from the Danube to the Don, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea; the Goths spoke one of the extinct East Germanic languages. In the Gothic language of Ostrogothic Italy they were called the Gut-þiuda, most translated as "Gothic people", but only attested as dative singular Gut-þiudai. In Old Norse they were known as the Gutar or Gotar, in Latin as the Gothi, in Greek as the Γότθοι, Gótthoi; the Goths have been referred to by many names at least in part because they comprised many separate ethnic groups, but because in early accounts of Indo-European and Germanic migrations in the Migration Period in general it was common practice to use various names to refer to the same group.
The Goths believed that the various names all derived from a single prehistoric ethnonym that referred to a uniform culture that flourished around the middle of the first millennium BC, i.e. the original Goths. The exact origin of the ancient Goths remains unknown. Evidence of them before they interacted with the Romans is limited; the traditional account of the Goths' early history depends on the Ostrogoth Jordanes' Getica written c. 551 AD. Jordanes states that the earliest migrating Goths sailed from what is now Sweden to what is now Poland. If this is accurate they may have been the people responsible for the Wielbark archaeological complex. Modern academics have abandoned this theory. Today, the Wielbark culture is thought to have developed from earlier cultures in the same area. Archaeological finds show close contacts between southern Sweden and the Baltic coastal area on the continent, further towards the south-east, evidenced by pottery, house types and graves. Rather than a massive migration, similarities in the material cultures may be products of long-term regular contacts.
However, the archaeological record could indicate that while his work is thought to be unreliable, Jordanes' story was based on an oral tradition with some basis in fact. Sometime around the 1st century AD, Germanic peoples may have migrated from Scandinavia to Gothiscandza, in present-day Poland. Early archaeological evidence in the traditional Swedish province of Östergötland suggests a general depopulation during this period. However, there is no archaeological evidence for a substantial emigration from Scandinavia and they may have originated in continental Europe. Upon their arrival on the Pontic Steppe, the Germanic tribes adopted the ways of the Eurasian nomads; the first Greek references to the Goths call them Scythians, since this area along the Black Sea had been occupied by an unrelated people of that name. The application of that designation to the Goths appears to be not ethnological but rather geographical and cultural - Greeks regarded both the ethnic Scythians and the Goths as barbarians.
The earliest known material culture associated with the Goths on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea is the Wielbark culture, centered on the modern region of Pomerania in northern Poland. This culture replaced the local Oxhöft or Oksywie culture in the 1st century AD, when a Scandinavian settlement developed in a buffer zone between the Oksywie culture and the Przeworsk culture; the culture of this area was influenced by southern Scandinavian culture beginning as early as the late Nordic Bronze Age and early Pre-Roman Iron Age. In fact, the Scandinavian influence on Pomerania and today's northern Poland from c. 1300 BC and onwards was so considerable that some see the culture of the region as part of the Nordic Bronze Age culture. In Eastern Europe the Goths formed part of the Chernyakhov culture of the 2nd to 5th centuries AD. Around 160 AD, in Central Europe, the first movements of the Migration Period were occurring, as Germanic tribes began moving south-east from their ancestral lands at the mouth of River Vistula, putting pressure on the Germanic tribes from the north and east.
As a result, in episodes of Gothic and Vandal warfare Germanic tribes crossed either the lower Danube or the Black Sea, led to the Marcomannic Wars, which resulted in widespread destruction and the first invasion of what is now Italy in the Roman Empire period. It has been suggested. Goths served in the Roman military and played a limited role, e.g. Gainas. In the first attested incursion in Thrace, the Goths were mentioned as Boranoi by Zosimus, as Boradoi by Gregory Thaumaturgus; the first incursion of the Roman Empire that can be attributed to Goths is the sack of Histria in 238. Several such raids followed in subsequent decades, in particular the Battle of Abrittus in 251, led by Cniva, in which the Roman Emperor Decius was killed. At the time, there were at least two groups of Goths: the Greuthungs. Goths were subsequently recruited into the Roman Army to fight in the Roman-Persian Wars, notably participating at the Battle of Misiche in 242; the Moesogoths settled in Moesia. The first seaborne raids took place in three subsequent years 255-257.
An unsuccessful attack on Pityus was followed in the second year by another, which sacked Pityus and Trabzon and ravaged large areas in th