Sebastiano Ricci was an Italian painter of the late Baroque school of Venice. About the same age as Piazzetta, an elder contemporary of Tiepolo, he represents a late version of the vigorous and luminous Cortonesque style of grand manner fresco painting, he was born in the son of Andreana and Livio Ricci. In 1671, he was apprenticed to Federico Cervelli of Venice. Others claim. In 1678, a youthful indiscretion led to an unwanted pregnancy, to a greater scandal, when Ricci was accused of attempting to poison the young woman in question to avoid marriage, he was imprisoned, released only after the intervention of a nobleman a Pisani family member. He married the mother of his child in 1691, although this was a stormy union. Following his release he moved to Bologna, where he lived near the Parish of San Michele del Mercato, his painting style there was influenced by Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole. On 28 September 1682 he was contracted by the "Fraternity of Saint John of Florence" to paint a Decapitation of John the Baptist for their oratory.
On 9 December 1685, the Count of San Segundo near Parma commissioned from Ricci the decoration of the Oratory of the Madonna of the Seraglio, which he completed in collaboration of Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena by October 1687, receiving a payment of 4,482 Lira. In 1686, the Duke Ranuccio II Farnese of Parma commissioned s Pietà for a new Capuchin convent. In 1687-8 Ricci decorated the apartments of the Parmense Duchess in Piacenza with canvases recounting the life of the Farnese pope, Paul III. In 1688, Ricci abandoned his wife and daughter, fled from Bologna to Turin with Magdalen, the daughter of the painter Giovanni Peruzzini, he was again imprisoned, nearly executed, but was freed by the intercession of the Duke of Parma. The duke employed him and assigned him a monthly salary of 25 crowns and lodging in the Farnese palace in Rome. In 1692, he was commissioned to copy the Coronation of Charlemagne by Raphael in Vatican City, on behalf of Louis XIV, a task he finished only by 1694; the death of the Duke Ranuccio in December, 1694, his protector, forced Ricci to abandon Rome for Milan, where by November 1695 he completed frescoes in the Ossuary Chapel of the Church of San Bernardino dei Morti.
On 22 June 1697, the Count Giacomo Durini hired him to paint in the Cathedral of Monza. In 1698, he returned to the Venetian republic for a decade. By 24 August 1700, he had frescoed the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento in the church of Santa Giustina of Padua. In 1701, the Venetian geographer Vincenzo Maria Coronelli commissioned a canvas of the Ascension, inserted into the ceiling of sacristy of the Basilica of the Santi Apostoli in Rome. In 1702, he frescoed the ceiling of the Blue Hall in the Schönbrunn Palace, with the Allegory of the Princely Virtues and Love of Virtue, which illustrated the education and dedication of future emperor Joseph I. In Vienna, Frederick August II, the elector Saxony, requested an Ascension canvas, in part to convince others of the sincerity of his conversion to Catholicism, which allowed him to become the King of Poland. In Venice in 1704 he executed a canvas of San Procolo for the Dome of Bergamo and a Crucifixion for the Florentine church of San Francisco de Macci.
In the summer of 1706, he traveled to Florence, where he completed a work, by many considered his masterpieces. During his Florentine stay he first completed a large fresco series on allegorical and mythological themes for the now-called Marucelli-Fenzi or Palazzo Fenzi. After this work, along with the quadraturista Giuseppe Tonelli, was commissioned by the Grand Duke Ferdinando de' Medici to decorate rooms in the Pitti Palace, where his Venus takes Leave from Adonis contains heavenly depictions that are airier and brighter than prior Florentine fresco series; these works gained him fame and requests from foreign lands and showed the rising influence of Venetian painting into other regions of Italy. He was to influence the Florentine Rococo fresco painter Giovanni Domenico Ferretti. In 1708 he returned to Venice. In 1711, now painting alongside his nephew, Marco Ricci, he painted two canvases: Esther to Assuero and Moses saved from the Nile, for the Taverna Palace, he accepted foreign patronage in London, when he was provided a £770 commission by Lord Burlington for eight canvases, to be completed by him and his nephew Marco, depicting mythological frolics: Cupid and Jove, Bacchus meets Ariadne and Nymphs, Bacchus and Ariadne and Cupid, Diane and Endymion, a Cupid and Flora.
He decorated the chapel at Bulstrode House near Gerrards Cross for Henry Bentinck, 1st Duke of Portland with a cycle of wall-paintings depicting scenes from the life of Christ. George Vertue described the scheme as "a Noble free invention. Great force of lights and shade, with variety & freedom, in the composition of the parts"; the chapel was demolished in the 19th century. Ricci designed stained glass for the Duke of Chandos' chapel at Cannons. By the end of 1716, with his nephew, he left England for Paris, where he met Watteau, submitted his Triumph of the Wisdom over Ignorance in order to gain admission to the Royal French Academy of Painting and Sculpture, granted on 18 May 1718, he returned to Venice in 1718 a wealthy man, bought comfortable lodgings in the Old Procuratory of St. Mark; that same year, the Riccis decorated the villa of Giovanni Francesco Bembo in Belvedere, near Belluno. In 1722 he was one of twelve artists commissioned to contribute a painting on canvas
Ecbatana was an ancient city in Media in western Iran. It is believed that Ecbatana is in an archaeological mound in Hamedan. According to Herodotus, Ecbatana was chosen as the Medes' capital in the late 8th century BC by Deioces. Under the Achaemenid Persian kings, situated at the foot of Mount Alvand, became a summer residence, it became the capital of the Parthian kings, at which time it became their main mint, producing drachm and assorted bronze denominations. The wealth and importance of the city in the Persian empire is attributed to its location on a crucial crossroads that made it a staging post on the main East-West highway. In 330 BC, Ecbatana was the site of the murder of the Macedonian general Parmenion by order of Alexander the Great; the Tell Hagmatana called Tepe Hegmataneh has a circumference of 1.4 kilometres with an area of about 40 hectares, which corresponds to a report from Polybius, although the ancient Greek and Roman accounts exaggerate Ecbatana's wealth and extravagance.
Few finds thus far can be dated to the Median era. There is a "small, open-sided room with four corner columns supporting a domed ceiling," similar to a Median-era structure from Tepe Nush-i Jan, interpreted as a Zoroastrian fire temple. Excavations have revealed a massive defensive wall made of mud-bricks, dated to the Median period based on a comparison to Tepe Nush-i Jan and Godin Tepe. There are two column bases from the Achaemenid period, some mud-brick structures thought to be from the Median or Achaemenid period. A badly-damaged stone lion sculpture is of disputed date: it may be Achaemenid or Parthian. Numerous Parthian-era constructions attest to Ecbatana's status as a summer capital for the Parthian rulers. In 2006, excavations in a limited area of Hagmatana hill failed to discover anything older than the Parthian period, but this does not rule out older archaeological layers existing elsewhere within the 35-hectare site. Ecbatana was first excavated in 1913 by Charles Fossey. Excavations have been limited due to the modern town covering most of the ancient site.
In 1969 the Ministry of Culture and Art began buying property on the tell in support of archaeology, though excavation did not begin until 1983. By 2007, 12 seasons of excavation had occurred; the work on the tell is ongoing. The Greeks thought Ecbatana to be the capital of the Medes empire and credited its foundation to Deioces, it is alleged that he surrounded his palace in Ecbatana with seven concentric walls of different colours. In the 5th century BC, Herodotus wrote of Ecbatana: "The Medes built the city now called Ecbatana, the walls of which are of great size and strength, rising in circles one within the other; the plan of the place is, that each of the walls should out-top the one beyond it by the battlements. The nature of the ground, a gentle hill, favors this arrangements in some degree but it is effected by art; the number of the circles is the royal palace and the treasuries standing within the last. The circuit of the outer wall is nearly the same with that of Athens. On this wall the battlements are white, of the next black, of the third scarlet, of the fourth blue, the fifth orange.
The last two have their battlements coated with silver and gold. All these fortifications Deioces had caused to be raised for himself and his own palace." Herodotus' description is corroborated in part by stone reliefs from the Neo-Assyrian Empire, depicting Median citadels ringed by concentric walls. Other sources attest to the historical importance of Ecbatana based on the terms used by ancient authors to describe it such as Caput Mediae, the Royal Seat, great City, it is said that Alexander the Great deposited the treasures he took from Persepolis and Pasargadae and that one of the last acts of his life was to visit the city. The citadel of Ecbatana is mentioned in the Bible in Ezra 6:2, in the time of Darius I, as part of the national archives. Although historians and archaeologists now believe that "the identification of Ecbatana with Hamadān is secure," earlier visitors to the site were unable to find significant remains of the Median and Achaemenid periods, which led them to suggest other sites as the location of Ecbatana.
Assyrian sources never mention Hagmatana/Ecbatana. Some scholars believed the problem can be resolved by identifying the Ecbatana/Hagmatana mentioned in Greek and Achaemenid sources with the city Sagbita/Sagbat mentioned in Assyrian texts, since the Indo-Iranian sound /s/ became /h/ in many Iranian languages; the Sagbita mentioned by Assyrian sources was located in the proximity of the cities Kishesim and Harhar. It is now proposed that the absence of any mention of Ecbatana in Assyrian sources can be explained by the possibility that Assyria never became involved as far east as the Alvand mountains, but only in the western Zagros. Sir Henry Rawlinson attempted to prove that there was a second and older Ecbatana in Media Atropatene on the site of the modern Takht-i-Suleiman. However, the cuneiform texts imply that there was only one city of the name, that Takht-i Suleiman is the Gazaca of classical geography. There is the claim that Ecbatana used to be the city of Tabriz, one of the historical capitals of Iran and the present capital of East Azerbaijan province.
The city, called Tauris, was
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian, born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire. He is known for having written the book The Histories, a detailed record of his "inquiry" on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars, he is considered to have been the first writer to have treated historical subjects using a method of systematic investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials and critically arranging them into an historiographic narrative. On account of this, he is referred to as "The Father of History", a title first conferred on him by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero. Despite Herodotus's historical significance, little is known about his personal life, his Histories deals with the lives of Croesus, Cambyses, Smerdis and Xerxes and the battles of Marathon, Artemisium, Salamis and Mycale. Herodotus has been criticized for the fact that his book includes a large number of obvious legends and fanciful accounts. Many authors, starting with the late fifth-century BC historian Thucydides, have accused him of making up stories for entertainment.
Herodotus, states that he is reporting what he has been told. A sizable portion of the information he provides has since been confirmed by historians and archaeologists. Herodotus announced the purpose and scope of his work at the beginning of his Histories as such: Here are presented the results of the enquiry carried out by Herodotus of Halicarnassus; the purpose is to prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time, to preserve the fame of the important and remarkable achievements produced by both Greeks and non-Greeks. His record of the achievements of others was an achievement in itself, though the extent of it has been debated. Herodotus's place in history and his significance may be understood according to the traditions within which he worked, his work is the earliest Greek prose. However, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a literary critic of Augustan Rome, listed seven predecessors of Herodotus, describing their works as simple, unadorned accounts of their own and other cities and people, Greek or foreign, including popular legends, sometimes melodramatic and naïve charming – all traits that can be found in the work of Herodotus himself.
Modern historians regard the chronology as uncertain, but according to the ancient account, these predecessors included Dionysius of Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, Hellanicus of Lesbos, Xanthus of Lydia and, the best attested of them all, Hecataeus of Miletus. Of these, only fragments of Hecataeus's works survived, the authenticity of these is debatable, but they provide a glimpse into the kind of tradition within which Herodotus wrote his own Histories. In his introduction to Hecataeus's work, Genealogies: Hecataeus the Milesian speaks thus: I write these things as they seem true to me; this points forward to the "international" outlook typical of Herodotus. However, one modern scholar has described the work of Hecataeus as "a curious false start to history", since despite his critical spirit, he failed to liberate history from myth. Herodotus mentions Hecataeus in his Histories, on one occasion mocking him for his naive genealogy and, on another occasion, quoting Athenian complaints against his handling of their national history.
It is possible that Herodotus borrowed much material from Hecataeus, as stated by Porphyry in a quote recorded by Eusebius. In particular, it is possible that he copied descriptions of the crocodile and phoenix from Hecataeus's Circumnavigation of the Known World misrepresenting the source as "Heliopolitans", but Hecataeus did not record events that had occurred in living memory, unlike Herodotus, nor did he include the oral traditions of Greek history within the larger framework of oriental history. There is no proof that Herodotus derived the ambitious scope of his own work, with its grand theme of civilizations in conflict, from any predecessor, despite much scholarly speculation about this in modern times. Herodotus claims to be better informed than his predecessors by relying on empirical observation to correct their excessive schematism. For example, he argues for continental asymmetry as opposed to the older theory of a circular earth with Europe and Asia/Africa equal in size. However, he retains idealizing tendencies, as in his symmetrical notions of the Nile.
His debt to previous authors of prose "histories" might be questionable, but there is no doubt that Herodotus owed much to the example and inspiration of poets and story-tellers. For example, Athenian tragic poets provided him with a world-view of a balance between conflicting forces, upset by the hubris of kings, they provided his narrative with a model of episodic structure, his familiarity with Athenian tragedy is demonstrated in a number of passages echoing Aeschylus's Persae, including the epigrammatic observation that the defeat of the Persian navy at Salamis caused the defeat of the land army. The debt may have been repaid by Sophocles because there appear to be echoes of The Histories in his plays a passage in Antigone that resembles Herodotus's account of the death of Intaphernes. However, this point is one of the most contentious
The Nabonidus Chronicle is an ancient Babylonian text, part of a larger series of Babylonian Chronicles inscribed in cuneiform script on clay tablets. It deals with the reign of Nabonidus, the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, covers the conquest of Babylon by the Persian king Cyrus the Great, ends with the start of the reign of Cyrus's son Cambyses, spanning a period from 556 BC to some time after 539 BC, it provides a rare contemporary account of Cyrus's rise to power and is the main source of information on this period. Similarities with the Nabonassar to Shamash-shum-ukin Chronicle, another of the Babylonian Chronicles, suggest that the same scribe may have been responsible for both chronicles. If so, it may date to the reign of Darius I of Persia; the Nabonidus Chronicle is preserved on a single clay tablet now kept at the British Museum in London. Like the other Babylonian Chronicles, it lists in an annalistic fashion the key events of each year, such as the accession and deaths of kings, major military events, notable religious occurrences.
It follows a standard pattern of reporting only events of immediate relevance to Babylonia, making it of somewhat limited utility as a source for a wider history of the region. The tablet itself is large, measuring 140 mm wide by 140 mm long, but is damaged with its bottom and most of the left-hand side missing; the text was composed in two columns on each side consisting of some 300-400 lines. What remains is fragmentary; the missing portions consist of most of the first and fourth columns, along with the bottom of the second and the top of the third. There appears to have been a colophon at the bottom of the tablet, but it too is missing. Although the writing is of a good standard, the copying was decidedly imperfect and the scribe made a number of errors that are visible in the text; the tablet was acquired by the British Museum in 1879 from the antiquities dealers Co.. Its original place of discovery is unknown, though it has been presumed that it came from the ruins of Babylon, it represents part of an official collection of annals in the possession of the Achaemenid governors of Babylon.
The text, known at the time as "the Annals of Nabonidus", was first discussed in print by Sir Henry Rawlinson in the Athenaeum magazine of 14 February 1880, with the first English transliteration and translation being published two years by Professor T. G. Pinches in the Transactions of the Society for Biblical Archaeology, it has since been translated by a number of scholars, notably Sidney Smith, A. Leo Oppenheim, Albert Kirk Grayson, Jean-Jacques Glassner, Amélie Kuhrt; the text of the chronicle begins with the accession of Nabonidus in 556 BC, though the start of the text is so poorly preserved that none of this portion is legible. It mentions campaigns by Nabonidus against a place named Hume and unnamed localities in "the West". Cyrus's pillaging of Ecbatana, the capital of Astyages, is recorded in the sixth year of the reign of Nabonidus; the chronicle goes on to describe in several entries the self-imposed exile of Nabonidus in the Arabian oasis of Tema and the disruption that this caused to the Akitu festival for a period of ten years.
The king left Babylonia administered by his son, Bel-shar-usur. The eighth year is purposefully left blank. Another campaign by Cyrus is recorded in the ninth year representing his attack on Lydia and capture of Sardis. Much of the rest of the text is fragmentary. A possible reference to fighting and Persia appears in what is the entry for the sixteenth year. A long surviving section describes the events of Nabonidus's seventeenth and final year as king, when Cyrus invaded and conquered Babylonia; the celebration of the Akitu festival is recorded. The chronicle provides no information on why Cyrus chose to invade Babylonia at that time but records that the gods of various cities "entered Babylon" referring to an in-gathering of cultic statues in advance of the Persian invasion – a measure taken by Nabonidus to prevent the Persians capturing the divine idols, it provides a terse description of the Battle of Opis, in which the Persians decisively defeated Nabonidus's army, massacred the retreating Babylonians and took a great haul of loot.
The Persian army went on to capture the cities of Sippar and Babylon itself without further conflict. Cyrus is reported to have been received with joy by the city's inhabitants and appointed local governors; the gods, brought to Babylon were returned to their home cities on the orders of Cyrus. The legible portion of the text ends with a lengthy period of mourning for the deceased king's wife and a mention of Cambyses, the son of Cyrus. Only a few scattered words are legible in the remainder of the tablet; the Nabonidus Chronicle appears to have been composed by the priests of Marduk, the chief god of Babylon. It has been characterised as "a piece of propaganda at Cyrus's servi
Akkadian is an extinct East Semitic language, spoken in ancient Mesopotamia from the 30th century BC until its gradual replacement by Akkadian-influenced Old Aramaic among Mesopotamians by the eighth century BC. It is the earliest attested Semitic language, it used the cuneiform script, used to write the unrelated, extinct, Sumerian. Akkadian was named after the city of Akkad, a major centre of Mesopotamian civilization during the Akkadian Empire, but the language itself precedes the founding of Akkad by many centuries, being first attested in the 29th century BC; the mutual influence between Sumerian and Akkadian had led scholars to describe the languages as a Sprachbund. Akkadian proper names were first attested in Sumerian texts from around the mid 3rd-millennium BC. From the second half of the third millennium BC, texts written in Akkadian begin to appear. Hundreds of thousands of texts and text fragments have been excavated to date, covering a vast textual tradition of mythological narrative, legal texts, scientific works, correspondence and military events, many other examples.
By the second millennium BC, two variant forms of the language were in use in Assyria and Babylonia, known as Assyrian and Babylonian respectively. For centuries, Akkadian was the native language in Mesopotamian nations such as Assyria and Babylonia; because of the might of various Mesopotamian empires, such as the Akkadian Empire, Old Assyrian Empire and Middle Assyrian Empire, Akkadian became the lingua franca of much of the Ancient Near East. However, it began to decline during the Neo-Assyrian Empire around the eighth century BC, being marginalized by Aramaic during the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III. By the Hellenistic period, the language was confined to scholars and priests working in temples in Assyria and Babylonia; the last known Akkadian cuneiform document dates from the first century AD. Neo-Mandaic spoken by the Mandaeans, Assyrian Neo-Aramaic spoken by the Assyrian people, are two of the few modern Semitic languages that contain some Akkadian vocabulary and grammatical features. Akkadian is a fusional language with grammatical case.
The Kültepe texts, which were written in Old Assyrian, include Hittite loanwords and names, which constitute the oldest record of any language of the Indo-European languages. Akkadian belongs with the other Semitic languages in the Near Eastern branch of the Afroasiatic languages, a family native to the Middle East, Arabian Peninsula, parts of Anatolia, North Africa, Canary Islands and spread to the Horn of Africa by the eighth century BC, which later spread further to parts of West Africa. Akkadian and its successor Aramaic however are only attested in Mesopotamia and the Near East. Within the Near Eastern Semitic languages, Akkadian forms an East Semitic subgroup; this group distinguishes itself from the Northwest and South Semitic languages by its subject–object–verb, while the other Semitic languages have either a verb–subject–object or subject–verb–object order. This novel word order is due to the influence of the Sumerian substratum. Additionally Akkadian is the only Semitic language to use the prepositions ana.
Other Semitic languages like Arabic and Aramaic have the prepositions bi/bə and li/lə. The origin of the Akkadian spatial prepositions is unknown. In contrast to most other Semitic languages, Akkadian has only one non-sibilant fricative: ḫ. Akkadian lost both the glottal and pharyngeal fricatives, which are characteristic of the other Semitic languages; until the Old Babylonian period, the Akkadian sibilants were affricated. Old Akkadian is preserved on clay tablets dating back to c. 2500 BC. It was written using cuneiform, a script adopted from the Sumerians using wedge-shaped symbols pressed in wet clay; as employed by Akkadian scribes, the adapted cuneiform script could represent either Sumerian logograms, Sumerian syllables, Akkadian syllables, or phonetic complements. However, in Akkadian the script became a fledged syllabic script, the original logographic nature of cuneiform became secondary, though logograms for frequent words such as'god' and'temple' continued to be used. For this reason, the sign AN can on the one hand be a logogram for the word ilum and on the other signify the god Anu or the syllable -an-.
Additionally, this sign was used as a determinative for divine names. Another peculiarity of Akkadian cuneiform is that many signs do not have a well-defined phonetic value. Certain signs, such as AḪ, do not distinguish between the different vowel qualities. Nor is there any coordination in the other direction. Both of these are used for the same syllable in the same text. Cuneiform was in many ways unsuited to Akkadian: among its flaws was its inability to represent important phonemes in Semitic, including a glottal stop and emphatic consonants. In addition, cuneiform was a syllabary writing system—i.e. A consonant plus vowel comprised one writing unit—frequently inappropriate for a Semitic language made up of triconsonantal roots. Akkadian is divided into several varieties based on geography and historical period: Old Akkadian, 2500–1950 BC Old Babylonian and
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Tyre, sometimes romanized as Sour, is a district capital in the South Governorate of Lebanon. There were 117,000 inhabitants in 2003. However, the government of Lebanon has released only rough estimates of population numbers since 1932, so an accurate statistical accounting is not possible. Tyre is located about 80 km south of Beirut; the name of the city means "rock" after the rocky formation on which the town was built. The adjective for Tyre is Tyrian, the inhabitants are Tyrians. Tyre is the legendary birthplace of Europa and Dido. Today it is the fourth largest city in Lebanon after Beirut, Tripoli and Sidon. and houses one of the nation's major ports. Tourism is a major industry; the city has a number of ancient sites, including its Roman Hippodrome, added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1979. Tyre consisted of two distinct urban centres: Tyre itself, on an island just off shore, the associated settlement of Ushu on the adjacent mainland. Alexander the Great connected the island to the mainland by constructing a causeway during his siege of the city, demolishing the old city to reuse its cut stone.
The original island city had two harbours, one on the south side and the other on the north side of the island. It was the two harbours; the harbour on the south side has silted over. In ancient times, the island-city of Tyre was fortified and the mainland settlement called Ushu was more like a line of suburbs than any one city and was used as a source of water and timber for the main island city. Josephus records that the two fought against each other on occasion, but most of the time, they supported one another because they both benefited from the island city's wealth from maritime trade and the mainland area's source of timber and burial grounds. According to Herodotus, Tyre was founded around 2750 BC and built as a walled city upon the mainland. Tyre's name appears on monuments as early as 1300 BC. Philo of Byblos quotes the antiquarian authority Sanchuniathon as stating that it was first occupied by Hypsuranius. Sanchuniathon's work is said to be dedicated to "Abibalus king of Berytus"—possibly the Abibaal, king of Tyre.
There are ten Amarna letters dated 1350 BC from the mayor, written to Akenaten. The subject is water and the Habiru overtaking the countryside of the mainland and how that affected the island-city. Commerce from throughout ancient world was gathered into the warehouses of Tyre. Tyrian merchants were the first. Tyre became one of the more powerful cities in Phoenicia. One of its kings, the priest Ithobaal, ruled Phoenicia as far north as Beirut, part of Cyprus. Carthage was founded in 814 BC under Pygmalion of Tyre; the collection of city-states constituting Phoenicia came to be characterized by outsiders and the Phoenicians as Sidonia or Tyria. Phoenicians and Canaanites alike were called Sidonians or Tyrians, as one Phoenician city came to prominence after another; the city of Tyre was known for the production of a rare and extraordinarily expensive sort of purple dye, produced from the murex shellfish, known as Tyrian purple. The colour was, in ancient cultures, reserved for the use of royalty or at least the nobility.
Phoenicians from Tyre settled in houses around Memphis in Egypt, south of the temple of Hephaestus in a district called the Tyrian Camp. Tyre was attacked by Egypt and was besieged by Assyrian king Shalmaneser V, assisted by the Phoenicians of the mainland, for five years. From 586 until 573 BC, the city was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon until it agreed to pay a tribute; the Achaemenid Empire of King Cyrus the Great conquered the city in 539 BC and kept it under its rule until 332 BC. The Persians divided Phoenicia into four vassal kingdoms: Sidon, Tyre and Byblos, they prospered. Phoenician influence declined after this. After his conquest of Persia, Alexander the Great moved his armies south towards Lebanon sieging and sacking the City of Tyre. Alexander the Great connected the island to the mainland by constructing a causeway during his siege of the city in 332 BC, demolishing the old city to reuse its cut stone. In 315 BC, Alexander's former general Antigonus began his own siege of Tyre, taking the city a year later.
In 126 BC, Tyre regained its independence from the Seleucid Empire. Tyre was allowed to keep much of its independence, as a "civitas foederata", when the area became a Roman province in 64 BC. Tyre continued to maintain much of its commercial importance until the Common Era; the Tyrians, or "people of Tyre" during the Roman period, extended their areas of hegemony over the adjoining regions, such as in northern Palestine region, settling in cities such as Kedesh, Mount Carmel and north of Baca. It is stated in the New Testament that Jesus