William Henry Smyth
Admiral William Henry Smyth KFM DCL FRS FRAS FRGS FSA was an English naval officer, hydrographer and numismatist. He is noted for his involvement in the history of a number of learned societies, for his hydrographic charts, for his astronomical work. William Smyth was born at 42 Great Peter Street, Westminster and he was the only son of Joseph Smyth and Georgina Caroline Pitt Pilkington, granddaughter of the Irish writer Laetitia Pilkington and her husband Matthew Pilkington, both protégés of Jonathan Swift. William Smyths father, Joseph Brewer Palmer Smyth, was born in 1737 in New Jersey, Joseph was a colonial American and a merchant and land owner in Knowlton, New Jersey. He was a British loyalist and in January 1777 he was commissioned as Lt in the Kings Royal Regiment of New York, however, he escaped to Niagara at the start of the American Revolution. In November 1778 he sailed for New York, but was captured and he eventually reached Falmouth, Cornwall, in January,1779 in a most forlorn condition and suffering from fever and smallpox.
In 1780 he married Georgina Pilkington in England and he was in Niagara in 1788. William Smyth, his son, was born on 21 January 1788, williams half brother was the famous painter and traveller Augustus Earle. William Smyth married Eliza Anne Annarella Warington in Messina on 7 October 1815, Smyth and Annarella had eleven children between 1816 and 1835. Their three sons were Charles Piazzi Smyth, Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth and General Sir Henry Augustus Smyth. Of their eight daughters, two died young, a married and died aged 20, another died at 20, unmarried. Their other three daughters were Henrietta Grace, who married Rev. Henry Toynbee and sailed out to Australia as a bride in 1855 and she died childless in 1881 aged 52 after a long illness. Smyth suffered an attack at his home near Aylesbury in early September 1865. On 8 September he showed the planet Jupiter to his grandson, Arthur Smyth Flower. He died a few later, in the early morning of the 9 September 1865. He was buried in the churchyard at Stone near Aylesbury, at the age of 14 Smyth ran away to join the merchant marine.
In 1804 he was in the East India Companys ship Marquis Cornwallis, in February 1808 he followed Johnston to the Powerful, which, on returning to England, was part of the force in the expedition to the Scheldt, and was paid off in October 1809. Smyth afterwards served in the 74-gun Milford on the coast of France and Spain, in July 1811 he joined Rodney off Toulon, and through 1812 served on the coast of Spain
Alexandria is the second largest city and a major economic centre in Egypt, extending about 32 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is Egypts largest seaport, serving approximately 80% of Egypts imports and exports and it is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is an important tourist destination, Alexandria was founded around a small Ancient Egyptian town c.331 BC by Alexander the Great. Alexandria was the second most powerful city of the ancient world after Rome, Alexandria is believed to have been founded by Alexander the Great in April 331 BC as Ἀλεξάνδρεια. Alexanders chief architect for the project was Dinocrates, Alexandria was intended to supersede Naucratis as a Hellenistic center in Egypt, and to be the link between Greece and the rich Nile valley. The city and its museum attracted many of the greatest scholars, including Greeks, the city was plundered and lost its significance.
Just east of Alexandria, there was in ancient times marshland, as early as the 7th century BC, there existed important port cities of Canopus and Heracleion. The latter was rediscovered under water. An Egyptian city, already existed on the shore and it continued to exist as the Egyptian quarter of the city. A few months after the foundation, Alexander left Egypt and never returned to his city, after Alexanders departure, his viceroy, continued the expansion. Although Cleomenes was mainly in charge of overseeing Alexandrias continuous development, the Heptastadion, inheriting the trade of ruined Tyre and becoming the center of the new commerce between Europe and the Arabian and Indian East, the city grew in less than a generation to be larger than Carthage. In a century, Alexandria had become the largest city in the world and and it became Egypts main Greek city, with Greek people from diverse backgrounds. Alexandria was not only a center of Hellenism, but was home to the largest urban Jewish community in the world.
The Septuagint, a Greek version of the Tanakh, was produced there, in AD115, large parts of Alexandria were destroyed during the Kitos War, which gave Hadrian and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity to rebuild it. On 21 July 365, Alexandria was devastated by a tsunami, the Islamic prophet, Muhammads first interaction with the people of Egypt occurred in 628, during the Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha. He sent Hatib bin Abi Baltaeh with a letter to the king of Egypt and Alexandria called Muqawqis In the letter Muhammad said, I invite you to accept Islam, Allah the sublime, shall reward you doubly. But if you refuse to do so, you bear the burden of the transgression of all the Copts
Ionia is an ancient region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey, the region nearest İzmir, which was historically Smyrna. It consisted of the northernmost territories of the Ionian League of Greek settlements, never a unified state, it was named after the Ionian tribe who, in the Archaic Period, settled mainly the shores and islands of the Aegean Sea. Ionian states were identified by tradition and by their use of Eastern Greek and it was bounded by Aeolia to the north, Lydia to the east and Caria to the south. The cities within the region figured large in the strife between the Persian Empire and the Greeks, according to Greek tradition, the cities of Ionia were founded by colonists from the other side of the Aegean. Their settlement was connected with the history of the Ionic people in Attica, which asserts that the colonists were led by Neleus and Androclus, sons of Codrus. So intricate is the coastline that the voyage along its shores was estimated at four times the direct distance. A great part of area was, occupied by mountains.
None of these mountains attains a height of more than 1,200 metres, the geography of Ionia placed it in a strategic position that was both advantageous and disadvantageous. Ionia was always a maritime power founded by a people who made their living by trade in peaceful times, the coast was rocky and the arable land slight. The native Luwians for the most part kept their fields further inland, the coastal cities were placed in defensible positions on islands or headlands situated so as to control inland routes up the rift valleys. The people of those valleys were of different ethnicity, the populations of the cities came from many civilizations in the eastern Mediterranean. Ancient demographics are available only from literary sources, Herodotus states that in Asia the Ionians kept the division into twelve cities that had prevailed in Ionian lands of the north Peloponnese, their former homeland, which became Achaea after they left. These Asian cities were Miletus, Priene, Colophon, Teos, Erythrae and Phocaea, together with Samos and Chios.
Smyrna, originally an Aeolic colony, was occupied by Ionians from Colophon. These cities do not match those of Achaea, the Achaea of Herodotus time spoke Doric, but in Homer it is portrayed as being in the kingdom of Mycenae, which most likely spoke Mycenaean Greek, which is not Doric. If the Ionians came from Achaea, they departed during or after the change from East Greek to West Greek there, Mycenaean continued to evolve in the mountainous region of Arcadia. Miletus and some other cities founded earlier by non-Greeks received populations of Mycenaean Greeks probably under the name of Achaeans, the tradition of Ionian colonizers from Achaea suggests that they may have been known by both names even then. In the Indian historic literary texts, the Ionians are referred to as yavanar or yona, in modern Turkish, the people of that region were called yunan and the country that is now Greece is known as Yunanistan
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, the earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC, Cyprus was placed under British administration based on Cyprus Convention in 1878 and formally annexed by Britain in 1914. While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders, following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. On 15 July 1974, a coup détat was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis and these events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute.
The Cyprus Republic has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus, as well as its territorial sea and exclusive economic area, another nearly 4% of the islands area is covered by the UN buffer zone. The international community considers the part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed as illegal under law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean, on 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone. The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the 15th century BC Mycenaean Greek
Together with the Bosphorus, the Dardanelles forms the Turkish Straits. The English name Dardanelles derives from Dardanus, an ancient city on the Asian shore of the strait which in turn takes its name from Dardanus, the ancient Greek name Ἑλλήσποντος means Sea of Helle, and was the ancient name of the narrow strait. It was variously named in classical literature Hellespontium Pelagus, Rectum Hellesponticum and it was so called from Helle, the daughter of Athamas, who was drowned here in the mythology of the Golden Fleece. The Marmara further connects to the Black Sea via the Bosphorus, the strait is located at approximately 40°13′N 26°26′E. The strait is 61 kilometres long, and 1.2 to 6 kilometres wide, water flows in both directions along the strait, from the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean via a surface current, and in the opposite direction via an undercurrent. The Dardanelles is unique in many respects, the very narrow and winding shape of the strait is more akin to that of a river. It is considered one of the most hazardous, difficult, the currents produced by the tidal action in the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara are such that ships under sail must await at anchorage for the right conditions before entering the Dardanelles.
It is a sea access route for numerous countries, including Russia. The ancient city of Troy was located near the entrance of the strait. Troy was able to control the traffic entering this vital waterway. Herodotus tells us that, circa 482 BC, Xerxes I had two bridges built across the width of the Hellespont at Abydos, in order that his huge army could cross from Persia into Greece. This crossing was named by Aeschylus in his tragedy The Persians as the cause of divine intervention against Xerxes, according to Herodotus, both bridges were destroyed by a storm and Xerxes had those responsible for building the bridges beheaded and the strait itself whipped. The Histories of Herodotus vii. 33–37 and vii. 54–58 give details of building and crossing of Xerxes Pontoon Bridges. Xerxes is said to have thrown fetters into the strait, Herodotus commented that this was a highly presumptuous way to address the Hellespont but in no way atypical of Xerxes. Harpalus the engineer eventually helped the invading armies to cross by lashing the ships together with their bows facing the current and, so it is said, two additional anchors.
From the perspective of ancient Greek mythology, it was said that Helle, the Dardanelles were vital to the defence of Constantinople during the Byzantine period. Also, the Dardanelles was an important source of income for the ruler of the region, at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum a marble plate contains a law by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I, that regulated fees for passage through the customs office of the Dardanelles. Whoever dares to violate these regulations shall no longer be regarded as a friend, the administrator of the Dardanelles must have the right to receive 50 golden Litrons, so that these rules, which we make out of piety, shall never ever be violated
During the Hellenistic period the importance of Greece proper within the Greek-speaking world declined sharply. The great centers of Hellenistic culture were Alexandria and Antioch, capitals of Ptolemaic Egypt, cities such as Pergamon, Ephesus and Seleucia were important, and increasing urbanization of the Eastern Mediterranean was characteristic of the time. The quests of Alexander had a number of consequences for the Greek city-states and it greatly widened the horizons of the Greeks, making the endless conflicts between the cities which had marked the 5th and 4th centuries BC seem petty and unimportant. It led to a steady emigration, particularly of the young and ambitious, the Greeks valued their local independence too much to consider actual unification, but they made several attempts to form federations through which they could hope to reassert their independence. Following Alexanders death a struggle for power broke out among his generals, which resulted in the break-up of his empire, Macedon fell to Cassander, son of Alexanders leading general Antipater, who after several years of warfare made himself master of most of the rest of Greece.
He founded a new Macedonian capital at Thessaloniki and was generally a constructive ruler, Cassanders power was challenged by Antigonus, ruler of Anatolia, who promised the Greek cities that he would restore their freedom if they supported him. This led to successful revolts against Cassanders local rulers, in 307 BC, Antigonuss son Demetrius captured Athens and restored its democratic system, which had been suppressed by Alexander. But in 301 BC a coalition of Cassander and the other Hellenistic kings defeated Antigonus at the Battle of Ipsus, after Cassanders death in 298 BC, Demetrius seized the Macedonian throne and gained control of most of Greece. He was defeated by a coalition of Greek rulers in 285 BC. Lysimachus was in turn defeated and killed in 280 BC, the Macedonian throne passed to Demetriuss son Antigonus II, who defeated an invasion of the Greek lands by the Gauls, who at this time were living in the Balkans. The battle against the Gauls united the Antigonids of Macedon and the Seleucids of Antioch, an alliance which was directed against the wealthiest Hellenistic power.
Antigonus II ruled until his death in 239 BC, and his family retained the Macedonian throne until it was abolished by the Romans in 146 BC. Their control over the Greek city states was intermittent, since other rulers, particularly the Ptolemies, Sparta remained independent, but generally refused to join any league. In 267 BC, Ptolemy II persuaded the Greek cities to revolt against Antigonus, in became the Chremonidian War. The cities were defeated and Athens lost her independence and her democratic institutions, the Aetolian League was restricted to the Peloponnese, but on being allowed to gain control of Thebes in 245 BC became a Macedonian ally. This marked the end of Athens as a actor, although it remained the largest and most cultivated city in Greece. In 255 BC, Antigonus defeated the Egyptian fleet at Cos and brought the Aegean islands, except Rhodes, in spite of their decreased political power and autonomy, the Greek city state or polis continued to be the basic form of political and social organization in Greece.
Classical city states such as Athens and Ephesus grew and even thrived in this period, the Aetolians and the Achaeans developed strong federal states or leagues, which were governed by councils of city representatives and assemblies of league citizens
Epirus (ancient state)
Epirus was an ancient Greek state, located in the geographical region of Epirus in the western Balkans. The homeland of the ancient Epirotes was bordered by the Aetolian League to the south and Macedonia to the east, and Illyrian tribes to the north. For a brief period, the Epirote king Pyrrhus managed to make Epirus the most powerful state in the Greek world, Epirus has been occupied since at least Neolithic times by seafarers along the coast and by hunters and shepherds in the interior who brought with them the Greek language. These people buried their leaders in large tumuli containing shaft graves, similar to the Mycenaean tombs, the Dorians invaded Greece from Epirus and Macedonia at the end of the 2nd millennium BC, though the reasons for their migration are obscure. The regions original inhabitants were driven southward into the Greek mainland by the invasion and these were the Chaonians of northwestern Epirus, the Molossians in the center, and the Thesprotians in the south. The Molossian Aeacidae dynasty managed to create the first centralized state in Epirus from about 370 BC onwards and she was to become the mother of Alexander the Great.
On the death of Arybbas, Alexander the Molossian, uncle of Alexander the Great of Macedon, after some successes on the battlefield, he was defeated by a coalition of Italic tribes at the Battle of Pandosia in 331 BC. In 330 BC, upon Alexander the Molossians death, the term Epirus appears as a political unit in the ancient Greek records for the first time. Subsequently, the coinages of the three major Epirote tribal groups came to an end, and a new coinage was issued with the legend Epirotes. After Alexanders I death, Aeacides of Epirus, who succeeded him, espoused the cause of Olympias against Cassander, aeacidess son Pyrrhus came to the throne in 295 BC. Pyrrhus, being a general, was encouraged to aid the Greeks of Tarentum and decided to initiate a major offensive in the Italian peninsula. Due to its martial abilities, the Epirote army defeated the Romans in the Battle of Heraclea. Subsequently, Pyrrhuss forces nearly reached the outskirts of Rome, but had to retreat to avoid a conflict with a more numerous Roman army.
The following year, Pyrrhus invaded Apulia and the two met in the Battle of Asculum where the Epirotes won the original Pyrrhic victory. In 277 BC, Pyrrhus captured the Carthaginian fortress in Eryx and this prompted the rest of the Carthaginian-controlled cities to defect to Pyrrhus. Meanwhile, he had begun to display despotic behavior towards the Sicilian Greeks, though he defeated the Carthaginians in battle, he was forced to abandon Sicily. Pyrrhuss Italian campaign came to an end following the inconclusive Battle of Beneventum, having lost the vast majority of his army, he decided to return to Epirus, which finally resulted in the loss of all his Italian holdings. Because of his victories, the term Pyrrhic victory is often used for a victory with devastating cost to the victor
The Aegean Sea is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas, i. e. between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles, the Aegean Islands are within the sea and some bound it on its southern periphery, including Crete and Rhodes. The sea was known as Archipelago, but in English this words meaning has changed to refer to the Aegean Islands and, generally. In ancient times, there were various explanations for the name Aegean, a possible etymology is a derivation from the Greek word αἶγες – aiges = waves, hence wavy sea, cf. αἰγιαλός, hence meaning sea-shore. The Venetians, who ruled many Greek islands in the High and Late Middle Ages, popularized the name Archipelago, in some South Slavic languages the Aegean is often called White Sea. The Aegean Sea covers about 214,000 square kilometres in area, the seas maximum depth is 3,543 metres, east of Crete. The Aegean Islands are found within its waters, with the following islands delimiting the sea on the south, Antikythera, Kasos, many of the Aegean Islands, or chains of islands, are actually extensions of the mountains on the mainland.
One chain extends across the sea to Chios, another extends across Euboea to Samos, the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Aegean Sea as follows, On the South. In the Dardanelles. A line joining Kum Kale and Cape Helles, the dense Mediterranean water sinks below the Black Sea inflow to a depth of 23–30 metres, flows through the Dardanelles Strait and into the Sea of Marmara at velocities of 5–15 cm/s. The Black Sea outflow moves westward along the northern Aegean Sea, Aegean Sea Intermediate Water – Aegean Sea Intermediate Water extends from 40–50 m to 200–300 metres with temperatures ranging from 11–18 °C. Aegean Sea Bottom Water – occurring at depths below 500–1000 m with a uniform temperature. The current coastline dates back to about 4000 BC, before that time, at the peak of the last ice age sea levels everywhere were 130 metres lower, and there were large well-watered coastal plains instead of much of the northern Aegean. When they were first occupied, the islands including Milos with its important obsidian production were probably still connected to the mainland.
The present coastal arrangement appeared c.7000 BC, with post-ice age sea levels continuing to rise for another 3,000 years after that, the subsequent Bronze Age civilizations of Greece and the Aegean Sea have given rise to the general term Aegean civilization. In ancient times, the sea was the birthplace of two ancient civilizations – the Minoans of Crete and the Mycenean Civilization of the Peloponnese, arose the city-states of Athens and Sparta among many others that constituted the Athenian Empire and Hellenic Civilization. Plato described the Greeks living round the Aegean like frogs around a pond, the Aegean Sea was invaded by the Persians and the Romans, and inhabited by the Byzantine Empire, the Bulgarians, the Venetians, the Genoese, the Seljuq Turks, and the Ottoman Empire. The Aegean was the site of the democracies, and its seaways were the means of contact among several diverse civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean. Many of the islands in the Aegean have safe harbours and bays, in ancient times, navigation through the sea was easier than travelling across the rough terrain of the Greek mainland
Classical Greece was a period of around 200 years in Greek culture. This Classical period saw the annexation of much of modern-day Greece by the Persian Empire, Classical Greece had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire and on the foundations of western civilization. Much of modern Western politics, artistic thought, scientific thought, literature, in the context of the art and culture of Ancient Greece, the Classical period, sometimes called the Hellenic period, corresponds to most of the 5th and 4th centuries BC. The Classical period in this sense follows the Archaic period and is in turn succeeded by the Hellenistic period and this century is essentially studied from the Athenian outlook because Athens has left us more narratives and other written works than the other ancient Greek states. From the perspective of Athenian culture in Classical Greece, the period referred to as the 5th century BC extends slightly into the 4th century BC. In this context, one might consider that the first significant event of this occurs in 508 BC, with the fall of the last Athenian tyrant.
However, a view of the whole Greek world might place its beginning at the Ionian Revolt of 500 BC. The Persians were defeated in 490 BC, the Delian League formed, under Athenian hegemony and as Athens instrument. Athens excesses caused several revolts among the cities, all of which were put down by force. After both forces were spent, a brief peace came about, the war resumed to Spartas advantage, Athens was definitively defeated in 404 BC, and internal Athenian agitations mark the end of the 5th century BC in Greece. Since its beginning, Sparta had been ruled by a diarchy and this meant that Sparta had two kings ruling concurrently throughout its entire history. The two kingships were both hereditary, vested in the Agiad dynasty and the Eurypontid dynasty, according to legend, the respective hereditary lines of these two dynasties sprang from Eurysthenes and Procles, twin descendants of Hercules. They were said to have conquered Sparta two generations after the Trojan War, in 510 BC, Spartan troops helped the Athenians overthrow their king, the tyrant Hippias, son of Peisistratos.
Cleomenes I, king of Sparta, put in place a pro-Spartan oligarchy headed by Isagoras, but his rival Cleisthenes, with the support of the middle class and aided by democrats, took over. Cleomenes intervened in 508 and 506 BC, but could not stop Cleisthenes, through his reforms, the people endowed their city with isonomic institutions — i. e. with equal rights for all —and established ostracism. The isonomic and isegoric democracy was first organized into about 130 demes, the 10,000 citizens exercised their power as members of the assembly, headed by a council of 500 citizens chosen at random. The territory of the city was divided into thirty trittyes as follows, ten trittyes in the coastal region ten trittyes in the ἄστυ. A tribe consisted of three trittyes, selected at random, one each of the three groups
The Ionian Sea is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea, south of the Adriatic Sea. It is bounded by southern Italy including Calabria and the Salento peninsula to the west, southern Albania to the north, all major islands in the sea belong to Greece. They are collectively referred to as the Ionian Islands, the ones being Corfu, Kephalonia, Ithaca. There are ferry routes between Patras and Igoumenitsa and Brindisi and Ancona, that cross the east and north of the Ionian Sea, and from Piraeus westward. Calypso Deep, the deepest point in the Mediterranean at −5,267 m, is located in the Ionian Sea, the sea is one of the most seismically active areas in the world. The name Ionian comes from the Greek language Ἰόνιον, Ancient Greek writers, especially Aeschylus, linked it to the myth of Io. In Ancient Greek the adjective Ionios was used as an epithet for the sea because Io swam across it, according to the Oxford Classical Dictionary, the name may derive from Ionians who sailed to the West.
There were narratives about other eponymic legendary figures, according to one version, Ionius was a son of Adrias, according to another, Ionius was a son of Dyrrhachus. When Dyrrhachus was attacked by his own brothers, who was passing through the area, came to his aid, the corpse was cast into the sea, which thereafter was called the Ionian Sea. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Ionian Sea as follows, On the North. A line running from the mouth of the Butrinto River in Albania, to Cape Karagol in Corfu, along the North Coast of Corfu to Cape Kephali, from the mouth of the Butrinto River in Albania down the coast of the mainland to Cape Matapan. A line from Cape Matapan to Cape Passero, the Southern point of Sicily, the East coast of Sicily and the Southeast coast of Italy to Cape Santa Maria di Leuca
History of Athens
Athens is one of the oldest named cities in the world, having been continuously inhabited for at least 5000 years. Following a period of decline under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The name of Athens, connected to the name of its patron goddess Athena, the etiological myth explaining how Athens acquired this name through the legendary contest between Poseidon and Athena was described by Herodotus, Ovid, Plutarch and others. It even became the theme of the sculpture on the West pediment of the Parthenon, both Athena and Poseidon requested to be patrons of the city and to give their name to it, so they competed with one another for the honour, offering the city one gift each. Poseidon produced a spring by striking the ground with his trident, Athena created the olive tree, symbolizing peace and prosperity. The Athenians, under their ruler Cecrops, accepted the olive tree, a sacred olive tree said to be the one created by the goddess was still kept on the Acropolis at the time of Pausanias. It was located by the temple of Pandrosus, next to the Parthenon, according to Herodotus, the tree had been burnt down during the Persian Wars, but a shoot sprung from the stump.
The Greeks saw this as a symbol that Athena still had her there on the city. Plato, in his dialogue Cratylus, offers his own etymology of Athenas name connecting it to the phrase ἁ θεονόα or hē theoû nóēsis. The site on which Athens stands was first inhabited in the Neolithic period, perhaps as a settlement on top of the Acropolis. The Acropolis is a defensive position which commands the surrounding plains. The settlement was about 20 km inland from the Saronic Gulf, in the centre of the Cephisian Plain, to the east lies Mount Hymettus, to the north Mount Pentelicus. Ancient Athens, in the first millennium BC, occupied a small area compared to the sprawling metropolis of modern Greece. The Acropolis was situated just south of the centre of this walled area, the Agora, the commercial and social centre of the city, lay about 400 m north of the Acropolis, in what is now the Monastiraki district. The hill of the Pnyx, where the Athenian Assembly met, the Eridanus river flowed through the city. One of the most important religious sites in ancient Athens was the Temple of Athena, known today as the Parthenon, which stood on top of the Acropolis, where its evocative ruins still stand.
Two other major sites, the Temple of Hephaestus and the Temple of Olympian Zeus or Olympeion lay within the city walls. According to Thucydides, the Athenian citizens at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War numbered 40,000, making with their families a total of 140,000 people in all
Pliny the Elder
In the latter number will be my uncle, by virtue of his own and of your compositions. Pliny is referring to the fact that Tacitus relied on his uncles now missing work on the History of the German Wars. The wind caused by the sixth and largest pyroclastic surge of the eruption would not allow his ship to leave the shore, and Pliny probably died during this event. Plinys dates are pinned to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79 and a statement of his nephew that he died in his 56th year, Pliny was the son of an equestrian, Gaius Plinius Celer, and his wife, Marcella. Neither the younger nor the elder Pliny mention the names and their ultimate source is a fragmentary inscription found in a field in Verona and recorded by the 16th century Augustinian monk Onofrio Panvinio at Verona. The reading of the inscription depends on the reconstruction, but in all cases the names come through, whether he was an augur and whether she was named Grania Marcella are less certain. Jean Hardouin presents a statement from a source that he claims was ancient, that Pliny was from Verona.
Hardouin cites the conterraneity of Catullus, additional efforts to connect Celer and Marcella with other gentes are highly speculative. Hardouin is the scholar to use his unknown source. He kept statues of his ancestors there, a statue of Pliny on the facade of the Duomo of Como celebrates him as a native son. He had a sister, who married into the Caecilii and was the mother of his nephew, Pliny the Younger, whose letters describe his work and study regimen in detail. In one of his letters to Tacitus, Pliny the Younger details how his uncles breakfasts would be light and simple following the customs of our forefathers. This shows that Pliny the Younger wanted it to be conveyed that Pliny the Elder was a good Roman and this statement would have pleased Tacitus. Two inscriptions identifying the hometown of Pliny the Younger as Como take precedence over the Verona theory, one commemorates the youngers career as imperial magistrate and details his considerable charitable and municipal expenses on behalf of the people of Como.
Another identifies his father Lucius village as Fecchio near Como and it is likely therefore that Plinia was a local girl and Pliny the Elder, her brother, was from Como. Gaius was a member of the Plinii gens and he did not take his fathers cognomen, but assumed his own, Secundus. As his adopted son took the same cognomen, Pliny founded a branch, no earlier instances of the Plinii are known. In 59 BC, only about 82 years before Plinys birth, Julius Caesar founded Novum Comum as a colonia to secure the region against the Alpine tribes, whom he had been unable to defeat