Thucydides was an Athenian historian and general. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC and his text is still studied at both universities and military colleges worldwide. The Melian dialogue remains a work of international relations theory while Pericles Funeral Oration is widely studied in political theory, history. More generally, Thucydides showed an interest in developing an understanding of nature to explain behaviour in such crises as plague, massacres, as in that of the Melians. In spite of his stature as a historian, modern historians know relatively little about Thucydidess life, the most reliable information comes from his own History of the Peloponnesian War, which expounds his nationality and native locality. Thucydides informs us that he fought in the war, contracted the plague and was exiled by the democracy and he may have been involved in quelling the Samian Revolt. Thucydides identifies himself as an Athenian, telling us that his fathers name was Olorus and he survived the Plague of Athens that killed Pericles and many other Athenians.
He records that he owned gold mines at Scapte Hyle, because of his influence in the Thracian region, Thucydides wrote, he was sent as a strategos to Thasos in 424 BC. During the winter of 424–423 BC, the Spartan general Brasidas attacked Amphipolis, the Athenian commander at Amphipolis, sent to Thucydides for help. Thus, when Thucydides arrived, Amphipolis was already under Spartan control, Amphipolis was of considerable strategic importance, and news of its fall caused great consternation in Athens. It was blamed on Thucydides, although he claimed that it was not his fault, using his status as an exile from Athens to travel freely among the Peloponnesian allies, he was able to view the war from the perspective of both sides. During his exile from Athens, Thucydides wrote his most famous work History of the Peloponnesian War, because he was in exile during this time, he was free to speak his mind. This is all that Thucydides wrote about his own life, but a few facts are available from reliable contemporary sources.
Herodotus wrote that the name Olorus, Thucydidess fathers name, was connected with Thrace, Thucydides was probably connected through family to the Athenian statesman and general Miltiades, and his son Cimon, leaders of the old aristocracy supplanted by the Radical Democrats. Cimons maternal grandfathers name was Olorus, making the connection exceedingly likely, another Thucydides lived before the historian and was linked with Thrace, making a family connection between them very likely as well. Finally, Herodotus confirms the connection of Thucydidess family with the mines at Scapté Hýlē, in essence, he was a well-connected gentleman of considerable resources who, by retired from the political and military spheres, decided to fund his own historical project. The remaining evidence for Thucydidess life comes from rather less reliable ancient sources, pausanias goes on to say that Thucydides was murdered on his way back to Athens. Many doubt this account, seeing evidence to suggest he lived as late as 397 BC, Plutarch claims that his remains were returned to Athens and placed in Cimons family vault
Syracuse is a historic city in Sicily, the capital of the province of Syracuse. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, amphitheatres and this 2, 700-year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world. Syracuse is located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, the city was founded by Ancient Greek Corinthians and Teneans and became a very powerful city-state. Syracuse was allied with Sparta and Corinth and exerted influence over the entirety of Magna Graecia, described by Cicero as the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all, it equaled Athens in size during the fifth century BC. It became part of the Roman Republic and Byzantine Empire, after this Palermo overtook it in importance, as the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily. Eventually the kingdom would be united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification of 1860, in the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica.
In the central area, the city itself has a population of around 125,000 people, the inhabitants are known as Siracusans. Syracuse is mentioned in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles book at 28,12 as Paul stayed there, the patron saint of the city is Saint Lucy, she was born in Syracuse and her feast day, Saint Lucys Day, is celebrated on 13 December. Syracuse was founded in 734 or 733 BC by Greek settlers from Corinth and Tenea, there are many attested variants of the name of the city including Συράκουσαι Syrakousai, Συράκοσαι Syrakosai and Συρακώ Syrako. The nucleus of the ancient city was the island of Ortygia. The settlers found the fertile and the native tribes to be reasonably well-disposed to their presence. The city grew and prospered, and for some time stood as the most powerful Greek city anywhere in the Mediterranean, colonies were founded at Akrai, Akrillai and Kamarina. The descendants of the first colonists, called Gamoroi, held power until they were expelled by the Killichiroi, the former, returned to power in 485 BC, thanks to the help of Gelo, ruler of Gela.
Gelo himself became the despot of the city, and moved many inhabitants of Gela and Megera to Syracuse, building the new quarters of Tyche, the enlarged power of Syracuse made unavoidable the clash against the Carthaginians, who ruled western Sicily. In the Battle of Himera, who had allied with Theron of Agrigento, a temple dedicated to Athena, was erected in the city to commemorate the event. Syracuse grew considerably during this time and its walls encircled 120 hectares in the fifth century, but as early as the 470s BC the inhabitants started building outside the walls. The complete population of its territory approximately numbered 250,000 in 415 BC, Gelo was succeeded by his brother Hiero, who fought against the Etruscans at Cumae in 474 BC. His rule was eulogized by poets like Simonides of Ceos and Pindar, a democratic regime was introduced by Thrasybulos
Megara is a historic town and a municipality in West Attica, Greece. It lies in the section of the Isthmus of Corinth opposite the island of Salamis. Megara was one of the four districts of Attica, embodied in the four sons of King Pandion II. Megara was a port, its people using their ships. Megara specialized in the exportation of wool and other products including livestock such as horses. It possessed two harbors, Pegae, to the west on the Corinthian Gulf and Nisaea, to the east on the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. In historical times, Megara was a dependency of Corinth, in which capacity colonists from Megara founded Megara Hyblaea. Megara fought a war of independence with Corinth, and afterwards founded Chalcedon in 685 BC, Megara is known to have early ties with Miletos, in the region of Caria in Asia Minor. According to some scholars, they had built up a “colonisation alliance”, in the 7th/6th century BCE these two cities acted in concordance with each other. Both cities acted under the leadership and sanction of an Apollo oracle, Megara cooperated with that of Delphi.
Miletos had her own oracle of Apollo Didymeus Milesios in Didyma, there are many parallels in the political organisation of both cities. In the late 7th century BC Theagenes established himself as tyrant of Megara by slaughtering the cattle of the rich to win over the poor, during the second Persian invasion of Greece Megara fought alongside the Spartans and Athenians at crucial battles such as Salamis and Plataea. Megaras defection from the Spartan-dominated Peloponnesian League became one of the causes of the First Peloponnesian War, by the terms of the Thirty Years Peace of 446-445 BC Megara was returned to the Peloponnesian League. In the Peloponnesian War, Megara was an ally of Sparta, the Megarian decree is considered to be one of several contributing causes of the Peloponnesian War. Athens issued the Megarian decree with the aim of choking out the Megarian economy, the decree banned Megarian merchants from territory controlled by Athens. The Athenians claimed that they were responding to the Megarians desecration of the Hiera Orgas, arguably the most famous citizen of Megara in antiquity was Byzas, the legendary founder of Byzantium in the 7th century BC.
The 6th-century BC poet Theognis came from Megara, in the early 4th century BC, Euclid of Megara founded the Megarian school of philosophy which flourished for about a century, and which became famous for the use of logic and dialectic. In 243 BC Megara expelled its Macedonian garrison and joined the Achaean League, the Megarians were proverbial for their generosity in building and endowing temples
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
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is an autonomous Region of Italy, along with surrounding minor islands, Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, the island has a typical Mediterranean climate. The earliest archaeological evidence of activity on the island dates from as early as 12,000 BC. It became part of Italy in 1860 following the Expedition of the Thousand, a revolt led by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Italian unification, Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region after the Italian constitutional referendum of 1946. Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially regard to the arts, literature, cuisine. It is home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples, Sicily has a roughly triangular shape, earning it the name Trinacria.
To the east, it is separated from the Italian mainland by the Strait of Messina, about 3 km wide in the north, and about 16 km wide in the southern part. The northern and southern coasts are each about 280 km long measured as a line, while the eastern coast measures around 180 km. The total area of the island is 25,711 km2, the terrain of inland Sicily is mostly hilly and is intensively cultivated wherever possible. Along the northern coast, the ranges of Madonie,2,000 m, Nebrodi,1,800 m. The cone of Mount Etna dominates the eastern coast, in the southeast lie the lower Hyblaean Mountains,1,000 m. The mines of the Enna and Caltanissetta districts were part of a leading sulphur-producing area throughout the 19th century and its surrounding small islands have some highly active volcanoes. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and still casts black ash over the island with its ever-present eruptions and it currently stands 3,329 metres high, though this varies with summit eruptions, the mountain is 21 m lower now than it was in 1981.
It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps, Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. In Greek Mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under the mountain by Zeus, Mount Etna is widely regarded as a cultural symbol and icon of Sicily. The Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the northeast of mainland Sicily form a volcanic complex, the three volcanoes of Vulcano and Lipari are currently active, although the latter is usually dormant
A necropolis is a large, designed cemetery with elaborate tomb monuments. The name stems from the Ancient Greek νεκρόπολις nekropolis, literally meaning city of the dead, the term usually implies a separate burial site at a distance from a city, as opposed to tombs within cities, which were common in various places and periods of history. They are different from fields, which did not have remains above the ground. While the word is most commonly used for ancient sites, the name was revived in the early 19th century and applied to planned city cemeteries, such as the Glasgow Necropolis. Aside from the pyramids which were reserved for the burial of Pharaohs the Egyptian necropoleis included mastabas, naqsh-e Rustam is an ancient necropolis located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars Province, Iran. The oldest relief at Naqsh-i Rustam dates to c.1000 BC, though it is severely damaged, it depicts a faint image of a man with unusual head-gear and is thought to be Elamite in origin. The depiction is part of an image, most of which was removed at the command of Bahram II.
Four tombs belonging to Achaemenid kings are carved out of the face at a considerable height above the ground. The tombs are known locally as the Persian crosses, after the shape of the facades of the tombs, Sassanian kings added a series of rock reliefs below the tombs. In the Mycenean Greek period pre-dating ancient Greece burials could be performed inside the city, in Mycenae for example the royal tombs were located in a precinct within the city walls. This changed during the ancient Greek period when necropoleis usually lined the roads outside a city, there existed some degree of variation within the ancient Greek world however. Sparta was notable for continuing the practice of burial within the city, the Etruscans took the concept of a city of the dead quite literally. The typical tomb at the Banditaccia necropolis at Cerveteri consists of a tumulus which covers one or more rock-cut subterranean tombs and these tombs had multiple chambers and were elaborately decorated like contemporary houses.
The arrangement of the tumuli in a grid of streets gave it a similar to the cities of the living. The art historian Nigel Spivey considers the name cemetery inadequate and argues that only the term necropolis can do justice to these burial sites. Etruscan necropoleis were located on hills or slopes of hills. In ancient Rome families originally buried deceased relatives in their own homes because of the Roman practice of ancestor worship, the enactment of the Twelve Tables in 449 BC forbade this, which made the Romans adopt the practice of burial in necropoleis. List of necropoleis Funerary art Catacombs
The Suda or Souda is a large 10th-century Byzantine encyclopedia of the ancient Mediterranean world, formerly attributed to an author called Suidas. It is a lexicon, written in Greek, with 30,000 entries, many drawing from ancient sources that have since been lost. The Suda is somewhere between a grammatical dictionary and an encyclopedia in the modern sense and it explains the source and meaning of words according to the philology of its period, using such earlier authorities as Harpocration and Helladios. The articles on history are especially valuable. These entries supply details and quotations from authors whose works are otherwise lost and they use older scholia to the classics, and for writers, Josephus, the Chronicon Paschale, George Syncellus, George Hamartolus, and so on. This lexicon represents a convenient work of reference for people who played a part in political, the chief source for this is the encyclopedia of Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, and for Roman history the excerpts of John of Antioch.
Krumbacher counts two main sources of the work, Constantine VII for ancient history, and Hamartolus for the Byzantine age, the system is not difficult to learn and remember, but some editors—for example, Immanuel Bekker – rearranged the Suda alphabetically. Little is known of the compilation of work, except that it must have been written before it was quoted from extensively by Eustathius who lived from about 1115 AD to about 1195 or 1196. It would thus appear that the Suda was compiled sometime after 975, passages referring to Michael Psellus are considered interpolations. It includes numerous quotations from ancient writers, the scholiasts on Aristophanes, other principal sources include a lexicon by Eudemus, perhaps derived from the work On Rhetorical Language by Eudemus of Argos. The work deals with biblical as well as subjects, from which it is inferred that the writer was a Christian. A prefatory note gives a list of dictionaries from which the portion was compiled. Although the work is uncritical and probably much interpolated, and the value of its articles is very unequal and its quotations from ancient authors make it a useful check on their manuscript traditions.
A modern translation, the Suda On Line, was completed on 21 July 2014, the Suda has a near-contemporaneous Islamic parallel, the Kitab al-Fehrest of Ibn al-Nadim. Compare the Latin Speculum Maius, authored in the 13th century by Vincent of Beauvais and this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. Sūïdas. This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Charles. Ancient Greek Scholarship, a guide to finding and understanding scholia, lexica, New York, Oxford University Press,2006. Tachypaedia Byzantina, The Suda On Line as Collaborative Encyclopedia, Digital Humanities Quarterly 3.1, an on-line edition of the Ada Adler edition with ongoing translations and commentary by registered editors
A volute is a spiral, scroll-like ornament that forms the basis of the Ionic order, found in the capital of the Ionic column. It was incorporated into Corinthian order and Composite column capitals, four are normally to be found on an Ionic capital, eight on Composite capitals and smaller versions on the Corinthian capital. The word derives from the Latin voluta and it has been suggested that the ornament was inspired by the curve of a rams horns, or perhaps was derived from the natural spiral found in the ovule of a common species of clover native to Greece. Alternatively, it may simply be of geometrical origin, the ornament can be seen in Renaissance and Baroque architecture and is a common decoration in furniture design and ceramics. A method of drawing the complex geometry was devised by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius through the study of classical buildings, arabesque Scrollwork Media related to Volute at Wikimedia Commons
Ortygia is a small island which is the historical centre of the city of Syracuse, Sicily. The island, known as Città Vecchia, contains historical landmarks. The name originates from the Ancient Greek ortyx, which means Quail, the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo has it that the goddess Leto stopped at Ortygia to give birth to Artemis, the firstborn of her twins. Artemis helped Leto across the sea to the island of Delos, other ancient sources state that the twins were born in the same place—which was either Delos or Ortygia— but Ortygia was an old name of Delos. Further, there were perhaps a half-dozen other places called Ortygia and it was said that Asteria, the sister of Leto metamorphosed into a quail, threw herself into the sea, and was metamorphosed into the island Ortygia. Another myth suggested that it was Delos instead of Ortygia, Ortygia is located at the eastern end of Syracuse and is separated from it by a narrow channel. Two bridges connect the island to mainland Sicily, the island is an extremely popular place for tourism, entertainment and a residential area
The Greeks or Hellenes are an ethnic group native to Greece, southern Albania, Sicily, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world, 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, most ethnic Greeks live nowadays within the borders of the modern Greek state and 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 officially registered as members of the Greek Orthodox Church, 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 ethnicities, described by Anthony D. Smith as an archetypal diaspora people. Both migrations occur at incisive periods, the Mycenaean at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, the Mycenaeans quickly 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, 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 an era of heroes, closeness of the gods. The Homeric Epics were especially and generally accepted as part of the Greek past, 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, 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 Peloponnesian War, the large scale civil war between the two most powerful Greek city-states Athens and Sparta and their allies, left both greatly weakened. Many Greeks settled in Hellenistic cities like Alexandria and Seleucia, two thousand years later, there are still communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, like the Kalash, who claim to be descended from Greek settlers. The Hellenistic civilization was the period of Greek civilization, the beginnings of which are usually placed at Alexanders death. This Hellenistic age, so called because it saw the partial Hellenization of many non-Greek cultures and this age saw the Greeks move towards larger cities and a reduction in the importance of the city-state.
These larger cities were parts of the still larger Kingdoms of the Diadochi, however, remained aware of their past, chiefly through the study of the works of Homer and the classical authors. An important factor in maintaining Greek identity was contact with barbarian peoples and this led to a strong desire among Greeks to organize the transmission of the Hellenic paideia to the next generation
Ancient Greek includes the forms of Greek used in ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BC to the 6th century AD. It is often divided into the Archaic period, Classical period. It is antedated in the second millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek, the language of the Hellenistic phase is known as Koine. Koine is regarded as a historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it closely resembled Attic 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 subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article primarily contains information about the Epic and Classical phases of the language, Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects. The main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Arcadocypriot, 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, and in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic, 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 and they have the same general outline, but differ in some of the detail. The invasion would not be Dorian unless the invaders had some relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, 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.
Often non-west is called East Greek, Arcadocypriot apparently descended more closely from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age. Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, and can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect, thessalian likewise had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions, generally equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, and Northern Peloponnesus Doric. The Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek and this dialect slowly replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, which is 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 AD, the Koine had slowly metamorphosized into Medieval Greek