The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age Aegean civilization on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands which flourished from c. 2700 to c. 1450 BC, before a late period of decline ending around 1100 BC. It represents the first advanced civilization in Europe, left behind massive building complexes, stunning artwork, writing systems, a massive network of trade; the civilization was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. The name "Minoan" derives from the mythical King Minos and was coined by Evans, who identified the site at Knossos with the labyrinth and the Minotaur; the Minoan civilization has been described as the earliest of its kind in Europe, historian Will Durant called the Minoans "the first link in the European chain". The Minoan civilization is notable for its large and elaborate palaces, some of which were up to four stories high, featured elaborate plumbing systems and were decorated with frescoes; the most notable Minoan palace is that of Knossos, followed by that of Phaistos.
The Minoan period saw extensive trade between Crete and Mediterranean settlements the Near East. Through their traders and artists, the Minoans' cultural influence reached beyond Crete to the Cyclades, the Old Kingdom of Egypt, copper-bearing Cyprus and the Levantine coast and Anatolia; some of the best Minoan art is preserved in the city of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini, destroyed by the Minoan eruption. The Minoans wrote in the undeciphered Linear A and in Cretan hieroglyphs, encoding a language hypothetically labelled Minoan; the reasons for the slow decline of the Minoan civilization, beginning around 1550 BC, are unclear. The term "Minoan" refers to the mythical King Minos of Knossos, its origin is debated, but it is attributed to archeologist Arthur Evans. Minos was associated in Greek mythology with the labyrinth, which Evans identified with the site at Knossos. However, Karl Hoeck had used the title Das Minoische Kreta in 1825 for volume two of his Kreta. Evans read Hoeck's book, continued using the term in his writings and findings: "To this early civilization of Crete as a whole I have proposed—and the suggestion has been adopted by the archaeologists of this and other countries—to apply the name'Minoan'."
Evans said. Hoeck, with no idea that the archaeological Crete had existed, had in mind the Crete of mythology. Although Evans' 1931 claim that the term was "unminted" before he used it was called a "brazen suggestion" by Karadimas and Momigliano, he coined its archaeological meaning. Instead of dating the Minoan period, archaeologists use two systems of relative chronology; the first, created by Evans and modified by archaeologists, is based on pottery styles and imported Egyptian artifacts. Evans' system divides the Minoan period into three major eras: early and late; these eras are subdivided—for example, Early Minoan I, II and III. Another dating system, proposed by Greek archaeologist Nikolaos Platon, is based on the development of architectural complexes known as "palaces" at Knossos, Phaistos and Zakros. Platon divides neo - and post-palatial sub-periods; the relationship between the systems in the table includes approximate calendar dates from Warren and Hankey. The Minoan eruption of Thera occurred during a mature phase of the LM IA period.
Efforts to establish the volcanic eruption's date have been controversial. Radiocarbon dating has indicated a date in the late 17th century BC. Although stone-tool evidence suggests that hominins may have reached Crete as early as 130,000 years ago, evidence for the first anatomically-modern human presence dates to 10,000–12,000 YBP; the oldest evidence of modern human habitation on Crete is pre-ceramic Neolithic farming-community remains which date to about 7000 BC. A comparative study of DNA haplogroups of modern Cretan men showed that a male founder group, from Anatolia or the Levant, is shared with the Greeks; the Neolithic population lived in open villages. Fishermen's huts were found on the shores, the fertile Messara Plain was used for agriculture; the Early Bronze Age has been described as indicating a "promise of greatness" in light of developments on the island. The Bronze Age began on Crete around 3200 BC. In the late third millennium BC, several locations on the island developed into centers of commerce and handiwork, enabling the upper classes to exercise leadership and expand their influence.
It is that the original hierarchies of the local elites were replaced by monarchies, a precondition for the palaces. At the end of the MMII period there was a large disturbance on Crete—probably an earthquake, but an invasion from Anatolia; the palaces at Knossos, Phaistos and Kato Zakros were destroyed. At the beginning of the neopalatial period the population increased again, the palaces were rebuilt on a larger scale and new settlements were built across the island; this period was the apex of Minoan civilization. After around 1700 BC, material culture on the Greek mainland reached a new high due to Minoan influence. Another natural catastrophe occurred around 1600 BC an eruption of t
Oceanus known as Ogenus or Ogen, was a divine figure in classical antiquity, believed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to be the divine personification of the sea, an enormous river encircling the world. R. S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek proto-form *-kay-an-. In contrast, Michael Janda has reminded the scientific community of an earlier comparison of the Vedic dragon Vṛtra's attribute āśáyāna- "lying on " and Greek Ὠκεανός, which he sees as phonetical equivalents of each other, both stemming from a Proto-Indo-European root *ō-kei-ṃno- "lying on", related to Greek κεῖσθαι. Janda furthermore points to early depictions of Okeanos with a snake's body, which seem to confirm the mythological parallel with the Vedic dragon Vṛtra. Another parallel naming can be found in Greek ποταμός and Old English fæðm "embrace, fathom", notably attested in the Old English poem Helena as dracan fæðme "embrace of the dragon" and is furthermore related to Old Norse Faðmir or Fáfnir the well-known name of a dragon in the 13th century Völsunga saga.
According to Homer, Oceanus was the ocean-stream at the margin of the habitable world, the father of everything, limiting it from the underworld and flowing around the Elysium. Hence Odysseus has to traverse it. In the Iliad, Hera mentions her intended journey to her foster parents, namely "Oceanus, from whom they all are sprung": Helios rises from the deep-flowing Oceanus in the east and at the end of the day sinks back into the Oceanus in the west; the other stars "bathe in the stream of Ocean". Oceanus is called βαθύρροος and ἀψόρροος, the latter quality being reflected in its depiction on the shield of Achilles: In Greek mythology, this ocean-stream was personified as a Titan, the eldest son of Uranus and Gaia. Oceanus' consort is his sister Tethys, from their union came the ocean nymphs referred to as the three-thousand Oceanids, all the rivers of the world and lakes. In most variations of the war between the Titans and the Olympians, or Titanomachy, along with Prometheus and Themis, did not take the side of his fellow Titans against the Olympians, but instead withdrew from the conflict.
In most variations of this myth, Oceanus refused to side with Cronus in the latter's revolt against their father, Uranus. He is, it appears, some sort of an outlaw to the society of Gods, as he does not—and unlike all the other river gods, his sons—take part in the convention of gods on Mount Olympus. Besides, Oceanus appears as a representative of the archaic world that Heracles threatened and bested; as such, the Suda identifies Oceanus and Tethys as the parents of the two Kerkopes, whom Heracles bested. Heracles forced Helios to lend him his golden bowl, in order to cross the wide expanse of the Ocean on his trip to the Hesperides; when Oceanus tossed the bowl about, Heracles stilled his waves. The journey of Heracles in the sun-bowl upon Oceanus became a favored theme among painters of Attic pottery. In Hellenistic and Roman mosaics, this Titan was depicted as having the upper body of a muscular man with a long beard and horns and the lower body of a serpent. On a fragmentary archaic vessel of circa 580 BC, among the gods arriving at the wedding of Peleus and the sea-nymph Thetis, is a fish-tailed Oceanus, with a fish in one hand and a serpent in the other, gifts of bounty and prophecy.
In Roman mosaics, such as that from Bardo, he might cradle a ship. Oceanus appears in Hellenic cosmography as well as myth. Both Homer and Hesiod refer to Okeanós Potamós, the "Ocean Stream"; when Odysseus and Nestor walk together along the shore of the sounding sea they address their prayers "to the great Sea-god who girdles the world". Cartographers continued to represent the encircling equatorial stream much as it had appeared on Achilles' shield. Herodotus was skeptical about the physical existence of Oceanus and rejected the reasoning—proposed by some of his coevals—according to which the uncommon phenomenon of the summerly Nile flood was caused by the river's connection to the mighty Oceanus. Speaking about the Oceanus myth itself he declared: As for the writer who attributes the phenomenon to the ocean, his account is involved in such obscurity that it is impossible to disprove it by argument. For my part I know of no river called Ocean, I think that Homer, or one of the earlier poets, invented the name, introduced it into his poetry.
Some scholars believe that Oceanus represented all bodies of salt water, including the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the two largest bodies known to the ancient Greeks. However, as geography became more accurate, Oceanus came to represent the stranger, more unknown waters of the Atlantic Ocean, while the newcomer of a generation, ruled over the Mediterranean Sea. Late attestations for an equation with the Black Sea abound, the cause being – as it appears – Odysseus' travel to the Cimmerians whose fatherland, lying beyond the Oceanus, is described as a country divested from sunlight. In the fourth century BC, Hecataeus of Abdera writes that the Oceanus of the Hyperboreans is neither the Arctic nor Western Ocea
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
Rhea is a character in Greek mythology, the Titaness daughter of the earth goddess Gaia and the sky god Uranus as well as sister and wife to Cronus. In early traditions, she is known as "the mother of gods" and therefore is associated with Gaia and Cybele, who have similar functions; the classical Greeks saw her as the mother of the Olympian gods and goddesses, but not as an Olympian goddess in her own right. The Romans identified her with Magna Mater, the Goddess Ops. Most ancient etymologists derived Rhea by metathesis from ἔρα "ground", although a tradition embodied in Plato and in Chrysippus connected the word with ῥέω, "flow", "discharge", what LSJ supports. Alternatively, the name Rhea may be connected with words for the pomegranate, ῥόα ῥοιά; the name Rhea may derive from a pre-Greek or Minoan source. Graves suggested that Rhea's name is a variant of Era,'earth'. According to Hesiod, Cronus sired six children by Rhea: Hestia, Hera, Hades and Zeus in that order; the philosopher Plato recounts that Rhea and Phorcys were the eldest children of Oceanus and Tethys.
Gaia and Uranus told Cronus that just as he had overthrown his own father, he was destined to be overcome by his own child. Rhea and Gaia devised a plan to save the last of them, Zeus. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in a cavern on the island of Crete, gave Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed, her attendants, the warrior-like Kouretes and Dactyls, acted as a bodyguard for the infant Zeus, helping to conceal his whereabouts from his father. In some accounts, by the will of Rhea a golden dog guarded a goat which offered her udder and gave nourishment to the infant Zeus. On, Zeus changed the goat into an immortal among the stars while the golden dog that guarded the sacred spot in Crete was stolen by Pandareus. Rhea had "no strong local cult or identifiable activity under her control", she was worshiped on the island of Crete, identified in mythology as the site of Zeus's infancy and upbringing. Her cults employed rhythmic, raucous chants and dances, accompanied by the tympanon, to provoke a religious ecstasy.
Her priests impersonated her mythical attendants, the Curetes and Dactyls, with a clashing of bronze shields and cymbals. The tympanon's use in Rhea's rites may have been the source for its use in Cybele's – in historical times, the resemblances between the two goddesses were so marked that some Greeks regarded Cybele as their own Rhea, who had deserted her original home on Mount Ida in Crete and fled to Mount Ida in the wilds of Phrygia to escape Cronus. A reverse view was expressed by Virgil, it is true that cultural contacts with the mainland brought Cybele to Crete, where she was transformed into Rhea or identified with an existing local goddess and her rites. Rhea was referred to in ancient times by the title Meter Theon and there where several temples around Ancient Greece dedicated to her under that name. Pausanias mentioned temples dedicated to Rhea under the name Meter Theon in Anagyros in Attika, Megalopolis in Arkadia, on the Acropolis of Ancient Corinth, in the district of Keramaikos in Athens, where the statue was made by Pheidias.
In Sparta there was further more a sanctuary to the Meter Megale. Olympia had both an altar as well as a temple to the Meter Theon: "A temple of no great size in the Doric style they have called down to the present day Metroion, keeping its ancient name. No image lies in it of the Meter Theon, but there stand in it statues of Roman emperors."Her temple in Akriai, Lakedaimon was said to be her oldest sanctuary in Peloponessos: "Well worth seeing here are a temple and marble image of the Meter Theon. The people of Akriai say that this is the oldest sanctuary of this goddess in the Peloponessos."Statues of her were standing in the sanctuaries of other gods and in other places, such as a statue of Parian marble by Damophon in Messene. The scene in which Rhea gave Chronos a stone in the place of Zeus after his birth was assigned to have taken place on Petrakhos Mountain in Arcadia as well as on Mount Thaumasios in Arcadia, both of which were holy places: "Mount Thaumasios lies beyond the river Maloitas, the Methydrians hold that when Rhea was pregnant with Zeus, she came to this mountain and enlisted as her allies, in case Kronos should attack her and his few Gigantes.
They allow that she gave birth to her son on some part of Mount Lykaios, but they claim that here Kronos was deceived, here took place the substitution of a stone for the child, spoken of in the Greek legend. On the summit of the mountain is Rhea's Cave, into which no human beings may enter save only the women who are sacred to the goddess."The center of the worship of Rhea was however on Crete, where the Ida Mountain was said to be the place of the birth of Zeus. There was a "House of Rhea" in Knossos: "The Titanes had their dwelling in the land about Knosos, at the place where to this day men point out foundations of a house of Rhea and a cypress grove, consecrated to her from ancient times."Upon the Ida Mountain, there was a cave sacred to Rhea: "In Crete there is said to be a sacred cave full of bees. In it, as storytellers say, Rhea gave birth to Zeus. At the appointed time each year a great blaze is seen to come out of the cave, their story goes
In Greek mythology, Pontus was an ancient, pre-Olympian sea-god, one of the Greek primordial deities. Pontus has no father. For Hesiod, Pontus seems little more than a personification of the sea, ho pontos, "the Road", by which Hellenes signified the Mediterranean Sea. With Gaia, he fathered Nereus, Thaumas and his sister-consort Ceto, the "Strong Goddess" Eurybia. With the sea goddess Thalassa, he fathered all sea life. In a Roman sculpture of the 2nd century AD, rising from seaweed, grasps a rudder with his right hand and leans on the prow of a ship, he wears a mural crown, accompanies Fortuna, whose draperies appear at the left, as twin patron deities of the Black Sea port of Tomis in Moesia. From Aether and Earth: Grief, Wrath, Falsehood, Vengeance, Altercation, Sloth, Pride, Combat, Themis, Pontus. Pontus Gaius Julius Hyginus, Fabulae from The Myths of Hyginus translated and edited by Mary Grant. University of Kansas Publications in Humanistic Studies. Online version at the Topos Text Project.
Hesiod, Theogony from The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website
In Greek mythology, Erebus Erebos, was conceived as a primordial deity, representing the personification of darkness. The perceived meaning of Erebus is "darkness"; the name Ἔρεβος itself originates from PIE *h1regʷ-es/os- "darkness". According to the Greek oral poet Hesiod's Theogony, Erebus is the offspring of Chaos, brother to Nyx: "From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Night. In Greek literature, the name Erebus is used as a region of the Greek underworld where the dead pass after dying, is sometimes used interchangeably with Tartarus. Hesiod, Theogony from The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website. Hyginus, Fabulae from The Myths of Hyginus edited by Mary Grant. University of Kansas Publications in Humanistic Studies. Online version at the Topos Text Project. Smith, William. "E'rebos"
Nyx is the Greek goddess of the night. A shadowy figure, Nyx stood at or near the beginning of creation and mothered other personified deities such as Hypnos and Thanatos, with Erebus, her appearances are sparse in surviving mythology, but reveal her as a figure of such exceptional power and beauty that she is feared by Zeus himself. In Hesiod's Theogony, Nyx is born of Chaos. With Erebus, Nyx gives birth to Hemera. On her own, Nyx gives birth to Moros, the Keres, Hypnos, the Oneiroi, Oizys, the Hesperides, the Moirai, Apate, Philotes and Eris. In his description of Tartarus, Hesiod locates there the home of Nyx, the homes of her children Hypnos and Thanatos. Hesiod says further; this mirrors the portrayal of Ratri in the Rigveda, where she works in close cooperation but tension with her sister Ushas. At Iliad 14.249–61, the minor deity of sleep, reminds Hera of an old favor after she asks him to put Zeus to sleep. He had once before put Zeus to sleep at the bidding of Hera, allowing her to cause Heracles great misfortune.
Zeus was furious and would have smitten Hypnos into the sea if he had not fled to Nyx, his mother, in fear. Homer goes on to say that Zeus, fearing to anger Nyx, held his fury at bay and in this way Hypnos escaped the wrath of Zeus by appealing to his powerful mother, he disturbed Zeus only a few times after that always fearing Zeus and running back to his mother, who would have confronted Zeus with a maternal fury. Nyx took on an more important role in several fragmentary poems attributed to Orpheus. In them, rather than Chaos, is the first principle from which all creation emerges. Nyx occupies a adyton, in which she gives oracles. Cronus –, chained within and drunk on honey – dreams and prophecizes. Outside the cave, Adrasteia clashes cymbals and beats upon her tympanon, moving the entire universe in an ecstatic dance to the rhythm of Nyx's chanting. Phanes – the strange, hermaphrodite Orphic demiurge – was the child or father of Nyx. Nyx is the first principle in the opening chorus of Aristophanes' The Birds, which may be Orphic in inspiration.
Here she is the mother of Eros. The theme of Nyx's cave or mansion, beyond the ocean or somewhere at the edge of the cosmos may be echoed in the philosophical poem of Parmenides; the classical scholar Walter Burkert has speculated that the house of the goddess to which the philosopher is transported is the palace of Nyx. In some accounts, the goddess of witchcraft, Hecate was called the daughter of Night. There was no known temple dedicated to Nyx, but statues are known to have been made of her and a few cult practices of her are mentioned. According to Pausanias, she had an oracle on the acropolis at Megara. Pausanias wrote: When you have ascended the citadel, which at the present day is called Karia from Kar, son of Phoroneus, you see a temple of Dionysos Nyktelios, a sanctuary built to Aphrodite Epistrophia, an oracle called that of Nyx and a temple of Zeus Konios without a roof. More Nyx was worshipped in the background of other cults, thus there was a statue called "Night" in the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
The Spartans had a cult of Death, conceived of as twins. Cult titles composed of compounds of nyx- are attested for several deities, most notably Dionysus Nyktelios "nocturnal" and Aphrodite Philopannyx "who loves the whole night". Roman authors wrote hymns in her honor. Ovid wrote: "May 9 Lemuria Nefastus. You ancient rite will be performed, Nox Lemuria. Shall this house throughout the circling periods of the year hold thee high in honour and in worship, and Vulcanus' fire shall eat the lustral entrails, where-o'er the new milk streams. In 1997, the International Astronomical Union approved the name Nyx for a mons feature on the planet Venus. Nyx Mons is located at longitude 48.5 ° East on the Venusian surface. Its diameter is 875 km. On June 21, 2006, the International Astronomical Union renamed one of Pluto's discovered moons Nix, in honor of Nyx; the name was spelled with an "i" instead of a "y". Aristophanes, Birds; the Complete Greek Drama. Vol. 2. Eugene O'Neill, Jr. New York. Random House. 1938. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
Aristophanes, Aristophanes Comoediae edited by F. W. Hall and W. M. Geldart, vol. 2. F. W. Hall and W. M. Geldart. Oxford. Clarendon Press, Oxford. 1907. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library. Gantz, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, Two volumes: ISBN 978-0-8018-5360-9, ISBN 978-0-8018-5362-3. Grimal, The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, Wiley-Blackwell, 1996, ISBN 978-0-631-20102-1. "Nyx" p. 314 Hesiod, Theogony from The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Camb