Argos is a city in Argolis, the Peloponnese, Greece and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is a major center for the area. Since the 2011 local government reform it has been part of the municipality of Argos-Mykines, of which it is a municipal unit; the municipal unit has an area of 138.138 km2. It is 11 kilometres from Nafplion, its historic harbour. A settlement of great antiquity, Argos has been continuously inhabited as at least a substantial village for the past 7,000 years; the city is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network. A resident of the city of Argos is known as an Argive. However, this term is used to refer to those ancient Greeks who assaulted the city of Troy during the Trojan War. Numerous ancient monuments can be found in the city today. Agriculture is the mainstay of the local economy; the name of the city is ancient and several etymological theories have been proposed as an explanation to its meaning. The most popular one maintains that the name of the city is a remainder from the Pelasgian language, i.e. the one used by the people who first settled in the area, in which Argos meant "plain".
Alternatively, the name is associated with Argos, the third king of the city in ancient times, who renamed it after himself, thus replacing its older name Phoronikon Astu. It is believed that "Argos" is linked to the word "αργός", which meant "white". According to Strabo, the name could have originated from the word "αγρός" by antimetathesis of the consonants. Argos is traditionally considered to be the origins of the ancient Macedonian royal Greek house of the Argead dynasty; the most celebrated members were Philip II of Alexander the Great. As a strategic location on the fertile plain of Argolis, Argos was a major stronghold during the Mycenaean era. In classical times Argos was a powerful rival of Sparta for dominance over the Peloponnese, but was shunned by other Greek city-states after remaining neutral during the Greco-Persian Wars. There is evidence of continuous settlement in the area starting with a village about 7000 years ago in the late Neolithic, located on the foot of Aspida hill.
Since that time, Argos has been continually inhabited at the same geographical location. Its creation is attributed to Phoroneus, with its first name having been Phoronicon Asty, or the city of Phoroneus; the historical presence of the Pelasgian Greeks in the area can be witnessed in the linguistic remainders that survive up to today, such as the name of the city and "Larisa", the name of the city's castle located on the hill of the name. The city is located at a rather propitious area, among Nemea and Arcadia, it benefitted from its proximity to lake Lerna, which, at the time, was at a distance of one kilometre from the south end of Argos. Argos was a major stronghold of Mycenaean times, along with the neighbouring acropolis of Mycenae and Tiryns became a early settlement because of its commanding positions in the midst of the fertile plain of Argolis. Argos experienced its greatest period of expansion and power under the energetic 7th century BC ruler King Pheidon. Under Pheidon, Argos regained sway over the cities of the Argolid and challenged Sparta’s dominance of the Peloponnese.
Spartan dominance is thought to have been interrupted following the Battle of Hyssiae in 669-668 BC, in which Argive troops defeated the Spartans in a hoplite battle. During this time of its greatest power, the city boasted a pottery and bronze sculpturing school, pottery workshops and clothes producers. Moreover, at least 25 celebrations took place in the city, in addition to a regular local products exhibition. A sanctuary dedicated to Hera was found at the same spot where the monastery of Panagia Katekrymeni is located today. Pheidon extended Argive influence throughout Greece, taking control of the Olympic Games away from the citizens of Elis and appointing himself organizer during his reign. Pheidon is thought to have introduced reforms for standard weight and measures in Argos, a theory further reinforced with the unearthing of six "spits" of iron in an Argive Heraion remainders of a dedication from Pheidon. Argos remained neutral or the ineffective ally of Athens during the 5th century BC struggles between Sparta and Athens.
This, led to its weakening and loss of power, which in turn led to the shift of commercial focus from the Ancient Agora to the eastern side of the city, delimited by Danaou and Agiou Konstadinou streets. Argos played a minor role in the Corinthian Wars against Sparta, for a short period of time considered uniting with Corinth to form an expanded Argolid state. However, this plan never came to fruition, Argos continued to remain a minor power in Greek affairs. Argos was a democracy for most of the classical period, with only a brief hiatus between 418 and 416. Democracy was first established after a disastrous defeat by the Spartans at the Battle of Sepeia in 494. So many Argives were killed in the battle that a revolution ensued, in which disenfranchised outsiders were included in the state for the first time. Argive democracy included an Assembly, a Council, another body called'The Eighty,' whose precise responsibilities are obscure. Magistrates served six-month terms of office, with few exceptions, were audited at the end of their terms.
There is some evidence that ostracis
An acropolis was in ancient Greece a settlement a citadel, built upon an area of elevated ground—frequently a hill with precipitous sides, chosen for purposes of defense. Acropoleis became the nuclei of large cities of classical antiquity, such as ancient Athens, for this reason they are sometimes prominent landmarks in modern cities with ancient pasts, such as modern Athens; the word acropolis means in Greek "upper city," and though associated with the Greek cities Athens, Argos and Corinth, may be applied generically to all such citadels, including Rome, Celtic Bratislava, many in Asia Minor, or Castle Rock in Edinburgh. An example in Ireland is the Rock of Cashel. Acropolis is the term used by archaeologists and historians for the urban Castro culture settlements located in Northwestern Iberian hilltops; the most famous example is the Acropolis of Athens, which, by reason of its historical associations and the several famous buildings erected upon it, is known without qualification as the Acropolis.
Although originating in the mainland of Greece, use of the acropolis model spread to Greek colonies such as the Dorian Lato on Crete during the Archaic Period. Because of its classical Hellenistic style, the ruins of Mission San Juan Capistrano's Great Stone Church in California, United States has been called the "American Acropolis". Other parts of the world developed other names for the high citadel or alcázar, which reinforced a strong site. In Central Italy, many small rural communes still cluster at the base of a fortified habitation known as La Rocca of the commune; the term acropolis is used to describe the central complex of overlapping structures, such as plazas and pyramids, in many Maya cities, including Tikal and Copán. Media related to Acropolis at Wikimedia Commons The Acropolis of Athens The Acropolis Restoration Project UNESCO World Heritage Centre — Acropolis, Athens Acropolis Museum The Parthenon Frieze Acropolis: description, photo album
Vehicle registration plates of Greece
Greek vehicle registration plates are composed of three letters and four digits per plate printed in black on a white background. The letters represent the district that issues the plates while the numbers begin from 1000 to 9999; as from 2004, a blue strip was added on the left showing the country code of Greece in white text and the Flag of Europe. Similar plates with digits beginning from 1 to 999 are issued for motorcycles. With the exception of Athens and Thessaloniki, all districts are represented by the first 2 letters; the final letter in the sequence changes in Greek alphabetical order after 9,000 issued plates. For example, Patras plates are ΑΧΑ-1000, where ΑΧ represents the Achaia prefecture of which Patras is the capital; when ΑΧΑ-9999 is reached the plates turn to ΑΧΒ-1000 and this continues until ΑΧΧ is finished. Only the letters from the intersection between the Latin and Greek alphabets by glyph appearance are used, namely Α, Β, Ε, Ζ, Η, Ι, Κ, Μ, Ν, Ο, Ρ, Τ, Υ, Χ; this is because Greece is a contracting party to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which in Annex 2 requires registration numbers to be displayed in capital Latin characters and Arabic numerals.
The rule applies in a similar way in Russia, Belarus and Herzegovina and Bulgaria. Combinations used for overseas residents are limited; until 2003, taxis used L-NNNN. Up until 1954 Greek number plates were quite simple: black numbers on a white background, indicating the serial number shown on the car's license; these started at 1 and advanced to 75-000 when the system was changed. The owner had to provide the plates and specifications were minimal: the size of the plates and numbers, as well as their respective colours; this meant that plates were not uniform. Taxis had to indicate the initial of the city. In 1954 it was compulsory for all vehicles to change to a new system. For just 2 years the system was L-NNNN or L-NNNNN with black characters on yellow background where L was the initial of the city they were licensed in. All these plates display "1953-54" in black characters on a white background using a smaller typeface in the top left corner; these plates were compulsorily withdrawn in 1956.
In 1956 the system was again changed to just numbers NNNNNN. NNNNNN could be any number from one to six digits starting once again with "1" and ending this time at about "451000", though not all numbers were allocated. Characters were black on white background with a blue band at the top of both front and back plates indicating city/district of registration and type of usage. After 1960 the blue band on the front plate was abandoned and hence that plate became shorter in height; this time it was not compulsory to change plates after 1972. Hence these so-called "six-figure plates" can still be spotted on a few old vehicles. In 1972, they became lettered and the system was LL-NNNN while trucks used L-NNNN. Again, they were black characters on white background but with a different typeface, it was not compulsory to change these plates. In 1982, the system changed to LLL-NNNN and the first two letters are prefecture letters. Again, it was not compulsory to change to the newer system plates in 2004. In 2004 the euroband was added to the left and the typeface changed, in all other respects the previous system continued.
The first 2 of 3 letters of a licence plate represent the prefecture where the car was registered. The full list of plates in Greece is below: ΑΑ Achaia prefecture - Patras ΑΒ Kavala prefecture - Kavala ΑΕ Lasithi prefecture - Agios Nikolaos ΑΖ Achaia prefecture - Patras ΑΗ Xanthi prefecture - Xanthi ΑΙ Aitoloakarnania prefecture - Agrinio area ΑΚ Laconia prefecture - Sparti ΑΜ Phokida prefecture - Amfissa ΑΜ tax free cars ΑΝ Lasithi prefecture - Agios Nikolaos ΑΟ Achaia prefecture - Patras AO used in Mount Athos in style of AO-NNN-NN. ΑΡ Argolis prefecture - Nafplio ΑΤ Arta prefecture - Arta AY Achaia prefecture - Patras ΑΧ Achaia prefecture - Patras ΒΑ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΒ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΕ Piraeus prefecture BZ Piraeus prefecture ΒΗ Piraeus prefecture ΒΙ Boeotia prefecture - Livadeia ΒΚ East Attica prefecture - Pallini ΒΜ East Attica prefecture - Pallini ΒΝ West Attica prefecture - Elefsina ΒΟ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΡ West Attica prefecture - Elefsina ΒΤ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΥ Boeotia prefecture - Livadeia ΒΧ Piraeus prefecture ΕΑ Dodecanese prefecture - Kos island ΕΒ Evros prefecture - Alexandroupoli ΕΕ Pella Prefecture - Edessa ΕΖ Cyclades prefecture - Ermoupoli ΕΗ Euboea prefecture - Chalkida EI Euboea prefecture - Chalki
John the Apostle
John the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament, which refers to him as Ἰωάννης. Listed as the youngest apostle, he was the son of Zebedee and Salome or Joanna, his brother was James, another of the Twelve Apostles. The Church Fathers identify him as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder and the Beloved Disciple, testify that he outlived the remaining apostles and that he was the only one to die of natural causes; the traditions of most Christian denominations have held that John the Apostle is the author of several books of the New Testament. John the Apostle was the younger brother of James, son of Zebedee. According to Church tradition, their mother was Salome, he was first a disciple of John the Baptist. John is traditionally believed to be one of two disciples, as recounted in John 1: 35-39, hearing the Baptist point out Jesus as the "Lamb of God", followed Jesus and spent the day with him. Zebedee and his sons fished in the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus called Peter and these two sons of Zebedee to follow him. James and John are listed among the Twelve Apostles. Jesus referred to the pair as "Boanerges". A gospel story relates how the brothers wanted to call down heavenly fire on an unhospitable Samaritan town, but Jesus rebuked them. John lived for more than half a century following the martyrdom of James, the first Apostle to die a martyr's death. Peter and John were the only witnesses of the raising of Daughter of Jairus. All three witnessed the Transfiguration, these same three witnessed the Agony in Gethsemane more than the other Apostles did. John was the disciple who reported to Jesus that they had'forbidden' a non-disciple from casting out demons in Jesus' name, prompting Jesus to state that'he, not against us is on our side'. Jesus sent only Peter into the city to make the preparation for the final Passover meal. At the meal itself, the "disciple whom Jesus loved" sat next to Jesus, it was customary to lie along upon couches at meals, this disciple leaned on Jesus.
Tradition identifies this disciple as Saint John. After the arrest of Jesus and the "other disciple", John followed him into the palace of the high-priest. John alone among the Apostles remained near Jesus at the foot of the cross on Calvary alongside myrrhbearers and numerous other women. After Jesus' Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, together with Peter, took a prominent part in the founding and guidance of the church, he was with Peter at the healing of the lame man at Solomon's Porch in the Temple and he was thrown into prison with Peter. He went with Peter to visit the newly converted believers in Samaria. While he remained in Judea and the surrounding area, the other disciples returned to Jerusalem for the Apostolic Council. Paul, in opposing his enemies in Galatia, recalls that John explicitly, along with Peter and James the Just, were referred to as "pillars of the church" and refers to the recognition that his Apostolic preaching of a gospel free from Jewish Law received from these three, the most prominent men of the messianic community at Jerusalem.
The phrase the disciple whom Jesus loved or, in John 20:2, the Beloved Disciple is used five times in the Gospel of John, but in no other New Testament accounts of Jesus. John 21:24 claims; the disciple whom Jesus loved is referred to six times in John's gospel: It is this disciple who, while reclining beside Jesus at the Last Supper, asks Jesus, after being requested by Peter to do so, who it is that will betray him. At the crucifixion, Jesus tells his mother, "Woman, here is your son", to the Beloved Disciple he says, "Here is your mother." When Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb, she runs to tell the Beloved Peter. The two men rush to the empty tomb and the Beloved Disciple is the first to reach the empty tomb. However, Peter is the first to enter. In John 21, the last chapter of the Gospel of John, the Beloved Disciple is one of seven fishermen involved in the miraculous catch of 153 fish. In the book's final chapter, after Jesus hints to Peter how Peter will die, Peter sees the Beloved Disciple following them and asks, "What about him?"
Jesus answers, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!" Again in the gospel's last chapter, it states that the book itself is based on the written testimony of the disciple whom Jesus loved. None of the other Gospels has anyone in the parallel scenes that could be directly understood as the Beloved Disciple. For example, in Luke 24:12, Peter alone runs to the tomb. Mark and Luke do not mention any one of the twelve disciples having witnessed the crucifixion. There are two references to an unnamed "other disciple" in John 1:35-40 and John 18:15-16, which may be to the same person based on the wording in John 20:2. Church tradition has held that John is the author of the Gospel of John and four other books of the New Testament — the three Epistles of J
In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, the sister of Asteria. The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins and Artemis, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus. Classical Greek myths record little about Leto other than her pregnancy and her search for a place where she could give birth to Apollo and Artemis, since Hera in her jealousy caused all lands to shun her, she found an island, not attached to the ocean floor so it was not considered land and she could give birth. This is her only active mythic role: once Apollo and Artemis are grown, Leto withdraws, to remain a dim and benevolent matronly figure upon Olympus, her part played. In Roman mythology, Leto's Roman equivalent is Latona, a Latinization of her name, influenced by Etruscan Letun. In Crete, at the city of Dreros, Spyridon Marinatos uncovered an eighth-century post-Minoan hearth house temple in which there were found three unique figures of Apollo and Leto made of brass sheeting hammered over a shaped core.
Walter Burkert notes. Leto was identified from the fourth century onwards with the principal local mother goddess of Anatolian Lycia, as the region became Hellenized. In Greek inscriptions, the children of Leto are referred to as the "national gods" of the country, her sanctuary, the Letoon near Xanthos predated Hellenic influence in the region and united the Lycian confederacy of city-states. The Hellenes of Kos claimed Leto as their own. Another sanctuary, more identified, was at Oenoanda in the north of Lycia. There was a further Letoon at Delos. Leto's primal nature may be deduced from the natures of her father and mother, who may have been Titans of the sun and moon, her Titan father is called "Coeus", though H. J. Rose considers his name and nature uncertain, he is in one Roman source given the name Polus, which may relate him to the sphere of heaven from pole to pole; the name of Leto's mother, "Phoebe", is identical to the epithet of her son Apollo, Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων, throughout Homer. Several explanations have been put forward to explain the origin of the goddess and the meaning of her name.
Older sources speculated that the name is related to the Greek λήθη λωτός lotus. It would thus mean "the hidden one". In 20th-century sources Leto is traditionally derived from Lycian lada, "wife", as her earliest cult was centered in Lycia. Lycian lada may be the origin of the Greek name Λήδα Leda. Other scholars have suggested a Pre-Greek origin. According to Hyginus when Hera, the most conservative of goddesses – for she had the most to lose in changes to the order of nature — discovered that Leto was pregnant and that Zeus was the father, she realized that the offspring would cement the new order, she was powerless to stop the flow of events. Hera banned Leto from giving birth on "terra firma", the mainland, any island at sea, or any place under the sun. According to Pseudo-Apollodorus "Latona for her intrigue with Zeus was hunted by Hera over the whole earth, till she came to Delos and brought forth first Artemis, by the help of whose midwifery she afterwards gave birth to Apollo."Antoninus Liberalis is not alone in hinting that Leto came down from Hyperborea in the guise of a she-wolf, or that she sought out the "wolf-country" of Lycia called Tremilis, which she renamed to honour wolves that had befriended her for her denning.
Another late source, Aelian links Leto with wolves and Hyperboreans: Wolves are not delivered of their young, only after twelve days and twelve nights, for the people of Delos maintain that this was the length of time that it took Leto to travel from the Hyperboreoi to Delos. Most accounts agree that she found the barren floating island of Delos, still bearing its archaic name of Asterios, neither mainland nor a real island and gave birth there, promising the island wealth from the worshippers who would flock to the obscure birthplace of the splendid god, to come; the island was surrounded by swans. As a gesture of gratitude, Delos was secured with four pillars and became sacred to Apollo. Callimachus wrote that it is remarkable that Leto brought forth Artemis, the elder twin, without travail. By contrast, according to the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, Leto labored for nine nights and nine days for Apollo, in the presence of all the first among the deathless goddesses as witnesses: Dione, Ichnaea and the "loud-moaning" sea-goddess Amphitrite.
Only Hera kept apart to kidnap Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor. Instead, having been born first, assisted with the birth of Apollo. Another version, in the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo and in an Orphic hymn, states that Artemis was born before Apollo, on the island of Ortygia, that she helped Leto cross the sea to Delos the next day to give birth there to Apollo. According to the Homeric hymn, the goddesses who assembled to be witnesses at the birth of Apollo were responding to a public occasion in the rites of a dynasty, where the authenticity of the child must be established beyond doubt from the first moment; the dynastic rite of the witnessed birth must have been familiar to the hymn's hearers. The dynasty, so concerned about being authenticated in this myth is the new dynasty of Zeus and the Olympian Pantheon, the goddesses at Delos who bear witness to the rightness of the birth are the great goddesses
The Dodecanese are a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea, off the coast of Asia Minor, of which 26 are inhabited. Τhis island group defines the eastern limit of the Sea of Crete. They belong to the wider Southern Sporades island group; the most important and well-known island, has been the area's dominant island since antiquity. Of the others and Patmos are the more important. Other islands in the chain include Alimia, Chalki, Gyali, Levitha, Nimos, Saria, Strongyli and Telendos; the name "Dodecanese", meaning "The Twelve Islands", denotes today an island group in the southeastern Aegean Sea, comprising fifteen major islands and 93 smaller islets. Since Antiquity, these islands formed part of the group known as the "Southern Sporades"; the name Dōdekanēsos first appears in Byzantine sources in the 8th century, as a naval command under a droungarios, encompassing the southern Aegean Sea, which evolved into the Theme of Samos. However it was not applied to the current island group, but to the twelve Cyclades islands clustered around Delos.
The name may indeed be of far earlier date, modern historians suggest that a list of 12 islands given by Strabo was the origin of the term. The term remained in use throughout the medieval period and was still used for the Cyclades in both colloquial usage and scholarly Greek-language literature until the 18th century; the transfer of the name to the present-day Dodecanese has its roots in the Ottoman period. Following the Ottoman conquest in 1522, the two larger islands and Kos, came under direct Ottoman rule, while the others, of which the twelve main islands were named, enjoyed extensive privileges pertaining to taxation and self-government. Concerted attempts to abolish these privileges were made after 1869, as the Ottoman Empire attempted to modernize and centralize its administrative structure, the last vestiges of the old privileges were abolished after the Young Turks took power in 1908, it was at that time that the press in the independent Kingdom of Greece began referring to the twelve privileged islands in the context of their attempts to preserve their privileges, collectively as the "Dodecanese".
Shortly after, in 1912, most of the Southern Sporades were captured by the Italians in the Italo-Turkish War, except for Ikaria, which joined Greece in 1912 during the First Balkan War, Kastellorizo, which came under Italian rule only in 1921. The place of the latter two was taken by Kos and Rhodes, bringing the number of the major islands under Italian rule back to twelve. Thus, when the Greek press began agitating for the cession of the islands to Greece in 1913, the term used was still the "Dodecanese"; the Italian occupation authorities helped to establish the term when they named the islands under their control "Rhodes and the Dodecanese", adding Leipsoi to the list of the major islands to make up for considering Rhodes separately. By 1920, the name had become established for the entire island group, a fact acknowledged by the Italian government when it appointed the islands' first civilian governor, Count Carlo Senni, as "Viceroy of the Dodecanese"; as the name was associated with Greek irredentism, from 1924 Mussolini's Fascist regime tried to abolish its use by referring to them as the "Italian Islands of the Aegean", but this name never acquired any wider currency outside Italian administrative usage.
The islands joined Greece in 1947 following as the "Governorate-General of the Dodecanese", since 1955 the "Dodecanese Prefecture". The Dodecanese have been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the Neopalatial period on Crete, the islands were Minoanized. Following the downfall of the Minoans, the islands were ruled by the Mycenaean Greeks from circa 1400 BC, until the arrival of the Dorians circa 1100 BC, it is in the Dorian period that they began to prosper as an independent entity, developing a thriving economy and culture through the following centuries. By the early Archaic period Rhodes and Kos emerged as the major islands in the group, in the 6th century BC the Dorians founded three major cities on Rhodes. Together with the island of Kos and the cities of Knidos and Halicarnassos on the mainland of Asia Minor, these made up the Dorian Hexapolis; this development was interrupted around 499 BC by the Persian Wars, during which the islands were captured by the Persians for a brief period.
Following the defeat of the Persians by the Athenians in 478 BC, the cities joined the Athenian-dominated Delian League. When the Peloponnesian War broke out in 431 BC, they remained neutral although they were still members of the League. By the time the Peloponnesian War ended in 404 BC, the Dodecanese were removed from the larger Aegean conflicts, had begun a period of relative quiet and prosperity. In 408 BC, the three cities of Rhodes had united to form one state, which built a new capital on the northern end of the island named Rhodes.
Sparta was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece. In antiquity the city-state was known as Lacedaemon, while the name Sparta referred to its main settlement on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. Around 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece. Given its military pre-eminence, Sparta was recognized as the leading force of the unified Greek military during the Greco-Persian Wars. Between 431 and 404 BC, Sparta was the principal enemy of Athens during the Peloponnesian War, from which it emerged victorious, though at a great cost of lives lost. Sparta's defeat by Thebes in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC ended Sparta's prominent role in Greece. However, it maintained its political independence until the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC, it underwent a long period of decline in the Middle Ages, when many Spartans moved to live in Mystras. Modern Sparta is the capital of the Greek regional unit of Laconia and a center for the processing of goods such as citrus and olives.
Sparta was unique in ancient Greece for its social system and constitution, which configured their entire society to maximize military proficiency at all costs, focused on military training and excellence. Its inhabitants were classified as Spartiates, mothakes and helots. Spartiates underwent the rigorous agoge training and education regimen, Spartan phalanges were considered to be among the best in battle. Spartan women enjoyed more rights and equality to men than elsewhere in the classical antiquity. Sparta was the subject of fascination in its own day, as well as in Western culture following the revival of classical learning; this love or admiration of Sparta is known as Laconophilia. At its peak around 500 BC the size of the city would have been some 20,000–35,000 citizens, plus numerous helots and perioikoi; the total of 40,000–50,000 made Sparta one of the largest Greek cities. The French classicist François Ollier in his 1933 book Le mirage spartiate warned that a major scholarly problem regarding Sparta is that all the surviving accounts were written by non-Spartans who presented an excessively idealized image of Sparta.
The earliest attested term referring to Lacedaemon is the Mycenaean Greek, ra-ke-da-mi-ni-jo, "Lacedaimonian", written in Linear B syllabic script, being the equivalent of the written in the Greek alphabet, latter Greek, Λακεδαιμόνιος, Lakedaimonios. The ancient Greeks used one of three words to refer to the home location of the Spartans; the first refers to the main cluster of settlements in the valley of the Eurotas River: Sparta. The second word was Lacedaemon. Herodotus seems to denote by it the Mycenaean Greek citadel at Therapne, in contrast to the lower town of Sparta, it could be used synonymously with Sparta, but it was not. It denoted the terrain. In Homer it is combined with epithets of the countryside: wide, lovely and most hollow and broken; the hollow suggests the Eurotas Valley. Sparta on the other hand is the country of a people epithet; the name of the population was used for the state of Lacedaemon: the Lacedaemonians. This epithet utilized the plural of the adjective Lacedaemonius.
If the ancients wished to refer to the country more directly, instead of Lacedaemon, they could use a back-formation from the adjective: Lacedaemonian country. As most words for "country" were feminine, the adjective was in the feminine: Lacedaemonia; the adjective came to be used alone. "Lacedaemonia" was not in general use during the classical period and before. It does occur in Greek as an equivalent of Laconia and Messenia during the Roman and early Byzantine periods in ethnographers and lexica glossing place names. For example, Hesychius of Alexandria's Lexicon defines Agiadae as a "place in Lacedaemonia" named after Agis; the actual transition may be captured by Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae, an etymological dictionary. He relied on Orosius' Historiarum Adversum Paganos and Eusebius of Caesarea's Chronicon as did Orosius; the latter defines Sparta to be Lacedaemonia Civitas but Isidore defines Lacedaemonia as founded by Lacedaemon, son of Semele, relying on Eusebius. There is a rare use the earliest of Lacedaemonia, in Diodorus Siculus, but with Χὠρα suppressed.
The immediate area around the town of Sparta, the plateau east of the Taygetos mountains, was referred as Laconice. This term was sometimes used to refer to all the regions under direct Spartan control, including Messenia. Lakedaimona was until 2006 the name of a province in the modern Greek prefecture of Laconia. Sparta is located in the south-eastern Peloponnese. Ancient Sparta was built on the banks of the Eurotas River, the main river of Laconia, which provided it with a source of fresh water; the valley of the Eurotas is a natural fo