Megara is a historic town and a municipality in West Attica, Greece. It lies in the northern section of the Isthmus of Corinth opposite the island of Salamis, which belonged to Megara in archaic times, before being taken by Athens. Megara was one of the four districts of Attica, embodied in the four mythic sons of King Pandion II, of whom Nisos was the ruler of Megara. Megara was a trade port, its people using their ships and wealth as a way to gain leverage on armies of neighboring poleis. Megara specialized in the exportation of wool and other animal 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. According to Pausanias, the Megarians said that their town owed its origin to Car, the son of Phoroneus, who built the citadel called'Caria' and the temples of Demeter called Megara, from which the place derived its name. In historical times, Megara was an early dependency of Corinth, in which capacity colonists from Megara founded Megara Hyblaea, a small polis north of Syracuse in Sicily.
Megara fought a war of independence with Corinth, afterwards founded Chalcedon in 685 BC, as well as Byzantium. 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 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. Megara defected from the Spartan-dominated Peloponnesian League to the Delian league due to border disputes with its neighbour Corinth and it 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 after revolting from the Delian 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, a sacred precinct in the border region between the two states. 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, which became famous for the use of logic and dialectic. During the Celtic invasion in 279 BC, Megara sent a force of 400 peltasts to Thermopylae.
During the Chremonidean War, in 266 BC, the Megarians were besieged by the Macedonian king Antigonus Gonatas and managed to defeat his elephants employing burning pigs. Despite this success, the Megarians had to submit to the Macedonians. In 243 BC, exhorted by Aratus of Sicyon, Megara expelled its Macedonian garrison and joined the Achaean League, but when the Achaeans lost control of the Isthmus in 223 BC the Megarians left them and joined the Boeotian League. Not more than thirty years however, the Megarians grew tired of the Boeotian decline and returned their allegiance to Achaea; the Achaean strategos Philopoemen fought off the Boeotian intervention force and secured Megara's return, either in 203 or in 193 BC. The Megarians were proverbial for their generosity in endowing temples. Saint Jerome reports "There is a common saying about the Megarians'They build as if they are to live forever. Megara seems to have experienced democracy on two occasions; the first was between 427, when there was a democratic uprising, 424, when a narrow oligarchy was installed.
The second was in the 370s, when we hear that the people of Megara expelled some anti-democratic conspirators. By the 350s, Isocrates is referring to Megara in terms that suggests that it was an oligarchy again. One of the first actions of the new oligarchy in 424 was to compel the people to vote which suggests that the democracy had made use of the secret ballot. Megarian democracy made use of ostracism. Other key institutions of the democracy included a popular Assembly and Council, a board of five generals. Megara is located in the westernmost part of Attica, near the Megara Gulf, a bay of the Saronic Gulf; the coastal plain around Megara is referred to as Megaris, the name of the ancient city state centered on Megara. Megara is 8 km west of Nea Peramos, 18 km west of Eleusis, 19 km east of Agioi Theodoroi, 34 km west of Athens and 37 km east of Corinth; the Motorway 8 connects it with Corinth. The Megara railway station is served by Proastiakos suburban trains to Kiato. There is a small military airfield south of the town, ICAO code LGMG.
The main town Megara had 23,456 inhabitants at the 2011 census. The largest other settlements in the municipal unit are Vlychada, Kineta and Lakka Kalogirou; the municipa
Hipparchus (son of Peisistratos)
Hipparchus or Hipparch was a member of the ruling class of Athens. He was one of the sons of Peisistratos, he was a tyrant of the city of Athens from 528/7 BC until his assassination by the tyrannicides and Aristogeiton in 514 BC. Hipparchus was said by some Greek authors to have been the tyrant of Athens, along with his brother Hippias, after Peisistratos died, in about 528/7 BC; the word tyrant means "one who takes power by force", as opposed to a ruler who inherited a monarchy or was chosen in some way. It carried no pejorative connotation during the Archaic and early Classical periods. However, according to Thucydides, Hippias was the only'tyrant'. Both Hipparchus and Hippias enjoyed the popular support of the people. Hipparchus was a patron of the arts. In 514 BC Hipparchus was assassinated by the tyrannicides and Aristogeiton; this was a personal dispute, according to Herodotus and Thucydides. Hipparchus had fallen in love with Harmodius, the lover of Aristogeiton. Not only did Harmodius reject him, but humiliated him by telling Aristogeiton of his advances.
Hipparchus invited Harmodius' sister to participate in the Panathenaic Festival as kanephoros only to publicly disqualify her on the grounds that she was not a virgin. Harmodius and Aristogeiton organized a revolt for the Panathenaic Games but they panicked and attacked too early. Although they killed Hipparchus, Harmodius was killed by his bodyguard and Aristogeiton was arrested and killed. According to Thucydides, Hippias ordered the Greeks to lay down their ceremonial arms and had them searched, arresting any found with concealed weapons; this was denied by Aristotle, who said that this story was created by the democratic government in order to impress upon the people how much of a tyrant Hippias was. Aristotle mentions that Aristogeiton was tortured in order to give the names of the conspirators in the plot. Enraged that Hippias hadn't killed him, Aristogeiton offered more names to Hippias in exchange for his hand in pledge; when Hippias put his hand on Aristogeiton's, Aristogeiton berated him for giving his hand to his brother's murderer — at which point Hippias stabbed Aristogeiton in rage.
After the assassination of his brother, Hippias is said to have become a bitter and cruel tyrant, was overthrown a few years in 510 BC by the Spartan king Cleomenes I. Some modern scholars ascribe the tradition that Hipparchus was himself a cruel tyrant to the cult of Harmodius and Aristogeiton established after the downfall of the tyranny. Hipparchus is the namesake and topic of discussion in one of Plato's shorter dialogues, in which Socrates and an unnamed companion attempt to define philokerdes. Hipparchus Inscription at demonax.info
The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the epic narrative takes up events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles' imminent death and the fall of Troy, although the narrative ends before these events take place. However, as these events are prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly, when it reaches an end the poem has told a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War; the Iliad is paired with something of a sequel, the Odyssey attributed to Homer. Along with the Odyssey, the Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western literature, its written version is dated to around the 8th century BC.
In the modern vulgate, the Iliad contains 15,693 lines. According to Michael N. Nagler, the Iliad is a more complicated epic poem than the Odyssey. Note: Book numbers are in parentheses and come before the synopsis of the book. After an invocation to the Muses, the story launches in medias res towards the end of the Trojan War between the Trojans and the besieging Greeks. Chryses, a Trojan priest of Apollo, offers the Greeks wealth for the return of his daughter Chryseis, held captive of Agamemnon, the Greek leader. Although most of the Greek army is in favour of the offer, Agamemnon refuses. Chryses prays for Apollo's help, Apollo causes a plague to afflict the Greek army. After nine days of plague, the leader of the Myrmidon contingent, calls an assembly to deal with the problem. Under pressure, Agamemnon agrees to return Chryseis to her father, but decides to take Achilles' captive, Briseis, as compensation. Achilles furiously will go home. Odysseus takes a ship and returns Chryseis to her father, whereupon Apollo ends the plague.
In the meantime, Agamemnon's messengers take Briseis away. Achilles becomes upset, sits by the seashore, prays to his mother, Thetis. Achilles asks his mother to ask Zeus to bring the Greeks to the breaking point by the Trojans, so Agamemnon will realize how much the Greeks need Achilles. Thetis does so, Zeus agrees. Zeus sends a dream to Agamemnon. Agamemnon heeds the dream but first decides to test the Greek army's morale, by telling them to go home; the plan backfires, only the intervention of Odysseus, inspired by Athena, stops a rout. Odysseus confronts and beats Thersites, a common soldier who voices discontent about fighting Agamemnon's war. After a meal, the Greeks deploy in companies upon the Trojan plain; the poet takes the opportunity to describe the provenance of each Greek contingent. When news of the Greek deployment reaches King Priam, the Trojans respond in a sortie upon the plain. In a list similar to that for the Greeks, the poet describes their allies; the armies approach each other, but before they meet, Paris offers to end the war by fighting a duel with Menelaus, urged by his brother and head of the Trojan army, Hector.
While Helen tells Priam about the Greek commanders from the walls of Troy, both sides swear a truce and promise to abide by the outcome of the duel. Paris is beaten, but Aphrodite rescues him and leads him to bed with Helen before Menelaus can kill him. Pressured by Hera's hatred of Troy, Zeus arranges for the Trojan Pandaros to break the truce by wounding Menelaus with an arrow. Agamemnon rouses the Greeks, battle is joined. In the fighting, Diomedes kills many Trojans, including Pandaros, defeats Aeneas, whom Aphrodite rescues, but Diomedes attacks and wounds the goddess. Apollo warns him against warring with gods. Many heroes and commanders join in, including Hector, the gods supporting each side try to influence the battle. Emboldened by Athena, Diomedes wounds puts him out of action. Hector prevents a rout. Hector enters the city, urges prayers and sacrifices, incites Paris to battle, bids his wife Andromache and son Astyanax farewell on the city walls, rejoins the battle. Hector duels with Ajax, but nightfall interrupts the fight, both sides retire.
The Greeks agree to burn their dead, build a wall to protect their ships and camp, while the Trojans quarrel about returning Helen. Paris offers to return the treasure he took and give further wealth as compensation, but not Helen, the offer is refused. A day's truce is agreed for burning the dead, during which the Greeks build their wall and a trench; the next morning, Zeus prohibits the gods from interfering, fighting begins anew. The Trojans prevail and force the Greeks back to their wall, while Hera and Athena are forbidden to help. Night falls, they camp in the field to attack at first light, their watchfires light the plain like stars. Meanwhile, the Greeks are desperate. Agamemnon admits his error, sends an embassy composed of Odysseus, Ajax and two heralds to offer Briseis and extensive gifts to Achilles, who has be
Tragedy is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in audiences. While many cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, the term tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role in the self-definition of Western civilisation; that tradition has been multiple and discontinuous, yet the term has been used to invoke a powerful effect of cultural identity and historical continuity—"the Greeks and the Elizabethans, in one cultural form. From its origins in the theatre of ancient Greece 2500 years ago, from which there survives only a fraction of the work of Aeschylus and Euripides, as well as a large number of fragments from other poets. A long line of philosophers—which includes Plato, Saint Augustine, Hume, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Freud, Camus and Deleuze—have analysed, speculated upon, criticised the genre. In the wake of Aristotle's Poetics, tragedy has been used to make genre distinctions, whether at the scale of poetry in general or at the scale of the drama.
In the modern era, tragedy has been defined against drama, the tragicomic, epic theatre. Drama, in the narrow sense, cuts across the traditional division between comedy and tragedy in an anti- or a-generic deterritorialisation from the mid-19th century onwards. Both Bertolt Brecht and Augusto Boal define their epic theatre projects against models of tragedy. Taxidou, reads epic theatre as an incorporation of tragic functions and its treatments of mourning and speculation; the word "tragedy" appears to have been used to describe different phenomena at different times. It derives from Classical Greek τραγῳδία, contracted from trag-aoidiā = "goat song", which comes from tragos = "he-goat" and aeidein = "to sing". Scholars suspect this may be traced to a time when a goat was either the prize in a competition of choral dancing or was that around which a chorus danced prior to the animal's ritual sacrifice. In another view on the etymology, Athenaeus of Naucratis says that the original form of the word was trygodia from trygos and ode, because those events were first introduced during grape harvest.
Writing in 335 BCE, Aristotle provides the earliest-surviving explanation for the origin of the dramatic art form in his Poetics, in which he argues that tragedy developed from the improvisations of the leader of choral dithyrambs: Anyway, arising from an improvisatory beginning, grew little by little, as developed whatever of it had appeared. In the same work, Aristotle attempts to provide a scholastic definition of what tragedy is: Tragedy is an enactment of a deed, important and complete, of magnitude, by means of language enriched, each used separately in the different parts: it is enacted, not recited, through pity and fear it effects relief to such emotions. There is some dissent to the dithyrambic origins of tragedy based on the differences between the shapes of their choruses and styles of dancing. A common descent from pre-Hellenic fertility and burial rites has been suggested. Friedrich Nietzsche discussed the origins of Greek tragedy in his early book The Birth of Tragedy. Here, he suggests the name originates in the use of a chorus of goat-like satyrs in the original dithyrambs from which the tragic genre developed.
Scott Scullion writes: There is abundant evidence for tragoidia understood as "song for the prize goat". The best-known evidence is Horace, Ars poetica 220-24. Athenian tragedy—the oldest surviving form of tragedy—is a type of dance-drama that formed an important part of the theatrical culture of the city-state. Having emerged sometime during the 6th century BCE, it flowered during the 5th century BCE, continued to be popular until the beginning of the Hellenistic period. No tragedies from the 6th century and only 32 of the more than a thousand that were performed in the 5th century have survived. We have complete texts extant by Aeschylus and Euripides. Athenian tragedies
History of Athens
Athens is one of the oldest named cities in the world, having been continuously inhabited for at least 5000 years. Situated in southern Europe, Athens became the leading city of Ancient Greece in the first millennium BC, its cultural achievements during the 5th century BC laid the foundations of western civilization. During the early Middle Ages, the city experienced a decline recovered under the Byzantine Empire and was prosperous during the period of the Crusades, benefiting from Italian trade. Following a period of sharp decline under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Athens re-emerged in the 19th century as the capital of the independent and self-governing Greek state; the name of Athens, connected to the name of its patron goddess Athena, originates from an earlier Pre-Greek language. The origin myth explaining how Athens acquired this name through the legendary contest between Poseidon and Athena was described by Herodotus, Ovid, Plutarch and others, it 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 prosperity; the Athenians, under their ruler Cecrops, named the city after Athena. 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. Plato, in his dialogue Cratylus, offers his own etymology of Athena's 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 as a defensible settlement on top of the Acropolis, around the end of the fourth millennium BC or a little later.
The Acropolis is a natural defensive position. The settlement was about 20 km inland from the Saronic Gulf, in the centre of the Cephisian Plain, a fertile valley surrounded by rivers. 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 ancient walled city encompassed an area measuring about 2 km from east to west and less than that from north to south, although at its peak the ancient city had suburbs extending well beyond these walls. 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, lay at the western end of the city; 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 religious 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; the metics, i.e. those who did not have citizen rights and paid for the right to reside in Athens, numbered a further 70,000, whilst slaves were estimated at between 150,000 and 400,000. Hence a tenth of the population were adult male citizens, eligible to meet and vote in the Assembly and be elected to office. After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC, the city's population began to decrease as Greeks migrated to the Hellenistic empires in the east. Athens has been inhabited from Neolithic times from the end of the 4th millennium BC, or nearly 5,000 years. By 1412 BC, the settlement had become an important center of the Mycenaean civilization and the Acropolis was the site of a major Mycenaean fortress whose remains can be recognised from sections of the characteristic Cyclopean walls.
On the summit of the Acropolis, below the Erechtheion, cuttings in the rock have been identified as the location of a Mycenaean palace. Between 1250 and 1200 BC, to feed the needs of the Mycenaean settlement, a staircase was built down a cleft in the rock to reach a water supply, protected from enemy incursions, comparable to similar works carried out at Mycenae. Unlike other Mycenaean centers, such as Mycenae and Pylos, it is unclear whether Athens suffered destruction in about 1200 BC, an event traditionally attributed to a Dorian invasion, the Athenians always maintained that they were "pure" Ionians with no Dorian element. However, like many other Bronze Age settlements, went into economic decline for around 150 years following this. Iron Age burials, in the Kerameikos and other locations, are richly provided for and demonstrate that from 900 BC onwards Athens was one of the leading centres of trade and prosperity in the region
The Histories of Herodotus is considered the founding work of history in Western literature. Written in 440 BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics and clashes of various cultures that were known in Western Asia, Northern Africa and Greece at that time. Although not a impartial record, it remains one of the West's most important sources regarding these affairs. Moreover, it established the study of history in the Western world; the Histories stands as one of the first accounts of the rise of the Persian Empire, as well as the events and causes of the Greco-Persian Wars between the Achaemenid Empire and the Greek city-states in the 5th century BC. Herodotus portrays the conflict as one between the forces of slavery on the one hand, freedom on the other; the Histories was at some point divided into the nine books that appear in modern editions, conventionally named after the nine Muses. Herodotus claims to have traveled extensively around the ancient world, conducting interviews and collecting stories for his book all of which covers territories of the Persian Empire.
At the beginning of The Histories, Herodotus sets out his reasons for writing it: This is the showing-forth of the inquiry of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, so that neither what has come to be from man in time might become faded, nor that great and wondrous deeds, those shown forth by Greeks and those by barbarians, might be without their glory. The rapes of Io, Medea, which motivated Paris to abduct Helen; the subsequent Trojan War is marked as a precursor to conflicts between peoples of Asia and Europe. Colchis and Medea; the rulers of Lydia: Candaules, Ardys, Alyattes, Croesus How Candaules made his bodyguard, view the naked body of his wife. Upon discovery, she ordered Gyges to murder Candaules or face death himself How Gyges took the kingdom from Candaules The singer Arion's ride on the dolphin Solon's answer to Croesus's question that Tellus was the happiest person in the world Croesus's efforts to protect his son Atys, his son's accidental death by Adrastus Croesus's test of the oracles The answer from the Oracle of Delphi concerning whether Croesus should attack the Persians: If you attack, a great empire will fall.
Peisistratos' falls from power as tyrant of Athens The rise of Sparta The Battle of Halys. Rebellion fails and he seeks refuge from Mazares in Cyme The culture of Assyria the design and improvement of the city of Babylon and the ways of its people Cyrus's attack on Babylon, including his revenge on the river Gyndes and his famous method for entering the city Cyrus's ill-fated attack on the Massagetæ, leading to his death The proof of the antiquity of the Phrygians by the use of children unexposed to language The geography of Egypt Speculations on the Nile river The religious practices of Egypt as they differ from the Greeks The animals of Egypt: cats, crocodiles, otters, sacred serpents, winged snakes, ibises The culture of Egypt: medicine, funeral rites, boats The kings of Egypt: Menes, Nitocris, Mœris, Pheron, Proteus Helen and Paris's stay in Egypt, just before the Trojan War More kings of Egypt: Rhampsinit, Chephren, Asychis, Sethôs The line of priests The Labyrinth More kings of Egypt: the twelve, Necôs, Apries, Amasis II Cambyses II of Persia's attack on Egypt, the defeat of the Egyptian king Psammetichus III.
Cambyses's abortive attack on Ethiopia The madness of Cambyses The good fortune of Polycrates, king of Samos Periander, the king of Corinth and Corcyra, his obstinate son The revolt of the two Magi in Persia and the death of Cambyses The conspiracy of the seven to remove the Magi The rise of Darius I of Persia. The twenty satrapies The culture of India and their method of collecting gold The culture of Arabia and their method of collecting spices The flooded valley with five gates Orœtes's scheme against Polycrates The physician Democêdes The rise of Syloson governor of Samos The revolt of Babylon and its defeat by the scheme of Zopyrus The history of the Scythians The miraculous poet Aristeas The geography of Scythia The inhabitants of regions beyond Scythia: Sauromatae, Thyssagetae, Issedones, Hyperboreans A comparison of Libya and Europe The rivers of Scythia: the Ister, the Tyras, the Hypanis, the Borysthe