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.
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In Greek mythology, Danaus was the king of Libya. His myth is a foundation legend of one of the foremost Mycenaean cities of the Peloponnesus. In Homer's Iliad, "Danaans" and "Argives" designate the Greek forces opposed to the Trojans. Danaus, was the son of King Belus of the naiad Achiroe, daughter of the river god Nilus, he was the twin brother of Aegyptus, king of Arabia while Euripides adds two others, king of Ethiopia and Phineus, betrothed of Andromeda. Danaus had the Danaides, 12 of whom were born to the naiad Polyxo. According to Hippostratus, Danaus had all these progeny begotten by the daughter of Nilus. In some accounts, Danaus married Melia while Aegyptus consorted with Isaie, these two women were daughters of their uncle Agenor, king of Tyre, their possible sister, Damno, described as the daughter of Belus. After Aegyptus commanded that his fifty sons should marry the Danaides, Danaus elected to flee instead, to that purpose, he built a ship, the first ship that was. In it, he fled to Argos, to which he was connected by his descent from Io, a priestess of Hera at Argos, wooed by Zeus and turned into a heifer and pursued by Hera until she found asylum in Egypt.
Argos at the time was ruled by King Pelasgus, the eponym of all autochthonous inhabitants who had lived in Greece since the beginning called Gelanor. The Danaides asked Pelasgus for protection when they arrived, the event portrayed in The Suppliants by Aeschylus. Protection was granted after a vote by the Argives; when Pausanias visited Argos in the 2nd century CE, he related the succession of Danaus to the throne, judged by the Argives, who "from the earliest times... have loved freedom and self-government, they limited to the utmost the authority of their kings": The sanctuary of Apollo Lykeios was still the most prominent feature of Argos in Pausanias' time: in the sanctuary the tourist might see the throne of Danaus himself, an eternal flame, called the fire of Phoronius. When Aegyptus and his fifty sons arrived to take the Danaides, Danaus gave them, to spare the Argives the pain of a battle. However, he instructed his daughters to kill their husbands on their wedding night. Forty-nine followed through, subsequently buried the heads of their bridegrooms in Lerna.
Danaus threw her to the Argive courts. Aphrodite saved her. Lynceus and Hypermnestra began a dynasty of Argive kings; some sources relate that Amymone, the "blameless" Danaid, and/or Bryce spared their husbands. Aegyptus, after the death of his sons, died there, his monument was shown in the temple of Serapis at Patrae. In some versions, Lynceus killed Danaus as revenge for the death of his brothers; the remaining forty-nine Danaides had their grooms chosen by a common mythic competition: A foot-race was held and the order in which the potential Argive grooms finished decided their brides. Two of the grooms were Archander and Architeles, sons of Achaeus: They married Scaea and Automate respectively. In accounts, the Danaides were punished in Tartarus by being forced to carry water in a jug to fill a bath without bottom and thereby wash off their sins, but the bath was never filled because the water was always leaking out. Another account of the travels of Danaus gave him three daughters, Ialysos and Lindos, who were worshipped in the cities that took their names in the island of Rhodes, Ialysos and Lindos.
According to Rhodian mythographers who informed Diodorus Siculus, Danaus would have stopped and founded a sanctuary to Athena Lindia on the way from Egypt to Greece. Herodotus heard. Ken Dowden observes that once the idea is dismissed that myth is directly narrating the movements of historical persons, that the loci of Danaian institutions at Lindos in Rhodes as well as at Argos suggests a Mycenaean colony sent to Rhodes from the Argolid, a tradition, in fact, that Strabo reports. Danaus was credited as the inventor of wells and said to have migrated from Egypt about 1485 B. C. into that part of Greece, known as Argos Dipsion. Notes in Pliny the Elder's, Natural History added that: The epic Danais was written by one of the cyclic poets, it is represented in the table of epics in the received canon on the fragmentary "Borgia table" as "Danaides". A U. S. federal judge used the version of the legend in which the Danaides are forced to perform an impossible task as a simile for the judge's task of determining whether a case "arises under" the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States.
Pindar, Odes translated by Diane Arnson Svarlien. 1990. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Herodotus, The Histories with an English translation by A. D. Godley. Cambridge. Harvard University Press. 1920. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Diodorus Siculus, Diodorus Siculus: The Library of History. Translated by Charles Henry Oldfather. Twelve volumes. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Elis or Eleia is an ancient district that corresponds to the modern regional unit of Elis. Elis is in southern Greece on the Peloponnese, bounded on the north by Achaea, east by Arcadia, south by Messenia, west by the Ionian Sea. Over the course of the archaic and classical periods, the polis "city-state" of Elis controlled much of the region of Elis, most through unequal treaties with other cities. Perioeci, unlike other Spartans, could travel between cities, thus the polis of Elis was formed. Homer mentions; the first Olympic festival was organized in Elian land - Olympia - by the authorities of Elis in the eighth century BC, with tradition dating the first games to 776 BC. The Hellanodikai, the judges of the Games, were of Elian origin; the local form of the name was Valis, or Valeia, its meaning, in all probability was, "the lowland". In its physical constitution Elis is similar to Arcadia. According to Strabo, the first settlement was created by Oxylus the Aetolian who invaded there and subjugated the residents.
The city of Elis underwent synoecism—as Strabo notes—in 471 BC. Elis held authority over the site of the Olympic games; the spirit of the games had influenced the formation of the market: apart from the bouleuterion, the place the boule "citizen's council" met, in one of the gymnasia, most of the other buildings were related to the games, including two gymnasia, a palaestra, the House of the Hellanodikai. As described by Strabo, Elis was divided into three districts: Koilē, or Lowland Elis Pīsâtis Triphylia. Koilē Elis, the largest and most northern of the three, was watered by the river Peneus and its tributary, the Ladon; the district was famous during antiquity for its horses. Pisatis extended south from Koilē Elis to the right bank of the river Alpheios, was divided into eight departments named after as many towns. Triphylia stretched south from the Alpheios to the river Neda. Nowadays Elis is a small village of 150 citizens located 14 kilometres NE of Amaliada, built over the ruins of the ancient town.
It has a museum. It has one of the most well-preserved ancient theaters in Greece. Built in the fourth century BC, the theater had a capacity of 8,000 people. Elis was a traditional ally of Sparta, but the city state joined Argos and Athens in an alliance against Sparta around 420 BC during the Peloponnesian War; this was due to Spartan support for the independence of Lepreum. As punishment following the surrender of Athens, Elis was forced to surrender Triphylia in 399 BC, the territory was permanently ceded to Arcadia in 369 BC. Eric W. Robinson has argued that Elis was a democracy by around 500 BC, on the basis of early inscriptions which suggest that the people could make and change laws. Robinson further believes that literary sources imply that Elis continued to be democratic until 365, when an oligarchic faction seems to have taken control. At some point in the mid-fourth century, democracy may have been restored; the classical democracy at Elis seems to have functioned through a popular Assembly and a Council, the two main institutions of most poleis.
The Council had 500 members, but grew to 600 members by the end of the fifth century. There was a range of public officials such as the demiourgoi who submitted to public audits. Athletes Coroebus of Elis, the first ancient Olympic gold-medalist Troilus of Elis, 4th century BC equestrianIn mythology Salmoneus, Pelops mythological kings of Elis Endymion Sons of Endymion: Epeius Aetolus Paeon Augeas, king of Elis related to the Fifth Labour of Heracles Amphimachus, king of Elis and leader of Eleans in the Trojan War Thalpius, leader of Eleans in the Trojan War Oxylus, king of ElisIntellectuals Alexinus, philosopher Hippias of Elis, Greek sophist Phaedo of Elis, founder of the Elean School Pyrrho, founder of the Pyrrhonist school of philosophy Eleans were labelled as the greatest barbarians barbarotatoi by musician Stratonicus of Athens And when he was once asked by some one who were the wickedest people, he said, "That in Pamphylia, the people of Phaselis were the worst, and when he was asked again, according to the account given by Hegesander, which were the greatest barbarians, the Boeotians or the Thessalians he said, "The Eleans."
In Hesychius and other ancient lexica, Eleans are listed as barbarophones. Indeed, the North-West Doric dialect of Elis is, after the Aeolic dialects, one of the most difficult for the modern reader of epigraphic texts. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Elis". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Elis". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Elis, Philosophical School of". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Map from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture Elis - the c
Greek mythology is the body of myths told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities and mythological creatures, the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself; the Greek myths were propagated in an oral-poetic tradition most by Minoan and Mycenaean singers starting in the 18th century BC. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, the origin of sacrificial practices. Myths are preserved in the Homeric Hymns, in fragments of epic poems of the Epic Cycle, in lyric poems, in the works of the tragedians and comedians of the fifth century BC, in writings of scholars and poets of the Hellenistic Age, in texts from the time of the Roman Empire by writers such as Plutarch and Pausanias.
Aside from this narrative deposit in ancient Greek literature, pictorial representations of gods and mythic episodes featured prominently in ancient vase-paintings and the decoration of votive gifts and many other artifacts. Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle as well as the adventures of Heracles. In the succeeding Archaic and Hellenistic periods and various other mythological scenes appear, supplementing the existing literary evidence. Greek mythology has had an extensive influence on the culture and literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language. Poets and artists from ancient times to the present have derived inspiration from Greek mythology and have discovered contemporary significance and relevance in the themes. Greek mythology is known today from Greek literature and representations on visual media dating from the Geometric period from c. 900 BC to c. 800 BC onward. In fact and archaeological sources integrate, sometimes mutually supportive and sometimes in conflict.
Mythical narration plays an important role in nearly every genre of Greek literature. The only general mythographical handbook to survive from Greek antiquity was the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus; this work attempts to reconcile the contradictory tales of the poets and provides a grand summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends. Apollodorus of Athens wrote on many of these topics, his writings may have formed the basis for the collection. Among the earliest literary sources are the Iliad and the Odyssey. Other poets completed the "epic cycle", but these and lesser poems now are lost entirely. Despite their traditional name, the "Homeric Hymns" have no direct connection with Homer, they are choral hymns from the earlier part of the so-called Lyric age. Hesiod, a possible contemporary with Homer, offers in his Theogony the fullest account of the earliest Greek myths, dealing with the creation of the world. Hesiod's Works and Days, a didactic poem about farming life includes the myths of Prometheus and the Five Ages.
The poet gives advice on the best way to succeed in a dangerous world, rendered yet more dangerous by its gods. Lyrical poets took their subjects from myth, but their treatment became less narrative and more allusive. Greek lyric poets, including Pindar and Simonides, bucolic poets such as Theocritus and Bion, relate individual mythological incidents. Additionally, myth was central to classical Athenian drama; the tragic playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides took most of their plots from myths of the age of heroes and the Trojan War. Many of the great tragic stories took on their classic form in these tragedies; the comic playwright Aristophanes used myths, in The Birds and The Frogs. Historians Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, geographers Pausanias and Strabo, who traveled throughout the Greek world and noted the stories they heard, supplied numerous local myths and legends giving little-known alternative versions. Herodotus in particular, searched the various traditions presented him and found the historical or mythological roots in the confrontation between Greece and the East.
Herodotus attempted to reconcile the blending of differing cultural concepts. The poetry of the Hellenistic and Roman ages was composed as a literary rather than cultic exercise, it contains many important details that would otherwise be lost. This category includes the works of: The Roman poets Ovid, Valerius Flaccus and Virgil with Servius's commentary; the Greek poets of the Late Antique period: Nonnus, Antoninus Liberalis, Quintus Smyrnaeus. The Greek poets of the Hellenistic period: Apollonius of Rhodes, Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Parthenius. Prose writers from the same periods who make reference to myths includ
Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and myth. He was god of other waters. In pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece, he was venerated as a chief deity at Thebes, his Roman equivalent is Neptune. Poseidon was protector of seafarers, of many Hellenic cities and colonies. In Homer's Iliad, Poseidon supports the Greeks against the Trojans during the Trojan War. In the Odyssey, during the sea-voyage from Troy back home to Ithaca, the Greek hero Odysseus provokes Poseidon's fury by blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus, resulting in Poseidon punishing him with storms, the complete loss of his ship and companions, a ten-year delay. Poseidon is the subject of a Homeric hymn. In Plato's Timaeus and Critias, the island of Atlantis was Poseidon's domain; the earliest attested occurrence of the name, written in Linear B, is Po-se-da-o or Po-se-da-wo-ne, which correspond to Ποσειδάων and Ποσειδάϝονος in Mycenean Greek. The form Ποτειδάϝων appears in Corinth. A common epithet of Poseidon is Ἐνοσίχθων Enosichthon, "Earth-shaker", an epithet, identified in Linear B, as, E-ne-si-da-o-ne, This recalls his epithets Ennosidas and Ennosigaios indicating the chthonic nature of Poseidon.
The origins of the name "Poseidon" are unclear. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning "husband" or "lord" and another element meaning "earth", producing something like lord or spouse of Da, i.e. of the earth. Walter Burkert finds that "the second element da- remains hopelessly ambiguous" and finds a "husband of Earth" reading "quite impossible to prove."Another theory interprets the second element as related to the word *δᾶϝον dâwon, "water". There is the possibility that the word has Pre-Greek origin. Plato in his dialogue Cratylus gives two alternative etymologies: either the sea restrained Poseidon when walking as a "foot-bond", or he "knew many things". At least a few sources deem Poseidon as a "prehellenic" word, considering an Indo-European etymology "quite pointless". If surviving Linear B clay tablets can be trusted, the name po-se-da-wo-ne occurs with greater frequency than does di-u-ja. A feminine variant, po-se-de-ia, is found, indicating a lost consort goddess, in effect the precursor of Amphitrite.
Poseidon carries the title wa-na-ka in Linear B inscriptions, as king of the underworld. The chthonic nature of Poseidon-Wanax is indicated by his title E-ne-si-da-o-ne in Mycenean Knossos and Pylos, a powerful attribute. In the cave of Amnisos Enesidaon is related with the cult of the goddess of childbirth, she was related with the annual birth of the divine child. During the Bronze Age, a goddess of nature, dominated both in Minoan and Mycenean cult, Wanax was her male companion in Mycenean cult, it is possible that Demeter appears as Da-ma-te in a Linear B inscription, however the interpretetion is still under dispute. In Linear B inscriptions found at Pylos, E-ne-si-da-o-ne is related with Poseidon, Si-to Po-tini-ja is related with Demeter. Tablets from Pylos record sacrificial goods destined for "the Two Queens and Poseidon"; the "Two Queens" may be related with Demeter and Persephone, or their precursors, goddesses who were not associated with Poseidon in periods. The illuminating exception is the archaic and localised myth of the stallion Poseidon and mare Demeter at Phigalia in isolated and conservative Arcadia, noted by Pausanias as having fallen into desuetude.
The violated Demeter was Demeter Erinys. In Arcadia, Demeter's mare-form was worshiped into historical times, her xoanon of Phigaleia shows. A Medusa type with a horse's head with snaky hair, holding a dove and a dolphin representing her power over air and water, it seems that the Arcadian myth is related with the first Greek speaking people who entered the region during the Bronze Age.. Their religious beliefs were mixed with the beliefs of the indigenous population, it is possible that the Greeks did not bring with them other gods except Zeus and the Dioskouroi. The horse was related with the liquid element, with the underworld. Poseidon appears as a beast, the river spirit of the underworld, as it happens in northern-European folklore, not unusually in Greece. Poseidon “Wanax”, is the male companion of the goddess of nature. In the relative Minoan myth, Pasiphaë is mating with the white bull, she bears the hybrid creature Minotaur; the Bull was the old pre-Olympian Poseidon. The goddess of nature and her paredros survived in the Eleusinian cult, where the following words were uttered: " Mighty Potnia bore a strong son"In the sea-dependent Mycenaean culture, there is not sufficient evidence that Poseidon was connected with the sea.
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Io was, in Greek mythology, one of the mortal lovers of Zeus. She was an ancestor of many kings and heroes such as Perseus, Heracles, Lynceus and Danaus; the astronomer Simon Marius named a moon of Jupiter after Io in 1614. In most versions of the legend, Io was the daughter of Inachus, though various other purported genealogies are known. If her father was Inachus her mother would have been Inachus' wife the Oceanid nymph Melia, daughter of Oceanus; the 2nd century AD geographer Pausanias suggests that she is the daughter of Inachus and retells the story of Zeus falling in love with Io, the legendary wrath of Hera, the metamorphosis by which Io becomes a beautiful white heifer. At another instant several generations Pausanias recounts another Io, descendant of Phoroneus, daughter of Iasus, who himself was the son of Argus and Ismene, the daughter of Asopus, or of Triopas and Sosis. Io's father was called Peiren in the Catalogue of Women, by Acusilaus a son of the elder Argus known as Peiras, Peiranthus or Peirasus.
Io may therefore be identical to Callithyia, daughter of Peiranthus, as is suggested by Hesychius of Alexandria. Io was a priestess of the Goddess Hera in Argos, whose cult her father Inachus was supposed to have introduced to Argos. Zeus noticed Io, a mortal woman, lusted after her. In the version of the myth told in Prometheus Bound she rejected Zeus' advances, until her father threw her out of his house on the advice of oracles. According to some stories, Zeus turned Io into a heifer in order to hide her from his wife. In the version of the story in which Zeus transformed Io, the deception failed, Hera begged Zeus to give her the heifer as a present, having no reason to refuse, he did. Hera sent Argus Panoptes, who had 100 eyes, to watch Io and prevent Zeus from visiting her, so Zeus sent Hermes to distract and slay Argus. According to Ovid, he did so by first lulling him to sleep by playing the panpipes and telling stories. Zeus freed Io, still in the form of a heifer. In order to exact her revenge, Hera sent a gadfly to sting Io continuously, driving her to wander the world without rest.
Io crossed the path between the Propontis and the Black Sea, which thus acquired the name Bosporus, where she met Prometheus, chained on Mt. Caucasus by Zeus. Prometheus comforted Io with the information that she would be restored to human form and become the ancestress of the greatest of all heroes, Heracles. Io escaped across the Ionian Sea to Egypt. There, she gave birth to Zeus's son Epaphus, a daughter as well, Keroessa, she married Egyptian king Telegonus. Their grandson, Danaus returned to Greece with his fifty daughters, as recalled in Aeschylus' play The Suppliants; the myth of Io must have been well known to Homer, who calls Hermes Argeiphontes, meaning "Argus-slayer." Walter Burkert notes that the story of Io was told in the ancient epic tradition at least four times of which we have traces: in the Danais, in the Phoronis— Phoroneus founded the cult of Hera, according to Hyginus' Fabulae 274 and 143—in a fragment of the Hesiodic Aigimios, as well as in fragmentary Hesiodic Catalogue of Women.
A mourning commemoration of Io was observed at the Heraion of Argos into classical times. The ancients connected Io with the Moon, in Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound, where Io encounters Prometheus, she refers to herself as "the horned virgin", both bovine and lunar. From her relationship with Phoroneus, as sister, Io is sometimes called Phoronis. Ovid. Metamorphoses, Volume I: Books 1-8. Translated by Frank Justus Miller. Revised by G. P. Goold. Loeb Classical Library No. 42. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1916. Online version at Harvard University Press. Peck, William Thane, The First and Second Books of Ovid's Metamorphoses, Ginn & Company, 1900. Tsagalis, Early Greek Epic Fragments I: Antiquarian and Genealogical Epic, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, 2017. ISBN 9783110532876 Theoi.com: Io: naiad nymph of Argolis and Egypt Assembles the essential references in Greek and Latin literature, in translation. Io engravings by Goltzius from the De Verda collection Warburg Institute Iconographic Database
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