Classical antiquity is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 5th or 6th century AD centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome known as the Greco-Roman world. It is the period in which Greek and Roman society flourished and wielded great influence throughout Europe, North Africa and Western Asia. Conventionally, it is taken to begin with the earliest-recorded Epic Greek poetry of Homer, continues through the emergence of Christianity and the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it ends with the dissolution of classical culture at the close of Late Antiquity, blending into the Early Middle Ages. Such a wide sampling of history and territory covers many disparate periods. Classical antiquity may refer to an idealised vision among people of what was, in Edgar Allan Poe's words, "the glory, Greece, the grandeur, Rome"; the culture of the ancient Greeks, together with some influences from the ancient Near East, was the basis of art, philosophy and educational ideals, until the Roman imperial period.
The Romans preserved and spread over Europe these ideals until they were able to competitively rival the Greek culture, as the Latin language became widespread and the classical world became bilingual and Latin. This Greco-Roman cultural foundation has been immensely influential on the language, law, educational systems, science, poetry, ethics, rhetoric and architecture of the modern world. From the surviving fragments of classical antiquity, a revival movement was formed from the 14th century onwards which came to be known in Europe as the Renaissance, again resurgent during various neo-classical revivals in the 18th and 19th centuries; the earliest period of classical antiquity takes place before the background of gradual re-appearance of historical sources following the Bronze Age collapse. The 8th and 7th centuries BC are still proto-historical, with the earliest Greek alphabetic inscriptions appearing in the first half of the 8th century. Homer is assumed to have lived in the 8th or 7th century BC, his lifetime is taken as marking the beginning of classical antiquity.
In the same period falls the traditional date for the establishment of the Ancient Olympic Games, in 776 BC. The Phoenicians expanded from Canaan ports, by the 8th century dominating trade in the Mediterranean. Carthage was founded in 814 BC, the Carthaginians by 700 BC had established strongholds in Sicily and Sardinia, which created conflicts of interest with Etruria. A stela found in Kition, Cyprus commemorates the victory of king Sargon II in 709 BC over the seven kings of the island, marking an important step in the emancipation of Cyprus from Tyrian rule by the Assyrian military; the Archaic period followed the Greek Dark Ages, saw significant advancements in political theory, the rise of democracy, theatre, poetry, as well as the revitalisation of the written language. In pottery, the Archaic period sees the development of the Orientalizing style, which signals a shift from the Geometric style of the Dark Ages and the accumulation of influences derived from Egypt and Syria. Pottery styles associated with the part of the Archaic age are the black-figure pottery, which originated in Corinth during the 7th century BC and its successor, the red-figure style, developed by the Andokides Painter in about 530 BC.
The Etruscans had established political control in the region by the late 7th century BC, forming the aristocratic and monarchial elite. The Etruscans lost power in the area by the late 6th century BC, at this point, the Italic tribes reinvented their government by creating a republic, with much greater restraints on the ability of rulers to exercise power. According to legend, Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BC by twin descendants of the Trojan prince Aeneas and Remus; as the city was bereft of women, legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins and the Sabines. Archaeological evidence indeed shows first traces of settlement at the Roman Forum in the mid-8th century BC, though settlements on the Palatine Hill may date back to the 10th century BC; the seventh and final king of Rome was Tarquinius Superbus. As the son of Tarquinius Priscus and the son-in-law of Servius Tullius, Superbus was of Etruscan birth.
It was during his reign. Superbus removed and destroyed all the Sabine shrines and altars from the Tarpeian Rock, enraging the people of Rome; the people came to object to his rule when he failed to recognize the rape of Lucretia, a patrician Roman, at the hands of his own son. Lucretia's kinsman, Lucius Junius Brutus, summoned the Senate and had Superbus and the monarchy expelled from Rome in 510 BC. After Superbus' expulsion, the Senate voted to never again allow the rule of a king and reformed Rome into a republican government in 509 BC. In fact the Latin word "Rex" meaning King became a dirty and hated word throughout the Republic and on the Empire; the classical period of Ancient Greece corresponds to most of the 5th and 4th centuries BC, in particular, from the fall of the Athenian tyranny in 510 BC to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. In 510, Spartan troops helped the Athenians overthrow son of Peisistratos. Cleomenes I, king of Sparta, put in place a pro-Spartan oligarchy conducted by Isagoras
Central Asia stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north. The region consists of the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, it is colloquially referred to as "the stans" as the countries considered to be within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan", meaning "land of". Central Asia has a population of about 72 million, consisting of five republics: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, a part of South Asia, is sometimes included in Central Asia. Central Asia has been tied to its nomadic peoples and the Silk Road, it has acted as a crossroads for the movement of people and ideas between Europe, Western Asia, South Asia, East Asia. The Silk Road connected Muslim lands with the people of Europe and China; this crossroads position has intensified the conflict between tribalism and traditionalism and modernization. In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, Central Asia was predominantly Iranian, populated by Eastern Iranian-speaking Bactrians, Sogdians and the semi-nomadic Scythians and Dahae.
After expansion by Turkic peoples, Central Asia became the homeland for the Kazakhs, Tatars, Turkmen and Uyghurs. From the mid-19th century until the end of the 20th century, most of Central Asia was part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, both Slavic-majority countries, the five former Soviet "-stans" are still home to about 7 million ethnic Russians and 500,000 Ukrainians; the idea of Central Asia as a distinct region of the world was introduced in 1843 by the geographer Alexander von Humboldt. The borders of Central Asia are subject to multiple definitions. Built political geography and geoculture are two significant parameters used in the scholarly literature about the definitions of the Central Asia; the most limited definition was the official one of the Soviet Union, which defined Middle Asia as consisting of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, hence omitting Kazakhstan. This definition was often used outside the USSR during this period. However, the Russian culture has two distinct terms: Средняя Азия and Центральная Азия.
Soon after independence, the leaders of the four former Soviet Central Asian Republics met in Tashkent and declared that the definition of Central Asia should include Kazakhstan as well as the original four included by the Soviets. Since this has become the most common definition of Central Asia; the UNESCO History of the Civilizations of Central Asia, published in 1992, defines the region as "Afghanistan, northeastern Iran and central Pakistan, northern India, western China and the former Soviet Central Asian republics."An alternative method is to define the region based on ethnicity, in particular, areas populated by Eastern Turkic, Eastern Iranian, or Mongolian peoples. These areas include Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the Turkic regions of southern Siberia, the five republics, Afghan Turkestan. Afghanistan as a whole, the northern and western areas of Pakistan and the Kashmir Valley of India may be included; the Tibetans and Ladakhi are included. Insofar, most of the mentioned peoples are considered the "indigenous" peoples of the vast region.
Central Asia is sometimes referred to as Turkestan. There are several places that claim to be the geographic center of Asia, for example Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva in the Russian Federation, a village 200 miles north of Ürümqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region of China. Central Asia is an large region of varied geography, including high passes and mountains, vast deserts, treeless, grassy steppes; the vast steppe areas of Central Asia are considered together with the steppes of Eastern Europe as a homogeneous geographical zone known as the Eurasian Steppe. Much of the land of Central Asia is too rugged for farming; the Gobi desert extends from the foot of the Pamirs, 77° E, to the Great Khingan Mountains, 116°–118° E. Central Asia has the following geographic extremes: The world's northernmost desert, at Buurug Deliin Els, Mongolia, 50°18' N; the Northern Hemisphere's southernmost permafrost, at Erdenetsogt sum, Mongolia, 46°17' N. The world's shortest distance between non-frozen desert and permafrost: 770 km.
The Eurasian pole of inaccessibility. A majority of the people earn a living by herding livestock. Industrial activity centers in the region's cities. Major rivers of the region include the Amu Darya, the Syr Darya, the Hari River and the Murghab River. Major bodies of water include the Aral Sea and Lake Balkhash, both of which are part of the huge west-central Asian endorheic basin that includes the Caspian Sea. Both of these bodies of water have shrunk in recent decades due to diversion of water from rivers that feed them for irrigation and industrial purposes. Water is an valuable resource in arid Central Asia and can lead to rather significant international disputes. Central Asia is bounded on the north by the forests of Siberia; the northern half of Cent
Interpretatio graeca is a discourse in which ancient Greek religious concepts and practices and myths are used to interpret or attempt to understand the mythology and religion of other cultures. It is thus a comparative methodology that looks for shared characteristics; the phrase may describe Greek efforts to explain others' beliefs and myths, as when Herodotus describes Egyptian religion in terms of perceived Greek analogues, or when Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Plutarch document Roman cults and practices under the names of equivalent Greek deities. Interpretatio graeca may describe non-Greeks' interpretation of their own belief systems by comparison or assimilation with Greek models, as when Romans adapt Greek myths and iconography under the names of their own gods. Interpretatio romana is comparative discourse in reference to ancient Roman religion and myth, as in the formation of a distinctive Gallo-Roman religion. Both the Romans and the Gauls reinterpreted Gallic religious traditions in relation to Roman models Imperial cult.
Jan Assmann considers the polytheistic approach to internationalizing gods as a form of "intercultural translation": The great achievement of polytheism is the articulation of a common semantic universe.... The meaning of a deity is his or her specific character as it unfolded in myths, rites, so on; this character makes a deity comparable to other deities with similar traits. The similarity of gods makes their names mutually translatable. … The practice of translating the names of the gods created a concept of similarity and produced the idea or conviction that the gods are international. Pliny the Elder expressed the "translatability" of deities as "different names to different peoples"; this capacity made possible the religious syncretism of the Hellenistic era and the pre-Christian Roman Empire. Herodotus was one of the earliest authors to engage in this form of interpretation. In his observations regarding the Egyptians, he establishes Greco-Egyptian equivalents that endured into the Hellenistic era, including Amon/Zeus, Osiris/Dionysus, Ptah/Hephaestus.
In his observations regarding the Scythians, he equates their queen of the gods, Tabiti, to Hestia and Api to Zeus and Gaia and Argimpasa to Aphrodite Urania, whilst claiming that the Scythians worshipped equivalents to Herakles and Ares, but which he doesn't name. Some pairs of Greek and Roman gods, such as Zeus and Jupiter, are thought to derive from a common Indo-European archetype, thus exhibit shared functions by nature. Others required more expansive theological and poetic efforts: though both Ares and Mars are war gods, Ares was a minor figure in Greek religious practice and deprecated by the poets, while Mars was a father of the Roman people and a central figure of archaic Roman religion; some deities dating to Rome's oldest religious stratum, such as Janus and Terminus, had no Greek equivalent. Other Greek divine figures, most notably Apollo, were adopted directly into Roman culture, but underwent a distinctly Roman development, as when Augustus made Apollo one of his patron deities.
In the early period, Etruscan culture played an intermediary role in transmitting Greek myth and religion to the Romans, as evidenced in the linguistic transformation of Greek Heracles to Etruscan Hercle to Roman Hercules. The phrase interpretatio romana was first used by the Imperial-era historian Tacitus in the Germania. Tacitus reports that in a sacred grove of the Nahanarvali, "a priest adorned as a woman presides, but they commemorate gods who in Roman terms are Castor and Pollux." Elsewhere, he identifies the principal god of the Germans as Mercury referring to Wotan. Some information about the deities of the ancient Gauls, who left no written literature other than inscriptions, is preserved by Greco-Roman sources under the names of Greek and Latin equivalents. A large number of Gaulish theonyms or cult titles are preserved, for instance, in association with Mars; as with some Greek and Roman divine counterparts, the perceived similarities between a Gallic and a Roman or Greek deity may reflect a common Indo-European origin.
Lugus was identified with Nodens with Mars as healer and protector, Sulis with Minerva. In some cases, however, a Gallic deity is given an interpretatio romana by means of more than one god, varying among literary texts or inscriptions. Since the religions of the Greco-Roman world were not dogmatic, polytheism lent itself to multiplicity, the concept of "deity" was expansive, permitting multiple and contradictory functions within a single divinity, overlapping powers and functions among the diverse figures of each pantheon; these tendencies extended to cross-cultural identifications. In the Eastern empire, the Anatolian storm god with his double-headed axe became Jupiter Dolichenus, a favorite cult figure among soldiers. Roman scholars such as Varro interpreted the monotheistic god of the Jews into Roman terms as Caelus or Jupiter Optimus Maximus; some Greco-Roman authors seem to have understood the Jewish invocation of Yahweh Sabaoth as Sabazius. Interpretatio germanica is the practice by the Germanic peoples of identifying Roman gods with the names of Germanic deities.
According to Rudolf Simek, this occurred around the 1st century AD, when both cultures came into closer contact. Some evidence for interpretatio germanica exists in the Germanic translations of the Roman names for the days of the week: Sunday, the day of Sunnǭ, the sun, was earlier the day of Sol Invictus, th
The Pazyryk burials are a number of Saka Iron Age tombs found in the Pazyryk Valley of the Ukok plateau in the Altai Mountains, south of the modern city of Novosibirsk, Russia. Numerous comparable burials have been found in neighboring western Mongolia; the tombs are Scythian-type kurgans, barrow-like tomb mounds containing wooden chambers covered over by large cairns of boulders and stones, dated to the 4th–3rd centuries BCE. The spectacular burials at Pazyryk are responsible for the introduction of the term kurgan, a Russian word of Turkic origin, into general usage to describe these tombs; the region of the Pazyryk kurgans is considered the type site of the wider Pazyryk culture. The site is included in the Golden Mountains of Altai UNESCO World Heritage Site; the bearers of the Pazyryk culture were horse-riding pastoral nomads of the steppe, some may have accumulated great wealth through horse trading with merchants in Persia and China. This wealth is evident in the wide array of finds from the Pazyryk tombs, which include many rare examples of organic objects such as felt hangings, Chinese silk, the earliest known pile carpet, horses decked out in elaborate trappings, wooden furniture and other household goods.
These finds were preserved when water seeped into the tombs in antiquity and froze, encasing the burial goods in ice, which remained frozen in the permafrost until the time of their excavation. Because of a freak climatic freeze, some of the Altai-Sayan burials, notably those of the 5th century BCE at Pazyryk and neighbouring sites, such as Katanda and Tuekt, were isolated from external climatic variations by a protective layer of ice that conserved the organic substances buried in them. Certain geometric designs and sun symbols, such as the circle and rosette, recur at Pazyryk but are outnumbered by animal motifs; such Scythian features as zoomorphic junctures, i.e. the addition of a part of one animal to the body of another, are rarer in the Altaic region than in southern Russia. The stag and its relatives, figure as prominently in Altai-Sayan as in Scythian art."At Pazyryk too are found bearded mascarons of well-defined Greco-Roman origin, which were doubtless inspired by the Hellenistic kingdoms of the Cimmerian Bosporus."
The first tomb at Pazyryk, barrow 1, was excavated by the archaeologist M. P. Gryaznov in 1929. While many of the tombs had been looted in earlier times, the excavators unearthed buried horses, with them immaculately preserved cloth saddles and woven rugs including the world's oldest pile carpet, a 3-metre-high four-wheel funeral chariot from the 5th century BC and other splendid objects that had escaped the ravages of time; these finds are now exhibited at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. Craniological studies of samples from the Pazyryk burials determined that skulls were of Europoid type, with some showing Mongoloid features. Rudenko's most striking discovery was the body of a tattooed Pazyryk chief: a thick-set, powerfully built man who had died when he was about 50. Parts of the body had deteriorated, but much of the tattooing was still visible. Subsequent investigation using reflected infrared photography revealed that all five bodies discovered in the Pazyryk kurgans were tattooed.
No instruments designed for tattooing were found, but the Pazyryks had fine needles with which they did miniature embroidery, these were used for tattooing. The chief was elaborately decorated with an interlocking series of striking designs representing a variety of fantastic beasts; the best preserved tattoos were images of a donkey, a mountain ram, two stylized deer with long antlers and an imaginary carnivore on the right arm. Two monsters resembling griffins decorate the chest, on the left arm are three obliterated images which seem to represent two deer and a mountain goat. On the front of the right leg a fish extends from the foot to the knee. A monster crawls over the right foot, on the inside of the shin is a series of four running rams which touch each other to form a single design; the left leg bears tattoos, but these designs could not be distinguished. In addition, the chief's back is tattooed with a series of small circles in line with the vertebral column; this tattooing was done for therapeutic reasons.
Contemporary Siberian tribesmen still practice tattooing of this kind to relieve back pain. The most famous undisturbed Pazyryk burial so far recovered is the Ice Maiden or "Altai Lady" found by archaeologist Natalia Polosmak in 1993 at Ukok, near the Chinese border; the find was a rare example of a single woman given a full ceremonial burial in a wooden chamber tomb in the fifth century BC, accompanied by six horses. She had been buried over 2,400 years ago in a casket fashioned from the hollowed-out trunk of a Siberian larch tree. On the outside of the casket were stylized images of deer and snow leopards carved in leather. Shortly after burial the grave had been flooded by freezing rain, the entire contents of the burial chamber had remained frozen in permafrost. Six horses wearing elaborate harnesses lay to the north of the chamber; the maiden's well-preserved body embalmed with peat and bark, was arranged to lie on her side as if asleep. She was young, her hair was shaven off but she was wearing a wig and tall hat.
The animal style tattoos were preserved on her pale skin: creatures with horns that develop into flowered forms. Her coffin was made large enough to accommodate the high felt headdress she
In Greek mythology, Gaia spelled Gaea, is the personification of the Earth and one of the Greek primordial deities. Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life: the primal Mother Earth goddess, she is the immediate parent of Uranus, from whose sexual union she bore the Titans and the Giants, of Pontus, from whose union she bore the primordial sea gods. Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Terra; the Greek name Γαῖα is a epic, collateral form of Attic Γῆ, Doric Γᾶ meaning "Earth", a word of uncertain origin. Robert S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin. In Mycenean Greek Ma-ka contains the root ga-. Hesiod's Theogony tells how, after Chaos, "wide-bosomed" Gaia arose to be the everlasting seat of the immortals who possess Olympus above, and after Gaia came "dim Tartarus in the depth of the wide-pathed Earth", next Eros the god of love. Hesiod goes on to say that Gaia brought forth her equal Uranus to "cover her on every side". Gaia bore the hills, Pontus, "without sweet union of love". Afterwards with Uranus she gave birth to the Titans, as Hesiod tells it: She lay with Heaven and bore deep-swirling Oceanus and Crius and Hyperion and Iapetus and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and gold-crowned Phoebe and lovely Tethys.
After them was born Cronos the wily and most terrible of her children, he hated his lusty sire. According to Hesiod, Gaia conceived further offspring with Uranus, first the giant one-eyed Cyclopes: Brontes and Arges; as each of the Cyclopes and Hecatonchires were born, Uranus hid them in a secret place within Gaia, causing her great pain. So Gaia devised a plan, she created a grey flint sickle. And Cronus used the sickle to castrate his father Uranus. From Uranus' spilled blood, Gaia produced the Giants and the Meliae. From the testicles of Uranus in the sea came forth Aphrodite. By her son Pontus, Gaia bore the sea-deities Nereus, Phorcys and Eurybia; because Cronus had learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overthrown by one of his children, he swallowed each of the children born to him by his Titan sister Rhea. But when Rhea was pregnant with her youngest child, she sought help from Gaia and Uranus; when Zeus was born, Rhea gave Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling-clothes in his place, which Cronus swallowed, Gaia took the child into her care.
With the help of Gaia's advice, Zeus defeated the Titans. But afterwards, Gaia, in union with Tartarus, bore the youngest of her sons Typhon, who would be the last challenge to the authority of Zeus. According to Hyginus, along with Heaven and Sea were the children of Aether and Day. According to the mythographer Apollodorus and Tartarus were the parents of Echidna. Zeus hid one of his lovers, from Hera by stowing her under the earth, his son by Elara, the giant Tityos, is therefore sometimes said to be a son of Gaia, the earth goddess. Gaia made Aristaeus immortal. In classical art Gaia was represented in one of two ways. In Athenian vase painting she was shown as a matronly woman only half risen from the earth in the act of handing the baby Erichthonius,a future king of Athens, to Athena to foster). In mosaic representations, she appears as a woman reclining upon the earth surrounded by a host of Carpi, infant gods of the fruits of the earth. Oaths sworn in the name of Gaia, in ancient Greece, were considered the most binding of all.
She was worshipped under the epithet "Anesidora", which means "giver of gifts". Other epithets was Calligeneia and Pandôros. In ancient times, Gaia was worshipped alongside Demeter and as a part of the cult of Demeter, does not seem to have had a separate cult. Being a chthonic deity, black animals were sacrificed to her: Bring two lambs: let one be white and the other black for Gaia and Helios. Gaia is believed by some sources to be the original deity behind the Oracle at Delphi, it was thus said: "That word spoken from tree-clad mother Gaia's navel-stone." Depending on the source, Gaia passed her powers on to Apollo, or Themis. Pausanias wrote: Many and different are the stories told about Delphoi, more son about the oracle of Apollon. For they say that in earliest times the oracular seat belonged to Ge, who appointed as prophetess at it Daphnis, one of the Nymphai of the mountains. There is extant among the Greeks an hexameter poem, the name of, Eumolpia, it is assigned to Musaios, son of Antiophemos.
In it the poet states that the oracle belonged to Ge in common. The verses are these:--‘Forthwith the voice of Khthonie uttered a wise word, And with her Pyrkon, servant of the renown Earthshaker.’ They say that afterwards Ge gave her share to Themis, who gave it to Apollon as a gift. It is said. Apollo is the best-known as the oracle power behind Delphi, long established by the time of Homer, having killed Gaia's child Python th
In Ancient Greek religion, Hestia is a virgin goddess of the hearth and the right ordering of domesticity, the family, the home, the state. In Greek mythology, she is a daughter of Rhea. Hestia received the first offering at every sacrifice in the household. In the public domain, the hearth of the prytaneum functioned as her official sanctuary. With the establishment of a new colony, flame from Hestia's public hearth in the mother city would be carried to the new settlement, her Roman equivalent is Vesta. The Zoroastrian holy fire of the Sasanians in Adhur Gushnasp was equated with Hestia by Procopius. Hestia's name means "hearth, altar", stemming from the same root as the English verbal form was, it thus refers to the oikos, the domestic, household, house, or family. "An early form of the temple is the hearth house. The Mycenaean great hall, like Homer's hall of Odysseus at Ithaca, had a central hearth; the hearth of the Greek prytaneum was the community and government's ritual and secular focus.
Hestia's name and functions show the hearth's importance in the social and political life of ancient Greece. It was essential for warmth, food preparation, the completion of sacrificial offerings to deities, she was offered the first and last libations of wine at feasts. Her own sacrificial animal was a domestic pig; the accidental or negligent extinction of a domestic hearth-fire represented a failure of domestic and religious care for the family. A hearth fire might be deliberately, ritually extinguished at need, its lighting or relighting should be accompanied by rituals of completion and renewal, comparable with the rituals and connotations of an eternal flame and of sanctuary lamps. At the level of the polis, the hearths of Greek colonies and their mother cities were allied and sanctified through Hestia's cult. Hestia's nearest Roman equivalent, had similar functions as a divine personification of Rome's "public", colonial hearths, bound Romans together within a form of extended family; the similarity of names between Hestia and Vesta is, misleading: "The relationship hestia-histie-Vesta cannot be explained in terms of Indo-European linguistics.
Responsibility for Hestia's domestic cult fell to the leading woman of the household, sometimes to a man. Hestia's rites at the hearths of public buildings were led by holders of civil office. Evidence of her priesthoods is rare. Most stems from the early Roman Imperial era, when Sparta offers several examples of women with the priestly title "Hestia". Existing civic cults to Hestia served as stock for the grafting of Greek ruler-cult to the Roman emperor, the Imperial family and Rome itself. In Athens, a small seating section at the Theatre of Dionysus was reserved for priesthoods of "Hestia on the Acropolis and Julia", of "Hestia Romaion". A priest at Delos served "Hestia the Athenian Demos" "and Roma". An eminent citizen of Carian Stratoniceia described himself as a priest of Hestia and several other deities, as well as holding several civic offices. Hestia's political and civic functions are further evidenced by her numerous funded dedications at civic sites, the administrative rather than religious titles used by the lay-officials involved in her civic cults.
Pausanias writes that the Eleans sacrifice first to Hestia and to other gods. Athenaeus, in the Deipnosophistae, writes that in Naucratis the people dine in the Prytaneion on the natal day of Hestia Prytanitis; every private and public hearth or prytaneum was regarded as a sanctuary of the goddess, a portion of the sacrifices, to whatever divinity they were offered, belonged to her. A statue of her existed in the Athenian Prytaneum: "Hard by is the Prytaneon... and figures are placed of the goddesses Eirene and Hestia."There was however few temples dedicated to Hestia. Pausanias mention only two, in Ermioni and in Sparta: " Passing into the sanctuary of Hestia, we see no image, but only an altar, they sacrifice to Hestia upon it; the Lakedaimonians have a sanctuary of Hestia." Hestia is a goddess of the first Olympian generation. She was the eldest daughter of the Titans Rhea and Cronus, sister to Zeus, Demeter and Hades. After their birth, Cronus swallowed all his children except the last and youngest, who forced Cronus to disgorge his siblings and led them in a war against their father and the other Titans.
As "first to be devoured... and the last to be yielded up again", Hestia was thus both the eldest and youngest daughter. Hestia rejects the marriage suits of Poseidon and Apollo, swears herself to perpetual virginity, she thus rejects Aphrodite's values and becomes, to some extent, her ch
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him, in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming. Under the influence of Greek culture, Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares, whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars, but the character and dignity of Mars differed in fundamental ways from that of his Greek counterpart, treated with contempt and revulsion in Greek literature. Mars was a part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus, the latter of whom, as a guardian of the Roman people, had no Greek equivalent. Mars' altar in the Campus Martius, the area of Rome that took its name from him, was supposed to have been dedicated by Numa, the peace-loving semi-legendary second king of Rome.
Although the center of Mars' worship was located outside the sacred boundary of Rome, Augustus made the god a renewed focus of Roman religion by establishing the Temple of Mars Ultor in his new forum. Although Ares was viewed as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, was a father of the Roman people. In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia, his love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome's founding. The importance of Mars in establishing religious and cultural identity within the Roman Empire is indicated by the vast number of inscriptions identifying him with a local deity in the Western provinces. Mars may be a reflex of the Proto-Indo-European god Perkwunos, having a thunderer character. At least etymological Etruscan predecessors are present in Maris, though this is not universally agreed upon. Like Ares, the son of Zeus and Hera, Mars is considered to be the son of Jupiter and Juno.
However, in a version of his birth given by Ovid, he was the son of Juno alone. Jupiter had usurped the mother's function. Flora tested it on a heifer who became fecund at once, she plucked a flower ritually using her thumb, touched Juno's belly, impregnated her. Juno withdrew to the shore of Marmara for the birth. Ovid tells this story in his long-form poetic work on the Roman calendar, it may explain why the Matronalia, a festival celebrated by married women in honor of Juno as a goddess of childbirth, occurred on the first day of Mars' month, marked on a calendar from late antiquity as the birthday of Mars. In the earliest Roman calendar, March was the first month, the god would have been born with the new year. Ovid is the only source for the story, he may be presenting a literary myth of his own invention, or an otherwise unknown archaic Italic tradition. The consort of Mars was Nerio or Neriene, "Valor." She represents the vital force and majesty of Mars. Her name was regarded as Sabine in origin and is equivalent to Latin virtus, "manly virtue".
In the early 3rd century BC, the comic playwright Plautus has a reference to Mars greeting Nerio, his wife. A source from late antiquity says that Mars and Neriene were celebrated together at a festival held on March 23. In the Roman Empire, Neriene came to be identified with Minerva. Nerio originates as a divine personification of Mars' power, as such abstractions in Latin are feminine, her name appears with that of Mars in an archaic prayer invoking a series of abstract qualities, each paired with the name of a deity. The influence of Greek mythology and its anthropomorphic gods may have caused Roman writers to treat these pairs as "marriages." The union of Venus and Mars held greater appeal for poets and philosophers, the couple were a frequent subject of art. In Greek myth, the adultery of Ares and Aphrodite had been exposed to ridicule when her husband Hephaestus caught them in the act by means of a magical snare. Although not part of the Roman tradition, in 217 BC Venus and Mars were presented as a complementary pair in the lectisternium, a public banquet at which images of twelve major gods of the Roman state were presented on couches as if present and participating.
Scenes of Venus and Mars in Roman art ignore the adulterous implications of their union, take pleasure in the good-looking couple attended by Cupid or multiple Loves. Some scenes may imply marriage, the relationship was romanticized in funerary or domestic art in which husbands and wives had themselves portrayed as the passionate divine couple; the uniting of deities representing Love and War lent itself to allegory since the lovers were the parents of Concordia. The Renaissance philosopher Marsilio Ficino notes that "only Venus dominates Mars, he never dominates her". In ancient Roman and Renaissance art, Mars is shown disarmed and relaxed, or sleeping, but the extram