Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine regions, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Crete. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a vast number of islands, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea.
Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire and its successor. The Greek Orthodox Church shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World, falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greeces rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe, Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greeces unique cultural heritage, large industry, prominent shipping sector. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor, the names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, all three stages of the stone age are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries and these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC and this ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, in 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the worlds first democratic system of government in Athens
A cella or naos is the inner chamber of a temple in classical architecture, or a shop facing the street in domestic Roman architecture, such as a domus. Its enclosure within walls has given rise to extended meanings, of a hermits or monks cell, in Ancient Greek and Roman temples the cella is a room at the centre of the building, usually containing a cult image or statue representing the particular deity venerated in the temple. In addition the cella may contain a table or plinth to receive votive offerings such as statues and semi-precious stones, helmets and arrow heads, swords. The accumulated offerings made Greek and Roman temples virtual treasuries, the cella is typically a simple, rectangular room with a door or open entrance at the front behind a colonnaded portico facade. In larger temples, the cella was divided by two colonnades into a central nave flanked by two aisles. A cella may contain an adyton, an inner area restricted to access by the priests—in religions that had a consecrated priesthood—or by the temple guard.
With very few exceptions Greek buildings were of a design that placed the cella in the center of the plan, such as the Parthenon. The Romans favoured pseudoperipteral buildings with a portico offsetting the cella to the rear, the pseudoperipteral plan uses engaged columns embedded along the side and rear walls of the cella. The Temple of Venus and Roma built by Hadrian in Rome had two cellae arranged back-to-back enclosed by a single outer peristyle, according to Vitruvius, the Etruscan type of temples had three cellae, side by side, conjoined by a double row of columns on the facade. The cella, called the naos, holds many box-like shrines, the Greek word naos has been extended by archaeologists to describe the central room of the pyramids. Towards the end of the Old Kingdom, naos construction went from being subterranean to being directly into the pyramid. The naos was surrounded by different paths and rooms, many used to confuse and divert thieves. In early Christian and Byzantine architecture, the cella or naos is an area at the centre of the reserved for performing the liturgy.
In periods a small chapel or monks cell was called a cella, list of Greco-Roman roofs This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. Cella. Trachtenberg and Hyman, From Prehistory to Post Modernity Vitruvius, De architectura, Book IV. ch 7, translation and reconstructions of Tuscan cellae
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros, Apollo has been recognized as a god of music and prophecy, the sun and light, poetry. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu. As the patron of Delphi, Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Amongst the gods custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, as the leader of the Muses and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became an attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE.
The name Apollo—unlike the related older name Paean—is generally not found in the Linear B texts, the etymology of the name is uncertain. The spelling Ἀπόλλων had almost superseded all other forms by the beginning of the common era and it probably is a cognate to the Doric month Apellaios, and the offerings apellaia at the initiation of the young men during the family-festival apellai. According to some scholars the words are derived from the Doric word apella, apella is the name of the popular assembly in Sparta, corresponding to the ecclesia. R. S. P. Beekes rejected the connection of the theonym with the noun apellai, several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, the Greeks most often associated Apollos name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι, in the ancient Macedonian language πέλλα means stone, and some toponyms may be derived from this word, Πέλλα and Πελλήνη. The role of Apollo as god of plague is evident in the invocation of Apollo Smintheus by Chryses, the Hittite testimony reflects an early form *Apeljōn, which may be surmised from comparison of Cypriot Ἀπείλων with Doric Ἀπέλλων.
A Luwian etymology suggested for Apaliunas makes Apollo The One of Entrapment, Apollos chief epithet was Phoebus, literally bright. It was very commonly used by both the Greeks and Romans for Apollos role as the god of light, like other Greek deities, he had a number of others applied to him, reflecting the variety of roles and aspects ascribed to the god. However, while Apollo has a number of appellations in Greek myth. Aegletes, from αἴγλη, light of the sun Helius, literally sun Lyceus light, the meaning of the epithet Lyceus became associated with Apollos mother Leto, who was the patron goddess of Lycia and who was identified with the wolf
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek, Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron, Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals. The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter, in the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. The deer and the cypress were sacred to her, in Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth. The name Artemis is of unknown or uncertain origin and etymology although various ones have been proposed, for example, according to J. T. Jablonski, the name is Phrygian and could be compared with the royal appellation Artemas of Xenophon. Anton Goebel suggests the root στρατ or ῥατ, to shake, while accepting that the etymology is unknown, states that the name is already attested in Mycenean Greek and is possibly of pre-Hellenic origin.
It is believed that a precursor of Artemis was worshiped in Minoan Crete as the goddess of mountains and hunting, R. S. P. Beekes suggested that the e/i interchange points to a Pre-Greek origin. Artemis was venerated in Lydia as Artimus, various conflicting accounts are given in Classical Greek mythology of the birth of Artemis and her twin brother, Apollo. All accounts agree, that she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto, an account by Callimachus has it that Hera forbade Leto to give birth on either terra firma or on an island. Hera was angry with Zeus, her husband, because he had impregnated Leto, but the island of Delos disobeyed Hera, and Leto gave birth there. In ancient Cretan history Leto was worshipped at Phaistos and in Cretan mythology Leto gave birth to Apollo, a scholium of Servius on Aeneid iii. The myths differ as to whether Artemis was born first, most stories depict Artemis as born first, becoming her mothers mid-wife upon the birth of her brother Apollo. The childhood of Artemis is not fully related in any surviving myth, the Iliad reduced the figure of the dread goddess to that of a girl, having been thrashed by Hera, climbs weeping into the lap of Zeus.
She wished for no city dedicated to her, but to rule the mountains, Artemis believed that she had been chosen by the Fates to be a midwife, particularly since she had assisted her mother in the delivery of her twin brother, Apollo. All of her companions remained virgins, and Artemis closely guarded her own chastity and her symbols included the golden bow and arrow, the hunting dog, the stag, and the moon. Okeanus daughters were filled with fear, but the young Artemis bravely approached and asked for bow, Callimachus tells how Artemis visited Pan, the god of the forest, who gave her seven bitches and six dogs. She captured six golden-horned deer to pull her chariot, Artemis practiced with her bow first by shooting at trees and at wild beasts. As a virgin, Artemis had interested many gods and men, Orion was accidentally killed either by Artemis or by Gaia
Temple of Zeus, Olympia
The Temple of Zeus at Olympia was an ancient Greek temple in Olympia, dedicated to the god Zeus. The temple, built in the quarter of the fifth century BCE, was the very model of the fully developed classical Greek temple of the Doric order. Construction of the temple began around 470 BC and was completed by 457 BC. The architect was Libon of Elis, who worked in the Doric style, the temple was of peripteral form, with a frontal pronaos, mirrored by a similar arrangement at the back of the building, the opisthodomos. The building sat on a crepidoma of three steps, the exterior columns were positioned in a six by thirteen arrangement, two rows of seven columns divided the cella into three aisles. An echo of the original appearance can be seen in the Second Temple of Hera at Paestum. The temple featured carved metopes and triglyph friezes, topped by pediments filled with sculptures in the Severe Style, now attributed to the Olympia Master and his studio. According to Pausanias, the height up to the pediment was 68 feet, its breadth was 95 feet.
It was approached by a ramp on the east side and it was roofed with Pentelic marble cut into the shape of tiles. The marble was cut thinly enough to be translucent, so that on a summers day, the temple featured two pediments, the Eastern pediment depicts the chariot race between Pelops and Oenomaus while the Western pediment features a centauromachy with Theseus and the Lapiths. Pausanius reports in his Description of Greece that the Eastern pedimental sculpture was created by Paeonius, the metopes from the temple depict the twelve labours of Heracles. The temple housed the statue of Zeus, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Chryselephantine statue was approximately 13 m high, and was made by the sculptor Phidias in his workshop on the site at Olympia, the statues completion took approximately 12 years and was one of Classical Greeces most revered artistic works. The installation of the colossal statue coincided with substantial modification of the cella, the internal columns and their stylobates were dismantled and repositioned, which likely necessitated retiling the roof.
The original floor, paved with blocks of shell stone, was covered with water-resistant lime. The Roman general Mummius dedicated twenty-one gilded shields after he sacked Corinth in 146 BC, they were fixed at the metopes of the front side. In AD426, Theodosius II ordered the destruction of the sanctuary, earthquakes in 522 and 551 devastated the ruins and left the Temple of Zeus partially buried. The site of the ancient sanctuary, long forgotten under landslips, in 1829 a French team partially excavated the Temple of Zeus, taking several fragments of the pediments to the Musée du Louvre
Olympia, a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times. The Olympic Games were held four years throughout Classical antiquity. The sanctuary, known as the Altis, consists of an arrangement of various buildings. Enclosed within the temenos are the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Zeus, the Pelopion, and the area of the altar, to the north of the sanctuary can be found the Prytaneion and the Philippeion, as well as the array of treasuries representing the various city-states. The Metroon lies to the south of these treasuries, with the Echo Stoa to the east, the hippodrome and stadium were located east of the Echo Stoa. To the south of the sanctuary is the South Stoa and the Bouleuterion, whereas the Palaestra, the workshop of Pheidias, the Gymnasion, very close to the Temple of Zeus which housed this statue, the studio of Pheidias was excavated in the 1950s. Evidence found there, such as tools, corroborates this opinion.
The ancient ruins sit north of the Alpheios River and south of Mount Kronos, the Kladeos, a tributary of the Alpheios, flows around the area. Building of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II,13, Pheidias workshop and paleochristian basilica,25. For a history of the Olympic Games, see Olympic Games or Ancient Olympic Games, remains of food and burnt offerings dating back to the 10th century BC give evidence of a long history of religious activity at the site. No buildings have survived from this earliest period of use, the first Olympic festival was organized on the site by the authorities of Elis in the 8th century BC – with tradition dating the first games at 776 BC. Major changes were made to the site around 700 BC, including levelling land, Elis power diminished and the sanctuary fell into the hands of the Pisatans in 676 BC. The Pisatans organized the games until the late 7th century BC, the earliest evidence of building activity on the site dates from around 600 BC. At this time the Skiloudians, allies of the Pistans, built the Temple of Hera, the Treasuries and the Pelopion were built during the course of the 6th century BC.
The secular structures and athletic arenas were under construction during this period including the Bouleuterion, the first stadium was constructed around 560 BC, it consisted of just a simple track. The stadium was remodelled around 500 BC with sloping sides for spectators, over the course of the 6th century BC a range of sports were added to the Olympic festival. In 580 BC, Elis, in alliance with Sparta, occupied Pisa, the classical period, between the 5th and 4th centuries BC, was the golden age of the site at Olympia. A wide range of new religious and secular buildings and structures were constructed, the Temple of Zeus was built in the middle of the 5th century BC
In Hellenistic Greek and Roman architecture a peristyle is a continuous porch formed by a row of columns surrounding the perimeter of building or a courtyard. Tetrastoon is a rarely used term for this feature. In the Christian ecclesiastical architecture that developed from Roman basilica, a courtyard peristyle, in rural settings a wealthy Roman could surround a villa with terraced gardens, within the city Romans created their gardens inside the domus. Sometimes the lararium, a shrine for the Lares, the gods of the household, was located in this portico, the courtyard might contain flowers and shrubs, benches and even fish ponds. No new peristyle houses were built after A. D.550
Rhea is the Titaness daughter of the earth goddess Gaia and the sky god Uranus, in Greek mythology and sister and wife to Cronus. In early traditions, she is known as the mother of gods and therefore is associated with Gaia and Cybele. The classical Greeks saw her as the mother of the Olympian gods and goddesses, the Romans identified her with Magna Mater, and the Goddess Ops. Alternatively, the name Rhea may be connected with words for the pomegranate, ῥόα, the name Rhea may ultimately derive from a pre-Greek or Minoan source. Cronus sired six children by Rhea, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus in that order. Apart from Zeus, he swallowed all as soon as they were born, because he had learned from Gaia and Uranus that, as he had overthrown his own father, he was destined to be overcome by his own child. When Zeus was about to be born, Rhea sought Uranus and Gaia to devise a plan to him, so that Cronus would get his retribution for his acts against Uranus. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, and saved him by handing Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, Rhea hid Zeus in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete.
Her attendants, the warrior-like Curetes and Dactyls, acted as a bodyguard for the infant Zeus, Rhea had no strong local cult or identifiable activity under her control. She was originally worshiped in the island of Crete, identified in mythology as the site of Zeuss infancy and her cults employed rhythmic, raucous chants and dances, accompanied by the tympanon, to provoke a religious ecstasy. Her priests impersonated her mythical attendants, the Curetes and Dactyls, with a clashing of bronze shields, in Roman religion, her counterpart Cybele was Magna Mater deorum Idaea, who was brought to Rome and was identified in Roman mythology as an ancestral Trojan deity. On a functional level, Rhea was thought equivalent to Roman Ops or Opis, the one at Mycenae is most characteristic, with a lioness placed on either side of a pillar that symbolizes the goddess. In Homer, Rhea is the mother of the gods, although not a mother like Cybele. In the Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes, the fusion of Rhea, for her temenos they wrought an image of the goddess, a xoanon, from a vine-stump.
They leapt and danced in their armour, For this reason the Phrygians still worship Rhea with tambourines, the name of the bird species rhea is derived from the goddess name Rhea. The second largest moon of the planet Saturn is named after her, Timothy, Early Greek Myth, A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources, Johns Hopkins University Press,1996, Two volumes, ISBN 978-0-8018-5360-9, ISBN 978-0-8018-5362-3. Hesiod, Theogony, in The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, harvard University Press, William Heinemann Ltd.1914. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library, The Iliad with an English Translation by A. T
Ancient Greek religion
Ancient Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs and mythology originating in ancient Greece in the form of both popular public religion and cult practices. These groups varied enough for it to be possible to speak of Greek religions or cults in the plural, many ancient Greeks recognized the twelve major gods and goddesses, although philosophies such as Stoicism and some forms of Platonism used language that seems to assume a single transcendent deity. Different cities often worshiped the deities, sometimes with epithets that distinguished them. Greek religion was tempered by Etruscan cult and belief to form much of the ancient Roman religion, while there were few concepts universal to all the Greek peoples, there were common beliefs shared by many. Ancient Greek theology was polytheistic, based on the assumption there were many gods. There was a hierarchy of deities, with Zeus, the king of the gods, having a level of control all the others. Some deities had dominion over aspects of nature.
Other deities ruled over abstract concepts, for instance Aphrodite controlled love, while being immortal, the gods were certainly not all-good or even all-powerful. They had to obey fate, known to Greek mythology as the Moirai, which overrode any of their divine powers or wills. For instance, in mythology, it was Odysseus fate to return home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, and the gods could only lengthen his journey and make it harder for him, the gods acted like humans, and had human vices. They would interact with humans, sometimes even spawning children with them, at times certain gods would be opposed to others, and they would try to outdo each other. In the Iliad, Aphrodite and Apollo support the Trojan side in the Trojan War, while Hera, some gods were specifically associated with a certain city. Athena was associated with the city of Athens, Apollo with Delphi and Delos, Zeus with Olympia, other deities were associated with nations outside of Greece, Poseidon was associated with Ethiopia and Troy, and Ares with Thrace.
The Greeks believed in an underworld where the spirits of the dead went after death, one of the most widespread areas of this underworld was ruled over by Hades, a brother of Zeus, and was known as Hades. Other well known realms are Tartarus, a place of torment for the damned, and Elysium, in the early Mycenean religion all the dead went to Hades, but the rise of mystery cults in the Archaic age led to the development of places such as Tartarus and Elysium. Such beliefs are found in the most ancient of Greek sources, such as Homer and this belief remained strong even into the Christian era. For most people at the moment of death there was, however, no hope of anything, some Greeks, such as the philosophers Pythagoras and Plato, embraced the idea of reincarnation, though this was only accepted by a few. Epicurus taught that the soul was simply atoms which dissolved at death, Greek religion had an extensive mythology
Ancient Greek temple
Greek temples (Ancient Greek, Ναός, Naós dwelling, semantically distinct from Latin templum were structures built to house deity statues within Greek sanctuaries in ancient Greek religion. The temple interiors did not serve as meeting places, since the sacrifices, temples were frequently used to store votive offerings. They are the most important and most widespread building type in Greek architecture, in the Hellenistic kingdoms of Southwest Asia and of North Africa, buildings erected to fulfill the functions of a temple often continued to follow the local traditions. Even where a Greek influence is visible, such structures are not normally considered as Greek temples and this applies, for example, to the Graeco-Parthian and Bactrian temples, or to the Ptolemaic examples, which follow Egyptian tradition. Most Greek temples were oriented astronomically, they were governed by the regionally specific architectural orders. Whereas the distinction was originally between the Doric and Ionic orders, an alternative arose in late 3rd century BC with the Corinthian order. A multitude of different ground plans were developed, each of which could be combined with the superstructure in the different orders.
From the 3rd century BC onwards, the construction of temples became less common, after a short 2nd century BC flourish. Thereafter, only structures were newly begun, while older temples continued to be renovated or brought to completion if in an unfinished state. Greek temples were designed and constructed according to set proportions, mostly determined by the diameter of the columns or by the dimensions of the foundation levels. The nearly mathematical strictness of the basic designs thus reached was lightened by optical refinements, in spite of the still widespread idealised image, Greek temples were painted, so that bright reds and blues contrasted with the white of the building stones or of stucco. The more elaborate temples were equipped with rich figural decoration in the form of reliefs. The construction of temples was usually organised and financed by cities or by the administrations of sanctuaries, private individuals, especially Hellenistic rulers, could sponsor such buildings. New temples now belonged to the tradition of Roman architecture, which, in spite of the Greek influence on it, aimed for different goals and followed different aesthetic principles.
The Mycenaean Megaron was the precursor for Archaic and Classical Greek temples, the basic principles for the development of Greek temple architecture have their roots between the 10th century BC and the 7th century BC. In its simplest form as a naos, the temple was a rectangular shrine with protruding side walls. Until the 8th century BC, there were apsidal structures with more or less semi-circular back walls, by adding columns to this small basic structure, the Greeks triggered the development and variety of their temple architecture. The columns and superstructure were wooden, door openings and antae were protected with wooden planks, the mud brick walls were often reinforced by wooden posts, in a type of half-timbered technique
In classical Greek architecture, a stylobate is the top step of the crepidoma, the stepped platform upon which colonnades of temple columns are placed. The platform was built on a course that flattened out the ground immediately beneath the temple. Others use the term to refer to the entire platform, the stylobate was often designed to relate closely to the dimensions of other elements of the temple. In Greek Doric temples, the length and width of the stylobate were related, the Romans took a different approach, using a much higher stylobate that typically had steps only in the front, leading to the portico. A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
In classical architecture, a colonnade denotes a long sequence of columns joined by their entablature, often free-standing, or part of a building. Paired or multiple pairs of columns are normally employed in a colonnade which can be straight or curved, the space enclosed may be covered or open. In St. Peters Square in Rome, Berninis great colonnade encloses a vast open elliptical space, when in front of a building, screening the door, it is called a portico, when enclosing an open court, a peristyle. A portico may be more than one rank of columns deep, colonnades have been built since ancient times and interpretations of the classical model have continued through to modern times, and Neoclassical styles remained popular for centuries. At the British Museum, for example, porticos are continued along the front as a colonnade, the porch of columns that surrounds the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. can be termed a colonnade. The longest colonnade in the United States, with 36 Corinthian columns, is the New York State Education Building in Albany, New York