The Mesogeia or Mesogaia is a geographical region of Attica in Greece. The term designates since antiquity the inland portion of the Attic peninsula; the term acquired a technical meaning with the reforms of Cleisthenes in c. 508 BC, when each of the ten Attic tribes was made to territory from comprise three zones, urban and coastal. In the Classical period, the mesogeia comprised about 47 settlements. In modern usage, the term refers to the central portion of East Attica, separated from the Athens metropolitan area by Mount Hymettus, delineated to the north by Mount Penteli and to the south by the mountains of south Attica. To the east the Mesogeia reaches the Aegean Sea at the Petalioi Gulf, but is separated from the actual coastline by a line of low hills. In the late Middle Ages, the area was the site of Albanian settlement, as can be seen from toponyms such as Spata or Liopesi. Before the 2011 Kallikratis reform, the area comprised the municipalities of Gerakas, Glyka Nera, Pallini, Pikermi, Artemida, Markopoulo Mesogaias, Koropi, Kalyvia Thorikou, Vari and Voula.
Its main settlement is Spata, its main harbour is Rafina. The Athens International Airport is located near Spata. Mesogeia Painter Mesogeion Avenue Koder, Johannes. Tabula Imperii Byzantini, Band 1: Hellas und Thessalia. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. ISBN 978-3-7001-0182-6
American School of Classical Studies at Athens
The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is one of 17 foreign archaeological institutes in Athens, Greece. The center is a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers. Founded in 1892, the ASCSA is the most significant resource in Greece for American scholars in the fields of ancient and post-classical studies in Greek language, history, archaeology and art; the mission of the School is to advance knowledge of Greece in all periods, as well as other areas of the classical world, by training young scholars and promoting archaeological fieldwork, providing resources for scholarly work, disseminating research. The ASCSA is charged by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism with primary responsibility for all American archaeological research, seeks to support the investigation and presentation of Greece's cultural heritage; the School offers two major research libraries: the Blegen Library, with 94,000 volumes dedicated to the ancient Mediterranean world. The School sponsors excavations and provides centers for advanced research in archaeological and related topics at its excavations in the Athenian Agora and Ancient Corinth, it houses an archaeological laboratory at the main building complex in Athens.
The ASCSA offers graduate students enrolled in member universities an unparalleled immersion into the sites and monuments of Greek civilization. Although there are many activities and programs at the School, its core programs are: The Academic Year or'Regular' Program, which runs from early September to early June, offers advanced graduate students from a variety of fields an intensive survey of the art, archaeology and topography of Greece, from antiquity to the present; the program for Regular Members is an integrated participatory program over nine months. Regular Members are expected to be in attendance for the full nine-month program. Students receive comprehensive training through visits to the principal archaeological sites and museums of Greece as well as in seminars led by resident and visiting scholars, they take part in the training program at the Corinth excavations. The School accepts 15 to 20 students in this program; the Summer Sessions, which run for two six-week periods each, are open to North American graduate and advanced undergraduate students and to high school and college instructors of classics and related fields.
In these sessions, the School condenses its academic year program into an intensive introduction to the sites and monuments of Greece. The Summer programs are open to 20 participants each session; the School welcomes scholars to its libraries year-round for research. In addition, the School is a recognized leader in digital resources, providing an ever-expanding collection of books, photographs, excavation notebooks, personal papers and scientific data sets online. Throughout its existence, the ASCSA has been involved in a large number of archaeological projects, as well as a major programme of primary archaeological publications, it is responsible for two of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, the Athenian Agora and Ancient Corinth. The Corinth Excavations commenced in 1896 and have continued to present day with little interruption, the Athenian Agora excavations first broke ground in 1932. At both sites, the ASCSA operates important museums and extensive facilities for the study of the archaeological record.
Excavation records and artifacts are made available to wider audiences via ASCSA.net Other archaeological projects with ASCSA involvement and present, include surveys in the Southern Argolid, in Messenia and at Vrokastro and excavations at Olynthus, the islet of Mitrou, Isthmia, Nemea, Lerna, Franchthi cave and Halieis, Mt. Lykaion and the Palace of Nestor at Pylos, Haghia Irini, as well as Azoria, Gournia and Kommos on Crete. ASCSA publishes the peer-reviewed journal Hesperia quarterly as well as monographs for final reports of archaeological fieldwork conducted under School auspices, supplements to Hesperia, Gennadeion monographs; these books range in format from large hardbacks to slim paperback guides. William W. Goodwin. Tarbell Bert Hodge Hill John Langdon Caskey Henry S. Robinson Henry R. Immerwahr Stephen G. Miller William D. E. Coulson James D. Muhly Stephen V. Tracy Jack L. Davis James C. Wright Jenifer Neils E. Korka et al.: Foreign Archaeological Schools in Greece, 160 Years, Hellenic Ministry of Culture, 2006, p. 18-29.
L. Lord: A History of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens: An Intercollegiate Experiment, 1882-1942. L. Shoe Meritt: A History of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens: 1939-1980. ASCSA website AMBROSIA The Union Catalogue of the Blegen and Gennadius Libraries of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Libraries of the British School at Athens ASCSA.net Online database of the ASCSA ASCSA Publications The Archivist's Notebook Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, digital reproduction Heidelberg Universi
In Ancient Greece, a deme or demos modern Municipality was a suburb or a subdivision of Athens and other city-states. Demes as simple subdivisions of land in the countryside seem to have existed in the 6th century BC and earlier, but did not acquire particular significance until the reforms of Cleisthenes in 508 BC. In those reforms, enrollment in the citizen-lists of a deme became the requirement for citizenship. At this same time, demes were established in the main city of Athens itself, where they had not existed; the establishment of demes as the fundamental units of the state weakened the gene, or aristocratic family groups, that had dominated the phratries. A deme functioned to some degree as a polis in miniature, indeed some demes, such as Eleusis and Acharnae, were in fact significant towns; each deme had a demarchos. Demes collected and spent revenue. Demes were combined with other demes from the same area to make trittyes, larger population groups, which in turn were combined to form the ten tribes, or phylai of Athens.
Each tribe contained one trittys from each of three regions: the city, the coast, the inland area. Cleisthenes divided the landscape in three zones—urban and inland —and the 139 demes were organized into 30 groups called trittyes, ten for each of the zones and into ten tribes, or phyle, each composed of three trittyes, one from the coast, one from the city, one from the inland area. Cleisthenes reorganized the Boule, created with 400 members under Solon, so that it had 500 members, 50 from each tribe, each deme having a fixed quota; the ten tribes were named after legendary heroes and came to have an official order: Erechtheis named after Erechtheus Aigeis named after Aegeus Pandionis named after Pandion Leontis named after Leos, son of Orpheus Acamantis named after Acamas Oineis named after Oeneus Kekropis named after Cécrops Hippothontis named after Hippothoon Aiantis named after Ajax Antiochis named after Antiochus, son of Heracles In 307/306 – 224/223 BC the system was reorganized creating the two Macedonian Phylai, named after Demetrius I of Macedon and Antigonus I Monophthalmus, increasing the Boule to 600 members.
Each of the ten tribes, except Aiantis, provide 3 demes. In connection the contribution of each village to the Boule is properly adapted; the Egyptian Phyle XIII. Ptolemais, named after Ptolemy III Euergetes is created in 224/223 BC and the Boule increases to 600 members, the twelve tribes giving each a demos. In 201/200 BC the Macedonian Phylae are dissolved and the villages go back to the original tribe. Moreover, in spring 200 BC the tribe XIV. Attalis, named after Attalus I, is created following the same scheme used for the creation of the Egyptian Phyle: each tribe contributes a deme and a new deme, Apollonieis, is created in honour of Apollonis, wife of Attalus I of Pergamum; as a consequence we have again 600 members of the Boule. From this period there are no more quotas assigned to the demes for the 50 Boule members of each tribe The last modification is the creation in 126/127 of XV. Hadrianis, named after Hadrian following the same scheme: each tribe contributes a deme and a new deme, Antinoeis is created in honour of Hadrian's favorite, Antinous.
More over each tribe contributes 40 members to the Boule. In the first three periods there it a more detailed system of fixed quotas which remained unchanged. There is no evidence for a single general reapportionment of quotas within each of the first three periods, while there are evident small quota-variations between the first and the second periods. More in: 307/306 BC, 24 demes increased of 1 bouleutes, 13 of 2, 5 or 3, 6 of 4 and 1 of 11 and there is not a single example of a decreased quota. 224/223 BC 4 demes increased of 1 bouleutes, 1 of 2, 2 or 3 and 2 of 4. As regards the last two periods, the material illustrates the complete collapse of the quota-system from 201/200 BC; some deme lists suggest to extend the 139+3 list adding 43 other names some of which have been considered by scholars as attic demes. The criticism performed by John S. Traill shows that 24 are the result of error, ancient or modern, or of misinterpretation and 19 are well known chiefly from inscriptions of the second and third centuries after Christ, i.e. in the fifth period, thus for political purposes they were dependent on legitimate cleisthenic demes.
There are 6 pairs of homonymous demes: Halai Araphenides and Halai Aixonides Oion Dekeleikon and Oion Kerameikon Eitea: there were two demes of that name, but no modifier is known. One is associated to V. Acamantis XI. Antigonis and XV. Hadrianis.
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
Cleisthenes was an ancient Athenian lawgiver credited with reforming the constitution of ancient Athens and setting it on a democratic footing in 508 BCE. For these accomplishments, historians refer to him as "the father of Athenian democracy." He was a member of the aristocratic Alcmaeonid clan. He was the younger son of Megacles and Aragiste making him the maternal grandson of the tyrant Cleisthenes of Sicyon, he was credited with increasing the power of the Athenian citizens' assembly and for reducing the power of the nobility over Athenian politics. In 510 BCE, Spartan troops helped the Athenians overthrow their king, the tyrant Hippias, son of Peisistratos. Cleomenes I, king of Sparta, put in place a pro-Spartan oligarchy headed by Isagoras, but his rival Cleisthenes, with the support of the middle class and aided by democrats, took over. Cleomenes intervened in 508 and 506 BCE, but could not stop Cleisthenes, now supported by the Athenians. Through Cleisthenes' reforms, the people of Athens endowed their city with isonomic institutions—equal rights for all citizens —and established ostracism.
Historians estimate that Cleisthenes was born around 570 BCE. Cleisthenes was the uncle of Pericles' mother Agariste and of Alcibiades' maternal grandfather Megacles. With help from the Spartans and the Alcmaeonidae, he was responsible for overthrowing Hippias, the tyrant son of Pisistratus. After the collapse of Hippias' tyranny and Cleisthenes were rivals for power, but Isagoras won the upper hand by appealing to the Spartan king Cleomenes I to help him expel Cleisthenes, he did so on the pretext of the Alcmaeonid curse. Cleisthenes left Athens as an exile, Isagoras was unrivalled in power within the city. Isagoras set about dispossessing hundreds of Athenians of their homes and exiling them on the pretext that they too were cursed, he attempted to dissolve the Boule, a council of Athenian citizens appointed to run the daily affairs of the city. However, the council resisted, the Athenian people declared their support of the council. Isagoras and his supporters were forced to flee to the Acropolis, remaining besieged there for two days.
On the third day they were banished. Cleisthenes was subsequently recalled, along with hundreds of exiles, he assumed leadership of Athens. After this victory, Cleisthenes began to reform the government of Athens, he commissioned a bronze memorial from the sculptor Antenor in honor of the lovers and tyrannicides Harmodius and Aristogeiton, whom Hippias had executed. In order to forestall strife between the traditional clans, which had led to the tyranny in the first place, he changed the political organization from the four traditional tribes, which were based on family relations and which formed the basis of the upper class Athenian political power network, into ten tribes according to their area of residence which would form the basis of a new democratic power structure, it is thought that there may have been 139 demes which were organized into three groups called trittyes, with ten demes divided among three regions in each trittyes. Cleisthenes abolished patronymics in favour of demonymics, thus increasing Athenians' sense of belonging to a deme.
He established sortition - the random selection of citizens to fill government positions rather than kinship or heredity, a true test of real democracy. He reorganized the Boule, created with 400 members under Solon, so that it had 500 members, 50 from each tribe, he introduced the bouletic oath, "To advise according to the laws what was best for the people". The court system was reorganized and had from 201–5001 jurors selected each day, up to 500 from each tribe, it was the role of the Boule to propose laws to the assembly of voters, who convened in Athens around forty times a year for this purpose. The bills proposed could be passed or returned for amendments by the assembly. Cleisthenes may have introduced ostracism, whereby a vote from more than 6,000 of the citizens would exile a citizen for 10 years; the initial trend was to vote for a citizen deemed a threat to the democracy. However, soon after, any citizen judged to have too much power in the city tended to be targeted for exile. Under this system, the exiled man's property was maintained, but he was not physically in the city where he could create a new tyranny.
One ancient author records that Cleisthenes himself was the first person to be ostracized. Cleisthenes called these reforms isonomia, instead of demokratia. Cleisthenes' life after his reforms is unknown. In 507 BC, during the time Cleithenes was leading Athenian politics, at his instigation, democratic Athens sent an embassy to Artaphernes, brother of Darius I and Achaemenid Satrap of Asia Minor in the capital of Sardis, looking for Persian assistance in order to resist the threats from Sparta. Herodotus reports that Artaphernes had no previous knowledge of the Athenians, his initial reaction was "Who are these people?". Artaphernes asked the Athenians for "Water and Earth", a symbol of submission, if they wanted help from the Achaemenid king; the Athenians ambassadors accepted to comply, to give "Earth and Water". Artaphernes advised the Athenians that they should receive back the At
Regions of ancient Greece
The regions of ancient Greece were areas identified by the ancient Greeks as geographical sub-divisions of the Hellenic world. These regions are described in the works of ancient historians and geographers, in the legends and myths of the ancient Greeks. Conceptually, there is no clear theme to the structure of these regions; some in the Peloponnese, can be seen as distinct geo-physical units, defined by physical boundaries such as mountain ranges and rivers. These regions retained their identity when the identity of the people living there changed during the Greek Dark Ages. Conversely, the division of central Greece between Boeotia, Phocis and the three parts of Locris, cannot be understood as a logical division by physical boundaries, instead seems to follow ancient tribal divisions; these regions survived the upheaval of the Greek Dark Ages, showing that they had acquired less political connotations. Outside the Peloponnese and central Greece, geographical divisions and identities did change over time suggesting a closer connection with tribal identity.
Over time however, all the regions acquired geo-political meanings, political bodies uniting the cities of a region became common in the Classical period. These traditional sub-divisions of Greece form the basis for the modern system of regional units of Greece. However, there are important differences, with many of the smaller ancient regions not represented in the current system. Continental Greece was a geographic region of Greece. In English the area is called Central Greece, but the equivalent Greek term is more used. Acarnania is a region of west-central Greece that lies along the Ionian Sea, west of Aetolia, with the Achelous River for a boundary, north of the gulf of Calydon, the entrance to the Gulf of Corinth. Today it forms the western part of the regional unit of Aetolia-Acarnania; the capital and principal city in ancient times was Stratos. The north side of Acarnania of the Corinthian Gulf was considered part of the region of Epirus. Acarnania's foundation in Greek mythology was traditionally ascribed to son of Alcmaeon.
Aeniania or Ainis was a small district to the south of Thessaly. The regions of Aeniania and Oetaea were linked, both occupying the valley of the Spercheios river, with Aeniania occupying the lower ground to the north, Oetaea the higher ground south of the river; the boundaries of these two regions were formed by the arc of high ground running west from Mount Oeta round to Mount Tymphristos north round to the headwaters of Spercheios, east to the western spur of Mount Othrys. The lowland border in the Spercheios valley with Malis ran north-south along from Oeta to the western spur of Othrys. During the Archaic and Classical periods, the Aenianians were members of the Delphian Amphictyonic League, shared two votes on the Amphictyonic council with the Oetaeans; the Achelous River separates Aetolia from Acarnania to the west. In classical times Aetolia comprised two parts: Old Aetolia in the west, from the Achelous to the Evenus and Calydon; the country has a level and fruitful coastal region, but an unproductive and mountainous interior.
The mountains contained many wild beasts, acquired fame in Greek mythology as the scene of the hunt for the Calydonian Boar. Ancient Aperantia was a small region of Aetolia, south of Dolopia; the name of Attica was said to be derived from Atthis, daughter of Cranaus, said to have been the second king of Athens. Attica is bounded on the east by the Aegean sea, on the west by Megaris and the Saronic gulf and on the north by Boeotia, it is separated from Boeotia by a range of mountains. In the Archaic and Classical periods, the Atticans were members of the Delphian Amphictyonic League, shared the two Ionian votes on the Amphictyonic council with the Euboeans; the region of Boeotia, along with many of the cities that existed there in the Classical period, is described in the "catalogue of ships", in the Iliad. In the Archaic and Classical periods, the Boeotians were members of the Delphian Amphictyonic League, had two votes on the Amphictyonic council. Dolopia was a mountainous region of Greece, located north of Aetolia.
The Dolopians were members of the Delphian Amphictyonic League, shared two votes on the Amphictyonic council with the Perrhaeboi. In the Archaic and Classical periods, the Dorians were members of the Delphian Amphictyonic League, shared the two Dorian votes on the Amphictyonic council with the Laconian Dorians. In the Archaic and Classical periods, the Euboeans were members of the Delphian Amphictyonic League, shared the two Ionian votes on the Amphictyonic council with the Athenians; the region of Locris the eastern part, is described in the Iliad. In the Archaic and Classical periods, the Locrians were members of the Delphian Amphictyonic League, had two votes on the Amphictyonic council. In the Archaic and Classical periods, the Malians were members of the Delphian Amphictyonic League, had two votes on the Amphictyonic council. Mega
Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin; this was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea; the Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire. Classical Greek culture philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe.
For this reason, Classical Greece is considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization. Classical Greek culture gave great importance to knowledge. Science and religion were not separate and getting closer to the truth meant getting closer to the gods. In this context, they understood the importance of mathematics as an instrument for obtaining more reliable knowledge. Greek culture, in a few centuries and with a limited population, managed to explore and make progress in many fields of science, mathematics and knowledge in general. Classical antiquity in the Mediterranean region is considered to have begun in the 8th century BC and ended in the 6th century AD. Classical antiquity in Greece was preceded by the Greek Dark Ages, archaeologically characterised by the protogeometric and geometric styles of designs on pottery. Following the Dark Ages was the Archaic Period, beginning around the 8th century BC.
The Archaic Period saw early developments in Greek culture and society which formed the basis for the Classical Period. After the Archaic Period, the Classical Period in Greece is conventionally considered to have lasted from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 until the death of Alexander the Great in 323; the period is characterized by a style, considered by observers to be exemplary, i.e. "classical", as shown in the Parthenon, for instance. Politically, the Classical Period was dominated by Athens and the Delian League during the 5th century, but displaced by Spartan hegemony during the early 4th century BC, before power shifted to Thebes and the Boeotian League and to the League of Corinth led by Macedon; this period saw the Greco-Persian Wars and the Rise of Macedon. Following the Classical period was the Hellenistic period, during which Greek culture and power expanded into the Near and Middle East; this period ends with the Roman conquest. Roman Greece is considered to be the period between Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC and the establishment of Byzantium by Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire in AD 330.
Late Antiquity refers to the period of Christianization during the 4th to early 6th centuries AD, sometimes taken to be complete with the closure of the Academy of Athens by Justinian I in 529. The historical period of ancient Greece is unique in world history as the first period attested directly in proper historiography, while earlier ancient history or proto-history is known by much more circumstantial evidence, such as annals or king lists, pragmatic epigraphy. Herodotus is known as the "father of history": his Histories are eponymous of the entire field. Written between the 450s and 420s BC, Herodotus' work reaches about a century into the past, discussing 6th century historical figures such as Darius I of Persia, Cambyses II and Psamtik III, alluding to some 8th century ones such as Candaules. Herodotus was succeeded by authors such as Thucydides, Demosthenes and Aristotle. Most of these authors were either Athenian or pro-Athenian, why far more is known about the history and politics of Athens than those of many other cities.
Their scope is further limited by a focus on political and diplomatic history, ignoring economic and social history. In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages which followed the fall of the Mycenaean civilization. Literacy had been lost and Mycenaean script forgotten, but the Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet, modifying it to create the Greek alphabet. Objects with Phoenician writing on them may have been available in Greece from the 9th century BC, but the earliest evidence of Greek writing comes from graffiti on Greek pottery from the mid-8th century. Greece was divided into many small self-governing communities, a pattern dictated by Greek geography: every island and plain is cut off from its neighbors by the sea or mountain ranges; the Lelantine War is the earliest documented war of the ancient Greek period. It was fought between the important poleis of Chalcis and Eretria over the fertile Lelantine plain of Euboea. Both cities seem to have suffered a decline as result of the long war, though Chalcis was the nominal victor.
A mercantile class arose in the first half of the 7th century BC, shown by the introduction of coinage in about 680 BC. This