Santorini Thira and classic Greek Thera, is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast of Greece's mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago, which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera, it forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of 73 km2 and a 2011 census population of 15,550. The municipality of Santorini includes the inhabited islands of Santorini and Therasia and the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni and Christiana; the total land area is 90.623 km2. Santorini is part of the Thira regional unit; the island was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history: the Minoan eruption, which occurred about 3,600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of metres deep, it may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km to the south, through a gigantic tsunami.
Another popular theory holds. It is the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, though what remains today is chiefly a water-filled caldera; the volcanic arc is 500 km long and 20 to 40 km wide. The region first became volcanically active around 3–4 million years ago, though volcanism on Thera began around 2 million years ago with the extrusion of dacitic lavas from vents around the Akrotiri. Santorini was named by the Latin Empire in the thirteenth century, is a reference to Saint Irene, from the name of the old cathedral in the village of Perissa – the name Santorini is a contraction of the name Santa Irini. Before it was known as Kallístē, Strongýlē, or Thēra; the name Thera was revived in the nineteenth century as the official name of the island and its main city, but the colloquial name Santorini is still in popular use. The present municipality of Thera, which covers all settlements on the islands of Santorini and Therasia, was formed at the 2011 local government reform, by the merger of the former Oia and Thera municipalities.
Oia is now called a Κοινότητα, within the municipality of Thera, it consists of the local subdivisions of Therasia and Oia. The municipality of Thera includes an additional 12 local subdivisions on Santorini island: Akrotiri, Episkopis Gonia, Exo Gonia, Karterados, Mesaria, Pyrgos Kallistis, Thera and Vourvoulos. Santorini's primary industry is tourism; the two main sources of wealth in Santorini are tourism. In recent years, Santorini has been voted one of the world's most beautiful islands. Santorini remains the home of a small, but flourishing wine industry, based on the indigenous Assyrtiko grape variety. White varieties include Athiri and Aidani, whereas red varieties include mavrotragano and mandilaria; the Cyclades are part of a metamorphic complex, known as the Cycladic Massif. The complex formed during the Miocene and was folded and metamorphosed during the Alpine orogeny around 60 million years ago. Thera is built upon a small, non-volcanic basement that represents the former non-volcanic island, 9 by 6 km.
The basement rock is composed of metamorphosed limestone and schist, which date from the Alpine Orogeny. These non-volcanic rocks are exposed at Mikro Profititis Ilias, Mesa Vouno, the Gavrillos ridge, Pyrgos and the inner side of the caldera wall between Cape Plaka and Athinios; the metamorphic grade is a blueschist facies, which results from tectonic deformation by the subduction of the African Plate beneath the Eurasian Plate. Subduction occurred between the Oligocene and the Miocene, the metamorphic grade represents the southernmost extent of the Cycladic blueschist belt. Volcanism on Santorini is due to the Hellenic Trench subduction zone southwest of Crete; the oceanic crust of the northern margin of the African Plate is being subducted under Greece and the Aegean Sea, thinned continental crust. The subduction compels the formation of the Hellenic arc, which includes Santorini and other volcanic centres, such as Methana and Kos; the island is the result of repeated sequences of shield volcano construction followed by caldera collapse.
The inner coast around the caldera is a sheer precipice of more than 300 metres drop at its highest, exhibits the various layers of solidified lava on top of each other, the main towns perched on the crest. The ground slopes outwards and downwards towards the outer perimeter, the outer beaches are smooth and shallow. Beach sand colour depends on; the water at the darker coloured beaches is warmer because the lava acts as a heat absorber. The area of Santorini incorporates a group of islands created by volcanoes, spanning across Thera, Aspronisi and Nea Kameni. Santorini has erupted many times, with varying degrees of explosivity. There have been at least twelve large explosive eruptions, of which at least four were caldera-forming; the most famous eruption is the Minoan eruption, detailed below
Ancient Roman pottery
Pottery was produced in enormous quantities in ancient Rome for utilitarian purposes. It is found all beyond. Monte Testaccio is a huge waste mound in Rome made entirely of broken amphorae used for transporting and storing liquids and other products – in this case mostly Spanish olive oil, landed nearby, was the main fuel for lighting, as well as its use in the kitchen and washing in the baths, it is usual to divide Roman domestic pottery broadly into coarse wares and fine wares, the former being the everyday pottery jars and bowls that were used for cooking or the storage and transport of foods and other goods, in some cases as tableware, which were made and bought locally. Fine wares were serving vessels or tableware used for more formal dining, are of more decorative and elegant appearance; some of the most important of these were made at specialised pottery workshops, were traded over substantial distances, not only within, but between, different provinces of the Roman Empire. For example, dozens of different types of British coarse and fine wares were produced locally, yet many other classes of pottery were imported from elsewhere in the Empire.
The manufacture of fine wares such as terra sigillata took place in large workshop complexes that were organised along industrial lines and produced standardised products that lend themselves well to precise and systematic classification. There is no direct Roman equivalent to the artistically central vase-painting of ancient Greece, few objects of outstanding artistic interest have survived, but there is a great deal of fine tableware, many small figures incorporated into oil lamps or similar objects, with religious or erotic themes. Roman burial customs varied over time and space, so vessels deposited as grave goods, the usual source of complete ancient pottery vessels, are not always abundant, though all Roman sites produce plenty of broken potsherds. "Fine" rather than luxury pottery is the main strength of Roman pottery, unlike Roman glass, which the elite used alongside gold or silver tableware, which could be extravagant and expensive. It is clear from the quantities found that fine pottery was used widely in both social and geographic terms.
The more expensive pottery tended to use relief decoration moulded, rather than colour, copied shapes and decoration from the more prestigious metalwork. In the Eastern Empire, local traditions continued, hybridizing with Roman styles to varying extents. From the 3rd century the quality of fine pottery declined because of economic and political disturbances, because glassware was replacing pottery for drinking cups. Fired clay or terracotta was widely employed in the Roman period for architectural purposes, as structural bricks and tiles, as architectural decoration, for the manufacture of small statuettes and lamps; these are not classified under the heading'pottery' by archaeologists, but the terracottas and lamps will be included in this article. Pottery is a key material in the dating and interpretation of archaeological sites from the Neolithic period onwards, has been minutely studied by archaeologists for generations. In the Roman period, ceramics were produced and used in enormous quantities, the literature on the subject, in numerous languages, is extensive.
The designation'fine wares' is used by archaeologists for Roman pottery intended for serving food and drink at table, as opposed to pots designed for cooking and food preparation, storage and other purposes. Although there were many types of fine pottery, for example, drinking vessels in delicate and thin-walled wares, pottery finished with vitreous lead glazes, the major class that comes first to mind is the Roman red-gloss ware of Italy and Gaul make, traded, from the 1st century BC to the late 2nd century AD, traditionally known as terra sigillata; these vessels have fine hard and well-fired buff to pink fabrics, with a glossy surface slip ranging in colour from light orange to quite a bright red. The variations in the colour and texture of both body fabric and slip, as well as the vessel-shapes and the designs on the decorated forms can enable a trained student to identify source and individual workshop quite accurately. Arretine ware, made at Arezzo in Tuscany, was the pre-eminent type of fine pottery in the 1st century BC and early 1st century AD, was succeeded by samian ware, manufactured in a number of centres in Gaul, modern France and Germany.
However the definition of all these terms has varied and evolved over the many generations during which the material has been studied. Technically, red-gloss wares have much in common with earlier Greek painted pottery, but the decorated forms employ raised, relief decoration rather than painting. African Red Slip ware belonged to the same tradition, continued to be made much than Italian and Gaulish sigillata, right through to the Islamic conquest. ARS in turn influenced the production of Phocaean red slip, common in the Eastern Mediterranean and appeared as far west as Southern France and Britain; the production of related types of wares existed in Asia Minor and in other eastern regions of the Empire, while the Iberian provinces had local industries producing terra sigillata hispanica, which had some similarities with the Gaulish products. Most of these wares were distributed and produced on an industrial scale, undoubtedly using a
Arcadius was Eastern Roman Emperor from 395 to 408. He was the eldest son of Theodosius I and his first wife Aelia Flaccilla, brother of the Western Emperor Honorius. A weak ruler, his reign was dominated by a series of powerful ministers and by his wife, Aelia Eudoxia. Arcadius was born in Hispania, the elder son of Theodosius I and Aelia Flaccilla, brother of Honorius, who would become the first Western Roman Emperor, his father declared him an Augustus and co-ruler for the eastern half of the Empire in January 383. His younger brother was declared Augustus in 393, for the Western half; as emperors, both Theodosius' sons are famous for their extraordinarily weak wills and pliancy to ambitious ministers. At the death of their father, Honorius was under the control of the Romanized Vandal magister militum Flavius Stilicho while Arcadius was dominated by the Praetorian Prefect of the East, Rufinus. Stilicho, alleged by some to have aspired to control both Emperors, set off to the east shortly after beginning his reign, leading back the Gothic mercenaries whom Theodosius had taken west in the civil war with Arbogastes and Eugenius.
Stilicho complied and sent his army on under the command of its general, secretly his ally. When Rufinus greeted Gainas with his army before Constantinople, he was assassinated on the parade ground by the Goths. Arcadius had been on the verge of marrying Rufinus' daughter, when the palace eunuchs under the influence of Eutropius, apprehensive of this increase of the Prefect's power, conspired to switch the bride with the daughter of Bauto, a Frankish general, called Aelia Eudoxia. Aside from the indignity to Rufinus, not informed of the change in Arcadius' plans, and, caught off guard in the middle of the marriage ceremony, when the nuptial procession went to Eudoxia's residence rather than his own, this change hinted at his fall from another aspect, since Eudoxia had been raised, after her father's death, in the home of a general murdered by Rufinus. Subsequently, the eunuch Eutropius and Arcadius' wife, Aelia Eudoxia, would assume Rufinus' place as advisors, or guardians, of the emperor.
Eutropius' influence lasted four years, but he became as unpopular as Rufinus. Claudian, the court poet of Honorius, alleges that the eunuch sold the governorships of the provinces, the civil magistracies, to the highest bidders. New treason laws were enacted under his auspices, by which the thought was not separated from the execution of the crime, by which the sons of the guilty were excluded from the rights of citizenship; the last straw came in 399 when Eutropius, a eunuch and former slave, had himself nominated to the consulship, an unprecedented act. In the same year the Ostrogoths, settled in Asia Minor by Theodosius I revolted, Gainas, Eutropius' personal enemy, appointed to suppress the insurrection after Eutropius' appointees failed persuaded the emperor to give in to their demands, which included, inter alia, the dismissal of Eutropius. Eudoxia, sensing Eutropius' perilous situation deserted her former ally, convinced her husband to give in to the Ostrogoths' demands. Subsequently, Eudoxia alone would have influence over the emperor.
That same year, on 13 July, Arcadius issued an edict ordering that all remaining non-Christian temples should be demolished. After Eutropius' fall, Gainas joined the rebel Ostrogoths, forced Arcadius to make him Magister Militum, or chief general of the Roman armies, therefore the most powerful minister in the state. Additionally, he demanded place for settlement for his troops in Thrace. Arcadius consented, but the Ostrogoths' Arianism and hostile attitude brought them into conflict with the populace of Constantinople, Gainas' garrison in the capital was overpowered and massacred in a general riot. Gainas reacted by declaring open war on Arcadius, advanced on Constantinople before realising it was too strong for him to take. After this the Goths attempted to recross the Hellespont and invade Asia, but were defeated by Fravitta, a loyal Goth in the Roman service who replaced Gainas; the latter fled to the Danube with his remaining followers, intending to establish an independent kingdom in Scythia, but was defeated and killed by Uldin the Hun.
Eudoxia's influence was opposed by John Chrysostom, the Patriarch of Constantinople, who felt that she had used her family's wealth to gain control over the Emperor. Eudoxia used her influence to have Chrysostom deposed in 404, but she died that year. Eudoxia gave to Arcadius four children: three daughters, Pulcheria and Marina, one son, the future Emperor Theodosius II. Arcadius was dominated for the rest of his rule by Anthemius, the Praetorian Prefect, who made peace with Stilicho in the West. Arcadius himself was more concerned with appearing to be a pious Christian than he was with political or military matters, he died, only nominally in control of his Empire, in 408. In this reign of a weak Emperor dominated by court politics, a major theme was the ambivalence felt by prominent individuals and the court parties that formed and regrouped round them towards barbarians, which in Constantinople at this period meant Goths. In the well-documented episode that revolved around Gainas, a number of Gothic foederati stationed in the capital were massacred, the survivors fleeing
Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term relief is from the Latin verb relevo. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. What is performed when a relief is cut in from a flat surface of stone or wood is a lowering of the field, leaving the unsculpted parts raised; the technique involves considerable chiselling away of the background, a time-consuming exercise. On the other hand, a relief saves forming the rear of a subject, is less fragile and more securely fixed than a sculpture in the round one of a standing figure where the ankles are a potential weak point in stone. In other materials such as metal, plaster stucco, ceramics or papier-mâché the form can be just added to or raised up from the background, monumental bronze reliefs are made by casting. There are different degrees of relief depending on the degree of projection of the sculpted form from the field, for which the Italian and French terms are still sometimes used in English.
The full range includes high relief, where more than 50% of the depth is shown and there may be undercut areas, mid-relief, low-relief, shallow-relief or rilievo schiacciato, where the plane is only slightly lower than the sculpted elements. There is sunk relief, restricted to Ancient Egypt. However, the distinction between high relief and low relief is the clearest and most important, these two are the only terms used to discuss most work; the definition of these terms is somewhat variable, many works combine areas in more than one of them, sometimes sliding between them in a single figure. The opposite of relief sculpture is counter-relief, intaglio, or cavo-rilievo, where the form is cut into the field or background rather than rising from it. Hyphens may or may not be used in all these terms, though they are seen in "sunk relief" and are usual in "bas-relief" and "counter-relief". Works in the technique are described as "in relief", in monumental sculpture, the work itself is "a relief".
Reliefs are common throughout the world on the walls of buildings and a variety of smaller settings, a sequence of several panels or sections of relief may represent an extended narrative. Relief is more suitable for depicting complicated subjects with many figures and active poses, such as battles, than free-standing "sculpture in the round". Most ancient architectural reliefs were painted, which helped to define forms in low relief; the subject of reliefs is for convenient reference assumed in this article to be figures, but sculpture in relief depicts decorative geometrical or foliage patterns, as in the arabesques of Islamic art, may be of any subject. Rock reliefs are those carved into solid rock in the open air; this type is found in many cultures, in particular those of the Ancient Near East and Buddhist countries. A stele is a single standing stone; the distinction between high and low relief is somewhat subjective, the two are often combined in a single work. In particular, most "high reliefs" contain sections in low relief in the background.
From the Parthenon Frieze onwards, many single figures in large monumental sculpture have heads in high relief, but their lower legs are in low relief. The projecting figures created in this way work well in reliefs that are seen from below, reflect that the heads of figures are of more interest to both artist and viewer than the legs or feet; as unfinished examples from various periods show, raised reliefs, whether high or low, were "blocked out" by marking the outline of the figure and reducing the background areas to the new background level, work no doubt performed by apprentices. A low relief or bas-relief is a projecting image with a shallow overall depth, for example used on coins, on which all images are in low relief. In the lowest reliefs the relative depth of the elements shown is distorted, if seen from the side the image makes no sense, but from the front the small variations in depth register as a three-dimensional image. Other versions distort depth much less, it is a technique which requires less work, is therefore cheaper to produce, as less of the background needs to be removed in a carving, or less modelling is required.
In the art of Ancient Egypt, Assyrian palace reliefs, other ancient Near Eastern and Asian cultures, Meso-America, a consistent low relief was used for the whole composition. These images would be painted after carving, which helped define the forms; the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, now in Berlin, has low reliefs of large animals formed from moulded bricks, glazed in colour. Plaster, which made the technique far easier, was used in Egypt and the Near East from antiquity into Islamic times and Europe from at least the Renaissance, as well as elsewhere. However, it needs good co
The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the subsequent conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt the following year. The Ancient Greek word Hellas is the original word for Greece, from which the word Hellenistic was derived. At this time, Greek cultural influence and power was at its peak in Europe, North Africa and Western Asia, experiencing prosperity and progress in the arts, literature, architecture, mathematics and science, it is considered a period of transition, sometimes of decadence or degeneration, compared to the enlightenment of the Greek Classical era. The Hellenistic period saw the rise of New Comedy, Alexandrian poetry, the Septuagint and the philosophies of Stoicism and Epicureanism. Greek science was advanced by the works of the polymath Archimedes; the religious sphere expanded to include new gods such as the Greco-Egyptian Serapis, eastern deities such as Attis and Cybele and a syncretism between Hellenistic culture and Buddhism in Bactria and Northwest India.
After Alexander the Great's invasion of the Achaemenid Empire in 330 BC and its disintegration shortly after, the Hellenistic kingdoms were established throughout south-west Asia, north-east Africa and South Asia. The Hellenistic period was characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization which established Greek cities and kingdoms in Asia and Africa; this resulted in the export of Greek culture and language to these new realms, spanning as far as modern-day India. However, these new kingdoms were influenced by the indigenous cultures, adopting local practices where beneficial, necessary, or convenient. Hellenistic culture thus represents a fusion of the Ancient Greek world with that of the Near East, Middle East, Southwest Asia; this mixture gave rise to a common Attic-based Greek dialect, known as Koine Greek, which became the lingua franca through the Hellenistic world. Scholars and historians are divided as to; the Hellenistic period may be seen to end either with the final conquest of the Greek heartlands by Rome in 146 BC following the Achean War, with the final defeat of the Ptolemaic Kingdom at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, or the move by Roman emperor Constantine the Great of the capital of the Roman Empire to Constantinople in 330 AD.
"Hellenistic" is distinguished from "Hellenic" in that the first encompasses the entire sphere of direct ancient Greek influence, while the latter refers to Greece itself. The word originated from the German term hellenistisch, from Ancient Greek Ἑλληνιστής, from Ἑλλάς. "Hellenistic" is a 19th-century concept. Although words related in form or meaning, e.g. Hellenist, have been attested since ancient times, it was Johann Gustav Droysen in the mid-19th century, who in his classic work Geschichte des Hellenismus, coined the term Hellenistic to refer to and define the period when Greek culture spread in the non-Greek world after Alexander's conquest. Following Droysen and related terms, e.g. Hellenism, have been used in various contexts; the major issue with the term Hellenistic lies in its convenience, as the spread of Greek culture was not the generalized phenomenon that the term implies. Some areas of the conquered world were more affected by Greek influences than others; the term Hellenistic implies that the Greek populations were of majority in the areas in which they settled, but in many cases, the Greek settlers were the minority among the native populations.
The Greek population and the native population did not always mix. While a few fragments exist, there is no complete surviving historical work which dates to the hundred years following Alexander's death; the works of the major Hellenistic historians Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos and Phylarchus which were used by surviving sources are all lost. The earliest and most credible surviving source for the Hellenistic period is Polybius of Megalopolis, a statesman of the Achaean League until 168 BC when he was forced to go to Rome as a hostage, his Histories grew to a length of forty books, covering the years 220 to 167 BC. The most important source after Polybius is Diodorus Siculus who wrote his Bibliotheca historica between 60 and 30 BC and reproduced some important earlier sources such as Hieronymus, but his account of the Hellenistic period breaks off after the battle of Ipsus. Another important source, Plutarch's Parallel Lives although more preoccupied with issues of personal character and morality, outlines the history of important Hellenistic figures.
Appian of Alexandria wrote a history of the Roman empire that includes information of some Hellenistic kingdoms. Other sources include Justin's epitome of Pompeius Trogus' Historiae Philipicae and a summary of Arrian's Events after Alexander, by Photios I of Constantinople. Lesser supplementary sources include Curtius Rufus, Pausanias and the Byzantine encyclopedia the Suda. In the field of philosophy, Diogenes Laër
A nymph in Greek mythology is a supernatural being associated with many other minor female deities that are associated with the air, seas or water, or particular locations or landforms. Different from Greek goddesses, nymphs are more regarded as divine spirits who animate or maintain Nature for the environments where they live, are depicted as beautiful, young graceful maidens, they are divided into various broad subgroups, such as Aurai, Nereides and Dryades The Greek word νύμφη has the primary meaning of "young woman. Yet the etymology of the noun νύμφη remains uncertain; the Doric and Aeolic form is νύμφα. Modern usage more applies to young women at the peak of their attractiveness, contrasting with parthenos "a virgin", generically as kore "maiden, girl"; the term is sometimes used by women to address each other and remains the regular Modern Greek term for "bride". Nymphs were sometimes beloved by many and dwell in most specific areas related to the natural environment. E.g. mountainous forests by springs or rivers.
Other nymphs appeared in the shape of young maidens, were part of the retinue of a god, such as Dionysus, Hermes, or Pan, or a goddess the huntress Artemis. The Greek nymphs were spirits invariably bound to places, not unlike the Latin genius loci, sometimes this produced complicated myths like cult of Arethusa to Sicily. In some of the works of the Greek-educated Latin poets, the nymphs absorbed into their ranks the indigenous Italian divinities of springs and streams, while the Lymphae, Italian water-goddesses, owing to the accidental similarity of their names, could be identified with the Greek Nymphae; the classical mythologies of the Roman poets were unlikely to have affected the rites and cults of individual nymphs venerated by country people in the springs and clefts of Latium. Among the Roman literate class, their sphere of influence was restricted, they appear exclusively as divinities of the watery element; the ancient Greek belief in nymphs survived in many parts of the country into the early years of the twentieth century, when they were known as "nereids".
Nymphs tended to frequent areas distant from humans but could be encountered by lone travelers outside the village, where their music might be heard, the traveler could spy on their dancing or bathing in a stream or pool, either during the noon heat or in the middle of the night. They might appear in a whirlwind; such encounters could be dangerous, bringing dumbness, besotted infatuation, madness or stroke to the unfortunate human. When parents believed their child to be nereid-struck, they would pray to Saint Artemidos. A motif that entered European art during the Renaissance was the idea of a statue of a nymph sleeping in a grotto or spring; this motif came from an Italian report of a Roman sculpture of a nymph at a fountain above the River Danube. The report, an accompanying poem on the fountain describing the sleeping nymph, are now concluded to be a fifteenth-century forgery, but the motif proved influential among artists and landscape gardeners for several centuries after, with copies seen at neoclassical gardens such as the grotto at Stourhead.
As H. J. Rose states, all the names for various classes of nymphs are plural feminine adjectives agreeing with the substantive nymphai, there was no single classification that could be seen as canonical and exhaustive. Thus, the classes of nymphs tend to overlap. Rose mentions dryads and hamadryads as nymphs of trees meliai as nymphs of ash trees, naiads as nymphs of water, but no others specifically; the following is not the authentic Greek classification, but is intended as a guide: The following is a list of groups of nymphs associated with this or that particular location. Nymphs in such groupings could belong to any of the classes mentioned above; the following is a selection of names of the nymphs whose class was not specified in the source texts. For lists of Naiads, Dryades etc. See respective articles. Sabrina Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-36281-9. Larson, Jennifer Lynn. Greek Nymphs: Myth, Lore. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-514465-9.
Lawson, John Cuthbert, Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1910, p. 131 Nereids paleothea.com homepage Tomkinson, John L.. Haunted Greece: Nymphs and Other Exotika. Athens: Anagnosis. ISBN 978-960-88087-0-6; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Nymphs". Encyclopædia Britannica. 19. Cambridge University Press. P. 930. Theoi.com: Nymphs Theoi Project – List of Nymphs
Archaic Greece was the period in Greek history lasting from the eighth century BC to the second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC, following the Greek Dark Ages and succeeded by the Classical period. The period began with a massive increase in the Greek population and a series of significant changes which rendered the Greek world at the end of the eighth century unrecognisable compared to its beginning. According to Anthony Snodgrass, the Archaic period in ancient Greece was bounded by two revolutions in the Greek world, it began with a "structural revolution" which "drew the political map of the Greek world" and established the poleis, the distinctively Greek city-states, ended with the intellectual revolution of the Classical period. The Archaic period saw developments in Greek politics, international relations and culture, it laid the groundwork for the Classical period, both politically and culturally. It was in the Archaic period that the Greek alphabet developed, that the earliest surviving Greek literature was composed, that monumental sculpture and red-figure pottery began in Greece, that the hoplite became the core of Greek armies.
In Athens, the earliest institutions of the democracy were implemented under Solon, the reforms of Cleisthenes at the end of the Archaic period brought in Athenian democracy as it was during the Classical period. In Sparta, many of the institutions credited to the reforms of Lycurgus were introduced during the period, the region of Messenia was brought under Spartan control, helotage was introduced, the Peloponnesian League was founded, making Sparta a dominant power in Greece; the word "archaic" derives from the Greek word archaios, which means "old". It refers to the period in ancient Greek history before the Classical; the period is considered to have lasted from the beginning of the eighth century BC until the beginning of the fifth century BC, with the foundation of the Olympic Games in 776 BC and the Second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC forming notional start and end dates. The Archaic period was long considered to have been less important and interesting than the Classical period, was studied as a precursor to it.
More however, Archaic Greece has come to be studied for its own achievements. With this reassessment of the significance of the Archaic period, some scholars have objected to the term "archaic", due to its connotations in English of being primitive and outdated. No term, suggested to replace it has gained widespread currency and the term is still in use. Much of our evidence about the Classical period of ancient Greece comes from written histories, such as Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. By contrast, we have no such evidence from the Archaic period. We have written accounts of life in the period in the form of poetry, epigraphical evidence, including parts of law codes, inscriptions on votive offerings, epigrams inscribed on tombs. However, none of this evidence is in the quantity. What is lacking in written evidence, however, is made up for in the rich archaeological evidence from the Archaic Greek world. Indeed, where much of our knowledge of Classical Greek art comes from Roman copies, all of the surviving Archaic Greek art is original.
Other sources for the period are the traditions recorded by Greek writers such as Herodotus. However, these traditions are not part of any form of history. Indeed, Herodotus does not record any dates before 480 BC. Politically, the Archaic period saw the development of the polis as the predominant unit of political organisation. Many cities throughout Greece came under the rule of autocratic leaders, called "tyrants"; the period saw the development of law and systems of communal decision-making, with the earliest evidence for law codes and constitutional structures dating to the period. By the end of the Archaic period, both the Athenian and Spartan constitutions seem to have developed into their classical forms; the Archaic period saw significant urbanisation, the development of the concept of the polis as it was used in Classical Greece. By Solon's time, if not before, the word "polis" had acquired its classical meaning, though the emergence of the polis as a political community was still in progress at this point, the polis as an urban centre was a product of the eighth century.
However, the polis did not become the dominant form of socio-political organisation throughout Greece in the Archaic period, in the north and west of the country it did not become dominant until some way into the Classical period. The urbanisation process in Archaic Greece known as "synoecism" – the amalgamation of several small settlements into a single urban centre – took place in much of Greece in the eighth century BC. Both Athens and Argos, for instance, began to coalesce into single settlements around the end of that century. In some settlements, this physical unification was marked by the construction of defensive city walls, as was the case in Smyrna by the middle of the eighth century BC, Corinth by the middle of the seventh century BC, it seems that the evolution of the polis as a socio-political structure, rather than a geographical one, can be attributed to this urbanisation, as well as a significant population increase in the eighth century. These two factors created a need for a new form of political organisation, as the political systems in place at the beginning of the Archaic period became unworkable.
Though in the early part of the Classical period the city of Athens was both culturally and politically dominant, i