Athenian Agora Excavations Ancient Athens Greece City Center Artifacts 100’s Pix

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Seller: ancientgifts ✉️ (5,288) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 384532005842 Athenian Agora Excavations Ancient Athens Greece City Center Artifacts 100’s Pix. The Athenian Agora: Excavations in the Heart of Classical Athens by John M. Camp. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardcover with Dust Jacket: 231 pages. Publisher: Thames and Hudson; (1970). Dimensions: 10¾ x 7¾ x 1 inch, 2¼ pounds.The great public square known as the Agora was the focal point of lie in Ancient Athens. Far more than the Acropolis nearby it acted as the living heart of the city, where citizens met formally to administer civic affairs, and informally to trade or discuss politics, or take part in religious processions and athletic displays. In the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., when Athens was the foremost city in Greece, the Agora was the scene of some of the finest achievements in the first flowering of Western Civilization. Here democracy took root under Solon, Kleisthenes, and Pericles. Here too philosophers such as Socrates and Plato taught, while artisans crated masterpieces of classical sculpture, architecture, painting, and pottery on neighboring workshops. Professor John Camp, Assistant Director of the Agora excavations, brings together for the first time for a general audience the results of fifty-five years' work in the Agora by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. In 1931, when excavations began, not even the location of the original square was known. Today over one hundred buildings and 180,000 objects have been identified. Close to a quarter of a million people now visit the site each year, to stand in the ruins of the Senate House or see the Hephaisteion, the best preserved of all Greek temples, or the reconstructed Stoa of Attalos. Drawing upon the wealth of excavated evidence, richly supplemented by literary and inscriptional references, Professor Camp tells the story of the Agora from Neolithic to Medieval times in an immensely readable and superbly illustrated account. With 200 illustrations, 11 in color. CONDITION: New hardcover w/dustjacket. Thames & Hudson (1986) 231 pages. Inside the pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, and "unread", though I would hasten to add that of course it is likely that the book has been flipped through a few times while in the bookstore. Though the pages are absolutely pristine and the book has clearly never been "read", it seems likely by examining the binding of the book that a few bookstore browsing "lookie-loo's" flipped though the book while it was on the bookstore shelf. Notwithstanding that likelihood, the condition of the book is entirely consistent with a new book from an open-shelf bookstore environment such as Barnes & Noble or B. Dalton, wherein patrons are permitted to browse open stock. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 30 days! #1723b. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: The Agora, the marketplace and civic center, was one of the most important parts of an ancient city of Athens. In addition to being a place where people gathered to buy and sell all kinds of commodities, it was also a place where people assembled to discuss all kinds of topics: business, politics, current events, or the nature of the universe and the divine. The Agora of Athens, where ancient Greek democracy first came to life, provides a wonderful opportunity to examine the commercial, political, religious, and cultural life of one of the great cities of the ancient world. The earliest archaeological excavations in the Athenian Agora were conducted by the Greek Archaeological Society in the 19th century. Since 1931 and continuing to the present day, the excavations have been conducted by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. John McKesson Camp was born in Hew York City in 1946. He graduated in Classics from Harvard University in 1968, and subsequently took an MA degree in Classical Archaeology at Princeton University, received a PhD from the same university in 1977. Since 1973 he has been the Assistant Director of the Agora excavations. In 1985 he became Mellon Professor of Classical Studies at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Professor Camp has contributed many articles about ancient Greece to learned journals and has also written "Gods and Heroes in the Athenian Agora", and "Ancient Athenian Building Methods", both in the picture book series on the Agora issued by the American School at Athens. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: The great public square known as the Agora was the living heart of ancient Athens, where citizens met formally to administer civic affairs, and informally to trade or discuss politics or to take part in religious processions and athletic displays. In the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., the Agora was the scene of some of the finest political, philosophical, and artistic achievements in the first flowering of Western civilization. Professor John M. Camp brings together the results of sixty years' work by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Drawing on the wealth of excavated evidence, richly supplemented by literary and inscriptional references, Professor Camp tells the story of the Agora from Neolithic to medieval times. REVIEW: A detailed survey of the historical development of the Agora, the ancient Athenian marketplace and civic center. Chapters are organized chronologically, so that the monuments (and their later modifications) are presented in historical context. This book is especially valuable as a companion to the study of Athenian culture, as it combines evidence from archaeological excavation with literary, historical, and epigraphical testimony to illustrate the development of the commercial, political, judicial, and social institutions of the ancient city. REVIEW: Rare indeed is the book that one could not have wished better done. Readers at every level can count themselves lucky to have so riveting an account of the physical focal point of Western culture. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Just as much as the Acropolis was the religious center of ancient Athens, the Agora was its commercial, governmental, and cultural heart. Camp's book finally gives this crucial site the attention and analysis it deserves. The author draws on the results of over a half-century of archaeological investigation to relate 1500 years of the city's history. From Athens' rise from obscurity in the days of Homer to its flowering as a military/cultural powerhouse in the 5th century, to the Hellenistic Age and the days of the Roman Empire, to the city's slow decline to the status of Byzantine backwater, this book reveals the evolution of the Agora in hundreds of color and black-and-white illustrations which truly breathe life into the ancient stones and the people who knew them. The illustrations are sumptuous, and are the true centerpiece of the book. Scores of photographs illustrate the surviving walls and foundations of the Agora's buildings, and careful, clearly-rendered site plans and architectural elevations enable the reader to readily relate disparate elements of the structures and artifacts to their historical and cultural contexts. Accompanying the illustrations is a clear and lucid text which explains the history and the society that the Agora reflected and served. I heartily recommend this book to those interested in archaeology, classical Greece, the Roman Empire, and urban planning. It's difficult to conceive that this book could have been done any better, and it is unlikely to be superseded for the foreseeable future. REVIEW: I have had the pleasure of excavating in Greece (as volunteer slave labor). I spent a good deal of time in the Athenian Agora. I felt that I had come to understand a lot of the layout and history of the location. But this book greatly magnified my understanding of what I had seen. For me, it was wonderful to finally get the full story on the site that I thought I knew. The history of the Agora is very rich. This book will bring it to life for you. I'd give it twenty stars if it were possible. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: Ancient Greece: Greece is a country in southeastern Europe, known in Greek as Hellas or Ellada, and consisting of a mainland and an archipelago of islands. Greece is the birthplace of Western philosophy (Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle), literature (Homer and Hesiod), mathematics (Pythagoras and Euclid), history (Herodotus), drama (Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes), the Olympic Games, and democracy. The concept of an atomic universe was first posited in Greece through the work of Democritus and Leucippus. The process of today's scientific method was first introduced through the work of Thales of Miletus and those who followed him. The Latin alphabet also comes from Greece, having been introduced to the region by the Phoenicians in the 8th century B.C., and early work in physics and engineering was pioneered by Archimedes, of the Greek colony of Syracuse, among others. Mainland Greece is a large peninsula surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean Sea (branching into the Ionian Sea in the west and the Aegean Sea in the east) which also comprises the islands known as the Cyclades and the Dodecanese (including Rhodes), the Ionian islands (including Corcyra), the isle of Crete, and the southern peninsula known as the Peloponnese. The geography of Greece greatly influenced the culture in that, with few natural resources and surrounded by water, the people eventually took to the sea for their livelihood. Mountains cover eighty percent of Greece and only small rivers run through a rocky landscape which, for the most part, provides little encouragement for agriculture. Consequently, the early Greeks colonized neighboring islands and founded settlements along the coast of Anatolia (also known as Asia Minor, modern day Turkey). The Greeks became skilled seafaring people and traders who, possessing an abundance of raw materials for construction in stone, and great skill, built some of the most impressive structures in antiquity. Greece reached the heights in almost every area of human learning. The designation Hellas derives from Hellen, the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha who feature prominently in Ovid's tale of the Great Flood in his Metamorphoses. The mythical Deucalion (son of the fire-bringing titan Prometheus) was the savior of the human race from the Great Flood, in the same way Noah is presented in the biblical version or Utnapishtim in the Mesopotamian one. Deucalion and Pyrrha repopulate the land once the flood waters have receded by casting stones which become people, the first being Hellen. Contrary to popular opinion, Hellas and Ellada have nothing to do with Helen of Troy from Homer's Iliad. Ovid, however, did not coin the designation. Thucydides writes, in Book I of his Histories: "I am inclined to think that the very name was not as yet given to the whole country, and in fact did not exist at all before the time of Hellen, the son of Deucalion; the different tribes, of which the Pelasgian was the most widely spread, gave their own names to different districts. But when Hellen and his sons became powerful in Phthiotis, their aid was invoked by other cities, and those who associated with them gradually began to be called Hellenes, though a long time elapsed before the name was prevalent over the whole country. Of this, Homer affords the best evidence; for he, although he lived long after the Trojan War, nowhere uses this name collectively, but confines it to the followers of Achilles from Phthiotis, who were the original Hellenes; when speaking of the entire host, he calls them Danäans, or Argives, or Achaeans." Greek history is most easily understood by dividing it into time periods. The region was already settled, and agriculture initiated, during the Paleolithic era as evidenced by finds at Petralona and Franchthi caves (two of the oldest human habitations in the world). The Neolithic Age (circa 6000-2900 B.C.) is characterized by permanent settlements (primarily in northern Greece), domestication of animals, and the further development of agriculture. Archaeological finds in northern Greece (Thessaly, Macedonia, and Sesklo, among others) suggest a migration from Anatolia in that the ceramic cups and bowls and figures found there share qualities distinctive to Neolithic finds in Anatolia. These inland settlers were primarily farmers, as northern Greece was more conducive to agriculture than elsewhere in the region, and lived in one-room stone houses with a roof of timber and clay daubing. The Cycladic Civilization (circa 3200-1100 B.C.) flourished in the islands of the Aegean Sea (including Delos, Naxos and Paros) and provides the earliest evidence of continual human habitation in that region. During the Cycladic Period, houses and temples were built of finished stone and the people made their living through fishing and trade. This period is usually divided into three phases: Early Cycladic, Middle Cycladic, and Late Cycladic with a steady development in art and architecture. The latter two phases overlap and finally merge with the Minoan Civilization, and differences between the periods become indistinguishable. The Minoan Civilization (2700-1500 B.C.) developed on the island of Crete, and rapidly became the dominant sea power in the region. The term `Minoan' was coined by the archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, who uncovered the Minoan palace of Knossos in 1900 CE and named the culture for the ancient Cretan king Minos. The name by which the people knew themselves is not known. The Minoan Civilization was thriving, as the Cycladic Civilization seems to have been, long before the accepted modern dates which mark its existence and probably earlier than 6000 B.C. The Minoans developed a writing system known as Linear A (which has not yet been deciphered) and made advances in ship building, construction, ceramics, the arts and sciences, and warfare. King Minos was credited by ancient historians (Thucydides among them) as being the first person to establish a navy with which he colonized, or conquered, the Cyclades. Archaeological and geological evidence on Crete suggests this civilization fell due to an overuse of the land causing deforestation though, traditionally, it is accepted that they were conquered by the Mycenaeans. The eruption of the volcano on the nearby island of Thera (modern day Santorini) between 1650 and 1550 B.C., and the resulting tsunami, is acknowledged as the final cause for the fall of the Minoans. The isle of Crete was deluged and the cities and villages destroyed. This event has been frequently cited as Plato's inspiration in creating his myth of Atlantis in his dialogues of the Critias and Timaeus. The Mycenaean Civilization (approximately 1900-1100 B.C.) is commonly acknowledged as the beginning of Greek culture, even though we know almost nothing about the Mycenaeans save what can be determined through archaeological finds and through Homer’s account of their war with Troy as recorded in The Iliad. They are credited with establishing the culture owing primarily to their architectural advances, their development of a writing system (known as Linear B, an early form of Greek descended from the Minoan Linear A), and the establishment, or enhancement of, religious rites. The Mycenaeans appear to have been greatly influenced by the Minoans of Crete in their worship of earth goddesses and sky gods, which, in time, become the classical pantheon of ancient Greece. The gods and goddesses provided the Greeks with a solid paradigm of the creation of the universe, the world, and human beings. An early myth relates how, in the beginning, there was nothing but chaos in the form of unending waters. From this chaos came the goddess Eurynome who separated the water from the air and began her dance of creation with the serpent Ophion. From their dance, all of creation sprang and Eurynome was, originally, the Great Mother Goddess and Creator of All Things. By the time Hesiod and Homer were writing (8th century B.C.), this story had changed into the more familiar myth concerning the titans, Zeus' war against them, and the birth of the Olympian Gods with Zeus as their chief. This shift indicates a movement from a matriarchal religion to a patriarchal paradigm. Whichever model was followed, however, the gods clearly interacted regularly with the humans who worshipped them and were a large part of daily life in ancient Greece. Prior to the coming of the Romans, the only road in mainland Greece that was not a cow path was the Sacred Way which ran between the city of Athens and the holy city of Eleusis, birthplace of the Eleusinian Mysteries celebrating the goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone. By 1100 B.C. the great Mycenaean cities of southwest Greece were abandoned and, some claim, their civilization destroyed by an invasion of Doric Greeks. Archaeological evidence is inconclusive as to what led to the fall of the Mycenaeans. As no written records of this period survive (or have yet to be unearthed) one may only speculate on causes. The tablets of Linear B script found thus far contain only lists of goods bartered in trade or kept in stock. No history of the time has yet emerged. It seems clear, however, that after what is known as the Greek Dark Ages (approximately 1100-800 B.C., so named because of the absence of written documentation) the Greeks further colonized much of Asia Minor, and the islands surrounding mainland Greece and began to make significant cultural advances. Beginning in circa 585 B.C. the first Greek philosopher, Thales, was engaged in what, today, would be recognized as scientific inquiry in the settlement of Miletus on the Asia Minor coast and this region of Ionian colonies would make significant breakthroughs in the fields of philosophy and mathematics. The Archaic Period (800-500 B.C.) is characterized by the introduction of Republics instead of Monarchies (which, in Athens, moved toward Democratic rule) organized as a single city-state or polis, the institution of laws (Draco’s reforms in Athens), the great Panathenaeic Festival was established, distinctive Greek pottery and Greek sculpture were born, and the first coins minted on the island kingdom of Aegina. This, then, set the stage for the flourishing of the Classical Period of Greece given as 500-400 B.C. or, more precisely, as 480-323 B.C., from the Greek victory at Salamis to the death of Alexander the Great. This was the Golden Age of Athens, when Pericles initiated the building of the Acropolis and spoke his famous eulogy for the men who died defending Greece at the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. Greece reached the heights in almost every area of human learning during this time and the great thinkers and artists of antiquity (Phidias, Plato, Aristophanes, to mention only three) flourished. Leonidas and his 300 Spartans fell at Thermopylae and, the same year (480 B.C.), Themistocles won victory over the superior Persian naval fleet at Salamis leading to the final defeat of the Persians at Plataea in 379 B.C. Democracy (literally Demos = people and Kratos = power, so power of the people) was established in Athens allowing all male citizens over the age of twenty a voice in government. The Pre-Socratic philosophers, following Thales' lead, initiated what would become the scientific method in exploring natural phenomena. Men like Anixamander, Anaximenes, Pythagoras, Democritus, Xenophanes, and Heraclitus abandoned the theistic model of the universe and strove to uncover the underlying, first cause of life and the universe. Their successors, among whom were Euclid and Archimedes, continued philosophical inquiry and further established mathematics as a serious discipline. The example of Socrates, and the writings of Plato and Aristotle after him, have influenced western culture and society for over two thousand years. This period also saw advances in architecture and art with a movement away from the ideal to the realistic. Famous works of Greek sculpture such as the Parthenon Marbles and Discobolos (the discus thrower) date from this time and epitomize the artist's interest in depicting human emotion, beauty, and accomplishment realistically, even if those qualities are presented in works featuring immortals. All of these developments in culture were made possible by the ascent of Athens following her victory over the Persians in 480 B.C. The peace and prosperity which followed the Persian defeat provided the finances and stability for culture to flourish. Athens became the superpower of her day and, with the most powerful navy, was able to demand tribute from other city states and enforce her wishes. Athens formed the Delian League, a defensive alliance whose stated purpose was to deter the Persians from further hostilities. The city-state of Sparta, however, doubted Athenian sincerity and formed their own association for protection against their enemies, the Peloponnesian League (so named for the Peloponnesus region where Sparta and the others were located). The city-states which sided with Sparta increasingly perceived Athens as a bully and a tyrant, while those cities which sided with Athens viewed Sparta and her allies with growing distrust. The tension between these two parties eventually erupted in what has become known as the Peloponnesian Wars. The first conflict (circa 460-445 B.C.) ended in a truce and continued prosperity for both parties while the second (431-404 B.C.) left Athens in ruins and Sparta, the victor, bankrupt after her protracted war with Thebes. This time is generally referred to as the Late Classical Period (circa 400-330 B.C.). The power vacuum left by the fall of these two cities was filled by Philip II of Macedon (382-336 B.C.) after his victory over the Athenian forces and their allies at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 B.C. Philip united the Greek city states under Macedonian rule and, upon his assassination in 336 B.C., his son Alexander assumed the throne. Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) carried on his father's plans for a full scale invasion of Persia in retaliation for their invasion of Greece in 480 B.C. As he had almost the whole of Greece under his command, a standing army of considerable size and strength, and a full treasury, Alexander did not need to bother with allies nor with consulting anyone regarding his plan for invasion and so led his army into Egypt, across Asia Minor, through Persia, and finally to India. Tutored in his youth by Plato’s great student Aristotle, Alexander would spread the ideals of Greek civilization through his conquests and, in so doing, transmitted Greek philosophy, culture, language, and art to every region he came in contact with. In 323 B.C. Alexander died and his vast empire was divided between four of his generals. This initiated what has come to be known to historians as the Hellenistic Age (323-31 B.C.) during which Greek thought and culture became dominant in the various regions under these generals' influence. After a series of struggles between the Diodachi (`the successors' as Alexander's generals came to be known) General Antigonus established the Antigonid Dynasty in Greece which he then lost. It was regained by his grandson, Antigonus II Gonatus, by 276 B.C. who ruled the country from his palace at Macedon. The Roman Republic became increasingly involved in the affairs of Greece during this time and, in 168 B.C., defeated Macedon at the Battle of Pydna. After this date, Greece steadily came under the influence of Rome. In 146 B.C. the region was designated a Protectorate of Rome and Romans began to emulate Greek fashion, philosophy and, to a certain extent, sensibilities. In 31 B.C. Octavian Caesar annexed the country as a province of Rome following his victory over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium. Octavian became Augustus Caesar and Greece a part of the Roman Empire. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Ancient Greece: The Greek Empire had its roots in the different communities which developed in the third millennium BC, almost 5,000 years ago, the Aegeans, Achaeans, and the Pelasgians. Crete became the center of the more advanced Aegean civilization, known as the Minoans. The Minoan culture dominated the region from about 2,500 BC through 1,600 BC. The volcanic eruption of Thera about 1,600 B.C. not only caused the destruction of the Minoan Empire, it might well have been responsible for a planetary scale of disruption which nearly cost mankind his existence. Around 1,200 B.C., the ten-year Trojan war occurred, and was the subject of the epic poem by Homer, the hero, of course, being Odysseus. By 1,000 B.C. Greek settlements had transformed themselves into city-states. The Olympic Games began in 776 B.C. In the next several centuries, artwork began to focus on human figures and mythology, and the first coins were soon minted. Greece flourished, and the areas of philosophy, art, and literature reached their zenith. At the height of Greek classical art in the fifth century B.C., the Greek city states employed the finest engravers available to create coins of great artistic merit, as did the Romans who followed. In the ancient Greek city-states, some dies were even signed by a master engraver. The deities of the Greek pantheon were depicted as ideally proportioned humans. The subject of countless movies, the Persian Wars began in 490 B.C, and in 480 B.C. the Persians sacked and ruined Athens. In 461 B.C. the Peloponnesian Wars began between the Athenians and the Spartans. The greatest Greek military figure, Alexander The Great, in the late fourth century B.C. conquered Egypt and the entire Persian Empire. After Alexander’s death his generals and successors founded the great Hellenistic empires. These successors introduced realistic portraits as a regular feature of their coinage. The true visages of world rulers were recorded for posterity. Many of these rulers of the ancient world are unknown to history except through their coin portraits. The decline of the Greek Empire began shortly after Alexander’s death as the separate Greek kingdoms feuded and fought with one another, crippling the Greek Empire. In 197 B.C. the military forces of Greece fell to the Romans, and the Greek Empire was absorbed by the Romans. The Sumerians and the Egyptians had developed advanced metalworking techniques long before the Greeks, and so it is natural that the Greeks learned from them. However, as in other forms of art, Greek metalworking artisans borrowed some techniques from the Sumerians and Egyptians and quickly adapted them to their own aesthetic perceptions. Whereas for the Sumerian, Egyptian, and Oriental cultures semi-precious stones were structural elements of their jewelry, in Greece emphasis was placed on worked metal. Gold and silver were the preferred metals (silver actually being much more rare and usually only found as a naturally occurring alloy with gold known as “electrum”). However besides gold and silver, other metals such as copper, lead and iron were used to fashion diadems, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings of unrivalled artistry. Ancient Greek jewelers created decorative and artistic themes that far outshone the commonplace repetitive designs of the artifacts of the East. In antiquity there were ample gold deposits around the Mediterranean, and active gold mines throughout Greece such as those of Siphnos, Thasos or Mount Pangaion. And imported gold was also available to jewelers from Egypt, Spain, the Caucasus and elsewhere. Techniques of gold leaf, wire, hammering, and filigree produced beautiful products. Jewelry decoration depended on the characteristic traits of each period, techniques moving gradually from simple to complex. In Hellenistic times semi-precious stones began to be incorporated into the produce of Greek jewelers, and with the campaigns of Alexander the Great, Greek techniques and styles were disseminated throughout the Mediterranean, including North Africa, the Levant, and into Mesopotamia [AncientGifts]. Ancient Hellenic Greece: "The Hellenic World" is a term which refers to that period of ancient Greek history between 507 B.C. (the date of the first democracy in Athens) and 323 B.C. (the death of Alexander the Great). This period is also referred to as the age of Classical Greece and should not be confused with The Hellenistic World which designates the period between the death of Alexander and Rome's conquest of Greece (323 - 146 - 31 B.C.). The Hellenic World of ancient Greece consisted of the Greek mainland, Crete, the islands of the Greek archipelago, and the coast of Asia Minor primarily (though mention is made of cities within the interior of Asia Minor and, of course, the colonies in southern Italy). This is the time of the great Golden Age of Greece and, in the popular imagination, resonates as "ancient Greece". The great law-giver, Solon, having served wisely as Archon of Athens for 22 years, retired from public life and saw the city, almost immediately, fall under the dictatorship of Peisistratus. Though a dictator, Peisistratus understood the wisdom of Solon, carried on his policies and, after his death, his son Hippias continued in this tradition (though still maintaining a dictatorship which favored the aristocracy). After the assassination of his younger brother (inspired, according to Thucydides, by a love affair gone wrong and not, as later thought, politically motivated), however, Hippias became wary of the people of Athens, instituted a rule of terror, and was finally overthrown by the army under Kleomenes I of Sparta and Cleisthenes of Athens. Cleisthenes reformed the constitution of Athens and established democracy in the city in 507 B.C. He also followed Solon's lead but instituted new laws which decreased the power of the aristocracy, increased the prestige of the common people, and attempted to join the separate tribes of the mountain, the plain, and the shore into one unified people under a new form of government. According to the historian Durant, "The Athenians themselves were exhilarated by this adventure into sovereignty. From that moment they knew the zest of freedom in action, speech, and thought; and from that moment they began to lead all Greece in literature and art, even in statesmanship and war". This foundation of democracy, of a free state comprised of men who "owned the soil that they tilled and who ruled the state that governed them", stabilized Athens and provided the groundwork for the Golden Age. The Golden Age of Greece, according to the poet Shelley, "is undoubtedly...the most memorable in the history of the world". The list of thinkers, writers, doctors, artists, scientists, statesmen, and warriors of the Hellenic World comprises those who made some of the most important contributions to western civilization: The statesman Solon, the poets Pindar and Sappho, the playwrights Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus and Aristophanes, the orator Lysias, the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, the philosophers Zeno of Elea, Protagoras of Abdera, Empedocles of Acragas, Heraclitus, Xenophanes, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, the writer and general Xenophon, the physician Hippocrates, the sculptor Phidias, the statesman Pericles, the generals Alcibiades and Themistocles, among many other notable names, all lived during this period. Interestingly, Herodotus considered his own age as lacking in many ways and looked back to a more ancient past for a paradigm of a true greatness. The writer Hesiod, an 8th century B.C. contemporary of Homer, claimed precisely the same thing about the age Herodotus looked back toward and called his own age "wicked, depraved and dissolute" and hoped the future would produce a better breed of man for Greece. Herodotus aside, however, it is generally understood that the Hellenic World was a time of incredible human achievement. Major city-states (and sacred places of pilgrimage) in the Hellenic World were Argos, Athens, Eleusis, Corinth, Delphi, Ithaca, Olympia, Sparta, Thebes, Thrace, and, of course, Mount Olympus, the home of the gods. The gods played an important part in the lives of the people of the Hellenic World; so much so that one could face the death penalty for questioning - or even allegedly questioning - their existence, as in the case of Protagoras, Socrates, and Alcibiades (the Athenian statesman Critias, sometimes referred to as `the first atheist', only escaped being condemned because he was so powerful at the time). Great works of art and beautiful temples were created for the worship and praise of the various gods and goddesses of the Greeks, such as the Parthenon of Athens, dedicated to the goddess Athena Parthenos (Athena the Virgin) and the Temple of Zeus at Olympia (both works which Phidias contributed to and one, the Temple of Zeus, listed as an Ancient Wonder). The temple of Demeter at Eleusis was the site of the famous Eleusinian Mysteries, considered the most important rite in ancient Greece. In his works The Iliad and The Odyssey, immensely popular and influential in the Hellenic World, Homer depicted the gods and goddesses as being intimately involved in the lives of the people, and the deities were regularly consulted in domestic matters as well as affairs of state. The famous Oracle at Delphi was considered so important at the time that people from all over the known world would come to Greece to ask advice or favors from the god, and it was considered vital to consult with the supernatural forces before embarking on any military campaign. Among the famous battles of the Hellenic World that the gods were consulted on were the Battle of Marathon (490 B.C.) the Battles of Thermopylae and Salamis (480 B.C.), Plataea (479 B.C.,) and The Battle of Chaeronea (338 B.C.) where the forces of the Macedonian King Philip II commanded, in part, by his son Alexander, defeated the Greek forces and unified the Greek city-states. After Philip's death, Alexander would go on to conquer the world of his day, becoming Alexander the Great. Through his campaigns he would bring Greek culture, language, and civilization to the world and, after his death, would leave the legacy which came to be known as the Hellenistic World. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Greek Colonization: Ancient Greek Colonization. In the first half of the first millennium B.C., Greek city-states, most of which were maritime powers, began to look beyond Greece for land and resources, and so they founded colonies across the Mediterranean. Trade contacts were usually the first steps in the colonization process and then, later, once local populations were subdued or included within the colony, cities were established. These could have varying degrees of contact with the homeland, but most became fully independent city-states, sometimes very Greek in character, in other cases culturally closer to the indigenous peoples they neighbored and included within their citizenry. One of the most important consequences of this process, in broad terms, was that the movement of goods, people, art, and ideas in this period spread the Greek way of life far and wide to Spain, France, Italy, the Adriatic, the Black Sea, and North Africa. In total then, the Greeks established some 500 colonies which involved up to 60,000 Greek citizen colonists, so that by 500 B.C. these new territories would eventually account for 40% of all Greeks in the Hellenic World. The Greeks were great sea-farers, and traveling across the Mediterranean, they were eager to discover new lands and new opportunities. Even Greek mythology included such tales of exploration as Jason and his search for the Golden Fleece and that greatest of hero travelers Odysseus. First the islands around Greece were colonized, for example the first colony in the Adriatic was Corcyra (Corfu), founded by Corinth in 733 B.C. (traditional date), and then prospectors looked further afield. The first colonists in a general sense were traders and those small groups of individuals who sought to tap into new resources and start a new life away from the increasingly competitive and over-crowded homeland. Trade centers and free markets (emporia) were the forerunners of colonies proper. Then, from the mid-8th to mid-6th centuries B.C., the Greek city-states (poleis) and individual groups started to expand beyond Greece with more deliberate and longer-term intentions. However, the process of colonization was likely more gradual and organic than ancient sources would suggest. It is also difficult to determine the exact degree of colonization and integration with local populations. Some areas of the Mediterranean saw fully-Greek poleis established, while in other areas there were only trading posts composed of more temporary residents such as merchants and sailors. The very term 'colonization' infers the domination of indigenous peoples, a feeling of cultural superiority by the colonizers, and a specific cultural homeland which controls and drives the whole process. This was not necessarily the case in the ancient Greek world and, therefore, in this sense, Greek colonization was a very different process from, for example, the policies of certain European powers in the 19th and 20th centuries A.D. It is perhaps here then, a process better described as 'culture contact'. The establishment of colonies across the Mediterranean permitted the export of luxury goods such as fine Greek pottery, wine, oil, metalwork, and textiles, and the extraction of wealth from the land - timber, metals, and agriculture (notably grain, dried fish, and leather), for example - and they often became lucrative trading hubs and a source of slaves. A founding city (metropolis) might also set up a colony in order to establish a military presence in a particular region and so protect lucrative sea routes. Also, colonies could provide a vital bridge to inland trade opportunities. Some colonies even managed to rival the greatest founding cities; Syracuse, for example, eventually became the largest polis in the entire Greek world. Finally, it is important to note that the Greeks did not have the field to themselves, and rival civilizations also established colonies, especially the Etruscans and Phoenicians, and sometimes, inevitably, warfare broke out between these great powers. Greek cities were soon attracted by the fertile land, natural resources, and good harbors of a 'New World' - southern Italy and Sicily. The Greek colonists eventually subdued the local population and stamped their identity on the region to such an extent that they called it 'Greater Greece' or Megalē Hellas, and it would become the most 'Greek' of all the colonized territories, both in terms of culture and the urban landscape with Doric temples being the most striking symbol of Hellenization. Some of the most important poleis in Italy were Cumae (the first Italian colony, founded circa 740 B.C. by Chalcis), Naxos (734 B.C., Chalcis), Sybaris (circa 720 B.C., Achaean/Troezen), Croton (circa 710 B.C., Achaean), Tarentum (706 B.C., Sparta), Rhegium (circa 720 B.C., Chalcis), Elea (circa 540 B.C., Phocaea), Thurri (circa 443 B.C., Athens), and Heraclea (433 B.C., Tarentum). On Sicily the main colonies included Syracuse (733 B.C., founded by Corinth), Gela (688 B.C., Rhodes and Crete), Selinous (circa 630 B.C.), Himera (circa 630 B.C., Messana), and Akragas (circa 580 B.C., Gela). The geographical location of these new colonies in the centre of the Mediterranean meant they could prosper as trade centers between the major cultures of the time: the Greek, Etruscan, and Phoenician civilizations. And prosper they did, so much so that writers told of the vast riches and extravagant lifestyles to be seen. Empedokles, for example, described the pampered citizens and fine temples of Akragas (Agrigento) in Sicily as follows; "the Akragantinians revel as if they must die tomorrow, and build as if they would live forever". Colonies even established off-shoot colonies and trading posts themselves and, in this way, spread Greek influence further afield, including higher up the Adriatic coast of Italy. Even North Africa saw colonies established, notably Cyrene by Thera in circa 630 B.C., and so it became clear that Greek colonists would not restrict themselves to Magna Graecia. Greeks created settlements along the Aegean coast of Ionia (or Asia Minor) from the 8th century B.C. Important colonies included Miletos, Ephesos, Smyrna, and Halicarnassus. Athens traditionally claimed to be the first colonizer in the region which was also of great interest to the Lydians and Persians. The area became a hotbed of cultural Endeavour, especially in science, mathematics, and philosophy, and produced some of the greatest of Greek minds. Art and architectural styles too, assimilated from the east, began to influence the homeland; such features as palmed column capitals, sphinxes, and expressive 'orientalising' pottery designs would inspire Greek architects and artists to explore entirely new artistic avenues. The main colonizing polis of southern France was Phocaea which established the important colonies of Alalia and Massalia (circa 600 B.C.). The city also established colonies, or at least established an extensive trade network, in southern Spain. Notable poleis established here were Emporion (by Massalia and with a traditional founding date of 575 B.C. but more likely several decades later) and Rhode. Colonies in Spain were less typically Greek in culture than those in other areas of the Mediterranean, competition with the Phoenicians was fierce, and the region seems always to have been considered, at least according to the Greek literary sources, a distant and remote land by mainland Greeks. The Black Sea (Euxine Sea to the Greeks) was the last area of Greek colonial expansion, and it was where Ionian poleis, in particular, sought to exploit the rich fishing grounds and fertile land around the Hellespont and Pontos. The most important founding city was Miletos which was credited in antiquity with having a perhaps exaggerated 70 colonies. The most important of these were Kyzikos (founded 675 B.C.), Sinope (circa 631 B.C.), Pantikapaion (circa 600 B.C.), and Olbia (circa 550 B.C.). Megara was another important mother city and founded Chalcedon (circa 685 B.C.), Byzantium (668 B.C.), and Herakleia Pontike (560 B.C.). Eventually, almost the entire Black Sea was enclosed by Greek colonies even if, as elsewhere, warfare, compromises, inter-marriages, and diplomacy had to be used with indigenous peoples in order to ensure the colonies' survival. In the late 6th century B.C. particularly, the colonies provided tribute and arms to the Persian Empire and received protection in return. After Xerxes' failed invasion of Greece in 480 and 479 B.C., the Persians withdrew their interest in the area which allowed the larger poleis like Herakleia Pontike and Sinope to increase their own power through the conquest of local populations and smaller neighboring poleis. The resulting prosperity also allowed Herakleia to found colonies of her own in the 420s B.C. at such sites as Chersonesos in the Crimea. From the beginning of the Peloponnesian War in 431 B.C., Athens took an interest in the region, sending colonists and establishing garrisons. An Athenian physical presence was short-lived, but longer-lasting was an Athenian influence on culture (especially sculpture) and trade (especially of Black Sea grain). With the eventual withdrawal of Athens, the Greek colonies were left to fend for themselves and meet alone the threat from neighboring powers such as the Royal Scythians and, ultimately, Macedon and Philip II. Most colonies were built on the political model of the Greek polis, but types of government included those seen across Greece itself - oligarchy, tyranny, and even democracy - and they could be quite different from the system in the founder, parent city. A strong Greek cultural identity was also maintained via the adoption of founding myths and such wide-spread and quintessentially Greek features of daily life as language, food, education, religion, sport and the gymnasium, theatre with its distinctive Greek tragedy and comedy plays, art, architecture, philosophy, and science. So much so that a Greek city in Italy or Ionia could, at least on the surface, look and behave very much like any other city in Greece. Trade greatly facilitated the establishment of a common 'Greek' way of life. Such goods as wine, olives, wood, and pottery were exported and imported between poleis. Even artists and architects themselves relocated and set up workshops away from their home polis, so that temples, sculpture, and ceramics became recognizably Greek across the Mediterranean. Colonies did establish their own regional identities, of course, especially as they very often included indigenous people with their own particular customs, so that each region of colonies had their own idiosyncrasies and variations. In addition, frequent changes in the qualifications to become a citizen and forced resettlement of populations meant colonies were often more culturally diverse and politically unstable than in Greece itself and civil wars thus had a higher frequency. Nevertheless, some colonies did extraordinarily well, and many eventually outdid the founding Greek superpowers. Colonies often formed alliances with like-minded neighboring poleis. There were, conversely, also conflicts between colonies as they established themselves as powerful and fully independent poleis, in no way controlled by their founding city-state. Syracuse in Sicily was a typical example of a larger polis which constantly sought to expand its territory and create an empire of its own. Colonies which went on to subsequently establish colonies of their own and who minted their own coinage only reinforced their cultural and political independence. Although colonies could be fiercely independent, they were at the same time expected to be active members of the wider Greek world. This could be manifested in the supply of soldiers, ships, and money for Pan-Hellenic conflicts such as those against Persia and the Peloponnesian War, the sending of athletes to the great sporting games at places like Olympia and Nemea, the setting up of military victory monuments at Delphi, the guarantee of safe passage to foreign travelers through their territory, or the export and import of intellectual and artistic ideas such as the works of Pythagoras or centers of study like Plato's academy which attracted scholars from across the Greek world. Then, in times of trouble, colonies could also be helped out by their founding polis and allies, even if this might only be a pretext for the imperial ambitions of the larger Greek states. A classic example of this would be Athens' Sicilian Expedition in 415 B.C., officially at least, launched to aid the colony of Segesta. There was also the physical movement of travelers within the Greek world which is attested by evidence such as literature and drama, dedications left by pilgrims at sacred sites like Epidaurus, and participation in important annual religious festivals such as the Dionysia of Athens. Different colonies had obviously different characteristics, but the collective effect of these habits just mentioned effectively ensured that a vast area of the Mediterranean acquired enough common characteristics to be aptly described as the Greek World. Further, the effect was long-lasting for, even today, one can still see common aspects of culture shared by the citizens of southern France, Italy, and Greece. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Ancient Hellenic Jerusalem: Jerusalem Dig Uncovers Ancient Greek Citadel. In the shadow of Jerusalem’s city walls, archaeologists have found a fortress that spawned a bloody rebellion more than two millennia ago. What Jews call the Temple Mount rises above the remains of a Greek citadel exposed by an archaeological dig in Jerusalem. Israeli archaeologists have uncovered the remnants of an impressive fort built more than two thousand years ago by Greeks in the center of old Jerusalem. The ruins are the first solid evidence of an era in which Hellenistic culture held sway in this ancient city. The citadel, until now known only from texts, was at the heart of a bloody rebellion that eventually led to the expulsion of the Greeks, an event still celebrated by Jews at Hanukkah. But the excavation in the shadow of the Temple Mount, called Haram esh-Sharif by Muslims, is stirring controversy in this politically charged land. “We now have massive evidence that this is part of the fortress called the Acra,” said Doron Ben-Ami, an archaeologist with the Israeli Antiquities Authority who is leading the effort. Situated under what had long been a parking lot between the Temple Mount to the north and the Palestinian village of Silwan to the south, the site is now a huge rectangular hole that plunges more than three stories below the streets. On a recent visit, workers cleared away dirt as Ben-Ami jumped from rock to rock, enthusiastically pointing out newly excavated features. Massive stones as well as smaller rock provided clues to the identity of the fortress. Roman houses and a Byzantine orchard later covered the site, which more recently was a parking lot. Alexander the Great conquered Judea in the 4th century B.C., and his successors quarreled over the spoils. Jerusalem, Judea’s capital, sided with Seleucid King Antiochus III to expel an Egyptian garrison, and a grateful Antiochus granted the Jews religious autonomy. For a century and a half, Greek culture and language flourished here. Yet archaeologists have found few artifacts or buildings from this important era that shaped Jewish culture. Conflicts between traditional Jews and those influenced by Hellenism led to tensions, and Jewish rebels took up arms in 167 B.C. The revolt was put down, and Antiochus IV Epiphanes sacked the city, banned traditional Jewish rites, and set up Greek gods in the temple. According to the Jewish author of 1 Maccabees, a book written shortly after the revolt, the Seleucids built a massive fort in “the city of David with a great and strong wall, and with strong towers.” Called the Acra—from the Greek for a high, fortified place—it was a thorn in the side of Jews who resented Greek dominance. In 164 B.C., Jewish rebels led by Judah Maccabee took Jerusalem and liberated the temple, an event commemorated in the festival of Hanukkah. But the rebels failed to conquer the Acra. For more than two decades, the rebels tried in vain to overwhelm the fortress. Finally in 141 B.C., Simon Maccabee captured the stronghold and expelled the remaining Greeks. Towering Over the Temple? What happened next has confused and divided scholars for more than a century. According to historian Josephus Flavius, a Jew who served Rome in the first century A.D., Simon Maccabee spent three years tearing down the Acra, ensuring that it no longer towered over the temple. The temple was located to the north of the City of David, on ground more than a hundred feet above the boundaries of early Jerusalem, so Josephus’s story explained this geographical puzzle. But the author of 1 Maccabees insisted that Simon actually strengthened the fortifications and even made it his residence. This discrepancy spawned many theories in the past century, but no solid archaeological evidence. When an Israeli organization named the Ir David Foundation announced plans to build a museum on top of the parking lot, Ben-Ami began a salvage excavation in 2007. His team dug through successive layers, from an early Islamic market, through a Byzantine orchard and a hoard of 264 coins from the seventh century, under an elaborate Roman villa, and then beyond a first-century place for ritual Jewish bathing. Under buildings that pottery and coins demonstrated to be from the early centuries B.C., the archaeologists found layers of what looked like random rubble. But the rubble turned out to be carefully placed rocks that formed a glacis, or a defensive slope protruding from a massive wall. “The stones are in layers, at an angle of 15 degrees at the bottom and 30 degrees at the top,” Ben-Ami said, gesturing at color-coded cards pinned into each layer. “This wasn’t a building that collapsed; this was put here on purpose.” Archaeologists exposed a Roman villa close to the Greek fortress. After the citadel’s destruction, the site became a residential area. The team also found coins that date from the time of Antiochus IV to the time of Antiochus VII, who was the Seleucid king when the Acra fell. “We also have Greek arrowheads, slingshots, and ballistic stones,” he added. “And also amphorae of imported wine.” Since observant Jews drank only local wine, that suggests the presence of foreigners or those influenced by non-Jewish ways. Sling stones and arrowheads found in and around the Greek fortress attest to pitched battles fought by Greek and Jewish defenders against those Jews opposed to Hellenistic control of Jerusalem. Ben-Ami found no sign that the fortress was dismantled abruptly, or that the entire hill was leveled, as Josephus claimed. Instead, the succeeding Jewish kingdom under Hasmonean rule cut into the glacis during construction in later years. Hasmonean and later Roman builders reused the cut stones for other structures, eating away at the Greek citadel. The find lays to rest theories that placed the Acra north of the temple, immediately adjacent to it, or on the high ground to the west that is now covered by the current walled city. No one is more delighted by the discovery than Bezalel Bar-Kochva, an emeritus historian at Tel Aviv University. He wrote a 1980 article suggesting that the fort could be found exactly where Ben-Ami dug—a few hundred meters south of the Temple Mount, in the midst of the old City of David. “By the time of Josephus,” he said, “Jerusalem had spread to the west and north, and the city of David was a low spot.” Bar-Kochva believes that the author copied a spurious tale by a Greek historian about Simon’s effort to level the Acra in order to account for this. Oren Tal, an archaeologist at Tel Aviv University not associated with the dig, said that Ben-Ami’s discovery is the “best possible candidate” for the Acra. “The find is fascinating,” added Israeli archaeologist Yonathan Mizrachi. “This suggests that Jerusalem was for a longer time a Hellenistic city in which foreigners were dominant, and who built more than we thought.” Mizrachi, who heads a consortium of scholars called Emek Shaveh, opposes the museum development because it will damage the ruins. An Israeli planning board last June ordered the Ir David Foundation to scale back the size of the complex. Mizrachi also complains that local residents, who are mostly Palestinian, have not been consulted or involved in the dig that is, almost literally, on their doorsteps. He noted that Ir David supports Jewish settlement of the occupied territories, including the Silwan neighborhood. Meanwhile, Palestinians in Silwan said that the work has led to dangerous cracks in walls and foundations of neighboring houses that threaten their safety. There is a deeper concern among residents that the dig, however illuminating for scholars, is a step toward dismantling their village. “This excavation is not searching for history,” said Jawad Siam, director of the Madaa Community Center based in Silwan. “It’s designed to serve a settlement project.” Ir David officials did not respond to requests for comment. “When Jerusalem calls, you never say no,” said Ben-Ami. “My expertise is in archaeology, not politics.” [National Geographic (2016)]. National Archaeological Museum of Athens: The National Archaeological Museum of Athens can effortlessly lay claim to being one of the very greatest museums in the world. It can do that because it is literally jam-packed with most of the most famous art objects from ancient Greece, so much so, a first-time visit here is a strangely familiar experience. From the towering bronze Poseidon to the shimmering gold mask of Agamemnon, the antiquities on display here provide the staple images of ancient Greece; adorning guidebooks, calendars, and travel agents’ windows around the world. Familiar many of these works might be but the wow-factor is certainly no less for it. Wandering around the museum one has a constant urge to re-trace one’s steps for just one more glimpse of a stunning piece before moving on. As everything is arranged in chronological order, your tour of the museum gives you a perfect vision of the evolution of Greek art and there is even an Egyptian section as an added bonus if your senses have not already been blown away by everything on the ground floor. Located an easy 10 minute walk from Omonia metro stop, the museum is itself an impressive nod to classical architecture and is a listed building. Four massive statues of Greek gods peer down at you from the roof as if daring you not to be awestruck in the first few minutes of your visit. Once you’ve got your ticket, got rid of any large bags in the cloakroom (obligatory), and picked up your free map, you are immediately presented with the grinning mask of Agamemnon before you have even got through the first doorway. Don’t be drawn in here though by all that flashing gold but take a side-step to the room on your immediate right as here are the artifacts from the Cyclades which should come first in your odyssey through the Greek world. Pieces to look out for are the distinctive minimalist figures sculpted in marble, especially the two musical figures, one playing a harp and another an aulos (pipes), the earliest known depictions from the Greek world. Once you have finished with the Cyclades you will find yourself back where you started and that famous mask. After you make it around the first cabinet you will be presented by an astonishing array of Mycenaean gold. On the left, on the right, and in the middle are glass cases stuffed with masks, jewelry, weapons, and cups all shimmering in the museum spotlights. Then, when you finally pull yourself away and move along, you are presented with yet more cabinets left, right, and centre, again, gold flashing everywhere in every conceivable shape from rosettes to octopuses. It is right about now that you start thinking you have already got your money’s worth and how can the museum possibly top such splendor? Then you turn a corner and are presented with a massive stone kouros statue – another wow moment. The male figure presented in this way was the beginning of Greek art’s successful attempt to break the conventions of Egyptian statue figures. The arms are rigid by the sides and bring a tension to the upper body but the left leg steps forward slightly hinting at captured movement. As you walk through this section the figures become more and more life-like and dynamic as Greek sculptors became ever more daring in their efforts to render in stone the supple movement of human muscle. The best is yet to come though and the first hint is the two-meter high bronze statue of Poseidon (or maybe Zeus) rescued from the sea near Artemision. With his arms outstretched and legs braced apart he seems about to launch a trident or thunderbolt and he totally dominates the view down the hall. Bronze was the material of choice for Greek sculptors and two more outstanding examples are the Antikythera Youth (another find from the sea) and the child jockey riding a massive horse that is captured in full gallop, so much so, it seems about to take off from its pedestal at any second. In amongst all these star pieces there are other, equally fine, marble statues of Greek gods and heroes and one of the greatest collections of funeral sculpture anywhere. As in each room, all the pieces are well-presented and each has a small info panel in Greek and English. Given their own space and unconfined by glass or barriers, the visitor can certainly get up close and personal with these 2,500 year old pieces. The sculpture continues through the Hellenistic and into the Roman period with some very familiar Roman emperors, most famously the bronze statue of a youthful Augustus. This is the moment when probably most visitors are feeling a bit of art-fatigue so it might be worth a break in the coffee bar in the basement where you can also buy light snacks. There is a little outside courtyard too where you can sip a Greek coffee sitting amongst ancient sculptures not deemed top drawer enough to make it into the museum proper. It is well worth pushing on though as the museum has a stupendous pottery section. As you bought your ticket you probably caught a glimpse of the huge geometric vase from the Dipylon on your left and now is the time to take a closer look. Used for funeral purposes you can see at eye-level black stick figures in mourning and burying one of their own. The amphora is perhaps the most famous example of geometric pottery design and another one of those star pieces any museum curator in the world would sell their mother for. Then there are case after case of back-figure pottery in all shapes and sizes from miniature votive vessels to huge kraters used for mixing wine and water. Next comes red-figure pottery and both of these styles are one of the most important sources of information on Greek cultural practices and mythology. Three more must-see sections are those on Thera, Egypt, and the Stathatos Collection. The first, from the Bronze Age site on Santorini, has the super-famous boxing boys fresco and three sides of a room where the fresco shows scenes of spring; there are also pottery vessels and a bed miraculously preserved in the ash following the eruption of the volcano on the island. The Egyptian section is, understandably, more modest in scope than the rest of the museum but there are still enough sarcophagi, amulets, jewelry pieces, reconstruction models, and even a mummy or two, to be of interest. Finally, the Stathatos Collection has almost a thousand exhibits and is particularly big on jewelry, including examples from the Byzantine period. Having seen all those wonders you might fancy a keep-sake of your own and the museum shop next to the cafe has a good stock of Greek-inspired jewelry, museum-grade copies of sculpture and reliefs to suit all wallets (you can even buy life-size bronze statues, although quite how you’d get that one home…), replica coins, posters, mugs and all the other stuff anyone might want as a souvenir. There is a small collection of books on different aspects of the ancient Greeks (including plenty for children) and even some guides to other sites such as Dodona and Delphi, mostly in English or Greek. In summary, then, even if you have visited many of the great Greek sites like the Parthenon, Knossos, and Mycenae, you cannot miss this museum for the full picture of the ancient Greeks. It really is an embarrassment of riches and one is left feeling a little sorry for some of the other Greek cities which have lost out on displaying these treasures. It is one of those museums you really should visit twice, once with your camera and once again without or just so that, on your second visit, you can keep a lid on your excitement a little better each time you see a world-famous art object around the next corner. As said above, you can get close to the art but the down-side of that is large tour groups can easily clog up the rooms so it is best to go early morning or late in the day, or even better, out of season when you pretty much get entire rooms to yourself. A wonderful, wonderful museum. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Contemporary Excavations of an Unknown Ancient Greek City: Archaeologists from the University of Gothenburg and the University of Bournemouth are exploring the remains of a long-overlooked ancient city in northern Greece. The ruins, which are scattered atop a hill, were known to scholars, but were regarded as belonging to a small settlement. However, after just one season, the team has found extensive walls that enclose some 100 acres. “I think it is incredibly big,” project leader Robin Rönnlund told The Local Sweden. “It's something thought to be a small village that turns out to be a city, with a structured network of streets and a square.” The team has found coins dating back to 500 B.C., as well as other artifacts that indicate the city flourished from the fourth to third centuries B.C., before it was abandoned when Romans conquered the region. [Archaeological Institute of America]. The Ancient Greek Antikythera Shipwreck: According to a report in The Guardian, pieces of at least seven different bronze sculptures have been recovered at the site of the Antikythera shipwreck, made famous by the discovery of the Antikythera mechanism in 1901. Brendan Foley of Lund University said the pieces were found among large boulders that may have tumbled over the wreckage during an earthquake in the fourth century A.D. with an underwater metal detector. Recovering any possible additional statue pieces will require moving the boulders, some of which weigh several tons, or cracking them open. The team also discovered a slab of red marble, a silver tankard, pieces of wood from the ship’s frame, and a human bone. A bronze disc about the size of the geared wheels in the Antikythera mechanism was also found this year. Preliminary X-rays of the object revealed an image of a bull, but no cogs, so it may have been a decorative item. Investigation of the deepwater site will continue next year. “We’re down in the hold of the ship now, so all the other things that would have been carried should be down there as well,” Foley said. [Archaeological Institute of America]. Ancient Greek Port of Salamis: The second phase of an underwater survey of the Classical-era coastline of the island of Salamis has revealed traces of what may have been a public building near its ancient port, according to a report in Tornos News. Aggeliki Simosi of the Underwater Antiquities Ephorate and the Institute of Underwater Archaeological Research and Yiannos Lolos of Ioannina University say the stone plinths indicate the large, solid structure was about 40 feet long. A spiral column pillar, pottery, and marble fragments of columns and statues were also found. In the late nineteenth century, an inscribed marble pedestal for a statue was recovered from the site. Scholars think the structure may have served as a temple or gallery through the late Roman period. The second-century A.D. geographer Pausanias mentioned a similar structure in his writings. [Archaeological Institute of America]. Greek Corinth Tombs: Valuable Jewels, Ornate Lamps and Coins Unearthed from 2,000-Year-Old Tombs in Corinth. A team of Greek researchers has unearthed unique jewels, coins and other precious artifacts while excavating tombs near the ruins of the ancient city of Corinth. Experts estimate that the newly found objects date between the fourth and first centuries B.C. Τhe team of scientists led by Elena Korka of the Greek Ministry, discovered the rare artifacts in eastern Corinthia, at the site of the ancient village of Tenea, during excavation works at a burial ground with two characteristic chambers built when Greece was part of the Roman Empire, as Newsweek reports. The Greek Ministry of Culture announced in a statement that the Greco-Roman burial structures were most likely constructed during a Hellenistic period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C., up until the Battle of Corinth in 146 B.C. Archaeologists suggest that five of the better equipped tombs probably belonged to rich ancient Corinthian residents. The bodies were found alongside intricate gilded bronze leaves, a golden ring, valuable stones, as well as gold and bronze coins from the surrounding region as Newsweek reports. Other characteristic items of rituals buried with the dead included perfumes, artifacts made of gold, gold foil and beautifully crafted glassware, as well as items of pottery. Furthermore, the researchers also excavated from the dig site many different burial plots. Interestingly, fourteen of the graves had been organized in circles – a common Roman tradition. These burials yielded gold and silver coins, vases, and lamps depicting the goddess Venus and two cupids. “Roman-period builders also repurposed the limestone foundations of earlier Greek structures to build the tombs for wealthy, Roman-era occupants,” Elena Korka said as Newsweek reports. Evidence of graves from the earlier Greek period was also traced in other areas of the dig site, including a figurine in the shape of a dove. By using the term “Roman Greece”, historians describe the period of Greek history following the Roman victory over the Corinthians, at the Battle of Corinth (146 B.C.), until the adoption of the city of Byzantium by the Emperor Constantine the Great as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Regardless, some Greek cities (such as Pergamon) managed to maintain partial independence and avoid taxation. Most importantly, however, the Greeks were able to maintain a cultural autonomy from their Roman conquerors during the early period of empire, thanks to their rich civilization. Many temples and public buildings were built in Greece by emperors and wealthy Roman nobility, while this would become the longest period of peace in Greek history. Items found included, gold items, glassware and pottery. Even though a few Roman nobles regarded the Greeks as petty and inferior, the majority of Romans embraced Greek literature and philosophy. The Greek language became a favorite of the educated and elite Roman citizens, such as Scipio Africanus, who tended to study philosophy and regard Greek culture and science as an example to be followed. Similarly, most Roman emperors maintained an admiration for things Greek in nature. Hadrian, for example, was known to be fond of the Greeks and before he would become emperor he served as an eponymous archon of Athens, where he constructed the famous Arch of Hadrian. Corinth in particular – which was partially destroyed by the Romans in 146 B.C. – was rebuilt in 44 B.C. as a Roman city under Julius Caesar. Roman Corinth prospered more than any other Greek city at the time and according to various historical accounts, it had as many as 800,000 inhabitants by the time of Paul. It was the capital of Roman Greece, equally devoted to merchants and entertainment. Generally speaking, one could say that life in Greece continued under the Roman Empire much the same as it had previously (minus the civil wars). And even though the exhausted Greek city-states after hundreds of years of wars (against each other in most cases) were conquered by the Roman military on the battlefield, it was Roman culture that was conquered by the Greeks, a fact that is best highlighted on Horace’s quotation, “Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit” (translated: Captive Greece captured her rude conqueror). [AncientOrigins.Net]. Ancient Greek Pottery: We know the names of some potters and painters of Greek vases because they signed their work. Generally a painter signed his name followed by some form of the verb 'painted', while a potter (or perhaps the painter writing for him) signed his name with 'made'. Sometimes the same person might both pot and paint: Exekias and Epiktetos, for example, sign as both potter and painter. At other times potter and painter were different people and one or both of them signed. However, not all painters or potters signed all their work. Some seem never to have signed their vases, unless by chance signed pieces by these craftsmen have not survived. Even in the case of unsigned vases, it is sometimes possible, through close examination of minute details of style, to recognize pieces by the same artist. The attribution of unsigned Athenian black- and red-figured vases to both named and anonymous painters was pioneered in the twentieth century by Sir John Davidson Beazley. Other scholars have developed similar systems for other groups of vases, most notably Professor A.D. Trendall for South Italian red-figured wares. For ease of reference Beazley and the others gave various nick-names to the anonymous painters whom they identified. Some are called after the known potters with whom they seem to have collaborated - the Brygos and Sotades Painters, for example, are named from the potters of those names. Other painters are named from the find-spot or current location of a key vase, such as the Lipari or Berlin Painters. A few, such as the Burgon Painter, take their names from former or current owners of key vases. Others are named from the subjects of key vases, such as the Niobid, Siren or Cyclops Painters, or else from peculiarities of style, such as The Affecter or Elbows Out Painters. [British Museum]. Ancient Greek Sculpture: Greek sculpture from 800 to 300 B.C. took early inspiration from Egyptian and Near Eastern monumental art, and over centuries evolved into a uniquely Greek vision of the art form. Greek artists would reach a peak of artistic excellence which captured the human form in a way never before seen and which was much copied. Greek sculptors were particularly concerned with proportion, poise, and the idealized perfection of the human body, and their figures in stone and bronze have become some of the most recognizable pieces of art ever produced by any civilization. From the 8th century B.C., Archaic Greece saw a rise in the production of small solid figures in clay, ivory, and bronze. No doubt, wood too was a commonly used medium but its susceptibility to erosion has meant few examples have survived. Bronze figures, human heads and, in particular, griffins were used as attachments to bronze vessels such as cauldrons. In style, the human figures resemble those in contemporary Geometric pottery designs, having elongated limbs and a triangular torso. Animal figures were also produced in large numbers, especially the horse, and many have been found across Greece at sanctuary sites such as Olympia and Delphi, indicating their common function as votive offerings. The oldest Greek stone sculptures (of limestone) date from the mid-7th century B.C. and were found at Thera. In this period, bronze free-standing figures with their own base became more common, and more ambitious subjects were attempted such as warriors, charioteers, and musicians. Marble sculpture appears from the early 6th century B.C. and the first monumental, life-size statues began to be produced. These had a commemorative function, either offered at sanctuaries in symbolic service to the gods or used as grave markers. The earliest large stone figures (kouroi - nude male youths and kore - clothed female figures) were rigid as in Egyptian monumental statues with the arms held straight at the sides, the feet are almost together and the eyes stare blankly ahead without any particular facial expression. These rather static figures slowly evolved though and with ever greater details added to hair and muscles, the figures began to come to life. Slowly, arms become slightly bent giving them muscular tension and one leg (usually the right) is placed slightly more forward, giving a sense of dynamic movement to the statue. Excellent examples of this style of figure are the kouroi of Argos, dedicated at Delphi (circa 580 B.C.). Around 480 B.C., the last kouroi become ever more life-like, the weight is carried on the left leg, the right hip is lower, the buttocks and shoulders more relaxed, the head is not quite so rigid, and there is a hint of a smile. Female kore followed a similar evolution, particularly in the sculpting of their clothes which were rendered in an ever-more realistic and complex way. A more natural proportion of the figure was also established where the head became 1:7 with the body, irrespective of the actual size of the statue. By 500 B.C. Greek sculptors were finally breaking away from the rigid rules of Archaic conceptual art and beginning to re-produce what they actually observed in real life. In the Classical period, Greek sculptors would break off the shackles of convention and achieve what no-one else had ever before attempted. They created life-size and life-like sculpture which glorified the human and especially nude male form. Even more was achieved than this though. Marble turned out to be a wonderful medium for rendering what all sculptors strive for: that is to make the piece seem carved from the inside rather than chiseled from the outside. Figures become sensuous and appear frozen in action; it seems that only a second ago they were actually alive. Faces are given more expression and whole figures strike a particular mood. Clothes too become more subtle in their rendering and cling to the contours of the body in what has been described as ‘wind-blown’ or the ‘wet-look’. Quite simply, the sculptures no longer seemed to be sculptures but were figures instilled with life and verve. To see how such realism was achieved we must return again to the beginning and examine more closely the materials and tools at the disposal of the artist and the techniques employed to transform raw materials into art. Early Greek sculpture was most often in bronze and porous limestone, but whilst bronze seems never to have gone out of fashion, the stone of choice would become marble. The best was from Naxos - close-grained and sparkling, Parian (from Paros) - with a rougher grain and more translucent, and Pentelic (near Athens) - more opaque and which turned a soft honey color with age (due to its iron content). However, stone was chosen for its workability rather than its decoration as the majority of Greek sculpture was not polished but painted, often rather garishly for modern tastes. Marble was quarried using bow drills and wooden wedges soaked in water to break away workable blocks. Generally, larger figures were not produced from a single piece of marble, but important additions such as arms were sculpted separately and fixed to the main body with dowels. Using iron tools, the sculptor would work the block from all directions (perhaps with an eye on a small-scale model to guide proportions), first using a pointed tool to remove more substantial pieces of marble. Next, a combination of a five-claw chisel, flat chisels of various sizes, and small hand drills were used to sculpt the fine details. The surface of the stone was then finished off with an abrasive powder (usually emery from Naxos) but rarely polished. The statue was then attached to a plinth using a lead fixture or sometimes placed on a single column (e.g. the Naxian sphinx at Delphi, circa 560 B.C.). The finishing touches to statues were added using paint. Skin, hair, eyebrows, lips, and patterns on clothing were added in bright colors. Eyes were often inlaid using bone, crystal, or glass. Finally, additions in bronze might be added such as spears, swords, helmets, jewelry, and diadems, and some statues even had a small bronze disc (meniskoi) suspended over the head to prevent birds from defacing the figure. The other favored material in Greek sculpture was bronze. Unfortunately, this material was always in demand for re-use in later periods, whereas broken marble is not much use to anyone, and so marble sculpture has better survived for posterity. Consequently, the quantity of surviving examples of bronze sculpture (no more than twelve) is not perhaps indicative of the fact that more bronze sculpture may well have been produced than in marble and the quality of the few surviving bronzes demonstrates the excellence we have lost. Very often at archaeological sites we may see rows of bare stone plinths, silent witnesses to art’s loss. The early solid bronze sculptures made way for larger pieces with a non-bronze core which was sometimes removed to leave a hollow figure. The most common production of bronze statues used the lost-wax technique. This involved making a core almost the size of the desired figure (or body part if not creating a whole figure) which was then coated in wax and the details sculpted. The whole was then covered in clay fixed to the core at certain points using rods. The wax was then melted out and molten bronze poured into the space once occupied by the wax. When set, the clay was removed and the surface finished off by scraping, fine engraving and polishing. Sometimes copper or silver additions were used for lips, nipples and teeth. Eyes were inlaid as in marble sculpture. Many statues are signed so that we know the names of the most successful artists who became famous in their own lifetimes. Naming a few, we may start with the most famous of all, Phidias, the artist who created the gigantic chryselephantine statues of Athena (circa 438 B.C.) and Zeus (circa 456 B.C.) which resided, respectively, in the Parthenon of Athens and the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. The latter sculpture was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Polykleitos, who besides creating great sculpture such as the Doryphoros (Spearbearer), also wrote a treatise, the Kanon, on techniques of sculpture. Coryphoros emphasized the importance of correct proportion. Other important sculptors were Kresilas, who made the much copied portrait of Pericles (circa 425 B.C.), Praxiteles, whose Aphrodite (circa 340 B.C.) was the first full female nude, and Kallimachos, who is credited with creating the Corinthian capital and whose distinctive dancing figures were much copied in Roman times. Sculptors often found permanent employment in the great sanctuary sites and archaeology has revealed the workshop of Phidias at Olympia. Various broken clay moulds were found in the workshop and also the master’s own personal clay mug, inscribed ‘I belong to Phidias’. Another feature of sanctuary sites was the cleaners and polishers who maintained the shiny reddish-brass color of bronze figures as the Greeks did not appreciate the dark-green patina which occurs from weathering (and which surviving statues have gained). Greek sculpture is, however, not limited to standing figures. Portrait busts, relief panels, grave monuments, and objects in stone such as perirrhanteria (basins supported by three or four standing female figures) also tested the skills of the Greek sculptor. Another important branch of the art form was architectural sculpture, prevalent from the late 6th century B.C. on the pediments, friezes, and metopes of temples and treasury buildings. However, it is in figure sculpture that one may find some of the great masterpieces of Classical antiquity, and testimony to their class and popularity is that copies were very often made, particularly in the Roman period. Indeed, it is fortunate that the Romans loved Greek sculpture and copied it so widely because it is often these copies which survive rather than the Greek originals. The copies, however, present their own problems as they obviously lack the original master’s touch, may swap medium from bronze to marble, and even mix body parts, particularly heads. Although words will rarely ever do justice to the visual arts, we may list here a few examples of some of the most celebrated pieces of Greek sculpture. In bronze, three pieces stand out, all saved from the sea (a better custodian of fine bronzes than people have been): the Zeus or Poseidon of Artemesium and the two warriors of Riace (all three: 460-450 B.C.). The former could be Zeus (the posture is more common for that deity) or Poseidon and is a transitional piece between Archaic and Classical art as the figure is extremely life-like, but in fact the proportions are not exact (e.g. the limbs are extended). However, as Boardman eloquently describes, ‘(it) manages to be both vigorously threatening and static in its perfect balance’; the onlooker is left in no doubt at all that this is a great god. The Riace warriors are also magnificent with the added detail of finely sculpted hair and beards. More Classical in style, they are perfectly proportioned and their poise is rendered in such a way as to suggest that they may well step off of the plinth at any moment. In marble, two standout pieces are the Diskobolos or discus thrower attributed to Myron (circa 450 B.C.) and the Nike of Paionios at Olympia (circa 420 B.C.). The discus thrower is one of the most copied statues from antiquity and it suggests powerful muscular motion caught for a split second, as in a photo. The piece is also interesting because it is carved in such a way (in a single plain) as to be seen from one viewpoint (like a relief carving with its background removed). The Nike is an excellent example of the ‘wet-look’ where the light material of the clothing is pressed against the contours of the body, and the figure seems semi-suspended in the air and only just to have landed her toes on the plinth. Greek sculpture then, broke free from the artistic conventions which had held sway for centuries across many civilizations, and instead of reproducing figures according to a prescribed formula, they were free to pursue the idealized form of the human body. Hard, lifeless material was somehow magically transformed into such intangible qualities as poise, mood, and grace to create some of the great masterpieces of world art and inspire and influence the artists who were to follow in Hellenistic and Roman times who would go on to produce more masterpieces such as the Venus de Milo. Further, the perfection in proportions of the human body achieved by Greek sculptors continues to inspire artists even today. The great Greek works are even consulted by 3D artists to create accurate virtual images and by sporting governing bodies who have compared athletes bodies with Greek sculpture to check abnormal muscle development achieved through the use of banned substances such as steroids. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Ancient Greek Coinage: The coinage of ancient Greece has given us some of the most recognizable images from antiquity as they were stamped with designs to proudly declare the identity of the city which minted them and guarantee their value. One of the great archaeological survivors, coins are an invaluable source of information on cultural practices, important individuals, and ancient international relations. Trade in the ancient world was largely conducted through the exchange of one type of goods for another in a barter system that worked well for millennia. Eventually, some goods came to be exchanged for large metal bars, such as the bronze or copper talent, which both parties agreed to a value on. The next step was to use metal rods or spits (an obelos from which the obol coin derives its name) which were 1.5 meters in length and six of which could be grasped in the hand. The Greek word for grasp is drattomai and this is the origin of the drachma coin. From these bars and rods sprang the idea for a more portable and universal material which could be exchanged for any goods or service: coinage. Lydia was credited by the Greeks with inventing coins in the early 6th century B.C. which were stamped by the state to guarantee value and be recognizable as genuine. Coins were usually slightly lighter than the same value weight in the pure metal so that the cost of minting them was covered or even a small profit attained. In later centuries some states would abuse this margin and produce coins with lower and lower precious metal content in an attempt to create value where there really was none. After public ridicule, Athens was famously forced to withdraw a batch of plated coinage that had been minted following a financial crisis circa 406 B.C. Then, as now, coinage could only function if people had trust in its present and future value. Greek coins of particular city-states carried specific designs which were used for centuries, becoming instantly recognizable symbols of that city. The first Greek coins appeared in Aegina circa 600 B.C. (or even earlier) which were silver and used a turtle as a symbol of the city’s prosperity based on maritime trade. Athens and Corinth soon followed Aegina’s lead. The birth of coinage in wider Greece, though, was not really an invention of convenience but a necessity, driven by the need to pay mercenary soldiers. These warriors required a convenient way to carry their wages and the state needed a method of payment they could equally apply to everyone. For maritime trade especially, barter continued to be the most common form of exchange as the problem with coinage in the ancient world was that the value of coins between city-states was often different. Still, for the citizens of a particular city and its surrounding territories coinage became a very useful way to buy and sell goods, and it was convenient for the state to use coins to pay for small public services such as participating in law courts. So convenient was this new portable wealth that poorer Greeks would carry their coins in their mouths when they went to market, and richer Greeks now had a handy means of storing (and hiding) their wealth. Some larger states were able to impose their currency on other city-states and have it accepted as a means of exchange. The Athenian silver coinage of the 5th century B.C. is an example, and perhaps it was the first case of a single currency being used by different states, the members of the Delian League. Examples of the Athenian silver owl tetradrachms have been found as far afield as Egypt, Palestine, Arabia, and Bactria. The Arcadian League was another organization with a common coinage. Similarly, Alexander the Great would use his coins across the Macedonian empire with many states still minting them two centuries after his death. Other contemporary states would copy the Greek approach to coins and produce their own similar types, such as the Etruscans and Carthaginians. Greek coins were made using mostly silver but also gold, electrum (a naturally occurring alloy of silver and gold), copper alloy, and bronze. The metals were melted in a forge hearth and then, to standardize the size and weight of each blank coin (flans), the molten metal was poured into moulds or pre-prepared hemispherical vessels. Later, another method was to cut slices from metal cylinders made the correct diameter. Meanwhile, an engraver carved the design (in relief or incised) onto metal dies of hardened bronze or iron, one for each side of the coin (early coins had only one side stamped). In some mints during the Classical period such as in southern Italy and Sicily, the coin engravers even signed their work. One die (usually the obverse side) was set in an anvil and the blank metal disk was placed on top, warmed to make it slightly soft. The minter then held in his hand the other die and hammered it on top of the blank disk. The strike would then leave an impression on both sides of the coin. Sometimes old coins were restamped with new designs. Different weights of coins were used to create denominations ranging from the obol (six of which equaled one drachma) to the double octadrachm. What could be purchased with coins changed over time, but, as an example, entrance to the theatre festivals at Athens initially cost two obols in the early 5th century B.C., which was a day’s labor. Most coins, though, were minted in silver and so were of relatively high value, perhaps equal to one week’s work for most citizens. Only in the Hellenistic Period did smaller denominations become more widespread. There were attempts to manufacture counterfeit coins using a low-value core such as lead or bronze covered in a thin layer of the correct metal. As designs became more complex so they became more difficult to copy but early coins often have punch holes suggesting they were repeatedly tested to determine their true composition. Greek coins of particular poleis or city-states often carried specific designs which were used for centuries, becoming instantly recognizable symbols of that city. Gods and figures from Greek mythology were especially popular, but all manner of subjects were chosen to represent particular cities. Strangely, the reverse side of early coins usually had only a simple geometric shape stamped into them, especially a quartered square. Later, minters and administrators saw that the reverse side was an opportunity to double the visual message. Designs sometimes had a relation to the coin’s value too, as when Athens added an extra olive branch to distinguish the similar hemidrachm and drachma. Perhaps the most famous design of all is the owl of Athena which appeared on the silver tetradrachm coins of Athens. Athena was the patron of the city and she appeared on the reverse side. Corinth used Pegasus, the winged horse of the Corinthian hero Bellerophon who found him at the fountain of Pirene outside the city. Coins of Knossos depicted the labyrinth from the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. Thebes had the distinctive Boiotian shield. Syracuse used the image of Arethousa with swimming dolphins to symbolize that city’s strength through maritime trade. As we have seen, Aegina did the same but used a sea turtle, to be replaced by a tortoise on later coins. Poseidon appeared on the coins of Poseidonia, and Silenus on those from Naxos. Local plants and flowers were a popular choice of symbol, too, for example, the celery leaf for Selinus, rose for Rhodes, and ear of wheat for Metapontum. Charioteers seem to have appealed to many city-states and appear on coins from Sicily to Macedon. The lyre is another common emblem, the coins of Delos being just one example. Some coins had short inscriptions, most commonly a single letter such as an Athe for Athens or Koppa for Corinth. By the end of the Classical period, rulers were using coins as a means of propaganda to show their own image throughout their empire and associate themselves with gods and heroes such as Hercules. The imprecise process of manufacturing coins in the Greek world has been a valuable asset to archaeologists. By examining the precise metal purity of certain coins and the alignments of designs and their imperfections they are able to match different examples of the same coin batch to specific mints and periods, helping to date other objects and places in which the coins have been excavated. On occasion, the mere presence of coins in certain places has helped establish ancient trade relations, for example. Finally, the images on coins are a valuable source of iconography related to the Greek religion and a record of agriculture and architecture. They are, too, a visual reference for all kinds of now lost objects from victory tripods to ships’ prows, and sometimes, as with many Bactrian kings, they are our only source of an individual’s portrait. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Ancient Greek Horse Racing: In the Greco-Roman world, racehorses were potent symbols used by both individuals and the state to express power, encourage civic pride, and celebrate special events. For the Greeks, chariot racing likely began sometime around 1500 B.C. and became a central element of their most sacred festivals. A memory of these early contests appears in Homer’s description of the funeral games honoring the fallen warrior Patroclus, during which Greek kings and heroes race once around a tree stump for the prize of a female slave. Perhaps a century after the founding of the Olympics in 776 B.C., chariot and jockeyed races were included in the games. This provided an opportunity for families to display their “hippic”—or horse—wealth as social and political capital, explains historian Donald Kyle of the University of Texas at Arlington. Yet for the Romans, hippic contests were just as often part of extravagant state-sponsored displays intended to entertain the masses. The historian Livy says that the first and largest Roman hippodrome, the Circus Maximus, was built by Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, the legendary fifth king of Rome (reigned 616–579 B.C.), in a valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills. Though originally a simple open oval space similar to a Greek hippodrome, the Romans gradually created a massive stadium-style building that, by the first century A.D., could accommodate perhaps as many as 250,000 spectators. While there were certainly other crowd-pleasing events such as gladiatorial contests in ancient Rome, “chariot racing is the earliest and longest-enduring major spectacle in Roman history,” says Kyle. [Archaeological Institute of America]. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $17.99 to $48.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Our postage charges are as reasonable as USPS rates allow. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through,, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. Please note for international purchasers we will do everything we can to minimize your liability for VAT and/or duties. But we cannot assume any responsibility or liability for whatever taxes or duties may be levied on your purchase by the country of your residence. If you don’t like the tax and duty schemes your government imposes, please complain to them. We have no ability to influence or moderate your country’s tax/duty schemes. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable eBay payment processing fees. Please note that eBay does NOT refund payment processing fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, eBay will not refund their processing fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include eBay payment processing fees (typically between 5% and 15%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive eBay policies. ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Europe and Central Asia several times a year. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient jewelry and gemstones. Prior to our retirement we traveled to Russia every year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write. Condition: New and unread though perhaps faintly "shopworn". See below for detailed condition description., Publisher: Thames & Hudson (1986), Format: Oversized hardcover with dustjacket, Length: 231 pages, Dimensions: 10¾ x 7¾ x 1 inch, 2¼ pounds

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