Homer ODYSSEY Ancient Greece Troy Odysseus Mycenaea Cyclops Circe Scylla Aegean

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Seller: ancientgifts ✉️ (5,284) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 122801198837 Homer ODYSSEY Ancient Greece Troy Odysseus Mycenaea Cyclops Circe Scylla Aegean. The Odyssey by Homer, Translated by George Herbert Palmer. DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket. Barnes & Noble (2003) 381 pages. Size: 8¾ x 6 x 1½ inches; 1¼ pounds. Homer's "The Odyssey" is a dazzling mixture of magic and mystery, adventure and great deeds. In a world far removed from the harsh reality of "The Iliad", Homer tells of the return of the hero Odysseus from the Trojan War. Traditional Greek folktales are skillfully interwoven with original ideas to create an adventure-story and a quest worthy of any medieval or modern writer. For Odysseus's journey is scarcely straightforward: he has to undergo the wrath of the sea-god Poseidon, fight monsters, overcome sexual distractions and the loss of his crew; only to find further trials to deal with when he finally reaches his native land of Ithaca. This best-selling translation captures both the delicacy and drama of the episodes and allows the freshness and excitement of Homer's well-knit plot, with its interplay of subtly delineated characters, to delight us as much as it did the ancient Greeks. CONDITION: LIKE NEW. New (albeit cosmetically blemished) hardcover w/dustjacket. Barnes & Noble (2003) 381 pages. The book is without significant blemish EXCEPT for the fact that someone wrote three characters (numbers or letters, maybe the owner's initials?) in black crayon at the upper corner of the first free page (the first, blank (but decorated) page immediately beneath the front cover). Except for the that, the inside of the book is pristine; the pages are clean, crisp, (otherwise) unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. From the outside the book is clean and unsoiled, evidencing only very mild edge and corner shelfwear to the dustjacket and covers. Shelfwear to dustjacket is principally in the form of very mild "crinkling" to the dustjacket spine head and heel, as well as to the top "tips" (the top open corners of the dustjacket, front and back). Beneath the dustjacket the quarter cloth covers are clean and unsoiled, evidencing only the same very mild shelfwear echoing that of the overlying dustjacket. Except for the notation (in black crayon) at the upper open corner of the first free page, the overall condition of the book is otherwise consistent with new stock from an open-shelf book store (such as Barnes & Noble, or B. Dalton, for instance) wherein books might evidence a little shelfwear, consequence of simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #1579o. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: "The Odyssey", Homer's gorgeous, sprawling epic, is widely considered to be the gold standard for tales of grand quests and heroic journeys. Crowded with characters (human and non-human) and crammed with action, "The Odyssey" details the adventures of Odysseus, King of Ithaca and hero of the Trojan War, as he struggles to return home to his ever-faithful, ever-waiting wife, Penelope. Along the way he encounters the seductive Circe, who changes men into swine; the gorgeous water-nymph Calypso, who keeps him a "prisoner of love" for seven years; the terrible one-eyed, man-eating giant Cyclops; and a host of other ogres, wizards, sirens, and gods. When Odysseus finally reaches Ithaca after twenty years away, his trials have only begun. There he must battle the scheming noblemen who, thinking him dead, have demanded that Penelope choose one of them to be her new husband-and Ithaca's new king. Often called the "second work of Western literature" (Homer's Iliad, written earlier, being the first), "The Odyssey" is not only a rousing adventure drama, but also a profound meditation on courage, loyalty, family, fate, and undying love. Over three thousand years old, it was the first story to delineate carefully and exhaustively a single character arc-a narrative structure that serves as the foundation and heart of the modern novel. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: The greatest adventure story of all time, Homer's epic work chronicles the wanderings of Odysseus after the fall of Troy. The Trojan War is over, and the battle-weary soldier Odysseus sets out for home. On his way Odysseus faces many dangers sent by the gods to test him. Will he outwit the one-eyed giant Cyclops, the cunning enchantress Circe, and the terrifying monsters Scylla and Charybdis? Filled with magic, mystery, and an assortment of gods and goddesses who meddle freely in the affairs of men. REVIEW: Homer's account of the adventures of Odysseus has stood at the center of classical literature for centuries. It is a sweeping story of a great warrior who wanders the world, but also an intensely domestic tale of a loving husband's struggle to protect an enduring union with his faithful wife. Meticulously studied and commented upon by innumerable scholars, "The Odyssey" remains, nonetheless, a uniquely personal literary experience, startling each new generation of readers with its excitement, its drama, and its remarkably contemporary hero. REVIEW: Homer, about whom so little is known, was almost certainly a blind bard from Greece, most probably Smyrna (now the Turkish city known as Izmir) or Chios, an island in the eastern Aegean Sea. Some scholars place Homer in the late-Mycenaean period, which means he would have written about the Trojan War as recent history. But how, other scholars argue, could Homer have created works of such magnitude in the Dark Age, when there was no system of writing? Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, placed Homer sometime around the ninth century B.C., when the Greeks adopted a system of writing from the Phoenicians and widely colonized the Mediterranean. Scholars do agree, however, that "The Odyssey" and "The Iliad" were passed down by oral tradition and are among the foundations of Western literature. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: The sequel to "The Iliad", "The Odyssey" represents the last phase of what is known as Greece's Heroic Age in which human events are governed by gods, demi-gods, and heroes. The mortal heroes are endowed with godlike gifts and are mostly tragic. They interact with emissaries from the gods who aid them to their destinies and forewarn them of the fates. Tales such as Jason and the Argonauts, the labors of Hercules, Perseus, Thesseus, etc., are also of that period. The uncertainties in Fate, glory, and mortality are always the dominant themes in these tales. The setting of "The Odyssey" is c. 1200 B.C. at the close of the Bronze Age. The Greeks are actually Myceneans, a Greek-speaking group that dominated Greece prior to the Doric invasions several centuries later. The story poetically recites a time of Myceanean geopolitical expansion across the Mediterranean and its coasts and encounters with hitherto unknown civilizations after the fall of legendary Troy. "The Odyssey" starts many years after the Trojan War where, after many ordeals, Odysseus is reciting his travels to Princess Nausica: the young heiress of a kingdom upon which Odysseus washed ashore after being shipwrecked. He recites his departure from Troy after its sacking and how, having angered Poseidon, the god of the sea, he has been condemned to wander across the Mediterranean away from his wife and son, Penelope and Telemachus. Odysseus goes on to recite his encounters with various peoples and mythical beasts during his travels such as the lotus eaters, the sirens, the cyclops, Scylla and Charibdis, etc. Odysseus is also held captive by powerful demi-godesses and witches such as Calypso and Circe. In Odysseus' absence, Penelope is constantly courted by unwelcome suitors who are wasting her estate. Now a young man and fed up with the suitors, Telemachus travels to mainland Greece to inquire about his father. Odysseus eventually returns to his home of Ithaca to reunite with his family and to dispose of the suitors. "The Odyssey" has been hailed as a literary jewel for the past 2900 years and there's a reason for it: it's a timeless look into the human condition as recited by a poet of immense talent. Although the characters may have lived over 3000 years ago, the epic drama has much relevance for humanity today. Enjoy this masterpiece of literature in one of the best translations available to date: your money will be well spent. REVIEW: "The Odyssey" is a grand adventure that should not be missed. But average modern readers may miss it, being weary of reading it as poetry or are simply intimidated by its age. If you are one of those people, fear not! This prose translation brings The Odyssey to the masses with flair. Reading it for school this year, I was a bit apprehensive of it at first, but eager to see what was so great about it. I needn't have been apprehensive at all. The prose reads just as well as modern novels, and the feeling and adventure of the book is well captured. For those who don't know, this is the story of what became of Odysseus after he fought in the Trojan War (which is chronicled in "The Iliad".) Several obstacles, including the wrath of Poseidon, Greek god of the sea, bar him from returning home, where savage men, under the impression that he has died at war, consume his possessions and woo his wife. Watch as he braves these obstacles with the help of the goddess Athena so that he may return home and punish the insolent wooers. "The Odyssey" is riveting, and it's obvious why it has been able to stand the test of time and is regarded as a classic. The action is exciting and will leave you breathless, but also there is humanity and real emotion here. All of that is perfectly captured in this translation. Reading it, it's as if you re being told the story orally (which is how it was originally intended by Homer), and all of the energy of a live storytelling is present. REVIEW: The Odyssey is an amazing novel. This novel is great because it gives us a look at what ancient Greece was like. They valued marriage, they expected women to stay at home, that men would die in battle, on the sea, or raiding other people, and also that something that was unexplainable was due to the gods. This novel is a great adventure. The Odyssey begins by showing Odysseus to us through the words of Meneloas and Nester. Then we are brought to Odysseus and learn his plight. We see him released after seven years of living with a goddess. When he is rescued again, we learn of his voyages since leaving Troy and the reason that one particular god is so angry with him. Once his story is told, his rescuers bring him to his fatherland. He then takes vengeance on those who had ravaged his home while he was away, and he is reunited with his faithful wife Penelope. As well as being a great insight to Greek life, this novel is a great story that I look forward to reading again. I highly recommend it. REVIEW: I have delved into the classics (western) as of late and purposefully saved this one for last. Much like dessert is the last and sweetest part of the meal, so was "The Odyssey" after reading other classics. After reading "The Iliad," I was expecting similar flat characters, but Odysseus, Telemachos and Penelope were indeed richly developed throughout the epic making the reader yearn for the climax when Odysseus is finally united with his family. The character development of "The Odyssey" also allowed characters from "The Iliad" to be given more substance. In particular, I am thinking of Agamemnon when Odysseus visits the underworld. Because of the character development earlier in the poem this scene was chilling and meaningful. THE ANCIENT GREEK POET HOMER: Homer is the semi-legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary. The Homeric Question – concerning by whom, when, where and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed – continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion falls into two groups. One holds that most of the Iliad and (according to some) the Odyssey are the works of a single poet of genius. The other considers the Homeric poems to be the result of a process of working and reworking by many contributors, and that "Homer" is best seen as a label for an entire tradition. It is generally accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century B.C. The poems are in Homeric Greek, also known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries; the predominant influence is Eastern Ionic. Most researchers believe that the poems were originally transmitted orally. From antiquity until the present day, the influence of Homeric epic on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music, art and film. The Homeric epics were the greatest influence on ancient Greek culture and education; to Plato, Homer was simply the one who "has taught Greece". Today only the Iliad and Odyssey are associated with the name 'Homer'. In antiquity, a very large number of other works were sometimes attributed to him, including the Homeric Hymns, the Contest of Homer and Hesiod, the Little Iliad, the Nostoi, the Thebaid, the Cypria, the Epigoni, the comic mini-epic Batrachomyomachia ("The Frog-Mouse War"), the Margites, the Capture of Oechalia, and the Phocais. These claims are not considered authentic today and were by no means universally accepted in the ancient world. As with the multitude of legends surrounding Homer's life, they indicate little more than the centrality of Homer to ancient Greek culture. Many traditions circulated in the ancient world concerning Homer, most of which are lost. Modern scholarly consensus is that they have no value as history. Some claims were established early and repeated often. They include that Homer was blind, that he was born in Chios, that he was the son of the river Meles and the nymph Critheïs, that he was a wandering bard, that he composed a varying list of other works (the "Homerica"), that he died either in Ios or after failing to solve a riddle set by fishermen, and various explanations for the name "Homer". The two best known ancient biographies of Homer are the Life of Homer by the Pseudo-Herodotus and the Contest of Homer and Hesiod. The Iliad, particularly its first few books, was far more intently studied than the Odyssey during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, many interpreters, especially the Stoics, who believed that Homeric poems conveyed Stoic doctrines, regarded them as allegories, containing hidden wisdom. Homer's wisdom became so widely praised that he began to acquire the image of almost a prototypical philosopher. The allegorical interpretation of the Homeric poems that had been so prevalent in antiquity returned to become the prevailing view of the Renaissance. Knowledge of earlier versions of the epics can be derived from anomalies of structure and detail in our surviving version of the Iliad and Odyssey. These anomalies point to earlier versions of the Iliad in which Ajax played a more prominent role, in which the Achaean embassy to Achilles comprised different characters, and in which Patroclus was actually mistaken for Achilles by the Trojans. Earlier versions of the Odyssey posit that Telemachus went in search of news of his father not to Menelaus in Sparta but to Idomeneus in Crete, in which Telemachus met up with his father in Crete and conspired with him to return to Ithaca disguised as the soothsayer Theoclymenus, and in which Penelope recognized Odysseus much earlier in the narrative and conspired with him in the destruction of the suitors. Most contemporary scholars, although they disagree on other questions about the genesis of the poems, agree that the Iliad and the Odyssey were not produced by the same author, based on "the many differences of narrative manner, theology, ethics, vocabulary, and geographical perspective, and by the apparently imitative character of certain passages of the Odyssey in relation to the Iliad." Nearly all scholars agree that the Iliad and the Odyssey are unified poems, in that each poem shows a clear overall design, and that they are not merely strung together from unrelated songs. It is also generally agreed that each poem was composed mostly by a single author, who probably relied heavily on older oral traditions. Nearly all scholars agree that the Doloneia in Book X of the Iliad is not part of the original poem, but rather a later insertion by a different poet. Some ancient scholars believed Homer to have been an eyewitness to the Trojan War; others thought he had lived up to 500 years afterwards. Contemporary scholars continue to debate the date of the poems. A long history of oral transmission lies behind the composition of the poems, complicating the search for a precise date. Scholars continue to debate questions such as whether the Trojan War actually took place – and if so when and where – and to what extent the society depicted by Homer is based on his own or one which was, even at the time of the poems' composition, known only as legend. The Homeric epics are largely set in the east and center of the Mediterranean, with some scattered references to Egypt, Ethiopia and other distant lands, in a warlike society that resembles that of the Greek world slightly before the hypothesized date of the poems' composition. In ancient Greek chronology, the sack of Troy was dated to 1184 BC. By the nineteenth century, there was widespread scholarly skepticism that the Trojan War had ever happened and that Troy had even existed, but in 1873 Heinrich Schliemann announced to the world that he had discovered the ruins of Homer's Troy at Hissarlik in modern Turkey. Some contemporary scholars think the destruction of Troy VIIa circa 1220 BC was the origin of the myth of the Trojan War, others that the poem was inspired by multiple similar sieges that took place over the centuries. Most scholars now agree that the Homeric poems depict customs and elements of the material world that are derived from different periods of Greek history. For instance, the heroes in the poems use bronze weapons, characteristic of the Bronze Age in which the poems are set, rather than the later Iron Age during which they were composed; yet the same heroes are cremated (an Iron Age practice) rather than buried (as they were in the Bronze Age). In some parts of the Homeric poems, heroes are accurately described as carrying large shields like those used by warriors during the Mycenaean period, but, in other places, they are instead described carrying the smaller shields that were commonly used during the time when the poems were written in the early Iron Age. In the Iliad 10.260–265, Odysseus is described as wearing a helmet made of boar's tusks. Such helmets were not worn in Homer's time, but were commonly worn by aristocratic warriors between 1600 and 1150 BC. The decipherment of Linear B in the 1950s by Michael Ventris and continued archaeological investigation has increased modern scholars' understanding of Aegean civilization, which in many ways resembles the ancient Near East more than the society described by Homer. Linguistic analysis suggests that the Iliad was composed slightly before the Odyssey, and that Homeric formulae preserve older features than other parts of the poems. The orally transmitted Homeric poems were put into written form at some point between the eighth and sixth centuries BC. Some scholars believe that they were dictated to a scribe by the poet and that our inherited versions of the Iliad and Odyssey were in origin orally-dictated texts. The idea that the Homeric poems were originally transmitted orally and first written down during the reign of Peisistratos is referenced by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero and is also referenced in a number of other surviving sources, including two ancient Lives of Homer. In antiquity, it was widely held that the Homeric poems were collected and organized in Athens in the late sixth century B.C. From around 150 B.C. the texts of the Homeric poems seem to have become relatively established. Most modern scholars attribute the book divisions to the Hellenistic scholars of Alexandria, in Egypt. The first printed edition of Homer was produced in 1488 in Milan, Italy. Modern scholars in their research primarily rely on medieval manuscripts, papyri and other sources. 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, Euripedes, 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 recognised 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) organised 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 artistocracy, increased the prestige of the common people, and attempted to join the separate tribes of the mountan, 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, Euripedes, 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 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 neighboured 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 travelling 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 travellers 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 centres 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 centres 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 Halikarnassos. 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 neighbouring 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 neighbouring 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 recognisably 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 neighbouring 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 Panhellenic 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 travellers through their territory, or the export and import of intellectual and artistic ideas such as the works of Pythagoras or centres 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 travellers 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]. 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 artefacts 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, jewellery, 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-metre 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, jewellery 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 jewellery, 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 Institue 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]. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $13.49 to $41.99 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 stamps.com, Shipsaver.com, 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. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. 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 PayPal/eBay payment processing fees. Please note that PayPal does NOT refund fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, PayPal will not refund their fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include PayPal/eBay payment processing fees (typically between 3% and 5%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with PayPal and eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting PayPal and/or eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive PayPal or 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: LIKE NEW. New and unread but slightly cosmetically blemished. See detailed condition description below., Length: 381 pages, Dimensions: 8¾ x 6 x 1½ inches; 1¼ pounds, Publisher: Barnes & Noble (2003), Primary Material: Paper, Maker: Barnes & Noble, Time Period, War: Pre-Classical Greece, Trojan War, Country/Region of Origin: United States, Format: Hardcover with dustjacket

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