Aegina was one of the major centers of the Aegean Bronze Age. This article discusses the most important information about the site of Kolonna, the main settlement known on the island. The importance of both the site and the entire island is mainly the result of its location in the center of the Saronic Gulf, at the maritime crossroads between central mainland Greece, the northeast Peloponnese, the Cyclades, and Crete. The material culture of Kolonna is generally associated with the Greek mainland, but foreign influences from the Cycladic islands and Crete also played a significant role. Kolonna flourished for almost a millennium as its impressive fortifications and wealth of material remains show. Kolonna seems to be the earliest example of a ranked society in the Aegean, outside Crete, and a large commercial and perhaps political center in the Saronic Gulf.
During the fifth and sixth centuries
Forty years of continuous and systematic geological and archaeological investigations at Akrotiri on the island of Santorini (Thera) have yielded ample evidence for reconstructing the history of the site and filling gaps in the history of the wider Aegean region. This small, Late Neolithic coastal village, whose economy was based mainly on farming and fishing activities, was related culturally to other contemporary settlements in the Cyclades, namely Saliagos near Antiparos, Grotta on Naxos, and Ftelia on Mykonos. Investigation of the rock-cut chambers at Akrotiri has revealed that by the end of the third millennium
This article argues that the centrality of Alexander the Great to the study of imperialism and cultural transfer can scarcely be in doubt. Indeed, the subject of Alexander is so heavily studied that people might well demand a justification for any new discussions of the Macedonian conqueror. Historiography proves to be one element in the scholarship that has been relatively neglected, a situation which is exemplified by the lack of any systematic account of Alexander studies from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. A long-term view of the historiography would show that Droysen's picture of Alexander was less original than previously believed, and that it was prefigured in some significant respects by Montesquieu. The discussion also argues that progress in the field is likely to come when historians better account for the Achaemenid and Near Eastern milieux in which Alexander flourished and ruled.
Pere P. Ripollès
The minting of coins in the Iberian Peninsula spread in from the mid-fifth century
This article tries to illustrate an idea of the range of extant ancient textual sources for engineering and technology. It also presents a broad outline of how the production of texts dealing specifically with technical matters changed in the course of antiquity. In order to combine the two aims, it proceeds chronologically, focusing on two or three examples from each period, chosen to represent both different types of textual evidence and the technological practice of the period in question. The status of technology in classical Athens is first discussed. Additionally, the technical texts from Hellenistic kingdoms are described. It is stated that the technical texts from the Roman Empire have to be seen not only as providing information, but also as constructing a certain way of knowledge, and a certain identity for their authors. The technical texts from antiquity are then addressed.
Archaeozoological research provides impressive, long-neglected evidence for the technical sophistication and productivity of Greco-Roman animal husbandry. A case can be made that the classical and Hellenistic Greeks should be credited for many of the critical innovations in animal husbandry, game-farming, and both fishing and fish-farming. The Greeks and Romans also developed sophisticated new techniques to improve the capture, farming, or fattening of a large range of game, wild birds, and fish. The innovations in Greco-Roman animal husbandry can be broken down into four main areas: breeding, nutrition, housing, and health and veterinary care. Moreover, the economic function of ancient hunting as a source of meat and secondary products is covered. The Greeks and Romans put considerable effort into enhancing and even managing their fish stocks. It is noted that shellfish figured prominently in the Greco-Roman diet.
Liv Mariah Yarrow
Under the Antonine emperors, imperial and provincial coinage largely follow the pattern of prior periods, with certain significant developments both in minting practices and iconographic representations. The major changes of Antonine coinage can be contextualized within three interlinking categories: coin production and output, changes in the presentation of the emperor and his family, and Rome's changing relationship with the provinces and the interrelationships between provincial cities. There was a trend of decline in the weight and fineness of the denarius, and a similar decline in the weight of the aureus; at the same time, smaller bronze denominations were minted with less frequency at Rome. Even more provincial mints appeared, and there was significant production of precious metal coinage at regional centers such as Caesarea in Cappadocia.
This article emphasizes that no ancient artefact can speak to people in isolation; rather, one has to consider the ‘patterns’ of occurrence, and the dialogue they establish with other forms of evidence, such as textual evidence. The artefacts people have are partly determined by the decisions of archaeologists, and so is the knowledge of the context in which they were discovered. Archaeology is a particular form of historical enquiry. However, what the word ‘archaeology’ actually entails in the field of Hellenic studies is far from clear. There are three areas of ambiguity: the range of material objects that archaeology examines; the question of whether ‘classical archaeology’ is a distinct sub-discipline, an archaeology apart; and the question of the spatial and temporal scope of archaeology within the field of ‘Hellenic studies’.
The idea of classifying archaeology as a ‘tool’ alongside prosopography, metre, and numismatics, while ‘culture change’, ‘urbanism’, and ‘fall and transitions’ are classified under ‘history’, is provocative to any archaeologist. Romanisation – a topic that has been prominent in the English-speaking literature of the last two decades – seems to involve an implicit rather than an explicit synthesis of archaeology and history. An archaeology of urbanism in the Roman Empire will highlight the hugely varied nature of what we might class as Roman cities and bring us up against problems of functional definition, and it will document the dynamism of life in these places in all its varied forms and illuminate accompanying phenomena in vivid detail. It will also give us images of living and dead city inhabitants and their lifestyles; it will tell us about both poor and rich – in an unstructured way. An archaeology of urbanism will produce a great deal of information that reflects at one remove social structures and social organisation, while yielding little statistical information which can be converted straightforwardly into sociological data.
This chapter concentrates on the contribution of archaeology to understanding aspects of ancient warfare, archaeological methodology, and its achievements and problems in the context of explaining how men fought and armies were organized in the ancient world. A central aspect of archaeological evidence—arms and armor—is dealt with. Roman Europe has acquired the most extensive and intensively explored archaeological data for ancient campaigns, conquests, and military occupation. The data may sometimes build year-by-year campaign maps, but most often they demonstrate the shape of conflicts, conquests, and military occupations. Roman martial culture, and especially the archaeology of arms and dress, reveals how intimately associated Roman soldiers were with the peoples against whom they fought. Moreover, it is noted that archaeology is important for evaluating the martial culture of the antagonists of Greco-Roman societies.
Perhaps more than other aspect of Roman culture, the study of architecture is affected by two preconceptions, the first resulting from its durability, the second from later attitudes. First, because buildings appear as a solid and visible legacy of Roman culture, it is assumed that Romans themselves clearly recognised the meaning of architecture. Yet, within a short time-span, two ancient writers, Varro and Vitruvius, presented different views. Vitruvius, the more fortunate in transmission, was ambivalent about the definition of ‘architecture’, calling it first a compound of aesthetic concepts – organisation, layout, good rhythm, symmetry, correctness, and allocation; but, a chapter later, a combination of scientific domains – building, mechanics, and orology. For Varro, architecture was one of nine ‘disciplines’; his lost treatise can hardly have contained such technicalities or defined ‘architecture’ so comfortably within the parameters of the modern academic subject. This article explores past debates on Roman architecture, including one concerning archaeology and architectural history; form and function as well as utility and ornament of Roman buildings; public architecture and private building; and centre and periphery.
The Argolid is one of the most intensively investigated and best-documented regions of the Aegean. Due to its fertile soils and its geographic position at the crossroads of communication routes, the area played an important role in social and cultural development throughout the Bronze Age. The Argolid, as this article defines it on the basis of modern administrative divisions, is divided into natural subregions that witnessed different types of development throughout the Bronze Age. The fertile Argos plain and the mountainous periphery that drains into it was—all through the Bronze Age—the heart of the Argolid, where the most important settlements were located. The valleys to the southeast, around Asine and Kandia, are reasonably fertile and had good anchorages. The Epidauria, the Methana peninsula with Troizenia, and the southern Argolid are less productive; these areas were separated from the Argos plain by mountains and were oriented more toward the Saronic Gulf.
This article discusses Armenian history in Late Antiquity. It considers the multiple and varied influences upon all aspects of Armenian society and culture, from far-reaching decisions made at the highest level with immediate implications, such as the redrawing of boundaries between the Roman and Persian sectors of Armenia, or redefining what constituted orthodox belief, to the slow development of ideas, traditions, and practices at a regional and a local level.
Monetary exchange in Asia Minor started with barter and continued with the use of a wide range of commodities as money. Coinage originated in the middle of the seventh century. In Anatolia and parts of the Near East, precious metals had long been in general use for commercial purposes before the advent of coinage, and constituted the usual means of payment. Gold and especially silver were saved and transacted by weight in the form of cut and broken vessels and jewelry, as well as whole and fragmentary ingots of various shapes and sizes. In the years following the Persian conquest, many of the major city-states of western Asia Minor started to produce their own civic silver coinage. With coinage, an issuing authority, usually the state, weighed the pieces of precious metal to a recognized standard in a system of denominations and marked them with an official stamp to guarantee their value in the area of influence of that authority.
This article argues that problems of terminology also plague the study of the Athenian Empire, drawing attention to the many ancient Greek words that have been translated as ‘empire’. Arriving at the right terms to describe Athenian ‘imperialism’ would go hand in hand with the larger process of understanding other features of Athens' hegemony. For example, while the financial aspects of the Athenian Empire are heavily discussed, the cultural imperialism of the city-state still needs to be analysed more fully. Further study may well show that the major importance of the empire lies in its role as the transmitter of Hellenic culture during the period of Athens' dominance and not in its place as a decisive moment in the history of imperialism.
Vincenzo La Rosa
Ayia Triada was first explored in May 1902 by F. Halbherr and was originally thought to be a necropolis of Phaistos. Halbherr bore in mind the crucial issue of the relationship between the two sites from the start and hypothesized a single political entity divided between an “Ano polis” (Phaistos) and a “Kato polis” (Ayia Triada), with a hierarchy between the two sites. Episodic or occasional excavations took place in the 1970s by C. Laviosa and D. Levi, and a new systematic cycle of excavations was begun by the Italian archaeological school at Athens in 1977, which aimed to clarify a series of chronological, architectural, and planimetrical problems left unsolved by the old excavations. The new excavations have led to explanations of the parallel histories of Ayia Triada and Phaistos in terms of a “complementarity of roles.”.
Maria A. Liston and Susan I. Rotroff
High infant mortality is an acknowledged fact of life in antiquity. However, infant burials are relatively rare, and Greek sources offer little information on views of the newborn dead. This chapter uses analysis of bones and artifacts recovered from a single, abandoned well in the Athenian Agora to examine the disposal of infants who died in the perinatal period. The skeletons of infants, deposited along with dogs and pottery during a short period in the second century BCE, are demonstrated to be the remains of perinatal infants. Many of the infants died of natural causes. The dog skeletons are arguably associated with purification following childbirth and the pollution associated with untimely death.
This article examines Roman approaches to the barbarians in terms of history writing, diplomacy, science, and law. It then describes how Christianity after Constantine influenced all of these approaches, changing the Roman understanding of their relation to barbarians. Next, it considers how historians from the eighteenth century to the present have explained the Roman-barbarian relationship in Late Antiquity. Their interpretations of barbarians were primarily influenced by the pressing issues of their own time, including Gibbons' Enlightenment concern with the social progress of humankind, the pressures of developing nationalism in nineteenth century Germany, and reactions to both of these approaches in the twentieth century, especially after the Nazi era.
Yaron Z. Eliav
This article discusses Roman public bathhouses, which provided a wide range of services that included swimming pools, saunas, and meeting rooms. It looks at the technology and cultural facets that were present in the bathhouses. It then describes the facilities, the social encounters that occurred, and the statues that were displayed there. The article also studies the supposed hostility of the Jews toward the bathhouses, the issue of nudity, the potential hazards, and the wide dissemination of Roman baths.