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.
The burgeoning science of human nature recognized the implications for human identity. In the later fifth or early fourth centuries BCE philosophers started to develop a systematically dualistic account of human beings as composites of body and soul. In this view, the body is something that embeds the person in a particular community, and the soul is the true ‘self’, the locus of desires and beliefs which those communities could shape. This article suggests that personal identity is for these thinkers social identity, and it is no coincidence that Plato's utopian designs for a polis in the Republic are largely structured around rethinking the educational curriculum, or, conversely, that Protagoras assigns the central role in moral education to the city as a whole.
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 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 chapter explores the Greek armored infantrymen and the weapons they carried. The hoplite shield is called Argive. The Boeotian is a shield that appears on seventh- and sixth-century
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 examines Assyria's military strategy and conduct of war. It argues that the rise of Assyria can be explained by the peculiar historical setting of the later tenth century and the developments leading to it. It explains that the Assyrian kings used their armies cautiously and successfully, giving their troops a lead in numbers, experience, and competence, and they maintained these advantages for no less than three centuries. It describes the sources and the ideal image of the king at war and comments on the battle reports of kings.
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.
Lee L. Brice
This chapter discusses the Sicilian Expedition by Athens. Athens sent a large military force to Sicily in what has come to be called the Sicilian Expedition. The expedition, which grew into a massive military effort led by multiple generals, began with multiple leaders, one of whom, Nicias, had opposed it from the beginning. It is noted that the Athenian withdrawal in Sicily initially appears to have been ridiculous given their success, but as Thucydides explained, it was based on the late season and the lack of cavalry, money, allies, and supplies. The final phase of the expedition began with a naval battle. The expedition that had begun in 415 with a grand send-off in Athens ended in 413 with a tortuous retreat and pursuit.
Matthieu de Bakker
This chapter argues that authorial comments are an important tool of Thucydides’ historiographical strategy. As the comments interrelate with the longer authorial essays, the surrounding narrative parts of the Histories, and the speeches of its actors, they guide the reader in interpreting rich, complex text. Authorial comments are typically found at the opening of episodes or at the introduction of characters, and thus often create a frame for evaluating subsequent passages. When comments are asides, they may concern topics distant from Thucydides’ focus, like divination and early Greek legend. Although pushed to the fringes of his work, these topics display significant relations to contemporary events. Finally, the frequency of authorial comments increases in Book 8, the narrative of which points to a growing fragmentation of the Hellenic world, and needs more authorial guidance to remain understandable.
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.”.
This article points out that the genre of biography was also fundamentally concerned with Hellenic identity. As the discussion holds, ancient biographies do not just describe individuals, they tackle a range of issues, chief among which is that crucial question, what it might mean to be Greek. Biography is about individuals. That is what makes it interesting; it is also what leaves it vulnerable to critics who look for something more, for the big things rather than Plutarch's ‘small things’. However, the individuals matter too, and usually matter most. The reason biography can do so much is because a human being is both what other human beings tend to find most interesting, and the mechanism and the phenomenon that other humans understand most intuitively.
Boeotia, is located in central mainland Greece and a number of surveys have taken place in it to date. Other surveys have taken place as part of the Ohio Boeotia Thisbe Expedition, the Stanford Skourta Plain Project, the Grimadha-Tanagra Project, the Plataies Survey, and the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project. More specialized surface investigations have clarified Boeotian topography. At least fifty-six Early Bronze Age sites are known in Boeotia, though few have been excavated systematically. Most of the known sites established in this era are located along the eastern coastline or roads to major ports which suggests the importance of maritime resources. Evidence of cave habitation may be connected to transhumant pastoralism. This article discusses imported material, such as Aeginetan ware, which provides a basis for interregional comparison and is helpful in this direction.
Undeniably, in the course of time, texts and readers became more prominent. Yet, as this article explains, all ancient texts remain part of a larger cultural context that is different from today's culture in many important ways. When that wider context is explored, our sense of closeness to the Greeks becomes less secure, and the impression of a Greek ‘miracle’ begins to fade. For instance, the Homeric poems are sometimes presented as a literary big bang: they are thought to have brought European literature into existence out of nowhere.
This chapter examines the history of state formation in ancient Greece during the Bronze Age, providing an overview of the nature of the Minoan states and the extent of control exercised by Mycenaean states. It describes the key features of the states in the Mycenaean period, which include state structure and organization, palatial centers, military organization, economic organization and administration, and systems of communication and representation.
This chapter reviews the campaign and battle narratives of Thucydides’ History. It discusses the structural role of campaign narratives in the History, and then focusses on the prologues, actions, and speeches of the campaign narratives themselves. It also takes several battle narratives under examination, asking what questions these battle stories answer and how they function in the larger narrative. Finally, the chapter engages with the question of how these stories related to their ancient Athenian audience, which was the very first audience, as far as we know, to be able to read accounts of the military events of a recent war.
George F. Bass
The Cape Gelidonya shipwreck lies at the western side of the mouth of the Antalya Bay in southern Turkey. The current between these islands, especially when a calm allows water backed up in the Eastern Mediterranean by the summer's prevailing northwest wind to flow back westward, is as strong as any in the Mediterranean. Around 1200