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Greek History

  1. Feb 15, 2006 #1


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    I have always been fascinated by Greek history and the juxtaposition with Roman, Persian and Turkish history. Greece dominated some of the world for a time, but then succumbed to internal and external forces.

    Anyway, this caught my attention yesterday.

    Epaminondas - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epaminondas

    The Spartans were an influence on myself in my early years.

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2006
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  3. Feb 15, 2006 #2


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    And those Thebans - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thebes,_Greece

  4. Feb 18, 2006 #3


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    Dearly Missed

    I guess one reason why Thebes is not mentioned alongside Athens and Sparta as a truly great city-state (it certainly qualifies for that, in my opinion) is the utter annihilation of Thebes at the hands of the Romans.
    Thebes went into a sort of decline after that..
  5. Feb 18, 2006 #4
    The names of the greeks is also pretty intersting
  6. Feb 18, 2006 #5


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    Sort of related,
    I watched a bit on the History Channel last night about the original Olympic games. They were much different.

    1. One victor the rest were losers
    2. The fighting was brutal, the English word agony has its roots in the Greek word for fight. If there was no agony involved it was not a fight.
    3. All competitors were nude.
    4. Only males and virgins were allowed to attend. The logic being that married women had no business looking at other men and virgins needed to observe what true men looked like!
  7. Mar 25, 2006 #6


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    Chronology of Greek History After the Peloponnesian War

    I can't vouch for or confirm the accuracy of any information on this site, that I leave for the reader. Nevertheless, it is an interesting site.
  8. Aug 11, 2006 #7


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    Found this recently.


  9. Aug 12, 2006 #8
    Greek history really starts with the fall of the Bronze Age, hundreds of years before the rise of city-states. Bronze age nations were ruled by kings and the elite who surrounded them, but sometime around 1200 BC all those ruling bodies collapsed. Mycenae, Minoa, Canaan, and the Hittites all fell within the span of 50 years. This is when the "dark age" occurs. It's this widespread collapse that gives ordinary people in the Aegean an opportunity to experiment with democracy.

    The story of the Bronze Age collapse is extremely interesting. New discoveries and theories are still being made. I highly recommend finding a chance to watch the History Channel's Aegean Apocalypse special. Also check out the BBC Horizon special on Earthquake Storms.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2006
  10. Aug 12, 2006 #9


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    I am adding this to the information on Sparta in response to a question about Rome and Sparta. I think Sparta was well into decline by the time the Romans were spreading out from the Italian peninsula.


    Sparta had a strong army, or land force, but Athens had the navy. There was strong rivalry among the different Greek (Hellenic states) -

    Later Rome conquered Sparta and the Peloponnesus, which fell under Roman rule.


    Some other interesting information -



  11. Aug 13, 2006 #10
    Actually, that was tall for those times.

    As a guy, I was pretty disappointed to see a life-size statue of Joan of Arc. o:) You'd think to blend into the army, she'd be at least above five feet, right? Not even close. I talked to the curator (it was at St. Joan of Arc Chapel, itself a small place) about it, and he was very adamant about just how advanced our modern standards of living are. We eat much much more meat, especially when we're young. We only discovered nutrients and their proper amounts not to stunt growth in the 20th century. It was pretty shocking.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2006
  12. Aug 26, 2006 #11
    Alexander was known as the 'two horned one' in many regions of the ancient Middle East even during his lifetime. Arrianus reports that after returning from Siwah Oasis, where the Oracle had confirmed his divine origin, Alexander decided to wear a diadem with two ram horns (the symbol of Amun his alleged father) and that he continued to wear it on many occasions during his subsequent campaigns across Asia (coins minted at that time depict him with those ram horns too).

    But it has to be said that for the vast majority of the populations living there this epithet did not, probably, symbolize the Evil (actually we have good reasons to think that very few thought so in ancient times). The identification with the Evil was very likely made first by some Zoroastrians, 'Evil' being replaced only much later with the devil in the now 'classical' view (I still remember a popular turkish fairly tale named, if I'm not mistaken, 'Iskander has horns' where he is depicted as the devil, trying to hide this from his subjects).

    The surviving Zoroastrians still curse him for allegedly burning their holy books and persecuting Zoroastrianism (as shown in Michael Woods' documentary 'In the footsteps of Alexander the Great'; he talked with some modern day Zoroastrians in Iran) but there is no reliable evidence that he personally ordered this (of course, given the usual plunders characteristic of those times, the tradition of Zoroastrians may be at least partially true).

    Not that he is above all suspicions, his cruelty at certain moments is well known (in India he ordered the murder of some hindu priests who rebelled against him, he ordered the murder of all inhabitants of Persepolis who had not managed to flee before his arrival etc) but usually he tolerated the religions of conquered people so we should be rather skeptical about this accusation.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2006
  13. Sep 3, 2006 #12


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    Wikipedia has an article on the Corinthian War (395 BC-387 BC) -

    Wikipedia reference to Simon Hornblower, "Corinthian War," from The Oxford Classical Dictionary, Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, ed.

    Interestingly, Corinth and Thebes were allies of Sparta during the Peloponnesian War. The allies objected to Athenian control!

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2006
  14. Sep 4, 2006 #13


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    Well, certainly, the reference to Dionysus precedes Christianity, and certainly Islam (est. ~ 672 CE), and early Christianity received much influence from Greek and Jewish culture.

    Apparently Dionysus is reference in the Illiad ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maenads ), which if written by Homer, may go back to 8th century BCE.

    One would have to find the origin of the Greek gods in order to determine where the influence of Dionysus originates.
  15. Sep 28, 2006 #14
    There's a plausible theory that those Greek speakers came from the Baltic area, and that they were driven south at that time by the cooling climate at the end of the Younger Dryas. They brought with them, the theory says, the war-like, plundering ways that are typical of the Myceneans, as well as their mythology which included the epic poems written down later by Homer. The geographic descriptions in The Iliad and The Odyssey have little in common with the Mediterranean, but fit very nicely in the Baltic.

    The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Poems, by Felice Vinci
  16. Sep 30, 2006 #15
    epic poems written down later by Homer.

    homer was BLIND
    he didnot write
  17. Oct 3, 2006 #16
    As lunarmansion said, he would have dictated them.

    And as Wikipedia says, the name Homer might not refer to a single person, but to a group of people, the Homeridae, who preserved Greece's epic tales.
  18. Nov 30, 2006 #17


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    The Antikythera Mechanism

    Ancient Moon 'computer' revisited
    Fascinating! It would be great to find the documentation used to create the mechanism.
  19. Nov 30, 2006 #18
    A Greek thread, how did I miss this??? :smile: (I am Greek)

    There are many differing theory behind the name 'Hellas' Wiki failed to include them it seems. One such theory is that is from the greek words for Sun and Rock. The land of sun and rock, and if you have ever been there you will understand why this makes sense.

    This certainly is an interesting thread, I had no idea people here were so interested in Greek History. I am still learning a lot about the ancients. I am quite well versed on the Byzantium history of the Greeks..

    Interesting, it does make sense tho, I think the Proto-Greek language group was from the Balkans, and I have read before, cant remember where, that there are many similarities between Armenian and Greek. Nowadays, Greece is typically included in what we term as the Balkans.
  20. Nov 30, 2006 #19
    Yes, this is true, Constantinople was the centre of the Christian faith for a long time, one just has to look at Agia Sophia to understand why the Islamic Mosque is shaped as it is.

    Although the Greeks and Turks had many problems in the past, and still to this days, one has to say that they have not (mostly) destroyed many important Byzantium relics, which is good.

    Early Christianity and consequently modern was shaped by Hellenic culture vastly
  21. Dec 18, 2006 #20


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    hehe, the Greeks, my favorite civilization. Great links!
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