Greek History

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Astronuc

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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.

Wikipedia-Epaminondas said:
Epaminondas (Greek: Eπαμεινώνδας) (c. 418 BC–362 BC) was a Theban general and statesman of the 4th century BC who transformed the Ancient Greek city-state of Thebes, leading it out of Spartan subjugation into a preeminent position in Greek geopolitics. In the process he broke Spartan military power with his victory at Leuctra and liberated the Messenian helots, a group of Peloponnesian Greeks who had been enslaved under Spartan rule for some 200 years. Epaminondas reshaped the political map of Greece, fragmented old alliances, created new ones, and supervised the construction of entire cities. He was militarily influential as well, inventing and implementing several major battlefield tactics.
 
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Astronuc

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Sparta

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparta

Wikipedia-Sparta said:
Sparta (Σπάρτη) was a city in ancient Greece, whose territory included, in Classical times, all Laconia and Messenia, and which was the most powerful state of the Peloponnesus. It is also the name of a modern town some kilometres away from the ancient site. (Technically, Sparta was the name of the ancient town; Lacedaemon, Greek Λακεδαιμων, was the city-state. Sparta is now normally used for both.)

The city of Sparta lies at the northern end of the central Laconian plain, on the right bank of the river Eurotas. The site was strategically located; guarded from three sides by mountains and controlling the routes by which invading armies could penetrate Laconia and the southern Peloponnesus via the Langhda Pass over Mt Taygetus. At the same time, its distance from the sea—Sparta is 27 miles from its seaport, Gythium—made it difficult to blockade.
And those Thebans - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thebes,_Greece

Wikipedia-Thebes-Greece said:
Thebes (in modern Greek: Θήβα - Thíva, in ancient Greek and Katharevousa: Θῆβαι - Thēbai or Thívai) is a city in Greece, situated to the north of the Cithaeron range, which divides Boeotia from Attica, and on the southern edge of the Boeotian plain. In ancient times it was the largest city of the region of Boeotia and the modern city still contains the Cadmea (ancient citadel).
 

arildno

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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..
 
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The names of the greeks is also pretty intersting
Today the Greeks call themselves Hellenes (Έλληνες), though they have been known by a number of different names throughout history. The soldiers that fell at Thermopylae did so as Hellenes. During the time of Jesus, the term shifted and any person of non-Jewish faith was called Hellene. By late Antiquity, the Greeks referred to themselves as Romaioi, i.e. Romans. Western Europeans used the term Greeks and the Persians and the Turks used the term Yunans, i.e. Ionians. An interesting and unique form is kept in Georgian. In ancient times, Georgians (Colchs and Iberians) called Greeks ბერძენი berdzeni. This form derives from the Georgian word ბრძენი brdzeni – wise. According to Georgian historians, the name is connected with the notion that philosophy was born in Greece. Modern Georgians still call Greeks ბერძენი berdzeni and Greece საბერძნეთი saberdznet'i, 'Greeks' land' or literally 'land of the wise'. The onset of every historical era was accompanied by a new name, either entirely new or formerly old and forgotten, extracted from tradition or borrowed from foreigners. Each of them was significant in its own time, and all can be used interchangeably, which means that the Greeks are a polyonymous people.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_%28name%29" [Broken]
 
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Integral

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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!
 

Astronuc

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Chronology of Greek History After the Peloponnesian War

http://www.1stmuse.com/frames/
Alexandros III Philippou Makedonon (Alexander the Great, Alexander III of Macedon) (356-323 B.C.), King of Macedonia, was born in late July 356 BC in Pella, Macedonia, he was one of the greatest military genius in history. He conquered much of what was then the civilized world, driven by his divine ambition of the world conquest and the creation of a universal world monarchy.

Arrian describes Alexander: the strong, handsome commander with one eye dark as the night and one blue as the sky, always leading his army on his faithful Bucephalus. Alexander inherited from his father King Philip the best military formation of the time, the Macedonian Phalanx, armed with sarisses - the fearful five and half meter long lances. He was the first great conqueror who reached Greece, Egypt, Asia Minor, and Asia up to western India. He is famous for having created the ethnic fusion of the Macedonians and the Persians. From victory to victory, from triumph to triumph, Alexander created an empire which brought him eternal glory. He brought Greek ideas, culture and life style to the countries which he conquered, and assured expansion and domination of Hellenistic Culture which, together with Roman Civilization and Christianity, constitutes the foundation of what is now called Western Civilization.
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.
 

Astronuc

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Found this recently.

http://monolith.dnsalias.org/~marsares/history/index.html

The history of Hellas starts somewhere in the prehistory, but the Glory of Greece starts with the Mycenaean civilisation which was influenced by a "forgotten" civilisation: the Minoic kingdom. Dark ages follow this golden era, but the pattern for the future is set with the invasion of the Dorians and the rise of the Polis. Several conflicts with the immense Persian empire show the power of city-states. However, internal conflicts for hegemony push Hellas into the hands of Macedon who ends the indepency of Hellas by conquering it. Greek culture is spread out over Asia Minor with Macedonian conquests, but eventually it is Rome who becomes the new worldpower.
 
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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.
 
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Astronuc

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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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peloponnesus

Sparta had a strong army, or land force, but Athens had the navy. There was strong rivalry among the different Greek (Hellenic states) -
Then the Theban generals Epaminondas and Pelopidas won a decisive victory at Leuctra (371 BC). The result of this battle was the end of Spartan supremacy and the establishment of Theban dominance, but Athens herself recovered much of her former power because the supremacy of Thebes was short-lived. With the death of Epaminondas at Mantinea (362 BC) the city lost its greatest leader, and his successors blundered into an ineffectual ten-year war with Phocis. In 346 BC the Thebans appealed to Philip II of Macedon to help them against the Phocians, thus drawing Macedon into Greek affairs for the first time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greece#Spartan_and_Theban_dominance

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

It [Peloponnesus] fell to the expanding Roman Republic in 146 BC and became the province of Achaea.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achaea_Province

Some other interesting information -
http://www.laconia.org/gen_info_literature/Peloponnesian_war.htm [Broken]

http://www.pbs.org/empires/thegreeks/educational/lesson1.html

http://monolith.dnsalias.org/~marsares/history/classic5/pelopo/prologue.html

http://monolith.dnsalias.org/~marsares/history/classic4/sparta.html
 
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lunarmansion said:
It is interesting that the General Alexander the "Great"'s height was anywhere from 5 feet 2 to 5 feet 6 according to scholars. It was a bit of a disappointment for me as a girl to find this out. He is almost deified and I always thought of him as a handsome, tall imposing figure.
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.
 
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lunarmansion said:
It was also interesting to know that from the Persian side he was known as "Iskander", the two horned devil, as he burned Persepolis to the ground. Different ways to see the same man, I suppose.
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.
 
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Astronuc

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Wikipedia has an article on the Corinthian War (395 BC-387 BC) -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corinthian_War

The Corinthian War (395 BC-387 BC) was an ancient Greek military conflict between Sparta and four allied states, Thebes, Athens, Corinth, and Argos, which were initially backed by Persia. The deeper cause, however, was hostility towards Sparta provoked by that city's unilateral domination of Greek politics in the nine years after the end of the Peloponnesian War.
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!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peloponnesian_War
The Peloponnesian War began in 431 BC between the Athenian Empire (or The Delian League) and the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delian_League
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peloponnesian_League
 
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Astronuc

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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.
 
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lunarmansion said:
...Greek speakers entered the Aegean around 2000 B.C.
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.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1594770522/?tag=pfamazon01-20
 
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epic poems written down later by Homer.

homer was BLIND
he didnot write
 
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ray b said:
epic poems written down later by Homer.

homer was BLIND
he didnot write
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.
 

Astronuc

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The Antikythera Mechanism

Ancient Moon 'computer' revisited
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6191462.stm
The delicate workings at the heart of a 2,000-year-old analogue computer have been revealed by scientists.

The Antikythera Mechanism, discovered more than 100 years ago in a Roman shipwreck, was used by ancient Greeks to display astronomical cycles.

Using advanced imaging techniques, an Anglo-Greek team probed the remaining fragments of the complex geared device.

The results, published in the journal Nature, show it could have been used to predict solar and lunar eclipses.

The elaborate arrangement of bronze gears may also have displayed planetary information.

"This is as important for technology as the Acropolis is for architecture," said Professor John Seiradakis of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, and one of the team. "It is a unique device."

However, not all experts agree with the team's interpretation of the mechanism.
Fascinating! It would be great to find the documentation used to create the mechanism.
 
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A Greek thread, how did I miss this??? :smile: (I am Greek)

The names of the greeks is also pretty intersting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_%28name%29" [Broken]
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..

Tojen said:
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 Balt
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.
 
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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.
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
 

ranger

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

Astronuc

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Might be of use -

http://www.umich.edu/~classics/greek_history_ids.pdf [Broken]
 
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