Thursday, November 17, 2016

The culture and spirit of Greece once



 Incredible Cities Lost In Time...
  By taking a look at the world map today you would never believe that Greece, which is nothing but a small country, currently known as a beautiful tourist destination in southern Europe, had once dominated and colonized most parts of the then-known world. For those who love history though, Greece is without a doubt one of the most significant and influential nations of all time with amazing contributions to human culture including philosophy, various sciences, architecture, the Olympic Games, and democracy just to name the most prominent few.
   The culture and spirit of Greece had once conquered major parts of modern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa through the empires and colonies built by different Greek city-states notably Athens, Miletus, Ionia, Knossos, Corinth, and the kingdom of Macedon (not to be confused with the recently formed Slavic country in the Balkans). Here are 25 ancient Greek cities that occupied an astonishing 19 countries of the modern world.



Ancient Greek Cities that No Longer Exist 
or Are No Longer Greek


    Byzantion (Constantinople), Modern Turkey


  The tradition tells that Byzas, son of King Nisos (Νίσος), planned to found a colony of the Dorian Greek city of Megara. Byzas consulted the oracle of Apollo at Delphi, which instructed Byzas to settle opposite the "Land of the Blind".
Leading a group of Megarian colonists, Byzas found a location where the Golden Horn, a great natural harbour, meets the Bosphorus and flows into the Sea of Marmara, opposite Chalcedon (modern day Kadıköy). He adjudged the Chalcedonians blind not to have recognized the advantages the land on the European side of the Bosphorus had over the Asiatic side. In 667 BC he founded Byzantium at their location, thus fulfilling the oracle's requirement. Cape Moda in Chalcedon was the first location which the Greek settlers from Megara chose to colonize in 685 BC, prior to colonizing Byzantion on the European side of the Bosphorus under the command of King Byzas in 667 BC.

Monumenal Temple Like Tombs
At The Ancient Byzantion City
It was mainly a trading city due to its location at the Black Sea's only entrance. Byzantium later conquered Chalcedon, across the Bosporus on the Asiatic side.
Byzantium was besieged by Greek forces during the Peloponnesian war. As part of Sparta's strategy for cutting off grain supplies to Athens, Sparta took the city in 411 BC. The Athenian military later took the city in 408 BC.
After siding with Pescennius Niger against the victorious Septimius Severus, the city was besieged by Roman forces and suffered extensive damage in 196 AD.

Byzantium was rebuilt by Septimius Severus, now emperor, and quickly regained its previous prosperity. It was bound to Perinthos during the period of Septimius Severus. The location of Byzantium attracted Roman Emperor Constantine I who, in 330 AD, refounded it as an imperial residence inspired by Rome itself. After his death the city was called Constantinople (Greek Κωνσταντινούπολις or Konstantinoupolis) ("city of Constantine").
This combination of imperialism and location would affect Constantinople's role as the nexus between the continents of Europe and Asia. It was a commercial, cultural, and diplomatic centre. With its strategic position, Constantinople controlled the major trade routes between Asia and Europe, as well as the passage from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea.
On May 29, 1453, the city fell to the Ottoman Turks, and again became the capital of a powerful state, the Ottoman Empire. The Turks called the city "Istanbul" (although it was not officially renamed until 1930); the name derives from "eis-tin-polin" (Greek: "to-the-city"). To this day it remains the largest and most populous city in Turkey, although Ankara is now the national capital.


  Smyrna, Modern Turkey
temple of Athena 7th century BC.
  Smyrna was established around 3000 BCE and continuously inhabited by the Greeks for nearly five thousand years, from antiquity until the Great Fire of Smyrna in 1922, when large parts of the city burned, mostly the Greek and Armenian sections, and the population became largely Turkish following the Treaty of Lausanne.
Smyrna (Ancient Greek: Σμύρνη or Σμύρνα) was located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. This place is known today as İzmir, Turkey. Due to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence. Two sites of the ancient city are today within the boundaries of İzmir.

The first site, probably founded by indigenous peoples, rose to prominence during the Archaic Period as one of the principal ancient Greek settlements in western Anatolia.
The second, whose foundation is associated with Alexander the Great, reached metropolitan proportions during the period of the Roman Empire. Most of the present-day remains of the ancient city date from the Roman era, the majority from after a 2nd-century AD earthquake.
In practical terms, a distinction is often made between these. Old Smyrna was the initial settlement founded around the 11th century BC, first as an Aeolian settlement, and later taken over and developed during the Archaic Period by the Ionians.
Smyrna proper was the new city which residents moved to as of the 4th century BC and whose foundation was inspired by Alexander the Great.
Old Smyrna was located on a small peninsula connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus at the northeastern corner of the inner Gulf of İzmir, at the edge of a fertile plain and at the foot of Mount Yamanlar. This Anatolian settlement commanded the gulf. Today, the archeological site, named Bayraklı Höyüğü, is approximately 700 metres (770 yd) inland, in the Tepekule neighbourhood of Bayraklı at 38°27′51″N 27°10′13″E.



    Heraclea Lyncestis, Former Yugoslav


  Heraclea Lyncestis was established in the fourth century BCE by Alexander the Great’s father, Philip II, who ruled the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon at the time. The city was named after the mythological hero Heracles, from whom both Philip II and Alexander believed they were descended. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea Lyncestis also spelled Herakleia Lynkestis (Greek: Ἡράκλεια Λυγκηστίς; Latin: Heraclea Lyncestis; Macedonian: Хераклеа Линкестис[, was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. 
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon's border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. 
statue of Athena Parthenos

The Romans divided Macedonia into 4 regions and Heraclea was in the fourth region. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. 

The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road. Objects discovered from the time of Roman rule in Heraclea are votive monuments, a portico, thermae (baths), a theatre and town walls.
In the early Christian period, Heraclea was an important Episcopal seat. 
Some of its bishops are mentioned in synods in Serdica and other nearby towns. 
The city was gradually abandoned in the 6th century AD following an earthquake and Slavic invasions. Today, only a few ruins and monuments exist near the present-day town of Bitola, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


   Heraclea Sintica, Modern Bulgaria















  Heraclea Sintica was an ancient Greek town located near the village of Rupite, Bulgaria, and was identified only recently from the accidental discovery of local coins during excavation, which left no doubt about the Greek origin of this ancient town. 
This finally ended a long-term argument between Greece and Bulgaria about the origin of Heraclea Sintica and its location.

It was located in Thracian Macedonia, in the district of Sintice, to the east of the Strimon, the site of which is marked by the village of Rupite, in today Bulgaria. 
The polis was identified by Assoc. Prof. Georgi Mitrev (University of Plovdiv) after the accidental discovery of a large Latin inscription in 2002. In essence, this is letter of Emperor Galerius and Caesar Maximinus II of 308 years in which the rulers are turning to Herakleians in response to their request to reclaim the lost city rights. 
Before 2005 Assoc. Prof. Georgi Mitrev published another inscription, which mentions Guy Lucius Skotussaios and Harakleios. It proves conclusively that this is precisely Heraclea Sintica, not another Herculaneum or Heraclea, as this name is very popular in the ancient world.
Since 2007 began archaeological excavations at Heraclea Sintica, led by Assoc. Prof. Lyudmil Vagalinski, of the National Institute with Museum of Archaeology in Sofia. They noticed strange structures above it: tunnels and an arch. Later on, after geosonar examination by Russian specialists, a large studio for producing ceramic masks for an unknown and as yet undiscovered ancient theatre was discovered.


    Istros, Modern Modern Romania


  Istros or Histria was an ancient Greek city near the mouth of the Danube River, which the ancient Greeks called Ister, and is today the European Union’s longest river and the second-longest in all Europe after the Volga. It is considered the oldest urban settlement on Romanian territory.
The city was founded by Greek settlers from Miletus who wanted to make trade easier with the natives of Getae, Thracian tribes inhabiting the regions to either side of the Lower Danube, in what is today northern Bulgaria and southern Romania.
Even though sources vary greatly about the founding of the city, the date is estimated to be around 630 BCE.
A silver drachma from 480 BCE was also found in the area, which is considered to be the earliest documented currency for a Romanian territory.

Around 30 AD, Histria came under Roman domination. During the Roman period from the 1st to 3rd centuries AD, temples were built for the Roman gods, besides a public bath and houses for the wealthy. Altogether, it was in continuous existence for some 14 centuries, starting with the Greek period up to the Roman-Byzantine period. The Halmyris bay where was the city founded was closed by sand deposits and access to the Black Sea gradually was cut. Trade continued until the 6th century AD. The invasion of the Avars and the Slavs in the 7th century AD almost entirely destroyed the fortress, and the Istrians dispersed; the name and the city disappeared.


 Odessos, Modern Ukraine















  Odessa was once a peaceful ancient Greek colony called Odessos.
Many artifacts and ruins discovered during excavation leave no doubt that Greek settlers once inhabited the city.
Was the site of a large Greek settlement not later than the middle of the 6th century BC (a necropolis from the 5th–3rd centuries BC has long been known in this area). Some scholars believe it to be a trade settlement established by Histria. Whether the Bay of Odessa is the ancient "Port of the Histrians" cannot yet be considered a settled question based on the available evidence. Archaeological artifacts confirm extensive links between the Odessa area and the eastern Mediterranean.
In the Middle Ages successive rulers of the Odessa region included various nomadic tribes (Petchenegs, Cumans), the Golden Horde, the Crimean Khanate, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Ottoman Empire. Yedisan Crimean Tatars traded there in the 14th century.


    Myrmekion, Modern Russia/Ukraine


  Μost of us learned about the Crimean Peninsula (also known as Crimea) because of the territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine.
However, the ancient Greeks had explored and colonized the region many centuries before the Russians or the Ukrainians ever lived there.
Sarcophagus from Myrmekion
Originally settled by Milesian Greeks in the sixth century BCE, the city, located on the shore of the Cimmerian Bosporus, soon became the richest in the region.
In the following years and under Greek influence the city flourished on many levels and was known for producing high-quality wine.

Myrmēkion (Greek: Μυρμήκιον, Russian: Мирмекий) was an ancient Greek colony in the Crimea, situated on the shore of the Cimmerian Bosporus, 4 kilometres to the north of Panticapaeum, the capital of the Bosporan Kingdom.
It was founded in the mid-6th century BC as an independent polis, which soon became one of the richest in the region.
In the 5th century BC, the town specialized in winemaking and minted its own coinage. It was surrounded by towered walls, measuring some 2.5 metres thick. Myrmekion fell into the hands of the Bosporan kings in the 4th century BC and gradually dwindled into insignificance in the shadow of their capital, Panticapaeum.


     Kepoi, Modern Russia 















  Soviet excavations in the Taman Peninsula back in the late 1950s revealed amazing ancient finds, including a marble statue of a Greek goddess later named the Aphrodite of Taman. More than 400 burials were explored at Kepoi in the 1960s and 1970s; the rest of the site has been submerged by the Sea of Azov.
The conclusion of the excavations was that the ancient Greeks had colonized modern-day Russia as well and a Greek city named Kepoi in antiquity was the best proof of this.
The research showed that Greek explorers from Miletus established the colony around the sixth century BCE and during the Hellenistic period the area saw times of great wealth and prosperity.
Kepoi or Cepoi (Ancient Greek: Κῆποι, Russian: Кепы) was an ancient Greek colony situated on the Taman peninsula, three kilometres to the east of Phanagoria, in the present-day Krasnodar Krai of Russia. The colony was established by the Milesians in the 6th century BC.
In the Hellenistic period, it was controlled by the kings of the Cimmerian Bosporus, who (according to Aeschines) made a present of a place called "the Gardens" to Gylon, the grandfather of Demosthenes. The town reached its peak in the 1st centuries AD, but the Huns and Goths put an end to its prosperity in the 4th century.


   Eucratideia, Modern Afghanistan
 FRENCH REPRESENTATION OF ALEXANDRIA OF OXOU (With Greek theater - in the Asia-center 
where for 600 years taught in the Greek language, the Aeschylus and Sophocles' works).

  Eucratideia was an ancient Greek town and part of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom that covered vast areas of Central Asia from 250 to 125 BCE, mentioned by a few ancient writers.

It was most likely a foundation of Eucratides I who is the more important ruler of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom with the name Eucratides. Not much is known about this city and it might be just a renaming of an already existing town rather than a new foundation. Renaming of cities was a common practise in the ancient world.

It was founded and named after the Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides I, who was a distant descendant of Alexander the Great. 
Even though we don’t know much information about the city since there aren’t many historical sources from that period that speak of the region, we know that the citizens worshiped Zeus, in many parts of the city they spoke Greek dialects, and considered themselves sons and descendants of Heracles and Alexander the Great.



     

     Alexandria on the Caucasus,
    Modern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India


  Alexandria on the Caucasus (medieval Kapisa, modern Bagram) was another city named after the great Greek king Alexander the Great, who conquered the area and founded the city at an important junction of communications in the southern foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains, in the country of the Paropamisade.

Alexander populated the city with 7,000 Macedonians, 3,000 mercenaries and thousands of natives (according to Curtius VII.3.23), or some 7,000 natives and 3,000 non-military camp followers and a quantity of Greek mercenaries (Diodorus, XVII.83.2), in March 329 BC. He had also built forts in what is nowadays Bagram in Afghanistan, at the foot of the Hindu Kush, replacing forts erected in much the same place by Persia's king Cyrus the Great c. 500 BC.

At its peak and under the rule of the Graeco-Bactrian king Demetrius, who invaded India early in the second century BCE, the city would become one of the capitals of the vast Graeco-Indian kingdom that covered parts of modern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northwest India. Coins and other ancient Greek ruins that were found during archaeological research reveal that the local population worshiped Zeus as their god.
Some archaeological evidence concerning Alexandria of the Caucasus was gathered by Charles Masson (1800–1853), providing insight into the history of that lost city.
His findings include coins, rings, seals and other small objects.
In the 1930s Roman Ghirshman, while conducting excavations near Bagram, found Egyptian and Syrian glassware, bronze statuettes, bowls, the Begram ivories and other objects including statues. This is an indication that Alexander's conquests have opened India to imports from the west.
Today the cities' remains feature a rectangular tell 500 by 200 metres in area and a nearby circular citadel about 3km northeast of Bagram Airforce base.



   Hippos, Modern Israel


  Hippos (Ancient Greek: Ἵππος, "horse") is an archaeological site in Israel, located on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Between the 3rd century BC and the 7th century AD, Hippos was the site of a Greco-Roman city, which then declined under Muslim rule and was abandoned after an earthquake in 749. Besides the fortified city itself, Hippos controlled two port facilities on the lake and an area of the surrounding countryside. Hippos was part of the Decapolis, or Ten Cities, a region in Roman Jordan, Syria and Israel that were culturally tied more closely to Greece and Rome than to the Semitic ethnoi around.

Established as Antioch of Hippos (Ἀντιόχεια τοῦ Ἵππου) by Seleucid settlers, the city is named after the Greek language word for horse, Hippos, and a common name of Seleucid monarchs, Antiochus. In the 3rd-century Mosaic of Rehob, the site is known by its Aramaic name, Sussita (Hebrew: סוסיתא‎‎), a word meaning "horse" in the feminine gender, while the Arabic name, Qal'at al-Hisn, has been used by the country's Arab inhabitants, meaning, "Fortress of the Horse/Stallion". Other names include the alternate spelling Hippus and the Latinized version of the Greek name: Hippum. The precise reason why the city received this name is unknown.
Excavations in Hippos have revealed traces of habitation from as early as the Neolithic period. The site was again inhabited in the third century BC by the Ptolemies, though whether it was an urban settlement or a military outpost is still unknown.
During this time, Coele-Syria served as the battleground between two dynasties descending from captains of Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies and the Seleucids.
It is likely that Hippos, on a very defensible site along the border lines of the 3rd century BC, was founded as a border fortress for the Ptolemies. The city of Hippos itself was established by Seleucid colonists, most likely in the middle of the second century BC. Its full name, Antiochia Hippos (Latin: Antiocheia ad Hippum), reflects a Seleucid founding.

As the Seleucids took possession of all of Coele-Syria, Hippos grew into a full-fledged polis, a city-state with control over the surrounding countryside. Antiochia Hippos was improved with all the makings of a Greek polis: a temple, a central market area, and other public structures. The availability of water limited the size of Hellenistic Hippos. The citizens relied on rain-collecting cisterns for all their water; this kept the city from supporting a very large population.


    Heliopolis, Modern Lebanon


  Baalbek is a town located in Lebanon with a rich history. It has some of the best-preserved Greco-Roman monuments in the country and it once existed as a Greek city-state under Alexander the Great. After the Greek general conquered the Near East in 334 BCE, the extant yet uninhabited place was named Heliopolis from the Greek helios, which means “sun” and “polis which means city.” The city retained its Greek character during Roman rule and even more temples were constructed dedicated to Zeus and other Greek gods. The temple of Zeus is a major tourist attraction today and is considered one of the best conserved temples in the Middle East.

Heliopolis flourished as a seat of learning during the Greek period; the schools of philosophy and astronomy are claimed to have been frequented by Orpheus, Homer, Pythagoras, Plato, Solon, and other Greek philosophers. Ichonuphys was lecturing there in 308 BC, and the Greek mathematician Eudoxus, who was one of his pupils, learned from him the true length of the year and month, upon which he formed his octaeterid, or period of 8 years or 99 months. Ptolemy II had Manetho, the chief priest of Heliopolis, collect his history of the ancient kings of Egypt from its archives.

The later Ptolemies probably took little interest in their "father" Ra, and Alexandria had eclipsed the learning of Heliopolis; thus with the withdrawal of royal favour Heliopolis quickly dwindled, and the students of native lore deserted it for other temples supported by a wealthy population of pious citizens. By the 1st century BC, in fact, Strabo found the temples deserted, and the town itself almost uninhabited, although priests were still present.



Laodicea ad Libanum, Modern Syria















  Unfortunately there are not many significant historical records about this city and for that reason we don’t know all that much about this Hellenistic town’s traditions, ethics, and society. However, the few ancient Greek ruins and remains that were found a few miles outside Homs, Syria, was proof enough for archaeologists and historians to verify the ancient historian and geographer Strabo’s claims that the Greeks had not only visited modern-day Syria in antiquity, but also colonized it and established a few cities there, among them Laodicea ad Libanum.
Laodicea ad Libanum ("Laodicea by Mount Lebanon") (Greek: Λαοδίκεια ἡ πρὸς Λίβανου), also transliterated as Laodiceia or Laodikeia; also Cabrosa, Scabrosa and Cabiosa Laodiceia.
Laodicea ad Libanum is a titular see of the Catholic Church, Laodicensis ad Libanum; the seat is held by bishop Paul Bassim.


    Alexandria, Modern Egypt


  Along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country extending Alexandria. (/ˌælɪɡˈzændrɪə/ or /ˌælɪɡˈzɑːndrɪə/;[2] Arabic: الإسكندرية al-Iskandariyyah; Egyptian Arabic: اسكندرية‎‎ Eskendereya; Coptic: Ⲁⲗⲉⲝⲁⲛⲇⲣⲓⲁ, Ⲣⲁⲕⲟⲧⲉ Alexandria, Rakotə).
Alexandria was founded around a small Ancient Egyptian town c. 331 BC by Alexander the Great. .  
It became an important center of the Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Hellenistic and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1000 years until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo). 
Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world; now replaced by a modern one); and the Necropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages.
Alexandria was the second most powerful city of the ancient world after Rome. Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.


   Naucratis, Modern Egypt


  Naucratis or Naukratis (Greek: Ναύκρατις, "naval victory", Piemro in Egyptian, now Kom Gieif), was the first and, for much of its early history, the only permanent Greek colony in Egypt; acting as a symbiotic nexus for the interchange of Greek and Egyptian art and culture.
The discovery of the ancient Greek city of Naucratis proved many historians wrong who were claiming that the first time the Greeks visited Egypt was during Alexander’s reign.
Around the seventh century BCE, almost four hundred years before the Greek king would conquer the area, some Greek mercenaries from Miletus had already landed in Egypt, and according to Herodotus, with the help of other Greek pirates and explorers from Caria and other places on the Greek mainland, they established the city of Naucratis around 550 BCE, which is considered to be the first and oldest Greek colony in Egypt.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the history of the ancient Greeks in Egypt dates back at least to Mycenaean times and more likely even further back into the proto-Greek Minoan age. This history is strictly one of commerce as no permanent Greek settlements have been found of these cultures to date.
After the collapse of Mycenaean Greek civilization and the ensuing Greek dark ages (c1100 - 750 BC) a "renaissance" of Greek culture flourished in the 7th century BC and with it came renewed contact with the East and its two great river civilizations of Mesopotamia and the Nile.
 The Nile delta has shifted since ancient days so bear in mind the city was situated directly on the Canopic (westernmost) branch.
The first report of Greeks in 7th century BC Egypt is a story in the Histories of Herodotus of Ionian and Carian pirates forced by storm to land on or near the Nile Delta. It relates the plight of the Saite Pharaoh Psammetichus I (Psamtik) (c. 664-610) of the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt overthrown and in desperation, seeking the advice of the Oracle of Leto at Buto who cryptically advises him to enlist the aid of "brazen men" who would "come from the sea." Inspired upon seeing the bronze armor of the shipwrecked pirates, he offers them rewards in return for their aid in his campaign of return to power. Upon the success of this endeavor he makes good on his word and bestows on the mercenaries two parcels of land (or "camps" στρατόπεδα) on either side of the Pelusian branch of the Nile.



   Cyrene, Modern Libya
Temple of Zeus
  Cyrene was an ancient Greek colony in North Africa near the modern city of Shahhat in Libya. It was founded in 630 BCE by Greek colonists from Thera (modern-day Santorini) and got its name from the source of the spring of wisdom that was dedicated to the god Apollo. Traditional details concerning the founding of the city are contained in Herodotus' Histories IV.
The birthplace of Eratosthenes and there are a number of philosophers associated with the city including Aristippus, the founder of the School of Cyrene, and his successor daughter Arete, Callimachus, Carneades, Ptolemais of Cyrene, and Synesius, a bishop of Ptolemais in the 4th century AD.
Apollo Kitharoidos from Cyrene.
Roman statue from the 2nd century AD
now in the British Museum.
Cyrene promptly became the chief town of ancient Libya and established commercial relations with all the Greek cities, reaching the height of its prosperity under its own kings in the 5th century BC. Soon after 460 BC it became a republic.

In 413 BC, during the Peloponnesian War, Cyrene supplied Spartan forces with two triremes and pilots. After the death of Alexander the Great of Macedon (323 BC), the Cyrenian republic became subject to the Ptolemaic dynasty.

In the third century BCE, Aristippus, a student of Socrates, founded a philosophical school there. It was the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the area and the local scholars called the city the “Athens of Africa.

Ophelas, the general who occupied the city in Ptolemy I's name, ruled the city almost independently until his death, when Ptolemy's son-in-law Magas received governorship of the territory.
In 276 BC Magas crowned himself king and declared de facto independence, marrying the daughter of the Seleucid king and forming with him an alliance in order to invade Egypt. The invasion was unsuccessful and in 250 BC, after Magas' death, the city was reabsorbed into Ptolemaic Egypt. Cyrenaica became part of the Ptolemaic empire controlled from Alexandria, and became Roman territory in 96 BC when Ptolemy Apion bequeathed Cyrenaica to Rome. In 74 BC the territory was formally transformed into a Roman province.


    Nikaia, Modern France


  Nice (Greek: Νίκαια; Latin: Nicaea) is the fifth most populous city in France and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes département.
The first known hominid settlements in the Nice area date back about 400,000 years; the Terra Amata archeological site shows one of the earliest uses of fire, construction of houses, and flint findings dated to around 230,000 years ago. Nice (Nicaea) was founded around 350 BC by the Greeks of Massalia (Marseille), and was given the name of Nikaia (Νίκαια) in honour of a victory over the neighbouring Ligurians; Nike (Νίκη) was the Greek goddess of victory.
The city soon became one of the busiest trading ports on the Ligurian coast; but it had an important rival in the Roman town of Cemenelum, which continued to exist as a separate city until the time of the Lombard invasions. The ruins of Cemenelum are in Cimiez, now a district of Nice.



     Massalia, Modern France

The Phocaeans arrived in Anatolia perhaps as late as the 10th century bce and, lacking arable land, established colonies in the Dardanelles at Lampsacus, on the Black Sea at Amisus (Samsun), and on the Crimean Peninsula.
In the Mediterranean they colonized as far west as Massilia (Marseille, France) and Emporion (Ampurias in northeastern Spain). When Phocaea was besieged by the Persians about 545 bce, most of the citizens chose emigration rather than submission.
  The oldest city within modern France, Marseille, was founded around 600 BC by Greeks from the Asia Minor city of Phocaea (as mentioned by Thucydides Bk1,13, Strabo, Athenaeus and Justin) as a trading post or emporion under the name Μασσαλία (Massalia).
A foundation myth reported by Aristotle in the 4th century BC as well as by Latin authors, recounts how the Phocaean Protis (son of Euxenus) married Gyptis (or Petta), the daughter of a local Segobriges king called Nannus, thus giving him the right to receive a piece of land where he was able to found a city. The contours of the Greek city have been partially excavated in several neighborhoods. The Phocaean Greeks introduced the cult of Artemis, as in their other colonies.

It is thought that contacts started even earlier however, as Ionian Greeks traded in the Western Mediterranean and Spain, but only very little remains from that earlier period. Contacts developed undisputedly from 600 BC, between the Celts and Celto-Ligurans and the Greeks in the city of Marseille and their other colonies such as Agde, Nice, Antibes, Monaco, Emporiae and Rhoda. The Greeks from Phocaea also founded settlements in the island of Corsica, such as at Alalia. From Massalia, the Phocaean Greeks also founded cities in northeastern Spain such as Emporiae and Rhoda.
The Greeks of Massalia had recurrent conflicts with Gauls and Ligurians of the region, and engaged in naval battles against Carthaginians in the late 6th century (Thucydides 1.13) and probably in 490 BC, and soon entered into a treaty with Rome.

Archaeological evidence shows Massalia had over twelve cities in its network in France, Spain, Monaco and Corsica. Cities Massalia founded that still exist today are Nice, Antibes, Monaco, Le Brusc, Agde, and Aleria. There is evidence of direct rule of at least two of their cities with a flexible system of autonomy as suggested by Emporion and Rhodus' own coin minting. Massalia's empire was not the same as the monolithic of the ancient world or of the nineteenth century being a scattered group of cities connected by the sea and rivers. The Delian League was also a scattered group of cities spread far across the sea and became known as the Athenian Empire.



 Emporion, Modern Spain


  Emporion, means “trading place” in Greek.
Greeks from Phocaea reached Spain’s shores, but by 575 bce they had established only two small colonies as offshoots of Massilia (Marseille) in the extreme northeast, at Emporion (Ampurias) and Rhode (Rosas).
They taught the locals to cultivate with love olives and wine.
The Phocaeans gave generously and diligently culture and organized commercial stations, since they had intensely developed commercial acumen.
There was, however, an older Archaic Greek commerce in olive oil, perfumes, fine pottery, bronze jugs, armour, and figurines carried past the Strait of Gibraltar by the Phoenicians.
It developed between 800 and 550 bce, peaking sharply from 600 to 550, and was directed along the southern coast in precisely the areas of most-intense Phoenician influence and settlement.

Connected with that early commerce in the late 7th century are the stories collected by Herodotus about the kingdom of Tartessos (Tartessus) and its ruler, King Arganthonios, who befriended the Greek captain Kolaios after his vessel was blown off course.

Tartessos was portrayed as a mineral emporium where Kolaios exchanged his merchandise for a fortune in silver bullion.
The Greeks remembered that kingdom as a legendary world beyond their reach. Tartessos, in fact, was the late Bronze Age society in southwestern Spain that included the mines of the Tinto River in its territory; it flourished between 800 and 550 bce.

After 450 bce there was renewed Greek interest in Spain, although directed to the eastern peninsula rather than to the west and south. Greek objects were widely traded by Carthaginian middlemen, as the shipwreck at El Sec (Palma de Mallorca) suggests.
The vessel sank with a mixed cargo that included millstones, ingots, and decorated Greek pottery, some scratched with personal Punic names such as “Slave of Melqart” (MLQRT’BD) or “Baal Is Merciful” (B’HLM).


   Cumai, Modern Italy
The acropolis of Cumae seen from the lower city.
  Cumae (Ancient Greek: Κύμη (Kumē) or Κύμαι (Kumai) or Κύμα (Kuma);[1] Italian: Cuma) was an ancient city of Magna Graecia on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The first Greek colony on the mainland of Italy and the seat of the Cumaean Sibyl.

The settlement, in a location that was already occupied, founded by settlers from Euboea in the 8th century BC, originally from the cities of Eretria and Chalcis in Euboea, which was accounted its mother-city by agreement among the first settlers. They were already established at Pithecusae (modern Ischia); they were led by the paired oecists (colonizers) Megasthenes of Chalcis and Hippocles of Cyme.

The Greeks were planted upon the earlier dwellings of indigenous, Iron Age peoples whom they supplanted; a memory of them was preserved as cave-dwellers named Cimmerians, among whom there was already an oracular tradition. Its name refers to the peninsula of Cyme in Euboea.
The colony was also the entry point in the Italian peninsula for the Euboean alphabet, the local variant of the Greek alphabet used by its colonists, a variant of which was adapted and modified by the Etruscans and then by the Romans and became the Latin alphabet still used worldwide today.

Temple of Jupiter
The colony thrived. By the 8th century it was strong enough to send Perieres and a group with him, who were among the founders of Zancle in Sicily, and another band had returned to found Triteia in Achaea, Pausanias was told.

It spread its influence throughout the area over the 7th and 6th centuries BC, gaining sway over Puteoli and Misenum and, thereafter, founding Neapolis in 470 BC. All these facts were recalled long afterwards; Cumae's first brief contemporary mention in written history is in Thucydides.

The growing power of the Cumaean Greeks led many indigenous tribes of the region to organize against them, notably the Dauni and Aurunci with the leadership of the Capuan Etruscans. This coalition was defeated by the Cumaeans in 524 BC under the direction of Aristodemus, called Malacus, a successful man of the people who overthrew the aristocratic faction, became a tyrant himself, and was assassinated.

Contact between the Romans and the Cumaeans is recorded during the reign of Aristodemus. Livy states that immediately prior to the war between Rome and Clusium, the Roman senate sent agents to Cumae to purchase grain in anticipation of a siege of Rome.
Also Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the last legendary King of Rome, lived his life in exile with Aristodemus at Cumae after the Battle of Lake Regillus and died there in 495 BC. Livy records that Aristodemus became the heir of Tarquinius, and in 492 when Roman envoys travelled to Cumae to purchase grain, Aristodemus seized the envoys' vessels on account of the property of Tarquinius which had been seized at the time of Tarquinius' exile.
Also during the reign of Aristodemus, the Cumaean army assisted the Latin city of Aricia to defeat the Etruscan forces of Clusium.
The combined fleets of Cumae and Syracuse (on Sicily) defeated the Etruscans at the Battle of Cumae in 474 BC.
The ruins of the city lie near the modern village of Cuma, a frazione of the comune Bacoli in the Province of Naples, Campania, Italy.


    Akragas or Agrigento, Modern Italy                                  


  Agrigento is the site of the ancient Greek city of Akragas (also known as Acragas (Ἀκράγας) in Greek, Agrigentum in Latin and Kirkent or Jirjent in Arabic), one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia during the golden age of Ancient Greece with population estimates in the range 200,000 - 800,000 before 406 BC.
Was founded on a plateau overlooking the sea, with two nearby rivers, the Hypsas and the Akragas, and a ridge to the north offering a degree of natural fortification. Its establishment took place around 582-580 BC from Greek colonists of Gela, who named it Akragas.

Akragas grew rapidly, becoming one of the richest and most famous of the Greek colonies of Magna Graecia. It came to prominence under the 6th-century tyrants Phalaris and Theron, and became a democracy after the overthrow of Theron's son Thrasydaeus. At this point the city could have been as large as 100,000 - 200,000 people.
Although the city remained neutral in the conflict between Athens and Syracuse, its democracy was overthrown when the city was sacked by the Carthaginians in 406 BC.
Akragas never fully recovered its former status, though it revived to some extent under Timoleon in the latter part of the 4th century.
The city was disputed between the Romans and the Carthaginians during the First Punic War. The Romans laid siege to the city in 262 BC and captured it after defeating a Carthaginian relief force in 261 BC and sold the population into slavery. Although the Carthaginians recaptured the city in 255 BC the final peace settlement gave Punic Sicily and with it Akragas to Rome.
It suffered badly during the Second Punic War (218-201 BC) when both Rome and Carthage fought to control it. The Romans eventually captured Akragas in 210 BC and renamed it Agrigentum, although it remained a largely Greek-speaking community for centuries thereafter. It became prosperous again under Roman rule and its inhabitants received full Roman citizenship following the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city successively passed into the hands of the Vandalic Kingdom, the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy and then the Byzantine Empire.



    Taranto, Modern Italy


  Taranto was founded in 706 BC by Dorian immigrants as the only Spartan colony, and its origin is peculiar: the founders were Partheniae, sons of unmarried Spartan women and perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta); these unions were decreed by the Spartans to increase the number of soldiers (only the citizens of Sparta could become soldiers) during the bloody Messenian Wars, but later they were nullified, and the sons were forced to leave.
According to the legend Phalanthus, the Parthenian leader, went to Delphi to consult the oracle and received the puzzling answer that he should found a city where rain fell from a clear sky. After all attempts to capture a suitable place to found a colony failed, he became despondent, convinced that the oracle had told him something that was impossible, and was consoled by his wife. She laid his head in her lap and herself became disconsolate. When Phalanthus felt her tears splash onto his forehead he at last grasped the meaning of the oracle, for his wife's name meant clear sky.

The harbour of Taranto in Apulia was nearby and he decided this must be the new home for the exiles. The Partheniae arrived and founded the city, naming it Taras after the son of the Greek sea god, Poseidon, and the local nymph Satyrion.

A variation says Taras was founded in 707 BC by some Spartans, who, the sons of free women and enslaved fathers, were born during the Messenian War.
According to other sources, Heracles founded the city.

Another tradition indicates Taras (Greek: Τάρας), the son of Poseidon and of the nymph Satyrion, was himself the founder of the city; the symbol of the Greek city (as well as of the modern city) is Taras riding a dolphin. Taras was rescued from a shipwreck by a dolphin sent by his father.

Taranto increased its power, becoming a commercial power and a sovereign city of Magna Graecia, ruling over the Greek colonies in southern Italy.
In its beginning, Taranto was a monarchy, probably modelled on the one ruling over Sparta; according to Herodotus (iii 136), around 492 BC king Aristophilides ruled over the city. The expansion of Taranto was limited to the coast because of the resistance of the populations of inner Apulia. In 472 BC, Taranto signed an alliance with Rhegion, to counter the Messapii, Peuceti, and Lucanians (see Iapygian-Tarentine Wars), but the joint armies of the Tarentines and Rhegines were defeated near Kailìa (modern Ceglie), in what Herodotus claims to be the greatest slaughter of Greeks in his knowledge, with 3,000 Reggians and uncountable Tarentines killed.
In 466 BC, Taranto was again defeated by the Iapyges; according to Aristotle, who praises its government, there were so many aristocrats killed that the democratic party was able to get the power, to remove the monarchy, inaugurate a democracy, and expel the Pythagoreans.
Like Sparta, Tarentum was an aristocratic republic, but became democratic when the ancient nobility dwindled.

However, the rise of the democratic party did not weaken the bonds of Taranto and her mother-city Sparta. In fact, Taranto supported the Peloponnesian side against Athens in the Peloponnesian War, refused anchorage and water to Athens in 415 BC, and even sent ships to help the Peloponnesians, after the Athenian disaster in Sicily. On the other side, Athens supported the Messapians, in order to counter Taranto's power.


    Sybaris, Modern Italy


  Sybaris (Ancient Greek: Σύβαρις; Italian: Sibari) was an important city of Magna Graecia. It was situated on the Gulf of Taranto between two rivers, the Crathis (Crati) and the Sybaris (Coscile). Sybaris became synonymous with luxury and immense wealth. At its peak the population exceeded three hundred thousand. The citizens became known throughout the ancient world for their excessive wealth and luxurious lifestyle, and slaves did all the manual work and labor in the city.


The city was founded in 720 BC by Achaean and Troezenian settlers. Sybaris amassed great wealth thanks to its fertile land and busy port. Its inhabitants became famous among the Greeks for their hedonism, feasts, and excesses, to the extent that "sybarite" and "sybaritic" have become bywords for opulent luxury and outrageous pleasure-seeking.

In 510/09 BC the city was subjugated by its neighbor Kroton and its population driven out. Sybaris became a dependent ally of Kroton, but Kroton again besieged the city in 476/5 BC, probably resulting in another victory for Kroton. Two attempts to reoccupy the city failed around 452/1 BC and 446/5 BC when the remaining Sybarites were again expelled by the Krotoniates.
After a call for help the Sybarites reoccupied their city later in 446/5 BC with the assistance of new settlers from Athens and other cities in the Peloponnese.
This coexistence did not last long: the Sybarites got into a conflict with the new colonists and were ousted for the last time in the summer of 445 BC. In sum, the city saw a total of five periods of occupation separated by expulsion. The new settlers then proceeded to found the city of Thurii in 444/3 BC, a new colony which was built partially on top of the site of Sybaris. The surviving Sybarites founded Sybaris on the Traeis.

The ruins of Sybaris and Thurii became forgotten as they were buried by sediment from the Crati river over time. The ruins were rediscovered and excavated in the 1960s. Today they can be found southeast of Sibari, a frazione in the comune of
Cassano allo Ionio in the Province of Cosenza, Calabria region, Italy.


 Bouthroton, Modern Albania


  Bouthroton was originally a town within the Adriatic Balkan region of Epirus. It was one of the major centres of the Greek tribe of the Chaonians, with close contacts to the Corinthian colony of Corcyra (modern Corfu).
Was in a strategically important position due its access to the Straits of Corfu. By the 4th century BC it had grown in importance and included a theatre, a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius and an agora. Around 380 BC, the settlement was fortified with a new 870m-long wall, with five gates, enclosing an area of 4ha.The Greek calendar of Bouthroton appears in the oldest known computer, the so-called Antikythera Mechanism (c. 150 to 100 BCE).
The earlier archaeological evidence of settled occupation dates to between 10th and 8th centuries BC, although some claim that there is earlier evidence of habitation in the 12th century BC.
Excavation at Bouthroton has yielded Proto-Corinthian pottery of the 7th century and then Corinthian and Attic pottery of the 6th century, however there are no indications of a prehistoric settlement.
The present archaeological site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
_________________________     No 30


 ELEGHOS... at history 

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