Portal:Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greece Portal

The Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, located on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

Ancient Greece (Greek: Ἑλλάς, romanizedHellás) was a northeastern Mediterranean civilization, existing from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of classical antiquity (c. AD 600), that comprised a loose collection of culturally and linguistically related city-states and other territories. Most of these regions were officially unified only once, for 13 years, under Alexander the Great's empire from 336 to 323 BC (though this excludes a number of Greek city-states free from Alexander's jurisdiction in the western Mediterranean, around the Black Sea, Cyprus, and Cyrenaica). In Western history, the era of classical antiquity was immediately followed by the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine period.

Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and the colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the age of Classical Greece, from the Greco-Persian Wars to the 5th to 4th centuries BC, and which included the Golden Age of Athens. The conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon spread Hellenistic civilization from the western Mediterranean to Central Asia. The Hellenistic period ended with the conquest of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, and the annexation of the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

Classical Greek culture, especially philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it throughout the Mediterranean and much of Europe. For this reason, Classical Greece is generally considered the cradle of Western civilization, the seminal culture from which the modern West derives many of its founding archetypes and ideas in politics, philosophy, science, and art. (Full article...)

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The Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens, (174 BC–132 AD), with the Parthenon (447–432 BC) in the background

This list of ancient Greek temples covers temples built by the Hellenic people from the 6th century BC until the 2nd century AD on mainland Greece and in Hellenic towns in the Aegean Islands, Asia Minor, Sicily and Italy ("Magna Graecia"), wherever there were Greek colonies, and the establishment of Greek culture. Ancient Greek architecture was of very regular form, the construction being post and lintel.

There are three clearly defined styles: the Doric order, found throughout Greece, Sicily and Italy; the Ionic order, from Asia Minor, with examples in Greece; and the more ornate Corinthian order, used initially only for interiors, becoming more widely used during the Hellenistic period from the 1st century BC onwards and used extensively by Roman architects. (Full article...)
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Ruins of the sanctuary of Artemis, including the altar on the left of the picture. The massive altar is precisely rectangular and stood in front of the temple. The temple was to the west (right) of the altar. The altar was 2.7 m. wide and 25 m. long. Only 8 m. of its northern section survive. The rest of the altar was built over, to create the foundations of the Saint Theodore monastery.

The Temple of Artemis is an Archaic Greek temple in Corfu, Greece, built in around 580 BC in the ancient city of Korkyra (or Corcyra), now called Corfu. It is found on the property of the Saint Theodore monastery, which is located in the suburb of Garitsa. The temple was dedicated to Artemis. It is known as the first Doric temple exclusively built with stone. It is also considered the first building to have incorporated all of the elements of the Doric architectural style. Very few Greek temple reliefs from the Archaic period have survived, and the large fragments of the group from the pediment are the earliest significant survivals. It was excavated from 1911 onwards.

The temple was a peripteral–styled building with a pseudodipteral configuration. Its perimeter was rectangular, with width of 23.46 m (77.0 ft) and length 49 m (161 ft) with an eastward orientation so that light could enter the interior of the temple at sunrise. It was one of the largest temples of its time. The Temple of Artemis is approximately 700 m. to the northwest of the Temple of Hera in the Palaiopolis of Corfu. (Full article...)

Did you know...

  • ...that the historical origins of the Ancient Olympic Games are unknown, but several legends and myths survive?
  • NAMA Loutrophoros Polystratos.jpg
    ...that the Ancient Greeks had many words to describe slaves ?
  • Colossus of Rhodes.jpg
    ...that the Colossus of Rhodes was a huge statue of the Greek god Helios, erected on the Greek island of Rhodes?

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Homer British Museum.jpg
Marble terminal bust of Homer. Roman copy of a lost Hellenistic original of the 2nd c. BC.

Homer (/ˈhmər/; Ancient Greek: Ὅμηρος [hómɛːros], Hómēros) (born c. 8th century BC) was a Greek poet who was the legendary author to whom the authorship of the Iliad and the Odyssey (the two epic poems that are the foundational works of ancient Greek literature) is attributed. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential authors of all time. In Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, Virgil refers to him as "Poet sovereign", king of all poets; in the preface to his translation of the Iliad, Alexander Pope acknowledges that Homer has always been considered the "greatest of poets".

The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Mycenaean Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. (Full article...)

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Cavalcade west frieze Parthenon BM.jpg

Photo credit: Jastrow

The Parthenon Frieze is the low relief, pentelic marble sculpture created to adorn the upper part of the Parthenon’s naos. It was sculpted between ca. 443 and 438 BC most likely under the direction of Phidias. 420 ft of the original frieze survives, some 80%, the rest is known only from the drawings made by flemish artist Jacques Carrey in 1674 if at all.

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Places: Aegean Sea · Hellespont · Macedonia · Sparta · Athens · Corinth · Thebes · Thermopylae · Antioch · Alexandria · Pergamon · Miletus · Delphi · Olympia · Troy · Rhodes

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