Kimmerikón (Greek Κιμμερικόν, Latin: Cimmericum) was an ancient Greek city in Crimea, on the southern shore of the Kerch Peninsula, at the western slope of Mount Opuk, roughly 40 kilometres southwest of modern Kerch (45°02′32″N 36°13′29″E / 45.042315°N 36.22459°E)[1]. It was situated with its acropolis on the hills on the west side of the mountain.[2] The town was founded by the Milesian colonists in the 5th century BC and flourished at the beginning of the Christian era. Its name may refer to an earlier Cimmerian settlement on the site.

Kimmerikon was an important stronghold defending the most important and highly populated part of the Bosporan Kingdom, its center and capital, from the Scythians. The city walls were 2.5 metres thick and those of the acropolis 3.5 metres thick.[3] In the mid-3rd century AD Kimmerikon was sacked by the Goths, but some measure of urban settlement persisted until the end of the 3rd century AD, when the city perished abruptly as a result of being laid waste and burnt by pirate raiders. The fortress was completely destroyed in the 1st third of the 6th century AD.[4] The Emperor Justinian I, after re-establishing Byzantine sovereignty in the Cimmerian Bosporus in the mid-6th century, did not restore the fortress, which seems to have lost its role as a guardian of the borders.[5]

The site was excavated by Soviet archaeologists in 1927, 1947–49, and 1950-51; the Kerch Museum contains material from the site.

Greek colonies of the Northern Euxine Sea (Black Sea)
Kimmerikon (Psoa) and other Ancient Greek colonies along the north coast of the Black Sea.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Mongait, A. L. Archaeology in the USSR. Tr. M. W. Thompson. London, 1961, p. 208
  3. ^ For a diagram of a building remains of the city, see "Problemi Della Chora Coloniale Dall'Occidente Al Mar Nero", Istituto per la Storia E L'Archeologia, Della Magna Grecia, Taranto, 2001, September 29 - October 3, 2000, p. 642, fig. 2
  4. ^ Golenko, Vl.K., “Kimmerikon”, in Grammenos, D.V. – Petropoulos, E.K. (eds.), Ancient Greek Colonies in the Black Sea 2 (British Archaeological Reports International Series 1675.2, Oxford 2007), pp. 1066-1067
  5. ^ "Cimmericon". Εγκυκλοπαίδεια Μείζονος Ελληνισμού, Εύξεινος Πόντος. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  • The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (eds. Richard Stillwell, William L. MacDonald, Marian Holland McAllister).

Coordinates: 45°02′36″N 36°13′53″E / 45.043418°N 36.231299°E

Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis is from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, "highest point, extremity") and πόλις (polis, "city"). Although the term acropolis is generic and there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as "The Acropolis" without qualification. During ancient times it was known also more properly as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Cecrops, the supposed first Athenian king.

While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495–429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site's most important present remains including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon and the other buildings were damaged seriously during the 1687 siege by the Venetians during the Morean War when gunpowder being stored in the Parthenon was hit by a cannonball and exploded.

Ancient Greek dialects

Ancient Greek in classical antiquity, before the development of the common Koine Greek of the Hellenistic period, was divided into several varieties.

Most of these varieties are known only from inscriptions, but a few of them, principally Aeolic, Doric, and Ionic, are also represented in the literary canon alongside the dominant Attic form of literary Greek.

Likewise, Modern Greek is divided into several dialects, most derived from Koine Greek.

Bosporan wars of expansion

The Bosporan Kingdom waged a series of wars of expansion in the Cimmerian Bosporus and the surrounding territories from around 438 BC until about 355 BC. Bosporan expansion began after Spartokos I, the first Spartocid (and after whom the dynasty is named) took power and during his seven-year reign, established an aggressive expansionist foreign policy that was followed by his successors.

Bosporan–Heracleote War

The Bosporan–Heracleote War was a long and enduring conflict between the Hellenistic states of Heraclea Pontica and the Bosporan Kingdom. It lasted decades, but ended after the Bosporans finally conquered the city-state of Theodosia in around 360 BCE.

Bosporan–Sindian War

The Bosporan–Sindian War was a war between the Sindike Kingdom and its allied tribes against the Bosporan Kingdom in the 4th century BC. The war took place amidst the wars of expansion and took the life of the brother of Leukon and Gorgippos, Metrodoros.

Cycladic culture

Cycladic culture (also known as Cycladic civilisation or, chronologically, as Cycladic chronology) was a Bronze Age culture (c. 3200–c. 1050 BC) found throughout the islands of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. In chronological terms, it is a relative dating system for artefacts which broadly complements Helladic chronology (mainland Greece) and Minoan chronology (Crete) during the same period of time.


Demonax (Greek: Δημώναξ, Dēmōnax, gen.: Δημώνακτος; c. AD 70 – c. 170) was a Greek Cynic philosopher. Born in Cyprus, he moved to Athens, where his wisdom, and his skill in solving disputes, earned him the admiration of the citizens. He taught Lucian, who wrote a Life of Demonax in praise of his teacher. When he died he received a magnificent public funeral.

Greece in the Roman era

Greece in the Roman era describes the period of Greek history when Ancient Greece was dominated by the Roman Republic (509 – 27 BC), the Roman Empire (27 BC – AD 395), and the Byzantine Empire (AD 395 – 1453). The Roman era of Greek history began with the Corinthian defeat in the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC. However, before the Achaean War, the Roman Republic had been steadily gaining control of mainland Greece by defeating the Kingdom of Macedon in a series of conflicts known as the Macedonian Wars. The Fourth Macedonian War ended at the Battle of Pydna in 148 BC and defeat of the Macedonian royal pretender Andriscus.

The definitive Roman occupation of the Greek world was established after the Battle of Actium (31 BC), in which Augustus defeated Cleopatra VII, the Greek Ptolemaic queen of Egypt, and the Roman general Mark Antony, and afterwards conquered Alexandria (32 BC), the last great city of Hellenistic Greece. The Roman era of Greek history continued with Emperor Constantine the Great's adoption of Byzantium as Nova Roma, the capital city of the Roman Empire; in AD 330, the city was renamed Constantinople; afterwards, the Byzantine Empire was a generally Greek-speaking polity.

Greek Dark Ages

The Greek Dark Ages, Homeric Age (named for the fabled poet, Homer) or Geometric period (so called after the characteristic Geometric art of the time),

is the period of Greek history from the end of the Mycenaean palatial civilization around 1100 BC to the first signs of the Greek poleis (city states) in the 9th century BC.

The archaeological evidence shows a widespread collapse of Bronze Age civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean world at the outset of the period, as the great palaces and cities of the Mycenaeans were destroyed or abandoned. At about the same time, the Hittite civilization suffered serious disruption and cities from Troy to Gaza were destroyed and in Egypt the New Kingdom fell into disarray that led to the Third Intermediate Period.

Following the collapse, fewer and smaller settlements suggest famine and depopulation. In Greece, the Linear B writing of the Greek language used by Mycenaean bureaucrats ceased. The decoration on Greek pottery after about 1100 BC lacks the figurative decoration of Mycenaean ware and is restricted to simpler, generally geometric styles (1000–700 BC).

It was previously thought that all contact was lost between mainland Hellenes and foreign powers during this period, yielding little cultural progress or growth, but artifacts from excavations at Lefkandi on the Lelantine Plain in Euboea show that significant cultural and trade links with the east, particularly the Levant coast, developed from c. 900 BC onwards. Additionally, evidence has emerged of the new presence of Hellenes in sub-Mycenaean Cyprus and on the Syrian coast at Al-Mina.

Greek colonisation

The Greek colonisation was an organised colonial expansion by the Archaic Greeks into the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea in the period of the 8th–6th centuries B.C (750 and 550 B.C)

This colonisation differed from the migrations of the Greek Dark Ages in that it consisted of organised direction by the originating metropolis instead of the simple movement of tribes which characterized the earlier migrations. Many colonies (Ancient Greek: ἀποικία, romanized: apoikia, lit. 'home away from home') that were founded in this period evolved into strong city-states and became independent of their metropoleis.

Greeks in pre-Roman Crimea

Greek city-states began establishing colonies along the Black Sea coast of Crimea in the 7th or 6th century BC. Several colonies were established in the vicinity of the Kerch Strait, then known as the Cimmerian Bosporus. The density of colonies around the Cimmerian Bosporus was unusual for Greek colonization and reflected the importance of the area. The majority of these colonies were established by Ionians from the city of Miletus in Asia Minor. By the mid-1st century BC the Bosporan Kingdom became a client state of the late Roman Republic, ushering in the era of Roman Crimea during the Roman Empire.

Grotta-Pelos culture

The Grotta-Pelos culture (Greek: Γρόττα-Πηλός) refers to a "cultural" dating system used for part of the early Bronze Age in Greece. Specifically, it is the period that marks the beginning of the so-called Cycladic culture and spans the Neolithic period in the late 4th millennium BC (ca. 3300 BC), continuing in the Bronze Age to about 2700 BC.

The term was coined by Colin Renfrew, who named it after the sites of Grotta and Pelos on the Cycladic islands of Naxos and Milos, respectively. Other archaeologists prefer a "chronological" dating system and refer to this period as the Early Cycladic I (ECI).

Kastelli Hill

Kastelli Hill (also Kasteli; Greek: Λόφος Καστέλλι or Καστέλι) is a landform at the city of Chania on the island of Crete in the present day country of Greece. The Minoan city of ancient Cydonia was centered on Kastelli Hill, which later was selected by the Romans as the site of an acropolis.

List of ancient Greek cities

This is a small list of ancient Greek cities, including colonies outside Greece proper. Note that there were a great many Greek cities in the ancient world. In this list, a city is defined as a single population center. These were often referred to as poleis in the ancient world, although the list is not limited to "proper" poleis. Also excluded from the list are larger units, such as kingdoms or empires.

A city is defined as ancient Greek if at any time its population or the dominant stratum within it spoke Greek. Many were soon assimilated to some other language. By analogy some cities are included that never spoke Greek and were not Hellenic per se but contributed to Hellenic culture later found in the region.


In the culture of ancient Greece, the term paideia (also spelled paedeia) (; Greek: παιδεία, paideía) referred to the rearing and education of the ideal member of the polis. It incorporated both practical, subject-based schooling and a focus upon the socialization of individuals within the aristocratic order of the polis. The practical aspects of this education included subjects subsumed under the modern designation of the liberal arts (rhetoric, grammar, and philosophy are examples), as well as scientific disciplines like arithmetic and medicine. An ideal and successful member of the polis would possess intellectual, moral and physical refinement, so training in gymnastics and wrestling was valued for its effect on the body alongside the moral education which the Greeks believed was imparted by the study of music, poetry, and philosophy. This approach to the rearing of a well-rounded Greek male was common to the Greek-speaking world, with the exception of Sparta where a rigid and militaristic form of education known as the agoge was practiced.

Phylakopi I culture

The Phylakopi I culture (Greek: Φυλακωπή) refers to a "cultural" dating system used for the Cycladic culture that flourished during the early Bronze Age in Greece. It spans the period ca. 2300-2000 BC and was named by Colin Renfrew, after the settlement of Phylakopi on the Cycladic island of Milos. Other archaeologists describe this period as the Early Cycladic III (ECIII).

Satyros I

Satyros I (died 389 BC) also known as Satyrus (Greek:Σάτυρος A') was the Spartocid ruler of the Bosporan Kingdom from 432 BC to 389 BC. During his rule he built upon the expansive foreign policy of his father, Spartokos I. He conquered Nymphaion, became involved in the political developments of the neighbouring Sindike kingdom and laid siege to the city of Theodosia, which was a serious commercial rival because of its ice-free port and proximity to the grain fields of eastern Crimea.

He presided over a strengthening of ties with Athens, and at one point possibly had a statue raised in his honour in the city. He was also the father of Leukon and Gorgippos who would expand their realm into a powerful kingdom.

Spartocid dynasty

The Spartocids (Greek: Σπαρτοκίδαι) or Spartocidae was the name of a Hellenized Thracian dynasty that ruled the Hellenistic Kingdom of Bosporus between the years 438–108 BC. They had usurped the former dynasty, the Archaeanactids, a Greek dynasty of the Bosporan Kingdom who were tyrants of Panticapaeum from 480 - 438 BC that were usurped from the Bosporan throne by Spartokos I in 438 BC, whom the dynasty is named after.

Spartokos's descendants would continue to rule the Bosporus until 108 BC, in which it was briefly conquered by the invading Scythians led by Saumacus. The dynasty continued to repeat the names of succeeding princes, with the final Spartokos being named Spartokos V. The dynasty also had inter-marriages, notably the marriage of Komosarye and Paerisades I. The most famous known ruler is Leukon I, who expanded the kingdom beyond its boundaries, resisted the Scythians, and ruled for 40 years.

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