Proxeny or proxenia (Greek: προξενία) in ancient Greece was an arrangement whereby a citizen (chosen by the city) hosted foreign ambassadors at his own expense, in return for honorary titles from the state. The citizen was called proxenos (πρόξενος; plural: proxenoi or proxeni, "instead of a foreigner") or proxeinos (πρόξεινος). The proxeny decrees, which amount to letters of patent and resolutions of appreciation were issued by one state to a citizen of another for service as proxenos, a kind of honorary consul looking after the interests of the other state's citizens. A cliché phrase is euergetes (benefactor) and proxenos (πρόξεινος τε ειη και ευεργέτης).

A proxenos would use whatever influence he had in his own city to promote policies of friendship or alliance with the city he voluntarily represented. For example, Cimon was Sparta's proxenos at Athens and during his period of prominence in Athenian politics, previous to the outbreak of the First Peloponnesian War, he strongly advocated a policy of cooperation between the two states. Cimon was known to be so fond of Sparta that he named one of his sons Lacedaemonius.[2][3]

Being another city's proxenos did not preclude taking part in war against that city, should it break out – since the proxenos' ultimate loyalty was to his own city. However, a proxenos would naturally try his best to prevent such a war from breaking out and to compose whatever differences were threatening to cause it. And once peace negotiations were on the way, a proxenos' contacts and goodwill in the enemy city could be profitably used by his city.

The position of proxenos for a particular city was often hereditary in a particular family.

Straton King of Sidon inscription Acropolis of Athens
Inscription in honor of Straton, King of Sidon, giving him the title of Proxenos: "Also Straton the king of Sidon shall be proxenos of the People of Athens, both himself and his descendants".[1] Acropolis of Athens.

See also


  1. ^ IGII2 141 Honours for Straton king of Sidon.
  2. ^ The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, Donald Lateiner, Richard Crawley, page 33. ISBN 0-486-43762-0
  3. ^ Who's who in the Greek world by John Hazel, page 56. ISBN 0-415-12497-2


  • Monceaux, P., Les Proxénies Grecques (Paris, 1885).
  • Walbank, M., Athenian Proxenies of the Fifth Century B.C. (Toronto, 1978).
  • Marek, C., Die Proxenie (Frankfurt am Main, 1984) (Europäische Hochschulschriften: Reihe 3, Geschichte und ihre Hilfswissenschaften, 213).
  • Gerolymatos, A., Espionage and Treason: A Study of the Proxeny in Political and Military Intelligence Gathering in Classical Greece (Amsterdam, 1986).
  • Knoepfler, D., Décrets Érétrians de Proxénie et de Citoyenneté (Lausanne, 2001) (Eretria Fouilles et Researches, 11).
  • Gastaldi, Enrica Culasso, Le prossenie ateniesi del IV secolo a.C.: gli onorati asiatici (Alessandria: Edizioni dell'Orso, 2004) (Fonti e studi di storia antica, 10).
  • Encyclopædia Britannica
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.

Archaeological Museum of Corfu

The Archaeological Museum of Corfu (Greek: Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Κέρκυρας) in Corfu, Greece was built between 1962 and 1965. The museum land was donated by the city of Corfu. Its initial purpose was to house the archaeological finds from the Temple of Artemis in Corfu. In 1994 it was expanded with the addition of two more exhibit halls that display the more recent finds at the ancient citadel of Corfu. It is located on 1 Vraila Armeni St.


Ascheion (Ancient Greek: Ἄσχειον) was a city and polis (city-state) of ancient Achaea.It is mentioned in a decree from Delphi of the 4th century BCE awarding proxeny. A document is also preserved that two theorodokoi of Ascheion were named around 230-220 BCE to host the theoroi of Delphi.


The Chaonians (Greek: Χάονες, Cháones) were an ancient Greek tribe that inhabited the region of Epirus located in the north-west of modern Greece and southern Albania. On their southern frontier lay another Epirote kingdom, that of the Molossians, to their southwest stood the kingdom of the Thesprotians, and to their north lived the Illyrian tribes. According to Virgil, Chaon was the eponymous ancestor of the Chaonians. By the 5th century BC, they had conquered and combined to a large degree with the neighboring Thesprotians and Molossians. The Chaonians were part of the Epirote League until 170 BC when their territory was annexed by the Roman Republic.

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.


Cyretiae or Chyretiai or Kyretiai (Greek: Χυρετίαι) was a town and polis (city-state) of Perrhaebia in ancient Thessaly, frequently mentioned in the Roman wars in Greece. It was plundered by the Aetolians in 200 BCE, was taken by Antiochus III, 191 BCE, but recovered by Marcus Baebius Tamphilus and Philip V of Macedon in the same year, and was attacked by Perseus of Macedon, following the surrender of nearby Doliche, Pythium, and Azorus in 171 BCE. In the last event, after a first assault attempt was repulsed, the attackers on the second day of the siege obtained the surrender of the defenders.Cyretiae appears in several inscriptions that have come down to us, among which stand out: one dated between 375-350 BCE, containing a joint dedication to Apollo of the cities of Perrhaebia, a letter from Titus Quinctius Flamininus to the Cyretiaeans that can be dated to 195 BCE, and a decree of proxeny dated to 191 BCE that contains the names of several tagoi.Cyretiae is located at a site in the modern village of Domeniko. Its acropolis occupied the hill, on which now stands the church of St. George, and excavations have been undertaken.


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.


Epigraphy (Ancient Greek: ἐπιγραφή, "inscription") is the study of inscriptions, or epigraphs, as writing; it is the science of identifying graphemes, clarifying their meanings, classifying their uses according to dates and cultural contexts, and drawing conclusions about the writing and the writers. Specifically excluded from epigraphy are the historical significance of an epigraph as a document and the artistic value of a literary composition.

A person using the methods of epigraphy is called an epigrapher or epigraphist. For example, the Behistun inscription is an official document of the Achaemenid Empire engraved on native rock at a location in Iran. Epigraphists are responsible for reconstructing, translating, and dating the trilingual inscription and finding any relevant circumstances. It is the work of historians, however, to determine and interpret the events recorded by the inscription as document. Often, epigraphy and history are competences practised by the same person.

An epigraph is any sort of text, from a single grapheme (such as marks on a pot that abbreviate the name of the merchant who shipped commodities in the pot) to a lengthy document (such as a treatise, a work of literature, or a hagiographic inscription). Epigraphy overlaps other competences such as numismatics or palaeography. When compared to books, most inscriptions are short. The media and the forms of the graphemes are diverse: engravings in stone or metal, scratches on rock, impressions in wax, embossing on cast metal, cameo or intaglio on precious stones, painting on ceramic or in fresco. Typically the material is durable, but the durability might be an accident of circumstance, such as the baking of a clay tablet in a conflagration.

Epirote League

The Epirote League (Northwest Greek: Κοινὸν Ἀπειρωτᾶν, Koinòn Āpeirōtân; Attic: Κοινὸν Ἠπειρωτῶν, Koinòn Ēpeirōtôn) was an ancient Greek coalition, or koinon, of Epirote tribes.

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. 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.


Hospitium (Greek: ξενία, xenia, προξενία) is the ancient Greco-Roman concept of hospitality as a divine right of the guest and a divine duty of the host. Similar or broadly equivalent customs were and are also known in other cultures, though not always by that name. Among the Greeks and Romans, hospitium was of a twofold character: private and public.

Neanthes of Cyzicus

Neanthes of Cyzicus (; Greek: Νεάνθης ὁ Κυζικηνός) is apparently the name of two writers whose works have largely been lost. The elder Neanthes of Cyzicus was a disciple of Philiscus of Miletus ("who is reasonably certain to have died before 300 BC"), who himself had been a pupil of Isocrates. An honorary decree of 287 BC in which the people Delphi award him the proxeny (Fouilles de Delphes 1.429 = FGrHist 84 T 2) is the earliest of "only five decrees from the third century honoring historians, teachers of grammar or literature, or philosophers for their educational activities in the cities' gymnasia."He was a voluminous writer, principally of history, but very little has reached us to form any judgement of his merits. The various authors that quote him seem, with rare exceptions, to place great reliance on his accuracy and judgement. He is frequently referred to by Diogenes Laërtius, Athenaeus, and by several of the early Christian writers, as well as by others. Among the writings of Neanthes there were:

Memoirs of king Attalus


Lives of illustrious men


Τὰ κατὰ πόλιν μυθικά

On Purification

AnnalsHe probably wrote an account of Cyzicus, as we can infer from a passage in Strabo. He may also have written many panegyrical orations and a work Περὶ κακοζηλίας ῥητορικῆς or Περὶ ζηλοτυπίας against the Asiatic style of rhetoric. This latter work, as well as the history of Attalus I (who ruled 241-197), are irreconcilable with the dates of the Delphian decree and of Philiscus of Miletus; therefore, it is supposed that they are the work of a later Neanthes of the second century BC.

Nicomedes III of Bithynia

Nicomedes III Euergetes (the Benefactor, Greek: Νικομήδης Εὐεργέτης, translit. Nikomḗdēs Euergétēs) was the king of Bithynia, from c. 127 BC to c. 94 BC. He was the son and successor of Nicomedes II of Bithynia by an unnamed woman.


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).

Polydamas of Pharsalus

Polydamas of Pharsalus was a Thessalian statesman. He was entrusted by his fellow-citizens about 375 BC, with the supreme government of their native town. Polydamas formed an alliance with Sparta, with which state his family had long been connected by the bonds of public hospitality (Proxeny) ; but he soon after entered into a treaty with Jason of Pherae. On the murder of Jason in 370 BC, his brother Polyphron, who succeeded to his power, put to death Polydamas and eight other most distinguished citizens of Pharsalus.

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