The Sciritae or Skiritai (Greek: Σκιρῖται Skiritai) were a people subject to Sparta, whose status is comparable to that of the Perioeci. They lived in Skiritis, a mountainous region located in northern Laconia on the border with Arcadia, between the Oenus and the Eurotas rivers.
According to Stephanus of Byzantium and Hesychius of Alexandria, the Sciritae were of Arcadian origin. Their way of life was essentially rural: they mostly lived in villages, of which the biggest were Oion and Caryai. Their territory was inhospitable, but was of strategic importance for Sparta since it controlled the road to Tegea, which explains why it rapidly fell in Spartan hands. Their status was similar to that of the Perioeci, but Xenophon distinguished between them, writing, 'To meet the case of a hostile approach at night, he assigned the duty of acting as sentries outside the lines to the Sciritae. In these days the duty is shared by foreigners, if any happen to be present in the camp.'
In war the Sciritae formed an elite corps of light infantry, a lochos (battalion) of about 600 men, which were used as a complement to the civic army. According to Thucydides (v. 67), they fought on the extreme-left wing in the battle-line, the most threatening position for the hoplite phalanx: "In this battle the left wing was composed of the Sciritae, who in a Lacedaemonian army have always that post to themselves alone". At night, they were placed as sentinels ahead of the army (Xenophon, Constitution of the Spartans, xii. 3) and acted as scouts to open the way for the king, whom they only could precede.
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.Ancient Greek sculpture
Ancient Greek sculpture is the sculpture of ancient Greece. Modern scholarship identifies three major stages in monumental sculpture. At all periods there were great numbers of Greek terracotta figurines and small sculptures in metal and other materials.
The Greeks decided very early on that the human form was the most important subject for artistic endeavour. Seeing their gods as having human form, there was little distinction between the sacred and the secular in art—the human body was both secular and sacred. A male nude of Apollo or Heracles had only slight differences in treatment to one of that year's Olympic boxing champion. The statue, originally single but by the Hellenistic period often in groups was the dominant form, though reliefs, often so "high" that they were almost free-standing, were also important.Battle of Mantinea (418 BC)
The First Battle of Mantinea of 418 BC was a significant engagement in the Peloponnesian War. Sparta and its allies defeated an army led by Argos and Athens.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
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.Ekdromoi
The Ekdromos (plural Ekdromoi) was an ancient Greek light hoplite. The name means 'out-runners', and denotes their ability to exit the phalanx and fight in an irregular order, as the situation might demand. The Ekdromoi were mostly lightly armoured (with aspis and bronze helmet) fast infantry and were armed with spear and short sword. The term would actually describe any hoplite who practiced the tactic of Ekdrome, that is the irregular exit from the battleline.
Within the phalanx, they functioned as ordinary hoplites; but when ordered, they would leave the ranks and attack the enemy in loose order. Tactical necessities that would ordain such a use would include the constant harassment from enemy skirmishers, clearing a path from enemy presence (so that the army could pass in safety), the fast capture of key points within or around the battlefield, the pursuit of a broken enemy, etc. Their lightness did not guarantee contact with a skirmishing enemy, but they would effectively push the enemy and clear the way. Psiloi and peltasts would never allow themselves to fight in melee with the Ekdromoi, since the latter were, even without armor, much better equipped for close combat than poorly armed skirmishers.
Xenophon made use of Ekdromoi during the march of the Ten Thousand against the numerous enemies disrupting the Greek columns, as is multiple times attested in his work, The Anabasis.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.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).Hellenistic Greece
In the context of ancient Greek art, architecture, and culture, Hellenistic Greece corresponds to the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the classical Greek Achaean League heartlands by the Roman Republic. This culminated at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC, a crushing Roman victory in the Peloponnese that led to the destruction of Corinth and ushered in the period of Roman Greece. Hellenistic Greece's definitive end was with the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, when the future emperor Augustus defeated Greek Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony, the next year taking over Alexandria, the last great center of Hellenistic Greece.The Hellenistic period began with the wars of the Diadochi, armed contests among the former generals of Alexander the Great to carve up his empire in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The wars lasted until 275 BC, witnessing the fall of both the Argead and Antipatrid dynasties of Macedonia in favor of the Antigonid dynasty. The era was also marked by successive wars between the Kingdom of Macedonia and its allies against the Aetolian League, Achaean League, and the city-state of Sparta.
During the reign of Philip V of Macedon (r. 221-179 BC), the Macedonians not only lost the Cretan War (205-200 BC) to an alliance led by Rhodes, but their erstwhile alliance with Hannibal of Carthage also entangled them in the First and Second Macedonian War with ancient Rome. The perceived weakness of Macedonia in the aftermath of these conflicts encouraged Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid Empire to invade mainland Greece, yet his defeat by the Romans at Thermopylae in 191 BC and Magnesia in 190 BC secured Rome's position as the leading military power in the region. Within roughly two decades after conquering Macedonia in 168 BC and Epirus in 167 BC, the Romans would eventually control the whole of Greece.
During the Hellenistic period the importance of Greece proper within the Greek-speaking world declined sharply. The great centers of Hellenistic culture were Alexandria and Antioch, capitals of Ptolemaic Egypt and Seleucid Syria respectively. Cities such as Pergamon, Ephesus, Rhodes and Seleucia were also important, and increasing urbanization of the Eastern Mediterranean was characteristic of the time.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.Neodamodes
The Neodamodes (Greek: νεοδαμώδεις, neodamōdeis) were Helots freed after passing a time of service as hoplites in the Spartan Army.
The date of their first apparition is uncertain. Thucydides does not explain the origin of this special category. Jean Ducat, in his book Les Hoplites (1990), concludes that their statute "was largely inspired by the measures dictated concerning the Brasidians", i.e. the Helots freed after taking part to the expedition of Brasidas in 424 BC.
Their existence is attested from 420 to 369 BC. They were part of Sparta's army and 2,000 of them are recorded taking part, for example, to Agesilaus II's campaign in Ionia between 396 and 394 BC.
The name comes from the words νέος neos, meaning "new", and δῆμος dêmos, meaning "deme or territory". Differently from what is written by Hesychius of Alexandria, who brings together the neodamodes and the Athenian demotes (citizens of a deme), they never acquired full citizenship. The suffix -ωδης -ôdês signals only a resemblance. In truth, the only deme they joined was that of the Perioeci.Paideia
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.Perioeci
The Perioeci or Períoikoi (Ancient Greek: Περίοικος, /peˈri.oj.koj/) were the members of an autonomous group of free non-citizen inhabitants of Sparta. Concentrated in the coastal and highland areas of Laconia and Messenia, the name Περίοικοι derives from περί, peri, "around", and οἶκος, oîkos, "dwelling, house". They were the only people allowed to travel to other cities, which the Spartans were not, unless given permission.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).Sciritis
Sciritis or Skiritis (Ancient Greek: ἡ Σκιρῖτις) was a rugged and barren mountainous district, in the north of ancient Laconia, between the upper Eurotas on the west and the Oenus on the east, and extending north of the highest ridge of the mountains, which were the natural boundary between Laconia and Arcadia. The name probably expressed the wild and rugged nature of the country, for the word signified hard and rugged (σκίρον, σκεῖρον, σκληρόν, Hesych.). It was bounded by Maenalia on the north, and by Parrhasia on the west, and was originally part of Arcadia, but was conquered at an early period, and its inhabitants reduced to the condition of Lacedaemonian Perioeci. According to Xenophon they were subjected to Sparta even before the time of Lycurgus. They were distinguished above all the other Perioeci for their bravery; and their contingent, called the Σκιρίτης λόχος, 600 in number, usually occupied the extreme left of the Lacedaemonian wing. They were frequently placed in the post of danger, and sometimes remained with the king as a body of reserve. On the first invasion of Laconia by the Thebans the Sciritae, together with the Perioeci of Caryae and Sellasia, revolted from Sparta, in consequence of which their country was subsequently ravaged by the Lacedaemonians. The only towns in the Sciritis appear to have been Scirus and Oeum called Ium by Xenophon. The latter is the only place in the district mentioned in historical times. Scirus may perhaps have been the same as Scirtonium (Σκιρτώνιον), in the district of Aegytis. The road from Sparta to Tegea led through the Sciritis.Syrictæ
The Sciritae (Syrictæ, Syrictae, Sciritai or Skiritai) in Medieval bestiaries were an Indian tribe with snake-like nostrils in place of a nose and bandy serpentine legs.