Athens in the Hellenistic World
When we think about ancient Athens, it is almost always about the classical city. We think of such things as its numerous monuments (the Parthenon on the Acropolis for example), beautifying everywhere, the Agora swarming with people doing business, discussing current affairs, and chit-chatting, and its flourishing intellectual, artistic, and literary life, including great philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, orators like Pericles and Demosthenes.
Ancient Greek Dance
In ancient Greece, dance had a significant presence in everyday life. The Greeks not only danced on many different occasions, but they also recognized several non-performative activities such as ball-playing or rhythmic physical exercise as dance. In fact, dancing to the ancient Greeks seemed like a natural response of the body, mind, and soul to music. They would dance spontaneously at weddings or drinking parties (symposia), or perform pre-arranged choreographies as exemplified by the…
Heraclitus: Life Is Flux
Heraclitus of Ephesus (l. c. 500 BCE) famously claimed that “life is flux” and, although he seems to have thought this observation would be clear to all, people have continued to resist change from his time to the present day. Heraclitus was one of the early Pre-Socratic philosophers, so named because they pre-date Socrates, considered the Father of Western Philosophy. The early Pre-Socratics focused on identifying the First Cause of creation – that element or energy that set all of creation…
The Pre-Socratic Philosophers are defined as the Greek thinkers who developed independent and original schools of thought from the time of Thales of Miletus (l. c. 546 BCE) to that of Socrates of Athens (470/469-399 BCE). They are known as Pre-Socratics because they pre-date Socrates. Thales of Miletus initiated the intellectual movement that produced the works now known as ancient Greek philosophy by inquiring into the First Cause of existence, the matter from which all else came, which was…
Ancient Greek philosophy is a system of thought, first developed in the 6th century BCE, which was informed by a focus on the First Cause of observable phenomena. Prior to the development of this system by Thales of Miletus (l. c. 585 BCE), the world was understood by the ancient Greeks as having been created by the gods. Without denying the existence of the gods, Thales suggested that the First Cause of existence was water.
Dogs & Their Collars in Ancient Greece
Dogs in ancient Greece are regularly depicted in art, on ceramics, in literature, and other written works as loyal companions, guardians, hunters, and even as great intuitive thinkers, and all of these portrayals express the deep admiration the Greeks had for their dogs. The Greek appreciation for the dog, in fact, fully illustrates the well-known Greek love for life and cultural value of loyalty.
Sarpedon is a figure from ancient Greek mythology, a Lycian prince who was one of the principal heroes during the Trojan War and fought on the side of Troy. According to Homer's Iliad, he was the son of Zeus by Laodameia and the cousin of Glaucus of Lycia, the second-in-command of the Lycian forces, although other versions of the myth provide a different genealogy.
Erechtheion with Original Paintwork Reconstruction
An illustration of how the 5th century BCE Erechtheion on the Athenian acropolis may have looked with its original paintwork. Original photograph by Mark Cartwright Reconstruction artwork by Tabo Ayala / Arqueo Tabo
Suppliants by Euripides
The Suppliants (also given as Suppliant Women) is a Greek tragedy written by Euripides, not to be confused with Aeschylus' tragedy of the same title. Its exact date of production is not known, possibly around 424 to 420 BCE, and may have been written for competition at the Dionysia.
Athens vs Sparta: Deep Thinkers vs Military Might?
Athens vs Sparta! Learn all about the similarities and differences of the Greek City-States, Athens and Sparta! This short comparison with Kelly Macquire discusses the important differences between Athens and Sparta during the height of their power.
Thucydides on the Plague of Athens: Text & Commentary
The Plague of Athens (429-426 BCE) struck the city, most likely, in 430 BCE before it was recognized as an epidemic and, before it was done, had claimed between 75,000-100,000 lives. Modern-day scholars believe it was most likely an outbreak of smallpox or typhus, but bubonic plague is still considered a possibility.
Electra by Euripides
Electra is a Greek tragedy written by the playwright Euripides c. 420 BCE. It retells the classic myth concerning the plotting of Electra and her brother Orestes to kill their mother and her lover. This version of the story should not be confused with the play of the same name by his fellow playwright, Electra by Sophocles.
Bellerophon (aka Bellerophontes) is the Corinthian hero of Greek mythology who famously battled and killed the fantastical Chimera monster, a fearsome fire-breathing mix of lion, goat, and snake. The son of Poseidon, Bellerophon tamed the winged horse Pegasus and famously fought and defeated the warlike Solymoi, the Amazons, and Carian pirates - all tasks set him by Iobates, the king of Lycia.
Orpheus is a figure from ancient Greek mythology, most famous for his virtuoso ability in playing the lyre or kithara. His music could charm the wild animals of the forest, and even streams would pause and trees bend a little closer to hear his sublime singing. He was also a renowned poet, travelled with Jason and the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece, and even descended into the Underworld of Hades to recover his lost wife Eurydice.
Menelaus (also Menelaos) is a figure from ancient Greek mythology and literature who was the king of Sparta and the husband of beautiful Helen, whose abduction by the Trojan prince Paris sparked off the legendary Trojan War. The story is most famously told in Homer’s Iliad where Menelaus persuades his brother Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, to form a great army from all the Greek city-states and sail to Troy to recapture Helen.
Oenone was a nymph in Greek Mythology, the daughter of the river god Cebren and sister of the nymph Asterope/Hesperia. She was given the gift of prophecy by Rhea (mother of the gods) and the gift of healing by Apollo. Her name comes from the Greek word oinos, for 'wine’. She lived on Mount Ida where she met the young prince Paris of the city of Troy when he was a shepherd, unaware of his own noble birth.