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Who were the Lydians? West Asian history

By |2018-04-23T08:06:26+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

A Lydian gold coin King Gyges About 687 BC, according to the Greek historian Herodotus, King Gyges started the new country of Lydia (LID-ee-ah), in modern Turkey where the Hittites had ruled before the Dark Age. Now that the Assyrian Empire had collapsed, and the Neo-Babylonians were not very strong, it was pretty easy for new countries to get started along [...]

Battle of Salamis – Second Persian War

By |2018-04-23T08:06:26+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, War|

Phoenician ship In 480 BC, the Persian king Xerxes was attacking Greece. Things looked very bad for the Greeks, when the Greek navy, under the command of the Athenian general Themistocles, wrecked the Persian fleet at Salamis and kept the Persians from taking over Greece. Both the Persians and the Greeks used triremes to fight this naval battle. The Persians had a [...]

Oracles in ancient Greece – definition of a Greek oracle

By |2018-05-31T23:37:52+00:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

What is an oracle? The Greek oracle at Dodona in northern Greece Greek oracle definition: What is an oracle? The definition of the word oracle is actually pretty tricky. The word oracle in Greek can mean several related things, because Greek had fewer words than English does. An oracle means a god who predicts the [...]

Kleobis and Biton – Greek mythology

By |2017-07-15T04:38:45+00:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Stone statues of Kleobis and Biton The Greek historian Herodotus tells a story about two boys named Kleobis and Biton (KLEE-oh-biss and BYE-ton) who lived near Delphi about 600 BC. In Herodotus, the Greek wise man Solon tells their story as an example of people who lived the happiest possible lives. Read their story and see whether this would be [...]

Herakles – Greek mythology

By |2018-04-23T11:38:41+00:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Herakles as a baby, on a red-figure vase from Athens (400s BC) You might think you already know all about Hercules (the Greeks called him Herakles) from watching the Disney movie, but if you read this you'll see that the Greeks told this story very differently! According to the Greeks, Herakles was the son [...]

Delphi oracle – Predicting the future

By |2018-04-23T09:48:52+00:00July 12th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

Temple of Apollo at Delphi Delphi (DELL-fee), in central Greece, seems to have been a sacred shrine even before the Greeks arrived in Greece around 2100 BC. Later Greek myth said that Delphi was originally sacred to a giant snake, but when Apollo came he killed the snake and took over its shrine. [...]

Apollo – Greek mythology and the sky god Apollo – Ancient Greece

By |2018-05-31T16:05:48+00:00July 12th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

The god Apollo was a sun god Apollo's family ties Apollo is a younger god, the son of Zeus and the nymph Leto, and the twin brother of Artemis. (More about Apollo's sister Artemis) The Greeks often thought of Apollo as being the same as Helios, the Sun god, or the same as [...]

Oedipus Rex – Sophocles – Summary and Themes

By |2018-04-23T09:06:11+00:00July 10th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Oedipus Rex: The shepherd tells his story to Oedipus, while Jocasta listens in horror (now in the Getty Museum) Sophocles wrote this very famous play in the 400s BC. It is mainly about fate, and how men do not control their own fate, no matter how much they try. It's about accepting that [...]

The Curse of the Alcmaeonids

By |2018-04-22T23:02:15+00:00July 7th, 2017|Greeks, History|

Alcmaeonid curse: These skeletons of men who were killed with their hands tied may be some of Cylon's supporters. The Alcmaeonids (alk-MEE-oh-nids) were a very rich family who lived in Athens in the Archaic and Classical periods. "Alcmaeonids" means the descendants of Alcmaeon. The Athenians thought that all the Alcmaeonids were under a [...]

Athens under the Tyrants – Ancient Greece

By |2017-07-06T22:14:18+00:00July 6th, 2017|Government, Greeks, History|

Obol minted under Pisistratus with the head of Medusa At first people were happy with Solon's changes. They had their farms back, and they didn't owe any money, and they weren't being killed for little things. They could (if they were free men) be judges and vote in the Assembly. But the people [...]