Πέμπτη, 25 Αυγούστου 2016

Prehistory and Ancient history of Greece : From the Paleolitic Era to the Roman conqest

The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern state of Greece, as well as that of the Greek people and the areas they ruled historically. The scope of Greek habitation and rule has varied much through the ages, and, as a result, the history of Greece is similarly elastic in what it includes. Each era has its own related sphere of interest. When the Mycenaeans invaded, the area was inhabited by various indigenous pre-Greek people, who practiced agriculture as they had done since the 7th millennium BC. At its geographical peak, Greek civilization spread from Greece to Egypt and to the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. Since then, Greeks have remained in former Greek territories or other territories colonised by Greeks (Turkey, Albania, Italy, and Libya, Levant, Armenia,Georgia, etc.), and Greek emigrants have assimilated into differing societies across the globe (North America, Australia, Northern Europe, South Africa, etc.). Today most Greeks live in the modern state of Greece (independent since 1832) and Cyprus.
The Petralona cave also Cave of the Red Stones, a Karst formation - is located at 300 m above sea-level on the western foot of Mount Katsika, 1 km east of the eponymous village, about 35 km south-east of Thessaloniki city on the Chalkidiki peninsula, Greece. The site came to public attention when in 1960 a fossilized hominid skull was found. The cave's most prominent fossil specimen, since known among paleoanthropologists as the "Petralona Skull", named Archanthropus europaeus petraloniensis by Aris Poulianos, former head of the Anthropological Association of Greece. He considers it the oldest European hominid ever found and assessed it to be 800.000 years old. The Anthropological Association's conclusions and results are in direct conflict with accepted speciation models of the genus Homo and the chronology of the Out of Africa theory. The Anthropological Association of Greece has continued to announce new findings in the cave, such as 4 isolated teeth, then two 800,000 year old pre-human skeletons, a great number of fossils of various species, evidence of the oldest use of fire known to this day and a 11 Million years old girl.
Franchthi cave or Frankhthi cave is a cave overlooking the Argolic Gulf opposite the village of Koilada in southeastern Argolis, Greece. The cave was occupied from the Upper Paleolithic circa 38,000 BC through the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, with occasional short episodes of apparent abandonment. Last occupied around 3,000 BCE (Final Neolithic), it is one of the very few settlements in the world that shows nearly continuous human occupation for such an extended period of time, and is one of the most thoroughly studied sites from the stone age in southeastern Europe.The evidence of increased fish bones and increased use of obsidian from Melos at Franchthi during this period shows they were accomplished seafarers. There is a notable stretch spanning several hundred years (circa 7,900 – 7,500 BCE) when tuna became a major part of the diet at Franchthi cave, implying deep sea fishing. It has also been suggested that the tuna could have been caught by placing nets near the shore. A few graves have been found buried in the cave during the Mesolithic that suggest care for the dead.
Dispilio is an archaeological site containing remains of a Neolithic lakeshore settlement that occupied an artificial island near the modern village of Dispilio on Lake Orestiada in Kastoria regional unit, Macedonia, Greece. The site appears to have been occupied over a long period, from the final stages of the Middle Neolithic (5600-5000 BC) to the Final Neolithic (3000 BC). A number of items were found, including ceramics, wooden structural elements, seeds, bones, figurines, personal ornaments, flutes and what appears to be the most significant finding, the inscribed Dispilio Tablet.
The Dispilio tablet is a wooden tablet bearing inscribed markings, unearthed during George Hourmouziadis's excavations of Dispilio in Greece and carbon 14 dated to 7300 BC or 5260 BC. It was discovered in 1993 in aNeolithic lakeshore settlement that occupied an artificial island near the modern village of Dispilio on Lake Kastoria in Kastoria, Greece. The tablet itself was partially damaged when it was exposed to the oxygen-rich environment outside of the mud and water in which it was immersed for a long period of time, and it is now under conservation. The first Alphabet of the World.
The name Pelasgians was used by some ancient writers to refer to populations that were either the ancestors of the Greeks "a hold-all term for any ancient, primitive and presumably indigenous people in the Greek world". In general, "Pelasgian" has come to mean more broadly all the indigenous inhabitants of the Aegean Sea region and their cultures before the creation of ancient Greeks. During the classical period, enclaves under that name survived in several locations of mainland Greece, Crete, and other regions of the Aegean. Populations identified as "Pelasgian" spoke a language or languages that at the time Greeks identified as "barbaric", though some ancient writers nonetheless described the Pelasgians as Greeks. A tradition also survived that large parts of Greece had once been Pelasgian before being Hellenized. These parts generally fell within the territory which, by the 5th century BC, was inhabited by those speakers of ancient Greek who were identified as Ionians. In the History of the Peloponnesian War, the Greek historian Thucydides wrote about the Pelasgians stating that: Before the time of Hellen, son of Deucalion...the country went by the names of the different tribes, in particular of the Pelasgian. It was not till Hellen and his sons grew strong in Phthiotis, and were invited as allies into the other cities, that one by one they gradually acquired from the connection the name of Hellenes; though a long time elapsed before that name could fasten itself upon all. He regards the Athenians as having lived in scattered independent settlements in Attica but at some time after Theseus they changed residence to Athens, which was already populated. A plot of land below the Acropolis was called "Pelasgian" and was regarded as cursed, but the Athenians settled there anyway.
One of the earliest civilizations to appear around Greece was the Minoan civilization in Crete, which lasted from about 2700 BC to 1450 BC, and the Early Helladic period on the Greek mainland from ca. 2800 BC to 2100 BC. They were primarily a mercantile people engaged in overseas trade, taking advantage of their land's rich natural resources. Timberwas then an abundant natural resource that was commercially exploited and exported to nearby lands such as Cyprus, Syria, Egypt and the Aegean Islands. During the Early Bronze Age (3300 BC through 2100 BC), the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete held great promise for the future. The Mycenaean Greeks invaded Crete and adopted much of the Minoan culture they found there.
Mycenaean civilization was dominated by a warrior aristocracy. Around 1400 BC theMycenaeans extended their control to Crete, center of the Minoan civilization, and adopted a form of the Minoan script called Linear A to write their early form of Greek. The Mycenaean era script is called Linear B. The Mycenaeans buried their nobles in beehive tombs (tholoi), large circular burial chambers with a high vaulted roof and straight entry passage lined with stone. They often buried daggers or some other form of military equipment with the deceased. The nobility were often buried with gold masks, tiaras, armor and jeweled weapons. Mycenaeans were buried in a sitting position, and some of the nobility underwent mummification. Around 1100 BC the Mycenaean civilization collapsed. Numerous cities were sacked and the region entered what historians see as a dark age. During this period Greece experienced a decline in population and literacy. The Greeks themselves have traditionally blamed this decline on an invasion by another wave of Greek people, the Dorians, although there is scant archaeological evidence for this view.
Ancient Greece was an ancient civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. In common usage it refers to all Greek history before the Roman Empire, but historians use the term more precisely. Some writers include the periods of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations, while others argue that these civilizations were so different from later Greek cultures that they should be classed separately. Traditionally, the Ancient Greek period was taken to begin with the date of the first Olympic Games in 776 BC, but most historians now extend the term back to about 1000 BC. The traditional date for the end of the Classical Ancient Greek period is the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. The period that follows is classed as Hellenistic. Ancient Greece is considered by most historians to be the foundational culture of Western Civilization. Greek culture was a powerful influence in the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of Europe. Ancient Greek civilization has been immensely influential on the language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, art and architecture of the modern world, particularly during the Renaissance in Western Europe and again during various neo-Classicalrevivals in 18th- and 19th-century Europe and the Americas.
More than thirty Greek city-states had multiple colonies around the Mediterranean world, with the most active being Miletus, with ninety colonies stretching throughout the Mediterranean Sea, from the shores of the Black Sea and Anatolia in the east, to the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula in the west, as well as several colonies on the Libyan coast of northern Africa, from the late 9th to the 5th centuries BC. he Greeks also colonised modern-day Crimea on the Black Sea. Among the settlements they established there was the city of Chersonesos, at the site of modern-day Sevastopol. The extensive Greek colonization is remarked upon by Cicero when noting that "It were as though a Greek fringe has been woven about the shores of the barbarians.
Two major wars shaped the Classical Greek world. The Persian Wars (500–448 BC) are recounted in Herodotus's Histories. By the late 6th century BC, the Achaemenid Persian Empireruled over all Greek city states and had made territorial gains in the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper as well. The Ionian Greek cities revolted from the Persian Empire, through a chain of events, and were supported by some of the mainland cities, eventually led by Athens. To punish mainland Greece for its support of the Ionian cities Darius I launched the First Persian invasion of Greece, which lasted from 492 BC till 490 BC. The Persian general Megabyzus re-subjugated Thrace and conquered Macedon in the early stages of the war, but the war eventually ended with a Greek victory. Darius' successor Xerxes I launched the Second Persian invasion of Greece. Even though at a crucial point in the war almost all of mainland Greece was briefly overrun, the Greek city states managed to turn this war into a victory too. The notable battles of the Greco-Persian Wars include Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis, and Plataea. To prosecute the war and then to defend Greece from further Persian attack, Athens founded the Delian League in 477 BC. The Delian League was eventually referred to pejoratively as the Athenian Empire. In 458 BC, while the Persian Wars were still ongoing, war broke out between the Delian League and the Peloponnesian League, comprising Sparta and its allies. After some inconclusive fighting, the two sides signed a peace in 447 BC. That peace was stipulated to last thirty years: instead it held only until 431 BC, with the onset of the Peloponnesian War. The Peloponnesian War reshaped the ancient Greek world. On the level of international relations, Athens, the strongest city-state in Greece prior to the war's beginning, was reduced to a state of near-complete subjection, while Sparta became established as the leading power of Greece. The economic costs of the war were felt all across Greece; poverty became widespread in the Peloponnese, while Athens found itself completely devastated, and never regained its pre-war prosperity. The war also wrought subtler changes to Greek society; the conflict between democratic Athens and oligarchic Sparta, each of which supported friendly political factions within other states, made civil war a common occurrence in the Greek world. Discontent with the Spartan hegemony that followed (including the fact that it ceded Ionia and Cyprus to the Persian Empire at the conclusion of the Corinthian War (395–387 BC); (Treaty of Antalcidas) induced the Thebans to attack. Their general, Epaminondas, crushed Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC, inaugurating a period of Theban dominance in Greece. In 346 BC, unable to prevail in its ten-year war with Phocis, Thebes called upon Philip II of Macedon for aid. Macedon quickly forced the city states into being united by the League of Corinth which led to the conquering of the Persian Empire and the Hellenistic Age had begun. Alexander III of Macedon (356 BC – 323 BC), or Alexander the Great was a King (Basileus) of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. Born in Pella in 356 BC, Alexander succeeded his father, Philip II, to the throne at the age of twenty. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, and by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful military commanders.
The Hellenistic period of Greek history begins with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and ends with the annexation of the Greek peninsula and islands by Rome in 146 BC. Although the establishment of Roman rule did not break the continuity of Hellenistic society and culture, which remained essentially unchanged until the advent of Christianity, it did mark the end of Greek political independence. During the Hellenistic period the importance of "Greece proper" (territory modern Greece) within the Greek-speaking world declined sharply. The great centres of Hellenistic culture were Alexandria and Antioch, capitals of Ptolemaic Egypt and Seleucid Syria. At this time, Greek cultural influence and power was at its peak in Europe,Africa and Asia, experiencing prosperity and progress in the arts, exploration, literature, theatre, architecture, music, mathematics, philosophy, andscience. It is often considered a period of transition, sometimes even of decadence ordegeneration, compared to the enlightenment of the Greek Classical era. The Hellenistic period saw the rise of New Comedy, Alexandrian poetry, the Septuagint and the philosophies of Stoicism and Epicureanism. Greek Science was advanced by the works of the mathematician Euclid and the polymath Archimedes. During the Hellenistic period, following the death of Alexander the Great, considerable numbers of Assyrians, Jews, Egyptians, Persians, Parthians, Armenians, and a number of other ethnic groups along the Balkans, Black Sea, South-Eastern Mediterranean, Anatolia, Middle East and Central Asia were Hellenized. The Bactrians, an Iranian ethnic group who lived in Bactria (Afghanistan), were Hellenized during the reign of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and soon after various tribes in northwestern regions of the Indian subcontinent (Pakistan) underwent Hellenization during the reign of the Indo-Greek Kingdom. Other tribes that underwent varying degrees of Hellenisation included Thracians, Dardanians, Paeonians and Illyrians south of the Jireček Line and even Getae. Hellenisation during the Hellenistic period, however, had its limitations. Areas of southern Syria that were affected by Greek culture mostly entailed Seleucid urban centers where Greek was commonly spoken. The countryside was affected but most of its inhabitants spoke Syriac and continued to maintain their native traditions. Moreover, Hellenisation did not necessarily involve assimilation of non-Greek ethnic groups.
Militarily, Greece itself declined to the point that the Romans conquered the land (168 BC ), though Greek culture would in turn conquer Roman life. Although the period of Roman rule in Greece is conventionally dated as starting from the sacking of Corinth by the Roman Lucius Mummius in 146 BC, Macedonia had already come under Roman control with the defeat of its king, Perseus, by the Roman Aemilius Paullus at Pydna in 168 BC. The Romans divided the region into four smaller republics, and in 146 BC Macedonia officially became a province, with its capital at Thessalonica. The rest of the Greek city-states gradually and eventually paid homage to Rome ending their de jure autonomy as well. The Romans left local administration to the Greeks without making any attempt to abolish traditional political patterns. The agora in Athens continued to be the centre of civic and political life.
Πηγή: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelasgians

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