Portal:Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greece Portal

The Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, located on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

Ancient Greece (Greek: Ἑλλάς, romanizedHellás) was a northeastern Mediterranean civilization, existing from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of classical antiquity (c. AD 600), that comprised a loose collection of culturally and linguistically related city-states and other territories—unified only once, for 13 years, under Alexander the Great's empire (336-323 BC). In Western history, the era of classical antiquity was immediately followed by the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine period.

Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the age of Classical Greece, from the Greco-Persian Wars to the 5th to 4th centuries BC. The conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon spread Hellenistic civilization from the western Mediterranean to Central Asia. The Hellenistic period ended with the conquest of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, and the annexation of the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

Classical Greek culture, especially philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it throughout the Mediterranean and much of Europe. For this reason, Classical Greece is generally considered the cradle of Western civilization, the seminal culture from which the modern West derives many of its founding archetypes and ideas in politics, philosophy, science, and art. (Full article...)

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The Draconian constitution, or Draco's code, was a written law code enforced by Draco near the end of the 7th century BC; its composition started around 621BC. It was written in response to the unjust interpretation and modification of oral law by Athenian aristocrats. As most societies in Greece codified basic law during the mid-seventh century BC, Athenian oral law was manipulated by the aristocracy until the emergence of Draco's code. Around 621 BC the people of Athens commissioned Draco to devise a written law code and constitution, giving him the title of the first legislator of Athens. The literate could read the code at a central location accessible to anyone. This enactment of a rule of law was an early manifestation of Athenian democracy. (Full article...)
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The Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia (white star) near Sparta in the Peloponnesus
The Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia, an Archaic site devoted in Classical times to Artemis, was one of the most important religious sites in the Greek city-state of Sparta, and continued to be used into the fourth century CE, when all non-Christian worship was banned during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire. The sanctuary was destroyed and rebuilt a few times over many centuries and has today produced many artefacts that allow historians to better understand exactly what went on in the sanctuary during that period of time. This sanctuary held many rituals, that included cult-like behaviour by both young males and females in varying ways and has also since revealed many artefacts due to multiple excavations that have helped to deliver new information on acts and behaviours that have occurred in at the temple in Orthia. (Full article...)

Did you know...

  • Hera-tempel - Dorisch kapiteel.jpg
    ...that around 600 BC, the wooden columns of the old Temple of Hera at Olympia underwent a material transformation, known as "petrification"?
  • JerashCorinthian.jpg
    ...that although of Greek origin, the Corinthian order was seldom used in Greek architecture?
  • Olympians.jpg
    ...that Greek mythology has changed over time to accommodate the evolution of their own culture?

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Sophocles pushkin.jpg

Sophocles (/ˈsɒfəklz/; Ancient Greek: Σοφοκλῆς, pronounced [so.pʰo.klɛ̂ːs]; c. 497/6 – winter 406/5 BC) is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than, or contemporary with, those of Aeschylus; and earlier than, or contemporary with, those of Euripides. Sophocles wrote over 120 plays, but only seven have survived in a complete form: Ajax, Antigone, Women of Trachis, Oedipus Rex, Electra, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus. For almost fifty years, Sophocles was the most celebrated playwright in the dramatic competitions of the city-state of Athens which took place during the religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia. He competed in thirty competitions, won twenty-four, and was never judged lower than second place. Aeschylus won thirteen competitions, and was sometimes defeated by Sophocles; Euripides won four.

The most famous tragedies of Sophocles feature Oedipus and Antigone: they are generally known as the Theban plays, though each was part of a different tetralogy (the other members of which are now lost). Sophocles influenced the development of drama, most importantly by adding a third actor (attributed to Sophocles by Aristotle; to Aeschylus by Themistius), thereby reducing the importance of the chorus in the presentation of the plot. He also developed his characters to a greater extent than earlier playwrights. (Full article...)

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The following are images from various Ancient Greece-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Porch of Maidens.jpg
Photo credit: Thermos

A caryatid (Greek: Καρυάτις, plural: Καρυάτιδες) is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head. The Greek term karyatides literally means "maidens of Karyae", an ancient town of Peloponnese.


Places: Aegean Sea · Hellespont · Macedonia · Sparta · Athens · Corinth · Thebes · Thermopylae · Antioch · Alexandria · Pergamon · Miletus · Delphi · Olympia · Troy · Rhodes

Life: Agriculture · Art · Cuisine · Democracy · Economy · Language · Law · Medicine · Paideia · Pederasty · Pottery · Prostitution · Slavery · Technology · Olympic Games

Philosophers: Pythagoras · Heraclitus · Parmenides  · Protagoras · Empedocles · Democritus · Socrates · Plato · Aristotle · Zeno · Epicurus

Chronology: Aegean civilization · Minoan Civilization · Mycenaean civilization · Greek dark ages · Classical Greece · Hellenistic Greece · Roman Greece

People of Note: Alexander The Great · Lycurgus · Pericles · Alcibiades · Demosthenes · Themistocles · Archimedes · Hippocrates

Art and Sculpture: Kouroi · Korai · Kritios Boy · Doryphoros · Statue of Zeus · Discobolos · Aphrodite of Knidos · Laocoön · Phidias · Euphronios · Polykleitos · Myron · Parthenon Frieze · Praxiteles


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Author/Creator: TristanBomb, Licence: CC0
A dark green flag.
Flag of Greece.svg
Flag of Greece (since 1978) and Naval Ensign of Greece (since 1828)
Magna Graecia ancient colonies and dialects-en.svg
Ancient Greek colonies and their dialect groupings in Southern Italy (Magna Graecia).
C Puzzle.png
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Lorentzian Wormhole.svg
Author/Creator: Original: AllenMcC.Vector: KES47, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Exact mathematical plot of a Lorentzian wormhole (Schwarzschild wormhole).
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Author/Creator: David Vignoni / ICON KING, Licence: LGPL
Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.
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Author/Creator: David Vignoni (original icon); Flamurai (SVG convertion); bayo (color), Licence: GPL
Square root of x formula. Symbol of mathematics.
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Iconic image for social science.
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(c) Font Awesome by Dave Gandy - https://fortawesome.github.com/Font-Awesome, CC BY-SA 3.0
Icon extracted from [fortawesome.github.com/Font-Awesome/ Font-Awesome]
Ptolemaic Kingdom III-II century BC - en.svg

Ptolemaic Kingdom III-II century BC - ru.svg: Kaidor (talk · contribs)

, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Ptolemaic Kingdom in the 3rd–2nd centuries BCE
(c) I, PHGCOM, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Early Athenian Coin, an "owl"
Hera-tempel - Dorisch kapiteel.jpg
(c) Napoleon Vier, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Dorisches Kapitell vom Heraion in Olympia. Dorisches Kapitell vom Heratempel (Ostseite, 4. Säule von Süd). Echinus.
Bosporan Kingdom growth map-en.svg
Author/Creator: , Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Expansion of the Bosporan Kingdom from the 5th century BC to the 1st century AD.
The Olympian gods. Depicted clockwise from top center are: Zeus, Hephaestus, Athena, Apollo, Hermes, Artemis, Poseidon, Eros, Aphrodite, Ares, Dionysus, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, Hera.
Author/Creator: No machine-readable author provided. World Imaging assumed (based on copyright claims)., Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Map of the Greco-Bactrian at its maximum extent, circa 180 BC. Personal creation.
Porch of Maidens.jpg
Author/Creator: No machine-readable author provided. Thermos assumed (based on copyright claims)., Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
A picture of the Porch of Maidens. Photographer: Thermos.
Sophocles pushkin.jpg
Author/Creator: user:shakko, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Sophocles. Cast of a bust in the Pushkin Museum.
Femmes peucètes dansant, fresque.jpg
Fresco of dancing Peucetian women from the Tomb of the Dancers in the Corso Cotugno necropolis of Ruvo di Puglia.
Prothesis Dipylon Painter A517.jpg
Prothesis scene: exposure of the dead and mourning. Detail. Late Geometric. From the Dipylon Cemetary in Athens.
Grabstein einer Frau mit Dienerin.jpg
Unknown artistUnknown artist
, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Gravestone of a woman with her slave child-attendant (Greek, c. 100 BC). Getty Villa, Usa
Agrigente 2008 IMG 1935.JPG
Author/Creator: poudou99, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Temple of Hercules, Agrigento, Sicily
Author/Creator: No machine-readable author provided. World Imaging assumed (based on copyright claims)., Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Personal map of Ta-Yuan and Central Asia, made in 2005. Released under GDFL.
Griechischen und phönizischen Kolonien.jpg
Author/Creator: Gepgepgep, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Greek and Phoenician colonies in the fourth century BC. The map from which it was drawn illustrates the situation in previous centuries.
Mycenaean World en.png
Author/Creator: User:Alexikoua, User:Panthera tigris tigris, TL User:Reedside, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Map of Mycenaean Greece 1400-1200 BC: Palaces, main cities and other settlements.
Pyrrhic War Italy en.svg
Author/Creator: Piom, translation by Pamela Butler, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Pyrrhic War (280-275 BC) - English language version
AGM Ancient Greek Pair of Terracotta Boots.jpg
Author/Creator: Sharon Mollerus, Licence: CC BY 2.0
Ancient Greek pair of terracotta boots. Early geometric period cremation burial of a woman, 900 BC. Ancient Agora Museum in Athens.
The Hellenistic World in late 281 BC.png
Author/Creator: Cattette, Licence: CC BY 4.0
This map depicts the Hellenistic world in late 281 BC after the death of Lysimachus but before the murder of Seleucus I. Boundaries are based on various Wikipedia articles. Pergamon's status as independent or nominally under Seleucid control is unclear, but it is shown as independent on this map.

Historical lakes and coastlines are derived from the Ancient World Mapping Center [1].

The boundaries of the peripheral kingdoms are based on these maps File:Bosporan Kingdom growth map-en.svg File:Hellenistic world and Maurya Empire 281 BCE.png
The great theater of Epidaurus, designed by Polykleitos the Younger in the 4th century BC, Sanctuary of Asklepeios at Epidaurus, Greece (14015010416).jpg
Author/Creator: Carole Raddato from FRANKFURT, Germany, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
The great theater of Epidaurus, designed by Polykleitos the Younger in the 4th century BC, Sanctuary of Asklepeios at Epidaurus, Greece
Greek Colonization Archaic Period.svg
Author/Creator: Dipa1965, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Greek Colonization in Archaic Period
Indo-Greek map in color. Personal drawing 2007.
Korinth BW 2017-10-10 10-55-28.jpg
(c) Berthold Werner, CC BY-SA 3.0
Greece, Ancient Corinth, Temple of Apollo
Artemis Orthia location en.svg
(c) ​English Wikipedia user Bridesmill, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Location of the sanctuary of Artemis Othia near Sparta among the Greek sanctuaries.
Author/Creator: Lommes, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Map showing the Bronze Age collapse (conflicts and movements of people).
Author/Creator: Captain_Blood, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
States of the Diadochi, c. 300 BC
Map Greco-Persian Wars-en.svg
Author/Creator: User:Bibi Saint-Pol, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Map showing the Greek world during the Greco-Persian Wars (ca. 500–479 BC).
Greek-Persian duel.jpg
Greek hoplite and Persian warrior fighting each other. Depiction in ancient kylix. 5th c. B.C. National Archaeological Museum of Athens
Map of the Kingdom of Pontus, Before the reign of Mithridates VI (darkest purple), after his conquests (purple), and his conquests in the first Mithridatic wars (pink); little adds (ancient shorelines & some greek colonies under Mithridate's rule) according with V. Yanko-Hombach, A.S. Gilbert, N. Panin, P. M. Dolukhanov: The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement, Springer, Netherlands, 2007, and with Appianus, Plutarchus & Strabo.
Parthenon (30276156187).jpg
Author/Creator: Phanatic, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
Cratère de Vix 0023.jpg
Unknown authorUnknown author
, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
Exceptional for its size and its craftsmanship, the Vix Krater is made of several pieces, and weighs 208.6 kg in total. The vase is made of a single sheet of beaten bronze and weighs around 60 kg. The base is rounded, with a maximum diameter of 1.27 m. It has a capacity of 1100 litres. The thickness of the sides varies between 1 and 1.3 mm, and there is no sign of welding. The foot is cast, and has a diameter of 74 cm and weighs 20.2 kg. It is decorated with classical motifs and stylised vegetation. The handles are cast in bronze and weigh around 46 kg. The volutes (the spiral shapes on the top of the handles) are 55 cm high, and are richly decorated with grimacing gorgons. The neck of the vessel is decorated with images of soldiers in relief. Eight chariots driven by charioteers are each followed by an armed hoplite on foot. The lid, made of a sheet of beaten bronze weighing 13.8 kg, has an 18 cm-high statuette of a woman in the center.
Gymnasion and Palaestra in Olympia 2010 2.jpg
Author/Creator: Wknight94 talk, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Gymnasion and Palaestra in archaeological site of Olympia, Greece.
Map Macedonia 336 BC-en.svg
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Map of the Kingdom of Macedon at the death of Philip II in 336 BC.
Bust Homer BM 1825 n2.jpg
Unknown artistUnknown artist
, Licence: CC BY 2.5
Portrait of Homer. Roman copy after a Greek Hellenistic original.
La Liga aquea en 150 aC.jpg
Achaean League 150 BC.
0142 - Archaeological Museum, Athens - Antikythera mechanism - Photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto, Nov 11 2009.jpg
Author/Creator: Giovanni Dall'Orto., Licence: Attribution
The Antikythera Mechanism, a Hellenistic astronomical computer, on display in room 38 of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Picture by Giovanni Dall'Orto, November 11 2009.
Apollon Tempel im antiken Korinth.jpg
Temple Apollo, Corinth. Acrocorinth in the background.
Θερμαικος με θεα τον Ολυμπο!.jpg
Author/Creator: Tolis181, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
This is a photography of Natura 2000 protected area with ID
Author/Creator: M Disdero, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
Corinthian column at the Temple of Artemis in Jerash
Law Code Gortyn Louvre Ma703.jpg
Inheritance law, part of the Law Code of Gortyn, Crete, fragment of the 11th column. Limestone, 5th century BC.
3141 - Athens - Stoà of Attalus Museum - Model granaries - Photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto, Nov 9 2009.jpg
Author/Creator: G.dallorto, Licence: Attribution
Geometric-style box in the shape of a barn. On display in the Ancient Agora Museum in Athens, housed in the Stoa of Attalus. From early geometric cremation burial of a pregnant wealthy woman, 850 BC. Picture by Giovanni Dall'Orto, November 9 2009.
Ancient Regions Mainland Greece.png
Author/Creator: , Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Map of the major regions of mainland Ancient Greece.
Early Geometric Jewelry from the Areopagus of Athens. Ancient Agora Museum of Athens.jpg
Author/Creator: Dorieo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
14-16: Broad gold finger rings.

17-19: Gold finger rings

20: Pair of gold earrings with trapezoid endings

Finds are part of an early Geometric Cremation Burial of a Pregnant Wealthy Woman (from the N.W. of the Areopagus). About 850 BC. Ancient Agora Museum (Athens)
Hypnos Thanatos BM Vase D56 full.jpg
Hypnos and Thanatos carrying the body of Sarpedon from the battlefield of Troy. Detail from an Attic white-ground lekythos, ca. 440 BC.
British Museum - Four Greek philosophers.jpg
Author/Creator: Cristian Bortes from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Licence: CC BY 2.0
Marble portrait heads of four philosophers in the British Museum. From foreground: Socrates, Antisthenes, Chrysippos, Epicurus. All are Roman copies after Hellenistic originals.
Bust Pericles Chiaramonti.jpg
Bust of Pericles wearing a Corinthian helmet. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek original.
Map athenian empire 431 BC-en.svg
Author/Creator: , Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Map of the Delian League ("Athenian Empire") in 431 B.C.E., just prior to the Peloponnesian War.
Sicily Selinunte Temple E (Hera).JPG
Author/Creator: AdiJapan, Licence: CC BY 2.5
The ancient Greek Temple of Hera in Selinunte, also knowns as "temple E", at Castelvetrano, in Sicily, Italy.