And hellenic colonization

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Mycenaeans: from about 1600 BC to 1200 BC


Indo-European Hellenic speaking people


Myc. geography

1. Peloponnesus: esp. Argolidos-cities: Mycenae


the South Argos

2. Attica  : the East

3. Euboea : the East

4. Epirus  : the North and North-west


Myc. Art and Architecture (type site Mycenae)

1. fortified citadel

2. one main gate:

two rampant lions above, reminiscent of Phrygian lions on rock monuments such as Aslantaş, Afyon (common ancestors in the Balkans)

3. graves

a. grave circles

1) A: I-VI shaft graves/inside the fortress, 13th century BC

2) B: outside the fortress, also 13th cent.

b. tholos tombs: such as the so called “Treasury of Atreus” / 13th cent. BC,

decorated parts now missing

1) round tomb chamber

2) dromos: long corridor before the entrance to the tomb chamber

4. typical Myc. objects

a. the treasures

1) gold plated box w. embossed decoration

(hexagonal): geometric and naturalistic motifs

2) round gold pieces as ornamentation for clothing (embossed motifs)

3) silver and gold cups: decoration techniques

  1. embossing

  2. inlay: silver and gold, also niello (metallic alloy of sulphur

w. silver, lead, copper, etc.)

4) gold funerary masks

5) gold funerary diadems

b. figurines: esp. female/mostly draped in pleated clothing

c. life size sculpture: not many retrieved/one example stucco female head

with painted decoration on cheeks and chin

d. pottery

  1. many shapes, but the stirrup jar is the most typical

  2. decoration: esp. fr. 13th cent. on Minoan influence, therefore

naturalistic sea life represented the most

a) fish

b) octopuses

c) shelled molluscs


Myc. seamanship and first attempts of colonization in Anatolia

(1400-1200 BC)

1. through legend

a. Argonauts and Jason

1) group of heroes in the boat Argo

2) they sailed to Colchis

3) in search of the golden fleece (in actual fact: in search of real gold)

b. Iliad: 8th cent. epic poem of the blind poet, Homer of Smyrna (fall of Troy

is ca. 1250 – if it ever happened at all – so the poet is telling of a

tale which is in a setting of about 500 years ago)

1) siege of Troy by Achaeans (Mycenaeans)

2) fall of Troy (the wooden horse, etc.)

2. boat paintings, esp. on pottery, point out to concentrated sea-faring esp. in

the Aegean (from island to island, also coastal navigation)

3. archaeological data: Myc. pottery found in 2nd millennium levels of some

Western Anatolian sites

a. Troy

b. Çandarlı

c. Miletus

d. Müskebi

4. written sources: Hittite tablet/Hittite king granting protection to the Trojan

king against Myc. attacks


Dorian invasion of Greece (about 1200 BC) and aftermath


Dark Ages of Greece: 1200 – 1050 BC (about 150 years)


After the Dark Ages

1. Greek city states in the Myc. area

2. attempts at colonization of Western Anatolia, coastal areas

a. Proto-geometric pottery (arch. data) in early 1st mill.

levels of Western Anatolian sites

1) naturalistic decoration totally absent

2) geometric decoration only

a) panels: concentric circles, lozenges, etc. within them

b) bands and lines

b. Geometric pottery in slightly later levels of the same sites

1) naturalistic scenes reappearing

a) floral, faunal, human and other

b) highly stylized

c) in restricted panels

2) geometric decoration mostly


Intensive Hellenic colonization of Western Anatolia: 750-550 BC


important Hellenic colonies of this early period

1. islands

a. Chios

b. Samos

2. cities of Anatolia

a. Phocaea

b. Clazomenae

c. Erythrae

d. Teos

e. Lebedos

f. Colophon

g. Ephesus (Apasa of the Hittites)

h. Priene

i. Myus

j. Miletus (Millawanda of the Hittites)

k. Smyrna (founded somewhat later than these)

1) first founded as a meagre mudbrick village offshore on an island

2) then the island is annexed to the shore (Bayraklı suburb of Smyrna


3) the archaic temple of Athena was important: of Aeolic order

a) Greek closed temples were first built in the colonies (influence

of Lydian wooden temples, now lost, but depicted on rock


- the earliest in Samos (Heraion)

- then in Anatolia proper

- then in Greece

b) ground plan: megaron (basic Western Anatolian and island house

plan from Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age on)


Basic periods of art in the Hellenic World

1. Orientalizing Period: end of 8th, beginning of 7th centuries, esp. East Greek.

a. influence of Oriental cultures, esp. Anatolian, on Greek Art.

b. Cybele, the Mother Goddess of the Lydians, draws special attention

c. mixed creatures also draw special attention: esp. reminiscent of Lydian

decoration on pottery

1) sphinxes (body: lion, head: human)

2) griffons (body: lion, head: bird)

d. counterpart of Orientalizing pottery of East Greeks in the West is


pottery: shift now more to the naturalistic w. less geometric decoration.

2. Archaic Period: Late 7th and 6th centuries BC

a. life size statues in the round increase, esp. in Greece (much under

Egyptian influence)

1) rigid postures

2) very little movement

3) interest in the naked human body already present, esp. male

a) young boy: kouros, mostly naked

b) young girl: kore, mostly dressed

4) “archaic smile”: corners of the mouth upturned

b. pottery

1) in Greece

a) Corinthian: plain background, drawings in dark brown (purplish)

on all the available surface

b) Attic/black figure “firnis” (had a natural glazed effect after firing

because of the chemical composition of the black paint)

- mostly black painted overall or wide bands

- black figures in light preserved background

- preferred a lot in all the Hellenic world of the Mediterranean

2) Anatolia: local pottery production continuing, but there is a distinct

preference for the Attic black figure

3. Classical Period: 5th cent. BC

a. sculpture in the round and in relief

1) much tendancy, esp. in Greece, toward sculpture

2) sculptors mostly from mainland Greece

a) Myron

b) Phidias (responsible for the sculpture of the temple of Athena

Parthenos in the Acropolis, Athens)

c) Polycleitus

d) Cresilas

3) sculpture in Anatolia is also mostly by mainland Greek sculptors

b. pottery: black and mostly red figure Attic vases predominant


Greek “polis” (city-state): basic architectural features


the plan: regular grid plan w. insulae

1. influence of the earlier Anatolian cities

2. finally developed by Hippodamos of Miletos (therefore known as

“Hippodamian plan”)

3. appearance of plan

a. regular streets cutting each other at 90o

b. regular insulae: square or rectangular

c. usually two main streets cutting each other at a certain point

d. major buildings usually at the junction point of the main streets


major architectural features

1. bouleuterion: city council building (boule: city council)

2. agora: market place

a. open square

b. stoa: gallery of columns (usually around the square)

c. shops behind the stoa

3. gymnasion: school and place for exercise (palaestra) for young boys

and the youth

4. stadion

a. U shaped area w. seats around

b. not all cities necessarily have it

c. for athletics and races

5. temple: one always dedicated to the patron god or goddess of the city

6. odeion:

a. for music and poetry contests

b. small enough to be closed by a roof without having a forest of columns

c. amphitheater form

d. not all cities have an odeion

7. theatre

a. cavea: amphitheatre built on a hill slope

b. diazoma: walks of the cavea in line with the orchestra

c. loge: seats of honour near the orchestra

d. skene: stage building

1) acting is done on the skene

2) earlier theatres do not have permanent skenes

e. proskene: front part of the skene

f. orchestra

1) complete circle form: the early ones

2) semicircular form: later ones, esp. from Hellenistic Per. on

3) where the chorus sings and dances

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