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Friday, December 30, 2016

027 - The Democracy of Cleisthenes

In this episode, we discuss the political struggle between Isagoras (who was now backed by the Spartan military) and Cleisthenes who ultimately was victorious, which allowed him to institute his overhaul of the Athenian constitution; the different democratic changes that he instituted in regards to the Boule and Ekklesia; and the consequences (both good and bad) from this new revolutionary government, including the gerrymandering of Attica into new tribes, the reorganization of the military structure, Athens' first diplomatic folly with the Persians, and the threat of war with Thebes, Corinth, Sparta, Chalcis, and Aegina

508 BC - Cleisthenes' and Cleomenes' power-sharing agreement formally split when Cleomenes' backed Cleisthenes' rival, Isagoras, for the archonship
507 BC - Isagoras removed citizenship from those enfranchised by Solon and the Peisistratids; Cleisthenes convinced the people to elect Alcmeon for the following year's archonship, which caused Isagoras to seek the military support of Cleomenes, forcing Cleisthenes and the rest of the Alcmeonidai to flee Athens; when Isagoras began acting like a tyrant and threatened to dissolve the boule, the Athenians besieged Isagoras, Cleomenes, and the Spartans on the Acropolis; Isagoras fled the city and the humiliated Cleomenes, along with his army, was allowed safe passage back to Sparta; Cleisthenes was then recalled and through the archonship of Alcmeon, he implemented his democratic reforms, while at the same time a delegation was sent to the court of Artapherenes at Sardis to seek an alliance with the Persians against further Spartan hostility
506 BC - Cleomenes orchestrated a three-prong attack of Attica (Peloponnesians from the southwest, the Thebans from the northwest, and the Chalcidians from the north) with the intent of installing Isagoras as tyrant of Athens; but due to differences with Corinth and between the two kings, the Spartans turned back, allowing the Athenians to defeat the Thebans and Chalcidians in succession and annexed some of their land
505 BC - the Thebans wanted revenge against the Athenians and so they enlisted the aid of Aegina, the arch-nemesis of Athens; the Aeginetans thus laid waste to many demes on the coastline but the Athenians didn't respond because at the behest of an oracle from Delphi they were advised to wait thirty years
504 BC - Cleomenes tried once again to invade Attica, this time to install Hippias as tyrant, but once again was thwarted by the Corinthians

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

026 - The Tyranny of the Peisistratids

In this episode, we discuss the ascension of Peisistratos as the first tyrant of Athens and the political maneuverings that he and his two sons, Hippias and Hipparchus, took in maintaining (and sometimes regaining) their position, which included armed warfare, trickery, political marriages, and the expulsion of many of their political enemies (who would go and found several colonies in Athens' name); the economic reforms that Peisistratos and his two sons undertook; their patronage of the arts and public works in the Agora and Acropolis, as well as at other religious sanctuaries in Attica; their encouragement of religious festivals, especially the Greater Panathenaia and the Dionysia; and the ultimate dissolution of the tyranny brought about by the assassination of Hipparchus, the susbsequent cruelty and expulsion of Hippias, and the ascendency of Cleisthenes (with the help of the Spartans)

565 BC - Peisistratos captured Nisaea, bringing an end to the wars with Megara, which ended the troublesome food blockage and enhanced his reputation
561 BC - Peisistratos seized the Acropolis with armed bodyguards and made himself tyrant for the first time, much to the chagrin and outcries of Solon
558 BC - Solon died of old age
556 BC - Resistance mounted against Peisistratos, leading the nobles to seek an alliance with the exiled Alcmeonidai; they were recalled to Athens and Peisistratos fled the city; the political alliance soon collapsed, so Megacles of the Alcmeonidai instead realigned with Peissistratos through a political marriage and thus he became tyrant of the city again; but this too was short-lived and Peisistratos was driven from the city a second time
547 BC - earthquake fells the temple of Apollo at Delphi; the Alcmeonidai were able to gain a special position of privilege thanks to their funding of the rebuilding of the temple
546 BC - After spending ten years cultivating powerful allies and a large personal army, Peisistratos invaded Attica; he crushed the Athenian army near Pallene, and became tyrant of Athens for the third and final time
540 BC - Miltiades the Elder established a colony in the Thracian Chersonese and ruled it as a tyrant, only subordinate to Peisistratos' overarching authority
534 BC - Thespis was first winner of tragedy competitions at the Dionysia
528/7 BC - Peisistratos died and the tyranny was passed to Hippias and Hipparchus
525/4 BC - archonship of Cleisthenes of the Alcmeonidai
524/3 BC - archonship of Miltiades the Younger of the Philaids
524 BC - Miltiades the Elder died and his eldest nephew, Stesagoras, replaced him as tyrant in the Thracian Chersonese
519 BC - the Athenians defended the Plataeans militarily against the Thebans
515 BC - Stesagoras was assassinated and replaced by his younger brother, Miltiades the Younger, who immediately quelled the uprising and formed an alliance with king Olorus of Thrace by marrying his daughter
515/4 BC - second archonship of Cleisthenes, but he tried to make it something more than titular (as the tyrants held the unofficial power), and for that he was banished from Athens
514 BC - Hipparchus was assassinated by the Tyrannicides, Harmodius and Aristogeiton; afterwards, Hippias' rule became oppressive
513 BC - Cleisthenes' mercenary army was defeated by Hippias' mercenary forces near Lypsidrion in northern Attica
511 BC - Cleisthenes' uses his families special privilege to get the Delphic oracle to coax Cleomenes and the Spartans to assist them in removing Hippias as tyrant; unfortunately, their first force was defeated near Phaleron
510 BC - Cleisthenes' second attempt was successful, though; Hippias was forced into exile, where he would eventually make his way to the Persian court of Darius; immediately after this the Thebans and Athenians engaged in hostilities again over Plataea, with the result of another Athenian victory

Primary Sources:
Text/Pseudo-Xenophon (Old Oligarch)'s Constitution of the Athenians
Text/Aristotle's Constitution of the Athenians
Text/Plutarch's Life of Solon
Text/Pausanias' Description of Greece (Book 1, Attica)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

025 - The Reforms of Solon

In this episode, we discuss the life and deeds of the great Athenian statesman, Solon, who from his position of sole archonship, enacted various economic, political, and legal reforms that would later form the backbone for Athenian democracy in the Classical Period, but in doing so he took a moderate stance to appease everyone, which didn't quiet the ongoing social and economic problems of the state and shortly thereafter factionalism set in, leading to the next phase of Athenian political history (in which aristocratic infighting led to instability for decades and ultimately to tyranny)

ca. 625 BC - Severe agrarian crisis causes the Athenians to establish a cleruchy on Salamis; this led to continuous war with Megara, who also held claims to the island
ca. 605 BC - In order to defend their trade routes into the Black Sea, Athens challenges Mytilene for control of Sigeion in the Troad, an event which was arbitrated by Periander in favor of Athens (thanks to Solon's argument)
595 BC - Solon and Peisistratos led forces that defeated the Megarians
594/3 BC - Solon was appointed as sole archon of Athens in an extra legislative capacity to reform the constitution, which (among many other things) eliminated debt slavery and helped ease the land crisis; though wildly successful, his reforms' immediate aftermath led to increased competition amongst the elite for political offices
593-583 BC - Solon went on a self-imposed exile for 10 years following his reforms so that he couldn't be persuaded to change anything by his fellow citizens, during which he visited various rulers and wise men in Egypt, Cyprus, Lydia, and Ionia
591/0 BC - Political strife in Athens led to a period of anarchy as they were unable to elect the three archons, but it was eventually restored
580s-560s BC - Three dominant political factions (the Pediakoi, the Peralioi, and the Diakrioi) all competed for control of Athenian government
586/5 BC - Second bout of anarchy; once again was eventually restored
582/1 BC - Archonship of Damasias, at the end of which he refused to step down
579 BC - After two and half years, Damasias was driven out of the archonship; afterwards, a board of 10 archons were appointed to govern Athens
578 BC - Three traditional offices of the archons were re-established
575 BC - Ramp was built up onto the Acropolis; noble families compete for prestige through the funding of the construction of new buildings and statues atop the Acropolis, such as the Temple of Athena Polias (the precursor to the Parthenon) and a statue of Athena Promachos
566 BC - the Great Panathenaia was instituted by the archon, Hippocleides
ca. 565 BC - Solon recognized that Peisistratos was harboring feelings for a revolution to end the political strife of the three dominant political factions

Sunday, December 4, 2016

024 - Early Athens

In this episode, we discuss the early history of Athens beginning with its mythical past, and how and why the later Athenians promoted and propogandized these myths, with a particular focus on their first king Cecrops, the contest between Athena and Poseidon for the city's patronage, the birth of Ericthonius (the "love" child of Hephaistos-Athena-Gaia) who would go onto become king, the life of Theseus, and the death of the final king Kodras fighting the Heracleidae; in historical times, the abolishment of the monarchy in the Dark Ages that gave rise to the oligarchic government (first by the Medontidai and then the Eupatridai); the social organizations of the Athenians; and finally the social and economic crises at the end of the 7th century BC that brought about an unsuccessful tyranny attempt by an Olympic athlete named Cylon and Athens' first written constitution, orchestrated by a shadowy figure named Draco

ca. 900 BC - Medontidai archon/basileus of Athens was pre-eminent in Attica
ca. 900-750 BC - the synoecism of Attica took place
752 BC - length of Medontidai archonship changed from life to ten years
681 BC - three annually elected archons (eponymous, basileus, polemarch) was introduced
ca. 650 BC - six more archons were introduced (called the Thesmothetai); collectively together with the other three they are known as the College of Nine Archons; full aristocratic revolution of Athens has taken hold
632 BC - Cylon unsuccessfully attempted to establish an Athenian tyranny
621 BC - Draco enacted first written constitution in Athenian history

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


In this episode, we discuss the inner-workings of Sparta's unique political, economic, and social system; included are the diarchy (dual hereditary kingship), the Gerousia (council of elders), the apella (assembly), and the ephors (judicial overseers); the so-called Lykurgan land reform and the devolution of Sparta's economy; the roles of the Helots (slaves), the Perioikoi (non-citizens), and Spartan women; and the various steps of the agoge (Sparta's education and military training system) which created Spartiatai (full-citizen males)

Primary Sources:

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

022 - Sparta Ascendant

In this episode, we discuss the early history of the polis of Lacadaemon (Sparta), including their expansion in the southern Peloponnesus with the 1st and 2nd Messenian Wars (that brought about the formation of the helot system of slavery); Spartan society's social-class tensions and civil strife that led to reform, supposedly by the semi-mythical lawgiver Lykurgas in the 8th century BC, but more likely a gradual process during the 7th and 6th centuries BC; its military growing pains as Sparta suffered a series of losses to their neighbors, Argos (in the Argolid) and Tegea (in southern Arcadia), before eventually defeating them; the life of Chilon, one of the Seven Sages, and his role in making amendments to the Spartan constitution and in guiding foreign policy; and Sparta's ultimate rise to hegemony over their Peloponnesian and Isthmian neighbors, resulting in what modern scholars call the "Peloponnesian League"

ca. 900-800 BC - The syncoecism of the four villages on the west bank of the Eurotas River  
Pitane, Limnes, Mesoa, and Cynosoura) resulted in the formation of Lacadaemon (Sparta)
ca 800-750 BC - A fifth village, the old Mycenaean town of Amyclae, found three miles from the other villages is incorporated into the polis of Sparta
ca. 780-750 BC - The reign of Eurypontid king, Charilaus (the nephew of the semi-mythical lawgiver Lykurgas who supposedly reformed Sparta)
ca. 760-740 BC - The reign of Agiad king, Teleklos
ca. 750-725 BC - The reign of Eurypontid king, Nicander
ca. 740-720 BC - A Spartan victory in the First Messenian War brought about the annexation of Messenia and the subjugation of its people as Helotes (Helots), which transformed Sparta into a slave-holding state like no other Greek polis
ca. 740-700 BC - The reign of Agiad king, Alkamenes
ca. 725-675 BC - The reign of Eurypontid king, Theopompos
706 BC - Illegitimate Spartans, known as "Parthenai", who were the sons of Spartan women and non-Spartan men, were exiled from Sparta and founded Taras in southern Italy
ca. 700-665 BC - The reign of Agiad king, Polydoros
ca. 675-650 BC - The poets Alcman and Tyrtaeus flourished at Sparta
ca. 675-645 BC - The reign of Eurypontid king, Anaxandridas
669 BC - The Spartan army was defeated by Pheidon and the Argives at Hysiae
ca. 668-650 BC - The Helots revolted with the backing of Arcadia, Argos, Elis, and Pisa, which resulted in the Second Messenian War, but the Spartans were able to put down the revolt thanks to the martial vigor of the warrior-poet, Tyrtaeus; some Messenians were able to flee to Sicily, where they gained control of Zancle and renamed it Messene
ca. 665-640 BC - The reign of Agiad king, Eurycrates
ca. 645-625 BC - The reign of Eurypontid king, Zeuxidamas
ca. 640-615 BC - The reign of Agiad king, Anaximander I
ca. 625-600 BC - The reign of Eurypontid king, Anaxidamos
ca. 615-590 BC - The reign of Agiad king, Eurycratides
ca. 600-575 BC - The reign of Eurypontid king, Archidamos I
ca. 590-560 BC - The reign of Agiad king, Leon
583 BC - Sparta may have assisted with the overthrow of the Kypselid tyranny at Corinth
ca. 575-550 BC - The reign of Eurypontid king, Agasicles
572 BC - Sparta may have helped Elis regain control over Olympia from Pisa
ca. 560 BC - The "Battle of the Fetters" resulted in a devastating Spartan loss to Tegea
ca. 560-525 BC - The reign of Agiad king, Anaxandridas II
556 BC - Sparta helped to overthrow the Orthagorid tyranny at Sicyon
ca. 550-515 BC - The reign of Eurypontid king, Ariston
ca. 550 BC - Sparta finally subdued Tegea, but instead of conquering them, they enacted diplomacy, marking the beginnings of Peloponnesian League
547 BC - The Spartans entered into an alliance with the Lydians against the Persians, but they never provide aid as they still have Argos to deal with
546 BC - The "Battle of Champions" resulted in a Spartan defeat of Argos and the annexation of the region of Kynuria from Argive control
525-522 BC - The Spartans and Corinthians jointly depose the Samian tyrant, Polycrates
520-490 BC - The reign of Agiad king, Kleomenes
515-491 BC - The reign of Eurypontid king, Demaratos
515-512 BC - Kleomenes' half-brother, Dorieus, tried to found the colony of Cinyps on the Libyan coast but he was ultimately driven out by the Carthaginians

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

021 - Athletics and the Panhellenic Games

In this episode, we discuss the culturally unifying importance of Panhellenic festivals in the Greek world; the history and evolution of the athletic program of the Ancient Olympic games; how the various athletic events that the Greeks participated in were performed; some famous athletes and the larger than life quality they achieved; and the four major Panhellenic festivals (Olympic, Pythian, Isthmian, and Nemean)

776 BC - the Olympic Games for Zeus at Olympia were instituted with the only event being the stadion foot race
724 BC - the diaulos was introduced
720 BC - the dolichos was introduced; the games were first performed in the nude
708 BC - wrestling and the pentathlon were introduced
688 BC - boxing was introduced
680 BC - chariot racing was introduced
648 BC -  single horse equestrian races and the Pankration were introduced
ca. 600-575 BC - the Herean Games for Hera at Olympia were instituted, which allowed women to participate prior to the games for the men
582 BC - the Pythian Games for Apollo at Delphi were instituted following their victory against Krissa in the First Sacred War
581 BC - the Isthmian Games for Poseidon at Corinth were instituted following their expulsion of the Cypselid tyranny
573 BC - the Nemean Games for Zeus were instituted
566 BC - the Panathenaic Games at Athens were instituted by the tyrant Peisistratos 
540-516 BC - brilliant wrestling career of Milo of Kroton
520 BC - the hoplitodromos was introduced

Sunday, August 21, 2016

020 - The Intellectual Revolution

In this episode, we describe the new schools of thought that began to percolate in the 6th century BC about our existence and role in this universe absent from the gods, and we detail the lives, influences, and various theories put forth by the earliest of these so-called "Pre-Socratic" philosophers; included among them are Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Pherecydes, Pythagoras, Xenophanes, and Heraclitus

Earliest "Pre-Socratic" Philosophers:
Thales of Miletus (624-546 BC)
Anaximander of Miletus (611-546 BC)
Anaximenes of Miletus (585-528 BC)
Pherecydes of Syros (ca. 580-520 BC)
Pythagoras of Samos (ca. 570-495 BC)
Xenophanes of Colophon (ca. 570-470 BC)
Heraclitus of Ephesus (ca. 535-475 BC)

Monday, August 15, 2016

019 - Poets and Wise Rulers

In this episode, we discuss part 2 of 2 on the influential poets whose writings gives us insight into the economic, social, and political happenings that reshaped archaic age Greece; in particular, we look at the turbulent history of late 7th and early 6th century BC Mytilene, which finds itself at the intersection of two great poets (Alcaeus and Sappho), tyranny, and one of the so-called "Seven Sages", making it a perfect case study; and in response to all of these enormous economic, social, and political changes arose the phenomenon of the lawgiver, many of which were among the "Seven Sages"

ca. 625 BC - the Penthiliadai, the ruling family of Mytilene, were ousted, leading to rival factions competing for power on Lesbos
ca. 610 BC - the tyrant Melanchrus was ousted by a faction that included Alcaeus' brothers and Pittacus; Myrsilus became the next tyrant
ca. 605 BC - Myrsilus dies, Athens challenges Mytilene for control of Sigeion in the Troad, an event which was arbitrated by Periander in favor of Athens
ca. 600 BC - political unrest once again took root on Lesbos, which forced both of the poets Sappho and Alcaeus into exile
ca. 590 BC - the Mytileneans entrusted Pittacus with absolute power to heal the sores of the city; in doing so, he recalled all exiles and enacted a general amnesty
ca. 590-580 BC - Sappho instituted a school of music and poetry for upper-class women on Lesbos, and she became so close with her pupils there that it later gave rise to the homoerotic notion of "Lesbian"
578 BC - Pittacus lays down absolute power and retires from political life

Poets/Sages Discussed:
Pittacus of Lesbos (648-568 BC)
Sappho and Alcaeus of Lesbos (ca. 630-570 BC)
Bias of Priene (fl. 6th century BC)
Cleobulus of Rhodes (fl. 6th century BC)
Aesop (620-564 BC)
Stesichorus of Metauros (ca. 630-555 BC)
Earliest stages of the Gortyn legal code (ca. 600-525 BC)
Theognis of Megara (fl. 550 BC)
Phocylides of Miletus (fl. 550 BC)
Hipponax of Ephesus (fl. 550 BC)
Anacreon of Teos (ca. 570-485 BC)
Ibycus of Rhegium (fl. 525 BC)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

018 - From Epic to Lyric

In this episode, we discuss the literary changes that took place in the 7th and 6th centuries BC (moving away from grand epic to the more personalized lyric, elegiac, and iambic forms of poetry); and part 1 of 2 on the influential poets whose writings gives us insight into the economic, social, and political happenings that reshaped archaic age Greece

ca. 800-700 BC - The "Epic Cycle" was constructed, which includes the works of "Homer"
ca. 750-700 BC - Hesiod flourished
ca. 700-675 BC - Terpander and Thaletas instituted musical schools at Sparta
ca. 680 BC - Archilochus wrote the first non-epic poetry on the historical record
ca. 675-650 BC - Alcman, Tyrtaeus, Callinus, and Semonides all flourished
ca. 630-600 BC - Mimnermus flourished; Arian introduced the dithyramb to Corinth

Primary Sources:
Text/Fragments of the Epic Cycle
Text/Primary Sources for Earliest Poets
Text/Fragments of Alcman

Friday, August 5, 2016

017 - Archaic Art and Architecture

In this episode, we discuss the innovation taking place during the 7th and 6th centuries BC in the realm of vase painting (Orientalizing, Protocorinthian, Protoattic, black-figure, and red-figure), statuary (kouros/kore and reliefs), and architecture (Doric/Ionic temples, treasuries, and stoas) by looking at some notable works of Archaic art and architecture

Monday, July 25, 2016

016 - The "Age of Tyranny"

In this episode, we discuss the new political phenomena arising in various parts of the Greek world in the 7th and 6th centuries BC, called tyranny, by focusing on four poleis in the Peloponnese in particular as case studies for its cause: Pheidon of Argos (the military cause), Kypselos and Periander of Corinth (the economic cause), Cleisthenes of Sicyon (the ethnic cause), and Theogenes of Megara (the unsuccessful attempt)

747 BC - the last king of Corinth, Telestes, was overthrown, resulting in the city being ran by a royal clan, called the Bacchiadai
733 BC - the Corinthians founded Syracuse and Corcyra
ca. 725-700 BC - the trireme was developed at Corinth
ca. 700 BC - The Megarians drove out hostile invaders (possibly Corinth?) from their city
685 BC - the Megarians founded Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosporus
669 BC - The Argives defeated the Spartans at the battle of Hysiae, possibly the event that allowed Pheidon to become tyrant of Argos
668 BC - The neighboring city-state of Pisa gained control of the Olympic sanctuary from Elis, with the help of Pheidon and his newly minted hoplite army; the Megarians founded Byzantion (Byzan
tium) on the European side of the Bosporus
664 BC - the first Greek sea-battle took place between Corinth and its colony, Corcyra
657-627 BC - Kypselos overthrows the Bacchiadai ruling clan (of which he was a marginalized member) and establishes himself as tyrant of Corinth

ca. 650-625 BC - Demaratus, an exiled Bacchiadai, flees to Italy, where he settled at the Etruscan city of Tarquinii and introduced many aspects of Greek culture to central Italy (his son Lucius would eventually move to Rome and become king)
ca. 650 BC - Orthagoras becomes tyrant of Sicyon; Theagenes becomes tyrant of Megara
632 BC - An Olympic victor, Cylon, unsuccessfully attempted to install himself as tyrant of Athens, with the aid of his father-in-law, Theagenes of Megara
627-585 BC - Periander succeeded his father as tyrant of Corinth, and established Corinth as the most economically prosperous city-state in the Greek world, although paranoia set in and his rule grew harsher and harsher towards his people
ca. 600-570 BC - Cleisthenes becomes tyrant of Sicyon
595-585 BC - Cleisthenes of Sicyon and the Amphictyons led the defense of Delphi against the Phocian town of Krissa in the First Sacred War
585-583 BC - Periander's nephew, Psammetikos, ruled as tyrant, but he felt the brunt of Corinthian anger towards his uncle's harshness and was deposed
582 BC - the Corinthians established the Isthmian Games to celebrate the end of the Cypselid tyranny; the Delphians established the Pythian Games to celebrate their freedom from Krissa following the First Sacred War
570-556 BC - Cleisthenes' successor, Aeschines, ruled as tyrant of Sicyon until he was expelled with the help of the Spartans

Monday, July 18, 2016

015 - Colonization and the East

In this episode, we discuss the Greek emigration northeastward into the Chalkidiki, Thrace, Hellespont, Bosporus, Black Sea, and southwards into northern Africa during the 7th and 6th centuries BC; the reigns of the Lydian and Egyptian kings of the 26th Saite Dynasty and their relations with the Greeks until around 550 BC; and the development of coinage (first in Lydia and then its widespread adoption and adaptation by the Greeks in the 6th century BC)

ca. 1050-950 BC - Phrygians migrate from Thrace into central Anatolia; Phrygian kings establish capital at Gordium and unite the central Anatolian plateau

ca. 700 BC - The Euboeans (particularly Chalcis), as well as Corinth, establish colonies on the coasts of Macedon and the Chalkidiki Peninsula

ca. 700-690 BC - Cimmerian invaders (nomads from the Black Sea) come down and overrun the Phrygian kingdom, whose king Mita (Midas?) then commits suicide; Phrygian power over central Anatolia is shattered and Lydia becomes an independent kingdom

685 BC - The Megarians found Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosporus

ca. 680 BC - Gyges overthrows Kandaules, establishing the Mermnad dynasty of Lydia

ca. 680-645 BC - Gyges sets the Lydian pattern of trying to control the coastal Greek cities for tribute and access to the sea; he captures Kolophon and Magnesia and brings the Troad under his control, but he is unable to defeat Smyrna, Miletus, and Ephesus and thus enters into alliances with them; he send gifts to Delphi, and the Lydians mint the first electrum coins

ca. 675-600 BC - The Milesians found colonies in the Troad and on the southern (Anatolian) and western (Thracian) shores of the Black Sea region

668 BC - The Megarians found Byzantion on the European side of the Bosporus

ca. 665-610 BC - Psammetichos (Psamtik) overthrows the Assyrian yoke over Egypt and establishes native rule (26th Saite Dynasty), and with the help of Ionian and Carian mercenaries, he consolidates his hold over the Nile Delta

ca. 650 BC - Klazomenai founds Abdera on the Thracian coastline in the northern Aegean

ca. 645-625 BC - The Lydian king, Ardys, pushes out the Cimmerians from his land and extends Lydian power eastwards to the border of the Halys River; wars with Miletus unsuccessfully but is able to defeat Priene

ca. 630 BC - The Therans founded Cyrene on the African coastline in Libya

ca. 630-600 BC - Battos rules over Cyrene

ca. 625-610 BC - The Lydian king, Sadyattes, sacks Smyrna, suffers a huge defeat against Klazomenai, and leads yearly campaigns against Miletus

ca. 610-560 BC - The Lydian king, Alyattes, due to the cunning of the Milesian tyrant Thrasyboulos, sues for peace after 17 years of war; Alyattes also falls for a trick by Bias that leads him to sue for peace with Priene too

ca. 600 BC - The Egyptian pharaoh, Necho, sends out an expedition of Phoenicians, who sail from the Red Sea westwards entirely around the coast of Africa, returning through the Pillars of Hercules to the mouth of the Nile River

ca. 600-550 BC - Greek settlements spring up in the more remote parts of the Black Sea in Colchis and Scythia by the Milesians

600-583 BC - Arkesilaos rules over Cyrene

585 BC - The Battle of the Halys River in Cappadocia between the Lydians under Alyattes and the Medes under Cyaxerxes ends in a draw due to the total eclipse of the sun (predicted by Thales); the Halys River is established as the boundary between Lydia and Media

583-560 BC - Under the rule of Battos II, an influx of Greek migrants reinforces Cyrene at the behest of the Delphic oracle; this leads the local Libyan tribes, fearful of their intentions, to seek an alliance with the Egyptian pharaoh, Apries 

ca. 570 BC - The Cyrenaeans under Battos II defeat the Egyptians under Apries, resulting in the overthrow of Apries and the ascendency of Amasis II; the Greeks establish Naukratis in the Nile Delta; the use of silver coins reaches the Ionian Greeks via the Lydians and it quickly spreads to the rest of the Greek world

560-550 BC - The Cyrenean king, Arkesilaos II, is a brutal ruler, leading to a revolt, assisted by the Libyans, and the ascendancy of Battos III

560-546 BC - The Lydian king, Croesus, subdues the Carians and Ephesians

Saturday, July 9, 2016

014 - Colonization and the West

In this episode, we discuss the causes of colonization (shortage of land, trade, and civil strife); the Greek emigration westward into southern Italy and Sicily, the coasts of southern France and eastern Spain, and on the islands of Corsica and Sardinia during the 8th, 7th, and 6th centuries BC; the development of the trireme by the Phoenicians/the Corinthians in order to protect their maritime trade networks from roving bands of pirates looking for ships laden with exotic goods; and their growing tensions in the central and western Mediterranean Sea with the Etruscans and the Phoenicians (specifically the Carthaginians) until around 550 BC

ca. 775-750 BC - a group of colonists from the Euboean cities of Chalcis and Eretria and from Cyme in Aeolus, together with the Phoenicians, established a colony/emporion at Pithekoussai on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples
ca. 740 BC - the Euboeans alone established a colony/apoikia at Cumae, directly adjacent to Ischia on the Italian mainland, making it the oldest Greek-only colony in the west and gave them access to trade with the Etruscans of central Italy
734 BC - the Chalcidians founded the first Greek colony in Sicily at Naxos
733 BC - the Corinthians founded Syracuse and Corcyra
728 BC - the Chalcidians founded Leontini and Catana
726 BC - the Megarians founded Megara Hyblea
ca. 725-700 BC - the trireme was developed at Corinth
725 BC - the Chalcidians founded Zancle
720 BC - the Chalcidians founded Rhegium; the Achaeans founded Sybaris
710 BC - the Achaeans founded Kroton
706 BC - the Spartans founded Taras
ca. 700 BC - the Achaeans founded Metapontion
688 BC - the Rhodians and Cretans founded Gela
ca. 680 BC - the Locrians founded Locri (legal code drew up by Zaleucus)
ca. 630 BC - the Greeks began to move away from eastern Sicily, as Zancle founded Himera in north-central Sicily and Megara Hyblea founded Selinus in southwestern Sicily, bringing the Greeks into contact with the Elymians and Phoenician colonies in west Sicily
ca. 600 BC - the Sybarites founded Poseidonia; the Phocaeans founded Massalia--the first Greek settlement in France, but in order to do so they had to defeat the Carthaginians in a naval battle in the waters just south of France
ca. 580 BC - the Greeks first engaged in hostilities with the Elymians of Segesta and the Phoenician colonists on Sicily, who in turn formed a military alliance with the powerful Etruscans of central Italy; as a result, the Greeks founded Lipara, the largest of the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the northern coast of Sicily, to keep a watch against the Etruscan pirates; Gela founded Akragas on south-central Sicily
ca. 575 BC - the Phocaeans founded Emporion on the northeastern coast of Spain, further encroaching on Carthaginian-owned territory in Spain
570-554 BC - the tyrant Phalaris quickly turned Akragas into a regional power
ca. 560 BC - the Phocaeans gained a foothold in the Etruscan "network", by founding Olbia on the northeastern coast of Sardinia and Alalia on the eastern coast of Corsica
546 BC - Cyrus the Great of Persia sacked Phocaea, forcing the Phocaeans to flee westward to their colonies; some founded Elea on the Tyrrhenian coastline, making it the last of the Greek settlements in Italy during this great period of Greek colonization