Libsyn Player

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

Greek wordshetairoi (aristocratic supporters, literally “followers”), diapsephismos (scrutinization of citizen's list), astu (urban area), paralia (coastline), mesogeia (inland)trittys (a third), demoi (deme, i.e. local community), demarchos (elected leader of a deme), nothoi (illegitimate children, i.e. non-citizens), phratria (clan), dokimasia (investigation to confirm someone's legal right to hold office), apodektai (person in charge of finance), Boule (council), Ekklesia (general assembly), probouleusis (legislation prepared by Boule to be discussed in Ekklesia), probouleuma (a recommendation for legislation), psephisma (a motion in the Ekklesia), prytaneis (executives of the Boule), prytany (term of office for the prytaneis, i.e. 36 days), Tholos (round building on the south-side of the Agora where the Prytaneis lived at public's expense), Bouleterion (Council Hall), ostrakismos (ostracism), ostrakon (broken sherd of pottery), demokratia (democracy, i.e. the power of the people), isonomia (equality before the law), isogoria (equality of opportunity to address the political body), nomos (statute), themos (law based on custom), eleutheria (freedom)

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

Greek Wordsou kata nomon (not according to the accepted norm), miltos (a red ochre clay used as paint), demotikotatos (a man concerned about the people), oikemata (small treasury-style buildings), komos (communal revelry), tragodia (tragedy), hermai (images of Hermes to act as milestones on the roads for travelers), Enneakrounos (the Nine Spouts), kanephoros (young virgin girls who carry the baskets that held the knives for the sacrifice to Athena), skolia (drinking songs), isonomia (free)

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)


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

025 - The Reforms of Solon



In this episode, we discuss the life 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 look for new land--their solution was 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 - The 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 - a great ramp was built up onto the Acropolis; noble families began to compete for prestige through the funding of the construction of new buildings and statues atop the Acropolis, such as the Temple of Athena Poleis (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

Greek wordsgnorimoi ("notables"), plethos (the multitude), eunomia (good law and justice), sophrosyne (self-control and moderation), seisachtheia (the shaking off of burdens), metoikois (metics, i.e. resident foreigners), medimnos (measurement of grain equal to about 12 gallons), Pentakosiomedimnoi (those whose land produced at least 500 medimnoi), hippeis (horses or cavalrymen), thugatai ("yoke-fellows", those who were wealthy enough to own an oxen to plow their fields), thetes (landless workers), ekklesia (general assembly), politeia (constitution), eisangelia (impeachment), graphe (a written charge of indictment), heliaia (a court of appeals), Agroikoi (farmers), Demiourgoi (artisans), pediakoi (the men of the plain), peralioi (the men of the coast), diakrioi (the men of the hills), hyperakrioi (the men beyond the hills), apobatai (athletic competition at Panathenaic Games in which contestants wore armor and periodically leapt off a moving chariot and ran alongside it before leaping back on again), hekatombe (a sacrifice of a hundred oxen), pannychis ("all-nighter”, referring to a feast)




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 patronage of Athens, the birth of Ericthonius (the "love" child of Hephaistos-Athena-Gaia) who would go onto become king, the deeds and reign 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

Greek wordserion (piece of wool), chthon (ground, earth), synoikismos (the unification of the various villages), sympoliteia (a shared common citizenship), eupatridai (those with good fathers, i.e. "well-born"), pagos (hill), archo (to rule), thesmothetai (those who lay down laws), phyla (tribe), phratria (brotherhood), genos (clan), hippeis (horses or cavalrymen), thugatai ("yoke-fellows", those who were wealthy enough to own an oxen to plow their fields), thetes (landless workers), peletai (dependent agricultural farmer), hektemoroi (1/6th men, i.e. sharecroppers of their land), horoi (stones marking off boundaries of land), agogimoi (those seized as slaves to pay off a debt loan), thesmothetes (extraordinary legislator, i.e. a legislator given extra powers for reform), drakon (snake), ephetai (judges), strategoi (generals), hipparchoi (commanders of the cavalry)

Primary Sources:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

023 - THIS IS SPARTA



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)

Greek termsproxenoi (guest-friends to be diplomats in other city-states), pythioi (those who consult and receive prophecies from the Pythia in an official capacity), gerontes (elders), obai (tribes), hoi tuchontes (the lucky ones), autarkeia (economic self-sufficiency), kleros (a plot of land), apothetai ( “to throw away"), paidonomos (director of education), agelai (groups or herds), meirakion (youth), erotas (older lover), eromenos (younger beloved), krypteia (secret police force that terrorized Helots); Hippagrites (commander of the horse), syskenia (communal barracks), sussition (common dining hall), melas zomos (black broth), homoioi (similars), hypomeiones (inferiors), mothakes (bastard children), syntrophoi (companions), trophimoi (foster children), eunomia (good order)


Primary Sources:

Tuesday, August 30, 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
510 BC - Dorieus was killed in battle agains the Carthaginians, as he tried to establish a second colony, this one in western Sicily in Punic territory

Greek termsperioikoi ("those who live around", referring to the non-Spartan citizens in Laconia), Heilotes (or Helots, referring to those who were Sparta's slaves from Messenia), haliskomai (“those captured in war”), kakonomotatoi ( “worst-governed"), rhetra ("statement"), hegemon (“leader”), kleros ("a plot of land")

Primary Sources:


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

Greek wordsekecheiria (literally “a laying down of arms”, a common truce), spondophoroi (runners who ran to each polis to announce beginning of the truce), aristos (best), Hellanodikai (judges of the Olympic Games), Hellanodikaion (place where the judges lived leading up to the games), nomophylarchoi ("guardians of the law" who trained the judges), leukoma (list of approved participants in the games), diazomata (loin-cloths), gymnos (naked), stadion (footrace of 180-240 meters, Latin stadium), balbis (starting block), Olympionikes (Olympian victor), diaulos (two stadion race), kampter (turning post), dolichos (foot race of about 18-24 laps, or 5 kilometers), pale (wrestling), plethron (measure of distance about 100 feet), pente (five), athlon (competition), pentathlon (competition of five events), triagmos (three events; long jump, javelin throw, and discus throw), ankyle (leather strip for gripping javelin), ekebolon (long jump event for distance), stockastikon (long jump event for accuracy), halteres (stone weights held by long jumpers), pygmachia (boxing), korykos (punching bags), himantes (wraps on hands for punching), sphairai (harder punching gloves), oxys (wrist and forearm protection), harmatodromia (chariot racing), tethrippon (four-horse race), synoris (two-horse race), xystis (sleeved garment worn by charioteers), keles (single horse race), hippodromos (horse-race course), hippos (horse), dromos (course), embolon (barrier dividing hippodromos), hyspleges (starting gates for horse races), pankration/pammachion (all-out MMA style fighting event), kratos (strength), mache (fight), Pankratiastos (Pankration fighter), ephedros (literally "reserve", those who get a bye in a round), anephedros (those who won without a bye), hoplitodromos (hoplite race), hekatombe (one-hundred bull sacrifice), hekaton (one-hundred), bous (bull), kotinos (symbolic honor of a garland given to victors), theoroi (sacred citizens sent from Delphi to announce games), periodonikes (winner of all four games in one cycle, "grand slam" equivalent), akrocheirismos (literally "highhandedness" or someone who wrestled at arm's length), hellenikon (literally "the Greek thing", i..e. Greekness)


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)

Greek wordsphilos (love), sophia (wisdom), physiologoi (natural philosophers), physis (nature), logos (word, statement, order, reason, or account), physikoi (physicists), theologoi (theologians), arche (principle or primal substance from which all things began), symmachia (a fighting together, i.e. a military alliance), apeiron (indefinite and eternal substance), politeia (the constitution), ponera (something fundamentally wrong or considered toilsome), ainiktes (the riddler), skoteinos (the obscure), eris (strife), dike (justice), polemos (war)


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)

Greek wordsepithalmia (wedding songs), kakopatrides (low-born), aisymnetes ("supervisor", ruler that is not quite a tyrannos but similar to Latin dictator), sophoi (wise men), stesai (chorus of singers to the kithara), nomoi (laws sanctioned by precedent), eunomia (condition of having good laws well obeyed), metrokoites (mother**ker)


Primary Sources: