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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

Greek wordsmonarchos (i.e. monarch, a legitimate hereditary king), tyrannos (i.e. tyrant, kings who seized power unconstitutionally), genos (lineage clan), prytanis (chief magistrate), polemarchos (war leader), kypsele (jar), diolkos (drag way), Choireatae (the swine men), Oneatae (the ass men), Hyata (the pig men), Archelaoi (the rulers of the people)

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. 700 BC - the Euboeans (particularly Chalcis), as well as Corinth, established colonies on the coasts of Macedon and the Chalcidice Peninsula
ca. 700-675 BC - Cimmerian invaders overran the Phrygian kingdom of central Anatolia, whose king Mita (Midas?) committed suicide
685 BC - the Megarians founded Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosporus
668 BC - the Megarians founded  Byzantion on the European side of the Bosporus
ca. 680-645 BC - Gyges overthrew Candaules and established the Mermnad ruling dynasty of Lydia; Gyges captured Colophon and Magnesia and brought the Troad under his control, but he was unable to defeat Smyrna, Miletus, and Ephesus and thus entered into alliances
ca. 675-600 BC - the Milesians founded colonies in the Troad and on the southern (Anatolian) and western (Thracian) shores of the Black Sea region
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 founded Abdera on the Thracian coastline in the northern Aegean
ca. 645-625 BC - the Lydian king, Ardys, pushed out the Cimmerians from his land and extended Lydian power eastwards to the border of the Halys River; warred with Miletus unsuccessfully but was able to defeat Priene
ca. 630 BC - the Therans founded Cyrene on the African coastline in Libya
ca. 630-600 BC - Battus rules over Cyrene
ca. 625-610 BC - the Lydian king, Sadyattes, sacked Smyrna, suffered a huge defeat against Klazomenai, and led yearly campaigns against Miletus
ca. 610-560 BC - the Lydian king, Alyattes, due to the cunning of the Milesian tyrant Thrasybulus, sued for peace after 17 years of war; Alyattes also fell for trick by Bias that led him to sue for peace with Priene too
ca. 600 BC - the Egyptian pharaoh, Necho, sent out an expedition of Phoenician, who sailed from the Red Sea westward entirely around the coast of Africa, returning through the Pillars of Hercules to the mouth of the Nile
ca. 600-550 BC - Greek settlements sprang 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 between the Lydians and the Medes ends in a draw due to the total eclipse of the sun (predicted by Thales)
583-560 BC - Under the rule of Battus II, an influx of Greek migrants reinforced Cyrene at the behest of the Delphic oracle; this led the local Libyan tribes, fearful of their intentions, to seek an alliance with the Egyptian pharaoh, Apries 
ca. 570 BC - the Cyrenaeans under Battus II defeated the Egyptians under Apries, resulting in the overthrow of Apries and the ascendency of Amasis II; the Greeks established Naukratis in the Nile Delta; the use of silver coins reached the Ionian Greeks via the Lydians and it quickly spread to the rest of the Greek world
560-550 BC - the Cyrenean king, Arkesilaos II, was a brutal ruler, leading to a revolt, assisted by the Libyans, and the ascendancy of Battus III
560-546 BC - the Lydian king, Croesus, subdued the Carians and Ephesians

Greek wordstyrannos (i.e. tyrant, unconstitutional monarch), drachme (i.e. drachma, silver currency that literally means a "grasp" or "handful"), obolos (i.e. obol, six of these make a drachma, literally means a "spit")

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 of 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 on the northeastern coast of the island
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 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

Greek wordsapoikia (colony, "a home away"), emporion (trading station), oikistos (founder of a colony), pentekontros (long range ship used for sea trade, piracy, and warfare, capable of transporting freight or troops), nees makrai ("long ships"), trireme (featured three decks with three rows of oarsmen on each side that was bigger, faster, and more maneuverable than any previous warship), embolos (bronze ram at end of prow used for ramming)

Friday, July 1, 2016

013 - Hoplite Warfare

In this episode, we discuss the revolutionary changes in warfare that took place in the 8th and 7th centuries BC that were strictly Greek and reflect the abstract nature of the polis; the type of armor worn and weaponry employed by a typical hoplite; the organization and training of military forces; their application of tactics in a typical battle sequence; the cultic practices of the bloodlust god, Ares, who personifies the grim and horrific aspects of warfare; and the Lelantine War, the first large-scale war on the Greek record after the mythical Trojan War and the first instance in which these military changes were employed

ca. 725-650 BC - the Lelantine War took place pitting Eretria, Miletus, Aegina,  Megara, and Chios versus Chalcis, Samos, Corinth, Erythrai, and Thessaly
ca. 700 BC - Lefkandi was destroyed, probably by Chalcis
ca. 650 BC - the Chigi vase is the earliest depiction of hoplite warfare in Greek art

Greek wordsphalanx (deep-lined military formation that formed a solid defensive block and worked together as one entity)hopliteis (hoplite, i.e. an infantry soldier), hoplon/aspis (shield), panoplia (panoply, i.e. all of the armor of a hoplite),  porpax (handle of shield), antilabe (leather thong inside shield for left arm), thorax (breastplate), linothorax (breastplate made of linen), knemides (grieves), doru (spear), sauroter (four-sided spike on spear end), xiphos (short sword), kopis (curved blade), encheiridion (dagger), psiloi (light-armed troops of poorer classes), toxa (bows), akontia (javelins), lithoi (stones), sfendonai (slings), lochos (file), lochagos (file leader), protostates (the ones who stand in front), epistates (the ones who stand behind), ouragos (officer who kept order in the rear), polemarchos (general or commanding officer), salpinx (trumpet-like instrument)aulos (flute-like instrument)paean (battle hymn), alalagmoi (war cries), krousis (the moment two hoplite armies met), promachoi (the front-line fighters), doratismos (spear combat), othismos (huge shove intended to knock down the front line of the enemy), ripsaspis (the one who threw his shield away), pararrexis (moment a phalanx was broken through), tropaion (trophy), trepho (to turn)