The Eleusinian Mysteries: The Rites of Demeter
The Rites of Eleusis, or the Eleusinian Mysteries, were the secret rituals of the mystery school of Eleusis and were observed regularly from c. 1600 BCE - 392 CE. Exactly what this mystic ritual was no one knows; but why the ancient Greeks...
The Delian League, Part 4: The Ten Years War (431/0-421/0 BCE)
This text is part of an article series on the Delian League. The fourth phase of the Delian League encompasses the first part of the Great Peloponnesian War, also referred to as the Ten Years War, sometimes called quite incorrectly The...
Architecture in the Ancient World
One of the lasting contributions ancient cultures have made to modern life is architecture, both in terms of surviving monuments and their influence on contemporary buildings around the world. Ambitious rulers set up pyramids in Egypt and...
The ever evolving pottery from the Minoan civilization of Bronze Age Crete (2000-1500 BCE) demonstrates, perhaps better than any other medium, not only the Minoan joy in animal, sea and plant life but also their delight in flowing, naturalistic...
The Cycladic islands of the Aegean were first inhabited by voyagers from Asia Minor around 3000 BCE and a certain prosperity was achieved thanks to the wealth of natural resources on the islands such as gold, silver, copper, obsidian and...
Plato: The Poet Aristocles
Plato (428/427-348-347 BCE), whose dialogues on Truth, Good and Beauty have significantly shaped western thought and religion, wrote and taught under a nickname. His real name was Aristocles which means “the best glory”(from the...
The Albigensian Crusade (aka Cathars' Crusade, 1209-1229 CE), was the first crusade to specifically target heretic Christians - the Cathars of southern France. Not successful in repressing the heresy, the on-off campaigns over two decades...
The Shield of Heracles: The Complete Poem
The Shield of Heracles (also known as The Shield of Herakles and, in the original, Aspis Herakleous) is a poem of 480 hexameter lines written by an unknown Greek poet in the style of Hesiod (lived 8th century BCE). It deals with the Greek...
A relief from a funerary kouros base depicting two Greek wrestlers, one of the sports at such events as the Olympic Games at Olympia. c. 510 BCE. (National Archaeological Museum, Athens)
Greek Bronze Ballot Disks
Bronze ballot disks used in Greek courts to vote guilty (a hole in the centre) or innocent (a solid centre). c. 300 BCE. (Agora Museum, Athens)