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D. Graham J. Shipley

Antissa, small coastal *polis in NW *Lesbos; birthplace of the poet *Terpander. A bronze age site has been explored; the Classical town originated in the early geometric period. Three apsidal buildings (possibly temples), stretches of a probable city wall, and remains of a harbour mole have been identified. The Mytileneans strengthened the defences during their revolt of 428 bce (see mytilene). *Thrasybulus captured the town c.389; later it joined the *Second Athenian Confederacy. The Romans destroyed it in 166 bce because of its links with *Antiochus (4) IV, and its territory was given to *Methymna. In medieval times it moved inland.


David R. Hernandez

Buthrotum (Bouthrotos; modern Butrint in southern Albania) was a seaport occupying a headland on the coast of Epirus in ancient NW Greece. Described as a “little Troy” in Vergil’s Aeneid, the city was said to have been founded by Helenus after the sack of Troy. Established by the end of 7th century bce, Buthrotum served as an emporium and enclave of Corcyra during the Archaic and Classical periods. Occupying a fortified acropolis with a Doric temple, evidently dedicated to Athena Polias, the city was identified as a polis c. 500 bce. An Epirote city of the Chaones during the Hellenistic period, it established a sanctuary of Asclepius with a theatre, inscribed with over 200 manumission decrees, and an agora. After 167 bce, Buthrotum was the capital of the koinon of the Prasaiboi. In the Late Republic, Titus Pomponius Atticus and Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa were patrons of the city, the former owning a lucrative and attractive villa praised by Cicero. Colonised by Rome in July 44 bce under a plan devised by Julius Caesar, Buthrotum was refounded by Augustus as colonia Augusta Buthrotum.


O. T. P. K. Dickinson, Arthur Maurice Woodward, Robert J. Hopper, and Antony Spawforth

The SW region of the Peloponnese (see Peloponnesus), bounded on the north by *Elis—along the lower course of the river Neda—and *Arcadia, and on the east by *Laconia, where the frontier follows at first the main ridge of Taygetus, but further south runs to the west of it (here lay the ager Dentheliatis, long disputed between *Messene and *Sparta), and terminates at the river Choerius a few miles south of the head of the Messenian Gulf. Western Messenia, dominated by Mt. Aegaleos, is hilly but well watered, with settlements concentrated on the coast. In Classical times the central and eastern region watered by the (partly navigable) river Pamisus was more populous; this area was well known for stockraising (Strabo 8. 5. 6, 366), and the lower plain, Macaria, was famous for its fertility.Survey work (see archaeology, classical) has provided a wealth of information on prehistoric Messenia, demonstrating that for much of the bronze age eastern Messenia was less significant than the western region, where the majority of important sites have been found. Neolithic finds remain scanty, but major early Helladic II buildings have been identified at Akovitika (near mod. Kalamata) and Voïdhokoilia (near Osmanaga lagoon). The later prehistoric sequence is best known from Nichoria, close to Rizomylo at the NW edge of the Messenian Gulf, which was occupied for the middle and most of the late Helladic periods, and again for much of the Dark Age. Middle Helladic Messenia has a markedly local character, without much evidence for contacts with the Aegean civilizations, but several of its more substantial settlements seem to have become the centres of small early Mycenaean principalities, to judge from the distribution of tholos-tombs, a type probably first developed in this province (early examples at .


Jack L. Davis and Sharon R. Stocker

Mycenaean Pylos is identified with the prehistoric site of Epano Englianos, north-east of the Bay of Navarino. First excavated by Carl Blegen and Konstantinos Kourouniotis in 1939, continuation of explorations in the 1950s and 1960s by Blegen and Marion Rawson uncovered the complete remains of a Mycenaean palatial complex of the 13th century bce. Recent fieldwork has shed additional light on the earlier history of the settlement and its development as a Bronze Age state, as well as its mortuary landscape, including tholos tombs, chamber tombs, and the grave of the “Griffin Warrior.” The settlement at Epano Englianos is the most important Mycenaean site in the western Peloponnese and served as an important and early conduit for the introduction of goods and concepts to the Greek mainland from Minoan Crete. The palatial complex was destroyed by fire c. 1180 bce. Causes for the destruction remain undetermined. It was later remembered in the poems of Homer as the seat of King Nestor.



James Roy

Tegea, a *polis of SE *Arcadia situated in a high upland basin crossed by important routes to *Argos(1), Sparta, and SW and E. Arcadia. The polis was formed from nine local communities, but when an urban centre was created (before the later 5th cent. bce) is unknown. Few traces of the town survive. Outside it there was, however, an important cult of *Athena Alea; its site has yielded finds from Mycenaean times onwards (see mycenaean civilization), and there was a cult centre at least from the 8th cent.; current excavation has found a Geometric temple; and the later Classical temple, burnt down in 395, was magnificently replaced by *Scopas. Around 550 Tegea was compelled by its southern neighbour Sparta to become an ally, and remained so, despite occasional reaction against Sparta, till *Leuctra. Tegea none the less provided asylum for several prominent Spartan exiles. It was also a bitter rival of its northern neighbour *Mantinea.



R. W. V. Catling

Thera (mod. Santorini, 76 km.2), the southernmost of the *Cyclades. It and Therasia are the remnants of a volcanic island destroyed in a cataclysmic eruption c.1650–1500 bce, burying the prehistoric landscape under volcanic ash. The absolute date of the eruption and its impact on *Minoan civilization are disputed (see atlantis). Viticulture thrives in its arid climate and light soils.At Akroteri a bronze age town, deserted before the final eruption, has been uncovered, providing unique insights into the life of a community c.1600 bce. Buildings survive up to two storeys and preserve a splendid series of frescos depicting scenes of nature, daily life, and cult. Most remarkable is a frieze in miniature style showing ships, towns, and landscapes. Of neolithic origins, Akroteri flourished between c.2000 and 1600 bce, when it had close connections with Crete. Local art combines Minoan influences with a vigorous naturalistic style (see minoan civilization).



Joseph Maran

The strongly fortified acropolis of Mycenaean Tiryns is situated about 1.5 kilometres from the present coast of the Bay of Nauplion (but only about five hundred metres in the Early Bronze Age and one kilometre in the Late Bronze Age), where it perches on a narrow, rocky outcrop that reaches a height of up to twenty-eight metres above sea level (Fig. 1). The hill slopes from south to north, a topographic feature used during the Mycenaean period to create a division into an upper citadel, a middle citadel, and a lower citadel by demarcating the limits of the different parts of the hill with strong, supporting walls. The acropolis was surrounded by an extensive settlement, the lower town, whose size during the different phases of occupation is still difficult to determine.Because of its impressive appearance, the identification of the site as ancient Tiryns was never disputed, which is why the site very early on attracted the attention of travellers and archaeologists. The remains of the last Mycenaean palace on the upper citadel were largely uncovered in 1884 and 1885 by Heinrich Schliemann and Wilhelm Dörpfeld.