Richard Allan Tomlinson
Ellen E. Rice
A Dodecanese island lying between *Cos and Leros to the west of the *Halicarnassus peninsula. Calymnos together with nearby islands whose identity is disputed are probably the ‘Kalydnai isles’ mentioned in Homer (Il. 2. 677). Caves and tombs reveal neolithic and Mycenaean occupation. The main Mycenaean citadel was probably at Perakastro near the modern capital Pothia. Herodotus (7. 99) states that Calymnos was later colonized by Dorians from Epidaurus. In historical times, Calymnian ships fought with the Carians during the Persian War (see
A sanctuary of *Apollo and theatre were found at the site of Christ of Jerusalem near Damos in the southern half of the island. Finds show that the cult existed there from archaic times onwards, and nearby cemeteries and walls attest ancient occupation in this area. The other main centre of occupation was around Vathy in the east, as an impressive fortification circuit wall at Embolas shows. There are Roman and Byzantine remains throughout the island as well as on the islet of Telendos to the west.
The classical world witnessed many forms of landscape change in its physical geography, mostly due to longer-term geological and climatological processes, whilst only a minority were due purely to human action. The physical environment of Greek and Roman societies saw alterations through earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, sea-level fluctuations, erosion, and alluviation.
Already in Greek antiquity, Plato (Critias iii) observed how the Aegean physical landscape was being worn down over time as erosion from the uplands filled the lowland plains. Indeed, the Mediterranean region is amongst the most highly erodible in the world.1 However, scientific research in the field known as geoarchaeology has revealed a more complex picture than a continuous degradation of the ancient countryside.2
To uncover a more realistic picture of Mediterranean landscape change, the element of timescales proves to be central, and here the framework developed by the French historian Fernand Braudel3 provides the appropriate methodology. Braudel envisaged the Mediterranean past as created through the interaction of dynamic forces operating in parallel but on different “wavelengths” of time: the Short Term (observable within a human lifetime or less), the Medium Term (centuries or more, not clearly cognisant to contemporaries), and the Long Term (up to as much as thousands or millions of years, not at all in the awareness of past human agents).
R. W. V. Catling
Delos, a small island (3 sq. km.: 1.2 sq. mi.) between Myconos and Rheneia, regarded in antiquity as the centre of the *Cyclades. Composed of gneiss and granite, it is barren and almost waterless and was incapable of supporting its inhabitants.
Delos, the only place to offer shelter to *Leto, was the birthplace of *Apollo and *Artemis, as recounted in the Archaic Homeric Hymn to Apollo. This was the basis of its historical importance. It was also the burial-place of the *Hyperboreans. *Anius was its heroic founder, son and priest of Apollo, later associated with the Trojan cycle.
Early bronze age occupation on Mt. Cynthus was succeeded by a Mycenaean settlement on the low ground later occupied by the sanctuary. Two Mycenaean graves were later identified as the tombs of the Hyperborean maidens (the Theke and the Sema). Continuity of cult into historic times is unlikely.
Catherine A. Morgan, Simon Hornblower, and Antony Spawforth
W. M. Murray
Eugene N. Borza
Ellen E. Rice
Catherine A. Morgan, Simon Hornblower, and Antony Spawforth
Olympia, *panhellenic sanctuary of *Zeus located in hill country beside the river *Alpheus in *Elis.
There is evidence of extensive prehistoric settlement in the vicinity including a large EH tumulus in the Altis which remained visible into the early iron age, MH houses, and Mycenaean tombs (see
Votives (tripods and figurines) in an ash layer in the Altis indicate cult activity at least from the late 10th cent. (perhaps with an early ash altar). The first Olympiad was traditionally dated 776
Vladimir F. Stolba
Panskoye I is one of the most prominent and best-studied settlements in the rural territory of Chersonesus on the Tarkhankut Peninsula (north-western Crimea). Founded in the late 5th century
Henry Dickinson Westlake
Ptoion, sanctuary of *Apollo located in the territory of *Acraephnium in *Boeotia. The ruins of the oracle on Mt. Ptoon consist of the remains of a temple, a grotto and spring, and various sacred buildings. Excavations have found rich dedications of Archaic date, especially statuary. The cult dates at least from the 8th cent.
Ancient peoples lived in close proximity to the environment and experienced at first hand natural phenomena and landscape features that, while often helpful or indeed essential to life, were also potentially threatening. The land and its produce were crucial to survival, and in a predominantly rural world dotted with towns and cities, many people will have observed at first hand mountains, rivers, and the relationship of landscape to available space for settlement. Rivers expressed the local community’s link with the landscape and sustained river valley communities by providing water for drinking, washing, irrigation, and watering of animals, as well as offering routes of communication. Many rivers were also a fruitful source of fish, especially if the water was clean, such as the high-quality fish from the Pamisos in Messenia (Paus. 4.34.1–2). But of course rivers could also flood a settlement or sweep it away. In addition, popular reaction to the environment around the local area was often influenced by strong cultural and religious feelings associated with landscape. In this context, it is not surprising that some literary works were exclusively devoted to natural features of the landscape, for example describing rivers, their character, history, and legendary associations. Mythology helped to explain natural phenomena. Furthermore, the theme of rivers in various guises appears repeatedly in the work of geographers, ethnographers, teachers, poets, and historians. Philosophers were also interested in the curiosities of riverine conditions, which, by their timeless quality yet constant movement, seemingly offered a comment on the human condition.
Rogozen, Bulgarian site in ancient *Thrace (see also
Stymphalus, *polis of NE *Arcadia, situated in a long, narrow, enclosed upland basin. The basin, with no outward surface drainage, floods and produces a lake of varying size, famous in antiquity as the home of the man-eating Stymphalian birds killed by *Heracles. An older settlement (not securely located) was replaced in the 4th cent.
Radcliffe G. Edmonds III
Depictions of the underworld, in ancient Greek and Roman textual and visual sources, differ significantly from source to source, but they all draw on a common pool of traditional mythic motifs. These motifs, such as the realm of Hades and its denizens, the rivers of the underworld, the paradise of the blessed dead, and the places of punishment for the wicked, are developed and transformed through all their uses throughout the ages, depending upon the aims of the author or artist depicting the underworld. Some sources explore the relation of the world of the living to that of the dead through descriptions of the location of the underworld and the difficulties of entering it. By contrast, discussions of the regions within the underworld and existence therein often relate to ideas of afterlife as a continuation of or compensation for life in the world above. All of these depictions made use of the same basic set of elements, adapting them in their own ways to describe the location of, the entering into, and the regions within the underworld.