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Article

Antissa  

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.

Article

Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond

Buthrotum (now Butrinto, uninhabited), founded traditionally by the Trojan *Helenus on a low hill at the seaward end of a narrow channel leading from a lake, possessed fine harbours and fisheries and was a port of call on the coasting route along *Epirus. It has prehistoric remains, a fine theatre, and strong Hellenistic fortifications. The centre of a tribal union, it later became a Roman colony. Recent excavation reveals cultural influence from Archaic *Corinth.

Article

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 .

Article

Pylos  

O. T. P. K. Dickinson and Simon Hornblower

Pylos was the classical name of sites in *Elis, Triphylia (S. of Elis), and *Messenia, all of which claimed to be the Pylos which is *Nestor (1)'s capital in the Homeric poems (Strabo 8. 3; cf. Ar. Eq. 1059); but many textual references to ‘sandy Pylos’ better suit a region, probably that around Navarino Bay (cf. MME 82, 84, 93), although there was a ‘Pylian plain’ in Triphylia (Strabo 8. 3. 14). Strabo's preferred candidate for Nestor's capital was the Triphylian Pylos, although it was well inland (8. 3. 14), whereas references in the Odyssey (3. 4–5, 386–7, 423–4; 15. 215–6) imply a site close to the sea; but Triphylian Pylos was unknown to Pausanias, who records local tradition placing the house, tomb, and cave of Nestor and the tomb of *Thrasymedes, Nestor's son, at Messenian Pylos (4. 36. 1–2). This was the rocky peninsula, more precisely called Coryphasium (now Palaiokastro), north of Navarino Bay and joined by a sand spit to the mainland, which was occupied by the Athenians between 425 and 409 bce.

Article

Tegea  

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.

Article

Thera  

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).

Article

Tiryns  

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.