Travels in Greece II: the Southeast of the Peloponnese

In the first part of this series, we have already been introduced to the northern part of the Peloponnese, the peninsula in the south of mainland Greece. Today we continue our journey along the mountains of Arcadia to the wild nature of the Mani region. Starting we do so in a region that is often …

The Greek Rajas of Ancient India

Very few people know that approximately 40 years after the death of the famous Cleopatra, a date generally considered to be the end of the Hellenistic period, a Greek king named Strato III still reigned over a small territory in eastern Punjab. He was the last of dozens of rajahs in ancient India descended from …

The Dark Side of Alexander The Great  

When Alexander died in 323 in Babylon, his myth immediately spread throughout the known world. For centuries, the Macedonian king has fascinated rulers, leaders and-the everyday man. The rapidity of his conquests and his young age made him legendary. Many were inspired by him, and even today his personality continues to enchant. Ancient sources tell …

Anyte: A Hellenistic Poet

During the Hellenistic period, which starts at the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE, Greek poetry flourished in new directions. It reflected on the natural, physical landscape in ways Greek poetry had not before. The rise of pastoral poetry – poems about the idealized shepherd reflecting on nature – can be attributed to …

Hellenic vs. Hellenistic: a very big difference!

A few weeks ago, I came across this BBC article which was talking about how the art and architecture of the ancient Greeks is currently influencing many modern designs: from our interior to the jewelry we are wearing. More and more people are turning to the Greeks for help decorating their homes. While I fully …

Travels in Greece I : the nothern Peloponnese

I think that it must not come as a surprise, but I love Greece. I love the history of the country as well as the food, people and language. Having lived there for a few years, I have been able to travel extensively through several regions and visit the archaeological sites and musea. In this …

Hellenistic Cities III: Messene

The last post in this series is from quite a while ago. About high time we change this and delve into the short history of yet another Greek city during the Hellenistic period. This time we turn our eye to Messene. This city lies in the southern part of the Peloponnese in close proximity to …

Myth and Polis XI: Hellenistic kings and kinship myth

We have now reached the eleventh part of the series on the use of mythological kinship in Greek diplomatic interaction. Since most of the sources come from the epigraphic material of the Hellenistic period, we have already looked several times at how mythological kinship was used by cities in that period in their interactions with …

Myth and the Polis IX: Foundation Myths

Look at the buildings of an ancient Greek city and you cannot help but notice the references to Greek mythology are everywhere. As well as specific buildings for the veneration of local heroes, such as the Erechtheion on the Acropolis, there were temples to the gods, such as the temple of Apollo in Corinth. And …

Hellenistic cities III: Hybrid Worship in Alexandria

This is third part of our series on Hellenistic cities where we explore some very famous poleis such as Alexandria or Pergamon as well as some that are a little more obscure like Megalopolis. Each post tells us more about the general history, population or specific aspects of these Greek cities. In today’s post Shiro …