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 …

Myth and polis VIII: Alexander’s use of myth during his campaigns

We have already reached the eighth part of this series. In the last two contributions, I have paid extensive attention to the figure of Alexander the Great and we have looked at which mythological ancestors the Macedonian king had and how this descent can still be seen in material sources. In this last part on …

Hellenistic Cities II: Megalopolis: a short history

In part two of the Hellenistic Cities series, we are looking at the youngest polis of the Greek Mainland: the Arcadian city of Megalopolis. The archaeological site of Megalopolis lies in the heart of the Arcadian region in Greece and is about a 45 minute drive from modern day Sparta. Not many of the buildings …

Hellenistic Cities I: the Settling of Alexandria

In this new series, we will be exploring the cities of the Hellenistic world. Each time we will explore a new city and discover a different aspect such as its history, social groups, political institutions or cultural festivals. This week we start with what is perhaps the most famous of the cities of the Hellenistic …