Thoricus

Last updated

Thoricus or Thorikos (Ancient Greek : Θορικός) was a city, and later a deme in the southern portion of ancient Attica, one of the twelve original settlements that were united in the synoikismos attributed to Theseus to form Archaic Athens. It was later a deme of the phyle of Acamantis. Near it are the mines of Laurion, where lead and silver was mined from Neolithic times, and worked in the industrial quarter of the settlement. [1] There is a theatre dating from c. 525–480 BC. The modern site is Lavrio.

Deme Administrative unit in ancient Athens

In Ancient Greece, a deme or demos modern Municipality was a suburb or a subdivision of Athens and other city-states. Demes as simple subdivisions of land in the countryside seem to have existed in the 6th century BC and earlier, but did not acquire particular significance until the reforms of Cleisthenes in 508 BC. In those reforms, enrollment in the citizen-lists of a deme became the requirement for citizenship; prior to that time, citizenship had been based on membership in a phratry, or family group. At this same time, demes were established in the main city of Athens itself, where they had not previously existed; in all, at the end of Cleisthenes' reforms, Athens was divided into 139 demes. to which one should add Berenikidai, established in 224/223 BC, Apollonieis and Antinoeis (126/127). The establishment of demes as the fundamental units of the state weakened the gene, or aristocratic family groups, that had dominated the phratries.

Theseus legendary king of Athens

Theseus was the mythical king and founder-hero of Athens. Like Perseus, Cadmus, or Heracles, Theseus battled and overcame foes that were identified with an archaic religious and social order. His role in history has been called "a major cultural transition, like the making of the new Olympia by Hercules".

Phyle is an ancient Greek term for tribe or clan. Members of the same phyle were known as symphyletai, literally: fellow tribesmen. They were usually ruled by a basileus. Some of them can be classified by their geographic location: the Geleontes, the Argadeis, the Hopletes, and the Agikoreis, in Ionia ; the Hylleans, the Pamphyles, the Dymanes, in the Dorian region.

Contents

History

The site was inhabited from the Neolithic Age (4th millennium BC). Thoricus was the mining centre of the Laureotica. There is evidence of lead extraction from the Early Helladic period (3rd millennium BC) and of silver (now exhausted) from 1500 BC. [2] Mycenaean tholos tombs (15th century BC) and a Late Mycenaean installation (12th century BC), probably connected with the mines in the area, have been uncovered. The finds are housed in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens. [3]

Mycenaean Greece archaeological culture

Mycenaean Greece was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1600–1100 BC. It represents the first advanced Greek civilization in mainland Greece with its palatial states, urban organization, works of art, and writing system. The most prominent site was Mycenae, in the Argolid, after which the culture of this era is named. Other centers of power that emerged included Pylos, Tiryns, Midea in the Peloponnese, Orchomenos, Thebes, Athens in Central Greece and Iolcos in Thessaly. Mycenaean and Mycenaean-influenced settlements also appeared in Epirus, Macedonia, on islands in the Aegean Sea, on the coast of Asia Minor, the Levant, Cyprus and Italy.

Beehive tomb burial structure

A beehive tomb, also known as a tholos tomb, is a burial structure characterized by its false dome created by corbelling, the superposition of successively smaller rings of mudbricks or, more often, stones. The resulting structure resembles a beehive, hence the traditional English name.

National Archaeological Museum, Athens National museum in Athens, Greece

The National Archaeological Museum in Athens houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from prehistory to late antiquity. It is considered one of the greatest museums in the world and contains the richest collection of artifacts from Greek antiquity worldwide. It is situated in the Exarcheia area in central Athens between Epirus Street, Bouboulinas Street and Tositsas Street while its entrance is on the Patission Street adjacent to the historical building of the Athens Polytechnic university.

It continued to be a place of importance during the flourishing period of Athenian history, as its existing remains prove, and was hence fortified by the Athenians in the 24th year of the Peloponnesian War. [4] It was distant 60 stadia from Anaphlystus upon the western coast. [5]

Peloponnesian War Ancient Greek war

The Peloponnesian War was an ancient Greek war fought by the Delian League led by Athens against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases. In the first phase, the Archidamian War, Sparta launched repeated invasions of Attica, while Athens took advantage of its naval supremacy to raid the coast of the Peloponnese and attempt to suppress signs of unrest in its empire. This period of the war was concluded in 421 BC, with the signing of the Peace of Nicias. That treaty, however, was soon undermined by renewed fighting in the Peloponnese. In 415 BC, Athens dispatched a massive expeditionary force to attack Syracuse, Sicily; the attack failed disastrously, with the destruction of the entire force in 413 BC. This ushered in the final phase of the war, generally referred to either as the Decelean War, or the Ionian War. In this phase, Sparta, now receiving support from the Achaemenid Empire, supported rebellions in Athens's subject states in the Aegean Sea and Ionia, undermining Athens's empire, and, eventually, depriving the city of naval supremacy. The destruction of Athens's fleet in the Battle of Aegospotami effectively ended the war, and Athens surrendered in the following year. Corinth and Thebes demanded that Athens should be destroyed and all its citizens should be enslaved, but Sparta refused.

The stadion, formerly also anglicized as stade, was an ancient Greek unit of length, based on the circumference of a typical sports stadium of the time. According to Herodotus, one stadion was equal to 600 Greek feet (podes). However, the length of the foot varied in different parts of the Greek world, and the length of the stadion has been the subject of argument and hypothesis for hundreds of years. Various hypothetical equivalent lengths have been proposed, and some have been named. Among them are:

Anaphlystus or Anaphlystos was a coastal (paralia) deme of ancient Athens, belonging to the Antiochis phyle, on the west coast of Attica, opposite the island of Eleussa, and a little north of the promontory of Sunium, between that promontory and that of Astypalaea. It bordered on Aegilia to the west, to Atene in the south-east and to Amphitrope to the east. To the northwest, it was separated from Phrearrhioi by the Astike Hodos.

There were significant town walls and a postern. The town's harbour was to the south of the acropolis; the island of Makronisi (Macri) provides natural protection. [2] The settlement was destroyed by Sulla in 86 BC, and though it was reinhabited in Roman times, and visited by Pausanias, it was permanently abandoned in the 6th century's disorders.

Postern secondary door or gate

A postern is a secondary door or gate in a fortification such as a city wall or castle curtain wall. Posterns were often located in a concealed location which allowed the occupants to come and go inconspicuously. In the event of a siege, a postern could act as a sally port, allowing defenders to make a sortie on the besiegers.

Sulla Ancient Roman general, consul and dictator

Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix, known commonly as Sulla, was a Roman general and statesman. He had the distinction of holding the office of consul twice, as well as reviving the dictatorship. Sulla was a skillful general, achieving numerous successes in wars against different opponents, both foreign and Roman.

Pausanias (geographer) 2nd-century AD Greek geographer

Pausanias was a Greek traveler and geographer of the second-century AD, who lived in the time of Roman emperors Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius. He is famous for his Description of Greece, a lengthy work that describes ancient Greece from his first-hand observations. This work provides crucial information for making links between classical literature and modern archaeology. Andrew Stewart assesses him as:

A careful, pedestrian writer...interested not only in the grandiose or the exquisite but in unusual sights and obscure ritual. He is occasionally careless or makes unwarranted inferences, and his guides or even his own notes sometimes mislead him, yet his honesty is unquestionable, and his value without par.

In myth

Thorikos, in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter (probably 7th century BC) is mentioned by the goddess, who is disguised as an old woman, as her landing place when she had been unwillingly brought from Crete. Thorikos directly faces Crete to the south, across the open Aegean Sea. Thoricus is celebrated in mythology as the residence of Cephalus, whom Eos (Roman Aurora) carried off to dwell with the gods. [6] It has been conjectured by Christopher Wordsworth, with much probability, that the idea of Thoricus was associated in the Athenian mind with such a translation to the gods, and that the "Thorician stone" (Θορίκιος πέτρος) mentioned by Sophocles, [7] respecting which there has been so much doubt, probably has reference to such a migration, as the poet is describing a similar translation of Oedipus. Cephalus is also said to have died at Thoricus. [2]

Demeter Greek goddess of the harvest, grains, and agriculture

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest and agriculture, presiding over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito (Σιτώ), "she of the Grain", as the giver of food or grain, and Thesmophoros, "Law-Bringer", as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society.

Aegean Sea Part of the Mediterranean Sea between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas

The Aegean Sea is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas. The sea has an area of some 215,000 square kilometres. In the north, the Aegean is connected to the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea by the straits of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus. The Aegean Islands are located within the sea and some bound it on its southern periphery, including Crete and Rhodes. The sea reaches a maximum depth of 3,544 meters, to the east of Crete.

Cephalus is a name, used both for the hero-figure in Greek mythology and carried as a theophoric name by historical persons.

Remains

Theatre at Thorikos Theatre at Thorikos.jpg
Theatre at Thorikos

The ancient city's centre and its acropolis are on Velatouri hill and the theatre (c. 525-480 BC) (illustration) is a significant survival. The town was closely packed with irregular building of houses and smiths' workshops (many dating from the 7th–4th century BC). A small temple, perhaps dedicated to Hygieia, next to stoas with benches. Inscriptions have identified the large Doric temple (late 5th century BC) as a telesterion for the cult of Demeter and Kore, the "Maiden" her daughter Persephone. [3] The temple was initially explored by the Society of Dilettanti of London in 1817. In April 1886, Walter Miller conducted the first modern excavation of the site, seeking the theater. [8] Modern archaeology here has been largely connected with the Belgian School in Athens.

Acropolis Defensive settlement built on high ground

An acropolis was in ancient Greece a settlement, especially a citadel, built upon an area of elevated ground—frequently a hill with precipitous sides, chosen for purposes of defense. Acropolis became the nuclei of large cities of classical antiquity, such as ancient Athens, and for this reason they are sometimes prominent landmarks in modern cities with ancient pasts, such as modern Athens. Perhaps the most famous acropolis is the Acropolis of Athens, located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and containing the Parthenon.

Hygieia Ancient Greek goddess of good health and cleanliness

In Greek as well as Roman mythology, Hygieia, was one of the Aeclepiadae; the sons and daughters of the god of medicine, Asclepius, and the goddess of healing, Epione. She was the goddess/personification of health, cleanliness and hygiene.

Stoa ancient Greek covered walkway or portico

A stoa, in ancient Greek architecture, is a covered walkway or portico, commonly for public use. Early stoas were open at the entrance with columns, usually of the Doric order, lining the side of the building; they created a safe, enveloping, protective atmosphere.

See also

Related Research Articles

Acropolis of Athens Ancient citadel above the city of Athens, Greece

The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis is from the Greek words ἄκρον and πόλις. Although the term acropolis is generic and there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as "The Acropolis" without qualification. During ancient times it was known also more properly as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Cecrops, the supposed first Athenian king.

Aegean civilization

Aegean civilization is a general term for the Bronze Age civilizations of Greece around the Aegean Sea. There are three distinct but communicating and interacting geographic regions covered by this term: Crete, the Cyclades and the Greek mainland. Crete is associated with the Minoan civilization from the Early Bronze Age. The Cyclades converge with the mainland during the Early Helladic ("Minyan") period and with Crete in the Middle Minoan period. From ca. 1450 BC, the Greek Mycenaean civilization spreads to Crete.

Aegina Place in Greece

Aegina is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece in the Saronic Gulf, 27 kilometres from Athens. Tradition derives the name from Aegina, the mother of the hero Aeacus, who was born on the island and became its king. During ancient times Aegina was a rival of Athens, the great sea power of the era.

Eleusis Place in Greece

Eleusis is a town and municipality in West Attica, Greece. It is situated about 18 kilometres northwest from the centre of Athens. It is located in the Thriasian Plain, at the northernmost end of the Saronic Gulf. North of Eleusis are Mandra and Magoula, while Aspropyrgos is to the northeast.

Pelasgians ethnic group

The name Pelasgians was used by classical Greek writers to either refer to populations that were the ancestors or forerunners of the Greeks, or to signify all pre-classical indigenes of Greece. In general, "Pelasgian" has come to mean more broadly all the indigenous inhabitants of the Aegean Sea region and their cultures, "a hold-all term for any ancient, primitive and presumably indigenous people in the Greek world".

Laurium Place in Greece

Laurium or Lavrio or Lavrion is a town in southeastern part of Attica, Greece. It is the seat of the municipality of Lavreotiki. Laurium was famous in Classical antiquity for its silver mines, which was one of the chief sources of revenue of the Athenian state. The metallic silver was mainly used for coinage. The Archaeological Museum of Lavrion shows much of the story of these mines.

Attica Region of Ancient Greece

Attica, or the Attic peninsula, is a historical region that encompasses the city of Athens, the capital of Greece. It is a peninsula projecting into the Aegean Sea, bordering on Boeotia to the north and Megaris to the west.

Cycladic culture ancient Greek civilisation

Cycladic culture was a Bronze Age culture found throughout the islands of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. In chronological terms, it is a relative dating system for artefacts which broadly complements Helladic chronology and Minoan chronology (Crete) during the same period of time.

History of Athens aspect of history

Athens is one of the oldest named cities in the world, having been continuously inhabited for at least 5000 years. Situated in southern Europe, Athens became the leading city of Ancient Greece in the first millennium BC, and its cultural achievements during the 5th century BC laid the foundations of Western civilization.

Dionysia festival in ancient Athens

The Dionysia was a large festival in ancient Athens in honor of the god Dionysus, the central events of which were the theatrical performances of dramatic tragedies and, from 487 BC, comedies. It was the second-most important festival after the Panathenaia. The Dionysia actually consisted of two related festivals, the Rural Dionysia and the City Dionysia, which took place in different parts of the year. They were also an essential part of the Dionysian Mysteries.

Sounion Greek cape

Cape Sounion is the promontory at the southernmost tip of the Attic peninsula, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of the town of Lavrio, and 70 kilometres (43 mi) southeast of Athens. It is part of Lavreotiki municipality, East Attica, Greece.

Polis, Cyprus Place in Paphos District, Cyprus

Polis is a small town at the north-west end of the island of Cyprus, at the centre of Chrysochous Bay, and on the edge of the Akamas peninsula nature reserve. It is a quiet tourist resort, the inhabitants' income being supplemented by agriculture and fishing.

Marion, Cyprus one of the Ten city-kingdoms of Cyprus

Marion was one of the Ten city-kingdoms of Cyprus. It was situated in the north-west of the island in the Akamas region, close to or under the present town of Polis. Both Strabo and Pliny the Elder mention the city in their writings.

Old Temple of Athena ancient Greek temple

The Old Temple of Athena was an Archaic temple located on the Acropolis of Athens between the Older Parthenon and Erechtheion, built around 525-500 BC, and dedicated to Athena Polias, the patron deity of the city of Athens. It was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC, during the Destruction of Athens. It was located at the center of the Acropolis plateau, probably on the remains of a Mycenaean palace. The complex is sometimes described by the name "Dörpfeld foundations", after the archaeologist who found the location of the temple. It was referred to as "Archaios Neos" by the Greeks.

The period of the 5th century BC in classical Greece is generally considered as beginning in 500 and ending in 404, though this is debated. This century is essentially studied from the Athenian viewpoint, since Athens has left more narratives, plays and other written works than the other Greek states. If one looks at Athens, our principal source, one might consider that this century begins in 510, with the fall of the Athenian tyrant and Cleisthenes's reforms. If one looks at the whole Greek world, however, we might place its beginning at the Ionian revolt in 500, that provoked the Persian invasion of 492. The Persians were finally defeated in 490. A second Persian attempt failed in 481-479. The Delian League then formed, under Athenian hegemony and as Athens' instrument. Athens' excesses caused several revolts among the allied cities, which were all put down by force, but Athenian dynamism finally awoke Sparta and brought about the Peloponnesian War in 431. After both sides were exhausted, a brief peace occurred, and then the war resumed to Sparta's advantage. Athens was definitively defeated in 404, and some internal Athenian agitations ended the 5th century in Greece.

Classical Athens city-state in ancient Greece

The city of Athens during the classical period of Ancient Greece was the major urban center of the notable polis (city-state) of the same name, located in Attica, Greece, leading the Delian League in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Isagoras. This system remained remarkably stable, and with a few brief interruptions remained in place for 180 years, until 322 BC. The peak of Athenian hegemony was achieved in the 440s to 430s BC, known as the Age of Pericles.

Outline of ancient Greece Overview of and topical guide to ancient Greece

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Ancient Greece:

Euonymeia Place in Attica, Greece

Euonymeia, also known by its medieval name Trachones, and by its modern colloquial Ano Kalamaki, is a historic settlement in Athens and currently a residential neighborhood within the municipality of Alimos on the southern suburbs of Athens, Greece. The area is an inland part of the south Athenian plain, situated between the foothills of Mount Hymettus and the southern coastal zone of Athens on the Saronic Gulf. The land is characterized by limestone hills and streams running from Hymettus toward the coast. Situated 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) south of the center of Athens, Euonymeia has been developed and incorporated into the urban sprawl of the Greek capital.

Mines of Laurion Mine in Greece

The mines of Laurion are ancient mines located in southern Attica between Thoricus and Cape Sounion, approximately 50 kilometers south of Athens, in Greece. The mines are best known for producing silver, but they were also a source of copper and lead. A number of remnants of these mines are still present in the region.

Outline of Athens Overview of and topical guide to Athens

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Athens:

References

  1. Archaeological Site of Thorikos: Overview
  2. 1 2 3 Wordsworth, Christopher (c. 1839). Athens and Attica. pp. 211–216.
  3. 1 2 "Thoricus (Thorikos)". Archaeological Atlas of the Aegean. Archived from the original on 2013-02-17.
  4. Xenophon. Hellenica . 1.2.1.
  5. Xenophon, de Vect. 4 .43.
  6. Apollod. 2.4.7; Eur. Hipp. 455.
  7. Sophocles, Oed. Col. 1595.
  8. "Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens". University of Michigan Library. 2005. Retrieved April 20, 2008.

PD-icon.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Thoricus". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography . London: John Murray.

Coordinates: 37°44′17″N24°03′13″E / 37.7381°N 24.0536°E / 37.7381; 24.0536