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Οn the roots of the european civilisation 13 - Peloponissos, Mycenae, The treasury of Atreas

Mycenae was an ancient city of Argolis near Tritos mountain and across from the Gulf of Argolis.

First, Homer says about the city describing it with the words "evryagyian, Rich." («ευρυάγυιαν, πολύχρυσον»).

ARCHEOLOGY: This prompted Heinrich Schliemann to dig the citadel of Mycenae, where he found the known vertical pit graves, several pots of rare art, examples of Mycenaean civilization developed in the center of Mycenae 1600-1100 BC. Schliemann's work continued in 1888 by Chris Tsountas, systematic, almost twenty years, whose excavations brought to light the palace at the top of the citadel, and many chamber tombs in the area. The work of Schliemann and Christos Tsounta worthily continued by A. Wace, Director of the British School, which from the 1919 to 1955, then to the systematised data, enriched the research findings and knowledge of space and the cultural idiom.

NYTHOLOGY - HISTORY: Tradition says that Mycenae was founded by Perseus, the grandson of King Acrisius of Argos. Akrisios divided the country into various kingdoms and gave Heraion to his brother Proetus, the Midea and Tiryns, and Perseus, who was the son of Zeus and Danae, he left the country going to Lycia. Returning from there, killed without wants, his grandfather and gave to Megapenthi his kingdom, Argos, and took from him the kingdom of Tiryns.

Perseus built Mycenae at the area of Tiryns and gave them this name, because there fell the "mushroom" (case) of his sword, or thirsty for while, he found a fungus and saw him pulling a source called Perseian that exists today.

Others say, that the daughter or wife's name of Inahos was Mycenae. From Perseus founded the dynasty of Perseides, which owns small square graves. Descendants of this was Ilektryonas, Sthenelas and Eurystheus, the last scion of the dynasty, who was killed by Herakleides.

The dynasty was overthrown by Pelopides dynasty from which came the Atreides. Pelopides built the Lion Gate and active, as they were, dominated throughout the Peloponnese and the islands, gained power and prestige, so that all the kings of those times saw as their leader in the expedition against Troy, Agamemnon. To these belong the strongholds of the Acropolis, the vaulted tombs, including the famous tomb of Atreas, a magnificent work of ancient Greek and even many other smaller tombs, found open and plundered for many years, according to Pausanias and Sophocles.

Pelopides ruled three more centuries (1400 - 1050 BC). Of course, the traditions can not just inform us about the historical events of those years. Atreas and Agamemnon are the most familiar faces this season than the poems and the findings of the excavations, which help us to know also the people who lived in these parts. The huge stones used in the Lion's Gate, we talk about the power of those people who were causing consternation to the citizens of other cities, that they called "Cyclopean walls". The palace, which had a core for rectangular building with many apartments around, decorated with colorful murals.

From the various jewelry, weapons, rings, idols (statues) and other small objects as well as the extensive residential waste inside and outside the citadel of Mycenae, we know the lifestyle of the Mycenaeans.

From the 12th century BC began the decline of Mycenae. The destruction of the state of the Hittites that were the only players since the 17th century of iron processing technique, the loss of Egyptian markets began to shake Mycenae. The destruction was completed from the Herakleidaes. After the murder of Agamemnon from Aegisthos, the state of Atreides ceased to exist and the new conquerors of Peloponnesus, the Dorians, had no difficulty at all to conquer in 1100 BC the country, and came largely culture.

Since then fell into obscurity until the Persian Wars. Only a few warriors took part in battles at Thermopylae and Plataea. Destroyed again in 468 BC by the Argives who became masters of the region and distributed to the poor citizens of Argos.

The old inhabitants of Mycenae were scattered almost all over Greece, reaching as far as Macedonia.

Of course there were still some in the old city residents until 150 AD when it was probably abandoned altogether.

(Translated from Wikipedia)

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on June 19, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Christos Theodorou
    • Camera: SONY DSLR-A350
    • Taken on 2012/05/27 12:11:19
    • Exposure: 0.008s (1/125)
    • Focal Length: 18.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/5.600
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash