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Details about  CORINTH Athena Chimera Pegusus 400BC Ancient Silver Greek Coin Rare i16283

CORINTH Athena Chimera Pegusus 400BC Ancient Silver Greek Coin Rare i16283
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Authentic Ancient Coin of:

Greek city of Corinth in Corinthia
Silver Stater 21mm (8.31 grams) Struck circa 400-350 B.C.
Reference: Sear 2626 var.
Pegasus, with pointed wing, flying left; koppa beneath.
Helmeted head of Athena right; behind, facing Chimera.

The Corinth mint was active throughout the 5th and 4th Centuries, except for for periods during the Peloponnesian War, when her hostile attitude toward Athens may have restricted her supply of silver bullion. The output of staters and drachms increased dramatically in the second half of the 4th Century, probably in connection with Timoleon's successful intervention in Sicilian affairs, commencing 344  B.C. Corinth was occupied by the forces of Ptolemy I of Egypt from 308-306 B.C., and her silver coinage ceased soon after. She joined the Achaean League in the 3rd Century, but later opposed Rome and was utterly destroyed by the consul L. Mummius in 146 B.C.

You are bidding on the exact item pictured, provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity.

The Chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female and male creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of three animals — a lion, a snake and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra.

File:Chimera Apulia Louvre K362.jpg

The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.

Description

Homer's brief description in the Iliad is the earliest surviving literary reference: "a thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle, and snorting out the breath of the terrible flame of bright fire". Elsewhere in the Iliad, Homer attributes the rearing of Chimera to Amisodorus. Hesiod's Theogony follows the Homeric description: he makes the Chimera the issue of Echidna: "She was the mother of Chimaera who breathed raging fire, a creature fearful, great, swift-footed and strong, who had three heads, one of a grim-eyed lion; in her hinderpart, a dragon; and in her middle, a goat, breathing forth a fearful blast of blazing fire. Her did Pegasus and noble Bellerophon slay" The author of the Bibliotheca concurs: descriptions agree that she breathed fire. The Chimera is generally considered to have been female (see the quotation from Hesiod above) despite the mane adorning its lion's head, the inclusion of a close mane often was depicted on lionesses, but the ears always were visible (that does not occur with depictions of male lions). Sighting the Chimera was an omen of storms, shipwrecks, and natural disasters (particularly volcanoes).

 
Gold reel, possibly an ear-stud, with winged Pegasus (outer band) and the Chimera (inner band), Magna Graecia or Etruria, fourth century BC (Louvre)

While there are different genealogies, in one version the Chimera mated with her brother Orthrus and mothered the Sphinx and the Nemean lion (others have Orthrus and their mother, Echidna, mating; most attribute all to Typhon and Echidna).

The Chimera finally was defeated by Bellerophon, with the help of Pegasus, at the command of King Iobates of Lycia. Since Pegasus could fly, Bellerophon shot the Chimera from the air, safe from her heads and breath. A scholiast to Homer adds that he finished her off by equipping his spear with a lump of lead that melted when exposed to the Chimera's fiery breath and consequently killed her, an image drawn from metalworking.

Robert Graves suggests,[10] "The Chimera was, apparently, a calendar-symbol of the tripartite year, of which the seasonal emblems were lion, goat, and serpent."

 
Pebble mosaic depicting Bellerophon killing the Chimera, from Rhodes archaeological museum

The Chimera was situated in foreign Lycia, but her representation in the arts was wholly Greek. An autonomous tradition, one that did not rely on the written word, was represented in the visual repertory of the Greek vase-painters. The Chimera first appears at an early stage in the proto-Corinthian pottery-painters' repertory, providing some of the earliest identifiable mythological scenes that can be recognized in Greek art. The Corinthian type is fixed, after some early hesitation, in the 670s BC; the variations in the pictorial representations suggest to Marilyn Low Schmitt a multiple origin. The fascination with the monstrous devolved by the end of the seventh century into a decorative Chimera-motif in Corinth, while the motif of Bellerophon on Pegasus took on a separate existence alone. A separate Attic tradition, where the goats breathe fire and the animal's rear is serpent-like, begins with such confidence that Marilyn Low Schmitt is convinced there must be unrecognized earlier local prototypes. Two vase-painters employed the motif so consistently they are given the pseudonyms the Bellerophon Painter and the Chimaera Painter. A fire-breathing lioness was one of the earliest of solar and war deities in Ancient Egypt (representations from 3000 years prior to the Greek) and influences are feasible.

In Etruscan civilization, the Chimera appears in the "Orientalizing" period that precedes Etruscan Archaic art; that is to say, very early indeed. The Chimera appears in Etruscan wall-paintings of the fourth century BC.

In Medieval art, though the Chimera of Antiquity was forgotten, chimerical figures appear as embodiments of the deceptive, even Satanic forces of raw nature. Provided with a human face and a scaly tail, as in Dante's vision of Geryon in Inferno xvii.7–17, 25–27, hybrid monsters, more akin to the Manticore of Pliny's Natural History (viii.90), provided iconic representations of hypocrisy and fraud well into the seventeenth century, through an emblemmatic representation in Cesare Ripa's Iconologia.

Classical sources

The myths of the Chimera can be found in Pseudo-Apollodorus' Bibliotheca (book 1), Homer's Iliad (book 6); Hyginus' Fabulae 57 and 151; Ovid's Metamorphoses (book VI 339; IX 648); and Hesiod's Theogony 319ff.

Virgil, in the Aeneid (book 5) employs Chimaera for the name of Gyas' gigantic ship in the ship-race, with possible allegorical significance in contemporary Roman politics.

Hypothesis about origin

The eternal fires of Chimera in Lycia, modern-day Turkey, where the myth takes place

Pliny the Elder cited Ctesias and quoted Photius identifying the Chimera with an area of permanent gas vents which still can be found today by hikers on the Lycian Way in southwest Turkey. Called in Turkish Yanartaş (flaming rock), it consists of some two dozen vents in the ground, grouped in two patches on the hillside above the Temple of Hephaestus about 3 km north of Çıralı, near ancient Olympos, in Lycia. The vents emit burning methane thought to be of metamorphic origin, which in ancient times were landmarks by which sailors could navigate.

 
Neo-Hittite Chimera from Karkemish, at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

The Neo-Hittite Chimera from Carchemish, dated to 850–750 BC, which is now housed in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations no doubt served as a basis for the Greek legend. It differs from the Greek version in that while there are three heads, none of them is that of a goat, only a main human head, a lion's head facing forward and placed on the chest of the lion's body, and a snake's head placed at the end of the tail.

Use for Chinese mythological creatures

Some western scholars of Chinese art, starting with Victor Segalen, use the word "chimera" generically to refer to winged quadrupeds, such as bixie, tianlu, and even qilin.



Athena with the cista

Helmeted Athena with the cista and Erichthonius in his serpent form. Roman, first century (Louvre Museum)

In Greek religion and mythology, Athena or Athene, also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena.

File:Athena Parthenos Altemps Inv8622.jpg
Marble Greek copy signed "Antiokhos", a first century BC variant of
Phidias' fifth-century Athena Promachos that stood on the Acropolis

Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and is the goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patroness of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honour.

Athena's veneration as the patron of Athens seems to have existed from the earliest times, and was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. In her role as a protector of the city (polis), many people throughout the Greek world worshiped Athena as Athena Polias (Ἀθηνᾶ ÃŽ ÃŽÂ¿ÃŽÂ»ÃŽÂ¹ÃŽÂ¬Ã�‚ "Athena of the city"). The city of Athens and the goddess Athena essentially bear the same name, "Athenai" meaning "[many] Athenas".

Origin traditions

The Greek philosopher Plato (429–347 BC) identified her with the Libyan deity Neith, the war goddess and huntress deity of the Egyptians since the ancient Pre-Dynastic period, who was also identified with weaving. This is sensible, as some Greeks identified Athena's birthplace, in certain mythological renditions, as being beside Libya's Triton River in North Africa. Scholar Martin Bernal created the controversial Black Athena Theory to explain this associated origin by claiming that the conception of Neith was brought to Greece from Egypt, along with "an enormous number of features of civilization and culture in the third and second millennia."

Patroness

Athenian tetradrachm representing the goddess Athena

Athena as the goddess of philosophy became an aspect of the cult in Classical Greece during the late 5th century BC.She is the patroness of various crafts, especially of weaving, as Athena Ergane, and was honored as such at festivals such as Chalceia. The metalwork of weapons also fell under her patronage. She led battles (Athena Promachos or the warrior maiden Athena Parthenos) as the disciplined, strategic side of war, in contrast to her brother Ares, the patron of violence, bloodlust and slaughter�"the raw force of war". Athena's wisdom includes the cunning intelligence (metis) of such figures as Odysseus. Not only was this version of Athena the opposite of Ares in combat, it was also the polar opposite of the serene earth goddess version of the deity, Athena Polias.

Athena appears in Greek mythology as the patron and helper of many heroes, including Odysseus, Jason, and Heracles. In Classical Greek myths, she never consorts with a lover, nor does she ever marry,earning the title Athena Parthenos. A remnant of archaic myth depicts her as the adoptive mother of Erechtheus/Erichthonius through the foiled rape by Hephaestus. Other variants relate that Erichthonius, the serpent that accompanied Athena, was born to Gaia: when the rape failed, the semen landed on Gaia and impregnated her. After Erechthonius was born, Gaia gave him to Athena.

Though Athena is a goddess of war strategy, she disliked fighting without purpose and preferred to use wisdom to settle predicaments.The goddess only encouraged fighting for a reasonable cause or to resolve conflict. As patron of Athens she fought in the Trojan war on the side of the Achaeans.

Mythology

Birth

Olympian version

After he swallowed her pregnant mother, Metis, Athena is "born" from Zeus' forehead as he grasps the clothing of Eileithyia on the right �black-figured amphora, 550–525 BC, Louvre.

Although Athena appears before Zeus at Knossos �in Linear B, as, "Mistress Athena"�in the Classical Olympian pantheon, Athena was remade as the favorite daughter of Zeus, born fully armed from his forehead. The story of her birth comes in several versions. In the one most commonly cited, Zeus lay with Metis, the goddess of crafty thought and wisdom, but he immediately feared the consequences. It had been prophesied that Metis would bear children more powerful than the sire, even Zeus himself. In order to forestall these dire consequences, after lying with Metis, Zeus "put her away inside his own belly;" he "swallowed her down all of a sudden." He was too late: Metis had already conceived.

Eventually Zeus experienced an enormous headache; Prometheus, Hephaestus, Hermes, Ares, or Palaemon (depending on the sources examined) cleaved Zeus's head with the double-headed Minoan axe, the labrys. Athena leaped from Zeus's head, fully grown and armed, with a shout� "and pealed to the broad sky her clarion cry of war. And Ouranos trembled to hear, and Mother Gaia..." (Pindar, Seventh Olympian Ode). Plato, in the Laws, attributes the cult of Athena to the culture of Crete, introduced, he thought, from Libya during the dawn of Greek culture.

Classical myths thereafter note that Hera was so annoyed at Zeus for having produced a child that she conceived and bore Hephaestus by herself.

Plato, in Cratylus (407B) gave the etymology of her name as signifying "the mind of god", theou noesis. The Christian apologist of the 2nd century Justin Martyr takes issue with those pagans who erect at springs images of Kore, whom he interprets as Athena:

"They said that Athena was the daughter of Zeus not from intercourse, but when the god had in mind the making of a world through a word (logos) his first thought was Athena".

Other origin tales

Some origin stories tell of Athena having been born outside of Olympus and raised by the god Triton. Fragments attributed by the Christian Eusebius of Caesarea to the semi-legendary Phoenician historian Sanchuniathon, which Eusebius thought had been written before the Trojan war, make Athena instead the daughter of Cronus, a king of Byblos who visited 'the inhabitable world' and bequeathed Attica to Athena. Sanchuniathon's account would make Athena the sister of Zeus and Hera, not Zeus' daughter.

Pallas Athena

The major competing tradition regarding Athena's parentage involves some of her more mysterious epithets: Pallas, as in the ancient-Greek ÃŽ ÃŽÂ±ÃŽÂ»ÃŽÂ»ÃŽÂ¬Ã�‚ Άθήνη (also Pallantias) and Tritogeneia (also Trito, Tritonis, Tritoneia, Tritogenes). A distant archaic separate entity named Pallas is invoked as Athena's father, sister, foster sister, companion, or opponent in battle. Pallas is often a nymph, a daughter of Triton (a sea god), and a childhood friend of Athena.

In every case, Athena kills Pallas, accidentally, and thereby gains the name for herself. In one telling, they practice the arts of war together until one day they have a falling out. As Pallas is about to strike Athena, Zeus intervenes. With Pallas stunned by a blow from Zeus, Athena takes advantage and kills her. Distraught over what she has done, Athena takes the name Pallas for herself.

When Pallas is Athena's father the events, including her birth, are located near a body of water named Triton or Tritonis. When Pallas is Athena's sister or foster-sister, Athena's father or foster-father is Triton, the son and herald of Poseidon. But Athena may be called the daughter of Poseidon and a nymph named Tritonis, without involving Pallas. Likewise, Pallas may be Athena's father or opponent, without involving Triton. On this topic, Walter Burkert says "she is the Pallas of Athens, Pallas Athenaie, just as Hera of Argos is Here Argeie. For the Athenians, Burkert notes, Athena was simply "the Goddess", hē theós, certainly an ancient title.

Athena Parthenos: Virgin Athena

Athena never had a consort or lover and is thus known as Athena Parthenos, "Virgin Athena". Her most famous temple, the Parthenon, on the Acropolis in Athens takes its name from this title. It is not merely an observation of her virginity, but a recognition of her role as enforcer of rules of sexual modesty and ritual mystery. Even beyond recognition, the Athenians allotted the goddess value based on this pureness of virginity as it upheld a rudiment of female behavior in the patriarchal society. Kerenyi's study and theory of Athena accredits her virginal toponym to be a result of the relationship to her father Zeus and a vital, cohesive piece of her character throughout the ages.

This role is expressed in a number of stories about Athena. Marinus of Neapolis reports that when Christians removed the statue of the Goddess from the Parthenon, a beautiful woman appeared in a dream to Proclus, a devotee of Athena, and announced that the "Athenian Lady" wished to dwell with him.

Erichthonius

Hephaestus attempted to rape Athena, but she eluded him. His semen fell to the earth and impregnated the soil, and Erichthonius was born from the Earth, Gaia. Athena then raised the baby as a foster mother.

Athena puts the infant Erichthonius into a small box (cista) which she entrusts to the care of three sisters, Herse, Pandrosus, and Aglaulus of Athens. The goddess does not tell them what the box contains, but warns them not to open it until she returns. One or two sisters opens the cista to reveal Erichthonius, in the form (or embrace) of a serpent. The serpent, or insanity induced by the sight, drives Herse and Aglaulus to throw themselves off the Acropolis. Jane Harrison (Prolegomena) finds this to be a simple cautionary tale directed at young girls carrying the cista in the Thesmophoria rituals, to discourage them from opening it outside the proper context.

Another version of the myth of the Athenian maidens is told in Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC – 17 AD); in this late variant Hermes falls in love with Herse. Herse, Aglaulus, and Pandrosus go to the temple to offer sacrifices to Athena. Hermes demands help from Aglaulus to seduce Herse. Aglaulus demands money in exchange. Hermes gives her the money the sisters have already offered to Athena. As punishment for Aglaulus's greed, Athena asks the goddess Envy to make Aglaulus jealous of Herse. When Hermes arrives to seduce Herse, Aglaulus stands in his way instead of helping him as she had agreed. He turns her to stone.

With this mythic origin, Erichthonius became the founder-king of Athens, and many beneficial changes to Athenian culture were ascribed to him. During this time, Athena frequently protected him.

Medusa and Tiresias

In a late myth, Medusa, unlike her sister Gorgons, came to be viewed by the Greeks of the 5th century as a beautiful mortal that served as priestess in Athena's temple. Poseidon liked Medusa, and decided to rape her in the temple of Athena, refusing to allow her vow of chastity to stand in his way.Upon discovering the desecration of her temple, Athena changed Medusa's form to match that of her sister Gorgons as punishment. Medusa's hair turned into snakes, her lower body was transformed also, and meeting her gaze would turn any living man to stone. In the earliest myths, there is only one Gorgon, but there are two snakes that form a belt around her waist.

In one version of the Tiresias myth, Tiresias stumbled upon Athena bathing, and he was struck blind by her to ensure he would never again see what man was not intended to see. But having lost his eyesight, he was given a special gift�to be able to understand the language of the birds (and thus to foretell the future).

Lady of Athens

Athena competed with Poseidon to be the patron deity of Athens, which was yet unnamed, in a version of one founding myth. They agreed that each would give the Athenians one gift and that the Athenians would choose the gift they preferred. Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a salt water spring sprang up; this gave them a means of trade and water�Athens at its height was a significant sea power, defeating the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis�but the water was salty and not very good for drinking.

Athena, however, offered them the first domesticated olive tree. The Athenians (or their king, Cecrops) accepted the olive tree and with it the patronage of Athena, for the olive tree brought wood, oil, and food. Robert Graves was of the opinion that "Poseidon's attempts to take possession of certain cities are political myths" which reflect the conflict between matriarchal and patriarchal religions.

Other sites of cult

Athena also was the patron goddess of several other Greek cities, notably Sparta, where the archaic cult of Athena Alea had its sanctuaries in the surrounding villages of Mantineia and, notably, Tegea. In Sparta itself, the temple of Athena Khalkíoikos (Athena "of the Brazen House", often latinized as Chalcioecus) was the grandest and located on the Spartan acropolis; presumably it had a roof of bronze. The forecourt of the Brazen House was the place where the most solemn religious functions in Sparta took place.

Tegea was an important religious center of ancient Greece, containing the Temple of Athena Alea. The temenos was founded by Aleus, Pausanias was informed. Votive bronzes at the site from the Geometric and Archaic periods take the forms of horses and deer; there are sealstone and fibulae. In the Archaic period the nine villages that underlie Tegea banded together in a synoecism to form one city. Tegea was listed in Homer's Catalogue of Ships as one of the cities that contributed ships and men for the Achaean assault on Troy.

Athena and Herakles on an Attic red-figure kylix, 480–470 BC.

Counselor

Later myths of the Classical Greeks relate that Athena guided Perseus in his quest to behead Medusa. She instructed Heracles to skin the Nemean Lion by using its own claws to cut through its thick hide. She also helped Heracles to defeat the Stymphalian Birds, and to navigate the underworld so as to capture Cerberus.

In The Odyssey, Odysseus' cunning and shrewd nature quickly won Athena's favour. In the realistic epic mode, however, she largely is confined to aiding him only from afar, as by implanting thoughts in his head during his journey home from Troy. Her guiding actions reinforce her role as the "protectress of heroes" or as mythologian Walter Friedrich Otto dubbed her the "goddess of nearness" due to her mentoring and motherly probing. It is not until he washes up on the shore of an island where Nausicaa is washing her clothes that Athena arrives personally to provide more tangible assistance. She appears in Nausicaa's dreams to ensure that the princess rescues Odysseus and plays a role in his eventual escort to Ithaca.

Athena appears in disguise to Odysseus upon his arrival, initially lying and telling him that Penelope, his wife, has remarried and that he is believed to be dead; but Odysseus lies back to her, employing skillful prevarications to protect himself. Impressed by his resolve and shrewdness, she reveals herself and tells him what he needs to know in order to win back his kingdom. She disguises him as an elderly man or beggar so that he cannot be noticed by the suitors or Penelope, and helps him to defeat the suitors.

She also plays a role in ending the resultant feud against the suitors' relatives. She instructs Laertes to throw his spear and to kill the father of Antinous, Eupeithes.

Judgment of Paris

Aphrodite is being surveyed by Paris, while Athena (the leftmost figure) and Hera stand nearby. El Juicio de Paris by Enrique Simonet, ca. 1904

All the gods and goddesses as well as various mortals were invited to the marriage of Peleus and Thetis (the eventual parents of Achilles). Only Eris, goddess of discord, was not invited. She was annoyed at this, so she arrived with a golden apple inscribed with the word καλλί�ƒ�„ῃ (kallistÄ“i, "for the fairest"), which she threw among the goddesses. Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena all claimed to be the fairest, and thus the rightful owner of the apple.

The goddesses chose to place the matter before Zeus, who, not wanting to favor one of the goddesses, put the choice into the hands of Paris, a Trojan prince. After bathing in the spring of Mount Ida (where Troy was situated), the goddesses appeared before Paris. The goddesses undressed and presented themselves to Paris naked, either at his request or for the sake of winning.

Paris is awarding the apple to Aphrodite, while Athena makes a face. Urteil des Paris by Anton Raphael Mengs, ca. 1757

Still, Paris could not decide, as all three were ideally beautiful, so they resorted to bribes. Hera tried to bribe Paris with control over all Asia and Europe, while Athena offered wisdom, fame and glory in battle, but Aphrodite came forth and whispered to Paris that if he were to choose her as the fairest he would have the most beautiful mortal woman in the world as a wife, and he accordingly chose her. This woman was Helen, who was, unfortunately for Paris, already married to King Menelaus of Sparta. The other two goddesses were enraged by this and through Helen's abduction by Paris they brought about the Trojan War.

Roman fable of Arachne

The fable of Arachne is a late Roman addition to Classical Greek mythology but does not appear in the myth repertoire of the Attic vase-painters. Arachne's name simply means spider (α��ά�‡Î½Î·). Arachne was the daughter of a famous dyer in Tyrian purple in Hypaipa of Lydia, and a weaving student of Athena. She became so conceited of her skill as a weaver that she began claiming that her skill was greater than that of Athena herself.

Athena gave Arachne a chance to redeem herself by assuming the form of an old woman and warning Arachne not to offend the deities. Arachne scoffed and wished for a weaving contest, so she could prove her skill.

Athena wove the scene of her victory over Poseidon that had inspired her patronage of Athens. According to Ovid's Latin narrative, Arachne's tapestry featured twenty-one episodes of the infidelity of the deities, including Zeus being unfaithful with Leda, with Europa, and with Danaë. Athena admitted that Arachne's work was flawless, but was outraged at Arachne's offensive choice of subjects that displayed the failings and transgressions of the deities. Finally, losing her temper, Athena destroyed Arachne's tapestry and loom, striking it with her shuttle.

Athena then struck Arachne with her staff, which changed her into a spider. In some versions, the destruction of her loom leads Arachne to hang herself in despair; Athena takes pity on her, and transforms her into a spider. In the aforementioned version, Arachne weaved scenes of joy while Athena weaved scenes of horror.

The fable suggests that the origin of weaving lay in imitation of spiders and that it was considered to have been perfected first in Asia Minor.

Cult and attributes

In poetry from Homer, an oral tradition of the eighth or seventh century BC, onward, Athena's most common epithet is glaukopis (γλα�…κ�Ž�€Î¹�‚), which usually is translated as, bright-eyed or with gleaming eyes.The word is a combination of glaukos (γλα��κο�‚, meaning gleaming, silvery, and later, bluish-green or gray) and ops (�Ž�ˆ, eye, or sometimes, face). It is interesting to note that glaux (γλα��ξ, "owl") is from the same root, presumably because of the bird's own distinctive eyes. The bird which sees well in the night is closely associated with the goddess of wisdom: in archaic images, Athena is frequently depicted with an owl named the Glaucus (or "owl of Athena" and later under the Roman Empire, "owl of Minerva") perched on her hand. This pairing evolved in tangent so that even in present day the owl is upheld as a symbol of perspicacity and erudition.

Unsurprisingly, the owl became a sort of Athenian mascot. The olive tree is likewise sacred to her. In earlier times, Athena may well have been a bird goddess, similar to the unknown goddess depicted with owls, wings, and bird talons on the Burney relief, a Mesopotamian terracotta relief of the early second millennium BC.

Other epithets include: Aethyta under which she was worshiped in Megara. The word aithyia (αἴθ�…ια) signifies a diver, and figuratively, a ship, so the name must reference Athena teaching the art of shipbuilding or navigation.In a temple at Phrixa in Elis, which was reportedly built by Clymenus, she was known as Cydonia.

The various Athena subgroups, or cults, all branching from the central goddess herself often proctored various initiation rites of Grecian youth, for example, the passage into citizenship by young men and for women the elevation to the status of citizen wife. Her various cults were portals of a uniform socialization, even beyond mainland Greece.

Epithets

In the Iliad (4.514), the Homeric Hymns, and in Hesiod's Theogony, Athena is given the curious epithet Tritogeneia. The meaning of this term is unclear. It seems to mean "Triton-born", perhaps indicating that the sea-deity was her parent according to some early myths. In Ovid's Metamorphoses Athena is occasionally referred to as "Tritonia".

Another possible meaning may be triple-born or third-born, which may refer to a triad or to her status as the third daughter of Zeus or the fact she was born from Metis, Zeus, and herself; various legends list her as being the first child after Artemis and Apollo, though other legends identify her as Zeus' first child. The latter would have to be drawn from Classical myths, however, rather than earlier ones.

In her role as judge at Orestes' trial on the murder of his mother, Clytemnestra (which he won), Athena won the epithet Athena Areia.

Other epithets were Ageleia and Itonia.

The Parthenon, Temple of Athena Parthenos

Athena was given many other cult titles. She has the epithet Athena Ergane as the patron of craftsmen and artisans. With the epithet Athena Parthenos ("virgin") she was especially worshipped in the festivals of the Panathenaea and Pamboeotia where both militaristic and athletic displays took place.With the epithet Athena Promachos she led in battle (see Promachos). With the epithet Athena Polias ("of the city"), Athena was the protector of not only Athens but also of many other cities, including Argos, Sparta, Gortyn, Lindos, and Larisa.

She was given the epithet Athena Hippeia or Athena Hippia ("horse"), as the inventor of the chariot, and was worshiped under this title at Athens, Tegea and Olympia. As Athena Hippeia she was given an alternative parentage: Poseidon and Polyphe, daughter of Oceanus.In each of these cities her temple frequently was the major temple on the acropolis.Athena often was equated with Aphaea, a local goddess of the island of Aegina, located near Athens, once Aegina was under Athenian's power. The Greek historian Plutarch (46–120 AD) also refers to an instance during the Parthenon's construction of her being called Athena Hygieia ("healer"):

A strange accident happened in the course of building, which showed that the goddess was not averse to the work, but was aiding and co-operating to bring it to perfection. One of the artificers, the quickest and the handiest workman among them all, with a slip of his foot fell down from a great height, and lay in a miserable condition, the physicians having no hope of his recovery. When Pericles was in distress about this, the goddess [Athena] appeared to him at night in a dream, and ordered a course of treatment, which he applied, and in a short time and with great ease cured the man. And upon this occasion it was that he set up a brass statue of Athena Hygeia, in the citadel near the altar, which they say was there before. But it was Phidias who wrought the goddess's image in gold, and he has his name inscribed on the pedestal as the workman of it.

In classical times the Plynteria, or “Feast of Adorning�, was observed every May, it was a festival lasting five days. During this period the Priestesses of Athena, or “Plyntrides�, performed a cleansing ritual within “the Erecththeum�, the personal sanctuary of the goddess. Here Athena's statue was undressed, her clothes washed, and body purified.

In Arcadia, she was assimilated with the ancient goddess Alea and worshiped as Athena Alea.

In Classical art

The Athena Giustiniani, a Roman copy of a Greek statue of Pallas Athena with her serpent, Erichthonius

Classically, Athena is portrayed wearing a full- length chiton, and sometimes in armor, with her helmet raised high on the forehead to reveal the image of Nike. Her shield bears at its centre the aegis with the head of the gorgon (gorgoneion) in the center and snakes around the edge. It is in this standing posture that she was depicted in Phidias's famous lost gold and ivory statue of her, 36 m tall, the Athena Parthenos in the Parthenon. Athena also often is depicted with an owl sitting on one of her shoulders.

The Mourning Athena is a relief sculpture that dates around 460 BC and portrays a weary Athena resting on a staff. In earlier, archaic portraits of Athena in Black-figure pottery, the goddess retains some of her Minoan-Mycenaean character, such as great bird wings although this is not true of archaic sculpture such as those of Aphaean Athena, where Athena has subsumed an earlier, invisibly numinous�Aphaea�goddess with Cretan connections in her mythos.

Other commonly received and repeated types of Athena in sculpture may be found in this list.

Apart from her attributes, there seems to be a relative consensus in late sculpture from the Classical period, the 5th century onward, as to what Athena looked like. Most noticeable in the face is perhaps the full round strong, masculine chin with a high nose that has a high bridge as a natural extension of the forehead. The eyes typically are somewhat deeply set. The unsmiling lips are usually full, but the mouth is depicted fairly narrow, usually just slightly wider than the nose. The neck is somewhat long. The net result is a serene, serious, somewhat aloof, and very masculine beauty.

Name, etymology, and origin

Athena had a special relationship with Athens, as is shown by the etymological connection of the names of the goddess and the city. The citizens of Athens built a statue of Athena as a temple to the goddess, which had piercing eyes, a helmet on her head, attired with an aegis or cuirass, and an extremely long spear. It also had a crystal shield with the head of the Gorgon on it. A large snake accompanied her and she held the goddess of victory in her hand.

 
Bust of Athena in the Glyptothek

Athena is associated with Athens, a plural name because it was the place where she presided over her sisterhood, the Athenai, in earliest times: Mycenae was the city where the Goddess was called Mykene, and Mycenae is named in the plural for the sisterhood of females who tended her there. At Thebes she was called Thebe, and the city again a plural, Thebae (or Thebes, where the "s" is the plural formation). Similarly, at Athens she was called Athena, and the city Athenae (or Athens, again a plural)."Whether her name is attested in Eteocretan or not will have to wait for decipherment of Linear A.

Günther Neumann has suggested that Athena's name is possibly of Lydian origin; it may be a compound word derived in part from Tyrrhenian "ati", meaning mother and the name of the Hurrian goddess "Hannahannah" shortened in various places to "Ana". In Mycenaean Greek, at Knossos a single inscription A-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja /Athana potniya/ appears in the Linear B tablets from the Late Minoan II-era "Room of the Chariot Tablets"; these comprise the earliest Linear B archive anywhere.

Although Athana potniya often is translated Mistress Athena, it literally means "the potnia of At(h)ana", which perhaps, means the Lady of Athens;[Any connection to the city of Athens in the Knossos inscription is uncertain. We also find A-ta-no-dju-wa-ja /Athana diwya/, the final part being the Linear B spelling of what we know from Ancient Greek as Diwia : divine Athena also was a weaver and the deity of crafts (see dyeus).

In his dialogue Cratylus, the Greek philosopher Plato, 428/427 BC – 348/347 BC, gives the etymology of Athena's name, based on the view of the ancient Athenians:

That is a graver matter, and there, my friend, the modern interpreters of Homer may, I think, assist in explaining the view of the ancients. For most of these in their explanations of the poet, assert that he meant by Athena "mind" [nous] and "intelligence" [dianoia], and the maker of names appears to have had a singular notion about her; and indeed calls her by a still higher title, "divine intelligence" [Theian noesis], as though he would say: This is she who has the mind better than others. Nor shall we be far wrong in supposing that the author of it wished to identify this Goddess with moral intelligence [en ethei noesin], and therefore gave her the name etheonoe; which, however, either he or his successors have altered into what they thought a nicer form, and called her Athena.
�Plato, Cratylus, 407b

Thus for Plato her name was to be derived from Greek Ἀθεον�ŒÎ±, Atheonóaâ€�which the later Greeks rationalised as from the deity's (theos) mind (nous).

Plato noted that the Egyptian citizens of Sais in Egypt worshipped a goddess whose Egyptian name was Neith; and they identified her with Athena. (Timaeus 21e), (Histories 2:170–175).

Some authors[citation needed] believe that, in early times, Athena was either an owl herself or a bird goddess in general: in Book 3 of the Odyssey, she takes the form of a sea-eagle. These authors argue that she dropped her prophylactic owl-mask before she lost her wings. "Athena, by the time she appears in art," Jane Ellen Harrison had remarked, "has completely shed her animal form, has reduced the shapes she once wore of snake and bird to attributes, but occasionally in black-figure vase-paintings she still appears with wings."Some Greek authors have derived natural symbols from the etymological roots of Athena's names to be aether, air, earth, and moon. This was one of the primary developments of scholarly exploration in the ancient world.

Post-classical culture

A neoclassical variant of Athena Promachos stands in front of the Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna.

A brief summary of Athena's evolution of myriad motifs after her dominance in Greece may be seen as follows: The rise of Christianity in Greece largely ended the worship of Greek deities and polytheism in general, but she resurfaced in the Middle Ages as a defender of sagacity and virtue so that her masculine warrior status was still intact. (She may be found on some family crests of nobility.) During the Renaissance she donned the mantle of patron of the arts and human endeavor and finally although not ultimately, Athena personified the miracles of freedom and republic during the French Revolution. (A statue of the goddess was centered on the Place de la Revolution in Paris.)

For over a century a full-scale replica of the Parthenon has stood in Nashville, Tennessee, which is known as the Athens of the South. In 1990, a gilded 41 feet (12.5 m) tall replica of Phidias' statue of Athena Parthenos was added. The state seal of California features an image of Athena (or Minerva) kneeling next to a brown grizzly bear.

Athena is a natural patron of universities: she is the symbol of the Darmstadt University of Technology, in Germany, and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. Her image can be found in the shields of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters and the Faculty of Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where her owl is the symbol of the Faculty of Chemistry. At Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania a statue of Athena (a replica of the original bronze one in the arts and archaeology library) resides in the Great Hall. It is traditional at exam time for students to leave offerings to the goddess with a note asking for good luck, or to repent for accidentally breaking any of the college's numerous other traditions. Athena's owl also serves as the mascot of the college, and one of the college hymns is "Pallas Athena". Pallas Athena is the tutelary goddess of the international social fraternity Phi Delta Theta. Her owl is also a symbol of the fraternity.

The title character in Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven famously sits upon "a Bust of Pallas".

Athena's Helmet is the central feature on the United States Military Academy crest.

Athena is reported as a source of influence for feminist theologians such as Carol P. Christ.

Jean Boucher's statue of the seated skeptical thinker Ernest Renan, shown to the left, caused great controversy when it was installed in Tréguier, Brittany in 1902. Renan's 1862 biography of Jesus had denied his divinity, and he had written the "Prayer on the Acropolis" addressed to the goddess Athena. The statue was placed in the square fronted by the cathedral. Renan's head was turned away from the building, while Athena, beside him, was depicted raising her arm, which was interpreted as indicating a challenge to the church during an anti-clerical phase in French official culture. The installation was accompanied by a mass protest from local Roman Catholics and a religious service against the growth of skepticism and secularism.

Athena has been used numerous times as a symbol of a republic by different countries and appears on currency as she did on the ancient drachma of Athens. Athena (Minerva) is the subject of the $50 1915-S Panama-Pacific commemorative coin. At 2.5 troy oz (78 g) gold, this is the largest (by weight) coin ever produced by the U.S. Mint. This was the first $50 coin issued by the U.S. Mint and no higher was produced until the production of the $100 platinum coins in 1997. Of course, in terms of face-value in adjusted dollars, the 1915 is the highest denomination ever issued by the U.S. Mint.

Athena was depicted on the obverse of the Greek 100 drachmas banknote of 1978-2001. Another recent example is the 60 Years of the Second Republic commemorative coin issued by Austria in 2005. Athena is depicted in the obverse of the coin, representing the Austrian Republic.

She appears briefly in Disney's Hercules, but has a more dominant role in the television series.

Athena is an active character in Marvel Comics' main continuity, the Marvel Universe, most recently in the Incredible Hercules series. She acts as a guide to Hercules and his sidekick, boy genius Amadeus Cho.

Athena appears in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians book series. Her daughter, born from her head as she was from Zeus's, demigod Annabeth Chase is one of the principal characters. Annabeth's father found her (Annabeth) lying in a golden cradle at the doorstep.

The Roman name for Athena is Minerva. In the video game Assassin's Creed II, Minerva appears in an ancient vault underneath the Vatican at the end of the game. She explains the origin of mankind within the story to the game's main protagonist, Desmond Miles, through his ancestor, Ezio Auditore.

Athena appears in the television series Stargate SG-1 when she kidnaps Vala Mal Doran to gain information on the Clava Thessara Infinitas (The Key to Infinite Treasure).

Masculinity and feminism

Athena had an "androgynous compromise" that allowed her traits and what she stood for to be attributed to male and female rulers alike over the course of history (such as Marie de' Medici, Anne of Austria, Christina of Sweden, and Catherine the Great)

J.J. Bachofen advocated that Athena was originally a maternal figure stable in her security and poise but was caught up and perverted by a patriarchal society; this was especially the case in Athens. The goddess adapted but could very easily be seen as a god. He viewed it as "motherless paternity in the place of fatherless maternity" where once altered, Athena's character was to be crystallized as that of a patriarch.

Whereas Bachofen saw the switch to paternity on Athena's behalf as an increase of power, Freud on the contrary perceived Athena as an "original mother goddess divested of her power". In this interpretation, Athena was demoted to be only Zeus's daughter, never allowed the expression of motherhood. Still more different from Bachofen's perspective is the lack of role permanency in Freud's view: Freud held that time and differing cultures would mold Athena to stand for what was necessary to them.

Pegasus  is one of the best known fantastical creatures in Greek mythology. He is a winged divine horse, usually white in color. He was sired by Poseidon, in his role as horse-god, and foaled by the Gorgon Medusa. He was the brother of Chrysaor, born at a single birthing when Bellerophon riding Pegasus (1914)his mother was decapitated by Perseus. Greco-Roman poets write about his ascent to heaven after his birth and his obeisance to Zeus, king of the gods, who instructed him to bring lightning and thunder from Olympus. Friend of the Muses, Pegasus is the creator of Hippocrene, the fountain on Mt. Helicon. He was captured by the Greek hero Bellerophon near the fountain Peirene with the help of Athena and Poseidon. Pegasus allows the hero to ride him to defeat a monster, the Chimera, before realizing many other exploits. His rider, however, falls off his back trying to reach Mount Olympus. Zeus transformed him into the constellation Pegasus and placed him in the sky.

Hypotheses have been proposed regarding its relationship with the Muses, the gods Athena, Poseidon, Zeus, Apollo, and the hero Perseus.

The symbolism of Pegasus varies with time. Symbol of wisdom and especially of fame from the Middle Ages until the Renaissance, he became one symbol of the poetry and the creator of sources in which the poets come to draw inspiration, particularly in the 19th century. Pegasus is the subject of a very rich iconography, especially through the ancient Greek pottery and paintings and sculptures of the Renaissance. Personification of the water, solar myth, or shaman mount, Carl Jung and his followers have seen in Pegasus a profound symbolic esoteric in relation to the spiritual energy that allows to access to the realm of the gods on Mount Olympus.

In the 20th and 21st century, he appeared in movies, in fantasy, in video games and in role play, where by extension, the term Pegasus is often used to refer to any winged horse.


Corinth, or Korinth  was a city-state (polis) on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta. The modern town of Corinth lies adjacent to the ancient ruins.

 History

 Prehistory and founding myths

Neolithic artifacts show that the site of Corinth had been occupied as early as the fifth millennium BC. According to Hellenic myth, the city was founded by Corinthos, a descendant of the god Helios (the Sun), while other myths suggest that it was founded by the goddess Ephyra, a daughter of the Titan Oceanus, thus the ancient name of the city (also Ephyra). There is evidence that the city was destroyed around 2000 BC.

Some ancient names for the place, such as Korinthos, derive from a pre-Greek, "Pelasgian" language; it seems likely that Corinth was also the site of a Bronze Age Mycenaean palace-city, like Mycenae, Tiryns or Pylos. According to myth, Sisyphus was the founder of a race of ancient kings at Corinth. It was also in Corinth that Jason, the leader of the Argonauts, abandoned Medea. During the Trojan War Corinthians participated under the leadership of Agamemnon.

In a Corinthian myth related in the second century AD to Pausanias Briareus, one of the Hecatonchires, was the arbitrator in a dispute between Poseidon and Helios, between the sea and the sun: his verdict was that the Isthmus of Corinth belonged to Poseidon and the acropolis of Corinth (Acrocorinth) to Helios. Thus Greeks of the Classical age accounted for archaic cult of the sun-titan in the highest part of the site.

The Upper Peirene spring is located within the walls of the acropolis. "The spring, which is behind the temple, they say was the gift of Asopus to Sisyphus. The latter knew, so runs the legend, that Zeus had ravished Aegina, the daughter of Asopus, but refused to give information to the seeker before he had a spring given him on the Acrocorinthus." (Pausanias, 2.5.1).

Before the end of the Mycenaean period the Dorians attempted to settle in Corinth. While at first they failed, their second attempt was successful when their leader Aletes followed a different path around the Corinthian Gulf from Antirio.

 Corinth under the Bacchiadae

The Bacchiadae (Ancient Greek: Βακ�‡Î¹Î¬Î´Î±Î¹ Bakkhiadai), a tightly-knit Doric clan claiming descent from the Dorian hero Heracles through the seven sons and three daughters of a legendary king Bacchis, were the ruling kinship group of archaic Corinth in the eighth and seventh centuries BC, a period of expanding Corinthian cultural power. Corinth had been a backwater in eighth-century Greece. In 747 BC (a traditional date) an aristocratic revolution ousted the Bacchiad kings, when the royal clan of Bacchiadae, numbering perhaps a couple of hundred adult males took power from the last king, Telestes. Practicising strict endogamy which kept clan outlines within a distinct extended oikos, they dispensed with kingship and ruled as a group, governing the city by electing annually a prytanis who held the kingly position for his brief term, no doubt a council (though none is specifically documented in the scant literary materials) and a polemarchos to head the army.

In 657 BC the Bacchiadae were expelled in turn by the tyrant Cypselus, who had been polemarch. The exiled Bacchiadae fled to Corcyra but also to Sparta and west, traditionally to found Syracuse in Sicily, and to Etruria, where Demaratus installed himself at Tarquinia, founding a dynasty of Etruscan kings. The royal line of the Lynkestis of Macedon also claimed Bacchiad descent.

 Corinth under the tyrants

Cypselus or Kypselos (Greek: Κ���ˆÎµÎ»Î¿�‚) was the first tyrant of Corinth, Greece, in the 7th century BC.

With increased wealth and more complicated trade relations and social structures, Greek city-states tended to overthrow their traditional hereditary priest-kings; Corinth, the richest archaic polis, led the way. Like the signori of late medieval and Renaissance Italy, the tyrants usually seized power at the head of some popular support. Often the tyrants upheld existing laws and customs and were highly conservative as to cult practices, thus maintaining stability with little risk to their own personal security. As in Renaissance Italy, a cult of personality naturally substituted for the divine right of the former legitimate royal house.

Cypselus, the son of Eëtion and a disfigured woman named Labda, who was a member of the Bacchiad kin usurped the power in archaic matriarchal right of his mother, became tyrant and expelled the Bacchiadae.

Temple of Apollo, Ancient Corinth.
Periander (ÃŽ ÃƒÅ½Ã‚µÃ��ίανδÃ��οÃ�‚) (r.627–585 BC).

According to Herodotus the Bacchiadae heard two prophecies from the Delphic oracle that the son of Eëtion would overthrow their dynasty, and they planned to kill the baby once it was born. However, Herodotus says that the newborn smiled at each of the men sent to kill it, and none of them could go through with the plan. An etiological myth-element, to account for the name Cypselus (cypsele, "chest") accounted how Labda then hid the baby in a chest, and when the men had composed themselves and returned to kill it, they could not find it. (Compare the infancy of Perseus.) The ivory chest of Cypselus, richly worked with mythological narratives and adorned with gold, was a votive offering at Olympia, where Pausanias gave it a minute description in his second century AD travel guide.

When Cypselus had grown up, he fulfilled the prophecy. Corinth had been involved in wars with Argos and Corcyra, and the Corinthians were unhappy with their rulers. At the time, around 657 BC, Cypselus was polemarch, the archon in charge of the military, and he used his influence with the soldiery to expel the king. He also expelled his other enemies, but allowed them to set up colonies in northwestern Greece. He also increased trade with the colonies in Italy and Sicily. He was a popular ruler, and unlike many later tyrants, he did not need a bodyguard and died a natural death.

He ruled for thirty years and was succeeded as tyrant by his son Periander in 627 BC. The treasury Cypselus built at Delphi was apparently still standing in the time of Herodotus, and the chest of Cypselus was seen by the traveller Pausanias at Olympia in the second century AD.

During the 7th century BC, when Corinth was ruled by the tyrants, the city sent forth colonists to found new settlements: Epidamnus (modern day Durrës, Albania), Syracuse, Ambracia (modern day town of Lefkas), Corcyra (modern day town of Corfu) and Anactorium. Periander also founded Apollonia in Illyria (modern day Fier, Albania) and Potidaea (in Chalcidice). Corinth was also one of the nine Greek sponsor-cities to found the colony of Naukratis in Ancient Egypt. Naucratis was founded to accommodate the increasing trade volume between the Greek world and the pharaohnic Egypt, during the reign of Pharaoh Psammetichus I of the 26th dynasty.

 Classical Corinth

In classical times, Corinth rivaled Athens and Thebes in wealth, based on the Isthmian traffic and trade. Until the mid-6th century Corinth was a major exporter of black-figure pottery to cities around the Greek world. Athenian potters later came to dominate the market. It was once believed that Corinth housed a great temple on its ancient acropolis dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite; yet excavations of the temples of Aphrodite in Corinth reveal them to be small in stature. Despite the mythical story from Strabo of there being more than one thousand temple prostitutes employed at the Temple of Aphrodite, this was likely not accurate as the story rests on a misunderstanding. Corinth was also the host of the Isthmian Games.

Periander was considered one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. During his reign the first Corinthian coins were struck. He was the first to attempt to cut across the Isthmus to create a seaway to allow ship traffic between the Corinthian and the Saronic Gulf. He abandoned the venture due to the extreme technical difficulties he met, but he created the Diolkos (a stone-build overland ramp) instead. The era of the Cypselids, ending with Periander's nephew Psammetichus, named after the hellenophile Egyptian Pharaoh Psammetichus I (see above), was the golden age of the city of Corinth.

During this era Corinthians developed the Corinthian order, the third order of the classical architecture after the Ionic and the Doric. The Corinthian order was the most complicated of the three, showing the accumulation of wealth and the luxurious lifestyle in the ancient city-state, while the Doric order was analogous to the strict and simplistic lifestyle of the older Dorians like the Spartans, and the Ionic was a balance between those two following the philosophy of harmony of Ionians like the Athenians.

Horace is quoted as saying: "non licet omnibus adire Corinthum", which translates as "Not everyone is able to go to Corinth", due to the expensive living standards that prevailed in the city. The city was renowned for the temple prostitutes of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who served the wealthy merchants and the powerful officials living in or traveling in and out of the city. The most famous of them, Lais, was said to have extraordinary abilities and charged tremendous fees for her favours.

The city had two main ports, one in the Corinthian Gulf and one in the Saronic Gulf, serving the trade routes of the western and eastern Mediterranean, respectively. In the Corinthian Gulf lay Lechaion, which connected the city to its western colonies (Greek: apoikoiai) and Magna Graecia, while in the Saronic Gulf the port of Kenchreai served the ships coming from Athens, Ionia, Cyprus and the rest of the Levant. Both ports had docks for the large war fleet of the city-state.

The city was a major participant in the Persian Wars, offering forty war ships in the sea Battle of Salamis under the admiral Adeimantos and 5,000 hoplites (wearing their characteristic Corinthian helmets) in the following Battle of Plataea but afterwards was frequently an enemy of Athens and an ally of Sparta in the Peloponnesian League. In 431 BC, one of the factors leading to the Peloponnesian War was the dispute between Corinth and Athens over the Corinthian colony of Corcyra (Corfu), which probably stemmed from the traditional trade rivalry between the two cities.

After the end of the Peloponnesian War, Corinth and Thebes, which were former allies with Sparta in the Peloponnesian League, had grown dissatisfied with the hegemony of Sparta and started the Corinthian War against it, which further weakened the city-states of the Peloponnese. This weakness allowed for the subsequent invasion of the Macedonians of the north and the forging of the Corinthian League by Philip II of Macedon against the Persian Empire.

In the 4th century BC, Corinth was home to Diogenes of Sinope, one of the world's best known cynics.

 Later history

In the 3rd century BC, Corinth was a member of the Achaean League, and was completely destroyed by the Roman general Lucius Mummius in 146 BC.

While there is archeological evidence of some minimal habitation in the years afterwards, Julius Caesar refounded the city as Colonia laus Iulia Corinthiensis in 44 BC shortly before his assassination. According to Appian, the new settlers were drawn from freedmen of Rome.[citation needed]

 The city and its environs

 Acrocorinth, the acropolis

Acrocorinthis, the acropolis of ancient Corinth, is a monolithic rock that was continuously occupied from archaic times to the early nineteenth century. The city's archaic acropolis, already an easily defensible position due to its geomorphology, was further heavily fortified during the Byzantine Empire as it became the seat of the strategos of the Thema of Hellas. Later it was a fortress of the Franks after the Fourth Crusade, the Venetians and the Ottoman Turks. With its secure water supply, Acrocorinth's fortress was used as the last line of defense in southern Greece because it commanded the isthmus of Corinth, repelling foes from entry into the Peloponnesian peninsula. Three circuit walls formed the man-made defense of the hill. The highest peak on the site was home to a temple to Aphrodite which was Christianized as a church, and then became a mosque. The American School began excavations on it in 1929. Currently, Acrocorinth is one of the most important medieval castle sites of Greece.

 The city

 The two ports: Lechaeum and Cenchreae

Corinth had two harbours: Lechaeum on the Corinthian Gulf and Cenchreae on the Saronic Gulf. Lechaeum was the principal port, connected to the city with a set of long walls of ca. 2 miles length, and was the main trading station for Italy and Sicily, where there were many Corinthian colonies, while Cenchreae served the commerce with the Eastern Mediterranean. Ships could be transported between the two harbours by means of the diolkos constructed by the tyrant Periander.

 Biblical Corinth

Corinth is mentioned in the New Testament in the epistles of Corinthians 1 and 2. Under the Romans, Corinth became the seat of government for Southern Greece or Achaia (according to Acts 18:12-26). It was noted for its wealth, and for the luxurious, immoral and vicious habits of the people. It had a large mixed population of Romans, Greeks, and Jews.

When the apostle Paul first visited the city (AD 51 or 52), Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul. Paul resided here for eighteen months (see Acts 18:1-18). Here he first became acquainted with Aquila and Priscilla, and soon after his departure Apollos came from Ephesus.

Paul visited Corinth for a "second benefit" (see 2 Corinthians 1:15), and remained for three months, according to Acts 20:3. During this second visit, believed to have occurred in the spring of 58, it is likely that the Epistle to the Romans was written.

Based on clues within the Corinthian epistles themselves scholars have concluded that Paul wrote possibly as many as four epistles to the church at Corinth. Only two of them, the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians and the 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians are contained with the Canon of Holy Scripture. The first Epistle reflects the difficulties of maintaining a Christian community in such a cosmopolitan city. The second reaffirms the love Paul has for this young church and his hopes for their continued growth.

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Item location: Rego Park, New York, United States
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Domestic handling time
Will usually ship within 1 business day of receiving cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab.

Return policy

Item must be returned within
Refund will be given as
30 days after the buyer receives it
Money Back
The buyer is responsible for return shipping costs.
Return policy details
You can have a refund in either store credit or refund to paypal, minus shipping costs.

Payment details

Payment method Preferred/Accepted  
Credit card or Pre-authorized Debit through PayPal
Accepted
 

Seller's payment instructions

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