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Dodona Timeline

Dodona Timeline


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  • c. 800 BCE

    The oracle of Zeus is established at Dodona.

  • 219 BCE

    Dodona is sacked by the Aetolians.

  • 218 BCE

    A re-building programme is undertaken at Dodona .

  • 167 BCE

    Dodona is sacked by the Romans.

  • 393 CE

    Roman Emperor Theodosius definitively ends all pagan Games in Greece.


Spring at Dodona Manor

In the words of Robin Williams, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” At General and Mrs. Marshall’s Leesburg home, Dodona Manor, spring has brought 80 parties since the couple purchased the property in 1941. As an avid gardener and amateur arborist, George Marshall loved nothing more than to escape the trials of public life knee-deep in compost. In March 1942, Marshall wrote to the president of the Burpee Seed Company, saying, “There is nothing I would so much prefer to do this spring as to turn my mind to the wholesome business of gardening rather than the terrible problems and tragedies of war.”

Thanks to the efforts of volunteers and landscape architects, Dodona Manor continues to provide respite for visitors well into the 21st century, just as it did for General and Mrs. Marshall. April is a particularly colorful month for the 3.8 acres worth of trees, flowers, bulbs, and boxwoods. These photos give a glimpse into the past and present blooms of the Marshalls’ natural wonderland at Dodona Manor.


George C. Marshall stands by apple blossoms with clippers in hand. The small boxwoods that surround his wife’s rose garden are seen in the left background and survive today. 1950. Photo by the Washington Star.


Marshall pruning climbing red roses. 1950. Photo by the Washington Star.


General and Mrs. Marshall admiring zinnias. 1951. Photo by Life Magazine.


Katherine Marshall’s grandson, Allen Tupper Brown Jr., tending to his grandmother’s rose garden. The line of small boxwoods still survives today. 1951.


Marshall cutting plants in his vegetable garden. 1950. Photo by the Washington Star.


Flowering white dogwood (Cornus florida), one of the Marshalls’ favorite trees. April 2021. Photo by Cody Youngblood.

Two bulbed plants – pink hyacinths (Hyacinthus) and yellow daffodils (Narcissus) – blooming in one of the Marshalls’ original gardening pots. April 2021. Photo by Cody Youngblood.


White daffodils (Narcissus) bloom behind purple Armenian grape hyacinths (Muscari) under a grove of oak trees. April 2021. Photo by Cody Youngblood.


This flowering pink dogwood (Cornus florida) towers over Dodona Manor’s stone court. April 2021. Photo by Cody Youngblood.


Yellow daffodils (Narcissus) and fringed tulip ‘Davenports’ (Tulipa) blooming at the rear of the property. April 2021. Photo by Cody Youngblood.

A flowering pink dogwood (Cornus florida) blooms in the foreground while a large dogwood blooms behind. April 2021. Photo by Cody Youngblood.


As one of the Marshalls’ favorite plants, lilac trees (Syringa) are planted all around Dodona. The tree pictured was planted by the Marshalls and survives to this day. April 2021. Photo by Cody Youngblood.


White daffodils (Narcissus) and a Catawa rhododendron (Rhododendron), a species of azaleas, add a pop of color next to the living room bay window. April 2021. Photo by Cody Youngblood.


Purple moss phlox (Phlox) covers the ground near Dodona’s front porch. April 2021. Photo by Cody Youngblood.

A line of eastern redbuds (Cercis) on the south edge of the property. April 2021. Photo by Cody Youngblood.

Cody Youngblood is a graduate student and docent at George C. Marshall’s Dodona Manor in Leesburg, Virginia. Follow his adventures @young_preservationist.


Herodotus and the origins of Dodona

Herodotus (Histories 2:54-57) was told by priests at Egyptian Thebes in the 4th century BCE "that two priestesses had been carried away from Thebes by Phoenicians one, they said they had heard was taken away and sold in Libya, the other in Hellas these women, they said, were the first founders of places of divination in the aforesaid countries." The simplest analysis: Egypt, for Greeks and for Egyptians themselves was a spring of human culture of all but immeasurable antiquity. This mythic element says that the oracles of Ammon at the oasis of Siwa in Libya and of Dodona in Thessaly were equally old, but similarly transmitted by Phoenician culture, and that the seeresses &mdash Herodotus does not say "sibyls" &mdash were women.

Herodotus follows with what he was told by the prophetesses, called peleiades ("doves") at Dodona:

"that two black doves had come flying from Thebes in Egypt, one to Libya and one to Dodona the latter settled on an oak tree, and there uttered human speech, declaring that a place of divination from Zeus must be made there the people of Dodona understood that the message was divine, and therefore established the oracular shrine. The dove which came to Libya told the Libyans (they say) to make an oracle of Ammon this also is sacred to Zeus. Such was the story told by the Dodonaean priestesses, the eldest of whom was Promeneia and the next Timarete and the youngest Nicandra and the rest of the servants of the temple at Dodona similarly held it true."

In the simplest analysis, this was a confirmation of the tradition in Egypt. The element of the dove may be an attempt to account for a folk etymology applied to the archaic name of the sacred women that no longer made sense. Was the pel- element in their name actually connected with "black" or "muddy" root elements in names like "Peleus" or "Pelops"? Is that why the doves were black? Herodotus adds:

"But my own belief about it is this. If the Phoenicians did in fact carry away the sacred women and sell one in Libya and one in Hellas, then, in my opinion, the place where this woman was sold in what is now Hellas, but was formerly called Pelasgia, was Thesprotia and then, being a slave there, she established a shrine of Zeus under an oak that was growing there for it was reasonable that, as she had been a handmaid of the temple of Zeus at Thebes, she would remember that temple in the land to which she had come. After this, as soon as she understood the Greek language, she taught divination and she said that her sister had been sold in Libya by the same Phoenicians who sold her. "I expect that these women were called 'doves' by the people of Dodona because they spoke a strange language, and the people thought it like the cries of birds then the woman spoke what they could understand, and that is why they say that the dove uttered human speech as long as she spoke in a foreign tongue, they thought her voice was like the voice of a bird. For how could a dove utter the speech of men? The tale that the dove was black signifies that the woman was Egyptian."

Thesprotia, on the coast west of Dodona, would have been available to the sea-going Phoenicians, whom Herodotus' readers would not have expected to have penetrated as far inland as Dodona. Christians will be particularly arrested by the doves as vehicles of divine spirit.


Campaigns of 218 BC [ edit ]

At the turn of 219/18 BC Philip secretly took his army to Corinth and from there started a winter campaign in the Peloponnese. After chasing Euripidas from the pass of Apelaurus near Stymphalos, he marched through Arcadia and Elis to Triphylia, winning victory after victory. At first he stormed the city of Psophis and handed it over to his Achaean ally Aratus the Younger. The same procedure was used at Lasion, while the village of Stration was given to the citizens of Thelpusa.

From Olympia in Pisatis the king moved against Elis, where he captured the fortress of Thalamas and the Elean leader Amphidamus. Next he fought the Aetolians in Triphylia, took the city of Phigaleia from the hands of their inhabitants and conquered the entire province in a week. Finally he came to terms with the fortress of Samicum, where a combined force of 2,700 Aetolians, Eleans and Spartans including even some Illyrian pirates was only able to negotiate their release on parole.

In the summer of 218 BC, Philip and his allies took a fleet to the island of Cephalonia, but when the siege of Pale failed, the king decided on an attack against the Aetolian heartland. So he moved his army by ship to the Gulf of Ambracia and from there marched past the city of Stratos and the Trichonis-Lake to Thermon, devastating the temples and statues in the Pan-Aetolian sanctuary.

After a quick retreat westward, through the territory he had conquered the previous summer, the young king embarked again at Amphilochia.

From the Gulf of Ambracia Philip sailed back to Corinth and then quickly marched to Sparta, where he made many successful raids against the unfortified villages south of the city as far as the port of Gythium. When the Spartan king Lykurgos tried to block his path north, Philip and Demetrius of Pharos dislodged the Lacedaemonians from the Menelaion above the city, while Aratus led the main force to cross the Eurotas River.

On his return to Corinth, however, Philip had to deal with soldiers dissatisfied with the low yields of plunder. He then put down a conspiracy led by his tutor Apelles, the chancellor Megaleas and several officers. After a failed attempt at a peace conference, Philip returned home for the winter of 218/17 BC.


Personality and traits [ edit | edit source ]

Jan Dodonna was a human man with white hair, blue eyes and light skin. Γ] Prior to his career as General in the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Dodonna served in the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars. Though initially one of the first captains in the Imperial Navy and a veteran of the Clone Wars, Dodonna became disillusioned with the Galactic Empire and joined the growing rebellion, thereby becoming a firm believer of the rebel cause. Δ]

Dodonna devised the strategy that led to the Death Star's destruction.

An incisive and wise strategist with calm demeanor, ⎤] Dodonna came up with the attack strategy that eventually let Luke Skywalker destroy the Death Star and saving millions of lives. Γ] After the Battle of Yavin, Dodonna became too concerned about Princess Leia Organa's safety to the point that he refused to let her assist in the scouting for a new base given the placed bounty on her head by the Empire, even leading him to dispatch Skywalker and Wedge Antilles to retrieve her. ⎞] By the time of the Battle of Vrogas Vas, Dodonna recognized the threat Darth Vader represent for the Alliance, reason for which he proposed more dramatic measures. ⎢]

During what became his last battle, Dodonna showed his concern on the lives of his fellow comrades, ordering his flagship the Republic to remain hidden to not risk any more lives and just regroup with any survivors from the devastating attack at the Mako-Ta Space Docks. However, after talking with Luke Skywalker, Dodonna opted to return and help and the ones stranded there and ultimately sacrificed his own life to ensure the Alliance's survival and allow his fellow rebels to live to fight another day. Α]


Pelasgians

Pelasgians (Greek Πελασγοί): legendary indigenous population of Greece.

The Limits of Knowledge

The ancient Greeks only understood their direct neighbors. For example, the fifth-century researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus, who had visited Egypt, Scythia, and southern Italy, was unable to comprehend the far east. It was, he believed, the country of the Assyrians, whose capital was Babylon, and whose empire was taken over by the Medes and the Persians. That Babylon was the capital of Babylonia and that there had been a Babylonian Empire between the Assyrian and Persian periods, was unknown to Herodotus.

If geographical distance was difficult, temporal distance was even harder to comprehend. After all, Herodotus lived in an age without a common era, without real archives, and without quotable historians – after all, he was the first historian. Still, he was not completely helpless: important Greek families (like the Alcmeonids in Athens) knew the names of some ancestors, six or seven or perhaps even eight generations deep. This allowed Herodotus to reconstruct at least a part of the past, let’s say since the last quarter of the seventh century BCE.

The really deep past was unknown. There were stories about the Trojan War, which Herodotus placed eight centuries before himself, note [Herodotus, Histories 2.53.] and there were some myths. But in fact, he hardly comprehended the deep past. Still, he had to assume that there had been people living back then, if only because there were stories about the way the Greeks had settled in their own country. For example: when Cadmus, the founder of Thebes, arrived, there was already a sanctuary in Delphi. There had to have been an indigenous population prior to the coming of the Greeks.

Picking up a name from Homer, note [Homer, Odyssey 19.177.] Herodotus and several other ancient authors called them Pelasgians. The main question is: were the Pelasgians more than a synonym for "earlier people"? Was there ever a tribe or a nation living in Greece that fits the description by the ancient authors? We will first see what Herodotus has to offer, will then have a look at other authors, and will establish that there are two meanings of the word.

Athenian Pelasgians

To start with, most Greeks assumed that the people of Athens were autochthonous, born from the earth. Just like the Pelasgians, they had their origin in the deep, deep past. Therefore, the ties between the Pelasgians and the Athenians were quite close, but Herodotus is inconsistent about the exact relation. Once, he implies that the Pelasgians were immigrants themselves and had come to live with the Athenians, note [Herodotus, Histories 2.51.] but he also states that the Ionians (and therefore: Athenians) were originally called Pelasgians. note [Herodotus, Histories 1.56, 7.94-95, 8.44.]

/> Lemnos, tombstone of an Etruscan (?) soldier

Herodotus is aware of at least one Athenian myth about the Pelasgians, which he presents as a local tradition that is partly confirmed by Hecataeus. In former times, the Athenians lived on the Acropolis and the Pelasgians near the Hymettus, but the Athenians expelled the Pelasgians, who settled on Lemnos. note [Herodotus, Histories 6.137.] Later, the Pelasgians captured Athenian women from Brauron, note [Herodotus, Histories 4.145, 6.138.] and there was a prophecy that the Pelasgians would one day have to surrender their island to the Athenians, which was indeed conquered by Miltiades. note [Herodotus, Histories 6.137-140.]

The whole story may have been invented to justify the Athenian annexation of these islands. The only base in reality may have been that the Lemnians spoke an unusual language (which may have been related to Etruscan). This is why Herodotus says that there were Pelasgians on Lemnos and Imbros in his own age. note [Herodotus, Histories 5.26.] He also calls Antandrus a Pelasgian city, says that Samothrace used to be Pelasgian, and knows people who speak Pelasgian near the Sea of Marmora. note [Herodotus, Histories 7.42, 2.51, and 1.57.] Both were in the same general direction: the northeast of the Aegean Sea. Interestingly, when Homer refers to the Pelasgians, he places them on Crete and in northwestern Anatolia, note [Homer, Odyssey 19.177 Iliad 2.840, 10.429.] while Herodotus also refers to Pelasgians in Arcadia, in the northern Peloponnese, on the Ionian islands, Thessaly, note [Herodotus, Histories 1.146, 7.94, 7.95, 1.57.] and in an unidentified town called Creston. note [Herodotus, Histories 1.57.]

Other Indigenous People

It seems that Herodotus called all early people Pelasgians: they only exist to offer invaders someone to expel. However, occasionally the name of the original inhabitants of a country are too well-known to ignore.

  • The indigenous people on the Peloponnese were the Caucones note [Herodotus, Histories 1.147, 4.148.]
  • The first inhabitants of Caria were the Leleges, who are also known from Homer, which was evidence that Herodotus could not ignore note [Herodotus, Histories 1.171 Homer, Iliad 2.428.]
  • The early Boeotians were called Cadmaeans note [Herodotus, Histories 1.56, 1.146, 5.61, 9.27.]
  • The first people in Lydia were the Meiones, who are also known from Homer and Hittite sources. note [Herodotus, Histories 1.7, 7.74 Homer, Iliad 2.866 in Hittite sources, the area is called Masas.]

Reconstructing Pelasgian Society

Herodotus tries to reconstruct the world of the ancient Pelasgians, which he calls Pelasgia. note [Herodotus, Histories 2.56.] He knows that in several towns the Pelasgian language is still spoken, note [Herodotus, Histories 1.57-58.] believes that the use of herms and the Mysteries of the Cabiri were created by the Pelasgians, note [Herodotus, Histories 2.51.] , and assumes that the Pelasgians accepted several kinds of religious rituals from Libya and Egypt. note [Herodotus, Histories 2.50-51.]

Other Authors

So far, we have seen that Herodotus of Halicarnassus uses the word “Pelasgians” in two meanings:

  • for people with a language of their own, living in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea (Samothrace, Imbros, Lemnos, Antandrus, Sea of Marmora),
  • for an ancient, pre-Greek population, which he situates on the Peloponnese, in Athens, on the Ionian islands, and in Thessaly.

There is a bit more evidence. Homer mentions Pelasgians on Crete, in Dodona in Epirus, in northwest Anatolia, and in Thessaly. note [Homer, Odyssey 19.177, Iliad 16.233 (cf. Strabo, Geography 7.7.10), 2.840, 10.429, 2.681.] The geographer Strabo of Amasia, who uses as his source Ephorus of Cyme, describes the Pelasgians as people who settled in Greece, but does not mention where they came from he mentions them in Dodona, Thessaly, Chios, and Etruria. note [Strabo, Geography 7.7.1, 7.7.10, 7.7.12, 13.3.3, 5.2.2-4, 5.2.8.] None of our authors - Homer, Hecataeus, Herodotus, Ephorus, Strabo - presents the old Pelasgians as Greeks, and all these writers are describing the ancient Pelasgians.

There is also evidence that confirms Herodotus' description of fifth-century Pelasgians in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea: Herodotus' younger contemporary Thucydides refers to Pelasgians living on the Athos peninsula. note [Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 4.109.] Thucydides also mentions the Pelasgians in the first sense, as very ancient inhabitants of Greece. note [Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 1.3.]

Summing Up

It seems that Herodotus considers the Pelasgians of his own age as the remains of the older Pelasgians, and although Thucydides seems to accept this, it is just an opinion. We cannot be certain.


Herodotus and the origins of Dodona

Herodotus (Histories 2:54-57) was told by priests at Egyptian Thebes in the 4th century BCE "that two priestesses had been carried away from Thebes by Phoenicians one, they said they had heard was taken away and sold in Libya, the other in Hellas these women, they said, were the first founders of places of divination in the aforesaid countries." The simplest analysis: Egypt, for Greeks and for Egyptians themselves was a spring of human culture of all but immeasurable antiquity. This mythic element says that the oracles of Ammon at the oasis of Siwa in Libya and of Dodona in Thessaly were equally old, but similarly transmitted by Phoenician culture, and that the seeresses &mdash Herodotus does not say "sibyls" &mdash were women.

Herodotus follows with what he was told by the prophetesses, called peleiades ("doves") at Dodona:

"that two black doves had come flying from Thebes in Egypt, one to Libya and one to Dodona the latter settled on an oak tree, and there uttered human speech, declaring that a place of divination from Zeus must be made there the people of Dodona understood that the message was divine, and therefore established the oracular shrine. The dove which came to Libya told the Libyans (they say) to make an oracle of Ammon this also is sacred to Zeus. Such was the story told by the Dodonaean priestesses, the eldest of whom was Promeneia and the next Timarete and the youngest Nicandra and the rest of the servants of the temple at Dodona similarly held it true."

In the simplest analysis, this was a confirmation of the tradition in Egypt. The element of the dove may be an attempt to account for a folk etymology applied to the archaic name of the sacred women that no longer made sense. Was the pel- element in their name actually connected with "black" or "muddy" root elements in names like "Peleus" or "Pelops"? Is that why the doves were black? Herodotus adds:

"But my own belief about it is this. If the Phoenicians did in fact carry away the sacred women and sell one in Libya and one in Hellas, then, in my opinion, the place where this woman was sold in what is now Hellas, but was formerly called Pelasgia, was Thesprotia and then, being a slave there, she established a shrine of Zeus under an oak that was growing there for it was reasonable that, as she had been a handmaid of the temple of Zeus at Thebes, she would remember that temple in the land to which she had come. After this, as soon as she understood the Greek language, she taught divination and she said that her sister had been sold in Libya by the same Phoenicians who sold her. "I expect that these women were called 'doves' by the people of Dodona because they spoke a strange language, and the people thought it like the cries of birds then the woman spoke what they could understand, and that is why they say that the dove uttered human speech as long as she spoke in a foreign tongue, they thought her voice was like the voice of a bird. For how could a dove utter the speech of men? The tale that the dove was black signifies that the woman was Egyptian."

Thesprotia, on the coast west of Dodona, would have been available to the sea-going Phoenicians, whom Herodotus' readers would not have expected to have penetrated as far inland as Dodona. Christians will be particularly arrested by the doves as vehicles of divine spirit.


Attacking Warrior

Attacking Warrior (Greek, Dodona, 510-500 BCE). Greek bronze. From the Antikensammlung collection in the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

This bronze statuette represents a Greek warrior wielding a shield and, by the looks of the stance and arm positioning, what was a spear.  These Greek warriors are called  hoplites  , and they became a major force in ancient military strategy.  The statuette has been dated to around 510-500 BCE and was crafted by the ancient Greeks.  This heroic representation of the Greek military stood at only 12.8 cm, and was "a finial from a cauldron  " according to the Scala Archives.

This piece currently resides at the  Staatliche Museen zu Berlin  in Berlin, Germany.

Firstly, this figure is made of bronze, and it was made between 510-500 BCE this timeframe is at the tail-end of Greece's  Archaic age , so bronze was not a rare material anymore.  This piece was a finial to a cauldron, and judging by the flat base that the warrior is standing on, it was most likely placed at the top of the lid and could have been used as a handle.  Given this information, this statuette was probably made from the "lost-wax method" [see Raven-Hart 1958, 87] which involved an artist creating a wax sculpture, surrounding that sculpture with soft clay, heating the two joined materials, and filling the empty clay mold with molten bronze.  Later, once the bronze had solidified, a hammer could easily break the clay, revealing the previously wax model as bronze.  Given the common materials, the Greeks were able to create this using 100% Greek materials, and this was probably a plus when sacrificing to their gods.

Hoplites were fearsome warriors.  Depicted, though the spear is absent, his stance and arm position dictate that not only is he wielding a spear, but he is aiming at the ground.  He has already brought his foe to the ground and he is finishing him off in a routine and efficient way.  The Greeks that made this wanted to depict the utter dominance of their military, but without showing savagery.  Had this warrior swung his shield arm to his left, the increased momentum of the spear would greatly damage his enemy, but since the enemy is grounded, such force is not necessary.  Also, hoplites were the infantry force, and they had multiple people they were assigned to kill at any given mission.  Swinging his shield arm would have left him totally exposed to attack, and by keeping his guard up, it shows the Greek ideal of their hoplites as killing machines.

This statuette was discovered at the  Temple of Zeus at Dodona  , so it was part of a gift from the ancient Greeks to their patron god,  Zeus  .  Of course, this item was never really  used  in the way today's people would use a vessel since this was a gift to Zeus, functionality came far after design.  Unless tampered with, the entire work sat unused for centuries.  Until archaeologists representing the  Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies  investigated multiple different sites across the Mediterranean and found the Temple of Zeus at Dodona [see Clay 1884, 207].

Local Historical Context

The Archaic period is rich with  activity  .  Around 574 BCE,  Solon  becomes a hero to the Greeks (though some did not know it at the time) and paves the way for a democratic society [see Lewis 2009, 123] by ridding Greece of the old  Draconian law  ,  freeing the slaves , and giving back forfeited land to those who had lost it.  Solon also gives Greece the first coinage and system of weights and measures.   Pythagoras  is born in 569 BCE and contributed to philosophy and mathematics.  In 565 BCE,  Pisistratus  and his men take the  Megarian  harbor after years of military shortcomings.  He later becomes tyrant and passes on this position to his son upon his death.  After years of hardship, the  Alcmaeonid  family, along with many  Spartans  , remove the tyranny from Athens around 510 BCE, and one member,  Cleisthenes  , establishes a democracy in 508 BCE.  This  greatly  influences the rest of the political history of Greece, and gains quite a bit of reverence from the Father of History himself, Herodotus.  He is very interested in Cleisthenes' reasoning, but even more so in his political victory with his family [see David 1986, 3].

That  is what was happening when this figure was created leaps and bounds into the future of society were had. for men, anyway. Since the recent introduction of coinage, most people were probably vying for an artisan job to sell their trade skills, but many people, especially the newly freed slaves, were probably stuck farming.  Though there were no legal slaves, the lack of true egalitarianism in Solon probably left them with just about the same jobs they were paid this time though.  By that, I mean that the social stratification probably still held true since not even a century had passed since the emancipation of Greek slaves.  There may have been a decrease in this number, but most craftsmen were probably still the same men whose entire lineage was made up of craftsmen.  Whoever made this, it was probably one of those aforementioned people, and the creator was probably well off enough to spare it as a sacrifice to Zeus.  Of course, after giving gifts to the gods, it was said that the recipient gods would be pleased.  Of course, this means the bigger and more expensive the gift, the better!  The gods, especially Zeus, were incredibly similar to the humans that worshipped them, and Zeus very much appreciated the art of war.  The chosen topic for this gift embodies the raw military power that Greece possessed, and it was probably seated on a fine bronze cauldron with the most ornate artwork (probably of military conquest) the artist could muster.  This pleasure was said to be enough to protect the gift givers from harm, so if you consider that remuneration, then they were divinely remunerated.  

World-Historical Significance

The object's significance is that it represented everything Greek all at once.  After plunging through a political struggle and prevailing with radical concepts and strange new ways, the Greeks still retain their traditions of giving tithe to the one that protects them, Zeus.  Of course, the rest of the world does not agree with that at all, they each have their own set of different  pantheons  of gods, some worship only one god they've name  Yahweh  .  Some follow a path that worships no gods at all, and one is inadvertently becoming a god himself ( Prince Siddhartha  ).  These are some of the biggest roots in major conflict, and Greece is ready to fight them.  Their hoplites are the common folk that provide food and trade goods, and they also provide service to the gods that protect them by fighting those who oppose.  These hoplites fought in a specialized formation known for its efficiency and its effectiveness.  In its own language it is "φάλαγξ", which is translated to  phalanx  , but that does not do it justice.  Before the military formation, it was simply a term that "referred to a long and solid segment of any material".  When applied to military strategy, it forms many warriors into one, single being that was side by side, back to front, shields raised it was a truly fearsome and looming beast to face in combat.  The phalanx functioned as a unit rather than a multitude of men, and this formation  worked  for a long time [see Echeverría 2012, 303-305].  This  Attacking Warrior  represents this spirit, and it was made as a gift to a god whose spirit matched that of his followers.

Of course, giving gifts to gods was not by any means a new idea.  Almost every different culture did the exact same thing, though their gods may not have appreciated the same things that Zeus did.  However, until the Greeks spread their influence to the later  Roman Empire  and along the Southwest Asian territories via trade and later  Alexander the Great  , it was the only one of its kind.  They were kind of geographically isolated in a sense they did not have anyone to fight with but themselves mainly.  This lack of a lot of outside influence allowed them to develop their own  Hellenistic  style.  


Overseas projects

The early overseas activity of the Euboeans has already been remarked upon in connection with the discoveries at Lefkandi. They were the prime movers in the more or less organized—or, at any rate, remembered and recorded—phase of Greek overseas settlement, a process known as colonization. (Euboean priority can be taken as absolutely certain because archaeology supports the literary tradition of the Roman historian Livy and others: Euboean pottery has been found both at Pithekoussai to the west and at the Turkish site of Al-Mina to the east.) This more-organized phase began in Italy about 750 and in Sicily in 734 bce its episodes were remembered, perhaps in writing, by the colonies themselves. The word organized needs to be stressed, because various considerations make it necessary to push back beyond that date the beginning of Greek colonization. First, it is clear from archaeological finds, such as the Lefkandi material, and from other new evidence that the Greeks had already, before 750 or 734, confronted and exchanged goods with the inhabitants of Italy and Sicily. Second, Thucydides says that Dark Age Athens sent colonies to Ionia, and archaeology bears this out—however much one discounts for propagandist exaggeration by the imperial Athens of Thucydides’ own time of its prehistoric colonizing role. However, after the founding of Cumae (a mainland Italian offshoot of the island settlement of Pithekoussai) about 750 bce and of Sicilian Naxos and Syracuse in 734 and 733, respectively, there was an explosion of colonies to all points of the compass. The only exceptions were those areas, such as pharaonic Egypt or inner Anatolia, where the inhabitants were too militarily and politically advanced to be easily overrun.

One may ask why the Greeks suddenly began to launch these overseas projects. It seems that commercial interests, greed, and sheer curiosity were the motivating forces. An older view, according to which Archaic Greece exported its surplus population because of an uncontrollable rise in population, must be regarded as largely discredited. In the first place, the earliest well-documented colonial operations were small-scale affairs, too small to make much difference to the situation of the sending community (the “metropolis,” or mother city). That is certainly true of the colonization of Cyrene, in North Africa, from the island of Thera (Santorin) on this point, an inscription has confirmed the classic account by the 5th-century Greek historian Herodotus. In the second place, population was not uncontrollable in principle: artificial means such as infanticide were available, not to mention more-modern techniques like contraception. Considerations of this kind much reduce the evidential value of discoveries establishing, for example, that the number of graves in Attica and the Argolid (the area round Argos) increased dramatically in the later Dark Age or that there was a serious drought in 8th-century Attica (that is the admitted implication of a number of dried-up wells in the Athenian agora, or civic centre). In fact, no single explanation for the colonizing activity is plausible. Political difficulties at home might sometimes be a factor, as, for instance, at Sparta, which in the 8th century sent out a colony to Taras (Tarentum) in Italy as a way of getting rid of an unwanted half-caste group. Nor can one rule out simple craving for excitement and a desire to see the world. The lyric poetry of the energetic and high-strung poet Archilochus, a 7th-century Parian involved in the colonization of Thasos, shows the kind of lively minded individual who might be involved in the colonizing movement.

So far, the vague term community has been used for places that sent out colonies. Such vagueness is historically appropriate, because those places themselves were scarcely constituted as united entities, such as a city, or polis. For example, it is a curious fact that Corinth, which in 733 colonized Syracuse in Sicily, was itself scarcely a properly constituted polis in 733. (The formation of Corinth as a united entity is to be put in the second half of the 8th century, with precisely the colonization of Syracuse as its first collective act.)


Dodona Timeline - History

The ancient Greeks believed they could ask their gods direct questions, but only at certain times and very special places.

Herodotus, a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BCE (approx. 484-425 BCE), was conferred the title “Father of History” by the Roman, Cicero. He broke away from the long-standing Homeric tradition, and investigated history: gathered information systematically and critically and then arranged the material gathered into a historiographic narrative, rather than a saga of myths and legends. Not all the information he gathered has been proven correct, but much has.

Herodotus in his ‘Histories’ gathered 2 accounts on the origins of the oracle at Dodona (thought to be established in the 2nd millennium BCE) on mainland Greece.

1. Told by priests of Amon at Egyptian Thebes (Karnak):

The priests of Zeus of Thebes told me that two priestesses had been carried away from Thebes by Phoenicians one, they said they had heard was taken away and sold in Libya, the other in Hellas these women, they said, were the first founders of places of divination in the aforesaid countries.

When I asked them how it was that they could speak with such certain knowledge, they said in reply that their people had sought diligently for these women, and had never been able to find them, but had learned later the story which they were telling me.

But my own belief about it is this. If the Phoenicians did in fact carry away the sacred women and sell one in Libya and one in Hellas, then, in my opinion, the place where this woman was sold in what is now Hellas, but was formerly called Pelasgia, was Thesprotia

and then, being a slave there, she established a shrine of Zeus under an oak that was growing there for it was reasonable that, as she had been a handmaid of the temple of Zeus at Thebes , she would remember that temple in the land to which she had come.

After this, as soon as she understood the Greek language, she taught divination and she said that her sister had been sold in Libya by the same Phoenicians who sold her.

I expect that these women were called “doves” by the people of Dodona because they spoke a strange language, and the people thought it like the cries of birds

Reconstruction Dodona Oracle

then the woman spoke what they could understand, and that is why they say that the dove uttered human speech as long as she spoke in a foreign tongue, they thought her voice was like the voice of a bird. For how could a dove utter the speech of men? The tale that the dove was black signifies that the woman was Egyptian.

The fashions of divination at Thebes of Egypt and at Dodona are like one another moreover, the practice of divining from the sacrificed victim has also come from Egypt.

NB Herodotus who saw Egyptians in the 5th century BCE, say the Egyptians were ‘black and curly-haired’.

This account states that the oracles at the oasis of Siwa in Libya, and of that of Dodona in Epirus were founded at the same time and were both derived from Thebes in Egypt by Phoenician traders/slavers, and that the priestesses were women who had either been sold into slavery or escaped and established at Dodona, as a new place of worship. The priestesses of the oracle were referred to as doves to memorialise and represent the Egyptian lost priestess.

Are the various aspects of this proposition supportable?

Was there a Temple of Amon At Thebes

Except for the period of Akhenaten’s rule, the temple complex at Thebes/Karnak, which began in the Middle Kingdom, was focused on the worship of the Theban Triad with the god Amon as its head.

Karnak was known in ancient time as “The Most Select of Places” and was not only the location of the cult statue of Amun and a place for the god to dwell but also a working estate for the priestly community with sacred lakes, kitchens and workshops

Were there priestesses or other at the Temple of Amon at Thebes

Priestesses were attached to most temples in Egypt and not in inferior positions. In the records however there are many priestesses with the title of ‘Chantress’. Many of the women with this title were of royal and/or noble blood. Letters have survived from some of these Chantresses indicating they exercised a great deal of power. Many in the Third Intermediate period were directly associate with the Theban cult of Amon. The Great Chantress of Amon wrote to a military official ordering him to supply rations for the workmen: “Don’t let [name of another official] complain to me again,” she wrote. “Have them prepared for the people…” Many women with temple functions seem to have preferred using the title of Chantress even over other impressive titles, which indicates the title’s high status.

On the sides of the coffin are inscriptions painted in large yellow hieroglyphs identifying the person buried: the Chantress of Amun: Nehemes-Bastet. A text written on the legs section of the coffin lid informs us that her father was a priest in the great temple of Karnak.

The title ‘Chantress of Amun’ identifies Nehemes-Bastet as a woman of a high social status from a family of priests at the wealthy and influential temple of Karnak. The exact scope of her duties is still unknown, though she probably took part in the rituals associated with feasts for the god Amun, perhaps accompanying the processions of the god with music in a choir of elegant ladies

Were Phoenicians in a position to take ‘slaves’ from Thebes in the 2nd millennium BCE

The New Kingdom period (c 1570-1070 BCE) was an ‘international age’ for Egypt. Travelling groups brought their cultures to Egypt, foreign workers (metal-workers, jewellery makers, and faience and glass makers) came to the major centres such as Thebes, and traders carried merchandise into and from Egypt. A factor that argues for a substantial amount of involvement of the Phoenicians in Egypt is the amount of Egyptian material found at sites in Mediterranean, cities associated with the Phoenicians such as Byblos, Tyre, and Sidon, Rhodes, Crete, Eleusis and Athens.

Phoenicians also had trading enterprises within Egypt, mainly in the delta region. Herodotus referred to Tyrians in Memphis. Evidence of Phoenician trading has also been found at: Daphnae, Memphis, Saqqara, Migdol in the Sinai, Tell el Herr, and Tell el Retabeh, The Phoenicians were not only masters of the sea route south to the Delta but also used the land routes through the Sinai and along the Wadi Tumilat.

Did the Phoenicians Trade with Greece

Phoenicians were known for their Mediterranean network of trading cities. Phoenician trade routes in the Mediterranean were not a question of choice so much as necessity, imposed by the winds and currents that dictated a route from the Eastern Mediterranean coast - Cyprus - Rhodes - the Cyclades - Greek mainland - Etruria - Crete - Egypt - Eastern Mediterranean.

The Phoenician influence on the Mediterranean region was significant their colonies spread throughout the area and impacted the trading and colonisation process of the Greeks themselves, and influenced the development of the Greek alphabet, architecture, cults and crafts. The Phoenicians were particularly known for trading wood, slaves, glass and Tyrian purple with Greece.

The Greeks also credit the Phoenician prince Cadmus for giving them the alphabet and they spread their shipbuilding methods to the Greeks, particularly the bireme. The Greeks, for their part, appear to have traded widely with the Phoenicians, going by the amount of Greek goods found in Phoenician cities.

When was the Dodona Oracle established.

Archaeologists have excavated the Dodona site and have estimated the Oracle was founded during the Bronze Age in the 2nd millennium BCE, which fits in with the timeline of Phoenician trade with Egypt and Greece.

Note the proximity of Dodona on this map to one of the Phoenician trading posts on the map above

2. Told by the prophetesses, called peleiades (“doves”) at Dodona:

…. and what follows, the prophetesses of Dodona say: that two black doves had come flying from Thebes in Egypt, one to Libya and one to Dodona

The latter settled on an oak tree, and there uttered human speech, declaring that a place of divination from Zeus must be made there the people of Dodona understood that the message was divine, and therefore established the oracular shrine.

The dove which came to Libya told the Libyans (they say) to make an oracle of Ammon this also is sacred to Zeus. Such was the story told by the Dodonaean priestesses, the eldest of whom was Promeneia and the next Timarete and the youngest Nicandra and the rest of the servants of the temple at Dodona similarly held it true.

NB The name “doves” may be purely symbolic it should be noted that the priestesses of Demeter and Artemis were sometimes called Bees.

In the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean world, the dove was a symbol of the mother goddess. The Sumerian mother-goddess Ishtar is often portrayed as holding a pigeon. The ancient Phoenicians associated Astarte, the goddess of love and fertility, with the dove. The Greek goddess Aphrodite and the Roman goddess Venus were both symbolically represented by doves. Dodona was not dedicated with Aphrodite, but to Zeus and Dione.

This second account, as in the 1st one, also names the source of the oracle to be from Thebes, and has the connection with the oracle at Siwa. However in this account, a supernatural explanation is given, with doves given human speech.

Which account is closer to the actual historical events is still open to interpretation, although account 1 is not dependent on any supernatural input and verifiable historical elements support account 1.


Watch the video: Γιώργος Γεωργίου στον Real FM 29-9-2021 (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Mezizshura

    I don't know that to say too

  2. Mirr

    It is not so.

  3. Bayhard

    Do not give to me minute?

  4. Najee

    And how in this case should it be done?

  5. Jarred

    Well done, what a phrase ..., the remarkable idea

  6. Gamuro

    Scandal!

  7. Gaige

    we will come back to the subject

  8. Yannic

    The ideal answer



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