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Thames & Hudson

Chapter 13- The Mediterranean World
Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, students should be able to:

    discuss how the Mediterranean environment has influenced the development of cultures in the region

    characterize the differences between Classical archaeology and other types of archaeology, and discuss its impact on Mediterranean archaeology

    describe Bronze Age cultures in the Mediterranean, and their interactions and influences

    understand the role of bronze in Mediterranean culture

    discuss theories about the rise of social complexity and states in the Aegean Bronze Age

    outline the development of palace culture on Crete

    explain the archaeological evidence pointing to the nature of the rise and fall of civilization on Crete

    describe the development and use of record-keeping and writing technology

    discuss the rise and nature of Mycenaean culture on Mainland Greece

    explain theories regarding the "Dark Age" in the Aegean

    understand the debate over causal factors in the rise of the Greek polis

    characterize the Greek polis, and the interactions between different poleis during the Archaic and Classical period

    discuss the role of colonialism in the western Mediterranean

    characterize the rule of Alexander the Great and the concept of a Hellenic world system

    outline the activities of the Phoenicians in the western Mediterranean and the development of the Carthaginian Empire

    describe the Iron Age cultures of the Roman peninsula during the foundation and early rise of Rome

    explain the causal factors behind Roman expansion and the strategies used to realize the Roman empire

    outline the trends toward integration over time, alongside the retention of cultural differences, in the Mediterranean region


Mediterranean cultural boundaries are difficult to define. Rainfall and temperature conducive to olive, grain, and grape cultivation (the "Mediterranean triad") are sometimes used. Here, "Mediterranean" comprises the littoral territories of the inland sea in all directions. Greece and Rome overshadow the region, and were long the domain of "Classical archaeology," which focused on texts, formal analysis of art and architecture, with conservative fieldwork methods, primarily at large sites. This led to schisms in understanding, first between the Greeks and Romans and other Mediterranean cultures; second, between the Mediterranean and their non-classical neighbors, so-called "barbarians" of Europe, Southwest Asia, and North Africa.

Recently, Classical archaeology has matured in subject matter, theory, and fieldwork, and Mediterranean archaeology is now comparable with the study of other regions.

The Bronze Age comprises the 4th through the 2nd millennium BC, predicated upon the further development of metallurgy after the Chalcolithic. The complex metallurgy of alloying copper to form bronze emerged. Trade for the components of bronze is exemplified in the 14th-century BC Uluburun shipwreck (Turkey), at tin mines recently found in the Taurus Mountains (Turkey) and copper-smelting sites near the Troödos Mountains (Cyprus) in the mid-2nd millennium BC.

Despite potential for social display and wealth, bronze technology only resulted in the emergence of "civilization" in the Aegean, on Crete around 2000 BC, and on the Greek mainland from the 16th century BC onwards. Elsewhere, farming communities largely remained modest. Even where elites emerged, state societies or "civilization" did not follow:

    the 4th-millennium BC Copper Age Los Millares culture (Spain)
    on copper-rich Sardinia.
    on Corsica and the Balearic Islands.

The Aegean Early Bronze Age The Aegean followed a different trajectory from the 3rd millennium BC, but explanations for this have varied. Arthur Evans thought Minoan Crete rose under Egyptian influence. V. Gordon Childe, a diffusionist, believed that Mediterranean and European technological, economic, and cultural changes spread from Southwest Asia.

The chronology necessary for diffusion is now known to be in error, and the impact of outside influences is now questioned. Causative factors internal to the Aegean itself are currently sought, although participation in a Near East-centered "world system" is still a viable concept.

During Crete's Early Minoan (or "Prepalatial") period, c. 3500-2000 BC, evidence of emerging social complexity is slight. Tholos tombs were built as communal burial places for only a few, excluding many. Grave goods of copper daggers and sealstones indicate desire to display personal identity, rank, and access to imported materials and craft specialists. Other information is contradictory, such as at:

    the cemeteries at Mochlos (Crete)
    Myrtos and Vasiliki settlements (Crete)

In the Cycladic Islands cemetery sites mostly comprise a few dozen simple cist graves. Exceptions include:

    Chalandriani on Syros

Colin Renfrew characterized the mid-3rd millennium BC as having an "international spirit," as inter-regional contacts transformed regional Aegean cultures into an interaction sphere. Distinctive regional artifacts are found at sites far from their origin point.

Ceramic analysis on mainland Greece has led to the discovery of hundreds of hamlet-sized settlements, along with the development of the "Corridor House" of which the House of the Tiles at Lerna is the largest and best-known. Here artifacts suggest the mobilization or redistribution of commodities. Rectilinear buildings from Period II at Troy are similar. These structures disappeared amid upheavals in the Early Bronze Age.

Minoan Crete: the Palace Period. While Arthur Evans' work is fraught with over-imaginative interpretations, he was responsible for first identifying and writing about Minoan Crete.

Features and Functions of the Minoan Palace. The palace, or regional center, at Knossos is one of several. The First Palace period (c. 2000-1700 BC) saw development of complexes at Knossos, Mallia, and Phaistos. These were remodeled, following earthquakes, in the Second Palace period (c. 1700-1490 BC) and joined by Kato Zakros, Petras, Archanes, Galatas, and perhaps Chania. A number of other sites also have court-centered buildings. The palaces are not identical but share many features:

    monumental, but without defensive walls
    a large, open-air central court
    a secondary court to the west
    residential quarters
    various spaces for entertainment and ritual performance
    frescoed walls and painted architectural elements
    storage magazines (some still containing pithoi, or storage jars)
    granaries and subterranean storage pits suggest the collection, storage, and perhaps redistribution of staple goods

Various systems of seals and sealings, and several forms of script (hieroglyphic, Linear A, and Linear B) emerged as administrative technologies to manage the stored commodities. Minoan palaces were multi-functional spaces.

Evans's assumption that elite persons ("kings") dwelled in and ruled from these palaces is generally accepted but no clear examples of ruler portraiture are known. Religious imagery, by contrast, is apparent:

    double axes
    figurines of bare-breasted women grasping snakes
    bulls and of bull-leaping
    "horns of consecration"

Fertility and female iconography suggest goddess worship but the precise belief system is not yet understood. Palatial authorities probably controlled religious power. Both Phaistos and Knossos are aligned with the peak sanctuaries; at some, cult apparatus and Linear A inscriptions are links with palace culture. Peak sanctuaries were established during the rise of the palaces, though some may have served local people.

Life Outside the Palaces. A number of substantial towns, such as Gournia, are known. In the Second Palace period, "villa" complexes appear, elite residences mimicking palace culture - frescoes, script, storage facilities. Whether palaces and their territories were independent, or were controlled by Knossos, remains uncertain. The Minoans' well-developed sailing skills extended their influence beyond Crete.

The End of the Minoan Palaces. At the end of the Second Palace period, the villas and all but one of the palaces were destroyed. Knossos survived, but a new administration appeared, with new material culture and the Linear B script, used to write Greek: the Mycenaeans had assumed power in the region. Explanations range from armed invasion to peaceful annexation. Once, volcanic eruptions on Thera (Santorini) were blamed, but scientific dating places the eruption too early.

Mycenaean Greece
Mycenae. Mycenae (the type site of Mycenaean culture) sits on a hill, and, in contrast to Minoan centers, was fortified with massive walls of Cyclopean masonry. A defensible entrance led beneath the walls and through the Lion Gate, past earlier Grave Circles, and up into the citadel. A key feature of this and other Mycenaean centers is the megaron: a three-roomed rectangular structure with columned porch leading to an antechamber, then a columned hall with central hearth. Rulers are assumed to have held court here. Residential quarters, storage facilities, shrines, and workshops also lie within and outside the walls. Wall paintings and other fine craft products (many reflecting Minoan influence) are common.

Other Mycenaean Palaces. Mycenae was the center of a kingdom whose rise is traced in changing regional settlement patterns. Other kingdoms feature similar palatial complexes: Tiryns, the Menelaion (Sparta), the Athenian acropolis, Thebes, and Iolkos. Other sites have defenses but lack a palace. Not all sites are well preserved or accessible to archaeologists. Each palaces controlled a hinterland, which regional survey and Linear B texts, such as at Pylos, have helped clarify.

Mycenaean Society and Overseas Influence. Unlike Minoan Crete, the socio-political stratification of Mycenaean society is clear. Tomb types range from plain rock-cut chambers to the Treasury of Atreus, the most elaborate of nine tholoi at Mycenae. Examples are also known at Orchomenos and Pylos. Road networks, bridges, dams, port installations, and drainage projects comprise state-directed development of infrastructure.

Mycenaean influence overseas is traceable through widely distributed ceramics, perhaps traded for bronze-working resources. Anatolia and the Dodecanese reflect Mycenaean material culture; but whether through colonization or political control is unknown. The Mycenaean annexation of Minoan Crete is less ambiguous.

The End of the Aegean Bronze Age. During the 13th century BC, the fortifications of Mycenae, Tiryns, and other Mycenaean sites, were renewed or enhanced and defended underground cisterns installed in case of siege warfare. Mycenaean palaces were destroyed or abandoned over several decades approaching c. 1200 BC. Once, invasions by northern people (later called Dorians) were blamed, but warfare between kingdoms, internal unrest, and crop failure now seem more plausible. Modest occupation continued at Mycenae and Tiryns and some trade persisted, but by around 1050 BC, luxury craft production, monumental burials, elaborate architecture, fortifications, and the use of writing had ended.

The late 2nd millennium BC saw instability throughout the eastern Mediterranean. With the collapse of palace civilization, a "Dark Age" followed in the Aegean. Yet during this era, the Greek city-state emerged as a new settlement form that characterizes the 1st millennium BC. A cross-cultural phenomenon, city-states appeared in other Mediterranean cultures, and Greek and Phoenician colonies further spread the form. The Mediterranean region saw the emergence of many polities and cultures which were highly varied yet linked through population movements and trade.

Greece and the Aegean During the Greek Dark Age (c. 1000-750 BC) a sharp population decrease from the Late Bronze Age is indicated, perhaps due to the collapse of elite authority. The "darkness" itself is questionable; contact with the east revived quickly, and internal social hierarchy returned, illustrated by the 10th-century BC "heröon" (Euboea, Greece).

During the succeeding Archaic period (c. 750-480 BC) the Greek polis, or city-state appeared, which comprised a central, urban settlement and a rural hinterland. Its inhabitants shared political, economic and religious ties. Free-born males had the status of "citizen."

Classical archaeologists have argued that the Greek polis rose due to 8th century population increases, based on increased finds of graves. A differing interpretation suggests increased graves reflect formal burial of more people, rather than "elite-only," marking the emergence of the "citizen" concept. Increasing temple and cult activities, seen archaeologically, would have aided development of urban identities, while delineating boundaries between city-states. Reconfiguration of domestic, urban, and mortuary space, and changing military organization, may also have been causes and consequences of political evolution.

The Archaic and Classical (480-338 BC) periods saw the development of these cities and their interactions as autonomous, often warring states. Most were territorially and demographically small; thus, political and military alliances often resulted, led by a single more powerful leader.

Beyond these volatile alliances, the Greeks acknowledged shared identity as "Hellenes" through common language, values, and deities. Outsiders were termed "barbarians." This was invoked when the Persians invaded in 490 and 480 BC. The Greek victory increased Greek, particularly Athenian, self-confidence, leading to the 5th-century BC expansion of Athens into an imperial power, with tax-paying "allies" in a confederation called the Delian League.

The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) between Athens and Sparta drew in distant parties: colonial Syracuse (Sicily) and the Persian Empire. After Sparta defeated Athens, political turbulence continued. In the 4th century BC Thebes rose, Athens reemerged, and the Macedonian kingdom grew influential under Philip II.

Greek Colonization Beginning in the 8th century BC, Greek city-states established colonies in Sicily and Italy (Magna Graecia), Mediterranean France, North Africa, and the Black Sea. Some colonies, such as Syracuse and Sybaris, became powers in their own right. Causal factors may include over-population, desire for land, internal civic tensions, and expulsion of rebellious elements. Colonial locations suggest an interest in metal ores, fish, and riverine trade routes. The distribution of Greek artifacts points to new systems of exchange and influence, with Mediterranean peoples (i.e. Etruscans) and with "barbarians" (i.e. Celts, Scythians).

Greek colonies included an urban center, public buildings and residential quarters, and a tomb or monument to the colony's founder. A rural hinterland was also essential. Carefully laid-out colonial land divisions can sometimes still be seen (i.e. Metapontum and Chersonesus). Highly visible religious sanctuaries were a reminder of Greek presence and identity.

Despite the spread of Greek material culture, no civilizing missions were aimed at "natives." Economic benefits flowed both ways, and Greek gifts to indigenous rulers (i.e. at Vix) suggest diplomatic relations.

As textual and archaeological material reflect the Greek side, investigation of indigenous sites is now expanding, indicating that locals adopted only some aspects of Hellenic culture and otherwise maintained their own, sometimes resulting in a syncretized combination.

The Phoenicians and Phoenician Expansion The Phoenicians, based in what is modern coastal Lebanon, conducted activities parallel with the Greeks, organizing independent city-states early in the 1st millennium BC, and establishing colonies to mitigate their conquest by the Assyrians and Persians.

Contrary to earlier scholarship, interaction between the Greeks and Phoenicians is clear. The Greek alphabet was borrowed from the Phoenicians, later spreading to Etruria and Rome, and Phoenician influence is seen in Greek sanctuaries.

By the 8th century BC, the Phoenicians had established colonies in Spain, North Africa, and Sicily, where proximity with Greek colonies resulted in tension and conflict. Phoenician site selection had exchange-oriented motivations: coastal, with good harbors, in metal-bearing regions.

The most famous colony was Carthage (Tunisia) founded by Tyre in 814/813 BC, later the center of Punic culture and a major west Mediterranean power. The Carthaginian empire was crushed by Rome in the 2nd century BC.

The Etruscans and the Italian Peninsula By the middle 1st millennium BC, Italy contained Greek colonies in the south; Etruscan cities north of Rome, and numerous Italic peoples (i.e Samnites and Umbrians) among whom were the inhabitants of Rome in Latium.

Later Romans depicted the Samnites, major opponents of Rome's early expansion, as boorish unsophisticates, yet regional archaeological survey reveals organization similar to contemporary Rome. They were defeated after several wars in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.

The Etruscans (c. 700-400 BC) were originally known primarily through rich tombs. Recently, landscapes, settlements, and non-funerary art and cult materials have been studied, showing similarities with other Mediterranean societies.

An Etruscan League was comprised of 12 chief independent city-states, which lay on well-fortified hilltops. During expansionist periods, their encroachment created tensions with Greek colonies. Rome lay within their sphere from the 7th century BC. Greek and Phoenician/Carthaginian influence is seen in art and architecture, such as thousands of Athenian Black and Red Figure wares found in tombs. Class hierarchy is revealed by elite tombs, epitomized at the Banditaccia and Tarquinia cemeteries. Funerary iconography shows women feasting with men, a social freedom other Mediterranean women did not enjoy.

The Structure of the Archaic and Classical Greek Polis The Greek polis was not uniform, but varied according to resources, territoriality, deities, art and architecture, and history. Athens serves as a case study for shared elements.

The Hinterland: Economic Foundation of the City. The polis' urban center (astu) and rural hinterland (chora) subsisted on the triad of grains, olives, and grapevines, with sheep and goat husbandry. Additionally, coastal settlements could exploit and trade fish, salt, and sponges. Others controlled mines and quarries, such as silver mines controlled by Athens and worked by poorly treated slaves. This silver paid for the Athenian empire, the Parthenon, and the Peloponnesian War. Marble quarries, for art and architecture, were also within Athens' hinterland.

Outside the City Walls: the Cemetery. Due to frequent warfare, urban centers were walled; in Athens, the Long Walls ran to the port, Piraeus, for use during siege. Cemeteries lay outside the city with fine statues sometimes used as votive dedications and grave markers, in the Archaic often of idealized youths (kouros and kore); Classical period markers were more modest: reliefs showing the deceased. The dead were kept outside the city but were highly visible.

Life within the City Walls. Cities had residential quarters, an acropolis, and an agora, or marketplace, evidenced by sets of weights and measures. Public buildings included a bouleuterion (council chambers) and the tholos (public dining place). Open colonnaded stoas housed schools and law courts. The agora also contained inscriptions honoring civic leaders, religious dedications, and news. Temples were important agora features; in Athens they included the Hephaisteion, the Altar of the Twelve Gods, and the Panathenaic Way. Acropoleis also housed temples, in Athens, the Parthenon. Theaters, where dramas were presented, were also featured.

The Commonality of Greek Culture. Classical Athens was a democracy, which is supported archaeologically. Burial and housing remained relatively modest for everyone; wealth was spent on public structures and rituals. Red Figure pots illustrate Athenian life and mythical scenes; inclusive rituals bound society together. Each city had a unique character and sociopolitical structure.

Celebration and reinforcement of an inclusive Hellenic identity is displayed by panhellenic sanctuaries at Delphi, Olympia, Nemea, and Isthmia; where, on a four-year cycle, all Greeks participated in festivals and games where athletes and performers competed under a temporary sacred truce.

By the late 1st millennium BC Alexander the Great's empire had risen and fallen, Carthage controlled North Africa and Spain, and the small city-state of Rome had used militarism to annex its neighbors. These powers ultimately came into conflict.

Alexander and the East The kingdom of Macedon, thought to be rustic and uncivilized, grew powerful when Philip II of Macedon (383-336 BC) involved his realm in the Greek sociopolitical sphere, using the gold mines under his control to fund an entry into the power politics of the 4th century BC.

At the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, Philip's forces - the cavalry led by his son Alexander - defeated a coalition of Greek cities, including Athens and Thebes. Philip was expanding eastwards when he was assassinated. His massive, rich tomb is found at Vergina.

The Conquests of Alexander. Alexander only ruled from age 20 to 33, but he transformed the eastern Mediterranean and Near East and created a "Hellenistic" world. Military victories in Turkey, Iraq, Phoenicia, Egypt, and India ultimately annexed regions as far off as Afghanistan. City foundations were important in this policy, usually named after Alexander. Few have been investigated with the exception of Aļ Khanum (Afghanistan).

Alexander was a military genius and a master propagandist, using his own image to promote his power and associate himself with the divine in conquered cultures. Debate continues over whether this was a political strategy or a genuine belief in his own divinity.

The Hellenistic World. After his death, Alexander's empire was quickly broken up by his generals and heirs, following a period of conflict and political killings. From this emerged the Antigonid kingdom (Macedonia), the Seleucid empire (Syria and the Near East), and the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt. Their rulers all claimed legitimacy through connections to Alexander, now worshipped as a god.

The large territorial states of the Hellenistic age (from the death of Alexander to the establishment of the Roman Empire, 323-31 BC) facilitated an increased trade, intellectual exchange, and personal travel, leading to developments in literature, philosophy, medicine, science, religion, and warfare. This cosmopolitan world developed a cultural koine, or commonality, based on Greek language, styles, and practices. Despite this, many native languages survived. The colossal size and drama of Hellenistic arts (i.e. the Great Altar of Zeus at Pergamon) may reflect the need to communicate to culturally varied audiences. The ruler cult, promoting the divine nature of living men facilitated the governance of multi-cultural, far-flung domains.

Carthage and the Carthaginian Empire The Carthaginian empire is best known from Roman histories, which paint Carthage as inferior or barbarian, due to their Phoenician origins and Levantine practices.

Carthage was prosperous, agriculturally rich, with a busy trade in both exports and imports. A maritime orientation is supported by excavations at two artificial harbors for commercial vessels and warships.

The Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage occurred in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, with victories on both sides. The Carthaginian general Hannibal inflicted one of Rome's worst defeats at Cannae in 216 BC, but in 146 BC, Rome sacked Carthage, slaughtered or enslaved most of its population, destroyed its buildings and written records, and created the Roman province of Africa.

The Rise of Rome Rome began like other communities in Italy. It lay on seven hills along a river (the Tiber) running to a port (Ostia), thus linked to Mediterranean, yet protected from external threats. According to myth, it was founded in 753 BC by the brothers Romulus and Remus. Kings ruled early Rome, and Etruscan influence was strong. The regal period supposedly ended with the expulsion of Etruscan king Tarquinius Superbus. In 509 BC, a Roman republic was established. The idea of Rome's superior virtues and the rejection of kings became entrenched in Rome's self-image.

By this era, Rome had already acquired urban features: temples and shrines such as the Capitolium on the Capitoline hill, a triad of temples to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Juno, and Minerva, first built c. 500 BC. Around 600 BC a low-lying area below the Capitoline and Palatine hills was drained and became the Forum Romanum, with multiple economic, religious, judicial, and political functions as in the Athenian agora. Drainage was facilitated by the Cloaca Maxima, which ultimately became a large sewer system.

Roman Expansion Rome expanded through wars, annexations, and alliances, eventually controlling a mosaic of Italic tribes, Etruscan city-states, and Greek colonies. Thus, Roman culture was diverse and complex. Military success was rewarded with political authority and extreme wealth, driving expansion. Enrichment, individual and collective, grew as Roman armies conquered the Carthaginians, Antigonids, and Seleucids; the last king of Pergamon willed his land to Rome, creating the province of Asia in 133 BC. Julius Caesar extended the empire beyond the Mediterranean by conquering Gaul (France) in the mid-1st century BC. Competition between generals and other elites led to factional disputes. The last stages of the Roman Republic were filled with internal strife and civil war.

A turning point for both the Roman Republic and Greek culture occurred with the naval battle of Actium in 31 BC. The last Hellenistic kingdom, the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt, led by Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII, battled Octavian, heir of Julius Caesar. Upon Octavian's victory, he became sole ruler of the Mediterranean world, known as Augustus, the first emperor of Rome.

Augustus reorganized the Roman Empire, institutionalizing and systematizing its regional administrative units and consolidating its boundaries. His rule initiated several centuries of militarily enforced peace (the pax Romana). This stems from Augustus' control of a propaganda campaign in literature, art, and architecture, stressing both his role as imperator, a powerful general and ruler, and his family's link to divine ancestors.

Beginning with Augustus, an unbroken chain of emperors ruled over the entire Mediterranean, parts of temperate Europe and the Near East for many centuries, and empire that stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to modern Iraq, from Scotland to the Sahara. Imperial succession went forward through primogeniture, assassination, adoption, and military acclamation. In the provinces, living emperors were worshiped as gods, while in Rome itself this happened only at death if they were deemed to have been good emperors.

Rome, Center of the World Rome was maintained at the expense of the empire. Romans paid no taxes, many received handouts of food, and all were entertained by free spectacles and games, involving expensive battles between wild animals and/or gladiators. These kept the possibly 1 million people of Rome content and distracted. One of the best-preserved venues is the Flavian amphitheater, or the Colosseum. The city grew increasingly complex, socially and structurally. Aqueducts brought water to the city, and legislation was enacted for fire fighting and waste disposal; elites lived well, while many lived in slums.

Additional fora were constructed by emperors to glorify themselves and create civic spaces. The Forum of Trajan comprised judicial basilicas, libraries, and imperial statuary such as Trajan's Column. The city's first walls date to Republican times, but were renewed in the 3rd century AD as Rome experienced troubles. Roads (such as the Via Appia) were well-engineered hallmarks of imperial infrastructure, facilitating military and economic movement.

Urban features found in Rome appear in cities throughout the empire: fora, amphitheaters, temples, walls, and roads all marked a well-run community. A sense of day-to-day life is best seen in the buried city of Pompeii.

The Provinces and Frontiers While not as unequal as a core/periphery model implies, Imperial annexation had profound effects on local societies and Rome benefited from provincial holdings. While the center helped the provinces after an earthquake or famine, taxes were levied across the empire, funding imperial extravagance and free food distributions in Rome, and the army was provisioned through provincial supplies.

Natural resources were under imperial control, such as silver, gold, and copper mines worked by slaves in Spain and Portugal. In the eastern provinces, stone quarries were common. Sea transport underlay large-scale movement of goods, skills, and power.

Reactions to Roman Annexation. Factors guiding provincial responses included pre-existing social conditions and political organization, as well as the nature of the take-over. The greatest impact was felt in the western provinces, Gallia, Hispania, and Britannia. While indigenous pre-Roman societies possessed large settlements and used coinage, they were under-urbanized and loosely organized. Roman control encouraged local and regional development through the promotion of Roman cultural traits: baths, games, the imperial cult, education in Latin, material culture. Romanization, once viewed as automatic by archaeologists, is now known to have been variable. Roman culture was often only adopted in part to suit local needs and purposes, especially by local groups or individuals to create internal hierarchies, and to gain power through identification with Rome. Thus, new provincial cultures were created rather than copies of Rome's culture. Reverse impact from periphery to core is seen in the fact that the emperors Trajan and Hadrian came from Spain and Septimius Severus from North Africa.

Conversely, the eastern provinces were already urbanized and possessed a culture that Romans emulated, rather than vice versa. Even so, Roman authority is now clear even in Greece itself, were imperial imagery and cultural influences permeated the Athenian acropolis and agora, despite Greek attempts to reject Roman culture.

The relative infrequency of internal revolt has an exception among the Jewish population of the eastern province of Judaea. The Jews (and later Christians) refused to worship the emperor above their own god, and two major rebellions were suppressed. The Arch of Titus (c. AD 81) in Rome commemorates the first, which resulted in the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The second took place at Masada where rebels from the First Jewish Revolt had retreated, falling only in AD 73 or 74 after a Roman siege. The massive siege ramp and the Roman soldiers camps can still be seen.

The Roman Army. Roman Legions, consisting of 5000 citizen infantrymen and auxiliary units of subject peoples, were placed along the frontiers or in troubled provinces such as Judaea. The Roman army was an efficient and successful fighting force but was often an occupying force, and can be studied archaeologically in the East through aerial photographs that show a landscape of camps, forts, and roads. In the western empire, many military sites have been excavated, such as along Hadrian's Wall in northern Britain. Connections between the military and civilian realms can be seen in settlements near the army camps. Military structures such as Hadrian's Wall marked a border, but also were symbolic of Roman power. Architectural and engineering feats, such as aqueducts and roads, played a parallel ideological role.

A Multiplicity of Gods. Cult sites dedicated to many different gods were found in military contexts from Britain to Syria, due to the strategic transplantation of troops. One cult popular with the Roman army throughout the empire was that of the Persian deity Mithras, because of the cult's strong sense of discipline and hierarchy. Other cults spread through transport and trade included the Egyptian gods Isis and Serapis, Artemis of Ephesus, and Christianity. Christians earned Roman hostility for their rigid monotheism.

The Later Empire Conflicts with Christians ended when Emperor Constantine (died AD 337) converted in AD 312 after a sign in the heavens promised him victory in battle at the Milvian Bridge. Christianity became the new state religion with the Edict of Milan (AD 313), adding an additional level of administration and moral authority to the empire.

Constantine used imperial portraiture in innovative ways, to refer to his personal power and later, change in world-view. The fact that his conversion came as he fought against his co-emperor Maxentius is symptomatic of how, in the 3rd century AD, the empire was increasingly internally disordered. Dividing power among several emperors was an attempt to solve this problem. A four-man Tetrarchy was established by Diocletian in the later 3rd century AD and proved a successful strategy. New imperial iconography supported this structural change, with themes of similitudo (similarity) and concordia (harmony), along with additional imperial capitals closer to the frontiers for rapid response to troubles. The redistribution of imperial power, coupled with military reforms, extended the life of an increasingly uncontrollable empire, but in the end it foundered and divided, broken in two with the death of Theodosius I in AD 395 and then fragmented further. By the 5th century AD, destabilization came when Alaric the Visigoth sacked Rome in AD 410 and the Huns attacked both the eastern and western empire around 40 years later, invading Italy itself under their leader Attila (died AD 453).

The east remained intact until AD 1453 with Constantinople (modern Istanbul) as its capital, later called the Byzantine empire. Carthage and much of North Africa were seized by Vandal rulers in the 5th century AD, while western Europe fragmented into several Germanic kingdoms. The 7th-century AD Islamic incursions into the Mediterranean region impacted these further.

Box Features

Key Controversy: Early Cycladic Marble Figures
Key Controversy: Who were the Etruscans?
Key Controversy: The Silent Greek Countryside
Key Controversy: Pompeii - All Problems Solved?
Key Discovery: Linear B
Key Discovery: The Parthenon
Key Site: The Necropolis at Metapontum
Key Site: Alexandria-by-Egypt
Key Site: The Tophet: Child Sacrifice at Carthage
Key Site: The Mahdia Shipwreck Key Site: Olympia and Other Panhellenic Sanctuaries
Key Controversy: Farming the Desert: A Lesson from Libya

Key words and terms Chapter 13

Climate, geography, environment
the littoral territories of the inland sea in all directions
land-locked inland sea
crossroads of cultures
immense diversity: fertile land, pleasant climate vs. still arid and difficult topography
wet winters and dry summers
climatic irregularity
agricultural uncertainty and risk; unpredictability of life: complex responses
Taurus Mountains (Turkey)
Troödos Mountains (Cyprus)
Cycladic Islands
Mount Ida
Mount Iuktas
Tiber river
seven hills of Rome
Capitoline and Palatine hills

Terms, Concepts
Mare Nostrum,
Nuraghi, torri, talayots
"core cultures" vs. all others
long the domain of Classical archaeology
"Mediterranean triad" of food staples: olive, grains, grape
bronze technology did not lead to rise of "civilization" automatically
Bronze Age cultures often remained modest
world system
"Hither" and "Further" provinces
Greek city-state or polis
citizenship, democracy in the Greek polis
"barbarians" and Hellenes
Delian League
Greek Colonial activity: Sicily and southern Italy France, North Africa, Black Sea region
Magna Graecia
Phoenician exploration and colonial activity: Spain, North Africa, and Sicily
Etruscan League
astu, chora
acropolis, agora, bouleuterion, tholos, stoa
Olympic Games
Panhellenic identity
the Hellenistic World
"ruler cult"
Virgil's Aeneid
res publica
Res Gestae
pax romana
circus, games
mining activity
Roman legions; auxiliaries
similitudo and concordia

Arifacts, architecture, art
bronze (alloy of copper and other metals, such as tin, arsenic)
tholos tombs
riveted daggers, sealstones, sealings
Early Cycladic marble figures
"frying pans"
"Corridor House"
rectilinear buildings at Troy II
Palaces on Crete: monumental but without defensive walls, large, open-air central court, residential quarters, spaces for entertainment and ritual performance, frescoed walls, painted architectural elements, storage magazines, granaries
Minoan scripts hieroglyphic, Linear A, and Linear B
Minoan religious iconography: double axes, female figurines, bulls and bull-leaping, "horns of consecration"
peak sanctuaries
Kamares ware
"villa" complexes on Crete
plank-built ships with sails depicted in Minoan art
Homer's Iliad and Odyssey
Mycenaean palaces: defensible locations, fortified, walled, megaron, residential quarters, storage facilities, shrines, workshops; wall paintings
Cyclopean masonry
Lion Gate
Grave Circles
Treasury of Atreus
Palace of Nestor
Mycenaean road networks, bridges, dams, port installations, and drainage projects
wide distribution of Mycenaean artifacts throughout contemporary Mediterranean
Etruscan necropoleis
Greek polis: residential quarters, acropolis, agora, bouleuterion, tholos, stoa, temples, theaters
kouros, kore
Athenian Black and Red Figure wares
Athenian silver coins ("owls")
the Parthenon
Long Walls
Altar of the Twelve Gods
Panathenaic Way
Temple of Zeus at Olympia
the Colossus of Rhodes
the Great Altar of Zeus at Pergamon
the Tophet at Carthage
Rome: Capitolium on the Capitoline hill, temples to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Juno, and Minerva
Forum Romanum
Cloaca Maxima
Prima Porta Augustus
the Doryphoros
Pantheon of Hadrian
Flavian amphitheater, or Colosseum
The Forum of Trajan
Trajan's Column
Via Appia
Roman roads
Roman walls
Roman baths
Arch of Titus
Temple in Jerusalem
Hadrian's Wall

Arthur Evans
V. Gordon Childe
Colin Renfrew
Heinrich Schliemann
Harriet Boyd Hawes
Anthony Snodgrass

Ancient and mythological people
Darius I
Philip II of Macedon (383-336 BC)
Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
Darius III
Ptolemy I
Queen Dido
Romulus, Remus
Tarquinius Superbus, Lucretia
Julius Caesar
Pompey the Great (106-48 BC)
Octavian (Augustus)
Mark Antony
Cleopatra VII
Julio-Claudian dynasty
Flavian dynasty
Septimius Severus
Constantine (died AD 337),
Attila (died AD 453)
Alaric the Visigoth
Theodosius I (died AD 395)
Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II

Civilizations, cultures, periods, phases
Bronze Age; begins 3000 BC, spans 4th through the 2nd millennium BC
Los Millares culture (Spain)
Sardinia, Corsica, Balearic Islands
Early Minoan (or "Prepalatial") period, c. 3500-2000 BC
First Palace period (c. 2000-1700 BC)
Second Palace period (c. 1700-1490 BC)
Mycenaean period (c. 1600-1200 BC)
Greek Dark Age (c. 1000-750 BC)
Archaic period (c. 750-480 BC)
Classical period (480-338 BC)
Sikels and Elymians (Sicily)
Carthaginian Empire
Punic culture
Samnites and Umbrians
Empire of Alexander the Great
Antigonid kingdom
Seleucid empire
Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt
Roman regal period ended, Roman Republic founded, 509 BC
Roman provinces: Gallia, Hispania, Britannia, Asia, Judaea, Africa, Greece
Byzantine empire, "Rhomaioi"
Germanic kingdoms

Persian War; battles of Marathon and Salamis, 490 and 480 BC
Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC)
Battle of Chaeronea 338 BC
assassination of Philip of Macedon 336 BC
Alexander's battle at the Granikos River (Turkey)
Alexander's battle at Gaugamela (Iraq)
Alexander's conquest of Tyre (332 BC)
Alexander's campaign in India (326/325 BC)
Punic wars
sack of Carthage and Corinth (146 BC)
naval battle of Actium (31 BC)
Dacian wars
First Jewish Revolt
Edict of Milan (AD 313)
Battle of Milvian Bridge
Visigoth sack of Rome (AD 410)

Athena (Promachos, Nike, Parthenos)
Zeus Olympios
Baal Hammon
Isis and Serapis
Artemis of Ephesus

Çayönü Tepe (Turkey)
Çatalhöyük (Turkey)
Varna (Bulgaria)
Troy (Turkey)
Uluburun shipwreck (Turkey)
Knossos (Crete)
Mochlos (Crete)
Myrtos (Crete)
Vasiliki (Crete)
Chalandriani and Kastri (Syros, Greece)
House of the Tiles at Lerna (Greece)
Mallia (Crete)
Phaistos (Crete)
Kato Zakros (Crete)
Petras (Crete)
Archanes (Crete)
Galatas (Crete)
Chania (Crete)
Kamares Cave (Crete)
Atsipadhes (Crete)
Gournia (Crete)
Tylissos and Vathypetro (Crete)
Akrotiri (Thera/Santorini, Greece)
Mycenae (Greece)
Tiryns (Greece)
Pylos (Greece)
Menelaion (Greece)
Athens (Greece)
Thebes (Greece)
Iolkos (Greece)
Gla (Greece)
Orchomenos (Greece)
"Heröon" (Euboea, Greece)
Metapontum (Italy)
Syracuse (Italy)
Sybaris (Italy)
Pithekoussai (Ischia, Italy)
Massalia (France)
Olbia (Crimea)
Chersonesus (Black Sea)
Vix (France)
Tyre and Sidon (Lebanon)
Gadir (Spain)
Carthage (Tunisia)
Rome (Italy)
Veii, Cerveteri, and Tarquinia (Italy)
Portonaccio temple (Veii, Italy)
Banditaccia and Tarquinia cemeteries (Italy)
Laurion silver mines (Greece)
Mount Pentele marble quarries (Greece)
Piraeus (Greece)
Kerameikos cemetery (Greece)
panhellenic sanctuaries: Delphi, Olympia, Nemea, and Isthmia (Greece)
Mount Pangaion gold mines (Greece)
Vergina (Greece)
Aļ Khanum (Afghanistan)
Ostia (Italy)
Rio Tinto mines (Spain).
Mons Claudianus quarry (Egypt)
Dura Europus (Syria)
Pompeii (Italy)
Masada (Israel)
Jerusalem (Israel)
New Rome, Constantinople (Turkey)

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