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Hellenic Library


There was a certain Polybius, completely uneducated and ill-spoken, who said, “The emperor has honored me with Roman citizenship.” To which Demonax responded, “If only he'd made you a Greek rather than a Roman.”:
Lucian of Samosata, Life of Demonax

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Archaic (Pre-Classical) Period

1000 BC - 480 BC

Archaic Period Page

Acusilaus of Argos, Aesop, Alcmaeon of Croton, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Archilochus, Arion, Asius, Callinus, Cleobulina, Cleobulus, Cleostratus of Tenedos, Demodocus, Echembrotus, Empedocles, Epic Cycle, Epicharmus of Syracuse, Epimenides of Crete, Eumelus, Heraclitus, Hesiod, Hipparchus, Homer, Homeric Hymns, Leucippus, Melissus of Samos, Mimnermus, Museaus, Olympus, Orpheus | Orphism, Parmenides, Pherecydes, Phocylides, Phrynichus, Pigres, Polymnastus, Pythagoras | Pythagoreanism, Sacadas, Sappho, Scythinus, Semonides, Solon, Terpander, Thales, Thaletas, Theognis, Tyrtaeus, Xenophanes, Zeno

After the 8th Century BC, Greece emerged from a period of disorder following the collpse of Mycenean civilization. The Archaic Age was a kind of renaissance marked by the rise of colonization and the nascence of commercial activity. These developments brought about civil strife and social inequality along with opportunity. These struggles led to new forms of governance like tyranny and the greater participation in political life. In this period, a kind of self-conscious poetry developed in which the role of the author and his personality were more marked. Simultaneously, this new poetry brought about new inquiries into the nature of things, a sort of archaic philosophy couched in a poetical, quasi-religious framework.

Classical Period

479 BC - 338 BC

Classical Period Page

Aeneas Tacitus, Aeschines, Aeschylus, Agathon, Alcibiades, Anaxagoras, Andocides, Antimachus, Antiphon the Orator, Antiphon the Sophist, Aphareus, Archelaus, Archytas, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Astydamas, Bacchylides, Cleon, Ctesias, Critias of Athens, Damon of Athens, Demades, Democritus, Demosthenes, Dinarchus, Diogenes of Apollonia, Dionysius Chalcus, Dionysius the Younger, Euenus, Euripides, Gorgias, Herodotus, Hermippus, Hippias of Elis, Hippocrates | Hippocratic Corpus, Hippon of Rhegium, Hippon of Samos, Isaeus, Ion of Chios, Ion of Samos, Isocrates, Lycophron the Sophist, Lycurgus, Lysias, Mamercus, Melanthius, Metrodorus of Chios, Nessas of Chios, Panarces, Philiscus of Miletus, Philolaus, Pindar, Plato, Polycleitus of Argos, Praxiteles, Prodicus, Protagoras of Abdera, Simmias of Thebes, Socrates, Sophocles, Speusippus, Thrasymachus of Chalcedon, Thucydides, Xanthus, Xenophon, Zeuxis

The Classical Period was a 200 year period in Greek culture lasting from the 5th through 4th centuries BC. This era had a powerful and lasting influence on the Roman Empire and greatly influenced the foundations of Western Civilization. Much of modern Western politics, artistic thought, such as architecture, scientific thought, literature, and philosophy derives from this period of Greek history. This is the age of the great historians Herodotus and Thucydides, great dramatists like Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus, and the brilliant philosopher Socrates. The 5th century is also regarded as the age when the Greeks embraced their brilliant experiment in direct democracy. Amazing monuments to human achievement were constructed in Athens and other Hellenic city-states. It is an age of human discovery and achievement – an age which proudly bears the name classical.

Hellenistic Period

337 BC - 146 BC

Hellenistic Period Page

Anaxarchus of Abdera, Apollonius Rhodius, Archimedes, Crates of Thebes, Epicurus, Hecataeus of Abdera, Lycophron of Chalcis, Manetho, Menander, Nausiphanes of Teos, Polybius, Theocritus, Theocritus of Chios

The Hellenistic Period began with the ascension of Alexander and lasted into the beginnings of Roman dominion in Greece. The name “Hellenistic” is meant to describe the Hellenizing process non-Greek countries experienced in the wake of Alexander's conquests. This era also saw movement away from Athens being the center of Greek culture with other cities like Alexandria in Egypt eclipsing Athens. In Alexandria, the great Alexandrian Library was built, a storehouse of all cumulative Greek knowledge. In the Hellenistic world, where the city-state dissolved, literature became more independent of politics. Philosophers began moving away from the Republic of Plato to a more individualistic interpretation of being. The wise man said there was “no homeland”. Only until the genre of history reemerged at the end of Hellenistic Period did the concerns of states and governance regain prominence.

Roman Period

145 BC - 289 AD

Roman Period Page

Aelian, Albinus, Alciphron, Apollodorus, Appian, Arrian, Athenaeus, Callistratus, Cassius Dio, Dio Chrysostom, Diodorus Siculus, Diogenes Laertius, Epictetus, Eunapius, Herodian, Hermes Trimegistus, Iambulus, Josephus, Longinus, Lucian, Marcus Aurelius, New Testament, Nicolaus of Damascus, Parthenius, Pausanias, Philo, Philostratus the Elder, Philostratus the Younger, Plutarch, Poseidonius, Ptolemy, Sibylline Oracles, Strabo

The Romans defeated the Macedonians in the first and second Macedonian Wars that ended in 197 BC. The victorious commander Flamininus established a protectorate over the independent city-states of Greece. The Achaean confederacy started a rebellion in 146 BC that resulted in the destruction of Corinth. Severe and oppressive restrictions were set. Rome had no consistent policy about the Greek states. They demanded only security and revenue.

Greece under the Roman Empire, from 31 BC to 180 AD is described as the era of the Pax Romana, a Roman Peace between Rome and the central areas of the Empire, like Greece and the Greek East. This period is described as a period of peace and security which permitted an economical and cultural progress, especially in the cities such as Athens, Corinth, Alexandria, Miletus, Thessaloniki, and Smyrna. Due to a decentralized Roman provincial administration, the urban Greek elite re-appeared, which also had the right to participate to the Roman Senate. The Romans welcomed the Greek culture and Latin and Greek became the official languages of the Empire. A Greco-Roman Empire was created.

This was also an era of religious change. Judiasm and Christianity emerged as influences on the empire, and much of their contribution came from the Hellenic part of the empire.

Byzantine Period

290 AD - 1000 AD

Byzantine Period Page

Eusebius, Iamblichus, Julian the Apostate, Photius, Plotinus, Porphyry, Procopius, Simplicius, Synesius of Cyrene, Zosimus

To grasp correctly the essential characteristics of Byzantine literature, it is necessary first to analyze the elements of civilization that find expression in it, and the sources whence they spring. The oldest of these three civilizations is the Greek. Its centre, however, is not Athens but Alexandria; the circle accordingly represents not the Attic but the Hellenistic civilization. Alexandria itself, however, in the history of civilization, is not a unit, but rather a double quantity; it is the centre at once of Atticizing scholarship and of Graeco-Judaic racial life. It looks towards Athens as well as towards Jerusalem. Herein lies the germ of the intellectual dualism which thoroughly permeates the Byzantine and partly also the modern Greek civilization, the dualism between the culture of scholars and that of the people. While Alexandria, as an important central and conservative factor, was thus influential in confining, and during the Byzantine period, directing, the literary and linguistic life of the later Greek world, a second conservative factor is found in the influence of the Roman culture-circle on the political and judicial life of the Eastern Empire. Alexandria, the centre of intellectual refinement, is balanced by Rome, the centre of government. The Oriental character of the Byzantine Church appears in its tenacious dogmatic spirit the establishment of Christian doctrines by councils, the asceticism which affected monastic life so far as to hinder the formation of regular orders with community life, and also the mad fanaticism against the Roman West and the Church, which in the eleventh century finally led to an open breach.

Byzantine literature is classified in five groups. The first three include representatives of those kinds of literature which continued the ancient traditions: historians (including also the chroniclers), encyclopedists, and essayists, and writers of secular poetry. The remaining two groups include the new literary species, ecclesiastical and theological literature, and popular poetry.

Unknown Period

Unknown Period Page

Castorion, Philiades

Authors whose dates cannot be determined.

start.txt · Last modified: 2017/07/29 21:12 by fredmond