“Kleptomania” and “kleptocracy” come from the same Greek word,
kléptein, “to steal.” Another descendant of
In modern Greek, Kléftis
were highwaymen turned self-appointed anti-Ottoman insurgents. They were descendants of
Greeks who retreated into the mountains during the 1400s after the Ottomans conquered the Greek-speaking world, and they maintained a war of harassment against the Ottomans until the 1800s and Greek’s independence. Being an insurgent was a family tradition!
IN the first half of the first millennium BCE, ancient Greek city-states, most of which were maritime powers, began to look beyond Greece for land and resources, and so they founded colonies across the Mediterranean. Trade contacts were usually the first steps in the colonization process and then, later, once local populations were subdued or included within the colony, cities were established. These could have varying degrees of contact with the homeland, but most became fully independent city-states, sometimes very Greek in character, in other cases culturally closer to the indigenous peoples they neighboured and included within their citizenry. One of the most important consequences of this process, in broad terms, was that the movement of goods, people, art, and ideas in this period spread the Greek way of life far and wide to Spain, France, Italy, the Adriatic, the Black Sea, and North Africa. In total then, the Greeks established some 500 colonies which involved up to 60,000 Greek citizen colonists, so that by 500 BCE these new territories would eventually account for 40% of all Greeks in the Hellenic World.
The Greeks were great sea-farers, and travelling across the Mediterranean, they were eager to discover new lands and new opportunities. Even Greek mythology included such tales of exploration as Jason and his search for the Golden Fleece and that greatest of hero travellers Odysseus. First the islands around Greece were colonized, for example, the first colony in the Adriatic was Corcyra (Corfu), founded by Corinth in 733 BCE (traditional date), and then prospectors looked further afield. The first colonists in a general sense were traders and those small groups of individuals who sought to tap into new resources and start a new life away from the increasingly competitive and over-crowded homeland.
ANCIENT GREEK POTTERY:
THE pottery of ancient Greece from c. 1000 to c. 400 BCE provides not only some of the most distinctive vase shapes from antiquity but also some of the oldest and most diverse representations of the cultural beliefs and practices of the ancient Greeks. Further, pottery, with its durability (even when broken) and lack of appeal to treasure hunters, is one of the great archaeological survivors and is, therefore, an important tool for archaeologists and historians in determining the chronology of ancient Greece. Whatever their artistic and historical value though, the vast majority of Greek vases, despite now being dusty museum pieces, were actually meant for everyday use and, to paraphrase Arthur Lane, it is perhaps worth remembering that standing on a stone pavement and drenched with water, they would have once gleamed in the Mediterranean sun.
The clay (keramos) to produce pottery (kerameikos) was readily available throughout Greece, although the finest was Attic clay, with its high iron content giving an orange-red colour with a slight sheen when fired and the pale buff of Corinth. Clay was generally prepared and refined in settling tanks so that different consistencies of material could be achieved depending on the vessel types to be made with it.
ANCIENT GREEK RELIGION:
IN the ancient Greek world, religion was personal, direct, and present in all areas of life. With formal rituals which included animal sacrifices and libations, myths to explain the origins of mankind and give the gods a human face, temples which dominated the urban landscape, city festivals and national sporting and artistic competitions, religion was never far from the mind of an ancient Greek.
Whilst the individual may have made up their own mind on the degree of their religious belief and some may have been completely sceptical, certain fundamentals must have been sufficiently widespread in order for Greek government and society to function: the gods existed, they could influence human affairs, and they welcomed and responded to acts of piety and worship.
Baker standing in front of the “American Bakery” which displays signs in Armenian, Ladino , English, Ottoman Turkish, Greek and Russian with samples of bread attached to the mullions. Ortaköy, Istanbul, Turkey, 1922
A company of men has set up its office between the columns of an ancient Greek temple, built about 700 B.C. Paestum, Italy. September 1943.
Guards of a Greek monastery in Mount Athos – 1913
Guards of a Greek monastery in Mount Athos after having repelled Bulgarian invaders. Some are possibly monks and there is one Gendarme among them. The front row, from left to right, carry Gras rifle, Gras cavalry carbine, two Gras musketoons and Gras rifle, while all three at the back carry Gras rifles (photo taken in 1913)
Reading Times, Pennsylvania, April 1, 1935
A month after the accident Turks were still looking at the burning of the MT Independența, a Romanian oil carrier that collided with a Greek freighter in the Bosporus and exploded.
British paratroopers dug in by the side of the Parthenon. Greek Civil War. December 1944.