Age of Heroes

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Age of Heroes - Agean, Greeks

Enlightenment Essays 1, 2

Ancient Greek writers had related stories of an “age of heroes” before their time, but nothing definite was known about the Aegean civilization until the late 19th century, when archaeological excavations began at the sites of the legendary cities of Troy, Mycenae, Knossos, and other centers of the Bronze Age.

According to Greek mythology, there once was a time when great events had occurred and the gods had involved themselves in human affairs. The story of King Minos and the slaying of the Minotaur he kept in the labyrinth, by the Greek hero Theseus, may be the mythic rendering of the battle for hegemony in the Aegean in which Mycenae took over Knossos. Homer’s epic the Iliad describes events of the Trojan War, which is believed to have brought about the fall of Troy sometime between 1230 bc and 1180 bc at the hands of the Greeks, or Achaeans as the poet calls them. The poet also mentions well-known places believed to be the centers of the Mycenaean period, such as “golden Mycenae,” where King Agamemnon ruled; Pylos, where Nestor was king; and Phthia in Thessaly (Thessalia), the home of the hero Achilles.

The Age of Heroes - The "Aegean Civilization" is a term used to denote the Bronze Age civilization that developed (3000-1200 bc) in the basin of the Aegean Sea, mainly on Crete, the Cyclades Islands, and the mainland of Greece. It had two major cultures. The Minoan, which flourished in Crete and reached its height in the Middle Bronze period, notably at Knossos (Knosós) and Phaestos; and the Mycenaean, which developed in the Late Bronze Age on the mainland at Mycenae and other centers, including Tiryns and Pílos (Pylos). Also look into the Achaeans, Minoan Culture, and Mycenae.

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