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Youths of the Pellaians and of the Macedonians and of the Greek Amphictiony and of the Lakedaimonians and of the Corinthians ... and of all the Greek peoples, join your fellow-soldiers and entrust yourselves to me, so that we can move against the barbarians and liberate ourselves from the Persian bondage, for as Greeks we should not be slaves to barbarians. Alexander the Great, Pseudo-Kallisthenes, Historia Alexandri Magni
Greek mythology is full of strange alien-type creatures and beings with supernatural powers and advanced technology. In 1900 the wreck of an ancient ship was found off the coast of Crete near the Island of Antikythera. Divers found lumps of corroded bronze ... A complex and elegantly made mechanism like the interior of an expensive hand-made clock. Chris Everard, Secret Space II
It is the golden age of Greece. A unique window of time that gives birth to Western ideals of beauty, science, art and a radical new form of government – democracy. Nova: Secrets of the Parthenon, PBS 2006
The Parthenon ranks as the most copied building in the world. ibid.
The Parthenon was built as the crowning achievement of classical Greece. ibid.
Marble beams that span the columns as well as the architectural elements above them are curved. ibid.
Since it was built in the 5th century B.C.E. it has been shot at, exploded, set on fire, rocked by earthquakes, converted to a church, then a mosque, and in the nineteenth century looted for its magnificent sculptures. ibid.
A former general emerges as leader – Pericles. He spearheads an ambitious campaign to rebuild Athens and ushers in the golden age of Greece. ibid.
The largest building in the world constructed entirely of marble. ibid.
Why are these builders deliberately constructing their temples with curves and few right angels? ibid.
How did the ancients sculpt it with such precision and speed? ibid.
45 Doric feet = 48 common feet = 50 Ionic feet. ibid.
The ratio of height to width on its facades is a golden ratio. ibid.
The Elgin Marbles are in the British Museum to this day. ibid.
It’s already been done: over two thousand years ago in Greece someone invented a hand-cranked computer that could de-code the solar system. Nova: Ancient Computer, PBS 2012
This is the story of one of the most extraordinary finds in history. This corroded bronze object is a machine that can look into the future. It was build two thousand years ago in ancient Greece. The Two Thousand Year Old Computer, BBC 2012
It’s known as the Antikythera Mechanism ... It could predict eclipses. ibid.
Who had invented this extraordinary machine? ... The designer of the mechanism came from Corinth. ibid.
What happened to the brilliant Greek technology that produced the world’s first computer? Why was it never developed? Why was it lost from the Western world? ibid.
From the X-rays Professor Price reconstructed the machine now known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It was a wooden box with bronze plates. A handle moves inter-connected dials at the front and back. The innards of the mechanism are a complex mesh of cog-wheels and gears until now concealed in the heart of the fragments. It was designed, he believes, as a computer to show varying movements of the sun, moon and planets. Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious World, ITV 1980
In May this year Hollywood releases its latest epic. It’s the story of the Trojan war. But is any of it more than just a myth? Tonight Horizon can reveal the latest scientific evidence about the real Troy. The evidence comes from the written tablets of a lost civilisation; a lost shipwreck and treasure uncovered at Troy itself. Horizon: The Truth of Troy, BBC 2004
The story was composed by the Greek poet Homer almost three thousand years ago. It’s so compelling that for centuries people wondered whether any of it was true. Was there a war fought for love? Did a coalition of Greeks set sail? Did Troy even exist? ibid.
The first breakthrough was made by Heinrich Schliemann in 1870. He was something of an amateur but he had other qualities ... They placed Troy in the north-west corner of what is now Turkey ... Fifteen metres down he found a walled palace with a paved ramp leading to a gate. Schliemann thought he had found Homer’s Troy. The rest of the world wasn’t so sure. But in this trench he answered the doubters with a breath-taking discovery: treasure. ibid.
These jewels could never have been worn by Helen. They were more than a thousand years too old. Schliemann had dug down too deep. ibid.
Perhaps there was more to Troy than had so far been uncovered. Outside the city walls [Manfred] Korfmann’s team began to excavate ... A city of the late Bronze Age was now revealed. Korfmann believes it was a sizeable city with a population between four and eight thousand. ibid.
After three thousand years the legendary city of Troy seemed to have become a reality. It seemed there was some historical truth in the myth. But there was still no evidence that Troy had been destroyed as Homer said by an enemy army ... Soon they began to find evidence of violence. ibid.
But were the Greeks capable of mounting an expedition together? ibid.
Another possible motivation for a war began to emerge from the stones of Mycenae. That motivation was greed. ibid.
Korfmann believes that Troy became a wealthy city because of its strategic position as a gateway between two continents. So it seems Troy was a very desirable city, desirable to the Myceneans because of its wealth. ibid.
The late Bronze Age was a time of rich trade, of great wealth being moved across the high seas. ibid.
The Hittites ... A superpower of the late Bronze Age ... The tablets described festering conflicts involving the Myceneans all along the coast ... Conflicts spread over two hundred years. The tablets stated Mycenean warriors had once fought at the gates of Troy to win Helen back. That it was a war of love and vengeance. It makes a wonderful story but it has never seemed very likely. ibid.
The tablets show that Troy was an ally of the Hittites. If Troy was attacked the Hittites were likely to come and fight alongside them. So Homer’s legend appears to have been based on a real conflict between two superpowers of the Late Bronze Age – the Myceneans and the Hittites. ibid.
So there was no face that launched by a thousand ships. The war or wars were not fought for love but more likely for gold and loot. And what of the Trojan Horse? ibid.
The Elgin Marbles were a set of ancient Greek sculptures that had once adorned the Parthenon in Athens, and they were widely seen as the bedrock of Western art. Dr James Fox, A History of Art in Three Colours: White III, BBC 2012
1Winckelmann had stumbled on a vast storeroom filled with ancient white statues and they came in all shapes and sizes. ibid.
In 8 B.C. Greece was the centre of the Western world. And the Greek city of Delphi was the home of the Oracle of Apollo. The Next Nostradamus, 2008
I sing of arms and the man who first from the shores of Troy came destined an exile to Italy and the Lavinian beaches, much buffeted on land and on the deep by force of the gods because of fierce Juno’s never-forgetting anger. Virgil, Aeneid
So massive was the effort to found the Roman nation. ibid.
Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts. ibid.
I see wars, horrible wars, and the Tiber foaming with much blood. ibid.
The Mycenaens ... had learnt the arts of civilisation from the Minoans. Richard Miles, Ancient Worlds II: Age of Iron, BBC 2011
The catastrophe of the sea peoples is one of the break points of our story. ibid.