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Aegean Koine: the Minoan phase ca. 2200-1400 BCE

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The Minoan phase of the Aegean Koine (economic and socio-cultural “Commonwealth”) in this excellent German map. Note the colonies of the Minoans on the nearby islands and their influence on the mainland.
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War was central to Europe’s first civilisation (Minoan)- contrary to popular belief

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Minoan swords1

A collection of bronze swords and daggers from the Arkalochori Cave, Crete, belonging to the Late Minoan Era (1700-1450 BC) before the Mycenaean conquest of Knossos (c.1450). (Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Crete).


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JASON’S ARGONAUTS: a Historical and Geopolitical approach to the myth of the Argonautica (part I)

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Dendra2Dendra1

The Mycenaean Dendra armor (15th c. BC) belongs to the era in which the Argonaut campaign took place. On top of the armor there is a characteristic boar-tusk helmet which in this case is equipped with bronze cheek-protectors.
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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TABLE: LIST of the ARGONAUTS and their origins

The first two columns of the table quote the legendary heroes of the Argonaut campaign and the city of origin of each one, according to the ancient literature. I composed and added the third column in order to present the peoples/tribes who were the bearers of the traditions or cults of the respective heroes (local deities or agathodemons) or the peoples/tribes inhabiting the listed cities. Hercules is usually referred as a Theban in the ancient texts, but he was a hero/deity of the Achaeans, as possibly was Hylas as well. For this reason I place the Cadmeian people to the city of Thebes, who surely were in control of her in the time of the Argonautica.
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ARGONAUT / REGION or CITY  / TRIBE(People)
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THESSALY
Jason / Iolkos /Minyans
Akastos / Iolkos / Minyans
Admetos / Pherae / Minyans
Peleus / Phthia / Achaeans
Aethalides / Alope / Achaeans
Eurytos / Alope / Achaeans
Echion / Alope / Achaeans
Eurydamas / Ktemene / Dolopes
Asterion / Peiresiae / Lapiths
Polyphemus / Larissa / Lapiths
Koronos / Gyrton / Lapiths
Iphiclos / Phylake / Minyans
Mopsus / Titaros / Lapiths
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THRACE
Orpheus / – / Thracians
Kalais / – / Thracians
Zetes / – / Thracians
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AETOLIA
Meleager / Kalydon / Aetolians (?)
Laokoon / Kalydon / Aetolians (?)
Iphiclos / Pleuron / Aetolians (?)
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THE ORGANISATION AND THE HIERARCHY OF THE MYCENAEAN ARMIES

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By  Periklis    DeligiannisMycen weapons

A  museum  collection  of  Mycenaean  bronze  weapons.  It  includes  swords  (in  Linear  B:  qi-si-poξίφος),  some  of  them  called  ‘phasgana’  (pa-ka-na,  φάσγανα),  daggers,  spearheads,  arrowheads  etc. 

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The  archaeological  evidence  and  the  descriptions  of  the  Homeric  Epics  (ignoring  the  symbolic  divine  interventions  and  some  obvious  Later  Geometric  elements)  are  the  main  sources  regarding  the  Mycenaean  warfare.  In  the  Greco-Roman  world,  the  Homeric  epics  were  considered  fundamental  writings  on  the  study  of  the  art  of  war.  Especially  the  Mycenaean/Achaean  palatial  tablets  from  Pylos,  Knossos  and  Mycenae,  provide  valuable  information  about  the  military  hierarchy,  organization  and  equipment.  These  tablets  contain  public  records  compiled  by  the  bureaucrats  of  each  palace,  and  reveal  that  the  military  organization  and  the  maintenance  of  the  heavier  military  equipment  were  controlled  by  the  state.  The  Mycenaean/Achaean  nobles  were  obliged  to  provide  military  equipment  and  services.  The  tablets  on  military  issues  were  titled  as  “orchha”  (in  Linear  B  script:  o-ka,  ορχα)  –  a  word  related  to  the  ”orchos”  (όρχος,  military  group)  –  which  probably  means  the  military  unit  and/or    command.

dendra

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Two  modern  representation  of  Mycenaean  armored  warriors.  

The  warrior above   wears  the  renowned  segmented  suit  of  armour  of  Dendra,  which  was  used  by  the  warriors  of  the  chariots.  He  bears  the  same  tusk-boar  helmet  with  an  inverted  crest,  and  the  same  lance  ‘enchos’  (Linear  II:  e-ke-  a,  έγχεα)    holding  it  in  a  ‘low  handle’  way.  His  greaves  are  based  on  Mycenaean  finds  from  the  Peloponnesian  Achaea.

The  warrior  below wears  a  relatively  rare  type  of  Mycenaean  armor  (Linear  II:  to-ra-ke,  θώρακεςarmor),  the  scale  armor.  He  attacks  with  an  ‘enchos’  (έγχος),  the  characteristic  Mycenaean  elongated  and  robust  spear/lance,  holding  it  in  a  ‘high  handle’  way.  Note  his  tusk-boar  helmet  (Linear  B:  ko-ru,  κόρυς),  which  is  restored  with  a  rare  item:  the  double  crest  which  is  based  on  relevant  Mycenaean  representations  (reenactment  by  the  Australian  Historical  Association  Sydney  Ancients). Continue reading

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