Amphipolis, Macedonia .Augustus. AE25 .Bust of Artemis right/Augustus on dais left, crowned by Genius

Ancient Coins - Amphipolis, Macedonia .Augustus. AE25 .Bust of Artemis right/Augustus on dais left, crowned by Genius
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Amphipolis, Macedonia .Augustus. AE25
AMFIPOLEITWN .Bust of Artemis right, bow & quiver at shoulder / KAICAP CEBACTO, Augustus on dais left, crowned by Genius. SNGANS 157, SNG Cop 94, Moushmov 6038,  GVFwith Beautiful green patina!!


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Localization of Amphipolis
40�49′N 23�51′E / 40.82�N 23.85�E / 40.82; 23.85Coordinates: 40�49′N 23�51′E / 40.82�N 23.85�E / 40.82; 23.85

Amphipolis (Ancient Greek: ἈμφίπολιςAmph�polis) was an ancient Greek city in the region once inhabited by the Edoni people in the present-day periphery of Central Macedonia. It was built on a raised plateau overlooking the east bank of the river Strymon where it emerged from Lake Cercinitis, about 3 m. from the Aegean Sea. Founded in 437 BC, the city was finally abandoned in the 8th century AD. The present municipality Amfipoli (Greek: Αμφίπολη), named after the ancient city, occupies the site. Currently, it is a municipality in the Serres Prefecture, Central Macedonia with a population of 3 623 (2001 census).



[edit] Origins of the city

View of the delta of the river Strymon from the acropolis of Amphipolis

Archaeology has uncovered remains at the site dating to approximately 3000 BC. Due to the strategic location of the site it was fortified from very early. Xerxes I of Persia passed during his invasion of Greece of 480 BC and buried alive nine young men and nine maidens as a sacrifice to the river god. Near the later site of Amphipolis Alexander I of Macedon defeated the remains of Xerxes' army in 479 BC.

Throughout the 5th century BC, Athens sought to consolidate its control over Thrace, which was strategically important because of its primary materials (the gold and silver of the Pangaion hills and the dense forests essential for naval construction), and the sea routes vital for Athens' supply of grain from Scythia. After a first unsuccessful attempt at colonisation in 497 BC by the Miletian Tyrant Histiaeus, the Athenians founded a first colony at Ennea-Hodoi (�Nine Ways�) in 465, but these first ten thousand colonists were massacred by the Thracians.[1] A second attempt took place in 437 BC on the same site under the guidance of Hagnon, son of Nicias.

Map of Amphipolis

The new settlement took the name of Amphipolis (literally, "around the city"), a name which is the subject of much debates about lexicography. Thucydides claims the name comes from the fact that the Strymon flows "around the city" on two sides;[2] however a note in the Suda (also given in the lexicon of Photius) offers a different explanation apparently given by Marsyas, son of Periander: that a large proportion of the population lived "around the city". However, a more probable explanation is the one given by Julius Pollux: that the name indicates the vicinity of an isthmus. Furthermore, the Etymologicum Genuinum gives the following definition: a city of the Athenians or of Thrace, which was once called Nine Routes, (so named) because it is encircled and surrounded by the Strymon river. This description corresponds to the actual site of the city (see adjacent map), and to the description of Thucydides. Amphipolis subsequently became the main power base of the Athenians in Thrace and, consequently, a target of choice for their Spartans adversaries. The Athenian population remained very much in the minority within the city.[3] An Athenian rescue expedition led by strategist (and later historian) Thucydides had to settle for securing Eion and could not retake Amphipolis, a failure for which Thucydides was sentenced to exile. A new Athenian force under the command of Cleon failed once more in 422 BC during a battle at which both Cleon and Brasidas lost their lives. Brasidas survived long enough to hear of the defeat of the Athenians and was buried at Amphipolis with impressive pomp. From then on he was regarded as the founder of the city[4] and honoured with yearly games and sacrifices. The city itself kept its independence until the reign of the king Philip II despite several other Athenian attacks, notably because of the government of Callistratus of Aphidnae.

[edit] From Athenian Colony to Roman province

Fortifications and bridge of Amphipolis

In 357 BC, Philip removed the block which Amphipolis presented on the road to Macedonian control over Thrace by conquering the town, which Athens had tried in vain to recover during the previous years. According the historian Theopompus, this conquest came to be the object of a secret accord between Athens and Philip II, who would return the city in exchange for the fortified town of Pydna, but the Macedonian king betrayed the accord, refusing to cede Amphipolis and laying siege to Pydna.

After the conquest by Philip II, the city was not immediately incorporated into the kingdom, and for some time preserved its institutions and a certain degree of autonomy. The border of Macedonia was not moved further east; however, Philip sent a number of Macedonians governors to Amphipolis, and in many respects the city was effectively �Macedonianized�. Nomenclature, the calendar and the currency (the gold stater, installed by Philip to capitalise on the gold reserves of the Pangaion hills, replaced the Amphipolitan drachma) were all replaced by Macedonian equivalents. In the reign of Alexander, Amphipolis was an important naval base, and the birthplace of three of the most famous Macedonian Admirals: Nearchus, Androsthenes[5] and Laomedon whose burial place is most likely marked by the famous lion of Amphipolis.

Fresco of a house in Amphipolis

Amphipolis became one of the main stops on the Macedonian royal road (as testified by a border stone found between Philippos and Amphipolis giving the distance to the latter), and later on the �Via Egnatia�, the principal Roman Road which crossed the southern Balkans. Apart from the ramparts of the low town (see photograph), the gymnasium and a set well-preserved frescoes from a wealthy villa are the only artifacts from this period that remain visible. Though little is known of the layout of the town, modern knowledge of its institutions is in considerably better shape thanks to a rich epigraphic documentation, including a military ordinance of Philip V and an ephebarchic (?) law from the gymnasium. After the final victory of Rome over Macedonia in a battle in 168 BC, Amphipolis became the capital one of the four mini-republics, or �merides�, which were created by the Romans out of the kingdom of the Antigonids which succeeded Alexander�s Empire in Macedon. These 'merides' were gradually incorporated into the Roman client state, and later province, of Thracia.

The Amphipolis Lion by Vlahos Vaggelis

[edit] Revival in Late Antiquity

During the period of Late Antiquity, Amphipolis benefited from the increasing economic prosperity of Macedonia, as is evidenced by the large number of Christian Churches that were built. Significantly however, these churches were built within a restricted area of the town, sheltered by the walls of the acropolis. This has been taken as evidence that the large fortified perimeter of the ancient town was no longer defendable, and that the population of the city had considerably diminished.

Nevertheless, the number, size and quality of the churches constructed between the fifth and sixth centuries are impressive. Four basilicas adorned with rich [mosaic] floors and elaborate architectural sculptures (such as the ram-headed column capitals - see picture) have been excavated, as well as a church with a hexagonal central plan which evokes that of the basilica of St. Vitalis in Ravenna. It is difficult to find reasons for such municipal extravagance in such a small town. One possible explanation provided by the historian Andr� Boulanger is that an increasing �willingness� on the part of the wealthy upper classes in the late Roman period to spend money on local gentrification projects (which he terms �'�verg�tisme�', from the Greek verb εύεργετέω,(meaning �I do good�) was exploited by the local church to its advantage, which led to a mass gentrification of the urban centre and of the agricultural riches of the city�s territory. Amphipolis was also a diocese under the suffragan of Thessaloniki - the Bishop of Amphipolis is first mentioned in 533 AD.

[edit] From the reduction of the urban area to the disappearance of the city

Ram-headed capital of a column from a pre-christian temple in Amphipolis

The Slavic invasions of the late 6th century gradually encroached on the back-country Amphipolitan lifestyle and led to the decline of the town, during which period its inhabitants retreated to the area around the acropolis. The ramparts were maintained to a certain extent, thanks to materials plundered from the monuments of the lower city, and the large unused cisterns of the upper city were occupied by small houses and the workshops of artisans. Around the middle of the 7th century AD, a further reduction of the inhabited area of the city was followed by an increase in the fortification of the town, with the construction of a new rampart with pentagonal towers cutting through the middle of the remaining monuments. The acropolis, the Roman baths, and especially the Episcopal basilica were crossed by this wall.

The city was probably abandoned in the eighth century, as the last bishop was attested in 787. Its inhabitants probably moved to the neighbouring site of ancient Eion, port of Amphipolis, which had been rebuilt and refortified in the Byzantine period under the name �Chrysopolis�. This small port continued to enjoy some prosperity, before being abandoned during the Ottoman period. The last recorded sign of activity in the region of Amphipolis was the construction of a fortified tower to the north in 1367 by Grand Primicier Jean and the Stratopedarque Alexis to protect the land that they had given to the monastery of Pantokrator on Mount Athos.

[edit] Exploration of the site

The ruins of Amphipolis as seen by E. Cousin�ry in 1831: the bridge over the Strymon, the city fortifications, and the acropolis

The site was rediscovered and described by many travellers and archaeologists during the 19th century, including E. Cousin�ry (1831) (engraver), L. Heuzey (1861), and P. Perdrizet (1894�1899). In 1934, M. Feyel, of the �cole fran�aise d'Ath�nes, led an epigraphical mission to the site and uncovered the remains of a funeral lion (a reconstruction was given in the,[6] a publication of the EfA which is available on line). However, excavations did not truly begin until after the Second World War. The Greek Archaeological Society under D. Lazaridis excavated in 1972 and 1985, uncovering a necropolis, the rampart of the old town (see photograph), the basilicas, and the acropolis.

[edit] Amphipolis in pop culture

In the popular TV series Xena: Warrior Princess, the fictional character Xena � the main character of the show � was born at the city of Amphipolis and is on occasion referred to as Xena of Amphipolis. Xena and her comrade in arms, Gabrielle of Poteidaia, made frequent trips to Amphipolis. The city became a breeding ground for demons when the duo came back after twenty five years of being trapped in ice. Mephistopheles, the king of hell, had captured the soul of Cyrene of Amphipolis, Xena's mother, and tortured her. Xena was able to defeat Mephistopheles and rescue the trapped souls, releasing them to rest in the Elysian Fields.

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For other uses, see Artemis (disambiguation).
The Diana of Versailles, a Roman copy of a Greek sculpture by Leochares. (Louvre Museum)
The Diana of Versailles, a Roman copy of a Greek sculpture by Leochares. (Louvre Museum)
Goddess of the Hunt, Forests and Hills, the Moon
Symbol Bow and Arrows
Parents Zeus and Leto
Siblings Apollo
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Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities and one of the oldest (Burkert 1985, 149). In Greek mythology of the classical period, Artemis (Greek: (nominative) Ἄρτεμις, (genitive) Ἀρτέμιδος) was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of forests and hills, child birth, virginity, fertility, the hunt, and often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows.[1] The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.

Artemis later became identified with Selene,[2] a Titaness who was a Greek moon goddess, and she was sometimes depicted with a crescent moon above her head. She was also identified with the Roman goddess Diana[3], with the Etruscan goddess Artume, and with the Greek or Carian goddess Hecate.[4]



[edit] Etymology

There may be some connection with the Greek αρτεμης = "safe and sound" from the root αρ = "to fit".[citation needed] Other theories involve a possibly older connection to the Proto-Indo-European root h₂ŕ̥tḱos meaning "bear" due to her cultic practices in Brauronia and the Neolithic remains at the Arkouditessa.

[edit] Birth

Artemis and Apollo. Terracotta, Myrina, c. 25 BC-CE

Various conflicting accounts are given in Classical Greek mythology of the birth of Artemis and her twin brother, Apollo. All accounts agree, however, that she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and that she was the twin sister of Apollo.

An account by Callimachus has it that Hera forbade Leto to give birth on either terra firma (the mainland) or on an island. Hera was angry with Zeus, her husband, because he had impregnated Leto. But the island of Delos (or Ortygia in the Homeric Hymn to Artemis) disobeyed Hera, and Leto gave birth there.[5]

A scholium of Servius on Aeneid iii. 72 accounts for the island's archaic name Ortygia [6] by asserting that Zeus transformed Leto into a quail (ortux) in order to prevent Hera from finding out his infidelity, and Kenneth McLeish suggested further that in quail form Leto would have given birth with as few birth-pains as a mother quail suffers when it lays an egg.[7]

The myths also differ as to whether Artemis was born first, or Apollo.

[edit] Childhood

Roman marble Bust of Artemis after Kephisodotos (Musei Capitolini), Rome

The childhood of Artemis is not embodied in any surviving myth: the Iliad reduced the figure of the dread goddess, making her a girl, who, having been thrashed by Hera, climbs weeping into the lap of Zeus.[8] A poem of Callimachus � the goddess "who amuses herself on mountains with archery" � imagines some charming vignettes: at three years old, Artemis asked her father, Zeus, while sitting on his knee, to grant her six wishes. Her first wish was to remain chaste for eternity, and never to be confined by marriage. She then asked for lop-eared hounds, stags to lead her chariot, and nymphs to be her hunting companions, 60 from the river and 20 from the ocean. Also, she asked for a silver bow like her brother Apollo. He granted her the six wishes.[9] All of her companions remained virgins and Artemis guarded her own chastity closely. Her symbol was the silver bow and arrow.

[edit] Other myths about Artemis

[edit] Artemis and Actaeon

She was once bathing in a vale on Mount Cithaeron, when the Theban prince and hunter Actaeon stumbled across her. One version of this story says that Actaeon hid in the bushes and spied on her as she continued to bathe; she was enraged to discover the spy and turned him into a stag which was pursued and killed by his own hounds. Alternatively, another version states that Actaeon boasted that he was a better hunter than she and Artemis turned him into a stag and he was eaten by his hounds.

[edit] Artemis and Adonis

The Death of Adonis, by Giuseppe Mazzuoli, 1709 - Hermitage Museum

In some versions of the story of Adonis, who was a late addition to Greek mythology during the Hellenistic period, Artemis sent a wild boar to kill Adonis as punishment for his hubristic boast that he was a better hunter than she.

In other versions, Artemis killed Adonis for revenge. In later myths, Adonis had been related as a favorite of Aphrodite, and Aphrodite was responsible for the death of Hippolytus, who had been a favorite of Artemis. Therefore, Artemis killed Adonis to avenge Hippolytus�s death.

[edit] Orion

Orion was a hunting companion of the goddess Artemis. In some versions of his story he was killed by Artemis, while in others he was killed by a scorpion sent by Gaia. In some versions, Orion tried to seduce Opis,[10] one of her followers, and she killed him. In a version by Aratus,[11] Orion took hold of Artemis' robe and she killed him in self-defense.

In yet another version, Apollo sent the scorpion. According to Hyginus [12] Artemis once loved Orion (in spite of the late source, this version appears to be a rare remnant of her as the pre-Olympian goddess, who took consorts, as Eos did), but was tricked into killing him by her brother Apollo, who was "protective" of his sister's maidenhood.

[edit] Other stories

[edit] Callisto

She was the daughter of Lycaon, King of Arcadia. She was one of Artemis's hunting attendants. As a companion of Artemis, Callisto took a vow of chastity. Zeus appeared to her disguised as Artemis, or in some stories Apollo, gained her confidence, then took advantage of her (or raped her, according to Ovid). As a result of this encounter she conceived a son, Arcas. Enraged, Hera or Artemis (some accounts say both) changed her into a bear. Arcas almost killed the bear, but Zeus stopped him just in time. Out of pity, Zeus placed Callisto the bear into the heavens, thus the origin of Callisto the Bear as a constellation. Some stories say that he placed both Arcas and Callisto into the heavens as bears, forming the Ursa Minor and Ursa Major constellations.

[edit] Iphigenia and the Taurian Artemis

Artemis punished Agamemnon after he killed a sacred stag in a sacred grove and boasted that he was a better hunter. When the Greek fleet was preparing at Aulis to depart for Troy to begin the Trojan War, Artemis becalmed the winds. The seer Calchis advised Agamemnon that the only way to appease Artemis was to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia. Artemis then snatches Iphigenia from the altar and substitutes a deer.

[edit] Niobe

A Queen of Thebes and wife of Amphion, Niobe boasted of her superiority to Leto because while she had fourteen children (Niobids), seven boys and seven girls, Leto had only one of each. When Artemis and Apollo heard this impiety, Apollo killed her sons as they practiced athletics, and Artemis shot her daughters, who died instantly without a sound. Apollo and Artemis used poisoned arrows to kill them, though according to some versions two of the Niobids were spared, one boy and one girl. Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, killed himself. A devastated Niobe and her remaining children were turned to stone by Artemis as they wept. Some myths say that their tears, which still flowed from their stone eyes, formed the river Achelous. The gods themselves entombed them.

[edit] Otus and Ephialtes

The Gigantes Otus and Ephialtes were sons of Poseidon. They were so strong that nothing could harm them. One night, as they slept, Gaia whispered to them, that since they were so strong, they should be the rulers of Olympus. They built a mountain as tall as Mt. Olympus, and then demanded that the gods surrender, and that Artemis and Hera become their wives. The gods fought back, but couldn't harm them. The sons even managed to kidnap Ares and hold him in a jar for thirteen months. Artemis later changed herself into a deer and ran between them. The Aloadae, not wanting her to get away because they were eager huntsmen, each threw their javelin and simultaneously killed each other.

Diana the huntress, bronze by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828).

[edit] The Meleagrids

After the death of Meleager, Artemis turned her grieving sisters, the Meleagrids into guineafowl that Artemis loved very much.

[edit] Chione

Artemis killed Chione for becoming too proud and vain after having an affair with Apollo at his request.

[edit] Atalanta and Oeneus

Artemis saved the infant Atalanta from dying of exposure after her father abandoned her. She sent a female bear to suckle the baby, who was then raised by hunters. But she later sent a bear to hurt Atalanta because people said Atalanta was a better hunter. This is in some stories.

Among other adventures, Atalanta participated in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar, which Artemis had sent to destroy Calydon because King Oeneus had forgotten her at the harvest sacrifices. In the hunt, Atalanta drew the first blood, and was awarded the prize of the skin. She hung it in a sacred grove at Tegea as a dedication to Artemis.

[edit] Trojan War

Artemis may have been represented as a supporter of Troy because her brother Apollo was the patron god of the city and she herself was widely worshipped in western Anatolia in historical time. In the Iliad[13] she came to blows with Hera, when the divine allies of the Greeks and Trojans engaged each other in conflict. Hera struck Artemis on the ears with her own quiver, causing the arrows to fall out. As Artemis fled crying to Zeus, Leto gathered up the bow and arrows which had fallen out of the quiver.

[edit] Worship of Artemis

Roman Temple of Artemis in Jerash, Jordan, built during the reign of Antoninus Pius.
Main article: Brauronia

Artemis, the goddess of forests and hills, was worshipped throughout ancient Greece.[14]. Her best known cults were on the island of Delos (her birthplace); in Attica at Brauron and Mounikhia (near Piraeus); in Sparta. She was often depicted in paintings and statues in a forest setting, carrying a bow and arrows, and accompanied by a deer.

As Aeginaea, she was worshiped in Sparta; the name means either huntress of chamois, or the wielder of the javelin (αιγανέα).[15][16] She was worshipped at Naupactus as Aetole; in her temple in that town there was a statue of white marble representing her throwing a javelin.[17] This "Aetolian Artemis" would not have been introduced at Naupactus, anciently a place of Ozolian Locris, until it was awarded to the Aetolians by Philip II of Macedon. Strabo records another precinct of "Aetolian Artemos" at the head of the Adriatic.[18] As Agoraea she was the protector of the agora. As Agrotera, she was especially associated as the patron goddess of hunters. In Elis she was worshiped as Alphaea. In Athens Artemis was often associated with the local Aeginian goddess, Aphaea. As Potnia Theron, she was the patron of wild animals; Homer used this title. As Kourotrophos, she was the nurse of youths. As Locheia, she was the goddess of childbirth and midwives. She was sometimes known as Cynthia, from her birthplace on Mount Cynthus on Delos, or Amarynthia from a festival in her honor originally held at Amarynthus in Euboea. She was sometimes identified by the name Phoebe, the feminine form of her brother Apollo's solar epithet Phoebus.

The ancient Spartans used to sacrifice to her as one of their patron goddesses before starting a new military campaign.

Athenian festivals in honor of Artemis included Elaphebolia, Mounikhia, Kharisteria, and Brauronia. The festival of Artemis Orthia was observed in Sparta.

Sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron

Pre-pubescent Athenian girls and young Athenian girls approaching marriageable age were sent to the sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron to serve the Goddess for one year. During this time the girls were known as arktoi, or little she-bears. A myth explaining this servitude relates that a bear had formed the habit of regularly visiting the town of Brauron, and the people there fed it, so that over time the bear became tame. A young girl teased the bear, and, in some versions of the myth it killed her, while in other versions it clawed her eyes out. Either way, the girl's brothers killed the bear, and Artemis was enraged. She demanded that young girls "act the bear" at her sanctuary in atonement for the bear's death.

Virginal Artemis was worshipped as a fertility/childbirth goddess in some places, assimilating Ilithyia, since, according to some myths, she assisted her mother in the delivery of her twin. During the Classical period in Athens, she was identified with Hecate. Artemis also assimilated Caryatis (Carya).

[edit] Artemis in art

Fourth century Praxitelean bronze head of a goddess wearing a lunate crown, found at Issa (Vis, Croatia)

The oldest representations of Artemis in Greek Archaic art portray her as Potnia Theron ("Queen of the Beasts"): a winged goddess holding a stag and leopard in her hands, or sometimes a leopard and a lion. This winged Artemis lingered in ex-votos as Artemis Orthia, with a sanctuary close by Sparta.

In Greek classical art she is usually portrayed as a maiden huntress clothed in a girl's short skirt,[19] with hunting boots, a quiver, a bow[20] and arrows. Often she is shown in the shooting pose, and is accompanied by a hunting dog or stag. Her darker side is revealed in some vase paintings, where she is shown as the death-bringing goddess whose arrows fell young maidens and women, such as the daughters of Niobe.

The attributes of the goddess were often varied: bow and arrows were sometimes replaced by hunting spears; as a goddess of maiden dances she held a lyre;[citation needed] as a goddess of light a pair of flaming torches.

Only in post-Classical art do we find representations of Artemis-Diana with the crown of the crescent moon, as Luna. In the ancient world, although she was occasionally associated with the moon, she was never portrayed as the moon itself. Ancient statues of Artemis have been found with crescent moons, but these moons are always Renaissance-era additions.

On June 7, 2007, a Roman era bronze sculpture of �Artemis and the Stag� was sold at Sotheby�s auction house in New York state by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery for $25.5 million.

Remains of the temple today.

[edit] Artemis as the Lady of Ephesus

Main article: Temple of Artemis

At Ephesus in Ionia (Turkey), her temple became one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was probably the best known center of her worship except for Delos. There the Lady whom the Ionians associated with Artemis through interpretatio Graeca was worshiped primarily as a mother goddess, akin to the Phrygian goddess Cybele, in an ancient sanctuary where her cult image depicted the "Lady of Ephesus" adorned with multiple rounded breast like protuberances on her chest. They had been traditionally interpreted as multiple accessory breasts, or as sacrificed bull testes, as some newer scholars claimed,[21] until excavation at the site of the Artemision in 1987-88 identified the multitude of tear-shaped amber beads that had adorned her ancient wooden xoanon. In Acts of the Apostles, Ephesian metalsmiths who felt threatened by Saint Paul's preaching of Christianity, jealously rioted in her defense, shouting �Great is Artemis of the Ephesians![22] Only one of 121 columns still stand in Ephesus. The rest were used for making churches, roads, and forts.

[edit] Artemis in astronomy

A minor planet, (105) Artemis; a lunar crater; the Artemis Chasma and the Artemis Corona (both on Venus) have all been named for her.

As Selene she is associated with the Moon, and as Phoebe her name was borrowed for a moon of Saturn.

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