The Classic Ship | Part 1: The Persian Wars and the maritime supremacy of Athens

In the period of about 600–480 BCE, Ionian colonists emigrated from Attica to the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, which is modern Turkey[1]. There they inhabited a narrow coastal strip from Phocaea in the north to Miletus in the south, including the islands of Chios and Samos. Persia (c 540 BCE) conquered the cities of this area and appointed native tyrants to rule for them. The rebellion of the colonists against the rule of these… Read more

Xenophon’s Anabasis: Historical Context

Members of the Kosmos Society have been reading sections of Xenophon’s Anabasis, and this post provides a brief historical context to that work. The text is available on Perseus, both in Greek and in an English translation by Carleton L. Brownson (1922). Historical context The Anabasis by the Athenian soldier, historian and philosopher Xenophon, also known as The Anabasis of Cyrus, The March of the Ten Thousand and The March… Read more

The Modeled Ship | Part 1: The gift of Kinyras, and the honeycomb boats

The gift of Kinyras This story of modeled ships starts with the introduction of Kinyras, a King of Cyprus. His roots are in Cilicia, Phoenicia, or Syria. At the time of his rule those areas had closer ties to Cyprus than did the Greek speaking world. Kinyras was renowned for his wealth which was said to surpass the wealth of Midas and Kroisos. He was a cherished priest of the… Read more

The Essential Ship | Part 2: The Kerameikos Vase

The Kerameikos kratēr The Athenian Kerameikos was the potters’ quarter of the city, from which the English word “ceramic” is derived. Kerameikos was named after Keramos, son of Dionysos and Ariadne, hero of potters[1]. A particularly notable pedestalled kratēr of this area is kept at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, where it is soberly referred to as the New York MMA 34.11.2 vase[2]. The vase is dated to the… Read more