On a rocky hill in the Argive plains, "mighty-walled" Tiryns was the second most important site in the Mycenaean world. Linked with Herakles, it had a palace, Cyclopean walls, and tunnels.
Danaos' fifty daughters each received a dagger for their marriages to his brother Aigyptos' fifty sons. Though Danaos commanded his daughters kill their husbands, one chose to save her spouse.
Founded in the ninth century BCE on a hillside, the sanctuary of Hera houses many buildings. The oldest temple dedicated to this goddess, protector of the city, was burned in 423 BCE by Chrysis.
Despite the lake's calm look, it was known for draining its swimmers out the bottom. Just southwest from here, Herakles killed the Hydra, cauterizing its necks to prevent its heads from growing back.
The tomb of the Korinthian tyrant Periander's wife was located near Epidauros. Her husband killed her after a fit of jealousy.
Home of King Agamemnon, Mycenae was one of the oldest cities in Greece. Dating from the third millennium BCE, it's said its walls were the work of Cyclopes. It was abandoned in the fifth century BCE.
Nauplia, meaning "naval station," is the port of Argolis. The Spartans arrived by boat for the Battle of Sepeia after sacrifices yielded unfavorable omens advising them not to cross the Erasinos River.
The hide of this invincible creature could not be burned or pierced by any weapon. Herakles used his cunning to trap it in its den, then strangled it with his own hands. He wore the hide himself.
Herakles's club was made of wood from a wild olive tree near the Saronida sea.
Known for his gigantic size, Hippomedon's claim to fame was participating in the expedition of the seven against Thebes. The ruins of the palace he lived in are still visible.
Argos' King Pheidon was known for his arrogance. He allegedly took the organization of the Olympic Games from Elis, and he was wrongfully credited in helping invent weights and measures.
Polykleitos preferred to work with bronze and the lost-wax casting technique as a sculptor. His known work, titled Kanon, described the perfect system of proportions for each part of the body.
This place was famous in Greece for attracting sick pilgrims. After the sick performed various rituals - fast, bath, and sacrifice - Asklepios would come to them in a dream and bring healing.
In the face of the invading Persians, this Athenian decree saw the evacuation of old men, furniture, goods, women, and children. Then, they boarded two hundred triremes with all able Athenians to fight.
Located southwest of the city on one of the akropolises, this oracle site was dedicated to Apollo. Once a month, a prophetess would convey oracles in the dead of night, after drinking the blood of a lamb.
Tydeus was one of the seven leaders who organized an expedition against Thebes, helping Polynikes regain his city. In the heat of battle, Tydeus ate the brain of one of his enemies, Melanippos.
Here, frightening beings of invincible strength, the Giants, avenged the Titans who were ousted by the Olympians. In result, the Giants were struck by lightning and pierced with flying arrows.
Located at the border of Messenia and Arkadia, this statue is said to have been created by the famous Daidalos. This eclectic artist was known as a skilled inventor, architect, and sculptor.
This Arkadian native was half man, half goat, and protected shepherds and flocks. Since this god was associated with the wild countryside and mountainous settings, several caves were dedicated to him.
Official documents, including the list of military contingents, were posted on this monument dedicated to the eponymous heroes of Athens.
This cenotaph was erected of Theseus's son, with whom Phaidra, his father's wife, fell in love. When he rebuffed her, Phaidra accused him of violence, bringing about his death.
To reduce transport weight, the quarry provided a leveled product that was finished on-site. Blocks were then taken by land and boat for export.
East of Athens, Mt. Pentelikos was the source of the marble used in architectural construction of Perikles' grand project on the Akropolis.
The Odeon showed musical performances and was modeled after the Persian king Xerxes' tent, which was brought back as plunder. It was the largest building in Athens and the first theater to receive a roof.
As leader and seer, Amphiaraos took part in the expedition of the seven against Thebes. According to myth, Zeus threw a thunderbolt, causing the earth to swallow him and his chariot.
The former capital of the legendary Minyan race formed a district of Boeotia. The city's protector, Zeus, and Dionysos were honored there, but it's (sic) most famous sanctuary was to the Charites, also called the Graces.
This was the training ground for athletes, who coated their bodies in olive oil and sprinkled on sand for sun protection and body temperature regulation. After training, it was removed with a strigil.
Established as a hero and seer, Amphiaraos had an oracular sanctuary near Oropos. Patients were treated through dreams. After healing, a gold or silver coin was tossed into the sanctuary's spring.
The akropolis of Thebes was called Kadmeia after its legendary founder, Kadmos. He left in search of his sister Europa when she was kidnapped by Zeus, who had taken the form of a bull.
Lebadeia was mainly known for the Oracle of Trophonios, which was consulted by people everywhere. Neraby (sic) was also a sanctuary of Zeus Basileos, the city's protective deity.
Gla was already fortified in the Mycenaean period. A Cyclopean wall surrounded the city on an island in Lake Kopais. A drainage system emptied and filled the lake to irrigate the plain.
A flagship product of ancient Greece, oil was used in food, personal care, perfumery, and lighting. Physicians also attributed therapeutic properties to it.
Kreusis was a fortified port dependent on Thespiai, but also used by Thebes. Protected from violent winds by a mole, it was the main Boeotian naval port on the Gulf of Korinth.
This temple was dedicated to Hera, who forbade the world from receiving the pregnant goddess, Leto. Only Delos welcomed her, where she gave birth to Artemis and Apollo.
Dating back to the seventh century BCE, the Terrace of the Lions facing the Sacred Lake originally consisted of at least nine marble statues, like the avenues of Egyptian sphinxes.
Brizo, whose name means "to slumber," was a goddess who spoke to men though (sic) prophetic dreams. People in Delos prayed particularly to her to protect boats.
Arranged in a semicircle, these five sacred buildings were mainly used to store offerings and holy materials.
This altar was made of sacrificed ashes mixed with Alpheios River water. On the third day of the Games, 100 oxen offered by the Eleians were killed, giving them sovereignty over the shrine.
Constructed by mortals, this resembled the cave on Ida where it was said that Zeus spent his youth. It was a grotto where Zeus was honored, located near the Kronion, the hill of Kronos.
This King of Pisa refused to let his daughter marry, as an oracle predicted his son-in-law would kill him. He had suitors go against him in a chariot race, where Pelops beat him with Poseidon's horses.
Elis was created by the merging of villages, forming one of the biggest cities in the Peloponnese. It was especially well known for its sanctuary of Olympia, which gave it prestige and wealth.
Herakles met the centaurPholos here while hunting the Erymanthian boar. When Pholos opened a jar of wine, other armed centaurs arrived, and Herakles fought them, killing all - including Pholos.
Horse races were some of the most popular and spectacular event of the Olympic Games, featuring races of chariots pulled by two horses (biga) and four horses (quadriga), as well as mounted races.
Located on the coast, Kyllene was a base for the Eleian fleet. Aphrodite and Asklepios were worshipped there with statues made of ivory. The cult of Hermes was particularly popular.
The Leonidaion was a guesthouse with a number of rooms on all sides for important visitors to the sanctuary. Its name is derived from the name of its architect, Leonidas of Naxos.
This complex was made up of a central courtyard surrounded by rooms for changing, washing, and exercising. It had punching balls for boxers, and wrestling and pankration were practiced there.
This rectangular pool was equipped with a water supply and drainage system. The Greek baths were adjacent.
The Olympic Games drew many travelers, many of whom came by sea. Shipwrecks were frequent and a valid excuse for athletes' late arrivals.
The wild olive tree from which Olympic winners' crowns were made was called the olive tree of the "beautiful crown." Branches were cut with a golden sickle.
It was dedicated to Pelops, which inspired the name "Peloponnese." His cult developed into the founding myth of the Olympic Games, and a black ram was sacrificed in his honor every year.
Phidias was the greatest Greek sculptor. He created many masterpieces, including the Olympic sanctuary's gold and ivory statue of Zeus, which was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The Prytaneion contained an altar in honor of Hestia, and was where the Olympic flame burned. Priests and game officials resided there, and it was also used for Olympic victory ceremonies.
Constructed in the heart of Elis was this important sanctuary. Olympic games were celebrated every four years to honor Zeus and Hera, and brought eternal glory to the winners.
The sixteen women tasked with organizing the Heraia - games for women - each came from an Eleian city. They sacrificed a pig and purified themselves in the spring of Piera before the ceremonies.
Various types of races and contests took place in the stadium. Embankments contained spectators on the 192 m track. This length became a unit of measure the Greeks called the "stadion."
There was a statue of Herakles at the edge of the road from Elis to Olympia, called the Sacred Way. The statue was dedicated by a citizen of Taranto, a Spartan colony in southern Italy.
Kronos, king of the Titans and Zeus's father, was honored in Elis. On the summit of the hill called the Kronion, priests called Basilai offered sacrifices to Kronos at the spring equinox.
Perched on a cliff, the temple was built by Iktinos, the Parthenon’s architect. The offerings of weapons suggest that the god played a role in the clashes between the Arkadians and the Spartans.
Hades, god of the underworld, was rarely honored. His temple in Elis opened just once a year, and only the priest could enter. It is said that this was because people could only go to Hades once.
The Heraia were games for women organized in honor of Hera, every four years, the sixteen Elis women in charge of organizing the Heraia wove a new veil for the goddess and placed it in her temple.
The temple housed one of the seven wonders of the ancient world: Phidias' statue of Zeus. To close the Olympic games, a procession led to the temple where victorious athletes were crowned.
Koroibos of Elis was the champion of the stadium race, the most prestigious Olympic event, in the first Games in 776 BCE. His tomb is located on the border with Arkadia, marking the border of Elis.
Cities erected small buildings shaped like temples at the foot of the hill of Kronos. They held valuable offerings that were placed under Zeus' protection, such as weapons, statues, and vases.
Dyspontion was on the mountainous route between Olympia and Elis. It was a community of perioikoi destroyed in 570 BCE by the Eleians due to inhabitants joining Pisa in a revolt against Elis.
Zanes were bronze statues of Zeus that were paid for with the fines of silver imposed on athletes who were found to have cheated. Their names were etched on the pedestals, which was a source of shame.
Renowned for its metalworking and bronze weapon manufacturing, Chalkis was likely to fall away from Athens during the Peloponnesian War, and had to sign a treaty swearing loyalty to them.
The island was famous for its copper mines. The ore is one the ingredients in the alloy bronze, which was used to make sculptures, domestic items, small coins, and weapons.
This city on the island's west coast was known as the first target during the Persians' raid against Greece. Eretria was violently attacked or six days, with many residents taken to Persia.
Karystos was located at an important meeting point of shipping routes linking the Gulf of Euboea and the Aegean archipelago. It was also known for joining the Persian army in the Persian Wars.
Open-pit mines made ore extraction - done with wedges, pickaxes, and mallets - easier. Once a slab was freed, it could be moved with cranes, pulleys, levers, and rails.
When bought by cities, slaves were used for public services. When bought by private citizens, they did domestic tasks, built buildings, worked in mines and workshops, on farms, or as bankers.
The hollow cast-bronze statue of Zeus or Poseidon—known as the Artemision Bronze—was found off this cape.
This temple dedicated to the goddess was as large as Apollo's sanctuary on the island. Competitions, musical contests, sacrifices, and war dances were held there to honor Artemis.
This cave served as a shelter for the Naiads, young nymphs who spun the sea into a glistening purple cloth. Odysseus prayed here in joy upon his return.
Eumaios was Odysseus' loyal swineherd. He was the first to welcome him back to (sic) Troy and assisted him in the slaughter of Penelope's suitors.
Melanthios, Odysseus' goatherd, mistook him for a beggar upon his return and hit him. Sure his master had died in Troy, he betrayed him to impress Penelope's suitors.
Odysseus, the most illustrious of all Greek heroes, was among the chiefs who set out for Troy. He returned to Ithaka and reclaimed his palace twenty years later.
Named for the ancient sea god Phorkys, this bay was the first sight Odysseus saw upon his return. It provides a natural shelter for sailors from rough waters.
Odysseus planned the murder of his wife's suitors here upon his return.
The Akropolis of Karthaia housed sacred buildings, including the temples of Apollo and of Athena. Public laws were recorded inside the temple of Apollo, the divine protector of the island.
Close to Attika on the northwest side of the island, Koressia could be reached from Athens in 24 hours. Its economic history was tied to its silver mines and the miltos used to paint triremes.
Bacchylides, a great poet, of the fifth century BCE, was born on the island. His poems celebrated the gods, Athenian democracy, and Olympic winners such as the tyrant of Syrakousai.
Located on the west coast of the island and bordering a fertile valley, Poiessa was an important farming area. Its spot was advantage for coastal defense and monitoring maritime traffic to Athens.
Aphrodite had an important role in Keos—especially for magistrates who made offerings and dedications to her. It was thought she would watch over all civic matters and protect their positions.
The largest on Kephallonia, the "Blue Cave" houses a small lake. It is part of a large cave system with more interconnected underground lakes.
Inscribed in the fifth century BCE, this famous piece of legislation regulated Gortyn's civil life. It included the management of family affairs affecting inheritance, divorce, adoption, and widowhood.
This small town was named after the Greek hero Herakles. It's best known for being the port for the city of Knossos.
This palace - the largest of all palaces - was built in the 17th century BCE and is linked to the legend of King Minos. More than 13,000 square meters, it's made up of several rooms around a central courtyard.
Gortyn coveted Phaistos' territory from its founding. Phaistos was renowned for having the second largest palace, in which the clay disk was found.
This sanctuary on the Gortyn akropolis honored one of the city's main deities, along with Apollo and Demeter. Places of worship for Athena were widespread, and often also used as archives.
The Kretans worshipped Poseidon, one of Zeus' youngest brothers. Poseidon protected the navigation of boats, but was lesser known for the domestication of horses and horse riding.
In the guise of a young girl and hunter, Artemis guided the various life stages just as she helped in combat. Before battle, Greeks offered a sacrifice to her under the name Agrotera (huntress).
Most of the island was composed of granite - a material like marble - that was used in architectural construction and sculpture in antiquity.
Taverns sold wine and vinegar. Divided in three different types - dry, sweet, and sweet mix, wine could also be flavored with honey, resin, spices, herbs, and even sea water.
Apollo's twin sister enjoyed hunting and as always armed with a bow she used against deer and men. Her arrows were said to bring about sudden death.
Ares was punished on Naxos for the murder of Adonis, Aphrodite's beloved. The Aloadai, Poseidon's sons, imprisoned Ares in a large bronze jar for thirteen long months.
Being in love with Poseidon, Iphimedeia often walked to the sea and collected its waters in her lap. There she became, by Poseidon, the mother of the Aloadai, Otos and Ephialtes.
Naxos Island is peppered with places that have been pinpointed as important in Zeus' youth. The god of men and gods had been everywhere, including the Cave of Mt. Zas on Naxos.
Ariadne, in love with Theseus, was abandoned by the hero on Naxos after he returned to Athens. She was killed by the wrathful Artemis for defiling a sacred place dedicated to the goddess.
Poseidon's two sons, the Aloadai, were buried on the island. The strong, bold giants threatened the gods by piling up mountains to reach Olympos.
As the largest of the Kyklades, Naxos was known for its marble and emery. It was also the birthplace of Dionysos, and where Ariadne was abandoned by her beloved Theseus.
The sanctuary of Zeus was located on the island's highest point. It was built where Zeus hid from his father, Kronos, until he was old enough to fight the Titans.
Taking revenge on pirates who kidnapped him for money, Dionysos immobilized their ship in ivy vines. Driven mad, the pirates dove into the water and were turned into dolphins.
The Naxians dedicated a temple to Dionysos to ensure the fertility of their vines and first-rate wine production on the island. Several times a year, festivities were held to honor the god.
Paros' marble was the most famous in ancient history. With an exquisite white color and a ghostly transparency, it was used throughout the world for the most prestigious sculptures and buildings.
Thanks to its marble quarries, Paros was considered the richest of the Kyklades, and therefore paid the highest tribute (to) the Delian League. It was often in rivalry with the neighboring city of Naxos.