Geometric Greece: 900-700 BC

By J. N. Coldstream | Go to book overview

7

Euboea, Boeotia, Thessaly, and the Cyclades

We return now to the Aegean, to consider another wide area loosely held together by common features in the local pottery. Long after other local schools had broken free of Attic influence, each of these regions continued to borrow ideas from the Athenian style during its LG I phase. To begin with, much of the borrowing must have been at first hand, when Athens was still an outward-looking city; later, with the sharp decline of Attic exports, the ceramic cohesion of this group depends more and more on the influence of Euboea which travelled westwards to Boeotia, northwards to Thessaly, and south-eastwards through the Cycladic archipelago. The situation becomes much the same as in the early ninth century, another period when Euboea succeeded Attica as the chief source of new ideas within this area. We must grant, however, that the elaboration of LG ornament allows a much greater diversity of local tastes than was possible in the Sub-Protogeometric styles of the previous century.

For the Euboeans, the second half of the eighth century marks the climax of their commercial activity, which ranged from Central Italy to the Levantine shores. Here we are specially concerned with their record at home, and their dealings with other Greeks in the Aegean. Our information comes mainly from recent excavations at Eretria, supplemented by a few casual finds from Chalcis, and by the latest material from the Xeropolis settlement at Lefkandi. Thanks to the discoveries of the past twenty-five years, a reasonably coherent account can now be given of the Euboean LG pottery sequence. In addition, Eretria offers evidence of temple architecture, burials of warriors and civilians, and an impressive array of gold diadems, bronze cauldrons, and offensive weapons. Before leaving Euboea, we shall try to relate these discoveries to the literary record, which preserves the memory of a great war fought between the men of Eretria and Chalcis for the possession of the rich Lelantine plain.

For Boeotia and Thessaly the evidence is far less satisfactory. From Thessaly, indeed, hardly any LG pottery has been published; but two sanctuaries are well provided with bronze votives, whose affinities are as much with Macedonia as with any southern centre. A Boeotian LG style has for long been apparent in a large corpus of pots and fibulae, mostly from clandestine excavations; happily, during the past decade, the shortage of well-documented finds is beginning to be remedied. Finally, the Cyclades provide a rich variety of styles and materials. In painted pottery alone, four distinct local LG schools can be located in different

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Geometric Greece: 900-700 BC
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Preface to the Second Edition 3
  • Preface to the First Edition 4
  • Contents 5
  • Contents 8
  • Acknowledgements 9
  • Abbreviations 12
  • Introduction 17
  • I - The Passing of the Dark Ages C. 900-770 B.C. 23
  • 1 - Isolation: the Early Ninth Century 25
  • 2 - The Awakening in the Mid-Ninth Century 55
  • 3 - Consolidation: Late Ninth to Early Eighth Century 73
  • II - The Greek Renaissance C. 770-700 B.C. Regional Survey 107
  • 4 - Athens and Attica 109
  • 5 - The Argolid, Arcadia, Laconia, and Messenia 140
  • 6 - Corinth and West Greece 167
  • 7 - Euboea, Boeotia, Thessaly, and the Cyclades 191
  • 8 - Italy and Sicily: Trade and Colonies 221
  • 9 - Eastern Greece and Anatolia 246
  • 10 - Crete 271
  • III - Life in Eighth-Century Greece 293
  • 11 - The Recovery of Literacy 295
  • 12 - Towns and Villages 303
  • 13 - Sanctuaries, Gods, and Votives 317
  • 14 - Recollection of a Heroic Past 341
  • 15 - Oriental Influences 358
  • 16 - Epilogue 367
  • Supplement 371
  • Epilogue 414
  • Glossary 416
  • Bibliography and Site Index 418
  • Index 443
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