Cyprus. These burials somewhat resemble the funerals of heroes in epic poetry. As in the funeral of Patroclus (the close hetairos of Achilles) in the Iliad, the corpse was cremated and the bones put in a bronze urn; weapons were placed in the grave, and occasionally sacrificed horses. Also around this time vases depicting events from the Heroic Age begin to turn up in these graves. There is additional evidence from Athens that wealthy families had begun to group their graves in enclosures that not only held contemporary graves but also took in Mycenaean graves, as if to convert the inhabitants of the ancient burials into family ancestors. All this suggests that the leading families were proclaiming descent from the heroes of old.
* * *
As the eleventh to the eighth centuries come more clearly into view, it becomes increasingly apparent that the Dark Age was the cradle of the city-state society and culture that was to follow. The basic structures and institutions of later Greek society were firmly in place well before 800 BC. And so, the emergence of Greece, during the eighth century, from the Dark Age into the renaisssance of the Archaic period, which not so long ago was seen as a sudden and revolutionary phenomenon, appears now more like a rapid evolution in response to rapidly changing conditions. The swift transformation of the traditional chieftain government into the city-state government and the turbulent history of the early city-states are the subjects of the next chapter.
Blanco, Walter. 1992. The Histories, from Herodotus: The Histories, Walter Blanco and Jennifer Roberts , eds. New York: W.W. Norton.
Lattimore, Richmond. 1951. The Iliad of Homer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lattimore, Richmond. 1965. The Odyssey of Homer. New York: Harper & Row. Lattimore's translations are faithful to the original Greek, and capture the style and rhythm of the Greek epic in simple, straightforward English.
Burkert, Walter. 1985. Greek Religion. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. A classic history of ancient Greek religion from the Minoan-Mycenaean Age to the Hellenistic period.
Coldstream, J. N. 1977. Geometric Greece. New York: St. Martin's Press. A comprehensive presentation and analysis of the archaeological evidence from 900 to 700 BC.
Edwards, Mark W. 1987. Homer, Poet of the Iliad. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press. A reliable, up-to-date general treatment of Homeric poetry and the epic style, with commentaries on selected books of the Iliad.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Ancient Greece:A Political, Social, and Cultural History. Contributors: Sarah B. Pomeroy - Author, Stanley M. Burstein - Author, Walter Donlan - Author, Jennifer Tolbert Roberts - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 80.
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