ALCMENE, in ancient Greek mythology, the daughter of Electryon, king of Mycenae, and wife of Amphitryon.
THOLOS (06Xos), the term given in Greek architecture to a circular building, with or without a peristyle; the earliest examples are those of the beehive tombs at Mycenae and in other parts of Greece, which were covered by domes built in horizontal courses of masonry.
It had been held till lately that the great civilization of prehistoric Greece, as first revealed to us by Schliemann's discoveries at Mycenae, was not possessed of the art of writing.
These latter, as in the well-known case of the Lion's Gate at Mycenae, often appear with guardian animals as their supporters.
Turning to the mainland of Greece we see that the astonishing remains of a highly developed prehistoric civilization, which Schliemann first brought to light in 1876 at Mycenae, Minoan and which from those discoveries received the general influence on main= name of " Mycenaean," in the main represent a trans land of marine offshoot from the Minoan stock.
Remains both at Mycenae and Tiryns, still imperfectly investigated, show that this Cretan influence goes back to the Middle Minoan age, with its characteristic style of polychrome vase decoration.
AEGEAN CIVILIZATION, the general term for the prehistoric civilization, previously called "Mycenaean" because its existence was first brought to popular notice by Heinrich Schliemann's excavations at Mycenae in 1876.
Subsequent discoveries, however, have made it clear that Mycenae was not its chief centre in its earlier stages, or, perhaps, at any period; and, accordingly, it is more usual now to adopt a wider geographical title.
- Mycenae and Tiryns are the two principal sites on which evidence of a prehistoric civilization was remarked long ago by the classical Greeks.
As soon as Schliemann came on the Mycenae graves three years later, light poured from all sides on the prehistoric period of Greece.
Tsountas's discovery of the Mycenae palace.
From 1886 dates the finding of Mycenaean sepulchres outside the Argolid, from which, and from the continuation of Tsountas's exploration of the buildings and lesser graves at Mycenae, a large treasure, independent of Schliemann's princely gift, has been gathered into the National Museum at Athens.
The American explorations of the Argive Heraeum, concluded in 1895, also failed to prove that site to have been important in the prehistoric time, though, as was to be expected from its neighbourhood to Mycenae itself, there were traces of occupation in the later Aegean periods.
- For details of monumental evidence the articles On Crete, Mycenae, Tiryns, Troad, Cyprus, &c., must be consulted.
Next in importance come Hissarlik, Mycenae, Phaestus, Hagia, Triada, Tiryns, Phylakope, Palaikastro and Gournia.
(2) Literary traditions of subsequent civilizations, especially the Hellenic, such as, e.g., those embodied in the Homeric poems, the legends concerning Crete, Mycenae, &c.; statements as to the origin of gods, cults and so forth, transmitted to us by Hellenic antiquarians such as Strabo, Pausanias, Diodorus Siculus, &c.
- The great Cretan palaces and the fortified citadels of Mycenae, Tiryns and Hissarlik, each FIG.
The shaft-graves in the Mycenae circle are also a late type, paralleled in the later Cnossian cemetery.
In the Mycenae circle an altar seems to have been erected over the graves, and perhaps slaves were killed to bear the dead chiefs company.
The magnificent gold work of the later period, preserved to us at Mycenae and Vaphio, needs only to be mentioned.
The fresco-paintings, ceramic motives, reliefs, free sculpture and toreutic handiwork of Crete have supplied the clearest proof of it, confirming the impression already created by the goldsmiths' and painters' work of the Greek mainland (Mycenae, Vaphio, Tiryns).
Now the second type, the "megaron" arrangement, characterizes peculiarly the palaces discovered in the north of the Aegean area, at Mycenae, Tiryns and Hissarlik, where up to the present no signs of the first type, so characteristic of Crete, have been observed.
This coincidence has been observed not only at Cnossus, but previously, in connexion with discoveries of scarabs and other Egyptian objects made at Mycenae, Ialysus, Vaphio, &c. In Egypt itself Kefti tributaries, bearing vases of Aegean form, and themselves similar in fashion of dress and arrangement of hair to figures on Cretan frescoes and gems of Period III., are depicted under this and the succeeding Dynasties (e.g.
To this wave were owed in all probability the Nilotic scenes depicted on the Mycenae daggers, on frescoes of Hagia Triada and Cnossus, on pottery of Zakro, on the shell-relief of Phaestus, &c.; and also many forms and fabrics, e.g.
1-2 in Crete, the shaft-graves in the Mycenae circle, the Vaphio tomb, &c., to the 16th and 15th centuries B.C., and Period III.
3 with the lower town at Mycenae, the majority of the sixth stratum at Hissarlik, the Ialysus burials, the upper stratum at Phylakope, &c., to the century immediately succeeding.
Some change seems to have come from the north; and there are those who go so far as to say that the centre henceforward was the Argolid, and especially "golden" Mycenae, whose lords imposed a new type of palace and a modification of Aegean art on all other Aegean lands.
The golden treasure of the Mycenae graves, these critics urge, is not more splendid than would have been found at Cnossus had royal burials been spared by plunderers, or been happened upon intact by modern explorers.
3.-[[Gold Signet From Acropolis Tween Lions, On A Lentoid Treasure, Mycenae, Showing The God Gem From Kydonia, Crete.
AGAMEMNON, one of the most distinguished of the Greek heroes, was the son of Atreus (king of Mycenae) and Aerope, grandson of Pelops, great-grandson of Tantalus and brother of Menelaus.
Atreus was murdered by Aegisthus, who took possession of the throne of Mycenae and ruled jointly with his father Thyestes.
In Argolis Proetus built Tiryns, but later, under Perseus, Mycenae took the lead until the Achaean conquest.
A third class of Cyclopes are the builders of the so-called "Cyclopean" walls of Mycenae and Tiryns, giants with arms in their belly, who were said to have been brought by Proetus from Lycia to Argos, his original home (Pausanias ii.
Having murdered his stepbrother Chrysippus, Atreus fled with Thyestes to Mycenae, where he succeeded Eurystheus in the sovereignty.
After this Atreus, apparently reconciled to his brother, recalled him to Mycenae and invited him to a banquet to eat of his son, whom Atreus had slain.
Type than those of Mycenae, were said to have been the work of Cyclopean masons.
The case is somewhat altered by the discovery of several other early houses, of similar character, but not identical in plan; at Mycenae and elsewhere in Greece; these do not, for example, show the duplication of the essential parts of the house found at Tiryns.
Of Greece proper he saw but little; it is by no means certain that he even visited Athens, and though he describes Corinth as an eyewitness, it is clear that he was never at Delphi, and was not aware that the ruins of Mycenae still existed.
His uncle Atreus, who had married Pelopia, took him to Mycenae, and brought him up as his own son.
When he grew up Aegisthus slew Atreus, and ruled jointly with his father over Mycenae, until they were deposed by Agamemnon on his return from exile.
There is no doubt that there is a considerable historical element in the legend; recent discoveries in Crete (q.v.) prove the existence of a civilization such as the legends imply, and render it probable that not only Athens, but Mycenae itself, was once subject to the kings of Cnossus, of whom Minos was greatest.
A further interest in Greek archaeology has been awakened in all civilized lands by the excavations of Troy, Mycenae, Tiryns, Epidaurus, Sparta, Olympia, Dodona, Delphi, Delos and of important sites in Crete.