Founded around 600 BC by Greek settlers from Phocaea, Marseille is the oldest city of France, as well as one of Europe's oldest continuously inhabited settlements. It was known to the ancient Greeks as Massalia (Greek: Μασσαλία, romanized: Massalía) and to Romans as Massilia. Marseille has been a trading port since ancient times. In particular, it experienced a considerable commercial boom during the colonial period and especially during the 19th century, becoming a prosperous industrial and trading city. Nowadays the Old Port still lies at the heart of the city where the manufacturing of soap, its famous savon de Marseille, began some 6 centuries ago. Overlooking the port is the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde or "Bonne-mère" for the people of Marseille, a Romano-Byzantine church and the symbol of the city. Inherited from this past, the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (GPMM) and the maritime economy are major poles of regional and national activity and Marseille remains the first French port, the second Mediterranean port and the fifth European port. Since its origins, Marseille's openness to the Mediterranean Sea has made it a cosmopolitan city marked by cultural and economic exchanges with Southern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. In Europe, the city has the third largest Jewish community after London and Paris. (Full article...)
A marble head of Socrates in the Louvre (copy of bronze head by Lysippus)
Socrates (/ˈsɒkrətiːz/; Ancient Greek: ΣωκράτηςSōkrátēs[sɔːkrátɛːs]; c. 470–399 BC) was a Greek philosopher from Athens who is credited as a founder of Western philosophy and the first moral philosopher of the Western ethical tradition of thought. An enigmatic figure, Socrates authored no texts and is known mainly through the posthumous accounts of classical writers, particularly his students Plato and Xenophon. These accounts are written as dialogues, in which Socrates and his interlocutors examine a subject in the style of question and answer, usually with Socrates taking the lead, and gave rise to the Socratic dialogue literary genre. Contradictory accounts of Socrates make a reconstruction of the history of his life nearly impossible, a situation known as the Socratic problem. Socrates was a polarizing figure in Athenian society. In 399 BC, he was accused of corrupting the youth and failing to acknowledge the city's official gods. After a trial that lasted a day, he was sentenced to death. He spent his last day in prison, refusing to escape.
Plato's dialogues are among the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity, from which Socrates has become renowned for his contributions to the fields of rationalism, ethics and epistemology. This Platonic Socrates lends his name to the concept of the Socratic method, and also to Socratic irony. The Socratic method of questioning or elenchus takes shape in dialogue using short questions and answers, epitomized by those Platonic texts in which Socrates and his interlocutors examine various aspects of an issue or an abstract meaning, usually relating to one of the virtues, and find themselves completely unable to define what they thought they understood. Socrates is known for proclaiming his total ignorance; he used to say that the only thing he was aware of was his ignorance, seeking to imply that the realization of our ignorance is the first step in philosophizing. (Full article...)
Image 8Finds form an early geometric Cremation Burial of a pregnant wealthy woman, from the N.W. of the Areopagus, about 850 BC, Ancient Agora Museum (Athens); exhibit 14–16: broad gold finger rings; exhibit 17–19: gold finger rings; 20: pair of gold earrings with trapezoid endings (from Greek Dark Ages)
Image 9Gravestone of a woman with her slave child-attendant, c. 100 BC (from Ancient Greece)
Image 10Temples were an innovation in the archaic period. These columns are the remains of the Temple of Apollo at Corinth, the first Greek temple to be built in stone. (from Archaic Greece)
Image 11Map showing the major regions of mainland ancient Greece and adjacent "barbarian" lands. (from Ancient Greece)
Image 33Geometric-style box in the shape of a barn. On display in the Ancient Agora Museum in Athens, housed in the Stoa of Attalus. From early geometric cremation burial of a pregnant wealthy woman, 850 BC. (from Greek Dark Ages)
Ruins of the Ancient Olympic Games training grounds at Olympia.The historical origins of the Ancient Olympic Games are unknown, but several legends and myths have survived. One of these involved Pelops, king of Olympia and eponymous hero of the Peloponnesus, to whom offerings were made during the games.