Greek Island Odyssey with Bettany Hughes episode 5
Greek Island Odyssey with Bettany Hughes episode 5

Greek Island Odyssey with Bettany Hughes episode 5

Greek Island Odyssey with Bettany Hughes episode 5: Bettany arrives in the Peloponnese, a peninsula regarded as home to some of ancient Greece’s most legendary kings and vicious warriors. To understand the violent world in which the myths and legends are set, Bettany visits the bones of a 19-year-old-warrior who died more than 3,500 years ago.



 


 

Healed sword marks and a large hole in his skull are a testament to his environment. In Sparta, the home town of Helen of Troy, Bettany discovers what made the region’s warriors so feared, before heading to Mycenae, likely home to the kings and queens that inspired the story of the Trojan War.

 

Greek Island Odyssey with Bettany Hughes episode 5

 

Peloponnese

The Peloponnese is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the Isthmus of Corinth land bridge which separates the Gulf of Corinth from the Saronic Gulf. During the late Middle Ages and the Ottoman era, the peninsula was known as the Morea, a name still in colloquial use in its demotic form. The peninsula is divided among three administrative regions: most belongs to the Peloponnese region, with smaller parts belonging to the West Greece and Attica regions.

The peninsula has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Its modern name derives from ancient Greek mythology, specifically the legend of the hero Pelops, who was said to have conquered the entire region. The name Peloponnesos means “Island of Pelops”.

The Mycenaean civilization, mainland Greece’s (and Europe’s) first major civilization, dominated the Peloponnese in the Bronze Age from its stronghold at Mycenae in the north-east of the peninsula. The Mycenaean civilization collapsed suddenly at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Archeological research has found that many of its cities and palaces show signs of destruction. The subsequent period, known as the Greek Dark Ages, is marked by an absence of written records.

Helen of Troy

In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy, Helen, Helena, also known as Helen of Sparta, was said to have been the most beautiful woman in the world. She was believed to have been the daughter of Zeus and Leda, and was the sister of Clytemnestra, Castor and Pollux, Philonoe, Phoebe and Timandra. She was married to King Menelaus of Sparta “who became by her the father of Hermione, and, according to others, of Nicostratus also.”

The usual tradition is that after the goddess Aphrodite promised her to Paris in the Judgement of Paris, she was seduced by him and carried off to Troy. This resulted in the Trojan War when the Achaeans set out to reclaim her. Another ancient tradition, told by Stesichorus, tells of how “not she, but her wraith only, had passed to Troy, while she was borne by the Gods to the land of Egypt, and there remained until the day when her lord [Menelaus], turning aside on the homeward voyage, should find her there.”

Summary
Greek Island Odyssey with Bettany Hughes episode 5
Title
Greek Island Odyssey with Bettany Hughes episode 5
Description

Greek Island Odyssey with Bettany Hughes episode 5: Peloponnese, a peninsula regarded as home to some of ancient Greece's most legendary kings.