Richard Allan Tomlinson
Ellen E. Rice
A Dodecanese island lying between *Cos and Leros to the west of the *Halicarnassus peninsula. Calymnos together with nearby islands whose identity is disputed are probably the ‘Kalydnai isles’ mentioned in Homer (Il. 2. 677). Caves and tombs reveal neolithic and Mycenaean occupation. The main Mycenaean citadel was probably at Perakastro near the modern capital Pothia. Herodotus (7. 99) states that Calymnos was later colonized by Dorians from Epidaurus. In historical times, Calymnian ships fought with the Carians during the Persian War (see
A sanctuary of *Apollo and theatre were found at the site of Christ of Jerusalem near Damos in the southern half of the island. Finds show that the cult existed there from archaic times onwards, and nearby cemeteries and walls attest ancient occupation in this area. The other main centre of occupation was around Vathy in the east, as an impressive fortification circuit wall at Embolas shows. There are Roman and Byzantine remains throughout the island as well as on the islet of Telendos to the west.
The classical world witnessed many forms of landscape change in its physical geography, mostly due to longer-term geological and climatological processes, whilst only a minority were due purely to human action. The physical environment of Greek and Roman societies saw alterations through earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, sea-level fluctuations, erosion, and alluviation.
Already in Greek antiquity, Plato (Critias iii) observed how the Aegean physical landscape was being worn down over time as erosion from the uplands filled the lowland plains. Indeed, the Mediterranean region is amongst the most highly erodible in the world.1 However, scientific research in the field known as geoarchaeology has revealed a more complex picture than a continuous degradation of the ancient countryside.2
To uncover a more realistic picture of Mediterranean landscape change, the element of timescales proves to be central, and here the framework developed by the French historian Fernand Braudel3 provides the appropriate methodology. Braudel envisaged the Mediterranean past as created through the interaction of dynamic forces operating in parallel but on different “wavelengths” of time: the Short Term (observable within a human lifetime or less), the Medium Term (centuries or more, not clearly cognisant to contemporaries), and the Long Term (up to as much as thousands or millions of years, not at all in the awareness of past human agents).
R. W. V. Catling
Delos, a small island (3 sq. km.: 1.2 sq. mi.) between Myconos and Rheneia, regarded in antiquity as the centre of the *Cyclades. Composed of gneiss and granite, it is barren and almost waterless and was incapable of supporting its inhabitants.
Delos, the only place to offer shelter to *Leto, was the birthplace of *Apollo and *Artemis, as recounted in the Archaic Homeric Hymn to Apollo. This was the basis of its historical importance. It was also the burial-place of the *Hyperboreans. *Anius was its heroic founder, son and priest of Apollo, later associated with the Trojan cycle.
Early bronze age occupation on Mt. Cynthus was succeeded by a Mycenaean settlement on the low ground later occupied by the sanctuary. Two Mycenaean graves were later identified as the tombs of the Hyperborean maidens (the Theke and the Sema). Continuity of cult into historic times is unlikely.