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Греческие Тёмные века

Фотография andy4675 andy4675 16.09 2014

Article by James Yates, M.A., F.R.S.,
on pp378‑380 of
William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.




The Greek Age of Bronze




Микенские колесницы имеют следы займа из Передней Азии, а греческие колесницы Тёмных веков не имеют следов вторичного займа, т. к. не похожи на них. Греческие колесницы сохраняли 4 спицы со времён Бронзового Века до 8 в. до н. э. (хотя в изображениях вазописи последнего встречаются также колесницы с 6 и 8 спицами на колёсах).


Chariot Usage in Greek Dark Age Warfare
Carolyn Nicole Conter
Florida State University


The following is a discussion of the evolution of the Greek chariot from the
Bronze Age through the eighth-century. Because one of the main contentions of this
thesis is that the chariot remained in use during the Dark Age, an emphasis will be placed
on the last chariot pictured in the Bronze Age, and on the first type of chariot pictured in
the eighth-century.52 Through this discussion, it will become clear that the last Bronze
Age chariot and the first Iron Age chariot pictured are essentially the same
, reinforcing
the notion that chariots were used during the Dark Age. It is also necessary to show that
the Greek chariot developed a design that was independent from that of Near Eastern and
Egyptian chariots.53
Although the chariot was initially adopted from the Near East, the
Mycenaeans from very early on, possibly ca. 1500 B.C.E., adapted this vehicle to suit
their own needs. In order to show the indigenous character of the Greek chariot, certain
salient features of the other chariot types in Greece will be considered.54 Identification
and analysis of the independent design features of the Greek chariot will eliminate the
idea that the chariot was reintroduced into Greece from the Near East in the eighthcentury
Before beginning this discussion, however, the problems with analyzing Greek
chariots should be addressed. As discussed in the last chapter, no Greek chariot has
survived. As a result, the study of the chariot’s design is limited to pictorial
representations and Linear B ideograms.
At times, comparisons to extant Egyptian

52 All chariot names are taken from Crouwel 1981 and 1992 because these are the most current classifications. All Greek chariots discussed in this chapter are from the Mainland. Eastern Greek chariots
tend to posses Near Eastern qualities, but will be mentioned where needed

53 Crouwel 1981, 59-62, 96; 1992, 29-34; Åkerström 1987, 128; 1978, 34; Lorimer 1950, 307; for opposite
view, see Catling 1968, 46; Snodgrass 1964, 159.
54 For a detailed description of the evolution of the Greek chariot, see Crouwel 1981 and 1992.

chariots can be helpful, but since the design of Greek chariots departs from that of
Egyptian chariots
, these comparisons do not provide a definitive reconstruction. The
same is true of comparisons of Greek chariot depictions to Near Eastern chariot
depictions. Of course, relying on pictorial representations is problematic. Consideration
has to be made for artistic liberty. It must be determined whether the artist chose to
depict the chariot accurately, or if he resorted to convention or pattern.55

The problem of reliability can be seen, for example, on the Grave Stelae at
Mycenae, which have some of the first representations of chariots in Aegean art, dating to
ca. 1600-1500 B.C.E.56 On the best-preserved chariot stele from Grave Circle A, it
appears that the artist chose to depict the chariot with an impractical and unrealistic
structure (fig. 1). One problematic feature is that the wheels are placed directly under the
center of the box floor. This placement suggests that this chariot has a central axle. A
centrally located axle, when used with a neck yoke, would have adversely affected the
stability of the box; therefore, the placement of the axle on the stele might not be
reflecting reality.57 In addition, the box is shown completely above the wheel. This too
is probably an unrealistic, artistic convention because having the chariot box so high
would not have been practical; it would have made mounting the chariot difficult and
would have rendered the vehicle less stable.58 The draft pole, which should run from the
box floor to the yoke, is also omitted from the representation. These three peculiar
features may be the result of compromised space. Because the artist did not have the
room to depict the whole chariot, he may have chosen instead to show its essential
features, i.e. the box, the wheel, and the horse. Another explanation could be that the
artist was not concerned with rendering the accurate details of the chariot and so
simplified the vehicle. Regardless of why the artist chose to depict the vehicle this way,
the fact remains that the chariot has an unrealistic design.
Space is also at times an issue when dealing with Geometric vase depictions of
chariots, but in this case, it is not a question of what is taken away, but rather, what is

55 Piggott 1985, 129.
56 Heurtley, 1921-1923, 126-146; Catling 1968, 42-44, Vermeule 1964, 90-94; Crouwel 1981, 59-62.
57 Crouwel 1981, 79, 114; Littauer 1972, 154, compare with Powell 1963, 159-60. For the importance of
the axle position, see Powell 1963, 158-59; Crouwel 1981, 79; Littauer 1972, 154.
58 Crouwel 1981, 80.

added to the chariot in order to fit the space. Although the Geometric artist typically
shows only one wheel per chariot, a convention that is meant to represent both wheels, at
times two wheels, one in front of the other, are shown (fig. 2).59 Greenhalgh argues that
two wheels could be explained as an alternative convention needed when the box itself is
elongated. Because the box floor is longer, the artist most likely added another wheel to
fill the extra space.60 Mercklin argues that when two wheels are depicted it is actually the
artist’s primitive need to represent all the main elements of the chariot. This, according
to Mercklin, also explains the unusual double handrails that are at times featured on
Geometric chariots.61 Both of these explanations are satisfactory in cases where a vessel
has only two-wheeled vehicles, but they do not explain why one vessel might have both
one-wheeled and two-wheeled chariot profiles. Snodgrass argues that it would be
impossible that a pot painter would have used both conventions on one vessel. Therefore,
the two-wheeled vehicle must be a four-wheeled cart (fig. 3).62 Greenhalgh claims,
however, that having both conventions on one vessel is not a problem. He argues that a
two-wheeled profile is usually used only with chariots that are elongated to accommodate
either two people or a warrior with a Dipylon shield.63 In addition, artists were not averse
to using different conventions on the same vessel for horses, as can be seen in Figure 3.64
Here the left chariot is depicted with a single horse, whereas the other two chariots are
depicted with two horses. Because chariots were not in reality pulled by one horse, this is
a clear example of the artist’s willingness to use different conventions on one vessel.
Regardless of the difficulties of using representations of chariots, common
characteristics can be isolated. These characteristics can then be used to determine the
Greek chariot’s design and the evolution thereof. There are four recognizable Aegean
chariot forms in the Bronze Age.65 The first two, the box and quadrant chariot, are
closely related to Near Eastern prototypes, and examples of each are found in Egyptian

59 Piggott 1985, 190; Greenhalgh 1973, 34; Mercklin 1916, 399.
60 Greenhalgh 1973, 34.
61 Mercklin 1916, 403.
62 Snodgrass 1964, 161.
63 Greenhalgh 1973, 34; Benson 1970, 53.
64 This vessel is the same as the one Snodgrass used to argue his point; see Snodgrass 1964, plate 2;
Greenhalgh 1973, 34.
65 Crouwel 1981. Catling recognizes only three types of Aegean chariots; see 1968. Greenhalgh recognizes
four chariot types, but makes the last in the Bronze Age sequence an Egyptian type; see 1973, 31.

representations of Hittite chariots in the reliefs at Abu Simbel showing the Battle of
Kadesh.66 Although these two chariot types were probably originally imported from the
Near East, it is with these two chariots that Aegean features begin to appear. First, both
the box chariot and the quadrant chariot have four spoked wheels. Near Eastern and
Egyptian chariots also used four spoked wheels in the fifteenth century, but both of these
areas shortly thereafter increased the number of spokes to six or eight.67 In Greece,
however, using four spokes remained constant down into the eighth-century.
Secondly, and most importantly, Aegean chariots had a distinctive traction
system, which first appears in representations of the box and quadrant chariot (fig. 4).68
The function of the traction system is to help stabilize the vehicle and to connect the box
to the yoke. Typically, the traction system consists of a central pole, called a draft pole,
which runs from the underside of the vehicle’s floor to the yoke. For the box to be better
supported, the draft pole should be fixed to the floor and should run along the floor’s
entire length.69 As the pole ascends beyond the underside of the box floor to the yoke, it
bends in two places. Egyptian and Near Eastern chariots used a simple version of this
type of ‘straight’ or ‘angled’ draft pole. Aegean chariots, on the other hand, added a
complex support system. In addition to the angled draft pole, the Mycenaeans added a
horizontal wooden bar, called a pole stay, which ran from the top of the box frame to the
yoke (figs. 5-6).70 The pole stay sat on top of another wooden element called the pole
brace.71 Both of these elements were tied together either by cords or leather thongs.72
The pole brace, which was L-shaped, was connected to the draft pole near the front of the

66 Lorimer 1950, 313; Littauer and Crouwel 1979, 77.
67 Littauer and Crouwel 1979, 80; Crouwel 1981, 81. Eight-spoked wheels are rarer than six-spoked.
68 The first appearance of the traction system is on the sardonyx seal from the Vapheio tholos dating to ca.
1500; see Lorimer 1950, 310-11; Åkerström 1978, 27. It is not seen on the stelae, but no traction system is
depicted; therefore, it is possible that this traction system was already used at that time; see Crouwel 1981,
69 Crouwel 1981, 90.
70 Rodenwaldt identified this element, through examination of the Tiryns frescoes, as wood; see 1912, 102-
3. This suggestion is followed by Åkerström 1978, 33; and Crouwel 1981, 93; Lorimer thought that it was a
leather thong; see Lorimer 1950, 311.
71 Rodenwaldt initially distinguished these two elements because they are painted in different colors, but
thought that the brace was cloth or leather and acted as the trace; see Rodenwaldt 1912, 102-3; Lorimer
1950, 311 neglects to distinguish between these two elements.
72 Crouwel 1981, 93. That these two elements were tied together is clear from wall paintings, such as the
Boar Hunt Fresco from Tiryns.

box. Between the pole brace and draft pole there were either leather thongs or wooden
struts that created an arcaded effect
This construction, called a “reinforcing triangle” by Åkerström, is quite
controversial.73 To begin with, how the pole brace was actually assembled is disputed.
Åkerström, who first recognized that this triangular element was something more than
decoration, argues that the struts were added wooden elements, attached to both the pole
brace and the draft pole.74 Crouwel argues that the struts were not additional pieces, but
that the whole contraption, both the pole brace and the struts, was carved from one piece
of wood. Crouwel also suggests that the struts may not have been made of wood, but that
they were actually leather thongs attaching the brace to the draft pole.75 Åkerström, in
response to Crouwel, claims that the struts and the pole brace could not have been
fashioned out of one piece of wood because this would have made the structure too stiff
and likely to break. He argues against the leather thongs as well, stating that the idea of
leather is inspired by the misconception, introduced by Rodenwaldt, that the vertical arm
of the pole brace was a decorative leather flap.76
Regardless of what material that the struts of the pole brace were made of, the
brace itself seems to have performed the important function of adding support to the draft
pole. The place at which the draft pole leaves the underside of the box floor and begins
to curve up toward the yoke is the pole’s weakest point. This point needs extra support;
otherwise, when the horses begin to run, or when held at a constant gallop, the up and
down movement would likely break the pole.77 The Egyptians and Near Easterners
solved this problem by either tying a strap of leather between the top of box frame and
the draft pole, or affixing wooden struts between these two points (fig. 7).78
In the Aegean system, the vertical strut of the pole brace fits into the draft pole at

73 Åkerström 1978, 34.
74 Åkerström 1987, 124-25.
75 Crouwel 1981, 90-96 presents both possibilities in the same work. Lorimer 1950, 311 sees the struts as
pennon-like flaps.
76 Åkerström 1987, 125. Rodenwaldt 1912, 102 came to this conclusion after analyzing the chariot frescoes
at Tiryns. The leather flap, or “Wimpel” or “Zipfel” as Rodenwaldt calls it, refers to the piece coming
down in front of the chariot box.
77 Åkerström 1978, 34; Crouwel 1981, 95.
78 For the Near Eastern pole support, see Lorimer 1950, 311; Littauer and Crouwel 1979, 80.

precisely the point where it begins to curve upward. Placing a strut in that location
allows the extra wood to absorb the shock caused by movement. In addition, the pole
brace may have helped support the pole stay at its weak points.79 The function of the
additional arcaded elements is unclear, but they may have served as added support. The
question is why would the Mycenaeans have developed such a complicated system
instead of using a simple central pole tied to the box frame as in Egypt and the Near East?
Ultimately, there is no definitive answer to this question, but some argue that it has to do
with the rough nature of the Greek terrain.80 Crouwel argues that the Aegean system may
have helped redistribute stress in order to reduce the amount of banging on the horses’
necks.81 Wiesner suggests that the complex system helped to redistribute the weight of
the yokes off the horses’ necks.82 This suggestion is most likely incorrect, however,
because the amount of weight placed on the horses is determined by the placement of the
axle. The further back the axle, the more the weight there is on the horses’ necks.
Conversely, the more centrally located the axle, the less weight on the horses’ necks.83
Although determining the exact reason for why the Mycenaeans chose such a
complex traction system would aid in determining how the Aegean chariot was used, the
important thing to note is that it existed only in Greece and is a product of Greek
invention. Also significant is that beginning with the earliest chariots, this system
remained a part of the Greek chariot throughout the Bronze Age and that the traction
system of Greek Iron Age chariots might have evolved from it
The next chariot in the Aegean sequence, the dual chariot, as it is commonly
called, continues to illustrate the unique features of the Greek chariot (fig. 8).84 This type
of chariot, by far the most common, is featured in all of the chariot frescoes, Linear B
ideograms and many vase paintings. Because the dual chariot is depicted frequently in
the frescoes and Linear B, a clear picture of what it looked like can be determined.
Fresco representations can be considered the most reliable depictions because of their

79 Åkerström 1978, 34.
80 Åkerström 1978, 37; Crouwel 1981, 96.
81 Crouwel 1981, 94.
82 Wiesner 1968, F 52; see also Lorimer 1950, 311.
83 Powell 1963, 158; Crouwel 1981, 95.
84 This chariot type was first identified and named by Furtwängler and Loeschke, Mykenische Vasen, 1886,
27; see Crouwel 1984, n. 31.

large size, which allowed the artists to depict the chariots more accurately, using less
pattern and fewer abbreviated features.85 The Linear B ideograms show the dual chariot
in different stages of completion and thus provide valuable information about how the
chariot was constructed and stored.86
The dual chariot is characterized by semi-circular extensions attached to the back
of the chariot box. These extensions, or “wings,” were unknown outside of Greece.
They were probably made from heat-bent wood with either textile or oxhide stretched
across the frame. The box also seems to have had the same covering, which enclosed it
on three sides.87 Using textile or oxhide would have reduced the weight of the chariot.88
The function of the “wings” is unknown, though it has been suggested that they served as
handrails, racks for trophies, added protection for the occupants, or as mud-flaps.89 The
design features of the box frame of the dual chariot just mentioned represent the
developments of this type of chariot. Other design elements of the dual chariot, such as
the four-spoked wheels and the traction system, were like those of the previous chariots.
The axle position of the dual chariot is especially worth noting. According to the
frescoes, it seems that the axle was positioned near the rear of the box (fig. 8).90 This
location is shown on some pottery representations as well (fig. 9). In representations of
earlier chariot forms, as mentioned above, the axle is usually centrally located. Either the
central location was an unrealistic feature executed by the artist, or the dual chariot used a
new axle position. Axle position is important because it may determine how the
Mycenaeans used the chariot. This will be further discussed in chapter III; for the
purposes of this chapter, however, it should be noted that the axle is not positioned at the
very back of the box floor frame, as it is on Egyptian and Near Eastern chariots (fig. 7).91

85 Powell 1963, 159.
86 Ventris and Chadwick 1973, 361-369. Chariot ideograms specify wheeled chariots (*240, in the standard
Ventris and Chadwick designation), chariots without wheels but with the traction system (*241) and only
chariot frames (*242).
87 Crouwel 1981, 66; Catling 1968, 45; Lorimer 1950, 316; Cameron 1967, 333-44.
88 The boxes of the box and quadrant chariot appear to have been enclosed with solid wood or latticework
on the front and the sides.
89 For handrails, see Powell 1963, 162; for trophy racks, see Vermeule 1964, 202; for added protection, see
Catling 1968, 45; for mud-flaps see Crouwel 1981, 67.
90 It is important to remember that the side screens, or wings, project back from the end of the box frame,
thus the flat end of the wing is the back of the box. The position of the wheel is placed before the division
between the wing and the box frame; see Lorimer 1950, 314; Crouwel 1981, 79.
91 Littauer and Crouwel 1979, 78.

If we accept that these representations show the true axle position of Aegean chariots,
then it is apparent that the Aegean chariot deviates from Egyptian and Near Eastern
chariots in this aspect as well.
Another significant feature of the dual chariot is what Crouwel calls the
“triangular spur.”92 Located under the box floor, it projects slightly behind the end of the
frame. On the “ Boar Hunt Fresco” from Tiryns (fig. 8), it is painted white, contrasting
with the red of the box.93 The difference in color, according to Crouwel, suggests that the
artist wanted to intentionally demarcate it as a separate element.94 On some of the chariot
kraters the “spur” is outlined, in order to mark it as a separate element (fig. 9).95 What
the “spur” is meant to represent is not entirely clear, but Crouwel argues that it could be
the draft pole extending past the chariot floor. His reasoning for this is that the draft pole
is white, except where it is wrapped in leather. The “spur” is also white.96 The draft pole
of Near Eastern and Egyptian chariots ended at the back of the box frame, fitting into a
U-shaped mortise between the axle and the rear floor frame.97 Interestingly, this “spur” is
also sometimes depicted in some Geometric chariot representations, which suggests that
this element continued in eighth-century chariots (fig. 3)
The rail chariot is the last chariot featured in Bronze Age art, and it appears on
Late Helladic vase paintings generally dating to 1250-1150 B.C.E. Unfortunately, this
chariot type is not well documented because the scenes in which it is depicted are quite
fragmentary (fig. 10). As a result, the exact features of the rail chariot are difficult to
reconstruct. Nevertheless, enough details can be pieced together from the various
fragments to provide an idea of the rail chariot’s basic structure.

Most importantly, the rail chariot was very light and characterized by an open
frame, from which it derives its name. The rail probably came up to the hip and ran
horizontally over the front of the box.98 Variations in the representations suggest that the

92 Crouwel 1981, 65.
93 This “spur” appears in other representations, but is most clearly depicted in this fresco.
94 Crouwel 1981, 65.
95 Lewartowski, K. 1992, 95, 97. The “spur” also appears in some chariot ideograms; see Ventris and
Chadwick 1973, 363.
96 This conclusion is based on the chariot featured in the Tiryns fresco. Crouwel does allow for the
possibility that the “spur” represents the ends of the floor frame converging, but he prefers it being part of
the draft pole because there is a precedent for this on Chinese chariots; see Crouwel 1981, 65.
97 Littauer and Crouwel 1979, 76, 80.
98 Crouwel 1981, 71.

rail may have curved upward at the front corners. Though it is not entirely clear because
the representations are somewhat sketchy, the frame probably also ran along the sides of
the box.99 This is apparent from the representation on a krater fragment from Tiryns (fig.
11). Here the two occupants are placed one behind the other and not abreast, as is the
usual convention in Mycenaean depictions. The rail extends beyond the second occupant
and behind the wheel. This was possibly an attempt by the artist to show a side rail
without distorting the view of the occupant. The screens that covered the box of the dual
chariot were no longer utilized, and the “wings” were no longer added to the frame. This
marks a substantial change in Aegean chariot construction and it begs the question of
why the lighter construction was needed
The wheels of the rail chariot were four-spoked. Although the axle position is
unclear, it appears from the available evidence that the axle was near the rear of the floor
frame (fig. 11).100 The traction system is unclear as well, but one fragment would seem
to confirm that the Aegean traction system was still utilized at this time (fig. 12).101 On
this fragment, what appear to be the pole stay and pole brace extend forward over the tail
of the horse and below the reins.
This chariot type is usually thought to be a direct copy of an Egyptian design.
Scholars such as Catling identified the rail chariot as an Egyptian type called the
Rosellini chariot, which dates to the fifteenth century.102 This chariot, an example of
which is in Florence, has an open rail that curves downward toward the end of the box
frame (fig. 13). It has the typical traction system of Near Eastern and Egyptian chariots,
including a leather thong tightly wound around the draft pole and the frame. This chariot
has four-spoked wheels, as was typical of fifteenth century Egyptian chariots, and the
axle is at the very rear of the box frame. It is significant to note, however, that by the
thirteenth and twelfth centuries, when the Mycenaean rail chariot developed, the
Egyptians no longer used this type of chariot with an open rail. Instead, Egyptian
chariots had a fenestrated siding, that is, a partial covering over the front and sides of the

99 Crouwel 1981, 71.
100 Littauer 1972, 154. The information available to determine the axle position is limited because in most
of the representations of the rail chariot the wheels have not survived.
101 Crouwel 1981, 96.
102 Catling 1968, 42; Lorimer 1950, 316-17; Greenhalgh 1973, 31.

box frame. Other differences between the thirteenth and twelfth century Egyptian chariot
and the Mycenaean rail chariot are that the Egyptians attached quivers to the frame,
which is something that the Mycenaeans never did and could not easily have done with
an open rail.103 The wheels of Egyptian chariots during the thirteenth and twelfth
centuries were six-spoked. The Egyptian traction system is in no way similar to the
Mycenaean. Finally, the axle of an Egyptian chariot was always at the very back of the
box. Therefore, it is apparent that the rail chariot was most likely not directly copied
from the Egyptian. It may have been related to Egyptian chariots, as the box and
quadrant chariots were, but ultimately the rail chariot has an indigenous development
Late Helladic IIIB-IIIC depictions of rail chariots were the last pictorial
representations of wheeled vehicles until the mid-eighth-century, when the chariot again
became a popular subject for Geometric artists. Two types of chariots have been
distinguished for the Geometric period. The identification of the first chariot to appear in
the eighth-century pictorial record, however, is highly disputed. Depicted on one vase
fragment and some bronze and terracotta models found at Olympia, it has a light, open
frame and four-spoked wheels (figs. 14-16). The example on the vase shows that the
frame may have had latticework, possibly made of leather thongs.104 Most scholars think
that this chariot is a descendant of the last Mycenaean type. Yet, there is still a problem
with identification because how the last Mycenaean chariot is identified affects how
scholars classify the first Geometric type. Those who identify the last Mycenaean chariot
as the Rosellini chariot see the first Geometric chariot as also being the Rosellini type, or
a descendant of it.105 Crouwel, on the other hand, argues that the first chariot to appear in
Geometric art is actually the Mycenaean rail chariot.
According to Crouwel, the Mycenaean rail chariot and the first Geometric chariot
have the same light rail work and four-spoked wheels.106 In addition, the first Geometric
chariot has a traction system that is probably a derivative of the Aegean traction system.
The eighth-century traction system has a new upward curving draft pole, rather than the

103 Littauer and Crouwel 1979, 91; Crouwel 1981, 72.
104 Greenhalgh 1973, 20.
105 Mercklin 1916, 397 makes this chariot the Rosellini type. Lorimer 1950, 318 and Catling 1968, 48
argue that this chariot is related to the latest Bronze Age type, though they identify the Bronze Age chariot
as the Rosellini type. Greenhalgh 1973, 20 and Rombos 1988, 93 follow Mercklin.
106 Crouwel 1981, 72-73; 1992, 29-30.

older straight pole. Using a curved pole was probably a response to the dorsal yoke,
which was adopted in Greece in the Iron Age.107 The eighth-century traction system is
similar to that of the Mycenaeans, because it uses a leather thong or a rope, called the
pole-end support. The pole-end support attaches the box frame to the top end of the draft
pole at the yoke, much in the same way as the wooden pole stay did (fig. 14, 17).108 Its
purpose may have been to help maintain the upward curve of the draft pole, which would
have initially been obtained by bending the wood with heat.109 The Assyrians used a
similar pole-end support, which connected the top of the frame to the end of the draft
pole at the yoke.110 The difference, however, is that it was not just a strap of leather or
rope as was used by the Greeks. Instead, the Assyrian pole support was pea-pod shaped
and was often decorated. The design of the Assyrian chariot also differs in that the
Assyrians still used a neck yoke and the boxes were substantially heavier than those of
the Greeks (fig. 18).111

As this analysis shows, the first Geometric chariot, which will be referred to as
the Geometric rail chariot throughout this thesis, differs significantly from any
contemporary Near Eastern chariot. It is, however, reminiscent of the latest Mycenaean
type. The only possible explanation for the similarities of the Mycenaean and Iron Age
chariots is that the chariot survived through the Dark Age, a possibility upon which many
scholars agree. Snodgrass, however, adamantly disagrees, arguing that the chariot could
not have remained in use during the Dark Age. He presents several explanations for the
reappearance of the chariot in Geometric art.112 First, he states that in the eighth-century
the chariot could have been reintroduced from Egypt. In support of this idea he notes that
this Geometric chariot type is similar to the Rosellini chariot, but he does not give a
plausible explanation for how a fifteenth century chariot from Egypt was introduced into
eighth-century Greece. The second explanation that he offers is that the Geometric rail

107 There are still examples of the neck yoke in the Geometric period, but the dorsal yoke seems to be more
prevalent. The Eastern Greeks continued to use the neck yoke with the straight draft pole, as did the
peoples of the Near East and Egypt; see Crouwel 1992, 42.
108 Crouwel 1992, 38.
109 Crouwel 1992, 38.
110 Lorimer thought that the Geometric system was related to the Assyrian pole support system of the ninth
century; see 1950, 307.
111 Littauer and Crouwel 1979, 104.
112 Snodgrass 1964, 159-60.

chariot was actually inspired by Homeric descriptions or by Mycenaean examples in art.
This suggestion too is problematic. Homer, though showing familiarity with the chariot’s
structure, never provides a detailed description. Nor does this suggestion explain the
technical differences, such as the dorsal yoke, shown in Geometric representations.
Snodgrass’ insistence on arguing that the chariot was not used during the Dark Age is
based on his conception that the peoples of that time were too poor to own chariots. As
shown in the last chapter, this clearly is not true, since horse/horse bit burials signifying
chariot use dating to the Dark Age have been found
The second chariot type to appear in the Geometric pictorial record is called the
Helladic chariot or high-front chariot, and is the most frequently depicted type of chariot
in the Iron Age. It also is the standard type after the eighth-century (fig. 3, 17).113 There
are many variations of this chariot’s form in Geometric vase painting, but common
characteristics can be isolated in order to reconstruct its structure. Usually the wheels
have four spokes, though at times six and eight spokes are shown in vase painting.
Mercklin suggested that the eight spokes might have been an attempt to show both of the
wheels overlapped. The extra spokes, then, were the spokes of the wheel in the
background.114 Nevertheless, four-spoked wheels are most prevalent.
The high-front
chariot also has the same traction system of the first Geometric type previously described.
The high-front chariot differs from the Geometric rail chariot with respect to its
body work.115 The box again has a light construction, but is formed out of three rails, one
at the front and one at either side, rather than a single continuous rail. All three rails were
partially covered by either a linen or leather siding. The front rail rises to hip height or
slightly above and was supported by a central strut. The side rails are lower than the
front, rising to about mid-thigh, and are curved backwards behind the floor. They also
had a vertical support. The side rails probably served as handrails for mounting
Although the Bronze Age rail chariot probably had only one heat-bent rail, the high-front

113 Mercklin was the first to use the name ‘Helladic’ for this chariot, and did so in order to differentiate it
from the Rosellini chariot, see Der Rennwagen in Griechenland (1902). Crouwel argues that ‘high-front,’ a
name based on the structure of the chariot, is more appropriate because of the indigenous nature of the
Greek chariot; see Crouwel 1992, 30. Greenhalgh, classifies this chariot as G1 and G3. His classifications
are based on different pictorial conventions; see Greenhalgh 1971, 20-25.
114 Mercklin 1916, 405.
115 Mercklin 1916, 398-402; Greenhalgh 1972, 20-1; Crouwel 1992, 32-33.

chariot may have antecedents in this type. According to Crouwel, at times the frame of
the Bronze Age rail chariot appears to curve sharply upward at the corners (fig. 11). He
states that this would have been extremely difficult to do with a single heat-bent piece of
wood; therefore, it may be an indication that the front of the frame rose above the side
rails, as does the frame of the high-front chariot.116 Regardless of this, the light
framework is most likely an indigenous development because it does not resemble any
contemporary chariot in the Near East.117 Furthermore, since the other chariots in the
Greek sequence always had indigenous qualities, there is no reason to believe that the last
type would have derived from somewhere outside of Greece.
It is apparent, through this analysis of the development of the Greek chariot, that
shortly after its adoption from the Near East the Mycenaeans adapted the chariot to suit
their needs. The result of this was a chariot design that was unlike any chariot produced
in the Near East and Egypt. Despite a gap of about four hundred years in the pictorial
record, the indigenous character of Bronze Age chariots remained intact into the eighthcentury.
These facts would seem to eliminate the possibility that the peoples of the Dark
Age reacquired their chariots from the Near East or Egypt. Because of the indigenous
development of the Greek chariot and because of the physical evidence for chariots
dating to the Dark Age, it is reasonable to conclude that at least some people during this
period in Greece used chariots
. Now that the existence of chariots during the Dark Age
has been established with some degree of plausibility, it is necessary to consider how
these chariots may have been used.

116 Crouwel 1992, 33.
117 Lorimer 1950, 307; Rombos 1988, 94; Crouwel 1992, 33.




Фотография andy4675 andy4675 17.09 2014

Сергеев, История Древней Греции, 2002:





Фотография andy4675 andy4675 17.09 2014










Фотография andy4675 andy4675 17.09 2014







Фотография andy4675 andy4675 17.09 2014

Эдуард Давидович Фролов

Рождение греческого полиса
Издание второе

СПб.: Издат. дом СПбГУ, 2004. 266 с.
ISBN 5-288-03520-2








Ленцман Я. А. Рабство в Микенской и Гомеровской Греции, pages 193-277


Фотография Стефан Стефан 29.08 2017

Зарождение полиса и олимпийские боги


Историк Сергей Карпюк о раскопках на полуострове Эвбея, верховном органе полиса и формировании классической древнегреческой религии



Темные века датируются XI–IX веками до нашей эры. Название, как всегда, придумали ученые-историки по аналогии с европейскими темными веками – периодом от распада Римской империи до Карла Великого.


Темные века – очень интересный период, несмотря на то что письменных источников не сохранилось. После падения крито-микенской цивилизации письменность была утрачена, цивилизация распалась, и дорийское вторжение привело Грецию к первобытному уровню, в сущности. Греки забыли не только письменность, не только высококвалифицированное ремесло, что мы видим в критских и микенских дворцах, не только социальную структуру – забыт был, к примеру, даже гончарный круг, известный со времен неолита. То есть происходит возвращение на уровень дикости. Хорошо это или плохо? Мы не знаем. История не оперирует такими оценками, но в этом был и свой плюс, потому что до темных веков Греция развивалась по пути, характерному для цивилизаций Востока. Путь этот прошла, он закончился, цивилизация рухнула, и грекам пришлось придумывать что-то новое. Это что-то в конце концов вывело нас на европейскую цивилизацию, и корни ее именно в темных веках.


Суть в том, что греки вернулись на уровень первобытной демократии, на уровень общины. Но эти первобытные общины постепенно стали превращаться в общины граждан, и на этих территориях стали зарождаться полисы. Их жители, первопоселенцы или потомки первопоселенцев, считали себя собственниками этой территории. Они считали, что именно они могут распоряжаться, никакой верховной власти им не нужно. Царская власть отмирает. В поэмах Гомера говорится о некоторых басилеях («басилей» по-гречески – это ‘царь’), но в каждом греческом полисе темных веков их было много. Это не были цари в современном смысле слова, а это были предшественники аристократов, богатые и знатные верхушки греческих полисов.


Основной источник сведений о темных веках – это, безусловно, археология, раскопки на полуострове Эвбея, в Левкадии. Они показывают, что даже в X веке до нашей эры в Греции сохранялись общинные дома, отдельные признаки цивилизации. Другой источник – поэмы Гомера. Они многослойны, в них описывается и Троянская война, и современное Гомеру общество (а Гомер жил примерно в VIII веке до нашей эры). Благодаря поэмам Гомера мы можем реконструировать с некоторой долей вероятности то, что происходило в темных веках.


К концу темных веков, к рубежу IX и VIII веков до нашей эры, возникают полисы – уникальные образования. Это гражданские общины, которые конституировали себя как мини-государства. Граждане, то есть мужчины-воины, считают себя собственниками земли, территории полиса. Верховный орган полиса – это сходка мужчин-воинов, то есть народное собрание. Только граждане могут участвовать в этом народном собрании и владеть землей.


Два обязательных атрибута полиса – это акрополь (верхний город, кремль, крепость, куда жители полиса уходили во время вражеских нашествий) и агора (рыночная площадь, где проходила торговля и народные собрания). Это центр общественной и экономической жизни. Полис должен был обладать территорией не совсем маленькой и не слишком большой, но она должна быть ограниченной. С точки зрения Аристотеля, философа IV века до нашей эры, идеальный полис – это то место, в котором не более тысячи граждан. Граждане – это мужчины-воины, то есть население полиса – 8–9 тысяч человек. Полис можно было обойти пешком, перемещение из одного полиса в другой – это перемещение в основном пешком.


Кроме граждан, в полисе жили пришлые люди из других греческих полисов. Это были свободные неграждане, они составляли отдельное сословие, обладали имущественными правами. Их жизнь и собственность защищались, но они не могли участвовать в политической жизни и владеть землей в полисе. Кроме свободных неграждан в каждом полисе были и рабы. Рабов захватывали во время завоевательных походов и покупали у варварских племен, окружавших Грецию. Рабы, безусловно, никаких прав не имели. Таким образом, в каждом полисе было три сословия: граждане, свободные неграждане и рабы. Сословия отличались тем, что статус передавался по наследству: сын раба был рабом, сын гражданина – гражданином.


В это время начинает оформляться классическая древнегреческая религия во главе с двенадцатью олимпийскими божествами. По поверьям греков, боги жили на горе Олимп, и наиболее почитаемыми были двенадцать олимпийских богов – шесть пар мужских и женских божеств во главе с верховным богом Зевсом, богом грома и молнии, подателем дождя и снега. Это типично для всех индоевропейских народов, не только греков, и в архаический период греки не говорили: «идет дождь», «идет снег», а они говорили: «Зевс дождит», «Зевс снежит». Зевс был, кроме того, громовержцем. Его спутницей была покровительница семьи богиня Гера. Наиболее известными богами были Арес, бог-воин, богиня любви Афродита, Аполлон – бог света и покровитель искусств и так далее. Многих богов греки заимствовали у соседних народов. Считается, что Афродита – это ближневосточная Астарта, богиня любви, а Арес был заимствован у фракийцев.


Кроме олимпийских богов были боги, которые не входили в олимпийский пантеон, но почитались греками, – это Дионис, бог экстатических плясок и виноделия, и Гермес, бог-вестник. Были герои, которых греки почитали, – дети Зевса и других богов и смертных женщин. Наиболее известный герой – это Геракл, который потом был причислен к сану богов. Были божества местные, локальные, божества источников, рощ, нимфы, дриады и так далее. Греки считали, что боги везде, но они эманируют (сгущаются) в наиболее красивых местах – там и нужно строить храмы. В этом смысле древнегреческая традиция очень близка русской. Греки строили храмы в самых красивых местах, откуда они были видны издалека. Постепенно греки приходят к периптеру – это классический древнегреческий храм с портиками, окруженный колоннами, который строили из мрамора. Но греки поклонялись не в храмах, а на алтарях, стоявших рядом с храмами. Алтари или просто камни стояли с восточной стороны от храма.


Греки были язычниками, у них был политеизм (многобожие), и они приносили жертвы богам. В какую-то доисторическую эпоху, возможно, даже человеческие, но это не зафиксировано. Обычно это жертвенные животные или разжигание растений. Они таким образом просили богов дать им свои благодеяния. Почитание богов строилось по схеме do ut des, это чеканно выразили римляне: «Я даю, чтобы ты дал». Я даю жертвоприношение – бог дает свое покровительство.


По мнению греков, боги не всеблагие, они могут быть завистливы. Мораль в Древней Греции – это этика, а этика устанавливалась людьми, а не богами. В Древней Греции не было жречества как сословия или корпорации. Источником знания о богах были сочинения поэтов, творения художников и так далее. Поэтому древнегреческая религия столь стимулировала развитие искусства. Не было канона, не было запретов, и сами художники могли интерпретировать божественное. Греческие боги были антропоморфны, то есть похожи на людей, и мы часто не можем определить, изображение это человека или бога. Древнегреческая религия была неразрывно связана с полисом, и ритуалы осуществляли сами граждане. Были общегреческие святилища, наиболее известное из них – это Дельфийский оракул, который осуществлял прорицания. Были также особо почитаемые святилище Аполлона на Делосе и святилище Зевса в Додоне. Каждый греческий полис имел своего бога-покровителя, который особо почитался в данном полисе. Так, например, в Афинах и Спарте это Афина, в Аргосе – Гера и так далее.


Сергей Карпюк – доктор исторических наук, ведущий научный сотрудник Института всеобщей истории РАН, профессор РГГУ и ГАУГН