Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Mycene, Mykene, Mykēnai

Mycenae was an ancient city located in the southern part of Greece.

Alexander’s warrior Nebunal came from this city.

Mycenae | History

Early Settlement
Mycenae was first settled by Greeks around 2000 BC during the early Helladic period. It was located on a hilltop in the northeastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula, providing strategic advantages for defense and trade.

Mycenaean Civilization and Palaces
Mycenae became a major center of the Mycenaean civilization, which flourished during the Late Bronze Age (around the fifteenth to twelfth centuries BC). The Mycenaeans were skilled builders, traders, and warriors. The city of Mycenae developed into a powerful and wealthy city-state with a palace complex at its heart. The palace featured impressive Cyclopean walls, massive stone blocks, and a well-organized layout.

Mycenean Art and Culture, Trade and Influence
Mycenean art and culture were characterized by their unique pottery, frescoes, jewelry, and architectural style. These artistic achievements are evident in the artifacts and structures discovered at the site. Mycenae had extensive trade networks with other Mycenean centers, as well as with the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete. This trade contributed to the city’s prosperity.

Homer’s Epics
Mycenae is prominently featured in the epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey attributed to the ancient Greek poet Homer. The city is associated with legendary figures such as King Agamemnon, who led the Greek forces in the Trojan War.

Decline and Abandonment
Around the twelfth century BC, the Mycenaean civilization began to decline. The exact reasons for this decline are still debated among historians and archaeologists. Factors may have included invasions, internal conflicts, natural disasters, and economic decline. Mycenae was eventually abandoned and fell into disrepair. The city’s once-imposing structures were gradually covered by earth and vegetation, and its significance faded from memory.

In the ninteenth century, Mycenae was rediscovered by archaeologists, most notably by Heinrich Schliemann, who conducted extensive excavations at the site. Schliemann’s discoveries, including the famed Mask of Agamemnon, brought international attention to Mycenae and its rich history. Today, it is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cligés | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century