Abdera Major Greek polis on coast of Thrace; east-northeast of the mouth of the Nestos River, almost directly opposite the island of Thasos.
Achaemenid Empire
(The First Persian Empire)
Based in Western Asia, founded by Cyrus the Great; notable for embracing various civilizations and becoming the largest empire of ancient history; at its maximum extended from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east.
Acheron River of sorrow or woe in the Underworld.
Acropolis Building in Athens; also known as the Cadmeia in honor of Cadmus, Phoenician king credited with bring the Phoenician alphabet to Greece.
adyton Small area at farthest end of the cella from the entrance; often houses cult image of the deity.
Ancient settlement in Achaea located northwest of modern Aigeira; situated near the river Krathis, between Boura and Aigeira.
Akademia (The Academy) School founded by Plato ca. 387 BCE in Athens; Aristotle studied there for twenty years before founding the Lyceum.
Alexandria ad Issum Modern-day Iskenderun, Turkey. City of Cilicia Campestris on a narrow coastal plain at the SE corner of the gulf of Issus.
Alexandria Bucephalus City founded by Alexander III in memory of his beloved horse Bucephalus; founded in May 326 BCE; located on the Hydaspes (Jhelum River), east of Indus River.
Alexandria Eschate
(translates to: Alexandria the Farthest)
City founded by Alexander III in August 329 BCE as his most northerly base in Central Asia; established in the southwestern part of the Fergana Valley, on the southern bank of the river Jaxartes (modern name Syr Darya), at the location of the modern city of Khujand, in the state of Tajikistan.
Alexandria Nikaia City founded by Alexander III on and across the Hydaspes River from Alexandria Bucephalus.
Alexandropolis First town founded in 340 BCE by Alexander III after defeating local Thracian tribe, as regent of Macedon; located in Thracian region of Maedians; he expelled locals and settled a mixed population.
Alinda Fortress held by exiled Carian queen, Ada; who greeted Alexander III in 334 BCE.
Altis Sanctuary to the gods; a place of significant religious importance to the Greeks, considered to be a sacred precinct that was constructed and used from around 776 BCE to fourth century BCE and used for the worship of several Greek gods and goddesses; located in the wide valley of the Alfeiós River in the western part of Peloponnesus, around 18 kilometers from the Ionian Sea.
Amphipolis Rich Macedonian city; site of the battle of the Spartans and Athenians; where Alexander III prepared for campaigns leading to his invasion of Asia.
(Mersa Matruh)
Mediterranean seaport; capital of the Matrouh Governorate in Egypt; 240 km (150 mi) west of Alexandria and 222 km from Sallum; road leads south from the town, toward the Western Desert and the oases of Siwah (Siwa) and Bahariya.
Aphidnae Town in East Attica, Greece.
Argos A city and a former municipality in Argolis, Peloponnese.
Asphodal fields One of the three areas of the Underworld along with Tartarus and Elysian fields.
Athenian Empire A modern label invented to point out the political and economic dominance Athens came to exercise over other Greek states in an alliance originally set up as a voluntary association of its members against Persia.
Athens The center of Greek civilization for some 4,000 years. The capital of modern Greece, it’s still dominated by 5th-century-BCE landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings such as the colonnaded Parthenon temple.
Baths of Kladeos Situated near the bank of the Kladeos, at western limit of Altis, at site of swimming pool of fifth century BCE Greek baths. They were built in the Roman period, approximately ACE 100, in connection with the nearby Roman guesthouse to the south.
Bazira Largest city in the south end of the Swat valley; current-day Barikot thought to be the town of Bazira, at the time of Alexander III invasion; was occupied by Assakenoi people whose settlements are still existent.
Bouleuterion The Olympic senate at Altis, Oracle of Zeus in Olympia.
Buner Valley Lies on the Peshawar valley border of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; small mountain valley; Mora Hills and the Ilam range divide it from Swat Valley.
Byzantium Greek colony preceding Constantinople then Istanbul; colonized by Greeks from Megara in 657 BCE.
Caucasus Mountains Where Zeus had Prometheus chained in retaliation; a mountain system in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the Caucasus region.
Cephissus A village in Doris; site of battle to control Delphi.
Chalkidian League of Olynthus Federal state existing on the shores of the northwest Aegean from around 430 BCE; destroyed by Philip II of Macedon in 348 BCE.
Cocytus River of lamentation in the Underworld
Colonus A deme to the northwest of Athens, near Plato’s Academy; also a hillock near Athens Agora on which the temple of Hephaestus still stands.
Corinth A city and former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, Greece.
Delphi Apollo’s oracle and sanctuary situated on the southwestern spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis; where Omphalos—the stone Rhea passed off to Cronus as baby Zeus—was placed.
Dipylon One of thirteen entrances to Athens, located on the west side of the city; name derived from its shape—two rows of towers; the road to Plato’s Academy, Piraeus, Eleusis, and Peloponnesus began at this gate.
Dodona Sanctuary and oracle in Epirus in northwestern Greece; devoted to Mother Goddess identified at other sites with Rhea or Gaia, but here called Dione; joined and partly supplanted in historical times by Zeus.
Ecbatana Literally the place of gathering; ancient city in Media in western modern-day Iran; believed to be in Tell Hagmatana (Tappa-ye Hagmatāna), near Hamedan, but history of city is controversial.
Elaeus City located in Thrace, on the Thracian Chersonese, at southern end of the Hellespont near the southernmost point of the Thracian Chersonese in modern-day Turkey.
Elysian Fields Fields within one of the three areas of the Underworld along with Tartarus and Asphodel.
Elysium One of the three areas of the Underworld along with Tartarus and Asphodel.
Eumolpia Polis conquered by Philip II he renamed Philippopolis.
Fields of Asphodel Fields within Asphodel, one of the five regions of the Underworld.
Gabai Site of Battle of Gabai; presumably west of Marakanda.
Gangaridai Empire An ancient state founded around 300 BCE in modern-day Bengal region; Greek and Latin historians suggested Alexander III withdrew from India, anticipating the valiant joint counterattack of the mighty Gangaridai and Prasii (Nanda) Empires.
Gargarus Highest peak of Mount Ida.
(The Gaza Strip)
Pene-exclave region of Palestine on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea bordering Egypt on the southwest for 11 kilometers and Israel on the east and north along a 51 km border.
Guraeus Valley A valley in India, home to the Guraean highlander clan.
Halicarnassus Greek polis at site of modern-day Bodrum, Turkey; picturesque, advantageous site on the Ceramic Gulf; houses tomb of Mausolus, origin mausoleum; part of the Persian Empire until captured by Alexander III at siege of Halicarnassus in 334 BCE.
Harbour of the Achaeans Located at the mouth of the Scamander River, thought to be the landing place of the Achaeans—collectively, Greeks and Macedonians of Alexander’s army.
Hellespont Narrow strait in northwestern Asia Minor, connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara; separates Greece from the mainland of Asia.
Modern name for the generally agreed site of ancient Troy (also known as Ilion); located in modern-day Turkey.
Hydaspes River River in Punjab near Bhera modern-day Pakistan.
Illyria Region in the western part of Balkan Peninsula inhabited by the Illyrians.
Issus Ancient settlement in modern-day Turkish province of Hatay.
Kadee Place near Hydaspes River where the Macedonians battled King Porus.
Kerameikos Outer area of Athens.
Krinides Town in Kavala regional unit, eastern Macedonia; seat of former municipality of Filippoi.
Kunar Valley Home to one of three Kamboja highlander clans—Aspasioi of the Kunar/Alishang valleys, Guraeans of the Guraeus (Panjkora) valley, and Assakenoi of the Swat and Buner valleys—conquered by Alexander III.
Lemnos Island in northern part of the Aegean Sea; the island where Hephaestus was raised and learned his blacksmith trade.
Lethe River of forgetfulness in the Underworld.
Lokris Homeland of the Locrians; divided into three by Doris and Phocis, perhaps due to an early invasion of a contiguous Locrian state; combined with region’s infertility, Locrians were usually dominated by neighbors.
Lyceum Public meeting place in grove of trees in Athens; best known for connection with Aristotle, but was in existence before he founded his Peripatetic school 334/335 BCE.
Macedon A landlocked Balkan nation of mountains, lakes, and towns.
Magadha Empire Home of one of the sixteen mahajanapadas of ancient India; core of the kingdom was the area of Bihar south of the Ganges.
Makyneia A secluded, walled citadel built on the Palaiokastro plateau at the end of Mount Tafiassos.
Second-largest city in Uzbekistan and capital of Samarqand Region.
Maronea Municipality in Rhodope regional unit.
Exact location of the ancient city has not yet been established; Alexander III is said to have entered the city after the conquest of the Aspasians along the Kunar (river) in the winter of 327/326; he crossed into the valley of the Soastus (Swat) and entered this beautiful country along a small, probably dry river, the Wuch, near modern-day Chakdara.
Metapontium Important city of Magna Graecia, situated on the Gulf of Tarentum, between the river Bradanus and the Casuentus (modern-day Basento).
Molossians Greek tribal state and kingdom in region of Epirus; Chaonians to the northeast, kingdom of the Thesprotians to south, Illyrians to the north.
Mount Tomaros Mountain in southwestern Ioannina regional unit, Greece; rises to the south of Dodona; of the Pindus mountain range.
Myconos Greek island, part of the Cyclades, lying between Tinos, Syros, Paros and Naxos.
Mysia Region in northwest Asia Minor or Anatolia (part of modern-day Turkey); located on south coast of the Sea of Marmara; inhabited by the Mysians, Phrygians, Aeolian Greeks, and other groups.
Nafpaktos Small village on shore of the Gulf of Corinth; where the Heraclidae built a fleet with which to invade the Peloponnesian kingdoms of Mycenae, Sparta, and Argos.
Nanda Empire Originated from the region of Magadha in ancient India during the 4th century BCE and lasted between 345–321 BCE.
Nyphaeum of Herodes Atticus Stone structure with a concave back wall containing marble statues of honored nymphs at Altis, the Oracle of Zeus at Olympia.
Olympia A sanctuary of Zeus in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula; known for having been the site of the Olympic Games.
Olympus The place where the gods live; might be Mount Olympus.
Opis Ancient Babylonian city near the Tigris; close to modern-day Baghdad; Akkadian and Greek texts indicate it was located on the east side of the Tigris, near the Diyala River; precise site has been uncertain but, recent geographical surveys of ancient Mesopotamia identify Opis with great probability as the mound called Tall al-Mujailāt 20 miles southeast in a straight line from central Baghdad and 47 miles northeast in a straight line from ancient Babylon.
Ora City in Assacenian territory.
Pagasae Coastal city in ancient Magnesia; flourished in 400s and 300s BCE.
Paleochristian Basilica Crypt at Altis, Olympia.
Parthenon Temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron; construction began in 447 BCE when the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power.
Pasargadae Capital of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great who had issued its construction (559–530 BCE); location of his tomb; city in ancient Persia, located near the city of Shiraz.
Pelium Fortified settlement of the Chaonian tribe of Dexaroi now located in Gorna in Albania, on the ancient border between Epirus and Illyria; Macedonian border fortress; in 335 BCE, just before the Battle of Pelium, was occupied by Dardanians, led by Cleitus of Dardania, who fought along with Glaucias of Taulanti against Alexander III.
Peloponnese The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. It is separated from the central part of the country by the Gulf of Corinth.
Persepolis Ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire; situated 60 km northeast of city of Shiraz in Fars Province in modern-day Iran.
Persia Modern-day Iran.
Persian Empire A series of imperial dynasties centered in Persia; first of these was established by Cyrus The Great in 550 BC, with the Persian conquest of Media, Lydia, and Babylonia.
Persis Ancient country in southwestern part of modern-day Iran; roughly coextensive with the modern-day region of Fārs.
Pherae Town in southeastern Thessaly; bordered Lake Boebeïs; home of King Admetus, whose wife, Alcestis, Heracles went to Hades to rescue.
Philippeion A circular memorial made of limestone and marble at Altis, the Oracle of Zeus at Olympia.
Phlegethon River of fire in the Underworld.
Pinarus River Small stream in southern Anatolia near modern-day Turkey-Syria border; site of the First Battle of Issus, where Alexander III defeated Darius III of Persia.
Site of Alexander III’s last siege in 327 BCE; posed the last threat to Alexander’s supply line; north of Attock in Punjab, on strongly reinforced mountain spur above the narrow gorges in a bend of the upper Indus River.
Potidaea Colony founded by Corinthians around 600 BCE in the narrowest point of the peninsula of Pallene; westernmost of three peninsulas at the southern end of Chalcidice in northern Greece.
Propylaia Built as a monumental entrance to the Acropolis rock; surrounds natural entrance to the plateau; one approached through an inclining ramp leading through to the steps in front of the Propylaia.
Pytho The cave of Python, protector of Omphalos.
Sardis Important city and capital of the kingdom of Lydia, located in western Anatolia, present-day Sartmustafa, Manisa province in western Turkey; strategic location made it a central point connecting the interior of Anatolia to the Aegean coast.
A Hellenistic state ruled by the Seleucid dynasty, 312 BCE to 63 BCE; founded by Seleucus I Nicator following the division of the empire created by Alexander III.
Seriphos Island where Danae and Perseus—slayer of Medusa—landed when her father cast them out to sea in a wooden box.
Sestus Ancient Greek town of the Thracian Chersonese, the modern Gallipoli peninsula in European Turkey; situated on the Hellespont; in 480 BCE, Xerxes’ army crossed at this point, most of Alexander III’s forces went the other way here by boat in 334 BCE.
Sidon Phoenician port city in modern-day Lebanon, about twenty-five miles south of Beirut; along with the city of Tyre, Sidon was most powerful city-state of ancient Phoenicia.
Skotoussa A village and a former municipality in the Serres regional unit of Greece
Sparta Prominent city-state situated on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia; between 431 and 404 BCE; Sparta’s defeat by Thebes in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BCE ended Sparta’s prominent role in Greece.
Stratos Polis of Greece; site of Oracle to Zeus.
Styx Titaness of the Underworld river Styx; personification of hatred; river of hate in the Underworld; home to the ferryman, Charon.
Swat Valley Swat is a river valley and an administrative district in modern-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan; upper valley of Swat River, which rises in Hindu Kush range.
Tartarus God of the deepest, darkest part of the Underworld, the Tartarean pit (which is also referred to as Tartarus itself); Gaia’s womb; prison in the Underworld; father of Typhon.
Ancient city in modern-day Rawalpindi District of Punjab, Pakistan; situated about 32 km northwest of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Temple of Athena Nike Temple on the Acropolis of Athens; built ca. 420 BCE; earliest fully Ionic temple on the Acropolis; prominent position on a steep bastion at the southwest corner of the Acropolis to the right of the entrance, the Propylaea.
Tenedos Island captured by Achilles during siege of Troy; obtained his slave, Hecamede, there during one of Achilles’ raids; place of worship and sacrifice after end of Trojan War.
Thebes A city in Boeotia, central Greece. It played an important role in Greek myth, as the site of the stories of Cadmus, Oedipus, Dionysus and others.
Theokoleon Building with rooms around a court; west of the Sanctuary of Zeus (Altis); south of the Palaestra, east of the Heroon.
Thermopylae Location in Greece where narrow coastal passage existed in antiquity.
Thermopylae Pass A narrow coastal passage in Ancient Greece; derives name from hot sulfur springs; cavernous entrances to Hades.
Thessaly A traditional geographic and modern administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears as such in Homer’s Odyssey.
Historic name of the Biga peninsula in the northwestern part of Anatolia, Turkey; now part of the Çanakkale province of Turkey.
City situated in Asia Minor, now northwest Anatolia in modern-day Turkey; setting of the Trojan War described in the Iliad.
Tyre City in the South Governorate of Lebanon; juts out from the coast of the Mediterranean about fifty miles south of Beirut.
Zelea City near where first battle of Alexander III’s Persian campaign was held.