While I have been trying to keep my podcast as jargon-free as possible, sometimes I slip up, or just don’t have time to explain all of the terms I’m using (especially in Episode 1). So, here is a list of terms (and names) with which I feel some listeners might not be familiar. If I’m missing something, let me know in comments or by email and I’ll add the term!

The list includes people, places, events, terminology, etc. all in alphabetical order.


I can’t figure out exactly how to make the  terms link so that it will take one to that part of the page. So, at the moment, I suggest using CTL+F or a similar search function to find the term you seek.



Words in bold are terms defined in the glossary (or are links).

CODA2 = Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology, 2nd edition.

OCD4 = Oxford Classical Dictionary, 4th edition.

PBDRT = Pomeroy et al 2012 (from the glossary unless otherwise marked)

Other citations used less frequently will be full citations.

List of Terms

Acropolis: Comes from the Greek ἄκρος (highest) and πόλις (city-state) and meaning the highest part of the city. Many of these raised places were originally used as Mycenaean palaces and citadels. The most famous acropolis is the one at Athens, which was primarily a religious sanctuary.  (PBDRT) (Episode 1)

Aegean Sea: The Aegean is an embayed section of the Mediterranean flanked by Greece in the west and Turkey in the east (Episodes 1, 2)

Alexander the Great: (356-323 BCE) A Macedonian king and the son of the previous king, Philip of Macedon. He conquered the Greek world and then spent most of his ruling years on a campaign through Asia and northern Africa. Spread Greek cultural practices all the way from Egypt to India. He died young and left his massive empire ‘to the strongest’. His twelve top generals split up the empire after his death, each taking a different region. The era from his death up until the start of the Roman Empire (in 30 BCE) is known as the Hellenistic Age. (CITE) (Episode 1)

Artemisium, Battle of: (480 BCE) The Battle of Artemisium was one of the major sea battles near the end of the Persian Wars (OCD4). The Greeks were victorious, but they suffered heavy damage to their fleet. (CITE) (Episode 1)

Aristotle: (384-322 BCE) is probably best known as a philosopher and a student of Plato; he attended Plato’s academy from the age of 17 until Plato’s death. Subsequently, became the tutor of Alexander the Great. He later returned to Athens and started his own school, the Lyceum (OCD4). The archaeological site of the Lyceum has recently been opened to the public and can be found near the Byzantine Museum in Athens. However, Aristotle was not just a philosopher, but also produced a large amount of work in biology.  (Episode 1)

Athens: is the capital and largest city in Greece. was a polis (πόλις, city-state) in the ancient Greek world and probably had been inhabited by humans since at least the Neolithic. During the classical period, it was one of the most important and powerful poleis (πόλεις, city-states) in Greece. (Episode 1)

Bell, Carol: is an honorary research associate at University College London. Her primary research interest is trade in the Bronze Age Mediterranean. ( (Episode 1)

Bronze: is a metal made from a combination of copper and either tin or arsenic. For more detailed information, see  Episode 1 (Vickers 2017: 5, 5n4). (Episode 1)

Bronze Age: “The period of Greek history extending from the appearance of bronze technology in the Aegean basin c. 3000 BC to the fall of the Mycenaean kingdoms c. 1200 BC” (PBDRT). This period includes both the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations. (Episode 1)

Cline, Eric H.: is an archaeologist and a professor in the department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at George Washington University. He works primarily on Bronze Age Mediterranean Archaeology ( (Episode 1)

Contemporary: see also Modern. Generally, ‘contemporary’ means living/occurring at the same time. However, in philosophy, ‘contemporary’ tends to mean late 19th century philosophy forward to the current time. Thus, in philosophy, ‘contemporary’ is distinct from ‘modern’ which signifies a specific time period (usually 17th-end of the 19th century). I will use the term both ways, but try to make it clear from context. (Episode 1)

Crete: the largest island in the Agean Sea.  Crete has been an island unconnected to any nearby mainland since five million years ago (CITE) (Episodes 1, 2)

Elgin, Lord: (1766-1841) “Seventh earl of Elgin, who was a British diplomat, explorer, and amateur antiquarian. He was the British ambassador to Turkey between 1799 and 1803, during which time he obtained permission to remove the marble metopes from the Parthenon in Athens (Greece was a Turkish province at the time). This was done in 1801, the marbles then being taken to London, where they have been on display in the British Museum since 1816″ (CODA2) (Episode 1)

Epipaleolithic: (Episode 2)

Eponymous: (Episode 1)

Epistemology: the branch of philosophy that studies knowledge and it’s related concepts (such as belief and justification). The word ‘epistemology’ comes from the Greek word ἐπιστήμη meaning ‘knowledge’ and λόγος which has a huge range of meanings, but here probably means ‘study of’. (Episode 1)

Evans, Sir Arthur John: (1851-1941) a British Archaeologist who discovered the Minoan civilization while excavating at Knossos on Crete. He reconstructed the palace at Knossos from the ruins and attempted to restore it to how it might have looked in the Bronze Age. (CODA2) This reconstruction remains extremely controversial to this day. (Episode 1)

Frieze: (Episode 1)

Hellen: Hellen was the hero after whom the Hellenes (Greeks) named themselves. He is either the brother or son of Deucalion (the hero who repopulated the world after the flood by throwing stones over his shoulder which turned into people) and serves as the father or grandfather of the heroes from whom different groups of Greeks took their names: he was the father of Aeolus (ancestor of the Aeolians) and Dorus (ancestor of the Dorians) and grandfather of Ion (ancestor of the Ionians). (OCD4)

Hellenic: ‘Hellenes’ is the name by which the Greeks called and call themselves after the eponymous hero Hellen. ‘Hellenic’ is the adjectival form which means ‘Greek’. (Episode 1)

Hellenistic Period: was the period of Greek history following the Classical period until the Roman period. It begins with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE until Augustus’s defeat of Cleopatra VII in 30 BCE.

Herodotus: of Halicarnassus was the first  (Episode 1)

Hobbes, Thomas: is a political philosopher famous for his work of social contract theory, Leviathan (Episode 1)

Homer: Homer is the name given to the purported author of the Iliad and the Odyssey (as well as a corpus of other works (OCD4 ‘Homer’). One of the great questions in classics is known as the ‘Homeric Question’ (Episode 1)

Iliad: is an epic poem which tells the story of a short period during the tenth year of the Trojan War. It was supposedly composed by someone called Homer. This poem will be the subject of an episode sometime in the future. (Episode 1)

Indo-European Language: (Episode 1)

Linear A: (Episode 1)

Linear B: (Episode 1)

Locke, John: No, not the character from Lost. John Locke was a 17th century philosopher who is famous for his social contract theory in Two Treatises of Government as well as his work on metaphysics and epistemology, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. (Episode 1)

Lysias: (Episode 1)

Mediterranean Sea: (Episodes 1, 2)

Mesolithic: (Episodes 1, 2)

Mesopotamia: (Episode 1)

Modern: (Episode 1)

Minoans: (Episode 1)

Neolithic: (Episodes 1, 2)

Ober, Josiah: (Episode 1)

Odyssey: (Episode 1)

Ottoman Empire: (Episode 1)

Paleolithic: comes from the Greek words palaios (παλαιός) meaning ‘ol’d and lithos (λίθος) meaning ‘stone’, so it is the Old Stone Age. This is the earliest part of the Stone Age, beginning with the first stone tools () and ending (). The Paleolithic can be divided into three sub-periods: the Lower Paleolithic (farthest in the past), the Middle Paleolithic (the middle period), and the Upper Paleolithic (the closest to the present). (Episode 1,2)

Parthenon: (Episode 1)

Plato: (Episode 1)

Proem: ‘prelude’ or ‘prologue’. The word ‘proem’ comes from the Greek prefix προ- meaning ‘before’ and οἴμη which means ‘song’– so it would be that which appeared before a song. (Episode 1)

Relief sculpture: (Episode 1)

Renaissance: (Episode 1)

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques: (Episode 1)

Runnels, Curtis: (Episode 2)

Salamis, Battle of: (Episode 1)

Sparta: (Episode 1)

Stamatoyannopoulos, George: (Episode 1)

Stone Age: (Episodes 1, 2)

Strasser, Thomas F.: (Episode 2)

Thermopylae, Battle of: (Episode 1)

Thucydides: (Episode 1)

Troy: a.k.a. Ilium was a city in what is now Turkey. It is the supposed site of the famous Trojan war. Heinrich Schliemann excavated   (Episode 1)

Whitehead, Alfred North: (Episode 1)

Works Cited

Darvill, TimothyConcise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology. Web. Jan. 22. 2017. (Link)

Hornblower, Simon and Anthony Spawforth. Oxford Classical Dictionary. 4th ed. Web. Jan. 22. 2017.(Link)

Pomeroy, Sarah B. and Stanley M. Burstein, Walter Donlan, Jennifer Tolbert Roberts, David Tandy. Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press. 2012. Print.