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SHORT HISTORY OF THE TOWN - FORTRESS HISTRIA

The Histria forh'ess was the first Greek colony on the West of the
Black Sea and the oldest city on Romanian tenitory. It was founded in the
middle of the 7tr' century B.C. (657 B.C. according to Eusebius) by Milet
colonists. The city had an unintenupted development fot 1300 years starting

with the Greek period up to the Roman - Byzantine period. At the end of the
6tl' and during the 7tl' century A.D. the fortress was destroyed by the Avar-

Slavic invasions, which forced its inhabitants to desert the city.

During the Greek period (7'n r*r
- century B.c ) the city had two
distinctive parts: the acroporis was
used as a sacred area, a very imporlant
zone for the city rerigious rife. In
the 6th century B.c. this area was
very welr
constituted, as the Zets and Aphrodite
temples prove. A stone site
sun'ounded the civilian settleme't
atea on the west side of the acropolis
since the archaic epoch.

on this plateau there have been identified house ruins from the
archaic, classic and Hellenic period and
also some ceramic workshops.
During the classical period a democratic regime has been estabrished
at Histria (according to Aristoteles) and the city adhered to the
Athens
Maritime League. A highly developed trading allowed the city
to stamp its
own coin in the middle of the 5th century B.C. The citadel
has been destr.oyed
several times from the 6th - 4th century B.C. and every tirne it has been rebuilt
so in the Hellenic period a new site wall has been constucted.
Epigraphic
and archeological evidence prove the existence of numel.ous
temples and
other public edifices.

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hr the first century B.C. the city has been confi'onted with serious
threats intensified by external dangers. ln 72 B.C. the fortress has been
conquered by Roman armies under M. Terentius Vamo Lucullus. After a
short ruling by the Getan king Burebista the citadel has been included
pormanently within the boundaries of the Rornan empire after the last
carnpaign of M. Licinius Crassus fron 29
- 2g B.C.

The infbrrnation rvas taken from the site
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Pe malul lacului Sinoe. "la o deparlare de 500 de stadii de gura sacra a Istrului" (dupa
cum precizeaza Strabon). se alla Cetalea Histria prima colonie greaca de pe tarmul de
vest al Marii Negre si cel mai vechi oras de pe teritoriul Romaniei.

Pe malul lacului Sinoe. in partea nordica a actualei peninsule Istria. s-a ridicat in urma cu
peste doua mii sase sute de ani vestitul oras Histria. intemeiat de nar,igatorii si negustorii
greci, care s-au asezat in ospitalierul goll'de odinioara, cu scopul de a f-ace comert cu
baslinasii geto-daci. Uleiul de masline, r,inurile, obiectele de podoaba grecesti erau
schimbate pe granele- mierea, ceara de albine. pieile de vita, pestele sarat, faclele din
rasina pinilor ce existau odata pe aici. oferite de triburile locale.

lntemeiata pe la rnglocul secolului al Vll-lea i Hr. (anul (r57 i.Hr. dupa istoricul Eusebrus)
de colonisti veniti din Milet. Orasul a avut o dezvoltare neinlrerupta timp de 1300 de anr,
incepard din perioada greaca si pana in epoca rornano-bizantina. In cursul secolului al
Vll-lea d Hr., cetatea a lost distrusa de atacurile a'r'aro-slave si parasita treptal de locuitorii
sar.

ln perioada greaca (sec. VII -I i.Hr.). orasul era format din doua unitati distincte (dupa
un model urban cunoscut in lumea anlica) - acropola si asezarea civila, fiecare incorlurale
de cate un zrd de incinta propriu. ce insumau o supralata de aproape 35ha. Dupa o
distrugere violenta, catre sl'arsitul sec. VI i.Hr., in plina perioada clasica, un nou zid de
incinla reduce la jun-ratate supralata orasului. [n aceasta perioada Histria cunoaste un
regim democratic. aderarea la Liga Maritima Ateniana" comert intens si chiar moneda
proprie Incercarea prirnului val de sciti de a se slabil in sudul Dunarii. precum si
razvratilile cetatilor pontice impotliva lui Lvsimach aduc celatii o noua distrugere. calre
sfarsrlul sec. IV i.Hr. Secolele urmatoare aduc atat relacerea orasului cat si o noua
inflorire. dar rnai ales primele aliante cu unele capetenii ale getilor (Zalmodegikos.
Rhemaxos). Secolul I i.Hr aduce noi liarnantari si pericole exlerne: regele Ponlului.
Mithlidates VI Eupator. trirnite la Histria unul din strategii sai. in anul 72 i.Hr. aduce
primele armale romane care. sub comanda lui M. Terentius Varro Lucullus. scot colonrile
r,est-pontice de sub inf'luenta lui Mithridate. iar cativa ani rnai luziu, regele get-dac
Burebista cuprinde cetatea sub stapanirea sa.

Odata cu moarlea lui Burebista cetatea trece sub slapanire romana- incheindu-se astfel
perioada de autonomie Sub stapanirea romana cetatea cunoaste o noua inflorire. Daca in
perioada ronlana timpurie (sec. II - III d Ffu.) incinla inchidea o suptalata destul de mare,
in urma violenlelol atacuri carpo-gotrce ce au dus la distrugerea tolala a orasului, obliga
locuitorii sai drn epoca roffrana tarz-ie (sec. lV - VII d.Hr.) la restrangerea z-onei urbane
la doar 7ha. la adapostul incintei r,izibile astazr.

Sapatunle arheologice. incepute inca din 1914, au scos la ir,eala, pe langa resturile
incintelor mai sus amintite. o serie de rnonumente rernarcabile. datand din diferite
perioade din existenta cetatii. Pentru epoca greaca se remarca "'zona sacra". cu templul
lui Zeus si templul Afroditei. precum si resturile de locuire de pe platoul pe care se afla
asezarea cir,ila Din perioada romana irnperiala (sec II - lll d.Hr ) daleaz,a edificiile
lennale ale orasului si reteaua slradala. Cele mai multe monulnente apartin epocii
romano-bizantine (sec. lV - VII d.Hr.) si ele se afla in interiorul cetatii tarzri'. baz)lici
cii'ile sau paleocrestine. piete publice. magazine, carliere de locuinte cu caracter
rezidential (domus) sau economic. De asemene4 sapaturile au ol'erit un bogat material
arheologic. cea mai rnare parte. l'ragrnente arheologrce remarcabile. fiind expusa iu
muzeul cetatir, sculpturi. reliefuri. matenale de constructie. inscriptii. ceramica
(greceasca sr rornana). sticlarie. obiecle din metal.

The Town - Fortless Histria lvx,lv^*ul"i$x"tx*r{}$"$${ite?tie.l"*-l/F.Sllxis{r'ix.htrlrR
Consiliu| .hrdetean Constanta
We know much about the Ancient Greeks from Histria
Fortress from objects which have survived for thousands of
years. Here, archaeologists have dug up Greek artifacts and
buildings.

Pottery has been the most useful find because it was often
decorated with scenes of everyday life. We could work out what
life was like by studying the pictures on the pots.
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Daily Life in Ancient Greece
Men

Men had a much better life in Ancient Greece and Histria
Fortress than women. only men made the important decisions.
Normally, only men fought in armies, took part in sports and
met in public.

Women
women were taught skills they would need to run a home such
as cooking and weaving. They were expected to look after the
home, make the clothes, and bear children,
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What Clothes did the Ancient Greeks
wear?

The main item of clothing for men was a tunic, called
a chiton. These were big squares of cloth, held in place by pins
at the shoulders and a belt round the waist. They were made
from wool in the winter or linen in the summer.
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Houses in Ancient Greece
Greek cities had beautiful temples with stone columns and
statues, and open-air theatres where people sat to watch
plays.
I Men and women lived in different parts of the house. Women
had the back and upstairs part.
I Most houses in Ancient Greek towns were built from stone or
clay. The roofs were covered with tiles, or reeds, and the
I houses had one or two storeys. The floors of the rooms were
tiled to keep them cool, although in winter fires in metal
I baskets were sometimes needed.

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Many homes didn't have a bathroom. There were pubfic
baths' Larger homes had a kitchen,
u ,.oo, for bathiflg, o men,s
dining room, and sometimes
u *orun,s sitting area.
The houses were pranned
walls and a strong gate. Much a courtyard, and had high
arou,nd
centered around the iourtyard, or ancierijcreek famiry fife
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Food
The Greek diet was very healthy. Food in Ancient Greece
consisted of grains, wheat, barley, fruit, vegetables, breads,
and cake,

In the summer months there were plenty of fresh fruit and
vegetables to eat and in the winter they ate dried fruit and
food they had stored like apples and lentils. As most of the
Greeks lived very near the sea, they also ate a lot of fish, squid
and shellfish.
EDUCATION IN ANCIENT GREECE

The way children were educated was different in each city
state,

In Sparta, reading and writing was unimportant. Boys learned
to be good fighters.
In Athens citizens had to be educated to take part in voting in
the Assembly. Athenian boys also went to 'wrestling school'
each day, to learn many sports, not just wrestling. They had to
be fit, to fight in the army.

Boys and Girls
Education was also different for boys and girls. Boys were
educated to become good citizens and take part in the public
life of the city state. Girrs were educated in housekeeping
and
how to look after the family.

Most Greek children, especially the girls, never went to
school.
Greek girls were not ailowed to go to school and were often
educated at home.

GAMES AND TOYS

Ancient Greek children had lots of games and toys. They
played with rattles, dolls, wheeled 1oyr, yo_yos,
wooden
hoops, balls made from rags and even knucklebones.

children also played with small pottery figures, and dolls
made of rags, wood, wax or clay - some of these dolls
even
had moveable arms and legs,
Schools
l Greek schools were small. They had only one teacher and about
ten or twenty boys. The schools were not free and so only the
rich could really afford to send their children to school.
I The children did not need much school equipment as they had

t to learn everything off by heart. when they needed to, they
wrote on wooden boards covered with layers of wax. They used
a wooden pen called a stylus with a sharp end for writing and
l a flat end for'rubbing out'. The wax was melted and reaiplied
from time to time.

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l The School Day

The boys started school at 7 years old, and stayed until they
were about 14, In the mornings they learned to read, write and
do simple maths. They workJd in one room, which had stools
or benches, but no desks. pupils read aloud and learned poetry
by heart, Rich boys also learned about philosophy, drawing,
music and public speaking.

In the afternoons they went to wrestling schools.
At the age of 14, children of tradesmen began to learn a trade.
The children of rich Greeks went to the Aslembly, the market
place and the gymnasium to watch, listen to and learn from the
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J The Greek Theatre
J Almost every Greek city had a theatre because plays were part
of many religious festivals. The Greeks enjoyed singing and
J dancing. At first, theatres were only used for festivals'

J The theatres were open air and built in a semi-circular shape
with rows of stone seating around it.
J All the actors were men. They wore large masks that
exaggerated facial features and emotions'
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Reading activities

Read the text and answer the questions:

Ancient Greek homes were built around a courtyard
or garden. The walls
were often made from wood ancl nud bricks They
had small windows with
no glass, but wooden shutters to keep out the hot
iun.

They didn't have much furniture inside. People sat
on wooden chairs or
stools' Rich people decorated the walls and fiools
with colourful tiles and
palnullgs.

Many homes didn't have a bathroorn. There were public
baths, but most
people washed using a small bucket or in
a'ear-by ,t .u-. only rich women
(with slaves to cany.the water) enjoyed baths at home.
Afterwards they
rubbed their bodies with perfurned ol to keep
their skin soft.
At night, Greeks slept on beds stuffed with wool, feathers
or.dry grass. Most
people went to bedas soo' as it got dark. The
onry right came fi.om flictering
oil lamps and candles.

L What were the walls made fi.orn?
2. Did they have fuiniture?
a
J. Where did they wash?
4. Where did they sleep?
J- -t-\---^-\---

Look at the pictures and label the lbod using the following words.
Then colour the pictures:

grains, bread, cheese, wine, olives, apple, fish, eggs, gl'apes, meat, ttuts, oil

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Fill in the text with the correct words from the list below:

pottery, dolls, toys, horses, balls

Children played with small ..... .......figures, and dolls made of

rags, wood, wax or clay - some of these even had moveable arms

and legs.

Other were rattles, hoops, yo-yos and hobby

(a'pretend horse' made fi'om a stick). They also used

made from rags and even knucklebones (fi'om goats or

sheep).
complete the table with the correct information about education:

BOYS GIRLS

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Bibliogra phy
p.Lu,_uk/s rescel

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