The Peaceful City-State
Are you looking for a place to live in ancient Greece? Asteria is the place to pick, then! With a plentiful geographic location, a reliable government, a beautiful temple to the goddess Artemis to be proud of, a protective goddess, and stable army, who wouldn’t want to be an Asterian?
- Asteria is located on the northern shore of the Ambracian Gulf.
- The Ambracian Gulf is 25 miles long, 9 miles wide, and the entrance is 700 meters (2296.59 feet) wide, making it one of the largest enclosed gulfs in Greece. Trade can be easily accessed through the gulf.
- The Louros River flows into it, which is a source of entertainment (swimming, fishing) and beauty.
- Asteria's government is an oligarchy made up of 20 officials during peace and 2 "kings" during war
- The oligarchy is made up of elected officials who went through the entirety of school instead of going into war training. Anyone who is an educated citizen (man or women over 21) can run, and the remaining citizens vote for the 20 who they feel should lead the city-state. At any point in time, if enough citizens agree, a member of the oligarchy can be put out of office for something they did intentionally that could/did compromise the safety of Asteria or it's citizens.
- The two "kings" are named so only because they have more power than the oligarchy does. They are not from royal families, but instead are elected by the 20 oligarchy members. The "kings" can make quick and essential decisions in war, but the other king makes sure they aren't impulsive. Also, if one king is killed in battle, the city-state doesn't go into panic because they still have one leader.
Art and Architecture
The Temple of Artemis - A Temple to be Proud of
- The Temple of Artemis has Doric columns and is made of white Pentelic marble.
- On the pediment is a raised carving of the moon, and two golden carvings of bows and arrows, both of which are symbols of the temple's goddess, Artemis.
- In the area around the moon and bow and arrows are small raised carvings of stars to represent the city-state's name, Asteria, which means "star" in Greek.
- Asterians worship the goddess Artemis. Artemis is the goddess of the hunt, wilderness, wild animals, the moon, and archery.
- She is the the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo.
- Her symbols include bow and arrows, stags, hunting dogs, and the moon.
- She is often depicted with a bow, which represents the waning moon, and hunting dogs or deer.
- Asterians celebrate Artemis mainly with her temple, the Temple of Artemis, and the art inside it.
- Since Artemis is a goddess, meaning she is female, Asterian women have many rights that other ancient Greek women do not. Some of these are the right to go to school and be educated, choose to be in army or not, choose her husband, be in the government/vote for officials, and others.
- The archer portion of the army was inspired by Artemis's connection to archery.
- The strongest students of the school pick either hoplite or archer to be their "class" in the army.
- Hoplites are heavily armed foot soldiers who fight on the front lines with weapons such as swords and axes. They fight in a formation called the "phalanx formation," which most Greek armies used. (See right photo)
- Archers are soldiers who fight with a bow and arrow from a distance to pick off opponents from afar. Asterian archers also often learn how to throw and use knives to protect themselves as well as swords.
- They then train in that class until they graduate at age 25. Although they specialize in their specific class, they train in the other as well for times of emergency.
The Wall of Asteria
- The Wall of Asteria surrounds and protects Asteria, making citizens feel and be more safe.
- A group of archers stand watch for any threats that approach. Normally, if a threat appears, they will be picked off by the archers' arrows as to not upset the citizens inside the wall. If it becomes a real threat, however, a horn will be blown and the "ready army," or army that is constantly ready to defend Asteria, will defeat the threat.
Attitude Toward Warfare
- Although Asterians are generally very peaceful, they will not hesitate to go to war if they need to.
- The well-being of Asteria and it's citizens are a top priority for all Asterian officials, so they never make impulsive decisions that could put Asterians in danger. For this reason, officials are generally trusted.