A Greek Settlement in North Africa

Now, to get back to the story… my character managed to obtain passage on a merchant ship and convinces the captain to sail to Cyrene (Kyrene in Greek). He learnt this is where his fellow companions had been taken and held prisoner by the king. Cyrene (present day Shahhat) was founded in 630 BC by colonists from Thera (Santorini). In Ancient Greece, before making any major decisions, a person or groups would set off the Delphi to consult with the oracle. The oracle was a woman called Pythia, the mouth-piece of the god Apollo, and would give prophetic statements. The responses were generally undecipherable but the priests of Apollo would interpret them and relay the answers.

Author Maher27777

Thera was going through a long drought period and so sent a delegation to Delphi. In turn, Apollo told them to head to Libya, and Cyrene was born. The city was not far from the sea and had a natural spring, surrounded by two mountains and a plain for pasturage. A good place to settle. The city became wealthy due to the native plant called silphium, known for its medicinal uses and highly prized throughout the Greek world. It was also famed for rearing horses and riders as well as charioteers.

Aristoteles, led his fellow Therans’ to Cyrene and declared himself King Battus (a Libyan word for king),  a name that was passed down to subsequent kings. A poet from Cyrene and in the truest tradition of the time, added his own touch to the tale of the Odyssey, by giving Odysseus another son Arcesilaus. Founded in the late seventh century was Apollonia, the port town and, after the denigration of its mother city became the capital of the province, circa 300 AD.

Today, the archaeological site of Cyrene is listed with UNESCO. To view map.


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