The New Student's Reference Work/Mycenæ


Mycenæ (mī́-sē′ nḗ), a very old city in the northeastern part of Argolis, in the Peloponnesus, built upon a high crag and said to have been founded by Perseus.  It was the capital of Agamemnon’s kingdom, and at that time the chief town of Greece.  It was destroyed by the people of Argos, and, though rebuilt, never afterward prospered.  Its ruins are still to be seen.  The most celebrated of them are the Gate of Lions and the Treasury of Atreus.  Excavations carried out by Dr. Henry Schliemann brought to light, in 1876, another underground treasury and several ancient tombs, vases, weapons, gold death-masks and other ornaments of hammered gold.  These objects seem to show a type of art coming from Mesopotamia through Phœnicia and Asia Minor, and manifesting little or no trace of Greek tastes or customs.  Their date seems to be about that of the Doric invasion of the Peloponnesus.