Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


(mīsē`nē), ancient city of Greece, in Argolis. In historical times it had little importance and was usually dependent on Argos. Its significance is in its remote past as a center of Mycenaean civilizationMycenaean civilization
, an ancient Aegean civilization known from the excavations at Mycenae and other sites. They were first undertaken by Heinrich Schliemann and others after 1876, and they helped to revise the early history of Greece. Divided into Early Helladic (c.
..... Click the link for more information.
. The famous Lion Gate, which led into the city, and the Treasury of Atreus, the largest of the beehive tombs outside the walls of the city, are the most notable of its ancient remains.


See A. J. B. Wace, Mycenae (1949, repr. 1964); A. E. Samuel, The Mycenaeans in History (1966).



an ancient city in the Argolid (southern Greece), an important center in the Bronze Age. In the third millennium B.C., Mycenae was a small settlement. In the 17th century B.C., it became the capital of one of the early class-structured states of the Achaeans. The sumptuous objects obtained from excavation of two groups of Mycenaean royal graves of the 17th and 16th centuries B.C. testify to the rapid growth of Mycenaean economic power. In the 16th and 15th centuries B.C., fortifications and a palace were erected on the city’s acropolis. Mycenae was at the height of its development between 1400 and 1200 B.C. During that time, the Mycenaean acropolis was surrounded by new massive Cyclopean walls; the principal entrance through the fortifications was the Lion Gate.

In the 13th century B.C., an underground cistern was dug beneath the fortress; it was reached by a flight of steps and led to a spring far below. The monumental palace consisted of many public and private chambers and storerooms. Marble and terracotta statues of gods stood in a separate sanctuary. Quarters with the stone dwellings of wealthy artisans and merchants were located in the vast lower city. In the 14th and 13th centuries B.C., the descendants of King Atreus erected splendid circular vaulted tombs, or tholoi.

Circa 1200 B.C., Mycenae was destroyed by fire. The city was rebuilt in later centuries but no longer played an important role. In 470 B.C., Mycenae was conquered and ravaged by Argos. Excavations have been conducted sporadically since 1876 (by the German archaeologist H. Schliemann, the British scholar A. Wace, and the Greek scholars C. Tsountas and G. Mylonas).


Blavatskaia, T. V. Akheiskaia Gretsiia vo vtorom tysiacheletii do n. e. Moscow, 1966.
Wace, A. J. B. Mycenae: An Archaeological History and Guide. Princeton, 1949.
Mylonas, G. E. Mycenae and the Mycenaean Age. Princeton, 1966.



an ancient Greek city in the NE Peloponnesus on the plain of Argos
References in periodicals archive ?
The fertility gods were banished to the underworld, where they too were "remembered," just as Mycenae was remembered: Mother Earth, Night, Cronus, most of the Titans, the Furies, and Death, most hated of all the gods, because Death will not listen to appeal.
This woman, evidently, will look at Sparta and ancestral Mycenae, Unscathed, and will march as queen having acquired her triumph
23) Statius tends to conflate Mycenae and Argos (2.
We manoeuvred and wound our way down to Mycenae, often wondering how on Earth the rally guys managed this course at the speeds they do.
The subject for the next few weeks is the discoveries at Pompeii and the masks of the kings of Mycenae.
7 An educational, 8-night voyage visiting ancient Troy and the Gallipoli battlefields in Turkey and Greece's archaeological site of Mycenae.
Troy, Mycenae, and the otologic demise of Herr Heinrich Schliemann.
It wasn't until the 1890s when Heinrich Schliemann excavated the pre-Greek cities of Troy and Mycenae that many wondered if the famous Greek myth of Knossos was true.
However, as Rowe said of the entrance, it appears reminiscent of the Lion Gate, Mycenae, or its neighbour Agamemnon's Tomb: 'It is a frontal and enclosing presence, Cyclopean and Mycenean.
This fascinating novel takes readers into the realm of ancient Bronze Age Mycenae, in the elusive time before the Homeric Trojan war.
Nur demonstrates an equally impressive knowledge of the historical and literary and/or primary sources that document the incidences of earthquakes that have struck such important archaeological sites as the Ramesseum and Alexandria in Egypt; Troy in northwestern Anatolia; Jericho, Megiddo (Armageddon), and Jerusalem in Palestine/Israel; Rome; and Mycenae and Thebes in Greece as well as many other important sites.
Unlike many other tombs, this one had not been robbed in antiquity and contained many gold objects, including a gold burial mask in Greek style, on display at the exhibition, which is remarkably similar to the "Mask of Agamemnon" found at Mycenae in 1876.