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Tiryns(tī`rĭnz), ancient city of Greece, in the NE Peloponnesus, 2.5 mi (4 km) N of Nauplia (now Návplion) and near Argos. The site seems to have been inhabited since the 3d millennium B.C. It was a city of splendor from c.1600 to c.1100 B.C. Excavations begun by Heinrich Schliemann and Wilhelm Dörpfeld in 1884–85 revealed not only extensive pre-Homeric palaces of the Mycenaean period but also remains going far back in prehistory. The old city was prominent in Greek legend.
an ancient Greek city in the Argolis, in the Peloponnesus. A settlement arose on the site of Tiryns in the Neolithic age. At the beginning of the second millennium B.C., Tiryns became a center of the early class-structured state of the Achaeans. Tiryns flourished from the 16th to 13th centuries B.C; during this period a large royal palace, decorated with frescoes, was built in the acropolis. Circa 1400 B.C., massive cyclopean stone walls were built around the acropolis. They were mentioned in the Iliad (II, 559) and later were described by Pausanias in his Description of Greece (II, 25). The walls of Tiryns, fortified with towers, measure as much as 10 m thick in places and contained storage rooms for weapons and various supplies. An underground passage led from the fortress to an underground spring.
Diomedes, who ruled circa 1240 B.C, was particularly famous among the kings of Tiryns. According to Greek legend, he served in the campaign against Troy. In the 12th century B.C, the acropolis of Tiryns was devastated by fire during an invasion by the Dorians; however, the city below the acropolis continued to be inhabited. During the first millennium B.C, Tiryns remained a small polis. Circa 470 B.C. the city was destroyed by Argos.
The archaeological study of Tiryns was begun in 1831. The most significant excavations were those conducted by W. Dórpfeld (1884–85), the German archaeologists G. Karo and K. Miiller (1912–38, with interruptions), and the Greek archaeologist N. Verdelis (1960’s).
REFERENCESBlavatskaia, T. V. Akheiskaia Gretsiia vo vtorom tysiacheletii do n. e. Moscow, 1966.
Tiryns: Die Ergebnisse des Ausgrabungen des Instituís, vols. 1–6, Athens-Augsburg-Mainz, 1912–73.
T. V. BLAVATSKAIA