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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
I. THE LANDS OF THE WEST AND THE RISE OF GREECE TO ABOUT 500 B.C.
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LAW AND MORALITY
The times were rude. Wars, though petty, were numerous and cruel. The vanquished suffered death or slavery. Piracy, flourishing upon the unprotected seas, ranked as an honorable occupation. It was no insult to inquire of a seafaring stranger whether he was pirate or merchant. Murders were frequent. The murderer had to dread, not a public trial and punishment, but rather the personal vengeance of the kinsmen of his victim. The Homeric Greeks, in fact, exhibited the usual defects and vices of barbarous peoples.
The Iliad and Odyssey disclose a considerable acquaintance with peninsular Greece and the coasts of Asia Minor. Cyprus, Egypt, and Sicily are also known in part. The poet imagines the earth as a sort of flat shield, with Greece lying in the center. The Mediterranean, "The Sea," as it is called by Homer, and its continuation, the Euxine,  divided the world into two equal parts. Surrounding the earth was "the great strength of the Stream of Ocean,"  a river, broad and deep, beyond which lay the dark and misty realm of the mythical Cimmerians. The underworld of Hades, home of the dead, was beneath the surface of the earth.
 The Greek name of the Black Sea.
 Iliad, xviii, 607.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy