It's a little early, but everyone might want to plan their October accordingly! The NYTimes’ 'ArtBeat' column this week highlighted the inaugural Onassis Festival of New York, which will run from Oct. 8 to Oct. 11 under the title 'Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined', thus reports Protothema.


Hosted by the Manhattan-based Onassis Cultural Center, more than 40 free events, including dance, music, film, visual art, lectures and talks, site-specific installation and a walking tour of Midtown, will be included. The inspiration for these events is the myth of Narcissus, which the center described in a statement as 'the defining allegory of the postmodern age' and 'an emblematic example of the unparalleled influence of classical antiquity on our culture'. Most events will take place at the center’s newly renovated space in the Olympic Tower, off Fifth Avenue.

Participating artists include choreographer Jonah Bokaer, dance historian Jennifer Homans, actor Paul Giamatti, fashion designers Mary Katrantzou and Narciso Rodriguez, composer Stavros Gasparatos, journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis and artist Jenny Holzer.

According to Amalia Cosmetatou, the executive and cultural director of the Onassis Foundation in America, the annual event will offer opportunities for Greek and American artists to work together on commissioned projects, and 'to explore how Hellenic culture inspires the creative arts and informs our lives'.
Yes, once more, beginning at sundown on the 29th of August, the Kourotrophos (child nurturers) were honoured. This time, we know from the Arkhian calendar that the focus of this sacrifice were Artemis and Hekate. Elaion will be organizing another Practicing Apart Together ritual for this event in the daylight hours of the 20th of August, and you can join us here.


The Kourotrophos are (mostly) female deities who watched over growing children--Gaea, Artemis, Hekate, Eirênê, Aglauros and Pandrosos, especially. This specific offering is known from the demos Erkhia (or Erchia), but duplicates similar offerings on the Acropolis of Athens.

In this ritual, we honor Artemis and Hekate. Artemis is named Kourotrophos by Diodorus Siculus, a Hellenic historian, in book five of his library:


"And Artemis, we are told, discovered how to effect the healing of young children and the foods which are suitable to the nature of babes, this being the reason why she is also called Kourotrophos." [5.73.5]

Hesiod, in his 'Theogony', explains why Hekate is Kourotrophos:


"So, then. albeit her mother's only child, she is honoured amongst all the deathless gods. And the son of Kronos made her a nurse of the young who after that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Eos (Dawn). So from the beginning she is a nurse of the young (kourotrophos), and these are her honours." [404]
 
You can find the ritual here. The festival will be held on the 30rd of August, at 10 AM EDT, and we would love to have you join.
I get a lot of questions from readers, and most of the time, the answers are fairly short. When I feel the question or the reply would be valuable to others as well, I make a post with a collection of them and post them in one go. Today is one of those posts.


"I have a question about miasma and ritual purification. I understand that many start with a shower and end with khernips. But what about modern conveniences? Is it okay to use scented soaps? Is it okay to put on deodorant after the shower? Can I style my hair? Or is it better to just go straight from drying off to khernips?"

By all means, make yourself pretty and good smelling! the ancient Hellenes sure did! This whole shower-as-part-of-katharmos is a modern invention. Katharmos, or the act of getting ritually clean, starts the second you walk into the area you have designated as sacred with the intent of performing ritual. Your shower happens way before, as does any primping. Then, you prepare your mind and start your procession into the area. this is when katharmos starts. You wash your hands with khernips–lustral water, which you prepare there and then, or you could possibly have stored–sprinkle the area with the water and strew barley groats as if sowing them. That’s your purification. As you can see, all of the things you worry about happen long before!

---

"I'm really new to Hellenismos so I have a lot of questions, but in particular I have one about khernips. Do I have to use them every time I pray, or could I limit it to rituals? I am lacking in resources but I don't want to offend the gods in any way. Thank you in advance!"

You use khernips every single time you perform a rite for the Gods. This includes (daily) sacrifice, festival celebrations, etc. The only exception for the ancient Hellenes would have been the drops of wine tipped on the ground during a symposium (a social gathering where wine was consumed and philosphical talk was indulged in) or before a meal. In general, though, if you plan of getting in contact to the Gods, get ritually clean with khernips. Praying, really, is not an act that befits Hellenismos if partaken in as a standalone activity: you pray during ritual. The two are synonymous. I hope this helps!

---

"Do you know any Gods that were associated with Ravens/Crows?"

The only one that comes to mind is Apollon. For a variety of reasons, Hermes is often associated with these birds as well, but there is no ancient evidence for this. Apollon, on the other hand, has a long history with the birds. It seems odd that a deity associated with light is also associated with an animal with an image as negative as the raven. Ravens are often associated with battlegrounds, cemeteries, and death, with the rotting of carcasses, and funerals. In Hellenic myth, they are also associated with vision beyond that which is present. With oracular visions, and with spotting that which can not, or should not, be spotted.

One myth that associates ravens with Apollon is the myth of Koronis (Κορωνίς). Koronis was Apollon's lover, and was pregnant with His son, when she fell for another man, a mortal man, Ischys (Ἰσχύς). A raven--then white--had been assigned by Apollon to watch over His lover, and when the raven returned to tell Apollon of Coronis' betrayal, Apollon was furious the raven had not pecked out the eyes of the mortal whom his lover fell in love with. In a fit of rage, Apollon turned its feathers black.

---

"I've been reading your blog for a long time and you are one of my go-to sources. I have questions about statues which have left me stumped for months. My alter is far more "cluttered" than your own. Recently I've started to make it more deity neutral. Where would you suggest I place my statues? Would you mind sharing how you display your own? I've considered individual alters. Do you know any sources with images that might guide me? Thank you for all the amazing work you do and have a great day!"

I think there is an easy source of your confusion: there is a huge difference between an altar and a shrine. An altar is one of those basic necessities within Hellenismos, and it differs from a shrine. Where an altar is a ‘work space’, dedicated not so much to a specific deity, but used to do the bulk of the (daily) rituals, a shrine is a devotional area where an altar might be located. In ancient Hellas, the shrine was usually a temple, the altar an actual altar, standing outside of it. Household worship took place at a multitude of shrines. Labelling something a shrine does not mean you can’t sacrifice at these spots in your home. In general, you decorate a shrine but leave the altar rather bare.

As for your statues: I put them up on my shrines, not my altar. That’s why it’s bare-ish ;-)
Probably beyond all others, I am in love with the three plays of 'The Oresteia' by Aeschylus. There is something about the imagery and the use of language that sucks me in every single time. Besides, I love me some dark tragedy! There are so many pieces from all three plays that can be used as inspiration for your own worship. Today, I would like to share the opening of the third play, The Eumenides, in which the Pythian priestess calls upon the Gods.

The Oresteia was originally performed at the Dionysia festival in Athens in 458 BC, where it won first prize. Principal themes of the trilogy include the differences between revenge and justice, as well as the shift from practicing personal vendetta to a system of litigation. The name derives from the character Orestes, who sets out to avenge his father's murder. Enjoy!


"First, in this prayer, of all the gods I name 
The prophet-mother Earth; and Themis next, 
Second who sat-for so with truth is said- 
On this her mother's shrine oracular. 
Then by her grace, who unconstrained allowed, 
There sat thereon another child of Earth- 
Titanian Phoebe. She, in after time, 
Gave o'er the throne, as birthgift to a god, 
Phoebus, who in his own bears Phoebe's name. 
He from the lake and ridge of Delos' isle 
Steered to the port of Pallas' Attic shores, 
The home of ships; and thence he passed and came 
Unto this land and to Pamassus' shrine. 
And at his side, with awe revering him, 
There went the children of Hephaestus' seed,
The hewers of the sacred way, who tame 
The stubborn tract that erst was wilderness. 
And all this folk, and Delphos, chieftain-king 
Of this their land, with honour gave him home; 
And in his breast Zeus set a prophet's soul, 
And gave to him this throne, whereon he sits, 
Fourth prophet of the shrine, and, Loxias hight, 
Gives voice to that which Zeus his sire decrees. 

Such gods I name in my preluding prayer, 
And after them, I call with honour due 
On Pallas, wardress of the fane, and Nymphs 
Who dwell around the rock Corycian, 
Where in the hollow cave, the wild birds' haunt, 
Wander the feet of lesser gods; and there, 
Right well I know it, Bromian Bacchus dwells, 
Since he in godship led his Maenad host, 
Devising death for Pentheus, whom they rent 
Piecemeal, as hare among the hounds. And last, 
I call on Pleistus' springs, Poseidon's might, 
And Zeus most high, the great Accomplisher. 
Then as a seeress to the sacred chair 
I pass and sit; and may the powers divine 
Make this mine entrance fruitful in response 
Beyond each former advent, triply blest. 
And if there stand without, from Hellas bound, 
Men seeking oracles, let each pass in 
In order of the lot, as use allows; 
For the god guides whate'er my tongue proclaims."
A new Mycenaean palace has been found on the Sparta plain during the archaeological surveys which have been going on since 2009 at the Aghios Vassilios Hill near the village of Xirokambi in Laconia. Among the finds were Linear B tablets, a very valuable discovery considering the fact that they come from a Protohistoric period of the Helladic area where written sources are scarce. The Archaeological news Network reports on these finds--and it includes lots of images of the finds so head on over there!


The Aghios Vassilios excavations are headed by the Director Emerita of Antiquities, Adamantia Vassilogamvrou and are considered to be among the most important systematic surveys in the Protohistory of the Hellenic world.

Another important ongoing excavation is that of the Sanctuary of Apollon Amyklaios on the Aghia Kyriaki Hill in Amykles of Laconia, headed by Professor Emeritus of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Angelos Delivorrias. There one of the most important Greek sanctuaries has been revealed, dating back to the Geometric period. The research team slowly but patiently also tries to shed light on the issue of the Apollon temple (Amyklaion Throne), which has engaged many archaeologists over the years. This survey is being conducted under difficult circumstances, as the Sanctuary has been severely damaged in the past.


The Aghios Vassilios excavation
The archaeological investigations conducted since 2009 at the Aghios Vassilios Hill near the village of Xirokambi in Laconia revealed a new Mycenaean palace on the Sparta plane. By using methods of geophysical survey buried building remains have been located at an area covering 3.5 hectares.

Habitation is believed to have started during the transition period from the Middle-Helladic to the Late-Helladic/Mycenaean period (17th-16th c. BC), based on the dating of the cemetery of stone-built cist graves and simple shafts at the top of the hill. The first building phase of the settlement is also dated to the same period.

According to the evidence found so far, these buildings were destroyed during the LH IIB-IIIA1 period (late 15th-early 14th c. BC), possibly due to a fire. After this, a new strong and extended palace complex was erected at the site. These buildings were arranged around a big central courtyard, on the south and western sides of which a stoa with a colonnade of pillars has been excavated.

In a room of the Western Stoa storey an archive of the palace was kept. Its excavation hasn’t been completed yet. The unbaked clay tablets carved with Linear B texts were preserved thanks to a fire which has however destroyed the new palaces during the LH IIA period (14th c. BC). The archive contains tablets of all the known types found in other palace complexes, leaf-shaped or page-shaped, labels and clay seals. The texts refer to the supply of goods to a sanctuary (or sanctuaries), male and female names, places and the title άναξ in the genitive case (άνακτος).

One of the excavated buildings on the east side of the courtyard, Building A, is being associated to cult/religious rituals. The fire has “baked” and preserved part of the brickwork and clay mortar of the inner separating walls. Until now 10 rooms have been investigated. They contained many typical cult objects and vessels, such as clay figurines of bovids and an ivory statuette of a male figure holding a young calf or bull, a big clay rhyton of a bull head, a stone double-rimmed jug, two big Tritons etc.
Furthermore, many decorative objects, seal stones, Egyptian scarabs etc. have been found. In one room, possibly laid in a box made of organic material, 21 Bronze swords were kept, while underneath the floor of another room a dense layer of animal bones, pottery and valuable miniature objects was found. This layer might be related to the fire remains located in the surrounding area, on the eastern side of the building.

The abundance of wall-painting sherds depicting typical Mycenaean era scenes found in the backfill of a second building (Building B) and in a deposit in an unbuilt area suggest that the palaces were decorated with frescoes.

The Aghios Vassilios palace complex offers a unique opportunity for archaeologists to investigate the creation and development of a Mycenaean palace center and gain a rare insight into the political, administrative, economic and social organization of the area. Also new evidence is expected to come to light about the Mycenaean religion and linguistic and/or palaeographic issues.


The excavations of the Sanctuary of Apollon Amyklaios
The systematic excavation conducted in the framework of the 5-year Amykles Research Programme and completed this month under the direction of the Professor Emeritus of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Angelos Delivorrias, Dr. Stavros Vlizos (Ionia University) and the supervision of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Laconia, has revealed the continuation of the precinct on the western side of the Aghia Kyriaki Hill, where the Sanctuary of Apollon Amyklaios is being located, 5 km south of Sparta.

This important find is completing the more than encouraging results of the excavation works so far. From 2009 until 2013, the whole surface of the Aghia Kyriaki Hill, connected with the function and monuments of the sanctuary, has been thoroughly investigated.

Remains of the Early-Helladic/Middle-Helladic settlement were located at the top of the hill and the first monumental phase of the sanctuary was dated back to the Late-Geometric period, based on the discovery of the older precinct.

At the same time though, the location of the foundation trench of the so-called Throne of Apollon has offered new evidence about the dimensions of the building. At the northwestern side there is a monumental portico completing the picture of the Archaic sanctuary.

This year’s investigations also changed the view that the precinct had a horse-shoe form, as it runs through the whole western slope of the hill, reaching a length of 50 meters and preserved up to a height of 1.20m. On its whole length the wall rests on the natural porous rock of the hill, which has been carved to create two terraces of 2.50m total width.

Questions about its further route towards the south and its connection to the known corner of the monumental precinct remain unanswered. In the biggest part of the wall the subfoundation of big rough stones is being preserved, as well as parts of the inner masonry of big breccia stones, limestones and porous stones.

The building of the wall cannot be dated as the layers and movable finds are disturbed. Interventions on its outer side however can be dated to the Late Antiquity and the Early Christian years.

Based on the excavation survey, at the northwestern side of the wall, near the monumental entrance to the sanctuary, a Roman era construction has violated part of it to build a cistern (4x4m). In this building, which is very well preserved, the floor is made of square clay plaques, while the inner wall surfaces are covered with hydraulic plaster.

This room contains a unique find: in the centre of the room an intact Doric capital with hypotrachelium was found. Due to this unusual typology it can be attributed to the Apollon Temple, as a similar one (now in the Archaeological Museum of Sparta) had been found during past excavations in the sanctuary.
I was challenged by a reader to select an ABC of Hellenismos. Needless to say, it was not easy, but I am never one to shy away from a challenge, so here we go! Don't judge me on how bad this is, okay?

A is for Agathós Daímōn, who brightens our life, unseen,
B is for Bômos, to honour our Gods of lovely mein.
C is for Chiton, the Romanized spelling of our ritual wear,
D is for Deipnon, Hekate's festival when the sky is bare.
E is for Eusebia, reverence, loyalty, and sense of duty toward the Gods,
F is for Fasting, which we do as a reminder of our lots.
G is for Gnosis, knowledge of the divine,
H is for Hellas, home of our Gods' bloodline.
I is for Iereio, anything sacrificed,
J is for Judgement, by the Gods and yourself.
K is for Kharis, what we foster with pride,
L is for Libation, liquid sacrifice.
M is for Miasma, which we wash off before our rite,
N is for Noumenia, the monthly festival after the darkest night.
O is for Oikos, the home from which our devotion projects
P is for 'Practicing Apart Together', through which our rite connects.
Q is for Quorum, the seat of democracy,
R is for Races, running and other sports the ancients brought to fruitation,
S is for Sophrosune, the control of self through deep contemplation.
T is for Theoi, the Hellenic term for the beings, divine,
U is for Universe, which the Theoi make shine.
V is for Virtues, which we foster in ourself,
W is for Wine, of which we have much on our shelf.
X is for Xenia, hospitality to Gods and men,
Y is for You, with whom it all starts,
Z, finally, is for Zeus, who holds all of our hearts.

How did I do, people? Which words would you have chosen? Thanks for the challenge, reader. It was fun!
On 12 Metageitnion, two separate rites were held, one in Erkhia and one in Athens. The first was in honour of Demeter, the other in honour of Zeus Polieus, Athena Polias, and Apollon Lykeios. On Thursday 27 August, at 10:00 AM EDT, we will combine both rites into a single PAT ritual.


Demeter, we all know, and she is not listed with a specific epithet. Zeus, Athena, and Apollon, however, are. Zeus Polieus and Athena Polias were protectors of the city. That is literally the translation of their epithet: 'of the city'. Apollon Lykeios means 'of the wolves'.

From the Erkhian ritual calendar, we know that the sacrifices to Apollon, Zeus, and Athena were not to be removed from the site and were thus to be eaten on the spot after part of the offering was sacrificed. In all cases, this offering was a white sheep, male for the male Gods, female for the female Gods. Demeter also got a female sheep, but her entry does not have a note to not remoe the meat from the location, meaning the meat could potentially be taken away to be eaten later, or sold at shops founded especially for the purpose.

Will you be joining us in honouring these Gods on Thursday 27 August, at 10:00 AM EDT? The ritual can be found here, and you can join our community here.
The economic crisis has led many Greeks to antiquity looting and smuggling, with most of them being first-time offenders with no criminal record, says a National Geographic report, as reported by the Archaeological News Network.
Antiquities looting surges in crisis-stricken Greece

The sharp rise in applications for metal detector permits is an indicative sign. However, a permit is only given to people with no criminal record and after the approval of the Ministry of Culture.

Police detectives and the Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture say that illegal excavations and theft of cultural artifacts have increased in the past five years of the economic crisis. But the profile of looters and smugglers has changed.

Before the crisis, antiquities looters were members of criminal rings who were involved in other criminal activities as well. Nowadays, regular people dig on their own in order to find ancient treasures and sell them.

The economic crisis has made their illegal 'job' easier though, as severe budget cuts have left pertinent state agencies understaffed, the National Geographic report says. The resources to limit looting and smuggling are too small and the demand for black market antiquities is large.

Evgenios Monovasios, a lieutenant in the Security Police Division of Attica, says they are understaffed. He estimated that in all of Greece there are only about 60 employees who work exclusively to prevent and disrupt looting. While cooperation with local authorities across the country expands this capacity, it’s difficult to monitor more than a fraction of the country’s vast and varied landscape, which ranges from the mountainous north to hundreds of islands in the Aegean and Ionian Seas.

Elena Korka, General Director of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, agrees with Monovasios:

“It would take an army to catch everything. It’s impossible not to find antiquities in Greece; they are literally everywhere.”

Greek police employ methods such as undercover police work. They gather information, infiltrate looting networks and then conduct raids to retrieve the stolen antiquities. Most illicit excavations are done at night and the items found are reburied or hidden in locations such as sheep pens and then they are sold to middlemen who own legitimate businesses that can be used to launder the artifacts.

There are also cases where the looters do direct 'custom orders' for collectors. The illegal artifacts circulate around the globe and they go from one private collection to another with misleading documentation in different parts of the world so they give the impression of legitimacy.

Since illegally obtained Greek antiquities appear anywhere in the world--from museums to private collections--the Ministry of Culture and pertinent state authorities go into legal negotiations with the owners of such artifacts in order for them to return to Greece. However, for every item repatriated there are several that remain in private collections.

According to the report, recent antiquities trafficking cases range from Byzantine manuscripts stolen from a monastery at Mount Athos and recovered from the Getty Museum and Duke University in 2014 and 2015 to a cache of neolithic Cycladic figurines, vessels, and statue parts confiscated in Attica in 2011 with an estimated value of almost twenty million euros.
Oh my Gods, I have found something that is going on my birthday wishlist (little late, because it's in tw days, but still!). It's The Iliad and the Odyssey: A Giant Golden Book and it is completely out of my price range (nor directly purchaseable, but look at this beauty!


In this article by brainpickings.org (thanks Jonathan!) you can find many of the stunning illustrations for the ancient Hellenis epic, and they are all even more beautiful than the last. They were designed by wife-and-husband duo Alice and Martin Provensen, whose vibrant mid-century illustrations span everything from classic fairy tales to an homage to William Blake. Born on August 14, 1917, Alice survived Martin, who died in 1987, by more than two decades and continues to draw well into her nineties.

In 1956, New York’s Golden Press commissioned the Provensens to illustrate an adaptation of Hómēros for young readers, and 'The Iliad and the Odyssey: A Giant Golden Book' was born. Sadly, it is out of print, but it is still obtainable used. Here is another image, but go to the site for many more!

The festival calendar of the ancient Hellenes was an ever-evolving entity. Local demoi had local customs and heroes they added to the base festival calendar of the nearest large city, and events like battles won were integrated into it when deemed special enough. In the city and surrounding area of Athens, we are currently aware of six festival calendars, the last of which is probably from around 330 BC, or possibly as late as 270 BC:
  • The Athenian State Calendar
  • The Marathonian Tetrapolis Calendar
  • The Deme Erkhia Calendar
  • The Deme Eleusis Calendar
  • The Deme Teithras Calendar
  • The Genos of the Salaminioi Calendar
These calendars were all preserved on stone slabs or columns, some more intact than others. From it, we know that they mixed and matched depending on location. All, however, had an intricate system of keeping track and listing the festivals. The form of the developed Athenian sacrificial calendar was price — deity — victim: these were its essential items, and the main body of the calendar consists of such entries.

The State Calendar was a part of a comprehensive new code of inscribing: the Calendar was laid out on one side of each of two walls, the surfaces of which had been prepared for the purpose. The list of annual festivals came first. Biennial festivals were in two separate lists on these same walls, then quadrennial, doubtless in four lists, also on these walls. Monthly totals of costs were given. The state paid for all, and the whole was elaborate and lengthy.

The Marathonian Tetrapolis Calendar listed the four Demes separately, dividing the year, uniquely, into quarters. The Tetrapolis paid for all. The calendar for the Deme Marathon itself is all but complete; the lists of the other three Demes are largely missing.

At Erkhia the Calendar was split vertically into five lots of offerings which were meaningless except that the costs of the five lots were kept equal, making sure those who were responsible for covering the costs of all sacrificial animals in their column all paid the same as the others. The calendar is all but complete.

The Eleusis Calendar was designed to provide flexibility in details concerning costs. Two fragments survive--a very small portion.

Teithras imitatede the State Code, except that authorities are not cited. About a month's worth of information has been salvaged.

The Salaminioi made the cost of victims very clear and so we know they were able to spend more in a year than, say, Erkhia. The calendar is complete.

The six calendars are sufficiently different in details so that a fragment of any one of them, or even a transcript of the text of a fragment with as few as a dozen lines, could easily be recognized and placed. Nevertheless the calendars have much in common. In the coming weeks, we will examine these calendars in much greater detail, with the goal of leaning more about the practices about the ancient Hellenes and their festivals--our festivals. The first one up: the Athenian State Calendar.
A news round-up today as I have to meet deadlines and meeting times. Sorry, my lovely readers. You deserve better! Things should settle soon.


Belgian Composer Wim Mertens Inspired by Ancient Greek City
The Greek Reporter reports that famous Belgian composer, pianist, guitarist and musicologist Wim Mertens announced that he intends to write a new musical piece about the ancient Greek city of Nicopolis, which inspired him during his concert at the monument last August. Stratos Ioannou, who is responsible for tourism development in Epirus, noted:

“Wim Mertens’ concert in the monument last August was a significant cultural event that attracted public attention. The internationally renowned composer recognized the beauty and inspirational power of Nicopolis and decided to compose a piece inspired by the monument. This announcement made us very happy and gave us momentum to continue our efforts to showcase our great ancient monuments. We are available to offer any assistance to the artist for this important project that will help people in Europe and across the world become familiar with our region.”

Meanwhile, popular French band Nouvelle Vague will perform at the same enchanting space on August 15, establishing this archaeological site as the birthplace of many modern cultural events.


New Tablet and Smartphone Apps for Greek Museums
According to the Greek Ministry, the launch of these new apps, that will be available via App Store and Google Play, is of great importance as it will offer, at no cost, great benefits for the Greek State, promoting Greek culture and tourism through the use of modern technology. This reports the Archaeological News Network.

A new app was developed for the US exhibition 'The Greeks – Agamemnon To Alexander The Great', spanning over 5,000 years of Greek history and culture. One more app about the Parthenon will be available in the App Store, as well as a specific app about Greek language learning.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies, along with the Ministry, are also planning to create a pilot facility at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens that will combine technologies of augmented and virtual reality for the education of Greek students.


Wall, temple uncovered in ancient Feneos archaeological dig
Impressive findings have been unearthed in archaeological excavations in the mountainous part of Corinth prefecture, in the Peloponnese (southern Greece), over the recent period.

According to a culture ministry announcement, an entire defensive wall was brought to light at the ancient site of Feneos (alternately Pheneos or Pheneus) stretching across the breadth of northern slope of the settlement’s Acropolis, totalling 230 meters in length. Within the defensive works remains of a temple dedicated to a female deity were excavated, dating to two separate periods: the earlier Archaic period and the latter Classical period.

The findings come amid a five-year research program jointly conducted by the eforate of ancient antiquities in Corinth prefecture and the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Athens. See Protothema for images of the finds.


...and a bonus, this humorous rap battle between Socrates and Confucius to settle for once and for all who invented philosophy. Who do you think won?


I'm sorry lovely readers. It's a poetry day today as I am just completely swamped. Today, i would like to share a poem by ancient Hellenic poet Simonides of Keos (Σιμωνίδης ὁ Κεῖος). Simonides (556 – 468 BC) was a Hellenic lyric poet, born at Ioulis on Keos. The scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria included him in the canonical list of nine lyric poets, along with Bacchylides (his nephew) and Pindar (reputedly a bitter rival). Both Bacchylides and Pindar benefited from his innovative approach to lyric poetry and he was more involved than either of them in the major events and personalities of their times. His fame owes much to traditional accounts of his colourful life, as one of the wisest of men, as an inventor of a system of mnemonics and also of some letters of the Hellenic alphabet (ω, η, ξ, ψ). His fame as a poet rests largely on his ability to present basic human situations with affecting simplicity.

Today only glimpses of his poetry remain, either in the form of papyrus fragments or quotations by ancient literary figures, yet new fragments continue to be unearthed by archaeologists at Oxyrhynchus, an archaeological site in Upper Egypt, located about 160 km south-southwest of Cairo, in the governorate of Al Minya. It is considered to be one of the most important archaeological sites ever discovered. For the past century, the area around Oxyrhynchus has been continually excavated, yielding an enormous collection of papyrus texts dating from the time of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods of Egyptian history. Among the texts discovered at Oxyrhynchus are plays of Menander, fragments from the Gospel of Thomas, and fragments from Euclid's Elements.


Virtue - Simonides of Keos

Ἐστί τις λόγος τὰν Ἀρετὰν ναίειν
δυσαμβάτοισ' ἐπὶ πέτραις,
ἐγγὺς δέ μιν θεῶν χῶρον ἁγνὸν ἀμφέπειν·
οὐδὲ πάντων βλεφάροισι θνατῶν
ἔσοπτος, ᾧ μὴ δακέθυμος ἱδρὼς
ἔνδοθεν μόλῃ,
ἵκῃ τ' ἐς ἄκρον ἀνδρείας.

There is a saying that virtue lies
upon inaccessible rocks
and is all around near the holy place of gods themselves:
it is not visible to all mortals’ eyes,
but only to those whose heart-eating sweat
is coming from within,
leading them to the summit of manliness.
Just over 10 years ago work started on a new Egyptian temple dedicated to the Goddess Hathor. The design for the temple was revealed by the Goddess herself to Tim, a solitary Kemetic Wiccan living in rural Wisconsin. Over the years, Tim worked almost daily to recreate the temple that he saw during his trance. The Wild Hunt talked to him about why he built this temple and how it has affected his worship.


Now nearing completion, the temple consists of an eleven foot entry gate and two circles of cement pillars 11 feet high and weighing two tons each. The inner circle of columns is 33 feet across and consists of 4 pedestal quarter markers with a pair of obelisks equally spaced between the quarters. The obelisks make this a strictly solar temple. The main circle entry is also on the north end, as we enter as earthly beings.The center point of the central table is the point of origin for all measurements used to build the temple. In the west, there will be a Naos shrine with sacred image of Hathor in it. 

The outer circle of pillars are the outer boundary of the temple. The entry ring, the stargate looking structure, is a molded concrete ring 9 feet across on the inside and 11 feet across on the outside. At the end of the semicircular transitional pathway are the massive entry pillars. These pillars are 10 feet tall and over 2 tons each. They are spaced closely so you can stand between them with hands on both to completely ground yourself whether entering or leaving the temple. All structures in the temple have integrally molded foundation posts extending into the ground between 4 and almost 6 feet.

For now, the temple is for private use only, and Tim is still working to finish painting the pillars, images of Hathor, and the capstones, but the goal is to open the temple to the public. For me, this raises the question: if Tim can do it, can we? The temple itself has cost about five thousand dollars total in materials and was built on ground Tim already owned. He's done most of the work himself, it seems, and to great effect! Five thousand dollars is not a lot. Nine years of construction is, though, so in order to cut down on that, more money is most likely required--and ground.

There is a modern Hellenistic temple in Thessaloniki. It can be done. So why haven't more of us done it? Years ago, I had a dream like Tim's, where I saw a temple so clearly. It's still in my mind. I still want to construct it. But I have not found the drive like Tim has. I have invested my energy elsewhere--Elaion, Baring the Aegis--and in my own way I have built my temple. But it's not a structure, and I wouldn't know where to start. So have you ever had a dream like that? Have you ever wondered about if it's possible and how to do it? Have you actually done it? I want to know because our Gods most certainly deserve temples as magnificent as Tim's temple/circle to Hathor!
Archaeology Wiki has selected the top seven Greek discoveries which changed the world of archaeology in 2014. These findings received the most widespread publicity, however there are hundreds of sites where surveys are being conducted and their results are equally significant yet remain unpublished. As the list is very comprehensive and quite a lovely selection, I would like to share it with you today.

The Amphipolis tomb
The up to now most important phase of the long surveys on the Kasta hill in Amphipolis has begun in August 2014, when it was announced that the excavations were gradually bringing to light the elaborately decorated entrance of a burial monument. In the following months, the world witnessed the biggest and most valuable in building materials and artistic significance ancient tomb of Greece, while the pace at which the information was released, the uncontrollable public comments by specialists or amateurs, and its exploitation for political aims were unprecedented in the world’s public archaeology. After Amphipolis the management of archaeological information will never be the same again.

Amfissa’s tholos tomb
A unique find, the first of its kind revealed in Phokis and one of the few in Central Greece is the unlooted Mycenaean period burial monument that was revealed last July near Amfissa, during rescue excavations by the local Ephorate of Antiquities (head of excavations: Athanasia Psalti). The movable finds, among which are golden jewelry, beads made of semi-precious stones, bronze vases and daggers, and 44 pieces of painted ceramic, reveal the diachronic use of the tomb from the 14th c. to the 12th c. BC. The investigation of the findings is expected to give information about the habitation in settlements of the Amfissa area during the Mycenaean period.

Burial monument at Aigai
The vastly rich site of the royal Macedonian necropolis of Aigai (also known as Vergina) does not seize to reveal new findings. The last significant of them was an undisturbed cist grave with rich – not yet published – grave goods. “A pleasant surprise,” according to the excavator Dr Aggeliki Kottaridi, “since the Aigai necropolis was brutally looted by Gallic mercenaries of Pyrrhus in 276 BC.”

Atlantis of Delos
The remains in the sea area of the Stadion District were identified as settlement remains, e.g. the eastern borders of the Stadion District. In the past these remains had been identified as port facilities. The discovery resulted from a survey in the waters northeast of Delos conducted by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the National Hellenic Research Foundation. The settlement remains located are related to commercial and manufacturing activities.

Trita Koromilias
A particularly interesting site for the Neolithic Archaeology of Northern Greece and the Central Balkans is being excavated since May 2014 (located in July 2013) in the area of Trita Koromilias, near Kastoria. Under extremely difficult conditions, which also reveal some facts about the living conditions of the ancient habitants in the area, a group of many researchers headed by Dr Georgia Stratouli is excavating a riverside area of 7.5 acres, that is regarded as a settlement for specific activities with successive use-phases.

Horse of Chios
The first until now known horse burial in NE Aegean was revealed in the Archaic cemetery at the site of Psomi on the island of Chios. The horse was found in resting position and was transferred to the conservation workshop of the Archaeological Museum of Chios. The cemetery is the earliest organized necropolis revealed until today in the modern city of Chios, that is why it is a milestone discovery for the archaeology of the area.

Metro wooden sculpture
An important finding as it was found in a particularly good preservation condition despite the “difficult” Greek soil. The wooden statue was located in a metro station of Piraeus which is under construction. The headless figure of the standing man wearing a short chiton was found in a layer of grey silt with breccias, an environment that helped its preservation.

Antikythera wreck
Last but not least, we should refer to the great attention the archaeological phenomenon of Antikythera has drawn in 2014. While the groundbreaking exhibition where material from the Antikythera Wreck underwater survey (the world’s earliest underwater research) ended this year, another chapter of the Antikythera story opened as archaeologists attempted to dive on the wrecks’ spot once more. Having used a state of the art diving device called “Exosuit” the new team managed to reveal further finds suggesting that the underwater site still holds many secrets awaiting to be discovered. 
In an inspiring push, Pandora's Kharis members have come together to raise $125,- for The Greek Archaeological Committee (UK). I am once more very happy to be able to say you have all given generously, and in the spirit of the Gods!




The money will be used to award scholarships for post-graduate studies in British Universities to students of Hellenic ethnicity, of moderate means, who have obtained a first-class degree or equivalent in their previous studies from reputable universities.

As there is currently not a possibility to donate directly, we are in talks with GACUK to get the money transferred. Of course, we will keep you informed!

From this moment on, the Pandora's Kharis Facebook page is open to pitches. If you do not have Facebook, feel free to pitch your cause in the comments. We will relay the message to the community. On to another month of pitching, voting, and giving. Thank you for your generosity!
On the day of the Hene kai Nea, I post a monthly update about things that happened on the blog. Well, that did not happen this time because of the recent loss of my beloved cat, Samber, so you are getting it a day late. Same with the Pandora's Kharis donation. Before I start, though, I want to thank all of you for the many well-wishes and condolances I have recieved. they have meant a lot to both me and my girlfriend!

Changes to the blog:
Statistics:
PAT rituals for Metageitnion:
  • Sacrifice to Demeter, Zeus Polieus, Athena Polias, and Apollon Lykeios (26 August)
  • Sacrifice to Kourotrophos, Hekate & Artemis (30 August)
  • Sacrifice to The Heroines (2 September)
  • Sacrifice to Hera ‘Telkhinia’ at Erchia (3 September)
  • Sacrifice to Zeus Epoptes at Erchia (8 September)

Anything else?
Pandora's Kharis, a charity circle for and by Hellenistic Polytheists has selected The Greek Archaeological Committee (UK) as its cause for Hekatombaion 2015. If you want to donate, you have until tomorrow! Join us on Facebook if you would like to pitch a cause for next month!
 
Are you looking for an online shop to buy incenses and other Hellenistic basics from? Try The Hellenic Handmaid on Etsy.

Yesterday, our cat Samber died. He'd been sick for a few months now--cancer with tumors that pressed against his intestines and his lungs, making him drop weight like a stone and short on breath. If he kept calm, he was pretty happy. He ate a lot, liked to be patted lightly, and enjoyed spending time outdoors, in the sun.

This morning, I opened the door, not to a happy miauw as a request for food, but to a drooling, panting, anxious little furball who was absolutely miserable. We'd been waiting for the moment he was no longer content with his life, and this was it. We called the vet right away for an appoinment to have him put to sleep.

But like the independant, stubborn pirate he had been in life, Samber died while waiting for the vet appointment. We were in the waiting room, alone with our beloved pet, and we watched him take his last few breaths until both that and his heart stopped. All the vet had to do was confirm what we already knew. We buried him in the yard, where he was happiest.

We loved that cat. I'm not going to call him our fur baby--I'll escape that lesbian stereotype, thank you very much--but we did love that cat. We'd known him for a little over eight years and have taken care of him for five. He was part of the family and especially these last few months, caring for him had become an intensive part of the day. I am going to miss our routine. I'm going to miss him following em to the kitchen every single time in the hope for for. I am going to miss giving him my breakfast yoghurt bowl to lick clean. I am going to miss saying goodbye to him every night.

Rest well, my friend. I am so proud to have known you and even prouder to have been there when you passed like the true warrior you were. You made a huge impact in the lives of many, and you will be remembered in stories for many years to come. As it should be. I love you, and you will be missed terribly.

We all know mythology is not reality. Ancient mythology, however, is always based on at least a little truth--an event, a person, etc. Especially when it comes to the ancient Hellenic heroes and their deeds, there is a lot of embelished truth, but truth none the less. The difficulty is in finding it--and archeological finds are our best bet.

Take Theseus and the minotaur: Theseus (Θησεύς) was fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, whom had both slept with his mother Aethra, and was thus destined to become a hero. All heroes were given at least one divine parent--usually one connected to their later deeds. The same held true for kings. When he heard about the Minotaur of Krete, and the nine-yearly sacrifices to it--a punishment by King Minos of Krete for the death of his son Androgeus, at the hands of Athenian assassins--Theseus offered to be one of the youths who sailed for Krete. Once there, Ariadne, daughter of the king, fell for him and offered him a ball of yarn so he would be able to find his way out off the labyrinth that housed the Minotaur the youths would be sacrificed to. With Ariadne's aid, Theseus defeated the Minotaur, and brought the sacrificial children home.

It is very difficult to sort out fact from fiction with legends from such a long time ago. The palace at Knossos, where the labyrinth was supposed to have been built, certainly existed. Knossos was undeniably the capital of Minoan Krete. The ruins of the palace are located about twenty minutes south of the modern port town of Iraklio. Knossos was inhabited for several thousand years, from the neolithic to 1375 BC, when it was abandoned after its destruction. The first palace on the low hill beside the Krairatos river was built around 1900 BC on the ruins of previous settlements. It--and many of the other buildings--were destroyed around 1700 BC by an earthquake or invaders. It was rebuild and destroyed or damaged again and again by earthquakes, volcano eruption, invaders and fires, until its abandonment. With its demise came the demise of the Minoan civilization.
Knossos has been an archeological treasure trove--and amongst its ruins was a chilling find: a collection of bones, belonging to eight to eleven children aged ten to fifteen, of which about a third bore the marks of flesh being cut from them with a knife. We don't know what happened to them, but given the myth, it's tempting to leap to the obvious conclusion--as many scientists have done with me: human sacrifice. This possibility is made even more probabable when taken into account a very grim find in the Anemospilia, an ancient Minoan temple on the island.

The temple was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 2000 BC from Thera and the resulting earthquakes. Traces of ash and charcoal were found on the ground, and from this, one can postulate that the building was burnt down. The temple is set out with three chambers and one annex that leads into them, and inside, archaeologists have found something somewhat unusual.

The east chamber held an altar and various pithoi with sacrificial itmes like honey and milk. In the central chamber was anther altar--this was the main worship room. What has my attention, however, is the western chamber. In the western chamber, two skeletons were found on the floor, one in the south west corner of the room This body was of a 28 year old female; because the average life expectancy in ancient civilisations was around 55, she would have been a middle aged woman. She could have been a high priestess of some sort. The other skeleton was that of a male, he was aged in his late thirties, and 183 cm tall, and powerfully built, he was lying on his back with his hands covering his face, as if to protect it.

On top of the platform another body was found. This was a body of an 18-year-old male; he was found in the foetal position, lying on his right side. Amongst the bones was found an ornately engraved knife, it was 40 cm long and weighing more than 400g. Each side of the blade had an incised rendering of an animal head, the snout and tusks of a boar, ears like butterfly wings and slanted eyes like a fox. His legs were forced back so that his heels were almost touching his thigh, indicating that they were tied there.

Just like the bones of the cut up children found in one of the ruined houses, we do not know if this youth was truly about to be sacrificed, or if it was some sort of other, non lethal, rite, but the possibility is certainly there. So who were these youths? Could this be Athenian children sacrificed in vengance? Could this be the practice Theseus came to put an end to? Then what about the minotaur? Some authors and scholars assume that the minotaur was a priest who wore a bull mask--the sacred aminal of the Minoans. Theseus could have killed him in the escape (possibly aided by Ariadne) and saved the children from human sacrifice. It certainly sounds plausible at least.

We don't know what happened at Knossos. We will never know for sure what happened at Knossos. But we do know that mythology is oh so often based in fact, and there are facts that support a very grizzly truth--one that Theseus might have ended.
Neos Alexandria, a community for Greco-Egyptians, Hellenics, Kemetics, Romans, Neopagans and others interested in learning about the Gods, their ancient and contemporary forms of worship, and the Greco-Egyptian culture, has published a new anthology. This time it is about Poseidon.

From the Roaring Deep: A Devotional in Honor of Poseidon and the Spirits of the Sea was edited by Rebecca Buchanan. Next to Poseidon, the focus is on His wife Amphitrite, on Nereus and the Nereids, and on Triton and Tethys. It also includes poetry and divotional texts to Iris, the Graeae, Proteus, Styx and Medusa.

Edited by Rebecca Buchanan
Price: $ 12.99
Publication Date: Aug 09 2015
ISBN/EAN13: 1515274578 / 9781515274575
Page Count: 266
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 5" x 8"
 

"They are of the sea, and more than the sea. They are the primordial ocean from which life arose, and which continues to sustain the world. They are the saltwater in our blood. They are storm and wind and tide and crashing waves. They are glorious beings of water and salt and light, avengers of injustice and providers of bounty. They are fathers and mothers and lovers. They are wrathful and exuberant, compassionate and wise, quixotic and impulsive and shrewd. They are Powers most worthy of our devotion, our prayers, and our respect. Hail Poseidon and the Spirits of the Sea!"

From the Roaring Deep can be purchased in paperback format from their online store, and will be available shortly through Amazon, and through Barnes and Noble. It will also be available shortly for the Kindle and Kindle app. If possible, they would ask you to purchase it through Createspace since that will give the Bibliotheca Alexandrina a higher portion of the royalties without changing the price. Because all of the proceeds from From the Roaring Deep – as well as many of the other volumes in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina series – will be used to help promote the revival of the worship of the Greek and Egyptian Gods, getting the highest amount of money to its creators is vital. Enjoy!
Today I am sharing a press release by the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes as is. Original here, English and French here.



"Once again, the “Greek” State has shown that it has yet to get rid of its byzantine and medieval whims and, being unable to respect with dignity its own laws (in this case Act no. 4301/2014), it has rejected by the intermediation of its court of First Instance the motion signed by hundreds of Ethnikoi Hellenes to obtain recognition as a statutory corporation of religious character for their ancestral, indigenous and historically continuous to our day despite cruel persecutions by christianity Hellenic Ethnic Religion.

The “justification” given for the rejection directly insults the intelligence and knowledge of history of the average educated person: The purely religious terms “Ethnic Religion” and “Ethnikoi Hellenes” create “confusion” (so they claim) in the minds of the public! Which public? The public which this same State has left in the dark about our religion by openly dispensing “education” resembling christian catechism through the school system? About the religion which all Greeks used to follow for many centuries before the onset of christianity and which many Greeks follow to this day? A religion which, needless to say, isn’t “idolatrous”, “pagan” or “dodekatheistic”.

The name of the religion transmitted down to us is “Hellenic Ethnic”, as it was consecrated to be designated in Trieste, in 1730. Until then, it was simply called “Hellenismos”. Therefore, the self-designation “Hellenic Ethnic” appears BEFORE the modern term “nation” established in the context of the French Revolution, whose meaning is political and which also translates into “ethnos” in Greek, and of course it also appears before the Greek State itself. The pretense of the supposed “confusion” is comical: Indeed, it is akin to an atheist named Christos demanding that christianity cease to be called christianity on account of the name being taken for himself, or as if the soccer club “Ethnikos Peiraios” should be called something else, so as to not cause confusion in the mind of the public as to whether the Greek State supports it, endorses it, or controls it. However, the unexpected attempt to give a modern, political meaning to the term “ethnic”, different from the one it normally has in the context of the theory of religions is extremely dangerous.
 
We understand of course that this specific interpretation was obviously chosen out of necessity, so as to serve as a basis for the finding of the supposed “confusion”. However, this does not make the interpretation any less dangerous, since the relatively “simple” problem of denying us our first and basic right to be recognized as existing in our own country, has been transported in a totally different context, irrelevant to a legal case which is and remains – this we must repeat – a matter that purely concerns religions. It has been transported in a new context which this same Greek State is likely to find particularly displeasing, if it does not take good care to pull the case back to where its subject matter properly belongs.
 
Since we are sound and responsible people and above all patriotic, we would never ourselves give rise to such an anomaly. The “Hellenic Ethnic Religion” therefore simply takes the case to the court of Appeal in the matter of its recognition under Act No. 4301/2014, all of whose preconditions it duly fulfills, and peacefully awaits from the “Greek” State to respect its own laws at least this time around. This is especially so, given that in the past years, on account of said State’s refusal to grant legal personality status to our religion, the latter has been illogically and unjustly compelled by a separate ministry of the State to pay several thousand Euros as “business tax”, despite multiple written protests from our side. Yes, you read it correctly, business tax!
 
We appeal to all fellow Greeks, all Ethnikoi Hellenes, to rally around the official representative of the Hellenic Ethnic Religion in a state of heightened alert. Ignoring the cost in time and money, we shall honour the call of our Gods and our souls and our ancestors, in this unjust, tiresome and soul-destroying process. We do not retreat. We will succeed in our rightful pursuit!"
'The Amazing Inventions of the Ancient Greeks' at the Museum Herakleidon, AthensThe exhibition “The Amazing Inventions of the Ancient Greeks” presents functional models of some of the most extraordinary ancient Hellenic inventions, from the 'robot-servant' of Philo and the 'hydraulic telegraph' of Aeneas to the 'cinema' of Hero, and from the automatic clock of Ctesibius and the astrolabe of Ptolemy to the 'analog computer' of Antikythera – a selection of the exhibits of the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology Kostas Kotsanas that operates at Katakolon port and Ancient Olympia, which were constructed after a long and extensive study of ancient Greek, Latin and Arabic literature, information from vase painting and the few relevant archaeological finds.

This exhibition, the Archaeological News Network reports, aims to demonstrate that the technology of the ancient Hellenes, just before the end of the ancient Hellenic world, was shockingly similar to the beginning of our modern technology. An important cultural initiative, which promotes Greece internationally as the foundation of Western civilization.

Kostas Kotsanas, creator of the exhibition, notes that the bolts and nuts, gears and rules, pulleys and belts, sprockets and roller chains, pistons and cylinders, springs, hydraulic controllers and valves, programming devices and auto-pilots (all parts of the engine of a modern car) are just some of the inventions of the ancient Hellenes which were the foundations of their complex technology.

"These unique legacies continue to constitute today the building blocks of our modern technology, the development of which would be doubtful without the free and undemanding adoption of this ancient know-how. Humanity simply needed to mature another millennium in order to 'recover' this remarkable forgotten technology. The exploration of this age, when no claim to ownership of peak technology was made, demonstrates how much more (than we think) modern western technological civilisation owes to the Greeks."

The exhibition is on view at the Museum Herakleidon from the 1st of August through January 10th 2016. Below are some examples of these mechanisms. A while ago, I also did a post on ancient Hellenic technology and their many bright inventions. You can find that here.




The Automate Therapaenis (automatic maid) was the name of a technological miracle mentioned by Philo Byzantios during the 3rd c. BC. The maid was actually a life-sized doll holding an oenochoe ( wine-jug) with its one hand, having the other hand free and extended to receive a drinking vessel. The doll had a mechanism transferring wine and water from two pots interred in its body, to the jug she was holding, through tubes passing along her hand. Another set of tubes, going through her free hand and her body too, were there to enable pouring liquids by providing air. When somebody was placing a drinking vessel on her free hand, the wine (first) and the water (second) would come automatically from the wine-jug and they would stop once the drinking vessel was lifted
[Credit: Museum of Ancient Greek Technology]



The clock of Archimedes was a complex hydraulic clock with many automatically moving objects. It consisted of the central storage container which supplied the water. The water went through a smaller container which ensured the stability of the water level (with a conical valve on a float), leading to the outflow nozzle. The supply of the flow was regulated depending on the date, turning the nozzle on a calibrated semicircular disc (so that the hypsometric difference of the nozzle hole and the level of water were altered, consequently, altering the time duration of the hour on the particular day). On the two columns of its facade, two rings (and two statuettes) indicated the hours that had been covered and the hours which remained respectively. On each hour, the pupils of the human eyes on a mask changed colour and a spherule fell into another container from the automatic opening of a crow's beak, with a bang. Simultaneously, the water fell into a volumetric container which, on the hour, was automatically reversed and two small snakes slid towards the birds on the tree that cried out frightened 
[Credit: Museum of Ancient Greek Technology]

Today, i would like to focus your attention on the following project that emerged from within our community: an illustrated Poseidon devotional by Terrance P. Ward. From his Kickstarter:

video

"Depth of Praise started out as an assignment to me from Poseidon:  learn more about me, he said, by writing hymns to my epithets.  That initial push led me to write 29 separate hymns and prayers that explored his aspects, seven of which will be included in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina volume From the Roaring Deep.  Encouragement from my readers prompted me to continue writing, and in addition to those published on my blog, there wil be nearly that many again in this, my first-ever book.
 
Even as the text is being edited, I have secured a commitment from a book designer, and selected and paid for cover art by Grace Palmer.  What I cannot afford to do out of pocket is commission art for the interior.  Ideally I'd like to have a thousand dollars' worth of line drawings depicting Poseidon in his many aspects, but I have humbly asked for half that because I want to see something inside rather than nothing.
 
Your contribution will help return this mighty god to his former glory."

I love initiatives like these and have  made my pledge yesterday. Will you make yours? Read more here and make your pledge! Just four more days to go!
With an overwhelming majority vote, The Greek Archaeological Committee (UK) has become Padora's Kharis' cause for Hekatombaion 2015!


 
 
The Greek Archaeological Committee, thereafter referred to as GACUK, was founded in London in the autumn of 1986 on the 150th anniversary of the Greek Archaeological Society at Athens, with which it is associated.

The founders of GACUK believe that the history and archaeology of Greece are important assets of Western culture and a better understanding of them is essential to a deeper appreciation of the shaping of the modern world. GACUK considers therefore that the dissemination of information on current archaeological work in Greece to British academics and the public at large and the resulting international recognition of this work is of great importance.

GACUK awards scholarships for post-graduate studies in British Universities to students of Hellenic ethnicity, of moderate means, who have obtained a first-class degree or equivalent in their previous studies from reputable universities.

Donating to the Pandora's Kharis' fundraiser for this cause can be done by clicking the 'donate' button to the side, or by transferring the funds directly to baring.the.aegis@gmail.com with PayPal. The deadline to donate is 16 August. Thank you in advance!
The Archaeological News Network reports that a marble statue of Silenus, dating to the Hellenistic era, has been unearthed in the Agora of Ancient Pella. The statue was found in the North Portico of the Agora, in an area which appears to have been reserved for cult purposes.


The statue was found during the excavation of the North Portico, in a destruction layer in Area 10, and has already been moved to the workshops of the archaeological site of Pella for restoration.
The area where the rare find was discovered, and in general the North Portico of the Agora, does not appear to have been commercial in nature. According to the Director of the University excavations in the Agroa of Pella, I. Akamatis, finds from the destruction layer include building foundations that, while definitely public character, suggest a more formal function, possibly reserved for worship. He adds:

"This place constantly surprises us and has many more secrets to reveal. This is a unique find for the area: a standing bearded male figure is depicted, wearing an animal hide and boot-like shoes, and still retaining sporadic traces of the original paint."

Based on the distinctive facial features, archaeologists believe that the figure belongs to the world of Dionysus and is likely to be Silenus who, along with Satyrs and Maenads, followed the bustling god of joy and mirth.

The Hellenistic Agora, built during the reign of Cassander (late 4th century BC), is fully integrated into the urban plan of the city. It is located in the centre of the archaeological site of Pella which also hosts a vast palace complex covering an area of ​​60,000 square metres, as well as sanctuaries, fortifications, private dwellings and a necropolis. Near the spot where the statue was discovered, a semicircular structure with small lead pipes connected to a small water tank, probably part of a small fountain, as well as a fragment from a colossal bronze statue have also been found. Four colonnaded porticoes lined a massive open-air rectangular square whose main access point is a 15 meters wide avenue that crosses the east-west axis. The Agora served as the commercial, administrative and social center of Hellenistic Pella until its destruction 200 years later, probably by an earthquake.
Hey guys, I'm sorry. Today is going to be a 'this is not a real post'-day. For two days now, life has been a bit of a struggle. I need to get some things (and people in my life) sorted and I just don;t have the mental faculties to put something together today. Please forgive me. So, today, a poem by Lord Byron: 'Prometheus'.

In the early nineteenth century, the Promethean figure became a central theme/ideal in English literature. Poets, like Lord George Gordon Byron, began writing in the revolutionary spirit of the times and using Prometheus as a symbol of protest against religion, morality, limitations to human endeavors, prejudice, and the abuse of power. “Prometheus” is one such literary work, published July 1816. Byron is using the character Prometheus to create a poem that becomes a model for rebellion. For an in depth anaysis of the poem and themes, you can go here.



Prometheus by Lord Byron 

Titan! to whose immortal eyes
The sufferings of mortality,
Seen in their sad reality,
Were not as things that gods despise;
What was thy pity's recompense?
A silent suffering, and intense;
The rock, the vulture, and the chain,
All that the proud can feel of pain,
The agony they do not show,
The suffocating sense of woe,
Which speaks but in its loneliness,
And then is jealous lest the sky
Should have a listener, nor will sigh
Until its voice is echoless.

Titan! to thee the strife was given
Between the suffering and the will,
Which torture where they cannot kill;
And the inexorable Heaven,
And the deaf tyranny of Fate,
The ruling principle of Hate,
Which for its pleasure doth create
The things it may annihilate,
Refus'd thee even the boon to die:
The wretched gift Eternity
Was thine—and thou hast borne it well.
All that the Thunderer wrung from thee
Was but the menace which flung back
On him the torments of thy rack;
The fate thou didst so well foresee,
But would not to appease him tell;
And in thy Silence was his Sentence,
And in his Soul a vain repentance,
And evil dread so ill dissembled,
That in his hand the lightnings trembled.

Thy Godlike crime was to be kind,
To render with thy precepts less
The sum of human wretchedness,
And strengthen Man with his own mind;
But baffled as thou wert from high,
Still in thy patient energy,
In the endurance, and repulse
Of thine impenetrable Spirit,
Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse,
A mighty lesson we inherit:
Thou art a symbol and a sign
To Mortals of their fate and force;
Like thee, Man is in part divine,
A troubled stream from a pure source;
And Man in portions can foresee
His own funereal destiny;
His wretchedness, and his resistance,
And his sad unallied existence:
To which his Spirit may oppose
Itself—and equal to all woes,
And a firm will, and a deep sense,
Which even in torture can descry
Its own concenter'd recompense,
Triumphant where it dares defy,
And making Death a Victory.
Like the modern statue of Liberty, Rhodes had its own colossus, in the shape of the island's patron God--well, Titan--Helios. It is said to have stood a little over a hundred feet, or thirty meters, tall, on a fifty feet, or fifteen meters, pedestal. It was made out of bronze over an iron, or wooden, framework. Although there are accounts that place the statue over the harbor entrance, like pictured below, a construction like that would be incredibly hard to make even today. It's more likely the statue stood on one side of the harbor entrance or a little off onto a hill. Wherever it stood, it would have been an incredibly intimidating sight to behold for anyone meaning the island's inhabitants harm: a constant reminder that they were protected by a very powerful Titan.


The statue was, in fact, paid for with enemy money. After Alexander the Great's death, a war broke out over his succession. sides were picked, other sides got angry and Rhodes found itself besieged. When the cavalry arrived, the attackers fled, leaving much of their equipment behind. The inhabitants of the island sold the equipment and invested the money in the statue.

The sheer size of the statue gave it much of its glory, but also the fact that it was made with copper plating over a frame, made it a construction nightmare. Yet, the statue stood for nearly sixty year--until an earthquake literally shook the statue apart.

Ancient Origins posted a very interesting article about the colossos recently, of which I would like to share some exerpts. I would encourage you to read the whole thing, however, as it goes into great depth.

Since ancient times, the small Greek island of Rhodes has been a main intersection between the Aegean and the Mediterranean seas, and was an important economic center in the ancient world. The capital city, also named Rhodes, was built in 408 BC and was designed to take advantage of the island's best natural harbor on the northern coast. In 357 BC the island was conquered by Mausolus of Halicarnassus but fell into Persian hands in 340 BC and was finally captured by Alexander the Great in 332 BC.

In the late fourth century BC, Rhodes allied with Ptolemy I of Egypt against their common enemy, Antigonus I Monophthalmus of Macedonia. In 305 BC, Antigonus sent his son Demetrius to capture and punish the city of Rhodes for its alliance with Egypt. He attacked the island with 40,000 men and weapons and started a war which lasted a year. A relief force of ships sent by Ptolemy arrived in 304 BC, and Antigonus’ army abandoned the siege, leaving behind most of their siege equipment. To celebrate their victory, the Rhodians sold the equipment and decided to use the money to build a huge statue, to their sun god, Helios, called the Colossus of Rhodes.

The base was made of white marble and the structure was gradually erected as bronze plates were fortified over an iron and stone framework.  According to the book of “Pilon of Byzantium”, 15 tons of bronze was used, along with 9 tons of iron, though these numbers seem low to modern architects.  The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of superhuman proportions. It stood over 107 feet (30 meters) high, making it one of the largest statues in the ancient world; the thigh alone was supposedly 11 feet (3 meters) in width, the ankle 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length.
An idea of what this statue may have looked like comes down through images depicted on a few coins that survived the era.  Accounts from eye-witnesses and story-tellers tell of an enormous and amazing statue.  Depictions of the time speak of a naked man with a cloak over his left arm or shoulder proudly facing east to the rising sun, torch in one hand, and spear in the other.  Some think the statue was wearing a spiked crown, shading its eyes from the rising sun with its right hand, or possibly using that hand to hold the torch aloft in a pose similar to one later given to the Statue of Liberty.  Although we do not know the true shape and appearance of the Colossus, modern reconstructions with the statue standing upright are more accurate than older drawings.