Brighton College, a co-educational school in East Sussex, will use Hellenic philosophers to teach pupils how to spot "fake news" on social media, as it prepares to launch a new course in the new year. They will begin offering the course next term as a way to encourage children to think critically about the information they receive online.


Aristotle’s teachings about truth are to feature on the course, which will be overseen by Leak Hamblett, the school's deputy headmistress. Ms Hamblett, a philosophy teacher, hopes the children will learn how to tell the difference between "what is real and what is true".

"I want to teach them to go looking at resources, looking at where your source comes from, are they respectable? If you're going to read something check it out on a few different platforms, don't necessarily think it's true because it's come through social media."

Ms Hamblett also said people have a "natural inclination" to believe the written word, and it takes analytical skills to question and establish if what they are reading is true.

"We are in an unprecedented era where news and 'facts' are available at the swipe of a smartphone - which the majority of secondary school children possess - yet until now we have not taught children how to be discerning. We have a responsibility as teachers to make children more savvy about what they hear and read. They need to know they can't trust everything that pops up on their phone and learn how to form opinions. The course we are introducing will ask has fake news always been around under another name and will use Aristotle's standard model of truth to help pupils unravel fact from fiction."

A report published earlier this year warned that children and young people in England do not have the critical literacy skills needed to identify fake news. The National Literacy Trust said its report showed that the phenomenon is a serious problem for children and young people, threatening democracy, confidence in governance and trust in journalism.
The deme of Erkhia has many sacrifices, and Elaion has pretty much adopted them all. One of these sacrifices--or actually two of them--are on Poseideon 16. Both are to Zeus. The first to Zeus without epithet, the other to Zeus Horios: 'of the boundary stones'. Will you join us for this combined sacrifice on January 4 at 10 am, EST?

Zeus Horios is responsible for the preservation of boundary stones. In order to mark their territories (especially between public and private), the ancient Hellenes relied on boundary markers, called 'horoi'. A horos (χορός) was usually a stele of marble or limestone, no larger than a meter high, rectangular and roughly hewn except for the upper front face, which was dressed smooth for inscribed letters. It was usually inscribed, sometimes with just the word 'horos', or sometimes specifying the territory (e.g., 'horos of the sanctuary'), or even the name of a deity. Some horoi were inscribed in the first person; a famous horos stone found by the ancient Athenia agora reads 'I am the horos of the Agora'. Specificity and clarity were crucial; passersby needed to know what sort of land they were entering because a boundary marker's message was enforced with a legal enforceable meaning.

The Arkhian calendar describes the sacrifices as such:

"[...] on the sixteenth [of Poseideon], for Zeus, on the rock or rocky place at Erkhia, a sheep, no taking away. For Zeus Horios, at Erkhia, a piglet, no taking away."

'No taking away' in this case means to consume the sacrifice on the spot. No part of it can be carried away from the site. So the skins and bones, as well as some of the meat are to be burned and the rest of the meat eaten, not sold or stored. Some scientists and archaeologists have come to call this type of sacrifice 'Ou phora', after Scott Scullion's definition.

In Sullivan's definition of 'Olympian' and 'Khthonian', 'Khthonian' was extended to include not only sacrifices in which the victim was destroyed, but also all sacrifices from which the meat could not be carried away and had to be consumed on the spot. He connects ou phora sacrifices to Khthonian deities or heroes, but this theory has been widely debated because it simply does not seem to resonate with other knowledge we have of these divinities and Their cults.

Poseideon was ruled by Poseidon, Zeus and Dionysos. Poseideon is the first true winter month; the first harvest was over, seafaring had ceased and thus war had come to an end. The focus was on the home and preparation for true, deep winter: the weather turned and the crops needed protecting. Because of this, it was also a month of threat; if the crops failed, if the seas became too rough when a daring fisherman was out on it, or if a river went out of bounds and flooded a well populated area there would be death. Zeus Horios watches over the boundaries of the home and was thus vital in this divine protection.

In current times we might not have most of these fears, but we still want trespassers to stay off our property (burglars, anyone?), and we want our personal, emotional, boundaries to be observed as well by the people we meet. Zeus Horios still influences our lives. So will you join us in honoring Zeus and Zeus Horios come January 4 at 10 am, EST? The community for the event can be found here and the ritual here.
I was looking for gifts prior to the holidays and came across this Etsy shop, Art1jewel. Christmas giving is done, but perhaps you'd like to gift yourself something nice? While you browse, I'll be running around like a headless chicken. I'll have something more for you all tomorrow.

The Διονύσια κατ᾽ ἀγρούς, or μικρά, the rural or lesser Dionysia, a vintage festival, was celebrated in the various demes of Attica in the month of Poseideon. It was celebrated with a large procession in which men carried a phallus and cakes. Revelers and singers were also a part of the procession. A representation of the God was included to represent His coming. The festival also included stage comedies and the playing of lighthearted games. Generally, it was a joyful festival, shared by all, even the serfs. Will you join us for it on December 29 at 10 am EST?

The Dionysia was originally a rural festival in Eleutherae, Attica, probably celebrating the cultivation of vines. It was probably a very ancient festival, perhaps not originally associated with Dionysus. This 'rural Dionysia' was held during the winter, in the month of Poseideon. The central event was the pompe (πομπή), the procession, in which phalloi (φαλλοί) were carried by phallophoroi (φαλλοφόροι). Also participating in the pompe were kanephoroi (κανηφόροι – young girls carrying baskets), obeliaphoroi (ὀβελιαφόροι – who carried long loaves of bread), skaphephoroi (σκαφηφόροι – who carried other offerings), hydriaphoroi (ὑδριαφόροι – who carried jars of water), and askophoroi (ἀσκοφόροι – who carried jars of wine).

After the pompe procession was completed, there were contests of dancing and singing, and choruses (led by a choregos) would perform dithyrambs. Some festivals may have included dramatic performances, possibly of the tragedies and comedies that had been produced at the City Dionysia the previous year. This was more common in the larger towns, such as Piraeus and Eleusis.

Because the various towns in Attica held their festivals on different days, it was possible for spectators to visit more than one festival per season. It was also an opportunity for Athenian citizens to travel outside the city if they did not have the opportunity to do so during the rest of the year. This also allowed travelling companies of actors to perform in more than one town during the period of the festival.

The community for the event can be found here and the ritual here.
I'm going to shamelessly self-promote today. It is my blog, after all, and it's faintly Hellenic. Very faintly, but still. Yesterday, I pre-launched my very own Publishing house, Eos Publishing.

Eos Publishing is an independent publishing house with two missions: to publish the very best in women-fronted fiction, and to make it easy for our authors to do so. Our focus is on stories about women, a term we define as “any character who identifies as such.” Biological gender has nothing to do with that. We welcome stories in any genre, about any sexuality, from anyone, as long as the women are center-stage and kick ass.

Eos is the rosy-fingered Goddess of the dawn. She and her siblings Helios (the Sun) and Selene (the Moon) are numbered amongst the second-generation Titan Gods within the Greek pantheon. Eos rises into the sky from the river Okeanos at the start of each day, and with her rays of light dispersed the mists of night. Her life story is one of great love, great sadness, and great adventure. She had many lovers, stood up against Zeus, head of the Olympic Gods, and was cheated by him into receiving immortality without eternal youth. She loved, lost, and eventually swiveled into a grasshopper.

She was also her own hero.

She lived.

Eos was depicted either driving a chariot drawn by winged horses or borne aloft on her own wings. She doesn’t rely on anything or anyone to provide for her–a rarity in ancient Hellenic mythology.
Through her trials, tribulations, and victories, Eos represents all we look for in both our authors and the stories they write: independence, courage, strength, and a desire to conquer.

I look forward to this new adventure, and the first manuscripts are already in! If you want to keep updated (and maybe support me a little), find and follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
I stumbled upon a resource you might already know about, but this was the first time I came across it (what can I say, I don't like listening to podcasts). I'm talking about Ancient Greece Declassified, a podcast about making the “Classics” accessible to everyone.

"Thanks to archaeology and modern scholarship, we now know more about the ancient world than we ever did before. However, the average person today doesn't have access to free, reliable, up-to-date information about ancient Greece. Unlike other fields, the Classics have remained largely confined to the ivory tower of academia. It's time to change that. The Classics shouldn't be just for people lucky enough to go to certain schools. Everyone should be able to know about the ideas and events that inspired the founders of this republic. Let's declassify the classics.

The host of the podcast, Lantern Jack, is a graduate student in ancient philosophy who loves to travel and to play music. Exploring ancient Greece combines both of these passions, since the past is a foreign country, and ancient Greece in particular is a musical place."

There are fifteen episodes at the time of writing, spanning everything from archaeology, to philosophy, to mythology, to ancient Hellenic plays. If you have some time to kill on Boxing day, this is a wonderful way to do it!
I'm not much of a Christmas gal (but happy Christmas!), and never have been. The level of consumerism always makes me a little uneasy, but enough of that soapbox. I'm here to help you view Christmas in a bit of a Hellenic light--because that's bound to raise anyone's cheer!

Now, inherently, Christmas is Roman, not Hellenic. Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25. During this period courts were closed, and no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people.

The festival began when Roman authorities chose 'an enemy of the Roman people' to represent the 'Lord of Misrule'. Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week.  At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman.

The ancient Hellenic writer poet and historian Lucian (in his dialogue entitled Saturnalia) describes the festival’s observance in his time:  human sacrifice, intoxication, going from house to house while singing naked, rape and other sexual license, and consuming human-shaped biscuits.

In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians. The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.

Christians had little success, however, refining the practices of Saturnalia. The earliest Christmas holidays were celebrated by drinking, sexual indulgence, singing naked in the streets (a precursor of modern caroling), etc.

The Saturnalia has its roots in the Rural Dionysia, and overall in the worship of Dionysos. The Rural, or lesser, Dionysia was a vintage festival. It was celebrated in the various demes of Attica in the month of Poseideon. It was celebrated with a large procession in which men carried a phallus and cakes. Revelers and singers were also a part of the procession. A representation of the God was included to represent His coming (not birth!). The festival also included stage comedies and the playing of lighthearted games. Generally, it was a joyful festival, shared by all, even the slaves.

Some other 'modern' Christmas customes: carol singing. The tradition of door-to-door carol-singing also dates back to ancient Hellas, when children would go from house to house holding effigies made of olive or laurel branches that symbolized health. They sang carols only in the homes of the rich. In return they received food. They would then go home and hang their effigies on their front door to bring their families prosperity.

The Christmas tree appeared for the first time in Germany at the end of the 16th century. It became globally known in the 19th century. In Christianity, the Christmas tree symbolizes the rejoicing of the birth of Jesus Christ. The tree was adorned first with fruits and later with clothes and other household objects. Ancient Greeks used to decorate the ancient temples with trees, symbolizing the divine gift offering. In fact, due to it's destinct shape, tree worship was widespread in ancient Hellas as part of the cult of Dionysos.

Santa Claus, who travels around the world on Christmas Eve delivering gifts in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, may have Dionysian roots as well. Dionysus drove around on a flying charriot pulled by exotic animals. He may not have given out gifts, but it was part of the celebration of the return of the light--perhaps the greatest gift of all.

Now, did you know that a little before the clock strikes twelve it is customary for family members to step out of the house and re-enter using their right foot. The person who enters immediately after the first footer smashes the pomegranate with force onto the door. The number of seeds that get scattered are proportional to amount of good luck the family will be blessed with over the coming year. Since ancient times, pomegranates are considered to be symbols of fertility and rebirth, after all. Now this is a custom I would love to rivive!

Modern day Christas is a conglomoration of ancient Hellenic, Roman and Norse customs, adapted by Christianity and then marketing to get where we are now. At it's roots, it was always a time of cheer and good omens, a time to spend with family, to give gifts, and to get a little tipsy. So enjoy the festivities and raise a glass to Dionysos! 
I came across this and absolutely had to share, because I know at least one reader (and friend) will appreciate this man's craft very much. Haralambos Goumas, 67, has produced thousands of large terracotta statues of ancient Hellenic deities, mythical figures and fabulous beasts, mostly for use as architectural and garden ornaments.

Many of Goumas' pieces stand in tidy ranks, in a yard fronting the long, metal-roofed shed with its old-fashioned wood-fired furnace where he works. Others are scattered apparently randomly: an Athena here, a horse or a satyr there, among bulls' heads, griffins, sphinxes, garden urns or busts of 5th-century B.C. Athenian philosopher Socrates and the 19th-century Greek poet Dionysios Solomos.

Most draw from the neoclassical tradition that dominated Greek urban architecture from the 1830s to the 1920s, and was blitzed during unbridled post-World War II redevelopment. Once rejected as trite remnants of an irrelevant past, the original neoclassical terracotta statues that decorated facades, niches and pediments are now highly-prized antiques.

"I guess that in my lifetime I have made many more statues than those in China's Terracotta Army."

The tenth of 12 children, Goumas was born next to the workshop - initially his father's porcelain fittings business - that was still surrounded by vineyards and orchards, with the Acropolis dominating the landscape to the east. All his brothers worked there at some point, though he is the only one to have persevered.

"It's very hard, physically demanding work. It's not so easy to breathe in the smoke from the furnace, or lift these very heavy statues - some weigh 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and the moulds can reach 300 kilograms."

Although past retirement age, Goumas hopes to continue working and at the same time to create a school for young artists on the site, provided he can raise the necessary funds.

"Then I'll never have to leave this place. I have made so many gods that I believe one or other will help me. (Otherwise,) what did I make them all for?"

They are a rare survival of a vanishing art in recession-plagued Greece, all made by hand using traditional techniques in a western Athens workshop squeezed in among warehouses, small industries and a railyard.

For many, many, many more images of the absolutely stunning sculptures, go here.

On December 27th, Elaion will organize a PAT ritual for the Poseidea. During this festival, Poseidon as savior of ships, protector of those who voyage in ships, and God of the lapping waters both salt and fresh important for agriculture, is thanked for the many gifts that came from faraway places that were likely given at that time. Will you join us at 10 am EST?

The most complete account of the festival is Noel Robertson's article Poseidon's Festival at the Winter Solstice, The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 34, No. 1. (1984), pp. 1-16:

"The record shows that Poseidon was once worshipped in every part of Greece as a god of deneral importance to the community. [...] The festival falls near the winter solstice, and the ritual business marked by jollity and license, belongs to the general type of solstice festival known the world over.  At Poseidon’s festival, however, the sportive conduct has a definite purpose; this purpose arises from the fundamental agrarian background if Mediterranean society, and may bring us close to the origin of solstice festivals.

It has scarcely been noticed that festivals of Poseidon, more than those of any other Greek deity, fall at just this time of year; yet the evidence is extensive. [...] The festival Poseidea and some of the rites in question are often claimed for Poseidon the sea-god, but at this season sailing is furthest from one’s mind, and fishing on the shore is by no means an overriding concern.  Such details as we have point elsewhere, to Poseidon as the god of fresh water who fructifies Demeter’s fields."

One of Poseidon’s epithets is prosklystios, 'of the lapping water'. He is also invoked as Poseidon phytalmios which implies natural fertility and human procreation. There are also implications in the legends that imply bonfires at the winter solstice.

Noel Robertson concludes:

"…the celebrants feast to satiety, then turn to lascivious teasing. What is the ritual purpose of such conduct?  It obviously suits Poseidon’s mythical reputation as the most lustful of gods, who far surpasses Apollo and Zeus in the number of his liaisons and his offspring. Poseidon the seducer is the god of springs and rivers; his women typically succumb while bathing or drawing water; the type of the river god is a rampant bull. But the ritual likewise treats Poseidon as a procreant force; witness the epithets phytalmios, genesios, pater, etc. as interpreted above. The myths and the ritual reflect the same belief. The rushing waters are a proponent male power, just as the fields which they fertilize are a prolific female.  Both water and the fields, both Poseidon and Demeter, can be made to operate by sympathetic magic.  The rites of our winter festival rouse Poseidon and bring the rushing waters."

It is interesting that that Theophrastus tells us that the silver fir was important in ship building, especially for masts. The ‘tannenbaum’ is a silver fir. It is also interesting to compare with the Roman Saturnalia which may very well have borrowed from the Poseidea.

Celebrating Poseidon's Festival seems to be lost in modern practice. It likely entailed bonfires, feasting, cutting of trees (probably decorated), and very likely gift giving. As God of begetting, that aspect was not forgotten. We'll bring at least the ritual for Poseidon back on December 27, at 10 am EST. You can find the community page here and the ritual here.
I'm traveling to Belgium today, so I'm a little short on time. We're spending Christmas weekend with family in a little rented home. I look forward to it a lot, but less toward the three hour drive. Wish me luck!

Previously unknown classical Greek mythological and medical works and other centuries-old writings have been discovered concealed on manuscripts stored in Egypt’s St. Catherine’s Monastery, organizations behind the research project — including UCLA — announced Tuesday. Also uncovered were classical scientific texts preserved only in Syriac translation, religious texts in extinct languages, an ancient Christian poem describing Old Testament figures in Homeric style and detailed illustrations of plants, buildings and people. The collaboration represents the largest effort of its kind to recover erased or obscured information from historical source material.

The discoveries were uncovered as part of the Sinai Palimpsests Project, a five-year collaboration paid for by the Arcadia Fund and carried out by the UCLA Library, the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library and the monastery, it said. The dictionary defines palimpsests as writing material, such as a manuscript, on which the original writing has been removed to make room for later writing but of which traces remain. According to project organizers:

“Spectral imaging of rare and unique ancient manuscripts in the library of St. Catherine’s Monastery on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has revealed treasures of inestimable scholarly and religious value, which were hidden by subsequent writing when parchment was reused. The UCLA Library and the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library have partnered with the monastery on this project, which is funded by Arcadia.”

Organizers said 74 palimpsests totaling some 6,800 pages in 10 languages contain erased layers of writing from the fifth to the 12th centuries. They are now accessible to students, scholars and the public online at sinaipalimpsests.orgUCLA Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian Ginny Steel:

“By revealing these long-hidden materials and preserving them for future generations, this project makes possible advanced research and scholarship by scholars around the world. We are extremely grateful to Arcadia for its visionary support of this international effort. Access to its collection of ancient and medieval manuscripts, considered second only to that of the Vatican Library, has often been difficult due to its remoteness and the region’s volatile political climate. In addition to revealing hidden content and making it accessible, this project has also preserved these fragile materials.”

Among the palimpsests are some of the earliest surviving copies of several Hippocratic medical treatises and a previously unknown mythological poem from ancient Hellas that mentions Zeus, Hades, Hera, Hermes and Persephone. In addition to the oldest surviving illustration in a secular Latin manuscript, illustrations include medicinal herbs, human faces and figures and portions of buildings. There are a number of double palimpsests from parchment that was re-used multiple times.

The spectral imaging process involves illuminating a manuscript with successive wavelengths of light from ultraviolet through the visible spectrum to infrared. The raw data is then processed to generate derivative images that maximize the legibility of erased content.
After the quiet month of Poseideon I, Poseideon II brings with it a slew of festivals. We'll start on december 24 with the Plerosia. Will you be joining us at 10 AM EST? If you are a woman that is; it seems the Plerosia was a women-only festival.

The Plerosia is a non-Athenian festival. As such, the details of the celebration are somewhat vague. So we extrapolate from the placement of the festival and the little information we have. What we know for sure is that Zeus was worshipped, and that it's often linked to the Proerosia. As such, we can assume Demeter was also honored, and that it was a harvest festival of sorts--the name translates roughly to 'festival of completion'. This is where the assumptions begin, but we get an extra hint of the intended purpose of the festival because of Zeus' inclusion and the name of the festival.

Poseideon marks the end of the harvesting season, as well as the trading season. The majority of the work is done. Now it's time to return home, take stock, and stay warm. It's a time to thank the Theoi for all that has been received and all that will get us through the winter. The word ‘plerosis’ means fulfillment, satiated, filled, and implies banqueting and celebration of the bounty of the season that is ending. This is also the spirit we have tried to capture in the ritual.

As a separate--and very important--note: the Plerosia seems to have been a women-only festival, like the Skira(phoria) and the Thesmophoria. We're not sure this is correct, but we'll go with it anyway. Once reason I could think of is that now the winter is upon us, we turn to the domain of the women: the house(hold). As such, it is her prerogative to thank the Gods for the food she can feed her family with.
The ritual for this sacrifice can be found here, and you can join our community page here. We hope you will join us in celebrating this joyous event.
On the day of the Hene kai Nea, I post a monthly update about things that happened on the blog and in projects and organizations related to it. I will also announce Elaion's coming PAT rituals.

Changes to the blog:
  • Sorry, I've been too busy being stupendously busy, followed by being stupendously sick, to do much to the blog other than blog. Sorry!
PAT rituals for Poseideon II:
  • 5 Poseideon II - 24 December 2017 - Plerosiafestival at Attic deme of Myrrhinus
  • 8 Poseideon II - 27 December 2017 - Poseidea - festival in honor of Poseidon
  • 10 Poseideon II - 29 December 2017 - Rustic or Lesser Dionysiain honor of Dionysos
  • 16 Poseideon II - 4 January 2018 - Sacrifice to Zeus Horios at Erkhia
  • 26 Poseideon II - 14 January 2018 - Haloa - fertility festival in honor of Dionysos and Demeter

Anything else?
Are you looking for an online shop to buy incenses and other Hellenistic basics from? Try The Hellenic Handmaid on Etsy.

Would you like to support me? Buy me a coffee.
I recently came across this video of a 3D reconstruction of an ancient Hellenic home. It's a house is a reconstruction of one in Olynthus was an ancient city of Chalcidice, built mostly on two flat-topped hills 30–40m in height, in a fertile plain at the head of the Gulf of Torone, near the neck of the peninsula of Pallene. Olynthus was abruptly destroyed in 348 BC by Phillip of Macedon after allying with Athens. The houses are relatively undisturbed and provide a relatively unique look at the life of Ancient Hellas before Hellenism swept through and marked the very end of the Classical age. This model is the House of the Tiled Prothyon, a broadly higher class or oikos of Olynthus.

Ancient Hellenic homes were simple structures, made from clay, wood, and stone. The roofs were covered with tiles, or reeds, and the houses had one or two stories. Most houses were small, just a few rooms, with a walled garden or yard in the middle. Others, like the house in the video, were much larger. They were not solely homes, but often doubled as offices, shops, entertainment areas, and as a place of worship. In many cases, a large wall with a single door connected the house to the street, while insuring maximum privacy tot he occupants of the house. Rooms at the front of the house often served as store rooms or work shops. Other rooms in the house served as bedrooms, as a kitchen, bathroom, and smaller store rooms. Symposia were held in special rooms, reserved only for men. The only women who entered the male-only rooms were serfs. These rooms were called 'andron' (ανδρών). Female-only rooms were called 'gynaikon' (γυναικῶν).

The courtyard of the home often held a bômos, a free standing, raised, altar where the majority of household worship took place. Some houses also had a wall niche, an indoor worship area, either in a room especially designated for worship, or in the main family room. These altars were used to worship the Ephestioi (Εφεστιοι), the most personal of the household Theoi. These almost always included: Hestia, Zeus Ephestios (Overseer of the Hearth), Zeus Kthesios, and Agathós Daímōn. Worship of these deities was highly personal, and many other Theoi could be added to this worship list.

Hestia was represented by the hearth fire that was always kept burning. If it went out, the male head of household would go to the prytaneion (Πρυτανεῖον), the structure where state officials met and where the city kept a fire for Hestia burning day and night, for a new flame. All fires in the house were lit from this one fire, so Hestia would watch over everything and everyone inside the house. Zeus Ephestios was and is a more active defender of the home. He shields the actual structure of the house. Where Hestia watches over the occupants, Zeus Ephestios guards the very walls, the roof, the floor, and any possessions inside the structure. He was worshipped at the main altar.

Zeus Kthesios guards the pantry, and was honoured there as well, where he had his own shrine, often adorned with a kathiskos. Agathós Daímōn and the ancestors were also worshipped at the main altar, although they may have had small shrines to themselves, especially in the case of wall niches.

In the courtyard of the house, the Herkeioi (Ἑρκειοι) were honoured: those of the herkos or front court. Most notably, this was Zeus Herkeios (Ἑρκειος), protector of the enclosure of the house. And just outside the house, and especially near the gate to the street, small shrines and altars were placed in honor of the less personal protectors: Apollon (sometimes in his epithet of 'Aguieus' (Ἀγυιεύς), protector of the streets, public places, and the entrances to homes), Hermes Propylaios, Hekate, and especially in Sparta, the Dioskouroi. Hēraklēs sometimes took the place of Apollon.

Zeus Herkeios' altar stood in the courtyard and He, from the inside of the house, protected against anyone wanting to harm the house or the family living in it. These altars were most often pillars, on or around which the offerings could be placed. Hermes, Apollon, and Hekate were represented by a pointy four-sided post. The top was reserved for Apollon, the bottom often held a niche where Deipnon offerings could be placed to Hekate, and Hermes' face (and sometimes his genitalia) was sometimes carved into the post. Hermes sometimes got his own post, called a 'herm', which was a rectangular post, with His face carved on top, and his genitalia carved out on the front.

Not all of these things can be seen in the video, but some are. The (small) altar, for example.
Papyri Graecae Magicae, also known as the "Greek Magical Papyri," are a body of papyri from Graeco-Roman Egypt, which each contain a number of magical spells, formulae, hymns and rituals. The materials in the papyri date from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD. The manuscripts came to light through the antiquities trade, from the 18th century onwards. As part of the papyri, spells for a variety of things were recorded. One is a prayer to Eros as part of a love spell. I'd like to share that today.

Prayer to Eros
"I call upon you, author of all creation, who spread your own wings over the whole world, you, the unapproachable and unmeasurable who breathe into every soul life-giving reasoning, who fitted all things together by your power, firstborn, founder of the universe, golden-winged, whose light is darkness, who shroud reasonable thoughts and breathe forth dark frenzy, clandestine one who secretly inhabit every soul.

You engender an unseen fire as you carry off every living thing without growing weary of torturing it, rather having with pleasure delighted in pain from the time when the world came into being. You also come and bring pain, who are sometimes reasonable, sometimes irrational, because of whom men dare beyond what is fitting and take refuge in your light which is darkness.

Most headstrong, lawless, implacable, inexorable, invisible, bodiless, generator of frenzy, archer, torch-carrier, master of all living sensation and of everything clandestine, dispenser of forgetfulness, creator of silence, through whom the light and to whom the light travels, infantile when you have been engendered within the heart, wisest when you have succeeded; I call upon you, unmoved by prayer, by your great name

[F]irst-shining, night-shining, night rejoicing, night-engendering, witness, you in the depth, you in the sea, clandestine and wisest. Turn the ‘soul’ of her to me, so that she may love me, so that she may feel passion for me, so that she may give me what is in her power. Let her say to me what is in her soul because I have called upon your great name.”
Thousands of years ago, the Greek physician Hippokrates, widely considered to be the father of modern medicine, wrote about diseases he and his students observed and treated, including intestinal parasites. Modern scholars suspected that parasitic worms described in the medical text "Hippokratic Corpus" were actually roundworms, pinworms and tapeworms, but there was no physical evidence to back that up.  However, archaeologists recently discovered remnants of ancient poo that bolster historians' theory about Hippokrates' diagnostic prowess.

The poop — by now decomposed into soil — was found adhering to pelvic bones from a burial site on the Greek island of Kea, which holds remains dating from about 4,000 B.C. in the Neolithic period to A.D. 330. The researchers found that the fecal remnants contained eggs from two types of intestinal parasites — whipworm and roundworm — giving a modern name to Hippocrates' ancient diagnoses from 2,500 years ago and providing the earliest evidence of parasitic worms in the people of ancient Greece, the study authors reported. Study co-author Evilena Anastasiou, a biological anthropologist at the University of Cambridge in England, said in a statement.

"Finding the eggs of intestinal parasites as early as the Neolithic period in Greece is a key advance in our field."

In ancient Greek medical texts, three terms were typically used to describe parasitic worms: Helmins strongyle described "a large round worm," Helmins plateia referred to "a flat worm," and Ascaris was "a small round worm." Scholars suspected these names referred to parasites currently known as roundworms (Ascaris lumbricoides), tapeworms in the Taenia genus and pinworms (Enterobius vermicularis), the researchers wrote in the study:

To investigate that interpretation, the scientists analyzed 25 burials spanning 4,000 years, removing sediment that contained traces of decomposed human excrement. They found evidence of roundworm or whipworm eggs in four individuals, confirming that Hippokrates was probably talking about roundworms in his 2,500-year-old medical texts. The study's lead author Piers Mitchell, a lecturer in biological anthropology at the University of Cambridge, said in a statement:

"The Helmins strongyle worm in the ancient Greek texts is likely to have referred to roundworm, as found at Kea. However, Hippocrates may have conflated two common parasites in his texts. The Ascaris worm described in the ancient medical texts may well have referred to two parasites, pinworm and whipworm, with the latter being found at Kea."

One possible explanation for why only whipworm and roundworm eggs survived the test of time could lie in their robust outer membranes, which shielded the eggs from destruction. Meanwhile, the more delicate eggs of other intestinal parasites, such as hookworms and pinworms, were broken down, the researchers reported.

Previous research suggested that whipworms and roundworms have parasitized people throughout human evolution, and when the first settlers arrived on the Greek island of Kea, those intestinal parasites likely arrived with them, the scientists explained in the new study. In addition to confirming Hippokrates' description of roundworms, their findings also suggested that whipworms were present as parasites in the region thousands of years ago, the study authors reported. According to Mitchell:

"Until now we only had estimates from historians as to what kinds of parasites were described in the ancient Greek medical texts. Our research confirms some aspects of what the historians thought, but also adds new information that the historians did not expect, such as that whipworm was present. This research shows how we can bring together archaeology and history to help us better understand the discoveries of key early medical practitioners and scientists."

The findings were published online in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.
Archaeological teams working with Egyptian archaeologists in the Aswan area have unearthed four intact burials of children in Gebel El-Silsila, a cemetery dating to the First Intermediate Period at Kom Ombo, and a statue thought to depict Artemis in the old town of Aswan.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that Maria Nilsson and Swedish researchers discovered the children’s tombs, which yielded a mummy in linen wrappings, traces of wooden coffins, and funerary furniture, including amulets and pottery.

The tombs date to the 18th Dynasty, between 1550 and 1292 B.C. In Kom Ombo, Austrian researchers uncovered mudbrick tombs, pottery, and other grave goods in a cemetery dating to between 2181 and 2055 B.C. The cemetery had been built on top of an older one, as well as an Old Kingdom town.

Abdel Moneim Saeed, general director of Aswan and Nubia Antiquities, added that a mission headed by Swiss Egyptologist Wolfgang Muller found a statue missing its head, feet, and right hand. The figure’s dress resembles that worn by Artemis, who had been combined with the Egyptian Goddesses Isis and Bastet.
So far, researchers have managed to learn a lot about ancient Hellenic culture by interpreting the surviving fragments of age-old pot decorations, mosaics, paintings, and statues. From these discoveries we’ve been able to learn that music played an integral part in the lifestyle of ancient Hellas.

Artwork dating from around 750 to 400 BC often details scenes of music being played at social occasions, such as parties and funerals. The ancient instruments are known to cover three instrumental families—stings, wind, and percussion—with the most common instruments being the lyre (a string instrument that looks like a small harp) and the guitar-like zither. However, more than 2,000 years later, we’ve only just recently been able to learn exactly how they would have sounded. Thanks to newly discovered ancient documents, a group of scholars have figured out how to recreate precise renditions of ancient Greek music. Armand D'Angour, a musician and classics tutor at Oxford University, explains:

“The [ancient Greek] instruments are known from descriptions, paintings and archaeological remains, which allow us to establish the timbres and range of pitches they produced. And now, new revelations about ancient Greek music have emerged from a few dozen ancient documents inscribed with a vocal notation devised around 450 BC, consisting of alphabetic letters and signs placed above the vowels of the Greek words.”

After some decoding, David Creese, one of D'Angour's colleagues from the University of Newcastle, was able to play and record the oldest surviving complete musical composition—titled Seikilos—an epitaph that was inscribed on an ancient, 2,000-year-old marble column. Listen as Creese sings and plays the notes on his handmade zither-like instrument—an “eight-string canon.”
The Washington Post published a very interesting article about Mary Beard yesterday. For those of you unfamiliar with Beard or her impressive body of work, she is an English scholar and classicist. Beard is Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Newnham College, and Royal Academy of Arts Professor of Ancient Literature. She is also the Classics editor of The Times Literary Supplement. In short: she knows her stuff. As the post reports: a new book by Beard links Hellenic mythology to modern (Twitter) trolls, arguing both have a problem with women who speak up.

(Alastair Grant/Associated Press)

The Cambridge University classics professor had been pondering the influence of the ancient world on modern political and public life when she came across mugs and T-shirts bearing an image from Greek mythology: the hero Perseus holding the bloody head of the snake-haired monster Medusa. In this version, Perseus had Donald Trump’s face and the monster bore Clinton’s.

Beard was shocked both by the brutality of the image and “the domesticity of it. ... The idea that you’d be sitting at your breakfast table and you’d have a mug with Hillary Clinton being beheaded on it.”

Beard asks how that ancient image ended up in a modern political campaign in “Women and Power ,” a short but punchy book published Tuesday in the U.S. by Liveright. The book explores the way images and ideas from ancient Greece and Rome have burrowed the way into the Western collective consciousness — and how many of them are about keeping women in their place.

“When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice”

The book begins with one of the first works of Western literature, citing a scene in Homer’s 3,000-year-old “Odyssey,” in which Telemachus tells his mother Penelope to get back to her weaving because “speech will be the business of men.”

Beard argues that modern ideas about public speaking are still shaped by its definition as a male thing. In the book’s second half she explores how power, more widely, came to be defined as something wielded by men.

As well as Clinton, female politicians including Angela Merkel and Theresa May have been caricatured as the serpent-haired Gorgon. Beard argues that such images draw little criticism. In contrast, when comedian Kathy Griffin posed with a fake severed Trump head, it prompted an outcry that saw her fired by CNN. In an echo of the ancient image, online abuse aimed at prominent women often includes threats to rip out tongues or cut off heads.

“(It’s) the idea of cutting off, not just the brain and the beauty but the speaking organ of a woman.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

I think she has a point. As a feminist and a woman, of course I think she has a point. I have experienced it, I have seen it happen to others. Ancient Hellas was a patriarchal society, and we live in a patriarchal society to this day. There has been a shift toward more equality, and we continue to shift toward more equality, but we're not there yet.  I'll be getting Beard's book as a first step toward that future.