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Please let me grow old with him; the desperate plea of a lover from the 4th century BCE

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Some 24 centuries ago, a woman probably named Phila, was in love with a man named Dionysophon. We don’t know whether the man reciprocated or encouraged her love in any way; we don’t know whether he made promises he didn’t … Continue reading

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Tsiknopempti

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It’s Tsiknopempti, a day of fun and gluttony. The Greeks everywhere gather for festive meals with family and friends. Tavernas, grills and restaurants are packed, with long queues forming at their doorsteps. For those who opt to stay home but … Continue reading

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FAQ: What to pack for a trip to Greece

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I must have been asked that question about a thousand times, so in order to save time, I’ve compiled my own packing list. Although it was compiled with inexperienced travelers in mind (hence tips and explanations), I’ve found its printout … Continue reading

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Everything you want to know about the Antikythera Mechanism

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On May 17th, 1902, 115 years ago, to the day, former Minister of Education, Spyridon Stais, and Curator of Antiquities, Gabriel Byzantinos, were in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, examining some nondescript fragments that had been pulled from the famous … Continue reading

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Spring came to Eleusis

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A short distance from Athens, Eleusis was the centre of the cult of goddess Demeter, who embodied Earth’s fertility. It was the place where the famous Eleusinian Mysteries took place. Initially it was a rite symbolising the circle of life … Continue reading

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“Tsougrisma,” a Greek Easter custom

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There is no Easter bunny hiding eggs for the Greek children to find. The eggs are in plain sight, on the table, for everyone to take. Yet, no one may eat them before “cracking” them with someone, exchanging wishes and … Continue reading

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The Epitaphios procession on Great Friday

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It may be known as Good Friday to many, but to the Greeks there’s nothing good on the Friday before Easter Sunday. That is the day when the entire Orthodox community mourns the passing of Jesus Christ. Symbolic death and … Continue reading

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Dionysus in Delos

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Most people think that Dionysus, the god of wine, was no more than the drunken sidekick of Greek mythology. In fact, he was a rather powerful god who controlled the wild forces of nature. He did not care for the … Continue reading

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A plant of gods and mortals

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In the beginning of spring, an impressive flower towers high above all others. It is usually found on roadsides, abandoned fields and archaeological sites all over Greece. It is giant fennel (ferula communis) but, despite its similarity with fennel, it … Continue reading