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Caryatids at sunset

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The original Caryatids have withdrawn to the safety of the Acropolis Museum. It is their modern avatars, still graceful, despite the ravages of time, that now hold up the roof of the southern porch of the Erechtheion. One of them … Continue reading

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Don’t stand in line, get your ticket on line

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or Ticket tips for the sites of Athens The Acropolis is of course the top attraction of Athens. It is not surprising that its entrance fee is the priciest of all other sites in Athens, at € 20. Naturally, this … Continue reading

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The female experience of war in Ancient Greece

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In ancient Greek warfare women took hardly any part in the conflicts and were mostly restricted to the role of passive non-combatant. Considering this, it is indeed strange that the Greek pantheon contains at least two women warriors, namely Athena … Continue reading

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New dog, old tricks

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Sometime in the 6th century BCE, an unknown Athenian, or perhaps the city itself, dedicated the statue of a hunting dog to the Acropolis, in front of the Sanctuary of Artemis, goddess of the hunt, which was near the Parthenon. … Continue reading

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Suffer, the little children…

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On the night Troy was sacked, Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, ran into Andromache. The widow of his father’s most bitter foe (Hector) was running for her life, with baby Astyanax in her arms. Snatching the infant, Neoptolemus killed it savagely, … Continue reading

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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