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Echoes of success

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Around 530 BCE, a revolution took place in Greek art, one that changed the face of Greek pottery forever. The black-figure style Until then, pottery vessels were decorated according to the black-figure style, in which figures were depicted black against … Continue reading

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The icy footprints of Telemachus

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Greece may not have hurricanes and cyclones, but Greek meteorologists have adopted the fashion of naming weather systems. Not surprisingly, they choose names from the country’s historical and mythological figures; the latest was Telemachus. Telemachus was the son of Odysseus, … 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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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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Imperial symbols and public image

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Today it is Emperor Hadrian’s birthday. Born on January 24th, 76 CE, in Italica, Spain, he would become Emperor 41 years later. Hadrian left his mark all over the Roman Empire, but he was especially partial to the Greek cities … Continue reading