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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

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Faces of an Emperor

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Nineteen hundred years ago, a young Roman aristocrat, Publius Aelius Hadrianus, became Emperor of the Roman Empire. Heir to Emperor Trajan, he assumed the official name Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Augustus and remained in power for the next 21 years, from … Continue reading

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Off the beaten path, under snow

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Snow has the power to transform; under its blanket even the ugliest urban landscape may appear magical and fairy-tale like. This of course applies even more when snow covers archaeological sites. These past few days, Greece experienced rare plummeting temperatures … Continue reading

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What the president saw

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Yesterday, the President of the USA, Mr. Barack Obama, visited the New Acropolis Museum, escorted by the Museum’s director. The media published a lot of pictures from the visit, one of which shows the president squatting to look closely at … Continue reading

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These Spartans were on time

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During the 34th “Authentic” Athens Marathon a group of runners, dressed a bit like the Spartans of the movie “300,” (but with modern running shoes and socks) made heads turn. The Polish runners belong to a group called “Spartans for … Continue reading

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The headless ghost

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Did ancient Greeks trick-or-treat? Or is this statue depicting some ghoulish myth about a headless man, going about with his cut-off head in hand? Neither. This is not a Halloween statue, but the figurine of an actor. The head in … Continue reading

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Olympic truce – fact or fiction?

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Olympic Games cancelled due to wars, countries barred from participating, boycotts, political protests, a terrorist attack – these are but few of the things that mar modern Olympics. Some shake their heads claiming that such things would never happen in antiquity, … Continue reading

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Photo of the week: Greeks invented football

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  With all of Europe gripped by the Euro craze, I just couldn’t help posting about football. (Note: By football I mean the sport where a ball is propelled by means of the feet or legs, not the contact sport which … Continue reading

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Running barefoot in Nemea

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Every two years, in the sanctuary of Nemea in the Peloponnese, games as famous as the Olympic ones were held in honor of Zeus, father of gods and mortals. Today I’m not going to post photos of the site’s stadium … Continue reading

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The “Prison of Socrates”

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I’ve already mentioned in a previous post that the hills around the Acropolis may be covered in trees today but in antiquity they were part of the city. We should imagine them covered in densely packed houses, along narrow and … Continue reading