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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

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Cat at the temple of Olympic Zeus

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The temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens had several construction phases which lasted well over 650 years (from the 520 BCE to 132 CE). Remains of the first construction phase can still be seen around the sanctuary, such as this archaic limestone … Continue reading

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The Antikythera shipwreck

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Who needs another Antikythera post? Apparently I do; I wanted one where all the information would be in one place – precise and concise, with lots of links for further reading. At about 2,000 words, it didn’t turn out as concise as I’d like, … Continue reading

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New clues on the demise of the Minoan Civilisation

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Colleagues in Crete inform me of a recent breakthrough which may change our view of Minoan Civilisation. The partial decipherment of the Disc of Phaistos by Dr. Gareth Owens has allowed an international team or researchers to use a combination … Continue reading

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Ancient glass

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The raw materials for glass making are few and easy to find; the basic one is common sand. It is no wonder that glass was known from prehistoric times – glass artifacts in Greece date from the Bronze Age (ca. … Continue reading