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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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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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Happy new year with a pomegranate

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In ancient Greece, pomegranates played a prominent part in the myth of Persephone, but were also symbols of fertility, plenty, and wealth.  In modern Greece, the pomegranate has maintained its symbolism. Custom demands that the new year begin with the … 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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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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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