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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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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The original Caryatids have withdrawn to the safety of the Acropolis Museum.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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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