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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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Hercules’s second labor: the Hydra

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Inspired by the graffiti I posted a couple of days ago, I thought I might say a few things about Hercules, the greatest hero in Greek mythology. As I’ve already said, he is one of my boys’ favorite heroes, and … Continue reading

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Photo of the week: Owl in Athens

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Owls were the holy birds of Athena, goddess of wisdom (among other things). With their huge heads, wide open eyes and ability to see in the dark, they were the obvious symbol of intelligence. The symbolism has stuck for centuries. … Continue reading

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The temple of Athena Nike

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Often mentioned as the temple of Nike (victory) this small temple was in fact dedicated to Athena, just like the Parthenon. However, the Parthenon was the temple of Athena the Warrior whereas this was her temple as Bringer of Victory … Continue reading