Category Archive 'Greece'
21 Nov 2015

This Siren Has Wings and a Beard

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Siren
A Greek Late Archaic- maybe Etruscan – Bronze male siren.

Who knew that there were male sirens?

via Belacqui.

12 Nov 2015

Philosopher

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AntikytheraPhilosopher
Bronze portrait of a philosopher recovered from the Antikythera shipwreck (crafted circa 240 BC)

Am I mistaken, or did somebody insert a pair of cartridge bases for the eyes?

05 Nov 2015

Colossus of Rhodes to be Rebuilt?

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colossusrhodes1

No one knows exactly what the original Colossus of Rhodes looked like. Reports that the legs of the statue spanned the harbor are rejected by modern engineers, and experts disagree on other alternative possible locations. But Business Insider reports that proposals are afoot in Greece to rebuild the statue, not as in the original case, to commemorate a military victory, but as a boondoggle to create jobs and as a tourist attraction.

Until an earthquake in 226 BCE knocked it down, the Colossus of Rhodes, a 98-foot-high iron and bronze statue of the Greek god Helios, sat near the harbour of Rhodes, Greece, for 54 years.

Now, a plan put forth by a small team of scientists seeks to rebuild the ancient statue and boost tourism and local jobs in the process.

The plan calls for a a new statue that’s way taller than the ancient one. At 400 feet tall, the new Helios would be nearly four times the height of the original. The proposal also includes an interior library, museum, cultural center, exhibition hall, and, of course, a crowning lighthouse that’s visible for 35 miles.

One obvious change to the new structure is that it would use modern construction techniques and technology to make it earthquake-proof. The exterior would be completely covered in golden solar panels, making it entirely self-sufficient, which is appropriate for the Greek god of the sun.

It’s estimated that the project can be completed in three to four years at a cost of 240 to 260 millions euros ($US264 to $US286 million). Funding is expected to come from cultural institutions and international crowdfunding.

27 Oct 2015

Warrior’s Grave Found at Pylos

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Pylos2
One of more than four dozen seal stones with intricate Minoan designs found in the tomb. Bulls were a common Minoan motif. (Photo: Department of Classics/University of Cincinnati)

Archaeologists from the University of Cincinnati excavating near Nestor‘s palace at Pylos found an intact shaft grave.

New York Times:

Remarkably, the burial was intact apart from a one-ton stone, probably once the lid of the grave, which had fallen in and crushed the wooden coffin beneath.

The coffin has long since decayed, but still remaining are the bones of a man about 30 to 35 years old and lying on his back. Placed to his left were weapons, including a long bronze sword with an ivory hilt clad in gold and a gold-hilted dagger. On his right side were four gold rings with fine Minoan carvings and some 50 Minoan seal stones carved with imagery of goddesses and bull jumpers. “I was just stunned by the quality of the carving,” Dr. Wright said, noting that the objects “must have come out of the best workshops of the palaces of Crete.”

An ivory plaque carved with a griffin, a mythical animal that protected goddesses and kings, lay between the warrior’s legs. The grave contained gold, silver and bronze cups.

The warrior seems to have been something of a dandy. Among the objects accompanying him to the netherworld were a bronze mirror with an ivory handle and six ivory combs.

Because of the griffins depicted in the grave, Dr. Davis and Dr. Stocker refer to the man informally as the “griffin warrior.” He was certainly a prominent leader in his community, they say, maybe the pre-eminent one. The palace at Pylos had a king or “wanax,” a title mentioned in the Linear B tablets, but it’s not known if this position existed in the griffin warrior’s society.

Ancient Greek graves can be dated by their pottery, but the griffin warrior’s grave had none: His vessels are made of silver or gold, not humble clay. From shards found above and below the grave, however, Dr. Davis believes it was dug in the period known as Late Helladic II, a pottery-related chronology that corresponds to 1600 B.C. to 1400 B.C., in the view of some authorities, or 1550 B.C. to 1420 B.C., in the view of others.

Pappas Post

09 Jul 2015

The Greek Financial Crisis

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GreektoMe

07 Jul 2015

Greek Apology Present to EU

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GreekHorse

The Daily Mash:

15-05-12

THE nation of Greece said sorry to the European Union with a present of an enormous wooden horse.

Left outside the European Central Bank in the dead of night, the horse has now been moved into the ECB’s central lobby where it is proudly on display.

A gift tag attached to the horse, which is surprisingly light for its size and has small holes along the length of its body, suggested that it should be placed in the bank’s vaults overnight to avoid it being targeted by thieves.

Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, said: “How nice of the Greeks to acknowledge the trouble we’ve been put to on their behalf with this wonderful horse, handmade and so large it could hold a dozen double-decker buses.

“The card with it, which had a teddy bear dressed as a hobo on the front, explained that Greece made us this because they don’t have enough money for a present, which brought a tear to my eye.

“However, unless they can somehow find billions overnight then austerity measures must continue.”

Oddly, Greek representatives in Brussels have hinted that they may soon be in a position to settle their debts and have puzzled the French and German banks that hold their loans by asking if there is any discount for cash. …

Whole thing.

04 Jul 2015

Greece and the EU

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GreekMythology

25 Jul 2014

Offended Greeks

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YiaYia

One of Andrew Sullivan’s readers got his knickers in a twist over the above Athenos feta cheese advertisement.

I received my August Bon Appetit magazine and as usual, eagerly sat down to read it as soon as it was delivered. I was dumbfounded when I came across this advertisement. To me, it seems like an overt case of ethnic stereotyping. I can understand the use of a traditional “yiayia” figure to advertise Greek food products, but to also have her include arranged marriage and exorcism on her to-do list seems outrageous. And oh yes, there are others ads in a similar vein – apparently in one, the yiayia calls her granddaughter a “prostitute.”

When I went to Athenos website and Facebook page, I am clearly not the only person who is offended by these ads. Athenos’ explanation (and boilerplate response to Facebook posts) is that they “didn’t intend to offend anyone” and were trying for a lighthearted approach, using a character “set in the old ways.” Apparently that means the traditional yiayia is a disapproving grump, putting her seal of approval only on the Athenos food items. As one of the Facebook commenters (with a Greek surname) said: “The only thing my yiayia would force anyone to do is eat a big plate of food.” I don’t know what is more offensive to me – the ad campaign, or Athenos’ dismissive “we didn’t mean to be offensive” responses.

In the culture that reads Bon Appetit magazine, the culture of the progressive and aspirative crowd, which is determined even to maximize its enjoyment of its carefully calorically-and-nutritionally-calculated diet, transgressive humor aimed at traditional religion or at Republicans is worthy of federally subsidized art exhibitions, but… try indulging in some affectionate humorous ethnic stereotyping, and that sense of humor vanishes and you are dealing with the Grand Inquisitor.

20 Jul 2014

Greek Sling Bullet

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SlingBullet1
SlingBullets1


British Museum

Object type: sling-bullet

Museum number: 1851,0507.11

Description: Lead sling bullet; almond shape; a winged thunderbolt on one side and on the other, in high relief, the inscription DEXAI “Catch!”

Culture/period: Classical Greek

Date: 4thC BC

Excavated/Findspot: Athens

Materials: lead

Dimensions: Length: 43 millimetres — Weight: 105.16 grammes

23 Nov 2013

Dancing Satyr

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Dancing Satyr of Mazara del Vallo, fourth-century B.C., Greece

Wikipedia:

The over-lifesize Dancing Satyr of Mazara del Vallo is a Greek bronze statue, whose refinement and rapprochement with the manner of Praxiteles has made it a subject of discussion.

Though the satyr is missing both arms, one leg and its separately-cast tail (originally fixed in a surviving hole at the base of the spine), its head and torso are remarkably well-preserved despite millennia spent at the bottom of the sea. The satyr is depicted in mid-leap, head thrown back ecstatically and back arched, his hair swinging with the movement of his head. The facture is highly refined; the whites of his eyes are inlays of white alabaster.

Though some have dated it to the 4th century BCE and said it was an original work by Praxiteles or a faithful copy, it is more securely dated either to the Hellenistic period of the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, or possibly to the “Atticising” phase of Roman taste in the early 2nd century CE. A high percentage of lead in the bronze alloy suggests its being made in Rome itself.

The torso was recovered from the sandy sea floor at a depth of 500 m (1600 ft.) off the southwestern coast of Sicily, on the night of March 4, 1998, in the nets of the same fishing boat (operating from Mazara del Vallo, hence the sculpture’s name) that had in the previous year recovered the sculpture’s left leg. …

Restoration at the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro, Rome, included a steel armature so that the statue can be displayed upright. … [I]t is on permanent display in the Museo del Satiro in the church of Sant’Egidio.

Via Ratak Monodosico.

27 Nov 2012

Sts. Cyril and Methodius to Have Halos and Crosses Restored

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The religious-symbol-neutered version previously scheduled for production.

Original story

After strong objections by the Catholic Church which were taken up in the national parliament of Slovakia by the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and some representatives of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) caucus to the elimination of halos from the heads of Sts. Cyril and Methodius and the removal of the image of the cross from the saints’ vestments, the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Slovakia has announced that the halos and crosses will be restored on the 2-Euro coins scheduled to be released in 2013 to commemorate the 1150th Anniversary of the Mission of Cyril and Methodius to the Slavs.

Slovak Spectator reported, however, that restoring those halos might preclude the Slovakian €2 coin being released throughout the European Union.

The NBS [National Bank of Slovakia, country’s central bank – ed. note] Bank Council approved the original proposal of the design, even though it realises that the new approval process may lead to frustrating the original goal of releasing the commemorative coin throughout the 17-nation eurozone,” said spokesperson for the bank Petra Pauerová, as quoted by TASR.

The European Commission earlier stated that the commemorative coin cannot contain crosses and halos in order to observe the principle of religious neutrality in the European Union. Later it was revealed that it was not the EC as such, but certain eurozone members that objected to releasing the coin with religious symbols.

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The same paper separately identified the countries who had a problem with Christian saints being depicted with such particularist Christian symbols as halos and crosses/

It was certain eurozone member states that expressed disagreement with the original artistic proposal for a Slovak commemorative coin depicting Saints Cyril and Methodius with crosses and halos set to be released in 2013, Andrej Králik from the Representation of the EU Commission in Slovakia said on Thursday, November 22.

The commission subsequently asked Slovakia to submit a modified proposal, which was later approved by the EU Council, Králik told the TASR newswire. He rejected statements by certain Slovak politicians who said that the case involved a ‘dictate of Brussels’ and ‘high-handedness of officials from the EU Commission’, describing these assertions as untrue and deceptive.

The commission stated that the removal of the religious symbols was due to the need to observe religious neutrality, as set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. German MEP Martin Kastler earlier on Thursday revealed that the countries that had raised objections to the original Slovak proposal were France and Greece

02 Oct 2012

European Relationship Problems

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26 Jul 2012

International PC Regime Strikes Again

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Paraskevi Papachristou

Before the Olympics have even officially opened, a member of the Greek Olympic team, triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou (disrespectfully referred to in hostile news accounts by the nickname “Voula”), has been removed from the team for posting a joke on Twitter.

News reports seem to indicate that her membership in an “extreme right-wing” Greek political party [highly prejudiced Wikipedia article] was an additional factor in her expulsion from the team.

The offending tweet read: With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!

The international press, including such relatively conservative British papers as the Telegraph [quoted below] and the Daily Mail, fell into PC-lockstep, describing the young lady’s private joke as “racist” and “offensive.”

[T]he Hellenic Olympic Committee came under pressure from within Greece to take action against 23-year-old Papachristou, who had also publicly supported the Golden Dawn politician Ilias Kasidiaris, when he criticised Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s immigration position.

She had previously retweeted promotional videos from the political party, which gained seven per cent of the vote in the recent Greek elections.

The head of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Isidoros Kouvelos, said Papachristou had “showed no respect for the basic Olympian value” in her latest tweet.

“She made a mistake and in life we pay for our mistakes,” he told Skai TV.

Papachristou took to social media sites Facebook and Twitter to apologise for the “unfortunate and tasteless joke”, adding she was sorry and ashamed for the negative responses, especially to her family and coach George Pomaski.

“I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights,” she said.

Papachristou said she dreamt of doing well in London and argued that she respected the Olympic values and apologised to friends and athletes whom she may have insulted.

“My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values,” she said. “Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races.”

Pomaski said the expulsion from the Olympic team was harsh and out of proportion, especially as she had apologised.

This is the way we live now. There is no freedom of speech on social media. We all live under the supervision of an international authority representing the consensus of the elite community of fashion empowered to punish any case of speech or expression it finds objectionable. Europeans additionally can be punished for affiliation with inappropriate political parties. Unelected bodies like Olympic Committees and the NCAA can apply whatever punishments and penalties they like without appeal.

I’m not myself precisely sure just when it was that we were actually subjugated and occupied and lost our freedom of thought and expression as well as our right to due process and democratic institutions, but it certainly has happened, hasn’t it?

23 Jul 2012

Meteora Monasteries

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Greek Orthodox monks built 20 monasteries atop rock pillars at Meteora overlooking the Thessalian Plain, from the 10th to the 16th century, in order to get away from Byzantine politics and raiding Turks.

Wikipedia says:

Access to the monasteries was originally (and deliberately) difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or large nets used to haul up both goods and people. This required quite a leap of faith – the ropes were replaced, so the story goes, only “when the Lord let them break”. In the words of UNESCO, “The net in which intrepid pilgrims were hoisted up vertically alongside the 373 metres (1,224 ft) cliff where the Varlaam monastery dominates the valley symbolizes the fragility of a traditional way of life that is threatened with extinction.” In the 1920s there was an improvement in the arrangements. Steps were cut into the rock, making the complex accessible via a bridge from the nearby plateau. During World War II the site was bombed. Many art treasures were stolen.

Until the 17th century, the primary means of conveying goods and people from these eyries was by means of baskets and ropes.

Six of the monasteries remain today. Of these six, four were inhabited by men, and two by women. Each monastery has fewer than 10 inhabitants. The monasteries are now tourist attractions.

Trek Earth slide-show

From Fred Lapides.

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