Armand Dâ€™Angour, an associate professor in classics and a fellow of Jesus College at the University of Oxford, in Aeon, claims to be able to reconstruct the music of Ancient Greece.
They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead;
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed;
I wept as I remembered how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking, and sent him down the sky.
And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest,
A handful of grey ashes, long, long ago at rest,
Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.
This epigram by Callimachus, in a moving translation by the Victorian poet William Johnson Cory, speaks of the timeless survival of Heraclitusâ€™ songs. Ironically, the poem is the only evidence of their existence: the poetâ€™s â€˜pleasant voicesâ€™ must remain unsung. Most classical poetry, spanning around four centuries from the songs of Homer in the 8th century BCE to those Âof Aristophanes in the 4th century BCE, was in fact composed to be sung to the accompaniment of musical instruments such as the lyre and aulos (double-pipe). It was, in other words, music; but what did that music sound like?
Despite a wealth of ancient writings, archaeological remains of instruments, and even inscriptions with musical notation, the question has long been thought intractable. â€˜Research into Ancient Greek music is pointless,â€™ pronounced Giuseppe Verdi in the 1880s. By the 1980s little had changed. Recently, however, the subject has experienced exciting developments, with credible realisations of musical scores and the remains of auloi being accurately reconstructed and beautifully played.
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 thatâ€™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 thatâ€™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.
Itâ€™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.
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. â€œI was just stunned by the quality of the carving,â€ Dr. Wright said, noting that the objects â€œmust have come out of the best workshops of the palaces of Crete.â€
An ivory plaque carved with a griffin, a mythical animal that protected goddesses and kings, lay between the warriorâ€™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 â€œgriffin warrior.â€ He was certainly a prominent leader in his community, they say, maybe the pre-eminent one. The palace at Pylos had a king or â€œwanax,â€ a title mentioned in the Linear B tablets, but itâ€™s not known if this position existed in the griffin warriorâ€™s society.
Ancient Greek graves can be dated by their pottery, but the griffin warriorâ€™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.
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 ECBâ€™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 bankâ€™s vaults overnight to avoid it being targeted by thieves.
Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, said: â€œHow nice of the Greeks to acknowledge the trouble weâ€™ve been put to on their behalf with this wonderful horse, handmade and so large it could hold a dozen double-decker buses.
â€œThe card with it, which had a teddy bear dressed as a hobo on the front, explained that Greece made us this because they donâ€™t have enough money for a present, which brought a tear to my eye.
â€œHowever, unless they can somehow find billions overnight then austerity measures must continue.â€
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. …
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 â€œyiayiaâ€ 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 â€“ apparently in one, the yiayia calls her granddaughter a â€œprostitute.â€
When I went to Athenos website and Facebook page, I am clearly not the only person who is offended by these ads. Athenosâ€™ explanation (and boilerplate response to Facebook posts) is that they â€œdidnâ€™t intend to offend anyoneâ€ and were trying for a lighthearted approach, using a character â€œset in the old ways.â€ 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: â€œThe only thing my yiayia would force anyone to do is eat a big plate of food.â€ I donâ€™t know what is more offensive to me â€“ the ad campaign, or Athenosâ€™ dismissive â€œwe didnâ€™t mean to be offensiveâ€ 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.
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.