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published on 02 December 2012
The six Ionic columns of the front entrance of the Erechtheion temple on the Athenian acropolis which was constructed between 421 and 406 BCE.
Hades was both the name of the ancient Greek god of the underworld (Roman name: Pluto) and the name of the shadowy place below the earth which was considered the final destination for the souls of the dead. Perhaps the most feared of the gods, he is described by both Homer and Hesiod as ‘pitiless’, ‘loathsome’, and ‘monstrous&rsquo... [continue reading]
published on 09 September 2012
1st century BC bust of the ancient Greek goddess Hera (Ludovisi Collection, ex Cesi Collection, Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Altemps, Rome).
The Hermes of Praxiteles, from the temple of Hera, Olympia (340-330 BCE). The infant is Dionysos. Olympia Archaeological Museum.
The Greek poet Hesiod (c. 700 BCE) is most famous for his works Theogony and Works and Days. In this passage from Theogony, Hesiod relates the birth of the gods from cosmic Chaos and follows the lineage through the great Zeus, King of the Olympian gods, worshipped by Hesiod’s contemporaries: (ll. 1-25) From the Heliconian Muses let us begin... [continue reading]
Modern medicine has its origin in the ancient world. The oldest civilizations used magic and herbs to cure their sick people, but they also used religion to free them from harm and to protect their health. The medical care of today has its roots in ancient Greece. With the introduction of Asklepios and Hygieia in Athens, there sprouted a very important... [continue reading]
The pan-Hellenic mythological hero Jason was famed for his expedition with the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece aboard the ship Argo, one of the most popular and enduring legends of Greek mythology. Jason was believed to have been educated by the wise centaur Cheiron in the forests of Mount Pelion. He had been placed under the centaur’s... [continue reading]
The seven remaining columns of the Doric peripteral temple of Apollo at Corinth (550-530 BCE). The columns are monolithic, that is carved from a single piece of stone.
Marble statue of Nike, Olympia. Dedicated to Zeus by the Messenians and Naupaktians after their victory over Sparta in 424 BCE. Sculpted by Paionios of Mende. (Olympia Archeaological Museum, Greece).
The ancient Olympic Games were a sporting event held every four years at the sacred site of Olympia, in the western Peloponnese, in honour of Zeus, the supreme god of Greek religion. Involving participants and spectators from all over Greece and even beyond, the Games were the most important cultural event in ancient Greece and were held from 776... [continue reading]
In the ancient Greek world, religion was personal, direct, and present in all areas of life. With formal rituals which included animal sacrifices and libations, myths to explain the origins of mankind and give the gods a human face, temples which dominated the urban landscape, city festivals and national sporting and artistic competitions, religion... [continue reading]