Pagan roots of Easter

For those who have been following my blog know I am historian with a specialist interest and knowledge in ancient history. So, the content of this article may not come to you as a surprise. As today is Good Friday, I thought it would be an opportunity to write about the origins of this Holy event beginning with resurrection.

The Return of Persephone, c.1891 (oil on canvas) by Leighton, Frederic (1830-96); 203×152 cm; Leeds Museums and Galleries (City Art Gallery) U.K.; English, out of copyright

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Warning: don’t mess with the fairer sex!

Our next destination has a unique history, and perhaps the earliest forerunner of women’s liberation. Then again, what happened may raise a few brows and possibly considered extreme as to the outcome. We are off to the Island of Hephaistos/Hephaestus, today known as Limnos/Lemnos. It is one of the northern islands of Greece and not far from the Hellespont, the Dardenelles in Turkey, the famous trade route between the west and east, and also where Troy was situated.

From Google maps

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Dangerous, yet beautiful

Our next port of call is the Cycladic island, Santorini. I’ve been fortunate to go there twice and I still remember how excited I was the first time I went. It was research for my series, Servant of the Gods, but it was so much more. I wanted to see Akrotiri, the Bronze Age city that was buried when the volcano erupted but unfortunately it was closed to the public. I was so disappointed. I had travelled from Australia specially to see it, and I never got to step a foot near the place. I did later hear when I returned to Perth that someone, a tourist, was injured at the site.

Santorini Map and Travel Guide
BY C. H. KWAK
Courtesy of https://www.tripsavvy.com/santorini-map-and-travel-guide-4135202

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Where the ancient past meets the present

Moving on to the next stage of Evan’s and his companions journey, and accompanied by Plato no less. We are going to one of the busiest ports in the world, and perhaps the most ancient that is still in use. Those of you have read The Labyrinthine Journey will know exactly what port I am referring to, and for those who are ancient Greekophiles like me, will know too. It is Piraeus.
Today, ship liners and cruisers as well as naval vessels fill the three harbours, and there is constant traffic, with holiday makers visiting via big ships, or those who take the ferry to one of the many islands.

ANCIENT TOWN-PLANNING
By
F. HAVERFIELD
Oxford
at The Clarendon Press
1913
Project Gutenburg

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The birthplace of democracy – Athens

I have been fortunate to visit Athens twice, and though the second time was just a day trip, I was still excited to spend time there. I first went to Athens in 2004, the year in which the modern Olympics returned to Greece in over a hundred years. There was so much going on and travelling from the airport on the bus into the city, there was rubble, construction and mayhem everywhere. I did wonder whether the Greeks would be ready for the onslaught of athletes and spectators that were soon to arrive on their shores. Speaking with the locals, there was no doubt they’d be ready and on time for the big opening; and they were! It was a spectacular. I wasn’t there for the Olympics, and in fact it was better, as I didn’t need to wait in line to go to venues or places to eat.

Nineteenth-century painting by Philipp Foltz depicting the Athenian politician Pericles delivering his famous funeral oration in front of the Assembly http://www.ancientgreekbattles.net/…/Pericles.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7725777

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Demeter’s town

To continue with the blog series (that is hiccupping along!) I had begun last year. Click here to have a quick refresher of the infographic I created as an overview of the locations featured in my book The Labyrinthine Journey. In this post, we will be heading to Eleusis, renowned for the ‘mysteries’, and where the legend of Demeter and Persephone was ignited.

Map of Eleusis. Heritage management http://www2.aueb.gr/heritage/260.php

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The year that was 2017

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.
John Steinbeck
Brainyquote

Hard to believe another year has gone. It seems each year flashes by like the speed of light, and before I realise what has happened, a new year has begun. We cram so much in a day, that we forget we need to live. For me that is something I need to work on. At the beginning of 2017, I was looking forward to various challenges the year would bring, plus I was teaching full-time, which I hadn’t done in ten years. Suffice to say, it was a roller-coaster of a year.

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Sacred centre of Ancient Greece

Evan and his companions leave Corinth to go to Delphi so they can meet with Pythia, who has information regarding the sacred relic. This is according to the information Evan was given by a chance encounter with a mysterious woman. To get to central Greece, they need to hire a boat to sail across the Gulf of Corinth and this is where they meet Jason and his crew, the Argonauts.

Ruins of the ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi, overlooking the valley of Phocis.
By Skyring – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64170779

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Unplanned time out

It has been a while since I’ve written a blog post on my latest series that covers the locations Evan and his intrepid companions travel through in The Labyrinthine Journey. I promise, I will get back to the series in due course.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
Jim Ryun
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/motivation

Since the Virtual Book Launch (VBL), I have found it difficult to get back into writing, posting articles on my blog and on social networking sites. I am tired. Perhaps a better word is exhausted, and I haven’t been motivated or interested in writing. Working full-time doesn’t help either; early starts and late arriving back home.

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