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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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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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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Q & A with Adam Haviaras

On this Hallowed Eve, I am very pleased to introduce you to Adam Haviaras, an archaeologist, who has turned his hand from digging the earth for artefacts to writing stories. Well, he is still a practising archaeologist. Adam has invested his passion for the ancient past and Arthurian lore into writing fiction steeped in history and the supernatural. A perfect subject for the impending Day of the Dead, just watch out for the headless horseman.

Adam and I connected quite a few years back through our shared interest in ancient history, in particular Greece and Rome, and of course mythology. I’ve been following his well written and informative blog Eagles and Dragons Publishing for many years now and if you are interested in Roman history and mythical stories, then I highly recommend you visit Adam’s blog. I reached out to Adam and asked if he wouldn’t mind being interrogated, ahem, I mean interviewed, and was so pleased when he said yes. Here we go…

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Corruption, sex and St. Paul

After leaving Messene, Evan and his companions head north towards the Corinthian Gulf. However, the trip wasn’t without a few incidents: an altercation with a Mycenaean princess and her ignoble father, and a sword fight with brigands, in which Evan was seriously injured. In any case, the group eventually arrive in Corinth, a city St. Paul in 51CE, had preached to and pleaded Christian unity. Why did St. Paul go to Corinth? Aside from stamping out “paganism” and converting pagans to Christianity, Corinth was considered a sinful city.

Apollo Temple has been built in Doric style on the ruins of earlier temple, being a good example of peripteral temple, supported by 38 columns, only 7 of which are still in place.
By Chris Oxford at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44688121

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What to write???

I’ve been sitting at the computer for over an hour cleaning out my email inbox—I had emails sitting unread from over 12 months ago. Not a good thing, but I am hoping to keep up this year! As I was deleting, I felt bad as I had wanted to read them but just didn’t have the time. Also, it was form of procrastination as I contemplated the next article to write for my blog.

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Eat and drink with the Ancient Greeks

Like their ancient Egyptian cousins, the ancient Greeks recorded much of what they did on vases, sculptures and in print. I, for one, am very grateful for the information they left behind as it enabled me to research and learn what they ate. It was fascinating to read how much hasn’t really changed in the way food is prepared and used. Bread, wine and olives, and olive oil, formed the basis of their diet, to which today, most cultures still eat and drink.

Female baker taking bread from the oven.
early 5th century BC
Louvre Museum
Source/Photographer Marie-Lan Nguyen (2009)
Wikimedia Commons

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Eat like an Ancient Egyptian

We know a lot about the Ancient Egyptians, thanks to this great ancient civilisation. Their desire and propagandist need to disclose what they did was paramount, especially for the pharaohs. They made sure their successes were touted everywhere. Rameses II was particularly good at promoting what a powerful and good ruler he was, even when the war he waged on the Hittites wasn’t a victorious campaign. If it wasn’t for the first pharaoh, Menes, of the 1st Dynasty to the Ptolemaic period, the last ruling pharaoh Cleopatra, who recorded everything, we’d know very little about this dynamic civilisation. Thank goodness, they did!

640px-Ramses_III_bakery

A depiction of the royal bakery from an engraving in the tomb of Ramesses III in the Valley of the Kings. There are many types of loaves, including ones that are shaped like animals. 20th dynasty.

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What did the Phoenicians eat?

Origins
The Phoenicians lived in northern ancient Canaan, where Lebanon is today. They were considered to be Canaanites, yet recent DNA evidence of Modern Lebanese, a study conducted by the National Geographic,  suggest they came from an ancient Mediterranean sub-stratum. What does this mean? The results showed their bloodline are of mixed origin and were not indigenous to the area. It could be the Phoenicians were related to the ‘sea people’, having migrated in the 3rd millennium BCE and mixed with the local Canaanites and hence the Phoenician line was born. You can read more here.

Phoenician trade routes Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Phoenician trade routes
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

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