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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Island Nations

The Minoans came from one place—Crete—as far as evidence shows, yet their influence stretches across the Aegean to mainland Greece. The reconstruction of the palaces at Pylos, Tiryns and Mycenae show similar structural features as did the artwork. The confluence of such occurrences was a result of trade which the Minoans were renowned. The fame of the three city-states mentioned was due to Homer and his tale of the Iliad. The era he spoke of 1300 BCE was 500 years before his time and the three cities were no longer in power.

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Homer and Hollywood

I was surfing the web curious as to how many variations of Homer’s Iliad been made into a movie. What I found was surprising. A total of four movies; correction, three, one was a television series. Dickens’ Great Expectations, on the other hand, had seven movies and three television series created. I won’t even attempt Shakespeare’s works, it would be like the Roadrunner and Coyote episodes. Given that, some adaptations have been less than faithful to the original story, digressing so much the story is unrecognisable. Though to be fair, to write a script that fits into two hours to three maximum, would be a difficult task.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

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Today’s Brief…

Today’s post is a brief yet poignant interlude into the usual articles. I was interviewed by two wonderful and lovely ladies and like to introduce them.

Effrosyni Moschoudi, Indie Author with two books published The Necklace of Goddess Athena and The Lady of the Pier. To read the interview please visit Effrosyni’s Blog. I have just begun to follow Effrosyni’s blog and have enjoyed the varied and informative articles she writes. Fun and interesting.

Linnea Tanner, writer and Celtic and Roman historian. I’ve been following Linnea’s blog for a while now and always come away learning something new about the ancient history of Celtic Britain. Apollo’s Raven is a wealth of historical information, well researched and written. Please visit to read the interview. I am looking forward to Linnea’s first book, the same title as her blog.

I do hope you have time to read the interviews and browse the blogs.
Thank you

As always, I love to hear from you.

Lucianacavallaro_accursedwomen_web_final
Accursed Women
Now available in paperback and ebook
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Reviled and Ostracised: the Plight of Women

‘Well behaved women rarely make history.’
Eleanor Roosevelt

Imagine yourself sitting in a magnificent citadel and outside you can hear the roar of men as they charge at each other. The ringing of swords as they clash. The thunder of hooves as horse drawn chariots race across the plain of Troy. The whistling of arrows jettisoned into the air. The cries of men as they are stabbed, slashed, pierced and hacked. The ground covered with dead bodies. The stench of blood, urine and loosened bowels suffocates and billows into the air. Ten long years you have listened and watched the decimation of human life. What could you have done? What should have you done?

Helen of Troy Lord Frederick Leighton Wikimedia

Helen of Troy
Lord Frederick Leighton
Wikimedia

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Fatal Lust, Fatal Consequences

‘What is left when honour is lost?’
Publilius Syrus

To love and be loved is the greatest desire every person hopes to have. It is human nature, written in our DNA since the conception of people. The image of stone-age man dragging a female by her hair, whether correct hypothesis or not, is a scene a few may recognise. The point is love is an illogical emotion, it makes people do things they may not normally do. Maslow understood this as he ranked it as number 3 on his hierarchy of need:

• Social Needs – belongingness, affection and love, – from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships.

He believed people are ‘motivated to achieve certain needs’ and when you succeed that level you move onto the next. So was Paris motivated by need or the desire to possess the most beautiful woman in the world?

Enrique Simonet (1866–1927)  Spanish: El juicio de Paris The Judgement of Paris The painting shows the Judgment of Paris, an event in Greek mythology. Figures, from left to right: The goddesses Athena, Hera and Aphrodite, then Aphrodite's son, Eros, and Paris. 1904 Museum of Málaga  Wikimedia

Enrique Simonet (1866–1927)
Spanish: El juicio de Paris
The Judgement of Paris
The painting shows the Judgment of Paris, an event in Greek mythology. Figures, from left to right: The goddesses Athena, Hera and Aphrodite, then Aphrodite’s son, Eros, and Paris.
1904
Museum of Málaga
Wikimedia

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A Father’s Loss

‘In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.’
Herodotos

How does one reconcile the loss of so many offspring, the destruction of their home and the death of their people? Such personal suffering could never be healed. These events litter the history books and still wars happen. Power, greed, the desire to dominate and subjugate, annihilate are the basic premises. The cost of innocent lives, homes, cultures and humanity don’t seem to be considered as long as the end result is achieved, however one gets there. For Priam, the last King of Troy, he witnessed the end.

Death of Priam Louvre Wikipedia

Death of Priam
Louvre
Wikipedia

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Lover Come Back!

The role of women in the Iliad is the central to the story, the war precipitated by the capture of a female of royal lineage along with untold wealth. From the beginning of the story, the tenth year of the war, the Greek forces are plagued with an incurable disease. How and why did it happen? Because of a woman. Female characters do feature throughout the story in one form or another and apart from Helen, one other created such havoc in the Greek camp, their champion and stalwart warrior refused to participate any further.

The taking away of Briseis, side B of a red-figure Attic skyphos. Ca. 480 BC Louvre Museum  Wikimedia commons

The taking away of Briseis, side B of a red-figure Attic skyphos.
Ca. 480 BC
Louvre Museum
Wikimedia commons

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An Unsung Hero or Traitor?

King Arthur had twelve of them. Even Alexander the Great had a small group he consulted during his widespread occupation of Asia Minor all the way through to Egypt. They have many names: advisors, counsellors, gerousia, a council of elders. One of the Elders of Troy during the tenth year of the war even suggested giving Helen back to the Greeks to cease the fighting. His wise counsel was ignored and as they say “the rest is history”.

Destruction of Troy (1634) Francisco Collantes Prado Museum Wikipedia

Destruction of Troy (1634)
Francisco Collantes
Prado Museum
Wikipedia

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A Prince from a land of Thieves?

Wars are won or lost on a number of strategic factors: the greatest fighters, a well-equipped army, ferocious weaponry, and a well thought out ploy. Given these all played out on the plain of Troy another major element was integral in the final outcome of the war. Each side had allies, whereas the Akhaians were predominantly Greek, the Trojans bolstered their numbers from neighbouring states, empires with whom they had trade treaties.

An ally is:
(Noun)
• A state formally cooperating with another for a military or other purpose.
(Verb)
Ally something to/with
• Combine or unite a resource or commodity with (another) for mutual benefit.
Oxford Dictionary

Patroclus (naked, on the right) kills Sarpedon (wearing Lycian clothes, on the left) with his spear, while Glaucus comes to the latter's help., ca. 400 BC.  Museo Nazionale Archaeologico of Policoro. AuthorJastrow Wikipedia

Patroclus (naked, on the right) kills Sarpedon (wearing Lycian clothes, on the left) with his spear, while Glaucus comes to the latter’s help., ca. 400 BC.
Museo Nazionale Archaeologico of Policoro.
Author Jastrow
Wikipedia

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