Ancient Greek Food: Sesame Honey Candy (Pasteli)

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In Greek: παστέλι, pronounced pah-STEH-lee

In markets these days you can find sesame honey bars. The main difference is that the ancient Greeks did not have refined sugar. The sugar used today helps to harden the bars and make them crunchy. The ancient version was chewier, but simple to make with only two ingredients: sesame seeds and honey.

Warning: The quality and taste of the honey will have an effect on the final product.

Pasteli can be eaten as a candy at any time, or as an energy booster, and it is a wonderful accompaniment to tea.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups honey
  • 3 cups hulled white sesame seeds
  • Optional: 1 strip lemon peel (about 1/4 x 1 inch)

Steps:

  1. In a saucepan, bring honey and lemon peel, if using, to a boil. Add sesame seeds, stirring continuously and continue to cook while stirring to mix completely and thoroughly. When the seeds are fully mixed in and the mixture has boiled again, remove from heat. Remove lemon peel and discard.

  2. Place a piece of baking parchment on a cool work surface and spread out the hot mixture thinly and evenly (about 1/4 inch high).

  3. When the pasteli cools to room temperature, refrigerate on the parchment paper (it doesn’t need to be covered). Chill for at least 2 to 3 hours.

  4. With kitchen shears, cut the pasteli together with parchment paper into small pieces, and serve.

  5. To eat, peel off the parchment paper. Store in the refrigerator.

Plato’s The Allegory of the Cave

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Plato’s The Allegory of the Cave

The Allegory of the Cave, or Plato’s Cave, was presented by the Greek philosopher Plato in his work Republic (514a–520a) to compare “the effect of educationand the lack of it on our nature”. It is written as a dialogue between Plato’s brother Glaucon and his mentor Socrates, narrated by the latter.

~ Plato realizes that the general run of humankind can think, and speak, etc., without (so far as they acknowledge) any awareness of his realm of Forms.

~ The allegory of the cave is supposed to explain this.

~ In the allegory, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind them burns a fire.  Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects, that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see. Here is an illustration of Plato’s Cave:

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~ Such prisoners would mistake appearance for reality. They would think the things they see on the wall (the shadows) were real; they would know nothing of the real causes of the shadows.

~ So when the prisoners talk, what are they talking about? If an object (a book, let us say) is carried past behind them, and it casts a shadow on the wall, and a prisoner says “I see a book,” what is he talking about?

He thinks he is talking about a book, but he is really talking about a shadow. But he uses the word “book.” What does that refer to?

~ Plato gives his answer at line (515b2). The text here has puzzled many editors, and it has been frequently emended. The translation in Grube/Reeve gets the point correctly:

And if they could talk to one another, don’t you think they’d suppose that the names they used applied to the things they see passing before them?”

~ Plato’s point is that the prisoners would be mistaken. For they would be taking the terms in their language to refer to the shadows that pass before their eyes, rather than (as is correct, in Plato’s view) to the real things that cast the shadows.

~ If a prisoner says “That’s a book” he thinks that the word “book” refers to the very thing he is looking at. But he would be wrong. He’s only looking at a shadow. The real referent of the word “book” he cannot see. To see it, he would have to turn his head around.

~ Plato’s point: the general terms of our language are not “names” of the physical objects that we can see. They are actually names of things that we cannot see, things that we can only grasp with the mind.

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~ When the prisoners are released, they can turn their heads and see the real objects. Then they realize their error. What can we do that is analogous to turning our heads and seeing the causes of the shadows? We can come to grasp the Forms with our minds.

~ Plato’s aim in the Republic is to describe what is necessary for us to achieve this reflective understanding. But even without it, it remains true that our very ability to think and to speak depends on the Forms. For the terms of the language we use get their meaning by “naming” the Forms that the objects we perceive participate in.

~ The prisoners may learn what a book is by their experience with shadows of books. But they would be mistaken if they thought that the word “book” refers to something that any of them has ever seen.

Likewise, we may acquire concepts by our perceptual experience of physical objects. But we would be mistaken if we thought that the concepts that we grasp were on the same level as the things we perceive.

Source: Philosophy 320: History of Philosophy (University of Washington)

 

 

 

List of Death in the Illiad

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List of deaths in the Illiad:
 
Antilochus (Greek) kills Echepolus (Trojan) (spear in the head) (4.529)
Agenor (Trojan) kills Elephenor (Greek) (spear in the side) (4.543)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Simoeisius (Trojan) (speared in the nipple) (4.549)
Antiphus (Trojan) kills Leucus (Greek) (speared in the groin) (4.569)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Democoön (Trojan) (spear through the head) (4.579)
Peirous (Trojan) kills Diores (Greek) (hit with a rock, then speared in the gut) (4.598)
Thoas (Greek) kills Peirous (Trojan) (spear in the chest, sword in the gut) (4.608)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Phegeus (Trojan) (spear in the chest) (5.19)
Agamemnon (Greek) kills Odius (Trojan) (spear in the back) (5.42)
Idomeneus (Greek) kills Phaestus (spear in the shoulder) (5.48)
Menelaus (Greek) kills Scamandrius (spear in the back) (5.54)
Meriones (Greek) kills Phereclus (Trojan) (spear in the buttock) (5.66)
Meges (Greek) kills Pedaeus (Greek) (spear in the neck) (5.78)
Eurypylus (Greek) kills Hypsenor (Trojan) (arm cut off) (5.86)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Astynous (Trojan) (spear in the chest) (5.164)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Hypeiron (Trojan) (sword in the collar bone) (5.165)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Abas (Trojan) (5.170)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Polyidus (Trojan) (5.170)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Xanthus (Trojan) (5.174)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Thoon (Trojan) (5.174)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Echemmon (Trojan) (5.182)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Chromius (Trojan) (5.182)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Pandarus (Trojan) (spear in the nose) (5.346)
Diomedes (Greek) wounds Aeneas (Trojan) with a rock (5.359)
Agamemnon (Greek) kills Deicoon (Trojan), spear in the stomach (5.630)
Aeneas (Trojan) kills Crethon (Greek)
Aeneas (Trojan) kills Orsilochus (Greek)
Menelaus (Greek) kills Phlaemenes (Trojan), spear in the collar bone (5.675)
Antilochus (Greek) kills Mydon (Trojan), sword in the head, stomped by his horses (5.680)
Hector (Trojan) kills Menesthes (Greek) (5.714)
Hector (Trojan) kills Anchialus (Greek) (5.714)
Ajax son of Telamon kills Amphion (Trojan), spear in the gut (5.717)
Sarpedon (Trojan) kills Tlepolemus (Greek), spear in the neck (5.764)
Tlepolemus (Greek) wounds Sarpedon (Trojan) spear in the thigh (5.764)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Cocranus (Trojan) (5.783)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Alastor (Trojan) (5.783)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Chromius (Trojan) (5.783)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Alcandrus (Trojan) (5.784)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Halius (Trojan) (5.784)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Noemon (Trojan) (5.784)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Prytanis (Trojan) (5.784)
Hector (Trojan) kills Teuthras (Greek) (5.811)
Hector (Trojan) kills Orestes (Greek) (5.811)
Hector (Trojan) kills Trechus (Greek) (5.812)
Hector (Trojan) kills Oenomaus (Greek) (5.812)
Hector (Trojan) kills Helenus (Greek) (5.813)
Hector (Trojan) kills Oresbius (Greek) (5.813)
Ares kills Periphas (Greek) (5.970)
Diomedes wounds Ares in the gut (5.980)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Acamas (Trojan), spear in the head (6.9)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Axylus (Trojan) (6.14)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Calesius (Trojan) (6.20)
Euryalus (Greek) kills Dresus (Trojan) (6.23)
Euryalus (Greek) kills Opheltius (Trojan) (6.23)
Euryalus (Greek) kills Aesepus (Trojan) (6.24)
Euryalus (Greek) kills Pedasus (Trojan) (6.24)
Polypoetes (Greek) kills Astyalus (Trojan) (6.33)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Pidytes (Trojan), with his spear (6.34)
Teucer (Greek) kills Aretaon (Trojan) (6.35)
Antilochus (Greek) kills Ableros (Trojan), with his spear (6.35)
Agamemnon (Greek) kills Elatus (Trojan) (6.38)
Leitus (Greek) kills Phylacus (Trojan) (6.41)
Eurypylus (Greek) kills Melanthus (6.42)
Agamemnon (Greek) kills Adrestus (Trojan), spear in the side (6.76)
Paris (Trojan) kills Menesthius (Greek) (7.8)
Hector (Trojan) kills Eioneus (Greek), spear in the neck (7.11)
Glaucus (Trojan) kills Iphinous (Greek), spear in the shoulder (7.13)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Eniopeus (Trojan), spear in the chest (8.138)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Agelaos (Trojan), spear in the back (8.300)
Teucer (Greek) kills Orsilochos (Trojan), with an arrow (8.321)
Teucer (Greek) kills Ormenus (Trojan), with an arrow (8.321)
Teucer (Greek) kills Ophelestes (Trojan), with an arrow (8.321)
Teucer (Greek) kills Daitor (Trojan), with an arrow (8.322)
Teucer (Greek) kills Chromius (Trojan), with an arrow (8.322)
Teucer (Greek) kills Lycophontes (Trojan), with an arrrow (8.322)
Teucer (Greek) kills Amopaon (Trojan), with an arrow (8.323)
Teucer (Greek) kills Melanippus (Trojan), with an arrow (8.323)
Teucer (Greek) kills Gorgythion (Trojan), with an arrow (8.353)
Teucer (Greek) kills Archeptolemos (Trojan), with an arrow (8.363)
Hector (Trojan) wounds Teucer (Greek), with a rock (8.380)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Dolon (Trojan), sword across the neck (10.546)
Diomedes (Greek) kills twelve sleeping Thracian soldiers (10.579) (includes Rhesus)
Agamemnon (Greek) kills Bienor (Trojan) (11.99)
Agamemnon (Greek) kills Oileus (Trojan), spear in the head, (11.103)
Agamemnon (Greek) kills Isus (Trojan), spear in the chest (11.109)
Agamemnon (Greek) kills Antiphus (Trojan), sword in the head (11.120)
Agamemnon (Greek) kills Peisander (Trojan), spear in the chest (11.160)
Agamemnon (Greek) kills Hippolochus (Trojan), sword cuts off his head (11.165)
Agamemnon (Greek) kills Iphidamas T), sword in the neck (11.270)
Coön (Trojan) wounds Agamemnon (Greek), spear in the arm (11.288)
Agamemnon (Greek) kills Coön (Trojan), spear in the side (11.295)
Hector (Trojan) kills Asaeus (Greek) (11.341)
Hector (Trojan) kills Autonous (Greek) (11.341)
Hector (Trojan) kills Opites (Greek) (11.341)
Hector (Trojan) kills Dolops (Greek) (11.342)
Hector (Trojan) kills Opheltius (Greek) (11.324)
Hector (Trojan) kills Agelaus (Greek) (11.325)
Hector (Trojan) kills Aesymnus (Greek) (11.325)
Hector (Trojan) kills Orus (Greek) (11.343)
Hector (Trojan) kills Hipponous (Greek) (11.325)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Thymbraeus (Trojan), spear in the chest (11.364)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Molion (Trojan) (11.366)
Diomedes (Greek) kills two sons of Merops (Trojan) (11.375)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Hippodamas (Trojan) (11.381)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Hypeirochus (Trojan) (11.381)
Diomedes (Greek) kills Agastrophus (Trojan), spear in the hip (11.384)
Paris (Trojan) wounds Diomedes (Greek), arrow in the foot (11.430)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Deïopites (Trojan) (11.479)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Thoön (Trojan) (11.481)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Ennomus (Greek) (11.481)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Chersidamas (Trojan), spear in the groin (11.481)
Odyssues (Greek) kills Charops (Trojan) (11.485)
Odysseus (Greek) kills Socus (Trojan), spear in the back (11.506)
Socus (Trojan) wounds Odysseus (Greek), spear in the ribs (11.493)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Doryclus (Trojan) (11.552)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Pandocus (Trojan) (11.553)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Lysander (Trojan) (11.554)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Pyrasus (Trojan) (11.554)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Pylantes (Trojan) (11.554)
Eurypylus (Greek) kills Apisaon (Trojan), spear in the liver (11.650)
Polypoetes (Greek) kills Damasus (Trojan), spear through the cheek (12.190);
Polypoetes (Greek) kills Pylon (Trojan) (12.194)
Polypoetes (Greek) kills Ormenus (Trojan) (12.194)
Leonteus (Greek) kills Hippomachus, spear in the stomach (12.196)
Leonteus (Greek) kills Antiphates (Trojan), struck with a sword (12.198)
Leonteus (Greek) kills Menon (Trojan) (12.201)
Leonteus (Greek) kills Iamenus (Trojan) (12.201)
Leonteus (Greek) kills Orestes (Trojan) (12.201)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Epicles (Trojan), rock in the skull (12.416)
Teucer (Greek) wounds Glaucus (Trojan), arrow in the arm (12.425)
Sarpedon (Trojan) kills Alcmaon (Greek), spear in the body (12.434)
Teucer (Greek) kills Imbrius (Trojan), spear in the ear (13.198)
Hector (Trojan) kills Amphimachus (Greek), spear in the chest (13.227)
Idomeneus (Greek) kills Othryoneus (Trojan), spear in the gut, (13.439 ff)
Idomeneus (Greek) kills Asius (Trojan), spear in the neck (13.472)
Antilochus (Greek) kills Asius’ charioteer, spear in the gut (13.482)
Deïphobus (Trojan) kills Hypsenor (Greek), spear in the liver (13.488) (wounded?)
Idomeneus (Greek) kills Alcathous (Trojan), spear in the chest (13.514 ff)
Idomeneus (Greek) kills Oenomaus (Trojan), spear in the stomach (13.608)
Deïphobus (Trojan) kills Ascalaphus (Greek), spear in the shoulder (13.621)
Meriones (Greek) wounds Deïphobus (Trojan) spear in the arm (13.634)
Aeneas (Trojan) kills Aphareus (Greek), spear in the throat (13.647)
Antilochus (Greek) kills Thoön (Greek), spear in the back) (13.652).
Meriones (Greek) kills Adamas (Trojan), spear in the testicles (13.677).
Helenus (Trojan) kills Deïpyrus (Greek), sword on the head (13.687)
Menelaus (Greek) wounds Helenus (Trojan), spear in the hand (13.705)
Menelaus (Greek) kills Peisander (Trojan), sword in the head (13.731)
Meriones (Greek) kills Harpalion (Trojan), arrow in the buttock (13.776)
Paris (Trojan) kills Euchenor (Greek), arrow in the jaw (13.800)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) hits Hector (Trojan) with a rock (14.477)
Ajax son of Oileus (Greek) kills Satnius (Trojan), spear in the side (14.517)
Polydamas (Trojan) kills Prothoënor (Greek), spear in the shoulder (14.525)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Archelochus, spear in the neck (14.540)
Acamas (Trojan) kills Promachus (Greek), spear (14.555)
Peneleus (Greek) kills Ilioneus (Trojan), spear in the eye (14.570)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Hyrtius (14.597)
Meriones (Greek) kills Morys (14.601)
Meriones (Greek) kills Hippotion (14.601)
Teucer (Greek) kills Prothoön (Trojan) (14.602)
Teucer (Greek) kills Periphetes (Trojan) (14.602)
Menelaus (Greek) kills Hyperenor (Trojan), spear in the side (14.603)
Phalces (Trojan) killed (death not mentioned but armor stripped) (14.600)
Mermerus (Trojan) killed (death not mentioned but armor stripped) (14.600)
Hector (Trojan) kills Stichius (Greek) (15.389)
Hector (Trojan) kills Aresilaus (Greek) (15.389)
Aeneas (Trojan) kills Medon (Greek) (15.392)
Aeneas (Trojan) kills Iasus (Greek) (15.392)
Polydamas (Trojan) kills Mecistus (Greek) (15.399)
Polites (Trojan) kills Echius (Greek) (15.400)
Agenor (Trojan) kills Clonius (15.401)
Paris (Trojan) kills Deïochus (Greek), spear through the back (15.402)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Caletor (Trojan), spear in the chest (15.491)
Hector (Trojan) kills Lycophron (Greek) spear in the head (15.503)
Teucer (Greek) kills Cleitus (Greek), arrow in the back of the neck (15.521)
Hector (Trojan) kills Schedius (Greek) (15.607)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Laodamas (Trojan) (15.608)
Polydamas (Trojan) kills Otus (Greek) (15.610)
Meges (Greek) kills Croesmus (Trojan), spear in the chest (15.616)
Menelaus (Greek) kills Dolops (Trojan), speared in the back (15.636)
Antilochus (Greek) kills Melanippus (Trojan), spear in the chest (15.675)
Hector (Trojan) kills Periphetes (Greek), spear in the chest (15.744)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Pyraechmes (Trojan), spear in the shoulder (16.339)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Areilycus (Trojan), spear in the thigh (16.361)
Menelaus (Greek) kills Thoas (Trojan), spear in the chest (16.365)
Meges (Greek) kills Amphiclus (Trojan), spear in the leg (16.367)
Antilochus (Greek) kills Atymnius (Trojan), spear in the side (16.372)
Thrasymedes (Greek) kills Maris (Trojan), spear in the shoulder (16.377)
Ajax son of Oileus (Greek) kills Cleobulus (Trojan), sword in the neck (16.386)
Peneleus (Greek) kills Lyco (Greek), sword in the neck (16.395)
Meriones (Greek) kills Acamas (Trojan), spear in the shoulder (16.399)
Idomeneus (Greek) kills Erymas (Trojan), spear in the mouth (16.403)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Pronous (Trojan), spear in the chest (16.464)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Thestor (Trojan), spear in the head (16.477)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Erylaus (Trojan), rock on the head (16.479)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Erymas (Trojan) (16.484)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Amphoterus (Trojan) (16.484)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Epaltes (Trojan) (16.484)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Tlepolemus (Trojan) (16.485)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Echius (Trojan) (16.485)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Pyris (Trojan) (16.486)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Ipheus (Trojan) (16.486)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Euippus (Trojan) (16.486)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Polymelus (Trojan) (16.486)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Thrasymedes (Trojan), spear in the gut (16.542)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Sarpedon (Trojan), spear in the chest (16.559)
Hector (Trojan) kills Epeigeus (Greek), rock on the head (16.666)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Sthenelaus (Trojan), rock on the head (16.682)
Glaucus (Trojan) kills Bathycles (Greek), spear in the chest (16.691)
Meriones (Greek) kills Laogonus (Trojan), spear in the jaw (16.702)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Adrestus (Trojan) (16.808)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Autonous (Trojan) (16.809)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Echeclus (Trojan) (16.809)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Perimus (Trojan) (16.809)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Epistor (Trojan) (16.810)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Melanippus (Trojan) (16.810)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Elasus (Trojan) (16.811)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Mulius (Trojan) (16.811)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Pylantes (Trojan) (16.811)
Patroclus (Greek) kills Cebriones (Trojan), rock in the head (16.859)
Hector (Trojan) kills Patroclus (Greek) (16.993)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Hippothous (Trojan), spear in the head (17.377)
Hector (Trojan) kills Scedius (Greek), spear in the collar (17.393)
Ajax son of Telamon (Greek) kills Phorcys (Trojan), spear in the gut (17.399)
Aeneas (Trojan) kills Leocritus (Greek), (17.439);
Lycomedes (Greek) kills Apisaon (Trojan) (17.443)
Automedon (Greek) kills Aretus (Trojan), spear in the gut (17.636)
Menelaus (Trojan) kills Podes (Trojan), spear in the stomach (17.704)
Hector (Trojan) kills Coeranus (Greek), spear in the head (17.744)
Achilles (Greek) kills Iphition (Trojan), spear in the head (20.463)
Achilles (Greek) kills Demoleon (Trojan), spear in the head (20.476)
Achilles (Greek) kills Hippodamas (Trojan), spear in the back (20.480)
Achilles (Greek) kills Polydorus (Trojan), spear in the back (20.488)
Achilles (Greek) kills Dryops (Trojan), spear in the knee, sword thrust (20.546)
Achilles (Greek) kills Demouchos (Trojan) spear thrust (20.548).
Achilles (Greek) kills Laogonus (Trojan), spear thrust (20.551)
Achilles (Greek) kills Dardanus (Trojan), sword thrust (20.551)
Achilles (Greek) kills Tros (Trojan), sword in the liver (20.555)
Achilles (Greek) kills Mulius (Trojan), spear in the head (20.567)
Achilles (Greek) kills Echeclus (Trojan), sword on the head (20.569)
Achilles (Greek) kills Deucalion (Trojan), sword in the neck (20.573)
Achilles (Greek) kills Rhigmus (Trojan), spear in the gut (20.581)
Achilles (Greek) kills Areithous (Trojan), spear in the back (20.586)
Achilles (Greek) kills Lycaon (Trojan), sword in the neck (21.138)
Achilles (Greek) kills Asteropaeus (Trojan), sword in the stomach (21.215)
Achilles (Greek) kills Thersilochus (Trojan) (21.249)
Achilles (Greek) kills Mydon (Trojan) (21.249)
Achilles (Greek) kills Astypylus (Trojan) (21.250)
Achilles (Greek) kills Mnesus (Trojan) (21.250)
Achilles (Greek) kills Thrasius (Trojan) (21.250)
Achilles (Greek) kills Aenius (Trojan) (21.250)
Achilles (Greek) kills Ophelestes (Trojan) (21.251)
Achilles (Greek) kills Hector (Trojan), spear through the throat (22.410)

Phryne the Thespian

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Phryne the Thespian:

Phryne the Thespian was a notable hetaira, or courtesan, of Athens, who has been remembered throughout the millennia for her dramatic trial which she won by baring her breasts.

According to Athenaeus, Phryne was prosecuted on a capital offense, and was defended by the orator Hypereides, one of her lovers. Athenaeus does not specify the nature of the charge, though some other historical sources state that she was accused of profaning the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Although there is great debate among scholars about what really happened that day in court, Athenaeus wrote that Hypereides tore off Phryne’s dress in the middle of the courtroom to show the judges her beautiful body. His reasoning was that only the gods could sculpt such a perfect body; thus killing or imprisoning her would be seen as blasphemy and disrespect to the gods.

What appeared to be an unfavorable verdict for Phryne turned into a glorious victory for her after the inspired action of Hypereides. Phryne walked out the court triumphant, and her story went on to inspire many works of art, including the iconic painting Phryne before the Areopagus by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1861).

#PhryneTheThespian #AncientGreece #Athens #Trial

The Plague Of Athens

Athens

The Plague at Athens (430 – 427 B.C.):

“In the 2nd year of the Peloponnesian War, 430 BCE, an outbreak of plague erupted in Athens. The illness would persist throughout scattered parts of Greece and the eastern Mediterranean until finally dying out in 426 BCE. The origin of the epidemic occurred in sub-Saharan Africa just south of Ethiopia. The disease swept north and west through Egypt and Libya across the Mediterranean Sea into Persia and Greece. The plague entered Athens through the city’s port of Piraeus. The Greek historian Thucydides recorded the outbreak in his monumental work on the Peloponnesian war (431-404 BCE) between Athens and Sparta. According to various scholars, by its end, the epidemic killed upwards of 1/3 of the population; a population which numbered 250,000-300,000 in the 5th century BCE. By most accounts, the plague which struck Athens was the most lethal episode of illness in the period of Classical Greece history.”

~ John Horgan “Ancient History Encyclopedia, https://www.ancient.eu”

Plague of Athens

“Violent heats in the head; redness and inflammation of the eyes; throat and tongue quickly suffused with blood; breath became unnatural and fetid; sneezing and hoarseness; violent cough’ vomiting; retching; violent convulsions; the body externally not so hot to the touch, nor yet pale; a livid color inkling to red; breaking out in pustules and ulcers.”

~ Thucydides (c. 460 – 399 B.C.)

Sword Types: Xiphos

Xiphos

The ancient Greek xiphos (/ˈksiːfoʊs/ KSEE-fohss; Greek: ξίφος) was a pointed and double edged short sword, typically with a two foot long leaf-shaped blade, that was used for both cutting and thrusting. Designed for single-handed use, the xiphos was favored by the Greeks and was carried by them as standard equipment. The design has most likely been in existence since the appearance of the first swords. Blades in bronze and iron are suitable for a leaf shape due to the softness of the metals in comparison to steel. Bronze swords are cast and are thus more easily formed into a leaf shape than iron swords, which need to be forged. Xiphoi were initially made of bronze. Thus, getting the leaf shape for a bronze sword was simply a matter of pouring molten bronze into a leaf shaped mold. By the 7th and 6th centuries BC, iron supplanted bronze in making xiphoi.

Greek soldier with Xiphos and shield

It was a secondary battlefield weapon for the Greek armies after the dory or javelin. The classic blade was generally about 50–60 cm long, although the Spartans used a much shorter blade sometimes as short as one foot. The xiphos was generally used only when the spear was discarded for close combat. Xiphoi were usually carried in a baldric (a belt for a sword or other piece of equipment, worn over one shoulder and reaching down to the opposite hip) and hung under the user’s left arm. As ancient Greek warfare revolved around the phalanx, which was a spear-based formation, the xiphos was a secondary weapon, employed in close combat for situations in which the spear was ineffective or not ideal.

Modern Xiphos for collectors

Oracle Of Delphi

Classical history lesson —> Oracle of Delphi

Oracle of Delphi

Delphi (Greek: Δελφοί) is famous as the ancient sanctuary that grew rich as the seat of Pythia, the oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. Moreover, the Greeks considered Delphi the navel, or center, of the world, as represented by the stone monument known as the Omphalos of Delphi.

Oracle of Delphi (artist interpretation)

Delphi is perhaps best known for its oracle, the Pythia, the sibyl or priestess at the sanctuary dedicated to Apollo. According to Aeschylus in the prologue of the Eumenides, the oracle had origins in prehistoric times and the worship of Gaea. Gaea is the personification of the Earth and one of the Greek primordial deities. Gaea is the ancestral mother of all life: the primal Mother Earth goddess.

Delphi and the Temple Of Appolo

Apollo spoke through his oracle. She had to be an older woman of blameless life chosen from among the peasants of the area. Alone in an enclosed inner sanctum she sat on a tripod seat over an opening in the earth (the “chasm”). According to legend, when Apollo slew Python (Python was the serpent, sometimes represented as a medieval-style dragon, living at the centre of the earth, believed by the ancient Greeks to be at Delphi.) its body fell into this fissure and fumes arose from its decomposing body. Intoxicated by the vapours, the sibyl would fall into a trance, allowing Apollo to possess her spirit. In this state she prophesied. The oracle could not be consulted during the winter months, for this was traditionally the time when Apollo would live among the Hyperboreans. Dionysus would inhabit the temple during his absence.

Ruins of the Oracle of Delphi

The site was first settled in Mycenaean times in the late Bronze Age (1500-1100 BCE) but took on its religious significance from around 800 BCE. The original name of the sanctuary was Pytho after the snake which Apollo was believed to have killed there. Votive offerings at the site from this period include small clay statues (the earliest), bronze figurines, and richly decorated bronze tripods.

Delphi was also considered the centre of the world, for in Greek mythology Zeus released two eagles, one to the east and another to the west, and Delphi was the point at which they met after encircling the world. This fact was represented by the omphalos (or navel), a dome-shaped stone which stood outside Apollo’s temple and which also marked the spot where Apollo killed the Python.

Delphi diagram

Perhaps the most famous consultant of the Delphic oracle was Croesus, the fabulously rich King of Lydia who, faced with a war against the Persians, asked the oracle’s advice. The oracle stated that if Croesus went to war then a great empire would surely fall. Reassured by this, the Lydian king took on the mighty Cyrus. However, the Lydians were routed at Sardis and it was the Lydian empire which fell, a lesson that the oracle could easily be misinterpreted by the unwise or over-confident.

The first temple in the area was built in the 7th century BCE and was itself a replacement for less substantial buildings of worship which had stood before it. The focal point of the sanctuary, the Doric temple of Apollo, was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 548 BCE. A second temple, again Doric in style, was completed in c. 510 BCE with the help of the exiled Athenian family, the Alcmeonids. Measuring some 60 by 24 metres, the facade had six columns whilst the sides had 15. This temple was destroyed by earthquake in 373 BCE and was replaced by a similarly proportioned temple in 330 BCE. This was constructed with poros stone coated in stucco. Marble sculpture was also added as decoration along with Persian shields taken at the Battle of Marathon. This is the temple which survives, albeit only partially, today.

Other notable constructions at the site were the theatre (with capacity for 5,000 spectators), temples to Athena (4th century BCE), a tholos with 13 Doric columns (c. 580 BCE), stoas, stadium (with capacity for 7,000 spectators), and around 20 treasuries, which were constructed to house the votive offerings and dedications from city-states all over Greece. Similarly, monuments were also erected to commemorate military victories and other important events. For example, the Spartan general Lysander erected a monument to celebrate his victory over Athens at Aegospotami. Other notable monuments were the great bronze Bull of Corcyra (580 BCE), the ten statues of the kings of Argos (c. 369 BCE), a gold four-horse chariot offered by Rhodes, and a huge bronze statue of the Trojan Horse offered by the Argives (c.413 BCE). Lining the sacred way, which wound from the sanctuary gate up to the temple of Apollo.

Remains of the Oracle of Delphi

The site was ‘re-discovered’ with the first modern excavations being carried out in 1880 CE by a team of French archaeologists. Notable finds were splendid metope sculptures from the treasury of the Athenians (c. 490 BCE) and the Siphnians (c. 525 BCE) depicting scenes from Greek mythology.  In addition, a bronze charioteer in the severe style (480-460 BCE), the marble Sphinx of the Naxians (c. 560 BCE), the twin marble archaic statues – the kouroi of Argos (c. 580 BCE) and the richly decorated omphalos stone (c. 330 BCE) – all survive as testimony to the cultural and artistic wealth that Delphi had once enjoyed.

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