Sunday, February 16, 2014

Our Life in Ruins Continues

It all somehow feels as mythological as the Greek gods, these monumental people, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates etc. of 2500 years ago and their incredible influence on what we do today and their brief appearance on this stage and it's importance. The ideas and philosophies that are the cornerstones of so much of our way of thinking, the cradle of western civilization, democracy, theater, science, literature and more. To walk the same steps that Alexander the Great, Pericles, Aristophanes and other amazing people walked, continually overwhelms me.

We went to the Byzantine & Christian Museum (incredible displays and set-up, not seen enough by visitors) and it described how the Christian influence sent everything into the Dark Ages, (or more PC, the Middle Ages). Almost all advances in literature, science, philosophy, came to a halt. All these great cities, ie. Constantinople and Athens, were sacked and pagan art, sculpture and ideas were abolished after 300AD. These Classical ideas of democracy, philosophy, literature etc. were sent into hiding for years. Centuries of oppression and war clearly illuminates that only with freedom of expression can creativity and humankind improve and evolve.

 One man's opinion.

Wait a minute Aristotle wannabe.....  I too am on top of the Acropolis, and yes Athens is one of the world's oldest cities dating back 3,400 years, and I too am in awe that it is the cradle of western civilization today - but guess what?  They treated their women like property and women were not involved at all in anything but rocking a baby's cradle.   I'm wondering why they revered their immortal goddesses, ie Athena, (who Athens was named after) and treated their mortal women so poorly.  Ahh, I guess like today, it's still a work in progress.....

We promise you, this will be the last post of Ruins (until we get to Rome)

View of Acropolis from Filopapou Hill

The Parthenon atop the Acropolis was built between 447 and 438 BC.  The Parthenon is a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.  Throughout history the Parthenon has been either destroyed  by wars, fires, or changed from pagan temples to christian churches by the Byzantine Empire, then mosques by the Turks, the greatest catastrophe was in 1687 an explosion caused by the Venetians trying to capture the Acropolis - - on and on lots of back stories...Such a history!

A couple of modern cuties resting after climbing to the top of the Acropolis

Porch of the Caryatids.  These 6 statues are replicas - 5 of  the original statues are in the Acropolis Museum and one is on display at the British Museum.  The Greek  government is demanding for her return, saying she was stolen -  good luck, even George Clooney  got into it with the Brits and asked for her return to Greece.  Good gossip stuff since he was just here pushing his new movie "Monument Men"...

In the foreground are the ancient ruins of Agora with modern Athens as the backdrop

The Ancient Marketplace below the Acropolis.  An open-air marketplace where merchants and craftsmen made and sold their wares.

The Modern Marketplace on the gates outside the Ancient Marketplace - still doing business!

Renata channeling Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war that ancient Greece put on a pedestal....

Eric channeling Hermes, Olympian god, son of Zeus - god of transitions and boundaries.  He is quick and cunning and moves freely between the worlds.  He is a messenger of the gods.  He is protector and patron of travelers.  Does sound a bit like Eric.... 

A Temple to Zeus -  King of the gods.  Married to Hera but the god had many children with many different immortal and mortal women.  He was a player.

From the Byzantine & Christian Museum - proof that baby Jesus was black.
 (Can someone let Megyn Kelly of Fox News know)