Politismos eMagazine | Antonios Achoulias

Author: Antonios Achoulias

Asclepius and Hygieia

12.03.2020 in History

Asclepius and Hygieia   All over the ancient Greek world there were shrines and temples dedicated to Asclepius and his daughter Hygieia, the personification of health.   In the mythological world Apollo (the god of light, music, divination and healing) had a son called Asclepius. His mother was the mortal princess Coronis. Asclepius had a natural charisma regarding the natural world and therefore his father taught him the art of medicine and healing from a very young age. According to another myth, centaur Chiron (a mythological creature half man half horse) was the man who imparted all the secrets of…

Hippocrates: the greatest physician in history

12.03.2020 in History

Hippocrates: the greatest physician in history   Hippocrates, known to the world as the greatest physician, approached the human body not prejudice or superstition, but with great curiosity. His was a restless and moral mind.   The entire ancient wisdom regarding the human biology and welfare can be found among the manuscripts of the first medical scientist of the western civilization: Hippocrates, the man who approached the human body without prejudice and superstition. Hippocrates was born on the island of Kos and he lived a long life from around 460 BCE to 375 BCE. Athens, the city of the Golden…

The ancient theatrical masks

20.12.2019 in History

The ancient theatrical masks   The Ancient Greek world was far different than our modern society. Theatrical masks were an essential accessory. Masks were the reflection of the story told.   The ancient theatre was a man’s game. Women had the right to watch a theatrical performance but it was impossible for them to participate. The Ancient Greek world was far different than our modern society. Therefore, the male actors were capable to incarnate male and female roles and behaviors. The theatrical masks were an essential accessory. Most of them were made of plaster and painted linen and consequently none…

Ancient Greek Theatre

20.12.2019 in History

Ancient Greek Theatre   According to the ancient sources the birthplace of theatre was ancient Athens. Τhe word θέατρο (theatro) in greek derives from the ancient verb θεάομαι (theaomai) that means “observe with much interest”.   How can we define theatre? Is it just an interaction between two actors or something more complicated? In the modern world theatre is a field of experimentation that includes various artistic activities. However, was it like that in Ancient Greece and above all, can we locate the roots of the ancient theatre in the mist of time? According to the ancient sources the birthplace…

Kythera: the island of Aphrodite

10.11.2019 in History

Kythera: the island of Aphrodite     Some miles south of Peloponnese lays an island of insurmountable beauty. Kythera is its name – it is the birthplace of the almighty Aphrodite, the land of a hundred chapels and mysterious caves.   According to myth, the goddess Aphrodite was born off the coast of Kythera… from the foam of the waves where the village Kapsali lies today (the two natural ports took the name “the breasts of Aphrodite”). Many ancient writers used to give her the epithet Kytheria (the Mistress of Kythera) although another myth puts her birthplace in Cyprus. Nevertheless,…

Picasso and Antiquity: a fertile dialogue

23.09.2019 in Museums

Picasso and Antiquity: a fertile dialogue     Many people don’t know that Pablo Picasso was not just one of the most well-known cubist painters of the 20th c. but a great sculptor as well as a knowledgeable man concerning the Greco-roman world.   Pablo Picasso created a large number of clay artifacts and drawings inspired by objects of the ancient Greek world, such as the ancient theater, mythical beasts, gods, heroes and sacred animals. Picasso was a multifaceted personality with a curious and sharp mind. The Museum of Cycladic Art is currently hosting a unique exhibition that connects Modern…

Lake Vouliagmeni and the Temple of Hera

05.05.2019 in Travel

Lake Vouliagmeni and the Temple of Hera     Just one hour from Athens lies a picturesque landscape and ancient temple. The archaeological site of Heraion (Temple of Hera) includes some of the most remarkable remains of the early Corinthian civilization (9th c. BCE).   Just one hour from Athens lies a picturesque landscape and ancient archaeological site. Lake Vouliagmeni at Perachora is located about 9 miles from the city of Corinth on the other side of the Corinthian Peninsula. It is a natural moorage with a beautiful sandy beach and a small channel (only 19ft wide) through which the…

Isthmia and the Temple of Poseidon

05.05.2019 in History

Isthmia and the Temple of Poseidon   The sanctuary of Poseidon was a Panhellenic center of athletic games and rituals dedicated to the god Poseidon as well as to Palaimon, a local sea hero/minor god. The winner of each game would be crowned with a pine tree wreath, the symbol and standard for ship timber.   The tiny city of Isthmia (east of the Corinth Canal) was well-known from ancient times as a place of worship. The sanctuary of Poseidon played a significant role among the Greeks as a Panhellenic center of athletic games (every two years) and rituals dedicated…

The Golden Age of Byzantine Athens

07.03.2019 in History

The Golden Age of Byzantine Athens     The first centuries of the Byzantine Empire found Athens totally neglected and almost forgotten. Apart from sporadic construction of fortifications due to the threat of imminent enemy assaults, Athens was a humble provincial city in the Empire.   During this early period of Byzantium, most of the Classical Era monuments in the city of Athens had been transformed into Christian churches while others were destroyed by Christian zealotry or catastrophic raids by barbarians. After 500 years of oblivion, Byzantine Athens began to show signs of recovery. At the beginning of the 11th…

Empress Irene of Athens

07.03.2019 in History

Empress Irene of Athens   Was it common for the Byzantine Empire to have a female ruler? Certainly not. And Irene of Athens was anything but a common woman.   Born into an aristocratic Athenian family in 755 CE, the young Irene was well known for her exceptional beauty, which is likely the reason Constantine V chose her as a bride for his son Leo IV. Irene produced a male heir Constantine VI, but after her husband Leo’s death, Irene succeeded him as ruler of the Empire by neutralizing her opponents. This included killing her son by her own hands….