The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas

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Ancient Hoplites

The third-serving rule seems to have been breached regularly.

The Feast Begins

The most common after-dinner activity was the singing of skolia, sung to the accompaniment of a lyre. These short songs typically celebrated friendship or the pleasures of wine, recounting historic events or exalting the social values of the aristocracy from whose ranks most guests were drawn. One of the most popular games was known as kottabos.

Poetry’s Relationship With the Olympics

After finishing his cup, the guest picked it up by the handle and flicked the dregs at a target, usually another cup. As he did so, he uttered the name of his beloved, as it was believed that hitting the target boded well for his love life. There were more elaborate variants of the game: In one of them, the guests tried to sink small clay vessels floating in a large cup; in another, they shot at a saucer balanced on a metal bar. Xenophon writes how in B.

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Female flautists, known as auletrides, were brought in for the later stages. Pictures of symposia on vases show these women performing semi-naked between the reclining guests who, hands behind their heads, seem mesmerized by the sensuality of the moment. At the end of the evening, the dancers performed a kind of erotic dance, a pantomime of the wedding of Ariadne and Dionysus, the god of wine. Other women who often attended symposia were hetaera, courtesans who became the regular companions of men who could pay for their services.

They dazzled the men with their beauty and entertained them with their wit and refined conversation. The symposium gave them the opportunity to show off their charms and meet generous protectors. There were no illusions about their role in the proceedings. When the rowdier symposia ended, the guests went out to the street, wearing their garlands, and forming a drunken procession called a komos.

Sometimes these got out of hand. The playwright Aristophanes, offering Athenians comic relief through his plays during the grim years of the Peloponnese wars, depicted a character in his play The Wasps who defied all the conventions of a good feast-attender: Ignoring the lighthearted attempts to restrain him, his komos takes the form of threatening to punch passersby.

Take a tour of Olympia

Despite attempts by city authorities to curtail such excesses, symposia continued to play a central role in aristocratic social relations until Roman times. They are still identifiable in the drinking societies of British universities or in fraternities in the United States. Read Caption.

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Wining and Dining A fifth-century B. Attic kylix drinking cup from the Berlin State Museum, showing guests at a symposium drinking wine. Not only an occasion for thinking and philosophizing, the symposium was also a place for enjoying women, wine, and song. By Francisco Javier Murcia. Depicted on a tetradrachm, the Olympian Dionysus was the god of wine, an important part of the revelry at Greek feasts. A host might invite guests to a feast after bumping into them in the public meeting place of classical Athens known as the agora, reconstructed in this illustration.

It is a relatively easy drive to Mt. Olympus, departing from either Thessaloniki or Athens. The drives are long. It can take about six hours to drive from Athens, and half that if you are departing from Thessaloniki. Though the road itself is a good one, good roads sometimes inspire Greek drivers to new heights of daring.

The vast archaeological remains of Olympia will enchant most visitors, partly because this section of Greek history lives on for us in the modern Olympic Games. For this reason, the excellent Archaeological Museum at Olympia is particularly worthwhile. Obviously, the Olympic Collection attracts most visitors, but the museum also boasts the famous Hermes by Praxiteles and the winged Nike of Paionios.

In this age of jogging and modern marathons, many visitors run a few yards in the well-preserved Olympic Stadium. Remember to bring your own water if you intend to pursue this activity seriously.

Ancient Olympians glorified gods and community

Tripsavvy uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By using Tripsavvy, you accept our. Ships caught in between Scylla and Charybdis often end up being sunk by either Scylla […]. The Sirens were creatures that sang beautifully, luring those passing by to their deaths. Each Siren combined the appearance of a woman and a bird, with the exact appearance varying depending on the artist. Some artists drew Sirens that had bodies of birds with the heads of women, while others made them look like women […]. Midas was a king who reigned in Macedonian Bromium in what is now modern day Turkey.

The people he ruled over were called the Brigians or the Moschians. He was the son of the goddess Ida and an unnamed satyr and loved pleasure and wealth.

When he was a baby, ants would climb up the […]. Medea is the daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis. She is a sorceress who marries the hero Jason. She is the title character of the play written by Euripides. Medea is an enchantress, and is sometimes seen as a priestess of the goddess Hecate. Medea saw Jason after he arrived from Iolcus to Colchis.

Looking […]. Sisyphus was the creator and first king of the city Ephyra later Corinth. Sisyphus helped his city become a commercial hub. He is also rumored to have created the Isthmian Games, a competition featuring athletic and musical feats.

Greek Music - Greek Gods & Goddesses

It was held […]. According to Greek mythology, Theseus was the son of Aethra, yet his father was unknown. King Aegeus assumed the child was his own, and in the months preceding the birth of Theseus, he gave instructions to Aethra […]. In Greek Mythology, Apollo was the God of Light, and it was his job to pull the sun across the sky in his 4-horse chariot every day. He has also been referred to as the God of music, poetry, art, medicine, knowledge, plague and archery. Apollo was the son of Zeus the God of Thunder […]. Since the beginning of time man has looked up at the night sky and wondered about the stars. These points of light were once a mystery. Before man discovered all we know today about the stars and planets, they used the constellations to tell a story. Constellations are like a dot to dot puzzle. People […].

The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas
The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas
The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas
The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas
The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas
The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas
The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas

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