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Re: [Ancient-Mysteries] greece

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  • mike white
    the parthenon was near entire until the late 17th c. the turks used it as a powder magazine, during an attack by the venetians, the latter managed to hit the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 27, 2013
         the parthenon was near entire until the late 17th c.  the turks used it as a powder magazine, during an attack by the venetians, the latter managed to hit the powder and destroy it, along with much of the other ancient temples nearby.  by 1850, only 16 columns remained erect, 200 were destroyed or carried off.  lord elgin lent his hand in destroying what the other vandals and time had spared.  even the romans had the respect to leave such treasures fairly intact, instead taking shiploads of statuary.  it sickens me to read how cultures who owed so much to greece, repaid their debt.  noble citizens should have hung elgin for his efforts, and restored what was stolen.  with few exceptions, the greeks were renowned for respecting the temples and artworks of other nations, even those that were conquered.  modern travellers are seldom content to admire such works, they want to carry off portions, and cut their names into the monuments.  almost every vestige of a wonderfully advanced culture that thrived for 10,000 years was destroyed or stolen.  perhaps in the future, other nations will do the same to the monuments of venice and london.  nations have a karmic debt to repay, just as do people.  they may carry off anything not destroyed, to protect it. 
         he wasnt prepared to see a country where almost all of the cities were in ruin and desolation.  with his meager kit, he had to have a room and restaurant.  to see it well then, would have required a wagon, with tent and supplies.  the roads were so bad, that pack animals would have been better.  this trip was for his health, and a writing career was still far from his mind.  he may not have had the funds to do it right.  its sad that he did not cover the main sites more fully.  few americans had made it to greece by that time.  had he lived to a riper age, he may have returned to greece to complete the job.  as he said, there was no shortage of books describing greece, but it would have been nice to see what remained in his time, from his perspective.  the forested mountains, glades, and sacred groves were no more, the hills were barren, eroded into gullies and ravines.  being neglected for so long, it would be very difficult to restore it. 
         europe was plunged into a thousand year dark age after the fall of rome.  with the revival of culture, most nations were only concerned with self-interest.  few had the power to take on the ottoman empire, and the result is not pretty. 
         argos was described as a 'straggling village'.  the remains of its greatness, were the cyclopean lower portions of its walls, and the ruins of its amphitheater.  
         at mycenae, he was shown an ancient beehive tomb outside the walls, and told it was the tomb of agamemnon.  we now know that he was buried within the walls.  the tomb he was shown had a lintel stone 27x17 feet, and probably built thousands of years before the trojan war.  these old cities may have been first built by the race of giants who survived the great deluge, circa 24,000 bce.  of them, little is known, but scanty legends.  even the arcadians had nothing to say of the builders.   
         looking at the globe, and imagining the age of the giant heroes, who, by might, could live anywhere they wanted - they certainly would have selected, an area blessed by nature and climate, that was easily defended.  greece is such a place, with its multitude of islands, and many peninsulas, approached by narrow isthmus.  each mighty clan growing into a city-state, these forming leagues, when needed, for the mutual defence of common gates.  i can see dozens of key locations, that would have been the first choices for these giant settlers.  oddly, few of these places are known to have ancient ruins from the earliest times.  it seems likely, that within 10 miles of the key spots, structures from the first culture could be found.  were mountains leveled-off in that distant era, to account for the several city acropolis'.  those giants may have hacked canals, to flood long valleys.  heracles was said to have made major adjustments to the landscape, changing the course of rivers, and forming lakes.  after ages, these cuts would look natural today. 
         the bay of salamis was crucial in defeating the persians.  the greeks knew how shallow it was, the persians did not, which cost them a fleet, and the war.  much of that large gulf is under ten feet deep.  being too shallow for ships, it would be more useful to dam it off, or put a control on the gateway, to open and close it.  think of the amount of fish that could be caught, if the gate allowed the sea to enter, then closed it off.  not sure if the med gets enough tides, for the difference in level, to allow the free taking of much seafood, after a dike of the proper level is constructed - but it may work.  a run-off channel could drain it, with a gate opened by the weight of water.  this automated fishery could feed a nation continuously, by just collecting the fish, in the right season.  we may find traces that the ancients had done this. 
         ithaca, was an easy sail on calm water to corinth, via the inner passage. 
         stephens had borrowed a shirt, and money along the way, and had one pair of ripped trousers.  it was bold for him to travel that far, with so little.  most modern backpackers are better equipped. 
         a german king ruled with bavarian garrisons, then, as was attempted a century later.  a small bribe got him thru a checkpoint at a pass.  with the country in such need of roads, schools, bridges, etc, the king was building a great palace.  dignity would have come sooner from works than show.   
         8,000 turks were slain in one ambush in a pass between argos and corinth. 
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