This morning, I got to pick up the complete series of twelve volumes of George Grote's classic standard work 'History of Greece'. It's the 1858-1862 edition. The original came out from 1846-1856. It's one of those series of books I doubted I would ever own, but I do now and I'm beyond excited. Archeology has come a long way since Grote, that's for sure. For one, in the time of Grote, the remains of Troy had not been identified yet, so Grote highly doubted the Trojan war had been real. Because of this, Grote is definitely not the only author to read on the history of Greece, but he's an excellent writer in general, and what he writes, you'll remember. If you even manage to get your hands on a copy of his books, either the pre-1900 editions or the new volumes (which come in various price ranges, formats and quality), and you an interest in the history of Greece: read it. It'll be worth it.
The other item on that picture is a kylix, an ancient Hellenic drinking cup. This is a replica of course, made in Krete, and gifted to me by the same friend who tipped me about the Grote books. If you've never heard of a kylix, tomorrow's post will surely be of interest to you, because for the Pagan Blog Project, I'm writing about ancient Hellenic pottery shapes. The image is a simplified version of this image: Kadmos (Κάδμος), defeating the guardian of the spring.
As the myth goes, as written down by Ovid in his Metamorphoses:
"Kadmos was the brother of Europe, who got taken by Zeus. During his quest to recover her, he was ordered, by the oracle in Delphi, to follow a cow with a half moon on her flank and to built a town on the spot where the cow laid down. The animal led him to Boeotia, where he founded the city of Thebes.
Kadmos wanted to sacrifice the cow to the goddess Athena and send some of his companions to the nearby Spring of Ismenos to fetch water. However, they were slain by the gold-crested dragon of Ares, who guarded the spring. Kadmos, in turn, confronted and destroyed the hydra and followed the instructions of Athena to sow the dragon’s teeth in the ground. Fierce armed men sprang up called Sparti, but they started fighting amongst themselves until only five remained. They assisted Kadmos to built the Cadmeia or acropolis of Thebes."
As you can see, this week was a great week for my Hellenic collection, and because I'm so excited about it, you guys get an extra post today.