Two PAT ritual announcements today: On August 25th at 10 AM EDT, we will hold a PAT ritual for the Plataia, followed by a sacrifice to the heroine Basile on the day after, at the same timeslot.



The Plataia
The Plataia (or Plataea) seems to have been a commemorative festival, for the Hellenes fallen at the battle of Plataea. The Battle of Plataea was the final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Hellas. It took place in 479 BC near the city of Plataea in Boeotia, and was fought between an alliance of the Greek city-states, including Sparta, Athens, Corinth and Megara, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I. Some 38,700 Hellenes stood their ground against 300.000 Persians. The Hellenes marched out of the Peloponnesus and the Persians retreated to Boeotia and built a fortified camp near Plataea. The Hellenes surrounded the camp, but refused to enter the bare terrain surrounding the camp. They waited for eleven days, and then found their supplies dwindled. They attempted to retreat, and Persian general Mardonius ordered his forces to pursue them. The Hellenes, however--particularly the Spartans, Tegeans and Athenians--stood their ground, and won a great victory over the Perians. The Persian infantry was slaughtered, and Mardonius killed. Plutarch gives the date for the battle to be the fourth of this month, but also attested that the Athenians commemorated the event on the third. In Boeotia (and especially in Plataea), the remembrance seems to have been held on the fourth.

Herodotus, in his Histories (9. 52. 1), and Plutarch, in his 'Life of Arestides' both remark the following about what is most likely this battle:

"The seer slew victim after victim, Pausanias turned his face [historical general of the Persian Wars], all tears, toward the Heraion, and with hands uplifted prayed Kithaironion Hera and the other gods of the Plataian land that, if it was not the lot of the Hellenes to be victorious, they might at least do great deeds before they fell."[Life of Aristides, 18. 1]

As such we can assume that, besides the fallen, a sacrifice to Hera was also made. For this ritual, you can join us here. The ritual can be found here.



Sacrifice to Basile at Erkhia
In the calendar from Erkhia the heroine Basile was given a holókaustos on the 4th of the month of Boedromion. The sacrifice to Basile consisted of a white, female, lamb and was followed by a wineless libation. The colour of the animal is noteworthy, since holókaustoi have commonly been classified as khthonian sacrifices, and it is usually assumed that the victims used in such rituals were black. Basile was also worshipped elsewhere in Attica, but nothing is known of the kind of sacrifices she received at those locations. Basile seems to have been a local heroine. Nothing survives about her deeds, as far as we have been able to find, but she was important enough to warrant her own personal sacrifice--the Erkhian calendar also makes note of collective sacrifices to 'the heroines'.
For this ritual, you can join us here. The ritual can be found here.
On the day of the Hene kai Nea, I post a monthly update about things that happened on the blog and in projects and organizations related to it. I will also announce Elaion's coming PAT rituals.

Changes to the blog:
  • No major changes, but there is a new project in the works for Elaion! Upon request, we've pushed ahead with the publications of all the year's PAT rituals in a handy .pdf book format (that you can even print, if you'd like). No release date yet, it depends on the time I can make available, but somewhere this year for sure!
  • In another, more personal bit of news that I won't be spamming you with too often, my first full-length novel, "Survival Instincts", will be published in March. There is nothing Hellenic in it, but it would really help me a lot if you supported me on social media, either by following or interacting. You can find my website here, and of course social media: Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. Thank you!
Statistics:
PAT rituals for Boedromion:

Anything else?
With overwhelming votes, Mrs. Beazoglou's Magnificent Mythology has become Pandora's Kharis' Metageitnion 2017 cause. Mrs. Beazoglou is a teacher at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy in Hartford, CT, USA. This year her students will be reading the "The Lightning Thief." This fantasy-adventure based novel is based on Hellenic mythology. Unfortunately, her students come to school with little background or understanding about Hellenic myths. Beazoglou's goal is to build a classroom library of mythology books for her students to access after she teaches a concept or gives a book talk to learn more about a particular God or myth. It will also allow her students to make connections from "The Lightning Thief" to the old Hellenic myths.

The deadline to donate is today, August 22, 2017. You can do so by using the PayPal option to the side of the Pandora's Kharis website or by donating directly to baring.the.aegis@gmail.com. Thank you in advance!

Are you looking for an online shop to buy incenses and other Hellenistic basics from? Try The Hellenic Handmaid on Etsy.

Absolutely no pressure (I don't even drink coffee, after all), but do you see that little link at the top of the page? That takes you to my Ko-fi page. Once there, you can make a little donation, if you are willing, and Gods bless!
We are coming upon another festival celebrated in ancient Athens: the Niketeria. Surviving sources date the festival to the third of Boudromion, and it was in honor of one of the most important events in Athens' history: its naming and tutelage by Athena. We will be celebrating it on August 25th at the usual 10 AM EDT.


Many of us know there was a contest between Poseidon and Athena over who would rule the growing city of Athens (in the name it had before being called 'Athens'), and it is clear who won that contest. The earliest reference to this event we still have access to is from the fourth century BC by Plato, but it does not quite have the poetic touch Ovid's account has. For that reason, I will give the account of Ovid, and build from there. From the Metamorphoses, (trans. Melville):

"The rock of Mavors [Ares] in Cecrops' citadel is Pallas' [Athena's] picture [in her weaving contest with Arakhne] and that old dispute about he name of Athens. Twelve great gods, Jove [Zeus] in their midst, sit there on lofty thrones, grave and august, each pictured with his own familiar features: Jove [Zeus] in regal grace, the Sea-God [Poseidon] standing, striking the rough rock with his tall trident, and the wounded rock gushing sea-brine, his proof to clinch his claim. Herself she gives a shield, she gives a spear sharp-tipped, she gives a helmet for her head; the aegis guards her breast, and from the earth struck by her spear, she shows an olive tree, springing pale-green with berries on the boughs; the gods admire; and Victoria [Nike] ends the work." [6. 70]

Ancient Hellenic Neoplatonist philosopher Proklos (Πρόκλος) in 'On the Timaeus of Plato' speaks of this event as well, and notes that there is still a festival held to commemorate this event in his time (between 412 and 485 AD)

 "Farther still, the victories of Minerva are celebrated by the Athenians, and there is a festival sacred to the Goddess, in consequence of her having vanquished Neptune, and from the genesiurgic being subdued by the intellectual order, and those that inhabit this region betaking themselves to a life according to intellect, after the procurement of necessaries. For Neptune presides over generation; but Minerva is the inspective guardian of an intellectual life." [p. 153]

When this was celebrated, Proklos does not mention, but Plutarch does. One of these is in the Quaestiones Convivales, from the Moralia. Here, he answers the question: 'What is Signified by the Fable About the Defeat of Neptune? And Also, Why Do the Athenians Omit the Second Day of the Month Boedromion?'.

"While all were making a disturbance, Menephylus, a Peripatetic philosopher, addressing Hylas: You see, he said, how this investigation is no foolery nor insolence. But leave now, my dear fellow, that obstinate Ajax, whose name is ill-omened, as Sophocles says, and side with Poseidon, whom you yourself are wont to tell has often been overcome, once by Athene here, in Delphi by Apollo, in Argos by Here, in Aegina by Zeus, in Naxos by Bacchus, yet in his misfortunes has always been mild and amiable. Here at least he shares a temple in common with Athene, in which there is an altar dedicated to Lethe. And Hylas, as if he had become better tempered: One thing has escaped you, Menephylus, that we have given up the second day of September [Boudromion], not on account of the moon, but because on that day the gods seemed to have contended for the country." [Book 9, question 5]

Because of this, the official view of Elaion is that the festival of Niketeria--'Victory'--was celebrated not on the second of Boudromion as many modern researchers say, but on the third. The second day, after all, was no longer a part of the month. The question remains why the victory of one Goddess over one God was commemorated at all, and there is no adequate ancient explanation. None of the surviving works mention why and how the festival was celebrated. All we know is that it was noted--it might not even have been a true festival at all. We believe that by omitting the second day, the defeat of Poseidon was omitted, so as not to anger Him. A day later--in a somewhat unrelated fashion to Poseidon's defeat--there was a (possibly somewhat subdued) celebration of the victory of Athena, with sacrifices to Athena, Niké, and perhaps even Poseidon for the many wonderful gifts They had provided--and would hopefully continue to provide--for the city of Athens.

We will hold a subdued PAT ritual in honor of the Niketeria at 10 AM EDT on August 25th. Will you be joining us? The ritual can be found here and you can join the community here.
Don't you just want to look at pretty temples sometimes? Just click through and imagine what it could have been like to worship on the site of them? The lovely people over at Greece High Definition agree. They have created an overview of the most famous ancient Hellenic temples and with the list come very pretty pictures. Click on the picture below to visit the site.

https://www.greecehighdefinition.com/blog/2016/10/27/10-ancient-greek-temples?rq=Ital

The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on the surrounding slopes, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. It also lies over the ruins of a part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens. The museum was founded in 2003, and I have never been there, but yesterday I took a stroll through its collection.

https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/streetview/acropolis-museum/IwFUpQvIJ1QDVA?sv_lng=23.72884799999997&sv_lat=37.9685572&sv_h=237.7988111805615&sv_p=-1.2845305129461195&sv_pid=E2ffpS3Emg5tW00mF4AC7A&sv_z=0.996580440921653&sv_lid=6578783020017468350

The Acropolis Museum houses more than 3.000 famous artefacts from the Athenian Acropolis. Located in the historical area of Makriyianni, southeast of the Rock of the Acropolis, the Museum narrates the story of life on the Rock from prehistoric times until the end of Antiquity. The museum has a total area of 25,000 square meters, with exhibition space of over 14,000 square meters.

A tailor made museum building with extensive use of glass ensures breathtaking views of the Acropolis, the surrounding historic hills and the modern city of Athens and immediate views of the archaeological excavation that lies below the Museum, visible through large expanses of glass floor. With the benefit of the changing natural light, visitors can discern and discover the delicate surface variations of the sculptures and select the vantage point from which to observe the exhibits.

The archaeological excavation that lies beneath the Museum provides the opportunity to visitors to appreciate both the masterpieces of the Acropolis in the upper levels of the Museum against the remains of the day to day lives of the people that lived in the shadow of the Acropolis over various periods.

After crossing the ground floor lobby of the Museum, the first collection that lies before the visitor presents finds from the sanctuaries and the settlement which were developed on the slopes of the Acropolis during all historic periods.

On Level One visitors learn about the history of life at the top of the Rock, from the 2nd millennium BC until the end of Antiquity. On Level Three, visitors are afforded the opportunity to view the sculptural decoration of the Parthenon, the most significant temple of the Acropolis.

It's going to be a while until I can visit the museum myself, but through the wonders of the internet (and Google), you can already have a look at not only the collection but the museum itself. In order to relax a bit after a stressful day, that's exactly what I did last night. Go grab some tea, put your feet up, and have a look at all the pretty things by clicking the picture above.
To this day, Spartans are seen as the toughest SOB's of the ancient Hellenic world--and they were! The physical (and often intellectual) prowess of both Spartan men and Spartan women outdid that of those of any other Polis. Why? Because every minute of a young Spartan's life--right up to adulthood--was taken up with becoming the best adult they could be.


Spartan youngsters faced their first obstacle the second they were born: their father. If their father found a birth defect or otherwise rejected the child, he or she was literally left to the wolves. A child deemed worth raising was raised by its mother until it was seven years old, but boys accompanied their father to the syssitia (τὰ συσσίτια, tà sussítia, dining clubs) where he would sit on the floor and learned what it was like to be a Spartan man through watching and listening.

The laws of Sparta were developed and written by Lycurgus, a legendary lawmaker who, in the 7th century BC reorganized the political and social structure of the polis, transforming it into a strictly disciplined and collective society. He also developed the stringent military academy of the agoge (ἀγωγή, agōgē), where Spartan boys were trained from childhood to adulthood in three stages: the paídes (about ages 7–17), the paidískoi (ages 17–19), and the hēbōntes (ages 20–29).

Lycurgus instituted the practice of appointing a state officer, the paidonomos (παιδονόμος, paidonómos, boy-herder) who organized the boys into divisions of about 60 each called agelai (ἀγέλαι, agélai, herds). These were groups of peers of the same age. Most of their time was spent in this compan. The agelai were under the supervision of an eiren (εíρήν, young adult) aged about 20, at whose house the agelai ate.

Children went barefoot to encourage them to move swiftly, and they are encouraged to learn to withstand the elements by having only one outfit. They were never satiated with food or fed fancy dishes. If the boys wanted more food, they went on hunts or raids. Their stealing was not only allowed but encouraged--but if they got caght, they suffered floggings. If they made a sound during their punishment, they were flogged again. From Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus comes this little titbit:

"The boys make such a serious matter of their stealing, that one of them, as the story goes, who was carrying concealed under his cloak a young fox which he had stolen, suffered the animal to tear out his bowels with its teeth and claws, and died rather than have his theft detected." [18.1]

During the day, the boys played ball games, and learned to ride and swim. They studied dance as a kind of gymnastic training for war dances as for wrestling. This was so central that Sparta was known as a dancing place from Homeric times. It is not clear whether they learned to read; Sparta abhorred written records and laws, and prided themselves on not needing them. After dinner, the boys sang songs of war, studied history, and discussed morality with the eiren. He also quizzed them, trained their memory, logic, and ability to speak laconically. They slept on reeds.

And what of Sparta's girls? The law reforms of Lycurgus also included certain rules and allowances for them. Spartan women were seen as the vehicle by which Sparta constantly advanced. Unlike many other ancient Hellenic girls, they were afforded formal education as well, although it seems they lied at home with their mothers instead of being into room and board like the boys. They also could not use their education to have careers or earn money.

Spartan girls were forbidden from wearing any kind of makeup or enhancements. The girls would exercise outdoors, unclothed, like the Spartan boys, which was impossible in the rest of the ancient Hellenic world. They also participated in athletics, competing in events like footraces.

Giving Spartan girls a physical (and mental) education was seen as a guarantee that the strong and fit Spartan women would reproduce, and when they had babies, those babies would be strong warriors in the making. I note the mental aspect because Spartan women of all ages mingled, in public, with Spartan men. Through these meetings, they learned many of the intellectual pursuits of the men and the ancient Spartan women were infamous for their ability to trade conversation and give political commentary. They were known for their razor-sharp wit and outspoken natures.

Their methods worked: Around 650 BC, Sparta rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Hellas and held that position for almost 300 years.
An archaeological excavation team from Yarmouk University has recently discovered a Hellenistic temple and network of water tunnels in Umm Qais, Atef Sheyyab, president of the archaeology department at the university told the Jordan Times. 


Umm Qais is a town in the extreme northwest of Jordan, near it's borders with Israel and Syria. It is perched on a hilltop 378 metres (1,240 ft) above sea level overlooking the Sea of Tiberias, the Golan Heights, and the Yarmouk River gorge. It's known for its proximity to the ruins of the ancient Gadara.

A member of the Decapolis, Gadara was a center of Hellenic culture in the region, considered one of its most Hellenized and enjoying special political and religious status. By the third century BC the town was of some cultural importance. It was the birthplace of the satirist Menippus and one of the most admired Hellenic poets,  Meleager. In 63 BC, when the Roman general Pompey placed the region under Roman control, he rebuilt Gadara and made it one of the semi-autonomous cities of the Roman Decapolis.

The temple dates from the Hellenistic era (332 BC to 63 BC) and was later reused during the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic eras, Sheyyab said. The temple, built following the Hellenic architectural  design of “Distyle in Antis”, consists of a pronaos (the inner area of the portico of a Greek or Roman temple), a podium and a naos, the holy chamber of the temple. At the temple, the team has found a number of Ionic-order columns that once supported the structure’s roof.

The team has also discovered a network of water tunnels at the centre of the ancient town, which are separated from the external tunnel that was discovered decades ago in the area, the professor said.
The network consists of a number of Hellenistic wells and Roman tunnels, he noted, adding that the tunnels lead to a hot bath inside the town.

The team has taken pottery samples to examine in order to identify the exact date of the temple. The experts will also use them to prepare a blueprint showing the temple’s layout at the time, according to Sheyab.
Theokritos was a Hellenic bucolic poet who flourished in Syracuse, Kos and Alexandria in the 3rd century BC. His surviving work can mostly be found within an old compendium of 30 poems known as the "Idylls of Theocritus," Many of these works, however, are no longer attributed to the poet. In "Idyll 1" Thyrsis sings to a goatherd about how Daphnis, the mythical herdsman, having defied the power of Aphrodite, dies rather than yielding to a passion the Goddess has inflicted on him. Ift's a lovely song and I would like to share it with you today.


"‘Tis Thyrsis sings, of Etna, and a rare sweet voice hath he.
Where were ye, Nymphs, when Daphnis pined? ye Nymphs, O where were ye?
Was it Peneius’ pretty vale, or Pindus’ glens? ‘twas never
Anápus’ flood nor Etna’s pike nor Acis’ holy river.

Country-song, sing country-song, sweet Muses.

When Daphnis died the foxes wailed and the wolves they wailed full sore,
The lion from the greenward wept when Daphnis was no more.

Country-song, sing country-song, sweet Muses.

O many the lusty steers at his feet, and may the heifers slim,
Many the claves and many the kine that made their moan for him.

Country-song, sing country-song, sweet Muses.

Came Hermes first, from the hills away, and said “O Daphnis tell,
“Who is’t that fretteth thee, my son? whom lovest thou so well?”

Country-song, sing country-song, sweet Muses.

The neatherds came, the shepherds came, and the goatherds him beside,
All fain to hear what ail’d him; Priápus came and cried
“Why peak and pine, unhappy wight, when thou mightest bed a bride?
“For there’s nor wood nor water but hath seen her footsteps flee –

Country-song, sing country-song, sweet Muses –

“In search o’ thee. O a fool-in-love and a feeble is here, perdye!
“Neatherd, forsooth? ‘tis goatherd now, or ‘faith, ‘tis like to be;
“When goatherd in the rutting-time the skipping kids doth scan,
“His eye grows soft, his eye grows sad, because he’s born a man; –

Country-song, sing country-song, sweet Muses –

“So you, when ye see the lasses laughing in gay riot,
“Your eye grows soft, your eye grows sad, because you share it not.”
But never a word said the poor neathérd, for a bitter love bare he;
And he bare it well, as I shall tell, to the end that was to be.

Country-song, more country-song, ye Muses.

But and the Cyprian came him to, and smiled on him full sweetly –
For thou she fain would foster wrath, she could not choose but smile –
And cried “Ah, braggart Daphnis, that wouldst throw Love so featly!
“Thou’rt thrown, methinks, thyself of Love’s so grievous guile.”

Country-song, more country-song, ye Muses.

Then out he spake; “O Cypris cruel, Cypris vengeful yet,
“Cypris hated of all flesh! think’st all my sun be set?
“I tell thee even ‘mong the dead Daphnis shall work thee ill: –

Country-song, more country-song, ye Muses.

“Men talk of Cypris and the hind; begone to Ida hill,
“Begone to hind Anchises; sure bedstraw there doth thrive
“And fine oak-trees and pretty bees all humming at the hive.

Country-song, more country-song, ye Muses.

“Adonis too is ripe to woo, for a ‘tends his sheep o’ the lea
“And shoots the hare and a-hunting goes of all the beasts there be.

Country-song, more country-song, ye Muses.

And then I’ld have thee take thy stand by Diomed, and say
“’I slew the neatherd Daphis; fight me thou to-day.’

Country-song, more country-song, ye Muses.

“But ‘tis wolf farewell and fox farewell and bear o’ the mountain den,
“Your neatherd fere, your Daphnis dear, ye’ll never see agen,
“By glen no more, by glade no more. And ‘tis o farewell to thee
“Sweet Arethuse, and all pretty watérs down Thymbris vale that flee.

Country-song, more country-song, ye Muses.

“For this, O this is that Daphnis, your kine to field did bring,
“This Daphnis he, led stirk and steer to you a-watering.

Country-song, more country-song, ye Muses.

“And Pan, O Pan, whether at this hour by Lycee’s mountain-pile
“Or Maenal steep thy watch thou keep, come away to the Sicil isle,
“Come away from the knoll of Helicè and the howe lift high i ’ the lea,
“The howe of Lycáon’s child, the howe that Gods in heav’s envye;

Country-song, leave country-song, ye Muses.

“Come, Master, and take this pretty pipe, this pipe of honey breath,
“Of wax well knit round lips to fit; for Love hales mé to my death.

Country-song, leave country-song, ye Muses.

“Bear violets now ye briers, ye thistles violets too;
“Daffodilly may hang on the juniper, and all things go askew;
“Pines may grow figs now Daphnis dies, and hind tear hound if she will,
“And the sweet nightingále be outsung I ’ the dale by the scritch-owl from the hill.”

Country-song, leave country-song, ye Muses.

Such words spake he, and he stayed him still; and O, the Love-Ladye,
She would fain have raised him where he lay, but that could never be.
For the thread was spun and the days were done and Daphnis gone to the River,
And the Nymphs’ good friend and the Muses’ fere was whelmed I ’ the whirl for ever."
A small catch-you-up news post today: Greece asks EU for the return of the Parthenon Marbles as part of Brexit, and the discovery of a 2000-year-old road in Western Turkey


Greece asks EU for return of Parthenon Marbles as part of Brexit
Greece asks EU for return of Parthenon Marbles as part of Brexit

For over three decades, Greece has repeatedly called on the British Museum to return the 2,500-year-old marble sculptures that once adorned the Parthenon and have been the subject of dispute since they were illegally removed and sold by Lord Elgin to the British Museum in 1817. Now, with Brexit negations going strong, the Greek government is requesting that the ongoing issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece be made a part of it. Greece cites EU treaty law as the foundation of its claim. European Parliament member Stelios Kouloglou adds:.

“Brexit negotiators must take into account the need to protect European cultural heritage… The Parthenon Marbles are considered as the greatest symbol of European culture. Therefore, reuniting the marbles would be both a sign of respect and civilised relationship between Great Britain and the EU, and much more [than] a legal necessity.”

In response, a European Commission spokesperson said he believed that the Brexit team is not legally obliged to address the issue, citing Articles 3, 50 and 167. “The Parthenon Marbles were removed long before this date, and the EU has no competence in the matter,” Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport said, referring to a directive on the return of unlawfully removed cultural objects which applies to items removed after January 1, 1993.


A 55-kilometer section of a road that was built 2,000 years ago has been discovered in ongoing excavations of the ancient city of Aigai, located in Turkey‘s Manisa province. Aigai was one of the 12 ancient cities established in Western Anatolia. Assistant Professor Yusuf Sezgin, faculty member at the Celal Bayar University Archaeology Department and head of the excavation team, explained that the team had come across a road dating back to the Roman era in 1st century A.D., which started from the Aegean Sea shore and was once used to facilitate transport between Izmir and Manisa.

"It is noteworthy that the road is as solid as the first day is was built. Our examination showed that large water discharge channels were constructed under the road to prevent possible flash floods. In addition, we noticed that engravings were carved upon the stone plating to prevent horses from slipping during winter."

The road was first used as a route for war campaigns, and later for trade caravans, Sezgin explained, noting that it was part of a larger system of paths operated by the Roman Empire, which was famous for building vast networks of roads. Sezgin said that excavation work, which began in 2004, has pointed to evidence that the city became a regional point of economic and cultural attraction during the Hellenistic period in the 3rd century B.C., with the support of the Kingdom of Pergamon, located some 30 kilometers north of Aigai, nestled in the Yunt Mountains of the Aegean region. Sezgin added that he hoped the road would be open for visitors in the upcoming years.
With overwhelming votes, Mrs. Beazoglou's Magnificent Mythology has become Pandora's Kharis' Metageitnion 2017 cause!


Mrs. Beazoglou is a teacher at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy in Hartford, CT, USA. This year her students will be reading the "The Lightning Thief." This fantasy-adventure based novel is based on Hellenic mythology. Unfortunately, her students come to school with little background or understanding about Hellenic myths. Beazoglou's goal is to build a classroom library of mythology books for her students to access after she teaches a concept or gives a book talk to learn more about a particular God or myth. It will also allow her students to make connections from "The Lightning Thief" to the old Hellenic myths.

The students will get reading instruction through a literature circle model. This model is a book club where each student is given a role to be an expert on the assigned chapter. Students will then meet as a group to discuss their findings and dive deeper into the message or theme of each book.

The project is for grade 6-8 students. More than half of them come from low-income households. The goal of the project is $ 340,- and around $180,- has been raised so far. We can do better, can't we? Spread the word and get these kids books!

The deadline to donate is August 22th, 2017. You can do so by using the PayPal option to the side of the Pandora's Kharis website or by donating directly to baring.the.aegis@gmail.com. Thank you in advance!
The annual sacrifice at Erkhia to Zeus Epoptes (Εποπτες) was held on 25 Metageitnion. It is a sacrifice to the King of the Gods, and we will celebrate it on August 18th, at 10 AM EDT. Will you be joining us?


'Epoptes' (sometimes 'Epopteus' or 'Epopetei') is often translated as 'overseer' or 'watcher'; 'to look down upon'. Among the ancient Hellenes, the title of 'epoptes' was used of those who had attained the third grade of initiation, the highest, of the Eleusinian Mysteries; a religious cult at Eleusis, with its worship, rites, festival and pilgrimages open to all Hellenes willing to undergo initiation. The epopteia were--appropriately--charged with overseeing the proceedings at Eleusis, but seemingly received the name mostly because they had beheld the full mysteries of the Mysteries.

From the calendar we have recovered from Erkhia, we know that the sacrifice to Zeus Epoptes was a pig, burned completely in a holókaustos, without an offering of wine. It cost the Erkhians three drachmas.

You can find the ritual for the sacrifice here, and if you would like to join our community page for it, come on over to Facebook here. We would love it if you could join us!

I get a lot of questions from readers, and most of the time, the answers are fairly short. When I feel the question or the reply would be valuable to others as well, I make a post with a collection of them and post them in one go. Today is one of those posts.


"I recently participated in one of the Elaion PAT rituals. This was my first Hellenismos ritual and it was interesting. Coming from an eclectic Pagan background this was a quite different, but it felt good. I didn't have "honey sweet wine" (mead?) or several bowls for libation but I did the best I could, offering several times khernips. Does each Theoi have Their own offering bowl that is brought out at each ritual or can they be cleaned after each use? Any experience or advise coming from a Pagan background and moving into Hellenismos?"

The most common style of wine in ancient Hellas was sweet and aromatic, which is what we mean when we say "honey sweet". In ancient Hellas, sacrifices were given to the fire so the smoke could take the sacrifices up to Olympos. If you can't use a fire, feel free to pour all libations into a single bowl. Once the ritual is over, dispose of the libation and wash the bowl. Preferably, the libations are poured into a (small) pit outside

I came into Hellenismos from a practice of Eclectic Religious Witchcraft and yes, it's definitely different. The best advice I can give you is to embrace repetition and leave as much flair behind as you can. Find the absolute barebones of your religious practice to "detox" from all the embellishments of modern Paganism and build up from there. Oh, and enjoy it!

~~~

"I have been working on refining my practice and have been doing more reading about daily ritual and trying to incorporate certain elements into my daily practice. My question is about Libation. So far as I can tell from my reading is that the Cthonic Gods gets Libation poured on the ground. Others Deities that I have seen seem to get some of the Libation poured on the altar or on the fire. Even some get a bowl. I currently live in an apartment. How could one provide libation in such a setting. I could do a bowl, but do I pour it outside?  Also as a devotee of Aphrodite would you have any specific recommendations of libation (unfortunately I cannot drink alcohol, but could I do something like grape juice and honey?)."

Wine is the traditional libation liquid; as drinking water was often stagnant, wine was used to purify it, and mask the taste. All men, women and children drank water which had some wine added to it. Wine was believed to be a healer–and it is–so everyone drank it, sometimes more when they were sick. Now, that is the Traditional side of it; what you do as a modern Hellenist is allowed to differ due to the changed from the ancient to the current society. One part of that is finding substitutes if wine is not something you want to consume–or can’t consume.

As wine pretty much was the ancient Hellenic equivalent of water, water is a good replacement. That said, it may feel a little to plain and personally I enjoy the fact that I libate wine because it has ties to the grape vine and Dionysos. So, as a replacement, I would suggest plain grape juice–as pure and sugarless as you can find it. It still has the same ties to the Gods, but without the alcohol.

Traditionally speaking—which is what I practice—all Ouranic sacrifices should be burned. Sacrifices to heroes too, by the way, and even some Khthonic sacrifices were burned. The ancient Hellenes burned things (like sacrifices, incense, but also the firebrand to make khernips) because smoke was the only way the sacrifice reached the Ouranic Gods. That’s how the sacrifice traveled to Olympos and how the sacrifice itself became sacred. Pure. Not burning sacrifices, traditionally speaking, is promising the gods sustenance and giving them an empty plate along with a message saying “just imagine it’s food. I’m sure you’ll feel full”. Of course, I–and hopefully They–know it isn’t always possible, but I do advocate burning sacrifices if at all possible. That's also why household worship was mostly practiced outside, by the way: the smoke needs to be able to rise up freely. If you burn your libations, you also won't have a wet bowl at the end Most Khthonic offerings are buried as that is where most Khthonic Gods reside—not in the soil but far below our feet, which is why scooping earth into a bowl and pouring libations into it wouldn't traditionally reach Them.

All of that said: most of us practice with limitations. A bowl of dirt put on the ground could work to pour libations into for the Khthonic Gods. Pouring libations into a bowl on your altar without burning them and praying really, really hard might please the Ouranic Gods. It's a choice you will have to make, based on the options at your disposal.

~~~

"Hi! Thank you for all you do and for being so informative and helpful in people's practices. You said in an earlier ask if people has suggestions for more YouTube videos to send them. Idk if this would be visually appealing but maybe going over a traditional prayer structure? Another thing is disposing of offerings/ashes. I think you said you give them to Hecate at crossroads but obviously not everyone can do that. Either way I'd be interested to see how you do it! Thank you!"

I think that might be a good video idea, but I already have a post about prayers (and hymns) too. Offerings and ashes are still sacred to the Theoi, and are to be disposed of in a respectful manner. In ancient Hellas, these were buried in votive pits, on the temenos, the sacred site, be it near a temple or at home. In modern times, this is usually a (shallow) pit dug in the garden where you can dispose of whatever remains after sacrifice. As for the crossroads: a crossroad is by definition a point where two roads meet, but in ancient Hellas it was often seen as any liminal place--a point of transition--from home to street, for example. I place my offerings to Hekate near the gateway from our home to the alleyway that runs past our backyard, for example, as that is a crossroad too.
The 21th of Metageitnion, Hera Thelkhinia was honoured at Erkhia. Hera Thelkhinia, Goddess of Charm. Will you join us in honouring Her on August 14, at the usual 10 am EDT?


We know very little about this epithet of Hera, and it is often confused (including by yours truly) with 'Telkineia', missing the  'H'. The epithet Telkinios (Telkineia) is used for Apollon, Hera, and the Nymphs. It is linked to the island of Rhodes and either to metalworking or storm, at this point in time I truly am not sure. Metalworking would make sense, after all Hephaistos is the son of Hera.

In the Erkhian calendar, however, the epithet of Hera is Thelchiniai (ΘΕΛΧΙΝΙΑΙ), with an 'H'. The only references to this epithet is ‘charm’ and ‘charming’, not metal working. H. W. Parke, in Festivals of the Athenians' writes on page 179:

“Hera besides her festival with him [Zeus] had a sacrifice alone on the 20th of the same month under a title which seems to mean ‘Goddess of Charm’ (Thelchinia). So in Erkhia she may have included in her sphere the functions of the classical Aphrodite who was not worshipped in the deme.

The ritual for this sacrifice can be found here, and you can join our community page here.

The ancient Hellenic writers were dedicated historians, but they often neglected to mention the achievements of ancient Hellenic women. Now it so happens that I am a woman and I quite like having a few female heroes to look up to, so I want to introduce you to them. Today: Theano of Krotone.

Little is known about the life of Theano (Θεανώ), and the ancient sources are confused. According to one tradition, she came from Krete and was the daughter of Pythonax, but others said she came from Krotone and was the daughter of Brontinos of Metapontum (Βροντῖνος) a Pythagorean philosopher, and a friend and disciple of Pythagoras himself. She was said by many to have been the wife of Pythagoras, although another tradition made her the wife of Brontinos. Iamblichus, in an attempt to resolve the confusion, refers to Deino as the wife of Brontinus. She is said to have given Pythagoras at least three daughters (Damo, Myia, and Arignote) and a son, Telauges.

The writings attributed to Theano were: Pythagorean Apophthegms, Female Advice, On Virtue, On Piety, On Pythagoras, Philosophical Commentaries, and Letters. None of these writings have survived except a few fragments and letters of uncertain authorship. Attempts have been made to assign some of these fragments and letters to the original Theano (Theano I) and some to a later Theano (Theano II), but it is likely that they are all pseudonymous fictions of later writers, which attempt to apply Pythagorean philosophy to a woman's life. The surviving fragment of On Piety concerns a Pythagorean analogy between numbers and objects; the various surviving letters deal with domestic concerns: how a woman should bring up children, how she should treat servants, and how she should behave virtuously towards her husband.

From the Gnomologium Vaticanum, a Byzantine collection of sayings and anecdotes of ancient Hellenic philosophers and other celebrities, come the following words of wisdom:

- "Theano used to say “It is shameful to be silent on matters about which it is noble to speak and noble to be silent on those shameful to mention'."
- "Theano the Pythagorean philosopher was asked how a man and woman might live together and said ‘if they learn to bear each other’s moods'."
- "Theano suggested that a woman coming to her husband should strip off her shame along with her clothes and put them all back on again when she left'."
 - "Theano, when asked what number of days a woman was clean from her husband and is was right for her to go to the temple, said ” ‘on the same day from her own husband, but never from another'."
- "Theano said ‘It is better to trust onself to an unbridled horse than an illogical woman'."
 - "While Theano was walking she showed her forearm and some youth when he saw it said 'Nice skin'. She responded, 'it’s not communal''."
- "When Theano the Pythagorean philosopher was asked what eros is, she said 'the passion of a soul with spare time'."
A Hellenic quarry dating from the 5th century BC will be partly classified. This represents a first victory for the residents against the French city’s authorities who were planning to build on the historic site, according to a report by French Agency, AFP.


Discovered by chance during the construction of a building in the center of Marseille, the 6,500 square meter site was adopted by locals, eager to have at least part of it protected. When the ancient quarry was discovered residents started a campaign for its preservation. Thousands have signed a petition to stop further works at the site. Residents of the Sandrine Rolengo district where the quarry was discovered call it “a great step forward.”

“Immediately I was in awe. We were in front of a real treasure, it was there, in front of our eyes! How could we leave it hidden underneath?”

Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen, who visited the site recently, decided to protect part of the site.
A 650 square meters area will be classified as historic monument and it will become accessible to the public. The minister said in a newspaper interview:

“There should be a balance between the necessary preservation of cultural heritage and development that it is not vital.”

Jean-Néel Beverini has been collecting signatures of support for the quarry’s preservation on the Internet.

“This ancient site of unparalleled value contributes not only to a deeper understanding of the history of Marseilles, but also to the knowledge of Greek civilization on the Mediterranean shores."

Up to now, more than 9,000 signatures have been collected online.
On August 12th, we will host a PAT ritual for a sacrifice originally performed at Erkhia. This is a sacrifice to the Heroines. Will you be joining us at 10 AM EDT?


The ancient Erkhians honored the Heroines twice a year, once on the 19th of Metageitnion, and once on the 14th of Pyanepsion. Certain heroines--like Basile--were worshipped separately from the group as well, most likely because they were local heroines instead of universally accepted heroines like Atalanta, who hunted the Calydonian boar, slew Centaurs, defeated Peleus in wrestling, or Kallisto, who was an Arcadian princess and hunting companion of the Goddess Artemis. The Heroines received a white sheep in sacrifice, of which the meat was partly sacrificed and partly eaten by those who came out to sacrifice. The skin of the animal went towards the priestess.

Heroes and heroines have a special place in Hellenismos, as they had in ancient Hellas. These were humans--most with at least a part divine heritage--who were considered so brave, so skillful, so extraordinary in their lifetime that they became revered. Some were priests or priestesses of a temple, some excelled in battle, others were skilled healers or good rulers. Once they passed to the realm of Hades, their names were remembered at least once a year on a special occasion, because the ancient Hellenes believed that if the name and deeds of a person were remembered, they would live forever and potentially look out for those they had looked out for before.

Archaeological evidence suggests that hero worship was closer to Khthonic sacrifices in execution than Ouranic ones the further back in time you go; especially in the archaic period, it seems that hero worship consisted of destructive sacrifices--sometimes in the form of a holókaustos where the entire animal was burned, sometimes in a sacrifice where only a part (most often 'a ninth' of the animal) was burned and the rest remained on the altar for the heroes to eat from until gone. The sacrifices were generally burned in an offering pit known as a bothros. The food offered to heroes consisted of meat, blood, and 'food eaten by men' like grains, fruits and other every-day dishes. These were usually offered to the heroes on a table--known as a trapeza--and the heroes were sometimes offered chairs or a bench to sit on. As time went on, the living began to eat part of the meal laid out for the heroes, joining them in celebration.

You can find the ritual here, and join our community page here. We have added some of the main Hellenic Goddesses to the ritual as well. Feel free to add more of our Goddesses and heroines to your own ritual, especially if you feel close to Them! This ritual will be a celebration of the feminine power in our religion!
For Metageitnion 2017, we have two great local causes to choose from, submitted by our members. Let's have a look!


Fundraiser for the AP, Inc. Community Center
The AP, Inc.  Community Center has been serving the needs of the LGBT community since 2005. Since opening, this center has seen over 1,500 clients annually. Recently, they experienced a devastating fire. This incident will temporarily displace a large portion of the agency’s programming like testing, counseling, support groups, linkage services, and other support services for Dallas’ most at-risk populations. This community center is an important operation in AP, Inc.’s mission to assist individuals living with HIV/AIDS and other communities that are at risk for contracting the virus. The Community Center is also a place where members of the LGBT community gain access to computers for a variety of needs including employment, educational, and insurance; in addition to those who use the safe space just to fellowship.

$ 50.000,- will be required to rebuild the center, and they're $ 27.000 in now. They will need a lot more help to get their center up to par again and continue supporting their community.



Mrs. Beazoglou's Magnificent Mythology
Mrs. Beazoglou is a teacher at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy in Hartford, CT, USA. This year her students will be reading the "The Lightning Thief." This fantasy-adventure based novel is based on Hellenic mythology. Unfortunately, her students come to school with little background or understanding about Hellenic myths. Beazoglou's goal is to build a classroom library of mythology books for her students to access after she teaches a concept or gives a book talk to learn more about a particular God or myth. It will also allow her students to make connections from "The Lightning Thief" to the old Hellenic myths.

The students will get reading instruction through a literature circle model. This model is a book club where each student is given a role to be an expert on the assigned chapter. Students will then meet as a group to discuss their findings and dive deeper into the message or theme of each book.

The project is for grade 6-8 students. More than half of them come from low-income households. The goal of the project is $ 340,- and $180,- has been raised so far.


Do you have a favorite out of these two? Vote for it in our poll until August 13th. We will announce this month's winner on August 14th, 2017.
Next week, I finally put the finishing touches on my debut novel. It's been a struggle, but one that came with a lot of lessons I am very grateful for. The next one will be much easier and the end result is much better because of all the editing that went into it with my publisher. I'm grateful for the help I've had and for the inspiration the Gods have provided me. I'm putting a lot of hours in, still, so I'm going to let Plato do my talking for me today, about inspiration. It comes from his "Ion".


"For all good poets, epic as well as lyric, compose their beautiful poems not by art, but because they are inspired and possessed. And as the Corybantian revellers when they dance are not in their right mind, so the lyric poets are not in their right mind when they are composing their beautiful strains: but when falling under the power of music and metre they are inspired and possessed; like Bacchic maidens who draw milk and honey from the rivers when they are under the influence of Dionysus but not when they are in their right mind. And the soul of the lyric poet does the same, as they themselves say; for they tell us that they bring songs from honeyed fountains, culling them out of the gardens and dells of the Muses; they, like the bees, winging their way from flower to flower. And this is true. For the poet is a light and winged and holy thing, and there is no invention in him until he has been inspired and is out of his senses, and the mind is no longer in him: when he has not attained to this state, he is powerless and is unable to utter his oracles.

Many are the noble words in which poets speak concerning the actions of men; but like yourself when speaking about Homer, they do not speak of them by any rules of art: they are simply inspired to utter that to which the Muse impels them, and that only; and when inspired, one of them will make dithyrambs, another hymns of praise, another choral strains, another epic or iambic verses- and he who is good at one is not good any other kind of verse: for not by art does the poet sing, but by power divine. Had he learned by rules of art, he would have known how to speak not of one theme only, but of all; and therefore God takes away the minds of poets, and uses them as his ministers, as he also uses diviners and holy prophets, in order that we who hear them may know them to be speaking not of themselves who utter these priceless words in a state of unconsciousness, but that God himself is the speaker, and that through them he is conversing with us. And Tynnichus the Chalcidian affords a striking instance of what I am saying: he wrote nothing that any one would care to remember but the famous paean which; in every one's mouth, one of the finest poems ever written, simply an invention of the Muses, as he himself says. For in this way, the God would seem to indicate to us and not allow us to doubt that these beautiful poems are not human, or the work of man, but divine and the work of God; and that the poets are only the interpreters of the Gods by whom they are severally possessed."
Forensic archeologist Christos Tsirogiannis is no stranger to this blog. He's helped identify and return quite a number of ancient artifact from the collections of museums, galleries and even private owners now. The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art delivered an ancient vase to Manhattan’s district attorney, after the DA had issued a warrant for the Greco-Roman vessel on July 24, citing “reasonable cause to believe” the museum was in possession of stolen property. That cause was Tsirogiannis' evidence.


For decades it was proudly displayed in the Greco-Roman galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a 2,300-year-old, vividly painted vase that depicts Dionysos riding in a cart pulled by a satyr. It was seized last week based on evidence that it had been looted by tomb raiders in Italy in the 1970s. The museum staff hand-delivered the object to prosecutors and anticipates that the krater will ultimately return to Italy. Kenneth Weine, a museum spokesman, said in a statement:

“The museum has worked diligently to ensure a just resolution of this matter.”

Questions about the vase’s provenance surfaced in 2014, when The Journal of Art Crime published an article by Tsirogiannis, in which he offered evidence the vase had no collecting history prior to 1989, and it matched photos in possession of  Giacomo Medici, a 79-year-old Italian art dealer who was arrested in 1997 and convicted in 2004 of conspiracy to traffic in antiquities. Tsirogiannis wrote that the item was likely illegally excavated after 1970, when UNESCO prohibited illicit trade of cultural property. He sent evidence of his discovery to the museum but never heard back.

More recently, he grew frustrated that no action appeared to have been taken. So last spring he sent his evidence to a Manhattan prosecutor, Matthew Bogdanos, who specializes in art crime. That evidence included Polaroid photos shot between 1972 and 1995 that he said were seized from Mr. Medici’s storehouses in 1995 and that showed the same Python vase still encrusted with dirt.

“When I sent American police the information, they immediately told me that this was ‘a great case.' It was abundantly clear that this rare object had been stolen.”

Mr. Medici, reached in Italy, denied any role in connection with the recently seized vase, which the Met bought at auction at Sotheby’s in 1989 for $90,000. An official for the auction house declined to identify the consignor, citing privacy concerns, but said Sotheby’s had no knowledge of any issues with its provenance when it handled the sale.

Experts date the vase, which is also known as a bell krater, to 360 B.C. and attribute it to the Hellenic artist Python, considered one of the two greatest vase painters of his day. It's a remarkably intact survivor of an age when the ancient Hellenes colonized Paestum, a Mediterranean city in the Campania region south of Rome, and created temples and artworks of legendary beauty.

The case closely echoes the removal of another terra-cotta wine vessel, the Euphronios Krater, from the museum in 2008 after evidence surfaced that it had been illegally excavated from an ancient burial ground in Italy. Met officials said they believe, as do law enforcement officials, that both vessels went through the hands of Medici.

A recent study of ancient DNA suggests that there is genetic continuity between the predecessors of the Minoans and Mycenaeans and Greeks today. These civilizations emerged from Aegean farming communities and gave rise to the ancient Hellenes. The findings, which were published online August 2nd in the journal Nature, also raise some questions about prehistoric migrations that set the stage for the Bronze Age.


The Minoans and Mycenaeans were the first advanced, literate civilizations to appear in Europe (around 3000 BC for the Minoans and 2000 BC for the Mycenaeans). They left archaeologists with a wealth of material to pore over: palaces, golden jewelry, wall paintings, writing (some of it still undeciphered) and, of course, burials, in what is today Greece. Now, an analysis of ancient DNA has revealed that Ancient Minoans and Mycenaens were genetically similar with both peoples descending from early Neolithic farmers. They likely migrated from Anatolia to Greece and Krete thousands of years prior to the Bronze Age. Modern Greeks, in turn, are largely descendants of the Mycenaeans, the study found.

An international team of researchers from the University of Washington, the Harvard Medical School and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, together with archaeologists and other collaborators in Greece and Turkey, analyzed tooth DNA from the remains of 19 ancient individuals who could be definitively identified by archaeological evidence as Minoans of Krete, Mycenaeans of mainland Greece, and people who lived in southwestern Anatolia. They compared the Minoan and Mycenaean genomes to each other and to more than 330 other ancient genomes and over 2,600 genomes of present-day humans from around the world.

Study results show that Minoans and Mycenaeans were genetically highly similar - but not identical - and that modern Greeks descend from these populations. The Minoans and Mycenaeans descended mainly from early Neolithic farmers, likely migrating thousands of years prior to the Bronze Age from Anatolia, in what is today modern Turkey. Iosif Lazaridis:

"Minoans, Mycenaeans, and modern Greeks also had some ancestry related to the ancient people of the Caucasus, Armenia, and Iran. This finding suggests that some migration occurred in the Aegean and southwestern Anatolia from further east after the time of the earliest farmers."

While both Minoans and Mycenaeans had both "first farmer" and "eastern" genetic origins, Mycenaeans traced an additional minor component of their ancestry to ancient inhabitants of Eastern Europe and northern Eurasia. This type of so-called Ancient North Eurasian ancestry is one of the three ancestral populations of present-day Europeans, and is also found in modern Greeks. A passion for history inspired Stamatoyannopoulos to initiate this project:

"For over 100 years, many hotly contested theories have circulated concerning the origin of the inhabitants of Bronze Age, Classical, and modern Greece, including the so-called 'Coming of the Greeks' in the late second millennium, the 'Black Athena' hypothesis of the Afroasiatic origins of Classical Greek civilization, and the notorious theory of the 19th century German historian Fallmerayer, who popularized the belief that the descendants of the ancient Greeks had vanished in early Medieval times."

In broad strokes, the new study shows that there was genetic continuity in the Aegean from the time of the first farmers to present-day Greece, but not in isolation. The peoples of the Greek mainland had some admixture with Ancient North Eurasians and peoples of the Eastern European steppe both before and after the time of the Minoans and Mycenaeans, which may provide the missing link between Greek speakers and their linguistic relatives elsewhere in Europe and Asia. The study thus underscores the power of analysis of ancient DNA to solve vexing historical problems, and sets the stage for many future studies that promise to untangle the threads of history, archaeology, and language.
On the sixteenth of Metageitnion, sso on 10 am EDT on the 9th of August, we honor Kourotrophos (κουροτρόφος, child nurturer) and the two Goddesses who protect women and children, Hekate and Artemis with sacrifice. Elaion will be organizing another Practicing Apart Together ritual, which I would love to have you join.


The Kourotrophoi are (mostly) female deities who watched over growing children--Gaea, Artemis, Hekate, Eirênê, Aglauros and Pandrosos, especially. Offerings to them are known from the demos Erkhia, but duplicates similar offerings on the Acropolis of Athens. Especially at Erkhia, it varied per sacrifice which Kourotrophoi was/were sacrificed to. In this ritual, we honor Kourotrophos Herself, a deity whose main function was to watch over nursing children and their mothers. We also honor Artemis and Hekate.

Artemis is named Kourotrophos by Diodorus Siculus, a Hellenic historian, in book five of his library:

"And Artemis, we are told, discovered how to effect the healing of young children and the foods which are suitable to the nature of babes, this being the reason why she is also called Kourotrophos." [5.73.5]

Hesiod, in his 'Theogony', explains why Hekate is Kourotrophos:

"So, then. albeit her mother's only child, she is honoured amongst all the deathless gods. And the son of Kronos made her a nurse of the young who after that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Eos (Dawn). So from the beginning she is a nurse of the young (kourotrophos), and these are her honours." [404]
 
You can find the ritual here and join the community here.
On Friday July 21st, two tourists were killed and nearly 500 others were injured during an earthquake that struck the Greek island of Kos, birthplace of Hippocrates, founding father of modern medicine. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake as being of magnitude 6.7, with Greek and Turkish estimates a fraction lower. A tremor measuring a preliminary 4.4 magnitude struck at 8:09 p.m. (1709 GMT) on Saturday, and sixteen minutes later, a second 4.6-magnitude tremor struck. Now, crews of experts have begun examining the damage to cultural monuments and infrastructure on the island. The Kos Archaeological Museum took a big hit.


Among the many buildings on Kos that sustained damage during last week’s 6.6 magnitude earthquake was the Dodecanese island’s archaeological museum. Thankfully, the historical structure built in 1936 survived the temblor but some of its ancient exhibits were less fortunate. According to a report issued on Monday by the Ministry of Culture, out of the 43 sculptures showcased on pedestals, three headless statues and one bust fell over and sustained minor chips and cracks, especially to parts that has been restored with plaster. In its initial statement after the earthquake, the ministry had only mentioned “shifts and minor deteriorations, mainly on ceramic vases.” Nevertheless, the damage was limited.

Curator and archaeologist Toula Marketou was put in charge of drawing up a new exhibition plan after the museum underwent extensive renovation work last year. She told Kathimerini that the plan included earthquake provisions.

The movement of the statues during last week’s quake was precisely that which was anticipated in simulations that led to certain measures being implemented to prevent greater damage. The aim should now obviously be the restoration of the damaged exhibits but additional steps so that the museum will be even better prepared in the future.

The local office of the Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities is already moving in that direction as a crew of archaeologists, conservators and technicians have thrown themselves into the task of repairing the damaged exhibits and making sure the museum can reopen to the public as soon as possible. Meanwhile, a ministry delegation has traveled to the island to record and coordinate restoration work.

Thanks to its recent upgrade, the museum has become a top attraction for visitors to the island. Its location at the heart of the town, in combination with the introduction of a single ticket that grants holders admission to multiple sites, result in many more visitors taking in the island’s archaeological treasures than would otherwise be the case.

The ground floor of the museum will reopen on Saturday while the upper floor is expected to open again in the next few days, the ministry said.
Yesterday I mentioned I was going out to the sea. Here is the lovely proof! Hail Poseidon in His glory! (And yes, the bottom two are also images of the seas around the island, just on the other side.)