Ancient greece quest

  Greece is the birthplace of Western civilization, one of the ancient civilizations in the world, and the hometown of the Olympics. For many years, we have been looking forward to one day visiting this ancient country of civilization in the world.
  In November 2006, a group of four from the China Institute for International Strategy was invited by the Greek Institute for Defense Analysis and finally visited this ancient and beautiful country and paid homage to the hometown of the Olympic Games. In Greece in November, the vegetation is green, the flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the breeze is blowing.
  Acropolis , is located on a steep hill in the center of Athens, with an altitude of 156 meters. According to a Greek tour guide, she can be seen from anywhere in the city of Athens. We climbed the stairs along the west side of the mountain, looking up from time to time to look at this pearl of Athens. Climb the hill and get a bird’s-eye view of this basin city, which is surrounded by mountains and seas. The buildings nearby are scattered, the roads lead in all directions, and there are silver-green olive trees. The hills in the distance to the east are faintly visible, and the blue Aegean Sea in the distance to the west. Scattered with golden sunlight.
  According to the tour guide, the remaining relics of the Acropolis include the Parthenon, Athena Victory Temple and Errehisio Temple.
  The Parthenon is a Greek temple dedicated to the gods, mainly for Athena, so it is also called “Athena Parthenon”. It was built between 447 BC and 432 BC and was a key project in the reconstruction of the Acropolis during the reign of Pericles. The temple is all made of crystal white marble. It is surrounded by 48 marble columns to form a colonnade. The temple is rectangular in shape, 69.49 meters long and 30.78 meters wide, and is erected on three steps. The temple is divided into front hall, main hall and rear hall. There are 8 round stone columns on the east and west sides of the Parthenon, and 16 round stone columns on the north and south sides. These stone pillars are the most important part of the temple that remains today.
  In the main hall of the Parthenon, there was a 12-meter-high statue of Athena. It is said that the statue Athena wears a golden helmet and a gold battle robe, holding a shield in one hand and a statuette of the goddess of victory in the other, which is a masterpiece of art made by Phidias with ivory and gold. This art treasure was abducted by the Roman Empire in 146 AD and transported to Constantinople, where it was lost on the way to sea, which is a pity in the history of art.
  After visiting the Parthenon, we went to visit the Temple of Athena Victory. The Victory Temple of Athena, also known as the Wingless Victory Temple, is located on the right side of the Parthenon. It was built between 448 BC and 427 BC. Athena is wisdom, skill and war in ancient Greek mythology. The goddess, also the protector of agriculture and the law. She won a battle of wits with Poseidon, the god of the sea, and became the protector of Athens. The people of Athens built this temple on the high platform of the Acropolis to worship Athena, the goddess of victory. This elegant temple is a four-column column-style building. There is a marble statue of the goddess of victory in the temple. The temple has been looted and looted several times, and now only a few 11-meter-high columns remain.
  Before we finished visiting the Temple of Victory of Athena, the maiden porch of the Errehisio Temple had already attracted us. The Errehisio Temple, located to the left of the Parthenon, was built between 421 BC and 407 BC. The temple is small in scale, but its design is novel and ingenious. The six maiden statues carved out of marble on the south side of the Errehisio Temple are world-famous. They are dressed in long dresses with corsets, which are light and elegant, with flower baskets on their heads, and they are slim. The design of the girl’s porch is unique. Since the girl’s head supports the heavy roof of the temple, the neck should not be too thin. To this end, a strand of hair is hung down from the girl’s neck to make the neck larger without losing its beauty, and a flower basket is placed on the top of the head as a column support. The maiden column on the porch is now a replica, the original has been moved to the Athens Museum, one of which was stolen by the British to London.
  We walked down the hill and looked back at the Acropolis, but saw the three temples each with their own characteristics. The Parthenon is majestic, the Temple of Athena Victory is magnificent, and the Temple of Errehisio is exquisite. Looking from a distance, the entire Acropolis is scattered and integrated. Against the backdrop of the blue sky and the surrounding dark green olive groves, it looks extraordinarily majestic and magnificent, embodying the splendid civilization of ancient Greece.
  the we crossed the Corinth Canal, we arrived in the Peloponnese peninsula of Greece. Olympia is located 21 kilometers east of Pyrgos, an important town in the western part of the peninsula, about 370 kilometers away from Athens. Olympia has more than 20 architectural sites including the famous Temple of Zeus, Temple of Hera, and Arena.
  The Temple of Zeus was built between 468 BC and 456 BC. The temple is about 64 meters long, 28 meters wide and 20 meters high. It consists of three parts: a marble base, a stone column and a gable. The 34 Dorian columns are 18 meters high. The artistic essence of the Temple of Zeus is the figure statues on the east and west gables. The content of the statue on the west gable is based on the story of the Greek mythology of the Kentaulos who robbed the marriage. The story is to the effect that the Rabbitian king Pilitos and the beautiful Hippodamia held a wedding, and half of the guests invited by the king were half people. The half-marathon Ken Taurus, the Ken Taurus, tried to rob the bride after drinking and had sex at the wedding banquet, which caused a fight. There are 21 figures in this group of statues. Among them, the statue of the Kentaulos grabbing the bride is extremely vivid. The terrified expression and the struggling body of the bride are very realistic. These statues are now housed in the Olympia Museum. In the 6th century AD, the Temple of Zeus was destroyed by an earthquake and flooded for many years. The ruins of the temple of Zeus now have a base more than 1 meter high, dozens of corridors, and piles of remnants around them. However, the remaining pillars are still as white as jade and dazzling.
  The Temple of Hera in the ruins of Olympia is the oldest of the Greek pantheons, built in the first half of the 7th century BC. The statue of Hera, the wife of Zeus, originally enshrined in the temple has been destroyed. In 1887, German archaeologists unearthed the complete statue of Hermes at the site. His right arm is raised, and his left arm is holding a baby (that is, Dionysus). The carving is extremely realistic, and it is now in the Olympic Museum. The ceremony of lighting the flame of the modern Olympic Games is held in the square in front of the Temple of Hera.
  The Olympia Arena is the oldest existing sports stadium in the world, and it still maintains its original appearance. Built in 776 BC, the arena is 200 meters long and 175 meters wide. It is located in a hilly area covered with olive and cypress trees. The Greeks held the world’s first sports competition here, which was held every 4 years, with a total of 293 times. In 394 AD, during the rule of the Roman Empire in Greece, the Roman Emperor Theodosius I ordered a ban on the holding of athletic games in Greece.
  We entered the arena along the entrance of the stone arched promenade, but saw the arena spectator stands and VIP seats built on the hill. The arena is surrounded by stands built along the slope of the earth, and the stone stands on one side are still well preserved. According to the tour guide, the audience can accommodate 40,000 spectators. Overlooking the audience, the stone layers are full of beautiful patterns. There is a starting line made of limestone at the east and west ends of the arena. The starting slate is also very distinctive. It is divided into 20 sections. Each section can accommodate one person. When starting, place your feet in the grooves of the slate to prevent sneaking. . The runway is 192 meters long.
  According to the Greek tour guide, in the early days of the ancient Greek Olympia Games, there was only one competitive event, sprinting. Later, it gradually increased to 24 events such as long-distance running, high jump, chariot, gladiatorial fighting, horse racing, discus, javelin, and pentathlon. Because it was a festival to worship Zeus, performances such as drama, poetry, and music were added later. There are only the best players in each sport, there are no second or third places. The winner is honored, not only in the history books, but also has his statue erected in public places, etc.
  The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi According to
  legend , in 1000 BC, this was the place of sacrifice for the earth goddess Gaia and her daughter Themis, guarded by serpents. One day Apollo came here, killed the snake demon, and built his own temple. Thus, Delphi became the main worship site of Apollo. At the same time, Apollo refused to stay on Mount Olympus, the kingdom of the gods, but enjoyed the sacrifices and offerings of the world all year round, and often issued oracles to the world through the mouth of the female sacrifice.
  Oracle is a kind of superstitious activity in ancient Greece. Female priests transmit oracles on behalf of the gods to answer questions from those who are in doubt. The priestess who preached the oracle was called “Pythia”. When the oracle was preached, she entered the inner sanctuary of the Temple of Apollo, sat on a tripod above the deep pit, and drank holy water from the holy spring. Chewing laurel leaves, hand-rolling laurel branches, plus the “sense” of rising gas (according to Greek tour guides, it was later scientifically proven to be methane) from the deep pit.

gradually entering a state of absent-mindedness (actually methane poisoning). Her hair was disheveled, foaming at the mouth, and in hysteria, she issued some vague and ambiguous sentences, which were recorded by monks, known as oracles. In Greece, there are many places where oracles are issued, but the oracle of Apollo at Delphi is the most famous. From the 7th century BC to the 4th century AD, the Delphi oracle explained personal misfortune and good fortune, but also the great importance of the city-state. The decision was made on the issue, which had a significant impact on Greek religion, economy and politics during this period. Delphi also became famous because of it, and gradually became a pilgrimage spot for people from all over the world and a famous city for people from all walks of life to gather. By the 3rd century BC , became the national cultural and artistic center of Greece. During the Roman rule of Greece, this kind of inquiries gradually decreased. The Roman general Sulla requisitioned the treasure house of the Temple of Apollo to raise funds, and the Roman Emperor Nero moved from the temple. 500 bronze statues were gone. With the widespread spread of Christianity, the status of oracles declined even more. By 390 AD, Pope Theodosius I, in the name of Christianity, finally closed the temple and prohibited oracle activities. Del Phi also ended up in ruins.
  During our visit, we found a striking bell-shaped stone next to the temple’s treasury, labeled “Navel of the Earth” (replica here, the real thing is in the museum). It turned out that the ancient Greeks believed that the earth was a disk, and Greece was located in the center of this disk, and the center of the circle was Delphi, which is the “navel of the earth”. This narrow mountain at the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula turned out to be the center of the world! Qing Dynasty The Chinese before the middle period also regarded their place as the center of the world and called it the “central empire”. In today’s highly developed science and technology, these limitations seem so superficial and ridiculous, however, it is the ancestors’ A real sense of nature and politics. Thessaloniki,
  the second largest
  city in Greece, Thessaloniki, also known as Thessaloniki, is located in northeastern Greece and faces the Thermaic Gulf to the south. It is the second largest city in Greece. It is also an international port in northern Greece.
  According to Greek tour guides, Thessaloniki is a civilized city with a history of 2,300 years. It was built there in 315 BC by Alexander the Great’s brother-in-law, Kakansandros, and named it after his wife and sister of Alexander the Great. Later the city developed into the political and cultural center of Macedonia. Thessaloniki was in its heyday in the middle of the 4th century BC. It was later invaded by the Romans, Normans and Turks. In the 2nd century BC, Greece was merged into the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, and many buildings in Thessaloniki still retain the artistic style of the Byzantine period. St. Paul, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, first visited Thessaloniki when he first preached from Asia to Europe, where he built the first Christian churches in Europe.
  Standing at the southwest corner of the waterfront plaza, the white tower is particularly magnificent against the green pine forest and blue sky and white clouds. According to the Greek tour guide, the White Tower is the symbol of Thessaloniki. It was originally located in the sea, and then because of artificial reclamation, the White Tower stands on land. The White Tower was once the place where foreign invaders imprisoned and massacred Thessaloniki people, and people call it the “Blood Tower”. Later, after years of whitewashing, the White Tower became a symbol of the freedom of the people of Thessaloniki.
  Sounion , 65 kilometers south of Athens, is a promontory surrounded by water on three sides at the southern end of the Attica region. Cape Sounion was one of the important front-line towns of Athens, and now it is an excellent place to overlook the Aegean Sea. Especially in the evening, you can enjoy the classic picture of the red sun setting on the blue Aegean Sea.
  According to Greek tour guides, the story of the Athenian king Aegean throwing himself into the sea happened on Cape Sounion. According to legend, a long time ago, a son of the king of Minos on Crete was killed in Athens. The furious king asked Athens for his sins and forced the king of Athens to sign a treaty: that every seven years, Athens will worship seven The virgins and virgins were given to the Minoan cow, the son of the King Minos of Crete, the monster Minoan. Athens was afraid of the power of Crete, paying tribute on time, and the people were struggling. In order to save his people, the Athenian prince Theseus, who was full of vigor and worried about the country and the people, offered himself to worship the monster. Before the prince left, he made an agreement with his father Aegean that if the monster could be killed, white sails would be hung on the returning ship.
  On the island of Crete, the handsome young prince of Athens was loved by the daughter of King Minos. She helped Prince Theseus out of the labyrinth, killed the monster, and rescued the children who were given as tribute to escape from Crete. island. On the way back, the oracle instructed the prince that he must give up his love, or he would be punished by the gods. The prince had no choice but to leave the beautiful princess on the desolate island and leave in grief. The prince, immersed in pain, forgot his promise with his father, and the ship sailed back with black sails. When Aegean, the king of Athens, who was standing on the shore of Cape Sounion, saw the black sails floating in the distance, he couldn’t accept the reality of losing his beloved son, and threw himself into the sea. Later, people called this sea area “Aegean Sea” in memory of the king who loved his son deeply.
  Although the trip to Greece was short, the long history and splendid culture of Greece left a deep impression on us.

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