Archive for the ‘antiquities’ category

@Elloinos The Tomb of Philip II of Macedon, one of the most moving archeological sites I’ve ever visited

August 1, 2012

A Facebook post by the world’s leading Greek wine blogger, Markus Stolz, reminded me the other day of one of the most moving archeological sites I’ve ever visited, the tomb of Philip II of Macedon not far from Thessaloniki.

“During my wine tour, I visited the archaeological site of Aigai,” he wrote, “where the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, is located. This was the most impressive historical site I have ever seen. Greece has treasures that are truly breathtaking!”

I took the photo above back in June, 2011, when I visited the same site after tasting wines in Naoussa.

Of course, you cannot take photos inside. But it’s simply one of the most elegantly maintained and most moving museums you’ll ever visit — truly stirring as you enter the tomb.

Here’s the UNESCO link.

And here’s the Wiki entry for Philip II, which also gives some info on the site.

BTW, Markus was nominated again this year for a Wine Blog award. Voting is closed and we’re looking forward to the results (to be announced later this month). Regardless of whether he wins or not, there’s no doubt in our mind that he’s the top Greek wine blogger out there and author of one of the most entertaining and informative blogs in the blogosphere today. Go Markus!


Scenes from the Acropolis (and not the best news coming from Greece)

March 9, 2012

The news from Greece is not so great these days. Markus Stolz — top Greek wine blogger, author of Elloinos — reports that the domestic wine market in Greece is showing signs of stress, with retailers and restaurants facing challenges in paying their distributors.

Here’s his post, Chaos Reigns in the Local Greek Wine Market.

Looking back on my wonderful trip last summer (when the Greek debt crisis was beginning to take shape in the public sphere), it’s still hard to wrap my mind around the difficulties that my peers are facing there — on a daily basis.

Here’s a slide show of my visit to the Acropolis of Athens.

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Scenes from Knossos

February 3, 2012

Photos taken June 2011 at Knossos

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The Acropolis!

June 26, 2011

After finally arriving in Athens after a long day of circuitous travel (a missed connection in Newark and a lost bag in Paris), my tired feet were rewarded with what is perhaps the most illustrious stroll in the entire world — along the street below the Acropolis.

Our gracious host, Christina Boutari, had invited us to dinner at Dionysos, a restaurant that enjoys one of the most spectacular views in all of world history.

As we drank a fresh, bright bottle of Boutari Moschofilero and munched on delicious marinated sea bass and avgotaraho — cured red mullet roe, served atop fava bean fritters — I couldn’t help but think to myself: so much of what happened in the “high city” more than 2,000 years ago has shaped how we live our lives today. I can’t imagine a more “electric” place in the world.

Today we head to Santorini for a series of Assyrtiko tastings… Stay tuned!

Sunday antiquities: the famous Euphonios Krater

April 25, 2010

greek wine vase

Above: The front of the famous Euphnios Krater depicts Sarpedon’s body carried by Hypnos and Thanatos (Sleep and Death), while Hermes watches.

The Euphronios krater (or Sarpedon krater) is an ancient Greek terra cotta krater, a bowl used for mixing wine with water. Created around the year 515 BC, it is the only complete example of the surviving 27 vases painted by the renowned Euphronios and is considered one of the finest Greek vase artifacts in existence.

The Euphronios krater stands 45.7 cm (18 inches) in height and has a diameter of 55.1 cm (21.7 inches). It can hold about 45 L (12 gallons). The style of the vase is red-figure pottery, in which figure outlines, details, and the background are painted with an opaque black slip while the figures themselves are left in the color of the unpainted terracotta ceramic clay.

The krater is decorated with two scenes. An episode from the Trojan War is shown on the obverse; this illustration depicts the death of Sarpedon, son of Zeus and Laodamia. The reverse of the krater shows a contemporary scene of Athenian youths from the 6th century BC arming themselves before battle. In the scene of Sarpedon’s death, the god Hermes directs the personifications of Sleep (Hypnos) and Death (Thanatos) to carry the fallen away to his homeland for burial. While the subject of Sarpedon’s death might normally be depicted as a stylized tableau, the figures in this scene are painted in naturalistic poses and with schematic but accurate anatomy. This style is emblematic of the Pioneer Group of late Archaic painters, of whom Euphronios is considered the most accomplished. The scene of the anonymous Greek youths on the reverse shares this naturalistic style, using all the Pioneer Group’s characteristic techniques of anatomical accuracy, natural poses, foreshortening, and spatial illusion.

Source: Wikipedia.

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