Mythical Books

The Mythical Routes project took form in 2017 and its website has served as an interactive instrument of knowledge, that helps spread the ideas and facts of Ancient Greek Architecture throughout the international community. In 2019 Mythical Routes Publications (Mythical Books) was formed to undertake the work of producing and publishing English electronic book versions (eBooks) of all the historical books written by George Baltoyannis, author of many best selling books in Greece. Supervision of all publications is done by architect and editor-in-chief Angelo Baltoyannis, contributor and illustrator of all original five Greek books:

  • Dionysus Revelation (Athens 1997)
  • Acropolis through the blue eyes of the goddess Athena (Athens 1998)
  • Sacred Architecture (Athens 2002)
  • Holy Sacramental Journey to Greece (Athens 2005)
  • Sacred Astronomy (Athens 2008)

 

Ancient Greek Architecture | Chthonic and Celestial


With more than 30 years of Historical research on the relation between Ancient Architecture and Ancient Religion, George’s books and theories have been embraced by the Università Degli Studi dell’Aquila in Italy, where he was invited several times to give lectures to the students. In addition, theories of the book Sacred Architecture have been integrated into the curriculum of the lesson “Elements of Geometry” of the University of Ioannina in Greece. Mr. Baltoyannis is the author of The Revelation of Dionysus and The Acropolis through the blue eyes of the goddess Athena. With Sacred Architecture, his third book, he became a best seller author and made a reputation for himself with his groundbraking theories. The following books are soon to be released in English translated text with updated designs and interactive features:

Memories of the East


In 1961 George was in Rome studying architecture. In those days you could easily walk the streets of the Italian capital and admire its architectural monuments, taking ideas from the rich past of the Eternal City. There the style of the various eras focuses one’s gaze to be stamped on one’s memory. On 27 October, under the usual cloudy sky, he found himself near the Piazza Della Repubblica, heading towards the subway station when he approached some outdoor bookstores along the side of the road, which in those days were rich in printed material from another era.

His eye fell on a book that was bound in the old way and very worn on the outside. No one paid any attention to it. When he opened it, he remained transfixed on the old photos inside from the Middle East. It was an album of memories of a P. Balestra who had visited the area, perhaps in 1882. He doesn’t know why, but felt a strange attraction to that album; in spite of his financial difficulties, he bought it, haggling the already low price of 500 lire, about €0.26.

The years have passed since then, but he often looked through it with friends and noticed everyone’s interest in it. So after 40 years, George decided to research the album, giving it the same title as P. Balestra had, “Ricordi d’ Oriente” – “Memories of the East”.

 

eBook Publishing


Mythical Routes can help you produce and publish many types of books with various formats, like free-flow ePubs and fixed-format PDFs, all fully interactive and Illustrated. For more information, please inquiry at:

Books at MythicalRoutes

 

Greek Architectural Orders

Architectural order describes the style of building. In Classical architecture, each order is identifiable by means of its proportions and profiles as well as by various aesthetic details. The style of column employed serves as a useful index of the style itself, so identifying the order of the column will then, in turn, situate the order employed in the structure as a whole.

The Parthenon of Athens

The Parthenon, 447-432 BC, Athens

There are three distinct orders in Ancient Greek architecture: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. These three were later adopted by the Romans, who modified their capitals. The Roman adoption of the Greek orders took place in the 1st century BC. The three Ancient Greek orders have since been consistently used in neo-classical European architecture.

Sometimes the Doric order is considered the earliest order, but there is no evidence to support this. Rather, the Doric and Ionic orders seem to have appeared at around the same time, the Ionic in eastern Greece and the Doric in the west and mainland. Both the Doric and the Ionic order appear to have originated in wood. The Temple of Hera in Olympia is the oldest well-preserved temple of Doric architecture. It was built just after 600 BC. The Doric order later spread across Greece and into Sicily where it was the chief order for monumental architecture for 800 years.

Anatomy of a Column

Doric order

The Doric order originated on the mainland and western Greece. It is the simplest of the orders, characterized by short, faceted, heavy columns with plain, round capitals and no base. With a height that is only four to eight times its diameter, the columns are the most squat of all orders. The shaft of the Doric order is channeled with 20 flutes. The capital consists of a necking which is of a simple form. The echinus is convex and the abacus is square.

Above the capital is a square abacus connecting the capital to the entablature. The entablature is divided into three horizontal registers, the lower part of which is either smooth or divided by horizontal lines. The upper half is distinctive for the Doric order. The frieze of the Doric entablature is divided into triglyphs and metopes. A triglyph is a unit consisting of three vertical bands which are separated by grooves. Metopes are the plain or carved reliefs between two triglyphs.

The Greek forms of the Doric order come without an individual base. They instead are placed directly on the stylobate. Later forms, however, came with the conventional base consisting of a plinth and a torus. The Roman versions of the Doric order have smaller proportions. As a result, they appear lighter than the Greek orders.

Ionic order

The Ionic order came from eastern Greece, where its origins are entwined with the similar but little known Aeolic order. It is distinguished by slender, fluted pillars with a large base and two opposed volutes (also called scrolls) in the echinus of the capital. The echinus itself is decorated with an egg-and-dart motif. The Ionic shaft comes with four more flutes than the Doric counterpart (totalling 24). The Ionic base has two convex moldings called tori which are separated by a scotia.

The Ionic order is also marked by an entasis, a curved tapering in the column shaft. A column of the ionic order is nine times its lower diameter. The shaft itself is eight diameters high. The architrave of the entablature commonly consists of three stepped bands (fasciae). The frieze comes without the Doric triglyph and metope. The frieze sometimes comes with a continuous ornament such as carved figures instead.

Corinthian order

The Corinthian order is the most ornate of the Greek orders, characterized by a slender fluted column having an ornate capital decorated with two rows of acanthus leaves and four scrolls. It is commonly regarded as the most elegant of the three orders. The shaft of the Corinthian order has 24 flutes. The column is commonly ten diameters high.

The Roman writer Vitruvius credited the invention of the Corinthian order to Callimachus, a Greek sculptor of the 5th century BC. The oldest known building built according to this order is the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens, constructed from 335 to 334 BC. The Corinthian order was raised to rank by the writings of Vitruvius in the 1st century BC.

Choragic-Monument-of-Lysicrates

Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, Athens (335-334 BC)

Our Team

We are Mythical Routes, an Adventure Motorcycle Tour Operator, located in Glyfada/Athens, Greece. We are organizing motorcycle Expeditions that connect the most important archeological sites with each-other, giving emphasis on the riding experience. Our Adventures are gravel oriented on large displacement motorcycles and showcase the beauty and the hidden historical facts of the Ancient Hellenic World with the broader geographical meaning of the term.

Our belief is that only when you ride with a local you can see the true face of this country

In our Expeditions, you are always accompanied by one of our highly skilled Tour Guides and can be provided with a 4×4 Support Vehicle if required. When you visit Greece without your motorcycle, you can always Rent A Ride from us, fully prepared with everything needed to join our Mythical Expeditions.

 

FOUNDERS and tour LEADERS

Angelo Baltoyannis | MSc Architect, Urban Planner and Tour Leader (CEO)

Angelo has studied Architecture in Rome, Italy (Sapienza Università) and graduated from the Faculty of Architecture of the National Technical University of Greece (NTUA). He has done postgraduate studies in Planning and Bioclimatic Architecture. Since 2003 he was professionally engaged in many established architectural/construction offices and in 2010 he co-founded ArchiCulture, an architectural office in Glyfada, Greece.
Alongside with his work, the passion for the adventure and motorcycling has been constant for the last 20 years. He has traveled all around Europe, participated in many national Trail Rides and co-hosted multiple non-profit Adventure and Off-road rides, like the March Moto Madness Worldwide Adventure Rally Greece and the Adventure Rider Rally Greece.
Last, from 2016 he is a KLiM & Enduristan Ambassador and being very passionate about adventure motorcycles, is engaged as an Adventure Event Planner and Historical Tour Guide for Mythical Routes.

Read more about the life and work of Angelo here

Paris Baltoyannis | Landscape Architect and Tour Leader (CFO)

Paris graduated from the Technological Educational Institute of Epirus, Greece (TEI of Epirus) as a Landscape Architect and from the Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece (TEI of Athens) as an Interior Designer. He has done postgraduate studies in the Accademia Albertina delle Belle Arti in Turin, Italy in Decoration and Scenography. In 2004-2005 he was occupied in the Environmental Administration of Municipality of Voula, Greece and then co-founded ArchiCulture in Glyfada, Greece.
Alongside with his work, the passion for the adventure and motorcycling has been constant for the last 15 years. He has traveled in many countries, participated in many national Trail Rides and co-hosted multiple non-profit Adventure and Off-road rides, like the March Moto Madness Worldwide Adventure Rally Greece and the Adventure Rider Rally Greece.
Last, from 2016 he is a KLiM & Enduristan Ambassador and being very passionate about adventure motorcycles, is engaged as an Adventure Event Planner and Off-Road Tour Guide for Mythical Routes.

Read more about the life and work of Paris here

tour guides and Staff

Vasilis Boudros | BMW Motorrad Instructor (IIA) and Tour Guide

Vasilis is serious Rally Expert with many National and Balkan Rally wins in the last decade. He is also a serious enduro rider, always searching for new trails and owner of the Enduro Training and Touring company Enduro Greece.

In 2019 Vasilis got an official partnership with BMW Motorrad Hellas and is an official BMW Motorrad Academy (IIA) Instructor and part of our New Riders training program. This way we can train any newcomer to the adventure motorcycle community and guarantee that he has obtained all the basic necessary skills to participate in our Adventure Tours.

 

Konstantinos Tsigaras | Interior Design Architect and Tour Guide

Konstantinos has studied interior architecture and graphics design at the Middlesex University and is currently working in the field of consulting and real estate. Konstantinos is a real motorcycle enthusiast and has worked as a tour guide assistant for Most Wanted Warehouse | Klim Greece for the last four years.

He is a communications asset, speaking Czech, English, Greek and Russian and is always willing to help in any way. He is definitely an indispensable part of any motorcycle adventure.

You can check out his LinkedIn profile here

Ioanna Biziota | MSc Psychologist and Communications Manager

Ioanna studied psychology at Bedfordshire University and completed a Masters Degree in the Metropolitan University of London. She obtained a certificate of professional competence in 2003 and since then she has worked for several multinational companies in Greece in the department of communications and public relations.

From 2016 she has been actively involved in the KMOP “Live Without Bullying” project that aims at preventing and combating school and cyberbullying.

From 2018 Ioanna has been a great contributor to our team, undertaking the task of communications, since we are spending more and more time freeriding the mountains of Greece.

You can check out her web page here

Thanasis Giortsios | Safety Expert and Support 4×4

Thanasis is our Safety Expert and 4×4 support vehicle driver and is always on our side when vehicle support is required. His long experience in 4×4s and cheerful character make him an indispensable part of longer expeditions.

Thanassis is also responsible for all camp-preparations. Builds the fire, secures the tents and preps the dinner. His skills do not end there! He is an enthusiast photographer as well, always willing to try something new just for that killer shot.

You can check his Instagram page here

 

Scientific Contributors

George Baltoyannis | Architect, Researcher and Historical Author

cv_georgeGeorge studied and graduated in the faculty of Architecture in Rome, Italy (Sapienza Università) and took part in many exhibitions (Margutta – San Luca – Artecom – Palazzo Delle Esposizioni etc.). He returned to Athens in 1970 and dealt with architecture as a freelancer and at the same time as an employee in succession at the Greek Ministry of Defense (Pentagon), National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and the Autonomous Building Officers Organization (AOOA).

With more than 30 years of Historical research on the relation between Ancient Architecture and Ancient Religion, George is the writer of the Best Seller books:

  • Dionysus Revelation (ed. Aldebaran – Athens 1997)
  • Acropolis through the blue eyes of the goddess Athena (ed. Aldebaran – Athens 1998)
  • Sacred Architecture (ed. Esoptron – Athens 2002)
  • Holy Sacramental Journey to Greece (ed. Esoptron – Athens 2005)
  • Sacred Astronomy (ed. Esoptron – Athens 2008)

Read more about the life and work of George here

Stavros Triantafyllidis | Dr. Geologist and Lecturer at the NTUA University

cv_stavrosStavros is a Researcher and Lecturer at the NTUA – Greek National Technical University (School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering). He will be adding a geological profile to all the mountains from which we will pass and provide GPS data information.

Stavros is also a rider, so he will be joining us for some field activities that will take him away from his work in the university.

 

Technical contributors

Alexander Haritakis | Videographer and Video Editor

Alexander has a bachelor in music performance from thames valley university london.As a musician he has toured with different bands around europe for many years.For the past 10 years he has been combining his music and sound engineering knowledge along with video editing and has produced several action sport videos and documentaries.

An avid enduro rider with 15 years of experience in dirt riding he combines all of these skills to shoot for the mythical routes team!

You can check his work here

 

Alexander Ioannidis | Web Designer and Developer

cv_alexAlex is our Website Developer and the silent force behind the Mythical Routes website. We are constantly challenging him with new requirements of the MR website and he is always delivering!

Alex is a bicycle aficionado and a racer.

You can check out his work here

Mysteries of the Cabeiri

Sanctuary of the Cabeiri at Lemnos

The Mysteries of the Cabeiri of Lemnos and Samothrace were very important. The Cabeiri were a group of deities of the ancient Greek religion, while in the dictionary of Sudas, Cabeir means Daemon. According to Welcker and Maury, the word Cabeiri is produced by the Greek verb καίω (burn), and are the evil daemons born in the depths of the sea, who expel the flame of their father Hephaestus and destroy the ground. The religion of Hephaestus prevailed in Lemnos (the location of his workshop) and the Cabeiri were considered his children, whom he had with Kabeiro, the daughter of Proteus, who accompanied the chariot of Poseidon.

There is also the opinion, according to Pausanias, that the worship of the Cabeiri is associated with fire worship, which was introduced by the Thraco-Pelasgians and received by the Achaeans in 2.200 B.C.

Apollo is also mentioned as a Cabeiri deity.

sanctuary-of-the-cabeiri-lemnossmall

Sanctuary of the Cabeiri at Lemnos

The modern inhabitants of the island give it a plural name: Cabeiri. It was discovered by L. Bernarbo Brea at the cape of Chloe in NE Lemnos, opposite the site of ancient Hephaestia. It was excavated by the Italian Archaeological School of Athens in 1937-39. Since 1982 research and excavations are continued.
The sanctuary of the Cabeiri was protected, by land, by a long wall at the top of the hill which hid it from the eyes of the uninitiated. The main buildings of the sanctuary were large halls of initiation (Telestiria) within which the “sacred” was revealed to the initiate, the so called Cabeirian mysteries. Their ruins are preserved in two flat areas, held up on the steep slope towards the sea, by supports.
At the back of the cella (the main interior of the temple) are the foundations of a small temple, destined for the “sacred”. The cella is divided into three compartments by two rows of five marble columns, and with a portico supported towards the sea by a strong stylobate.
A rich repository of offerings, lamps for night ceremonies, kantharoi, skyphoi, “compasses”, pottery for the sacred symposia, belong to the classical and Hellenistic phase. In the sanctuary, fragments of sculptures, terracotta and bronze figurines, glassware and many votive, honorific, liberating inscriptions were found.
The archaic telesterion is located in the southern plateau, with benches of half-baked plinths along the walls where the initiates sat. In the back there was the most holy place, the adyton, where the priest entered and the statues of the gods were situated.
It is perhaps the oldest known telesterion in Greece, even older than the Soloneio Telesterion in Eleusis. It was destroyed by fire, probably by the invading Persians in 512 BC.
The Hellenistic telesterion was built on the northern plateau and is the first thing someone sees when entering the site. It is rectangle, measuring 33 x 46.10 meters, double in size compared to the sanctuary of Samothrace and at the front it had a portico with 12 columns. It was divided into three aisles, by two rows of four Ionic columns.

Mythological Park

From Mythology to History

The route Delphi – Necromanteion – Olympus – Delhi is roughly 450 kilometers long. The surface of the Orphic circle centered around Metropolis (Ω) is roughly 25.500 square kilometers, namely 1/5 of the territorial span of Greece, which is roughly 132.000 square kilometers of land and island surface.
This entire surface is covered in myths of older civilizations, to which new ones are added. On the other hand the History of the previous civilizations become Mythology, with some sort of connection between them, for example Agamemnon of Mycenae became Zeus-Agamemnon. So then when Aeschylus (525-457 B.C.) presented in 458 B.C. his trilogy Oresteia, which includes the tragedies Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers and The Eumenides, the audience did not distinguish reality from fiction, neither were they interested in doing so, because their attention was focused on the meaning of the tragedy.

Clytaemnestra hesitates before striking Agamemnon

Clytaemnestra hesitates before striking Agamemnon

This way however, up until 1871 A.D., when H. Schliemann made the first announcement about the city of Priam, Troy, nobody knew anything about the Mycenean civilization. Schliemann then, expanded Greek History and the myth of Agamemnon became reality; the same goes also for the Minoan civilization, by which Greek prehistory was expanded. Namely, C. Cavafis (1863-1933) was not taught in his school about the history of the Myceneans and the Minoans, but rather their Mythology.
Modern day mythology, in science fiction films like Conan or The Matrix, uses the vocabulary and the logic of these myths, even though the story lines of the films are different and have been adapted to the modern era, to be more accessible to the public. For example in the film Conan the Barbarian, starring the actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the scene of the death of the serpent which transformed into a man of power of the temple and the central scene of the march to the temple on top of the mountain, with thousands of believers extending throughout the valley, comes from the myth of Apollo who slays the Python (chthonic forces) in Delphi. This shows a mythological wealth, which we noticed in this route in the Greek region and which is used by its inhabitants to raise their cultural level.

Apollo killing Python

Apollo killing Python

The contribution of the Myceneans who spearheaded this new religious mythology was great, not so much in the ideological area of the religion (since it would be difficult for them as a former dominant people to change the habits that were established through time in their own civilization), but rather in the area of construction.
From 1100 to 800 B.C., namely for 300 years, several construction templates must have been proposed, to find the type that would fit the rectilinear architecture, since there were already the Mycenean projects like the Treasury of Atreus representing the curvilinear architecture. As far as the rectilinear architecture is concerned, it seems that they did not follow the solution of the large surfaces, with the arcs arches and domes, because it would not differentiate Up from Down of the religious template based on the ideological character of the religion; the believer would be subsequently confused, if the structural representation was the same for the celestial and chthonic gods. Moreover the differentiation between the celestial and chthonic gods was based on another important element, namely that the celestial gods were more beautiful, more powerful and immortal.
Thus, the chthonic gods (not however the ones who come from the celestial Pantheon and are in a transitional state, like for example Persephone) are malformed, less powerful, and in order for the system Up-Down to work, are kept by the celestial gods imprisoned in the earth.
Of course at this point a new construction orientation is created. The surface building should be aesthetically pleasing, show its power and be immortal. So the constant repetition of the sanctuaries, based on previous buildings, serve this purpose.
On the other hand, the obsession in the choice of materials, the colors, ratio and decoration, is solely a matter of aesthetics The symmetry, the geometrical shapes and the correction of optical errors are associated with the power stemming from the geometrical structure of the building. Now as far as immortality, this is symbolically and geodynamically expressed based on the orientations and symbolic axes which accurately define the position of the building. Subsequently the architecture of the Ancients is not just the result of aesthetics, only to give a pleasant visage to the building, but expresses some ideals, besides surface. Greek architecture metaphysically translates some deep religious meanings.

Religion, before it became Theology during the Byzantine period was the philosophy of shapes and numbers. Due to this geometrical structure, God was called “The Architect of the Universe”.
If the Orphics preexisted or not is less important than when the Orphic Poems emerged and influenced the Greek world, changing the psychological world of the Greeks. Because nobody can demand from the world of 1100 B.C., which practically tries to coexist, to simultaneously be inspired by an ideal standard.

Taking the route into the Orphic circle, we realize that we are in a mythological park of approximately 25.500 square kilometers. Inside a vast scenery, were the actors were the very inhabitants of the country.

Sanctuary of Cabeiri

Religious Center of Thrace

As we mentioned, the Mysteries of the Cabeiri are much older than the ones of the Orphics. The cult however was also widespread in mainland Greece, and one of its centers was the sanctuary of the Cabeiri near Thebes. This cult was associated with that of Demeter the so-called “of the Cabeiri” and used, as opposed to the Orphics, the curvilinear architecture above the ground. Despite this, the worship of the Cabeiri is incorporated into the Eleusinian Mysteries (read here). The cult of the Orphics is Heliocentric (Apollo), the cult of the Cabeiri on the other hand is Geocentric (Gaia). Another important difference was that in the Eleusinian Mysteries the initiates had to speak the Greek language, while in the Cabeiri Mysteries anyone could be initiated, Greek or foreign. The geocentric system was supported by Aristotle who with his prestige also influenced the opinion of the christian world against Aristarchus from Samos, who was accused in 286 B.C. and was forced to flee to Alexandria. While Plato covertly accepted the Heliocentric theory of the Orphics.
This cult is introduced to prehistoric Rome in 1300 B.C. through the Etruscans and, according to Herodotus, comes from a region of northwestern Turkey, Lydia. In Caria there was a town named Cabera. Of all religious centers of antiquity, most inscriptions of the Roman period were found in Samothrace, where the Roman pilgrims were numerous. Samothrace was considered by the Romans to be a National Sanctuary, because they believed that the gods of Rome came from there, where they had arrived from Troy. These gods were brought to Rome by Aeneas who, according to the legends of the Romans, founded Rome. This is the reason the Romans preferred the initiation of Samothrtace, into the Cabeiri Mysteries rather than the Eleusinian. Marcellus, Cicero, Ouarrchon and Hadrian are some of those who visited the island of Samothrace and were initiated to the Cabeiri Mysteries.
So then, based on the above, namely the intervention of the Romans, the Orphic logic of Delphi started to change, all of the curvilinear structures of the Underworld, the arc the arch and the dome began to be released and to rise to the surface.

pantheon-rome-dome

Pantheon of Rome is a great example of Curvilinear architecture ascending in the surface (reform of August)

All that we have mentioned in the article “Celestial and Chthonic – Sacred Architecture” is a time spanning process, so that the religious template is clearly defined and the entire Pantheon of the Greeks becomes accepted by the believers and encompasses upwards, but also downwards. Based on everything mentioned in the 1st Part of the book “Holy Sacramental Journey to Greece”, we observe that the above logic corresponds to the religious template we described with the chthonic and celestial gods and is about the Mythology of the Titanomachy and the Gigantomachy.
In this Mythology of Duality the concepts of “attraction” is incorporated, because it is about the relationship between opposing forces, where one is connected with the other, but also “repulsion“, which is the result of the clash of said forces. If however one of these forces is abolished, the logic of “universal attraction” is lost, resulting in the chthonic powers not cooperating with the celestial ones.

mr-image12-parta

In the above image, we observe the logic of the Orphic template, as forces positive (+) and negative (-), which were in balance. With the abolition of the negative force, the system will create an upwards tension, resulting in the Basilica becoming a Domed Basilica (Celestial Dome) during the Christian period. Through this logic we realize how complete the Orphic worship was.
When then in 17 B.C. the Emperor Augustus abolished the chthonic gods for political reasons and later on, during the christian period, it was forbidden for people to associate themselves with chthonic forces, two basic problems started to emerge:

On the one hand issues of occultism and witchcraft started to emerge because the christian cult did not include the chthonic forces like the Orphic one, which troubled and still troubles mankind, reaching to the extreme cases of the “Holy Inquisition”.

On the other hand the concept of “universal attraction” was lost and these consequences will become evident in science. There was a period of 1.659 years until the time of Newton (1642-1727 A.D.), for the law of universal attraction to be discovered.

Celestial and Chthonic

Rectilinear and Curvilinear architecture

Let us see the logic through which the clergy separated the rectilinear from the curvilinear shapes, to create the architectural systems we mention in the 1st part of the book “Holy Sacramental Journey to Greece” (by author G. Baltoyannis); a logic which had to do with the psychology of the individual. Even to this day we follow the same logic and express ourselves with designs and volumes in the same way. Today however it is difficult to say if our own perception of space is a spontaneous expression or if it comes from the processing of the past.
Nowadays when an artist wants to express “joy” or “sorrow”, he will use the same logic on the canvas, otherwise he will not be understood. Therefore through education we learn to distinguish the things, in order to understand the artist. Of course art nowadays is not bound by rules, based on which the art critic gave his opinion on the work of the artist and which started to be created during the Renaissance. These rules came from the interpretation of the works of art of antiquity. Therefore our opinion is very deeply rooted. Let us now observe the logic of the Ancients.
There was a clear distinction between a straight line and a curved part. When someone wants to express a powerful emotion, like passion, love or anger and has to choose between a straight line and a curved part, he will not choose the rectilinear but the curvilinear; on the contrary, if he wants to express thought, justice, conviction, he will use the rectilinear part.
The reason he would choose the curvilinear would not be because that was forced upon him, ergo it would have been a matter of habit, but because man lives and belongs to the natural environment, where everything is based on curvilinear shapes; he instinctively and spontaneously understands those, without being able to see the process within him, it is namely cthonic.

Necromanteion of Acheron is one of the first examples of Curvilinear architecture

The straight line occurred from cerebral activity, when man used tools and created structures, which are easier to solve in time. The outcome of said process is also visible outside of man, in the light of day, it is namely celestial.
Therefore, the rectilinear surface is a result of thought and is identified with reason, while the curvilinear always existed in the nature of man. The more a person evolves, the more the straight line dominates in his structures, because, it not only spares him time, it is also more economic.

Parthenon is the pinnacle of Rectilinear architecture

When then, in a given time, man, reaching some level of intellectual maturity, thinks of structurally expressing his religious needs, he chooses the curve for his passions and the straight line for his thoughts. But because man thought of his own origin, he came to the conclusion that he himself was also the creation of some rational thought, the same way he thinks and creates. Therefore he places this God, his Creator, based on the rectilinear logic, outside of man and above him, to watch and protect him. That is why the ancients sacrificed a white lamb, on a high altar, for the celestial gods.
On the contrary, as far as his passions are concerned, which make him clash with his fellow man, there is also some god responsible. And because it all starts within man, therefore the god of passion lies within man and bellow the earth, since he is not seen. They sacrificed then, to the chthonic gods, digging in the earth, the black lamb.

The STRAIGHT represents: above, thought, civilization, (and by a similar logic as the East) represents: light, truth, power.

The CURVE represents: bellow, the chthonic, the devious, the primitive, (and consequently) North which represents: darkness, lies, fear.

Epidaurus

Hospital Center of Greece

Epidaurus is in proportion the most equipped Medical Center the world has ever seen; with sacred temples, areas for practicing medical science, a gymnasium for the transmission of medical scientific knowledge, but also a kind of physiotherapy facility, bathhouses, an auditorium, theater, wrestling ring, sports center, guesthouses, lodges possibly for walks, discussions on medical issues etc. in a free space with the dimensions of circa 2.000×1.000 m. south of mount Arachnaio, therefore protected from the north winds; with branches all over Greece, like that of the Amphiareion of Oropos, which tended to famous clients like Croesus of Lydia, Lysimachus of Thrace, Mardonius of Persia, the Roman Brutus and later on the cruel Sulla. But others beyond Boeotia in most cities, like those of the island Kos and Pergamon.

We can conclude whether the Asclepions offered good services or not to the population, from the fact that the worship of Asclepius adapted to the new worship of Christianity, without it being abolished, as far as the services provided to man are concerned. We can observe that the Asclepions were an important part of the Greek civilization in image XI, where the medical center of the island Kos is found on the basic axis Necromanteion – Delos. But also Epidaurus is located on the axis Samothrace – Amyclae.
The Asclepions generally covered a large variety of ailments, such as paralysis, blindness, bile sickness, dropsy, parasites, pediculosis, headaches, pyorrhea, sterility, as well as pregnancy problems, stomachic, but also psychological disturbances. Of course we should not rule out the possibility of surgical procedures. The patients came from the entire Greek world, both within and outside of Greece. Many of the doctors originating in the Asclepions, found themselves in the kingdoms of the world, like Democedes (6th – 5th century B.C.) in the court of the Persian king Darius I.

image XVII

The Theater of Epidaurus, where the various Festivals are held in the summer, is a branch of the Asclepion with the capacity of 15.000 viewers. 500 of them used to stay in the guesthouse as visitors. Given that the capacity of the theater built by Polykleitos followed the specifications of large festivals and based on the building function of the site, we can safely assume that the Asclepion could tend to at least 4.000 patients. We may then conclude that the service staff should have been at least 2,000 people. Observing, however, the building facilities in image XVII, we may say that the number of the staff was at least twice as large. Namely in a ratio of 2:2, given that in current care centers, of the same luxury, it is inversely, 2:1, but the medical facility is much smaller. All of these people to be hospitalized or part of them were going back and forth from Palea Epidaurus at a distance of 22 km., which would logically take a minimum of 5 hours on foot to travel. Those more severely ill would camp around the area in specially prepared wagons or tents.
The investment that had been made in the site of Epidaurus was huge; suffice it to mention that the gargantuan statue of the god was made out of gold and ivory. Its maintenance was costly, because in contrast to other religious centers, the visitor did not only admire its exterior; in this case the facilities were in everyday use and cleanliness was mandatory. Such expenses can not be covered solely by the contributions of the patients, if there is no volunteer work by the apprentice doctors and the clerical staff, who offered their work out of love for their fellow man. Each of us may not agree with the polytheistic worship, but we can not believe that these people, with all their philosophical infrastructure, were trying to harm others. If that was the case, the Asclepions would not exist, because people would simply not gather there. There were always volunteers in Greece, and the will not cease to exist. If the Asklepieion of Epidaurus had economic benefits the first to rush there would be the Athenians, as they did with Eleusis and Delos. As a matter of fact in Athens the cult of Asclepius was established in 420 BC, during the period of the plague. But again the Asklepion of Athens, west of theater of Dionysus, on the south slope of the Acropolis, was an insignificant unit compared to that of Epidaurus (image XVII), which was oriented towards Ephesus where the Medical Games were held.

According then with what we mentioned above, a great philanthropist raised in an Asclepion, that of the island of Kos, was Hippocrates (460-377 BC) whose “Oath” confirms his ethos, but also the ethos of the Asclepions for the provision of services to the helpless man. Hippocrates came into conflict with the establishment of his time, regarding the theory of medical science. Namely, while the priesthood maintained that the nature of illnesses was god sent, he insisted that illnesses come from the human body and the environment. In fact he rejected the proposition of Pericles, who asked him to join the Asclepion of Athens.
As it is logical for an Asclepion like that of Epidaurus to function properly, there was a hierarchy which operated like that of modern hospitals, but based on religion and the structure of the priesthood. This hierarchy included women like the modern day nurses.
The afflicted, having bathed in the waters of the spring, would go to sleep in the “inaccessible” area of the sanctuary, waiting to see the god in their dream, who would indicate their treatment modalities. Through this process the Asklepiads would reach some conclusions and continue recommending diet and herbs. However medical tools were discovered, indicating that surgery was also performed. The remarkable thing is that 70 plates were discovered with narrations of patients who were cured, written in the form of miracles, which were misinterpreted in the Christian period as the way of expression of the patient, where the doctor was also a priest, was not taken into consideration. In addition, through the logic of the intervention of god, the patient psychologically participated in his therapy.

Asclepius is a mythical god, the son of Apollo and the daughter of the Thessalian king Phlegyas, Coronis. With his wife Epione he had the daughters Aceso, Iaso, Panacea, Aglaea, Hygieia and two sons, Podaleirios and Machaon. The worship of Asclepius started from the city Trikke of Thessaly. From there it spread to Epidaurus and to the whole of the Peloponnese.
The period of the celebration of Asclepius was combined with the Eleusinean Mysteries and started towards the end of the month Bohedromion (September-October). It was during the period when Apollo (Sun) transitioned to the sign of Libra. To the North, there was the constellation of Serpens which is linked to the constellation of Ophiuchus (image 5). Ophiuchus was Asclepius holding the sacred snake, namely the constellation of Serpens. The entire process is associated with the myth of Asclepius who raised the dead, a fact that caused trouble for Hades, because the people were not dying. Thus Hades complained to Zeus who struck Asclepius down with a lightning bolt. But because Asclepius was the son of Apollo, after the demand of the god, Zeus placed his body among the stars as the constellation of Ophiuchus.

image 5

Brauron

Athena’s Children Boarding School for Girls

In Brauron the shape of the sanctuary is roughly the same as that of the Acropolis, however it is facing south. At this point we should mention that Pausanias does not make the distinction between Tauropolos Artemis (Loutsa) and Brauronia Artemis (Brauron), even though the shrines are 7 kilometers from each other. The ritual of the sacrifice of Iphigenia was held at the first temple, while Iphigenia withdrew to the second temple, where she remained as a priestess until her death; namely the two temples completed each others logic.
According to the myth, Agamemnon caused the wrath of Artemis and the fleet could not sail from Aulis; so he had to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia. As soon as the seer Calchas was ready to sacrifice the girl, Artemis took pity on her and replaced her with a deer. So the goddess took Iphigenia and made her a priestess in the temple of Tauris (Crimea).

The procession of the major Brauronia started at the Shrine of the Acropolis and ended in Brauron, covering a distance of 35 kilometers. This course was slow (2km/h), because basically it was a woman holiday and many of the women were possibly pregnant. Consequently it would take at least two days to cover the distance, with a possible stop in Pallini; it is the location of Pallinida Athena, where the worship of the goddess began (Gerakas). On the second day arriving in the temple at dusk, they used to camp outside the site of the temple. It is very unlikely that they covered this distance by ascending mount Hymettus.
This site is essentially a boarding house, the dimensions of which were proportionate to those of a child, for little girls of 5-10 years old, whose parents had dedicated them to the goddess before or during childbirth. These girls, “bear cubs” as they were called (what a sweet name indeed; after all even to this day little children still sleep with their teddy bears), stayed in the sanctuary, in nine rooms of eleven people, with the dimensions of roughly 5X5, therefore 25 square meters, which is a large room of the modern average residence. So therefore the Sanctuary had the capacity to house 99 girls.

image XIII

So the sanctuary covered a surface of 4.000 square meters, which means that there was a ratio of 40-50 square meters per child, while today in the best case scenario this ratio is 16,5 square meters per child. These rooms had a south-eastern orientation and, for reasons of protection, faced a courtyard. So the harmful northern wind was blocked by a wall, so that the site could be accessed from the east and west. The use of double protection from the north wind for this place, together with the blind wall of the rooms, is a very clever architectural solution. So the children were protected by the building and stayed there until their first menstruation, where they logically learned about the female natural troubles. There were similar shrines throughout Attica with the same rituals as that of Brauron. Today of course there is no similar building in the world.
There are plenty of statuettes of girls exhibited in the museum of Brauron, like the one holding a rabbit, through which anyone can perceive the tender education and the supervision which must have been provided by the Athenian state.
Suffice it to see their smiling faces with the Attic smile, dressed in double layered warm clothes, in the measurements of a child, where the posture of good nutrition can be seen. When there is such attendance in the shrine, like that of Brauron, from Athenian mothers visiting their children, the artist has no other choice but to precisely depict the reality of the operation of the shrine, something that is evident in his statuettes.
Before we proceed in our research, we should consider through the worship the issue of gender equality in relation to Christianity. In Christianity, the Virgin Mary comes in third, after the Father and the Son and as the God-Mother is projected with “virginity” being her basic virtue. So there is a patriarchy and the worship seems to be male dominated. In the Olympian Pantheon the roles seem to be divided; six male and six female roles. Even the chthonic gods are divided based on the Sextet which, according to the Pythagoreans, indicates “Harmony“. Furthermore Hera, the protector of family, was not in an advantageous position in relation to Aphrodite, the goddess of Love, who was not inferior to the virgin Pallas Athena or the virgin Artemis. Furthermore, Hera was not inferior to Zeus and acted independently like all gods. Zeus simply tried to maintain some balance in various ways while he often had to face conspiracies.

The climate conditions of Greece, its geographical relief map, but also its position in the marine area of the Mediterranean Sea, do not favor the development of gods like, for example, those of Egypt or the Arabic Peninsula, where the climate conditions are inhospitable and there are vast expanses, deserts, large populations or vast states.

Brauron is located slightly below the 38th parallel and directly opposite Ephesus, where the famous temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world torched by Herostratus, was located. Alexander was willing to fund the completion of the new temple, as long as his name was inscribed on the building. The answer he received however, was that it is not fitting for a god to present gifts to other gods.
The temple of Ephesus turns towards the cradle of the Ionians, Tetrapolis which was founded by their primal ancestor Xanthus. The temple of Artemis in Brauron (image XIII) then turns to the east, towards the temple of Ephesus. And that is the typical example of the connection of sacred sites. Namely the direction of the temples was not arbitrary, because architecture is a science where everything is justified; even the aesthetic side. The Sanctuary of Iphigenia as it is natural faces the temple of Artemis. Furthermore, behind the Sanctuary of Iphigenia was her tomb. So the Sanctuary of Iphigenia as a chthonic goddess has a western orientation and that of Artemis as a celestial goddess, an eastern one. (The temples of the Ancients project their opening while the Christian temples project the Shrine.)
Artemis is basically a nature goddess, that is why the sanctuary was built near the river Erasinus, which always flooded after the rain and is an important wetland rich in vegetation. The floor of the temple of Artemis is in its natural state, with the rocks entering the site. This archaeological site is among those destroyed by the Persians. Moreover the idol of Artemis brought by Orestes from Tauris was taken by Xerxes to Susa. 180 years later it was found by Seleucus and sent to Laodicea of Syria, where it still existed during the days of Pausanias, in the 2nd century A.D.
Brauron was also one of the twelve prehistoric towns which united during the years of Cecrops with the City of Athens. Cecrops was one of the mythical kings of Attica, which was named Cecropia after him, while initially it was called Acte.

Sounio

Southernmost Cape of Attica

Sounio is the southernmost headland of Attica, 38 km from Athens, where on the formed hill of 60 meters which was formed by the leveling of the area the Temple of Poseidon was placed with (6) six columns on its short sides and (13) on its long sides from which (15) Doric Columns remain that is why in later times it took the name “Cape of Columns” (Κάβο κολώνες ή Καβοκολώνες).

The best place to view a sunset in Greece!

Of course this was a geo-strategic area from where the Athenians supervised the movement of ships entering the Saronic Gulf and guarded the precious minerals of Lavrion and finally controlled the sea routes to Euboea which the Athenians of the 5th Century had conquered and had placed there 4,000 colonists from Attica and from which – because of the fertility of the island – took the plant and animal products of the earth, but also supervised the movement to the Cyclades which participated in the Athenian Alliance seated in Delos, where the alliance protected around 400 CITY- STATES against the Persian state.

Based on this logic Sounion became a powerful fortress of Attica at the time of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) where in 413 B.C. a strong 3.00 meters thick wall was built with (11) towers, a permanent garrison was stationed and civilian housing was built within the walls, while in the northwest corner of the cape a space was formed for the accommodation of ships in readiness.

Temple of Poseidon’s incredible landscape

Logically therefore, in the area the temple of the sea god Poseidon was built in 449 B.C. by Pericles on the site of an earlier one. That too was Doric and built two years before the Parthenon without relief decoration on the pediments but on the outer frieze were sculpted scenes from the Gigantomachy, the Centauromachy and the feats of Theseus.

The building was abandoned in the 1st AD century and gradually ruined. Roman sightseers since Roman times carved countless inscriptions on the north side of the temple, on can even read to this time the signature of the philhellene poet Lord Byron.

God of Atlantis

TOUR INFORMATION

Attica Region, Greece (Athenian Riviera)

May – November

5/5 Cultural Shock

Historic Landmarks

  • Acropolis of Athens (UNESCO)
  • Acropolis Museum
  • The Prison of Socrates, The Pnyx
  • Ancient Agora of Athens
  • Temple Of Poseidon, Cape Sounio
  • Ancient Mining Laundries, Lavrio
  • Ancient Theater of Thoriko
  • Temple Of Artemis, Brauron

National Park of Sounion

Tour FAQs

Tour Packages*

Packing List

Enduro Training

Tour Starts/Ends in Glyfada, Athens

160 km Total Mileage (100 miles)

3 Days / 2 Riding Days

Intermediate Riding Skills

Gravel 0-10%

Min 2 Riders/Group | Max 8 Riders/Group

4×4 Support Vehicle Upon Request

Hotels only

Breakfast / Lunch en-route / Dinner

Spoken Greek / English / Italian

Athens Airport (ATH) Transfer*

Rent a Ride

Photos from our Tours

From 240€/day* (6 Riders / F850GS Rental)

Brochure (coming soon)

On the southern edge of the Greek capital lies the alluring Apollo Coast, still defined as greater Athens. Its palm tree-lined esplanades and idyllic beaches dominate a unique slice of Mediterranean coastline with laid-back elegance, a history of jet-set glamour and the feeling of spending quality time on a Greek island.

This is the Athenian Riviera, starting from the port of Piraeus all the way to Cape Sounion along the coastal Poseidonos Ave, named after the god of the sea Poseidon.

One can enjoy a fully-fledged holiday in Greece, enjoy the Mediterranean sun and sea, visit some of the most important archeological sites, enjoy the iconic coastline ride, spend quality time in the most glamorous location of Greece and all without ever leaving the capital.

TOUR ITINERARY


This is a compact tour, with 2 riding days, full of beautiful images and rich in ancient Hellenic history and culture. The first and last days mentioned in the itinerary are the arrival and departure days; there is no riding on these days. The daily riding kilometers are approximate distances and may vary. Arrival time should be arranged before 3 pm on the arrival day and bear in mind the time difference between your country of origin and your travel destination. Please book your flights accordingly. Route and overnight places may change due to unforeseen events.

DAY 1: Arrival in Athens / Glyfada

We meet at the Athens (ATH) airport and head straight for motorcycle pickup. Early in the afternoon (depending on your flight) we arrive at Glyfada, Mythical Routes HQ. In ancient times, the area was a deme known as Aixone (Αἰξωνή) and was established as the heart of Athens’ southern suburbs, because of its prime waterfront location, rich commercial center, and modern business district. It has been described as the head-point of the ‘Athens Riviera’ and features some of Europe’s most opulent seafront residences, gardens, and extensive beachfront property, with a modern marina.

DAY 2: Ride to the center of Athens

We ride downtown to visit the most important archeological location in Greece and famous Unesco heritage, the Acropolis of Athens. We walk around the Pnyx and visit the Prison of Socrates. Our visit to the colorful center can’t be complete without visiting the Ancient Agora of Athens and a walk in the narrow alleys of Monastiraki where we can enjoy some typical Hellenic snacks.

The last visit of the day is a long visit to the Acropolis Museum and after a ride by the temple of Zeus in Athens we head back to Glyfada HQ for some typical Greek nightlife.

DAY 3: Ride to Cape Sounio and Brauron

We ride on the famous Apollo Coast, a palm tree-lined esplanades and idyllic beaches dominate a unique slice of Mediterranean coastline with laid-back elegance, a history of jet-set glamour and the feeling of spending quality time on a Greek island. We visit the iconic Temple Of Poseidon at Cape Sounio, the ancient Mining Laundries at Lavrio, the ancient Theater of Thoriko and our last stop is the Temple Of Artemis in Brauron.

This two riding-day tour is designed as a tarmac introduction into our adventures, but upon request can be upgraded into a 20% gravel tour, so that and you can ride through the Sounio National Park and practice your off-road skills in the Greek hard terrain. It is the perfect oportunity for some Enduro Training as well.

DAY 4: Departure from Athens Airport (ATH)

You can spend quality time in the most glamorous location of Greece and all without ever leaving the capital. Glyfada is packed with some of the capital’s best-known nightclubs, upscale restaurants, and shops. It could be argued to be one of the most “Americanized” of Athenian municipalities since an American airbase was located nearby until the early 1990s. The base’s population contributed in part to Glyfada’s character, leading to a unique blend of Greek and American atmosphere and cuisine. Although the base is now gone and the school relocated, Glyfada still retains part of its American flavor while continuing to offer distinctly Greek cuisine, entertainment, and nightlife. If you have opted for an all-inclusive package we will escort you back to the Athens (ATH) airport for you flight home.

Included Services

We can provide almost any motorcycle from the GS range, like the versatile F850GS, the mighty R1200GS or the R1200GSA beast. We are partners with the biggest BMW Motorrad dealers in Greece, so all rented motorcycles are carefully prepared and serviced with the highest standards and certifications available.

All of our Adventure Tours and Expeditions come with a leading Tour Guide rider and the possibility of a 4×4 Support Vehicle if required.

BMW R1200GS

BMW F850GS

Included Services (Full Package)


All our Full Package (all-inclusive) Tours include the following services:

  • Athens (ATH) Airport pickup
  • BMW R1200GS / R1200GSA / F850GS motorcycle rental (Requires €1000 refundable damage deposit)
  • Full Damage Coverage with €1000 exception (Not valid for off-road tracks)
  • Third party liability cover by Allianz insurance (Not valid for off-road tracks)
  • 24/7 Road Assistance (Not valid for off-road tracks)
  • Unlimited mileage
  • BMW Alarm (installed)
  • Lead motorcycle Tour-Guide for all riding days
  • Accommodation in double/twin rooms in the most highlighted locations of each region
  • All Meals (Breakfast / Lunch en-route / Group dinner)
  • Architectural Guided tour in 1-2 archeological sites per day
  • Archeological Site Entrance-Fee
  • All Fuel cost
  • All Road-Toll cost
  • Provided Klim 3lt water hydration system
  • Provided Enduristan 7lt Tank-bag
  • Provided Enduristan 51lt Pack-sack
  • Provided Adventure Medical Kit
  • 15% Discount on any Klim pre-ordered item
  • 10% Discount on any Enduristan pre-ordered item

Not Included Services


There are many additional options that we can provide on demand in any tour package. The following options are not included in any tour package:

  • Flight costs
  • Travel/medical insurance (mandatory)
  • Single bed occupancy: add €20/day
  • DOT-approved Off-road tires: add €40/day
  • Basic Off-road training (1 day): add €200
  • Advanced Off-road training (2 days): add €450
  • Rental of Klim waterproof Gore-Tex Jacket & Pant with D3O protection: add €30/day (Requires €650 refundable damage deposit)
  • Rental of Klim ECE Helmet: add €20/day (Requires €250 refundable damage deposit)
  • Rental of Enduristan 2×30lt saddlebags**: add €30/day (Requires €160 refundable damage deposit)
  • Rental of BMW Vario side panniers***: add €20/day (No damage deposit required)
  • Enduro/MX riding Boots. For any arrangements please contact us.
  • Land Cruiser 4×4 Support Vehicle (for luggage and non-riders): add €400/day

To read more about rental equipment refundable damage deposit, support vehicle pricing and how to get 10-15% off Klim and Enduristan Gear Discount, read Rent A Ride.


Acropolis of Athens

As the rhetorician and satirist Lucian wrote  “… ascending to the Acropolis I flew over the cliff …” towards the land of Hades, the Necromanteion of Acheron, with the help of the psychopomp Hermes. On our right, we saw the Agora of Athens and on our left the Pnyx, where the assembly of the citizens took place (Ecclesia). After a while we were passing over the temple of Artemis Aristovouli, that was discovered accidentally in June 1958 during the construction of a small private house at the junction of Nileos Street and Irakleidon Street at Thission. In front of the small Greek temple, an engraved column was discovered dedicating the temple to goddess Artemis Aristovouli, the foundation of which was personally insured by Themistocles. Exiting the walls of Athens, we pass over the Gate of Piraeus, leaving to our right the Double Gate and the Graveyard of the Kerameikos.

Further down we came across the Sacred Lake (Lake Koumoundourou), to the right of the Reidi (salty sacred lakes used for cleansing), where during the celebration of the Mysteries of Eleusis the honor guard of Athens awaited wearing black tunics. Leaving behind Mount Aigaleo, where Xerxes watched, to our left, the Battle of Salamis. And behold, Hermes showed me the vast ritual center of Eleusis bellow us.
It was during the month of Hekatombaion (July- August) of 415 B.C. and as we found out Alcibiades along with Nicias and Lamachus already were on board the Athenian ships alongside the troops on their way to Sicily. When the men boarded the ship, the usual prayers and toasts were performed with gold and silver cups, with the participation of the citizens. After the hymns were chanted, the ships reached the open sea. They descended along the eastern Peloponnese and bypassing the Cape of Maleas, just outside of Cythera, after having circled around Laconia and Messenia, ascended to the western Peloponnese, passing between Zakynthos and Cephalonia and Lefkada, heading to the north of Corfu, to reach across, Southern Italy.


Cape Sounio

Before we reach Brauron, I would like to narrate about some places that I see from the top of Mountain Hymettus, since I will be sitting here with my friend the Owl to gaze Attica, which we can see at a distance of 50 km from here because of the great clarity of the sky.

On my right side, I can see the Bay of Palaio Faliro where the port of Attica used to be, the only port of Athens in the Saronic Gulf. From this port, Theseus, the son of Aethra and Aegeus, was sent by the Athenians to Crete along with seven young men and seven young women as a human sacrifice to Minotaur. According to the myth, after Theseus killed Minotaur, he forgot to put the white sails to his ship while returning home and his father, waiting at Cape Sounio, saw the black sails instead and thinking that his son was killed, jumped into the sea and drowned.

Sounio, the place where king Aegeus died, is located in a straight line 38 km from the top of Mountain Hymettus, southeast of Attica. It is the exact place where an arrow from God Apollo killed the captain of Menelaus ship (the husband of Helen of Troy), on their way back to Sparta from the Trojan War. On the leveled top of Cape Sounio is located the Temple of Poseidon, constructed by Pericles in 444 BC, in the exact place of an older Peripteron temple destroyed by Persian king Xerxes in 490 BC.

The Temple of Poseidon is a Doric Peripteral style temple with (6) columns at the facades and (13) columns on the longer sides, so (6×13) that has a “code” based on the columns K(6)(1)(3)(4)(10), where (6) refers to HARMONY. It is said that the temple is aligned with the exact location of Atlantis where there was placed a bigger altar. Plato was often talking about this lost island and since then everybody was trying to find it. I know a lyric about Atlas, the son of Poseidon and Kleito.

“And the high columns on which the Earth
he is holding,
At the starry dome they end and the spheres they brace
And the spheres they brace”

On the smaller hill northeast of Temple of Poseidon, lay the ruins of the Temple of Athena Souniada that was worshiped since the very early years as protector of the City of Athens. In this exact place, Menelaus conducted a ceremony for the Captain of his ship, Fronti.

Further north from Cape Sounio is located the rocky mountain Merenta (614 m), mountain Olympus (487 m) and mountain Panio (648 m) and among them Lavrio with its rich soil that brought great prosperity to the city of Athens, through the extraction of silver and lead, and allowed Themistocles and the Athenians to create a powerful fleet.

Going back to the Bay of Palaio Faliro, we can see the place where Menestheus started with his fleet the voyage towards the Trojan War, and at this place, the Long Walls of Athens used to end. Further down from Faliro we can see the area of Ammos where Thucydides, the great historian from the 5th century BC. was coming from. Every year the women of that township were celebrating Thesmophoria, a mystical fest about Euphoria and Vegetation.

Continuing my visual journey from the western seaside of Attica to the south, I can see the area of Agios Kosmas, across the old airport of Athens, where were discovered the ruins of the Cycladic citadel from the Copper Age (around 2.300BC.). During the historical years, it is said that the wind brought here, from Salamina, the wrecks from Xerxe’s fleet. Further down the road, where it branches towards the region of Vari, excavations brought in the light the remains of the Ancient municipality of Aixoni.

On the way to Vouliagmeni, we cross Cape Zoster (or Laimos Vouliagmenis). There we find the Temple of Apollo Zoster, Artemis and Leto. According to the myth, in that area, Leto felt that the time of her childbirth was approaching and unbound her belt, despite the fact that that goddess Hera was hunting her and had forbidden any kind of help towards Leto. Hera convinced the dragon Python (the earth-dragon of Delphi) that the child to be born would deprive the Oracle of Delphi from him and for this reason he had to kill Leto. On our way to Varkiza, we pass through Vouliagmeni Lake with its sulfurous water that is suitable for skin diseases and rheumatic conditions. Further down, in Varkiza Bay, we can see the three little islands of Apollo, Artemis, and Leto on which exist corresponding Altars.

On the north side of Vari, just after the town’s cemetery, there is the Cave of Archedemos (Nympholyptos Cave). Nympholepsy was the belief of the ancient Greeks that individuals could be possessed by the Nymphs. Individuals who considered themselves nympholepts would display a great religious devotion to the nymphs. It is a unique landmark with carved statues from sculptor Archedemos of Thira, wherein the 5th century BC, he transformed the cave to a place of worship of the Nymphs, Apollo and Pan.

Further down the road south, we come across the region of Anavyssos where Kroisos Kouros, an interesting marble Kouros (Ancient Greek: κοῦρος) statue was found. He functioned as a grave marker for a fallen young warrior named Kroîsos (Κροῖσος). The free-standing sculpture strides forward with the “archaic smile” playing slightly on his face. The sculpture is dated to c. 540–515 BC and stands 1.95 meters high. The inscription on the base of the statue reads: “Stop and show pity beside the marker of Kroisos, dead, whom, when he was in the front ranks, raging Ares destroyed”. The statue is now situated in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.

From Anavyssos we proceed to the National Park of Sounion, established in 1979. This is a very interesting historical area of 35.000 acres with Geological and Paleontological foundings. From there we reach Sounio and after that Lavrio as we have mentioned above.

North of Lavrio exists the ancient municipality of Thoricus, one of the 12 municipalities of Attica, that was the Industrial Centre of Lavrio mineral mines of and on this area there have been discovered two vaulted tombs of the Mycenaean Age. Continuing our way north, we cross the area of Keratea where, on the southwest side of Mount Panio is located the Cave of Pan, with stalactites and stalagmites and a beautiful lake about 950 square meters for a visitor to sightsee.


Brauron

The port of Prasia (Porto Rafti) is next to Keratea and it was of great importance for the city of Athens because it connected them with Cyclades islands. From this port begun all the celebration ceremonies of Apollo at Delos.

At that point, we are next to the Archeological area of Brauron.


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Ancient Greek Architecture

One of the Architectural problems of the Ancient world, that concerned me as a student of Architecture in Rome, was the Arc. Namely this Architectural solution, that for my professors was a Roman invention, unknown in the Ancient Greek World.

Colosseum-of-Rome

Colosseum of Rome, completed in the 1st century CE

The same view prevails today, after 35 years. I noticed that in one of my last trip to southern Italy, where the tour guide of Taormina (Tavroménio) repeated just the same, namely that the Arc was a Roman invention. So I decided to get involved with it, to ascertain the fact, since, from the first moment, I felt that something should be happening in this ancient world, all of whose achievements we see with our own logic, without following it’s own mentality.

Turning, then, to the inquiry procedure with the eyes of the Ancients, I met unknown places and secret cults, playing a key role in shaping the architecture and formed a cosmic standard, with axes and shapes, through which the ancient satisfy their religious Needs. At the same time, they were trying to convert Theory into Action, with structures and symbols, placing the Sacred Temples in specific points, with axial relations between them. Here I met a world where Art was a component of a Global Logic, they should be working together as a whole. So insinuated that behind wars and conflicts, there was a Structured Authority, he had the wit to impose it’s will through advising, having Religion as instrument.

To solve the problem of the Ancient’s Logic only with the use of the findings and unilaterally, without putting your imagination to work and without entering into their shoes, it’s like using on a modern PC only as a calculator! This, however, increases the success of amateurs versus professionals, as is the Schliemann case.

Seeing, then, the fantastic effort of the volume “History of the Greek Nation” I felt – in the past – much more Confident. But today, after all my researches, I found that there are some key differences in the results and come to the conclusion that something is amiss. This I realized when I noticed that sixteen volumes, about 10,000 pages, are based on 159 collaborators archaeologists, historians, philologists, etc. and only report an architect and a mathematical, and none of the other professionals, for a period of 101.941 years.
But we know at least 754 Ancient Scientists (G. Georgakopoulos “Ancient Greek Scientists”), of whom 117 were architects and for a period of 1.200 years they were basically structurally implementing the theories of the Ancient Greeks. Furthermore, we must bear in mind that the architect of the time was a painter, sculptor, engineer, etc. But we know also that the architect of today has the most comprehensive training and profound knowledge of the Past through the History of Art, the Present constructing Buildings and the Future by processing future proposals. And all this implies: Building Design, Static Knowledge, Functional Needs Design, Interior Design, in deapth knowledge of the materials, Topography, Mathematics, Prospectively, Construction Details, social Structures knowledge a thousand of other things, resulting in a Global Knowledge.
So when this Professional is Absent, all individual analysis of Archaeological findings, of Historical facts, or of Philosophical thinking may be possible, but the system does not work Spherically (as a whole) – especially when other professions are missing in the process of analysis.

The result of all the above is that the prevailing opinion around the world is that the architecture of the Greeks is only the Linear Surface with Rhythms: Doric – Ionic – Corinthian and Formulas: Prostyle Amphiprostyle – Pavilion – Dipteral etc. I felt, therefore, the professional curiosity to study the subject of Construction Knowledge of the Ancient Greeks, and based on ideology tireless researchers, covering the Gaps which exist in the area of Greek knowledge, while I took into account tall the views of colleagues and professionals in other scientific areas.

The_Odeon_of_Herodes_Atticus

Odeon of Herodes Atticcus, Athens

As, however, i went on in my investigations, construction-wise, I kept falling on puzzles and riddles, that opened access to other spaces; thus, I walked into a Labyrinth of Knowledge, whose road was not closed in front of me and that I followed; and without much effort, when I looked into the problems with eye of the Ancient entering in their mentality, I saw solutions. As one good God is in front of me that opened me the way; perhaps it was Apollo, maybe it was Dionysus, who knows? Using Pythagoras as a Key to open latched doors and understand the symbolism on the Sacred Temples until the Labyrinth lead me to a circular space; there, on one hand, as Petal Inclined I see seated people dressed as Greeks, watching in agony there in front of me, the Goathorned.
I bit my lips, because I realized that the Goathorned actor was playing Dionysus Revelation.

The researcher – G. Baltoyannis

Diktaio Andro

The Manger of God

It is the place where the predatory Harpies withdrawn, which are winged spirits daughters of Thaumantas and an Oceanid Electra and belong to Pre-Olympian divine generation. They mean “Storm”, “Quick Flight” and “Dark” and are depicted as birds with female heads with razor sharp talons to carry the souls of the dead.
In this cave the Dactyls (Curetes) together with the goat Amalthea took over the care of the newborn “Zeus” from Rhea and while Amalthea engaged in his upbringing, the Dactyls bang their shields with power so that the infant is not discovered and devoured by his father Cronus by its crying.

Curetes dance around the infant Zeus

In the Minoan era Zeus was worshiped in Diktaio Andro (Psychron Cave) as a god with the double axe and has a chthonic character because he is a god of nature’s rebirth which dies in the winter and is reborn in the spring, only to be transferred north in Dodoni where the worship of Zeus is expressed as a “Tree Worship” and is joined with the chthonic Goddess of vegetation “Dione“, who preexisted in this area since the Bronze Age. The priesthood of the Divine Couple were the “Selloi” who slept on the ground and never washed their feet to be in touch with Gaea to draw from her this oracular power.

Olympia

Sports Center of Greece

As we observed when we mentioned Delphi, with the descend of the Dorians in the 12th century B.C. the reorganizing of the basic shrines within the Greek region begins, centered around Delphi, without however abolishing the secondary sites.
In image 13 of the 1st Part of the book Holy Sacramental Journey to Greece, aside from the connections of the shrines, we should also see how the basic sanctuaries are spread out, namely those the echo of which reaches us even to this day and age; which however are not city-states and serve a particular purpose. These are: Olympus, the Necromanteion, Delphi, Eleusis, Delos, Epidaurus and Olympia. Namely 7 shrines, which for the Pythagoreans is the perfect number. Sacred sites, each of which plays a particular role within the Greek region. They are geographically scattered, but axially connected to each other with a certain proportionate distance; and this is quite reasonable because each site is part of a whole.
So there is a mythological kinship between these sites. Namely Zeus occupies the sacred sites of Olympus (Dion) and Olympia. His sister Demeter with their daughter Persephone are found in Eleusis, while Persephone is also found in the Necromanteion with the brother of Zeus, Hades. The son of Zeus Apollo occupies Delos with his sister Artemis, and with his brother Dionysus he occupies Delphi, while the grandson of Zeus, Asclepius, the son of Apollo, is found in Epidaurus. These gods function as units, but also as duos, creating a system of balance.
From all of those gods Apollo comes second to Zeus, because he possesses Delphi, namely the administrative priestly center. When Zeus struck Asclepius, the son of Apollo, down with lightning, because he was raising the dead, Apollo took revenge by killing the Cyclopes who forged the divine lightning bolt. Thus Zeus punished Apollo and sent him to serve the king of Pherae of Thessaly, Admetus, who had him guard his herds, and that was the end of the quarrel. This means that Zeus remains above Apollo as the creator god.
Having a system where each god corresponds to his role, without the mythology being disproved or contradictory, is a quite difficult task; especially if we extend to the entire Mythological Pantheon, also including Astrology. So, besides fantasy, great planning by thousands of individuals is required, who possess exceptionally strong memory, since they did not have the technological aid of computers in order to be able to live up to their task, without disturbing the “world” of the believers of the city-states.

Olympia, like the Necromanteion, is located in the western part of Greece. As we noticed at a previous point, according to image XVIII, Delos (City of Light) and Epidaurus (113th Olympic Games) are located on the side of the gate of the gods, in the eastern part of Greece, where the souls ascend, like the Sun. In the western part of Greece, the souls descend like the Sun, to be reincarnated, according to the Platonic philosophers. So then, since this celebration was held in honor of dead heroes, like Pelops who organized the Olympic Games and Heracles thanks to whom the games started to be held again after they had fallen into decline, this also means the theoretical participation of the heroes in the games, as reincarnated athletes. This is also evident in the case of Alexander but also Pyrrhus, who imitated Heracles against Rome which had the form of the Lernaean Hydra. That is why they were held every four years, during the full moon, after the Summer Solstice, during the month Hekatombaion (July-August), when the Sun in its descending course, passes through the zodiac of Leo, which symbolized the Nemean Lion, namely the first labor of Heracles (image 5, photo I).
We observe then, how reasonably the Olympic games are defined, where the myth is accompanied by its corresponding zodiac sign which is also the beginning of the labors of Heracles, namely Heracles begins with his labors based on the “Unit”. Apollo according to the Pythagoreans was the Unit, namely the Sun which transitioned through the zodiac of Leo, but also Zeus because he was the beginning of everything, namely the guardian god of Olympia, but also the beginning of the yearly calendar. They used to call the unit Hearth or fire, namely the flame we get with mirrors from the rays of the Sun. They also called the Unit Chaos, darkness, chasm, Tartarus or Styx, which has to do with the chthonic character of the Olympic games.
In order for the athlete to enter the stadium he would go under the “crypt”, which indicates a hiding place or an underground unseen place. The crypt was an archway (consecutive arches) which started at the Lodge of Sound, a fact that points us to the logic of the Theater, where the sound originates in the chthonic space through the Chaeronian scale ( Theater of Dion). Consequently the Stadium is the chthonic space, where the victor, emerging again from the crypt, functions pretty much like Heracles (see Necromanteion in Land of the Dead), when he visited Hades and fought Cerberus, whom he brought back in chains to present to Eurystheus. This archway, but also the arch, will become in later times, the Arcs of Triumph. The victor then, emerging triumphant from the crypt, is like he is beating death. Thus he gains more prestige in the eyes of the people who see him pass through and he himself becomes a symbol and a demigod. The city of the victor then, has no need of walls, which it symbolically demolishes, in order fro their demigod, the new Heracles, to enter the city.
According to Hippias of Elis (400 B.C.), the first officially established Olympic Games, took place in 776 B.C., reorganized by the legislator of Sparta Lycurgus and Cleisthenes of Pisa, by order of the king of Elis, Iphitus. They were abolished by Theodosius I in 393 A.D.
The presence of Heracles in the space of Olympia reasonably brings about the presence of his father Zeus, who, through the games of his son recognizes the games of the Greeks in this space. The three month “Truce” then is the proposal of the Priesthood so that the tribal disputes end and the struggle to become an athletic event without casualties.
The three months of the truce was the time needed by the athlete of even the most remote colony, to reach Olympia to compete and leave without any problems. In the 5th century, the population of the 3.000 colonies reached at least 9 million inhabitants; including Greece, the population of the Greek world was roughly 15-20 millions, when Egypt had 8 millions. Namely we are dealing with a population that in today’s standards would be about 250-300 millions. Opening a map of the colonies, let us imagine all of these movements of the athletes. During this period there was a general excitement in all of the Mediterranean and the region of the Black Sea, directed to Olympia. Athletes, friends and relatives, alongside the representatives of the city-states, struggled with the waves for three months. They stopped in intermediary stations along the way, talked, laughed, traded views. The entire Greek world was set in motion, because viewers from everywhere flocked there. The rest of the world, the so-called “Barbarians”, saw, listened, but did not understand why someone would go there to receive an olive wreath.
The issue however is, that this way Olympia became a vast information center, through a language (like the Internet), connected to 3.000 service providing centers, where the actor was human memories. This way the Greek world achieved greatness. Whoever reached Olympia, would find his world there and with him he would bring samples of his achievements abroad, pretty much like the migrating Greek of America does nowadays. So then, Herodotus (484-420 B.C.) did not have to travel to gather information; it was enough to ask a colonist, on his way to Olympia. In any case, through this process the Greek knew everything. So then, Olympia was not just an athletic center, but also an information center, with a radius of at least 2.500 kilometers. Otherwise we would not be talking about Hellenism today, after the pressure of the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires.
This information was spread by those attending the games in every direction within Greece. As far as the North, Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace, where the athletes and visitors came from-most of them by sea, because we should consider that the journey by land from Athens took at least five days.
All of the city-states were interested in knowing what existed in these foreign lands, in order to organize trading missions. It was the source of information of the clergy which directed colonization, beyond scouting missions, like the Argonautic campaign. After that the processing of information and the exchange of views started, the conclusion of deals, the re-connection with the Metropolis and many more. So when all of these people left for the faraway colonies, took along with the soil of the homeland, new commercial ideas. This led the trading city-states to develop banking systems of loans, interests, checks and remittances. Athens as early as the 5th century B.C. had may bankers outside of the city, in the colonies, such as Alexandria where the Athenian currency was in large circulation. Otherwise the system of colonies developed by the Greek world would not be able to function. Thus, as P.Leveque mentions, the colonies managed to change the inland, like in Egypt of the Ptolemies, which was in the neolithic era. The Greeks brought about the agricultural and husbandry revolution, thanks to the import of iron tools and all kinds of new plants or animals, like fig trees, pomegranates, walnut trees, but also garlic, sheep and donkeys.
Therefore we should not view the site of Olympia through the narrow context of the athletic games. Because if that was the case, the Olympic games would be held nowadays permanently in Greece, while in fact there is a “battle” to determine who is going to undertake the organizing of the event. And of course we are referring to a people which based on its commercial spirit, spread out to all of the shores of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, primarily to trade.

When any night of the year, in the clear sky, we observe the multitude of constellations with the naked eye, all that we shall see, except for some for which we need the aid of a telescope, are about the Greek Mythology, with the shape and the actions of it’s gods and heroes. So, for 365 days a year the population of Greece sees in its sky the astral contribution of their ancestors to all of the peoples of the earth. In a circular correspondence of the Pan-Hellenic sanctuaries. And naturally it is unthinkable whether man will ever be able to reach these constellations. The sacred centers may be destroyed, but all this celestial dome remains eternally there.
So then when the summer of the Olympics arrives, we shall also see the constellation of Heracles (image 5) fighting the Lernaean Hydra (Draco constellation), according to Eudoxus, which is about his second labor.

image 5 – Constellation of Hydra (Draco constellation)

All of the celebrations mentioned, started with the full moon, which appeared in each zodiac through which it completed its phases (Moon phases), following the attic lunar calendar or the lunar-solar calendar of the Macedonians. That is why Greece did not have a unified calendar. And all of this without the aid of computers.
There are two important characteristics of the sacred site: The one was that the games were not limited only to men, but there were also women games, where only virgins were are allowed to compete in. They competed in a 160 meter race, that is why the temple of Hera of 600 B.C. exists. As far as the men were concerned, after they swore an Oath to Zeus Horkios on the first day, on the second day there was a children race, wrestling, boxing and pankration. On the third day there were chariot races and the pentathlon (jumping, discus throw, stadium, javelin throw and wrestling). On the fourth day there were the men sporting events of racing, wrestling, boxing, pankration and shield racing. The last day was reserved for awarding the winners and for the sacrifices to the gods.
The other characteristic was the Zanes, namely bronze statues of Zeus which were placed before the entrance of the stadium, funded by the fines of those who broke the Games rules.

image XIX

The temples of Hera and Zeus axially face Delos (image XIX), recreating the myth of the birth of Apollo. But aside from the temples, offerings, altars, statues and treasuries (small buildings where precious offerings to the sacred sites were kept), Olympia also possessed a well organized athletic infrastructure, with a gymnasium for the training of the athletes, a wrestling ring, guesthouse, the so called Leonidaion, the prytaneion for housing foreign important visitors, a bouleuterion for the political and social operation of the site and the Hellanodikaion for the Hellanodikai who judged the result of the games.

In the 2nd century B.C., the Olympics decline under the poor management of the civilization by the Diadochi of the Hellenistic period, who promoted the Games held in their own newly founded states. During this period, frugality is replaced by luxury and the political promotion of the king. So they were turned from games of worship to games of spectacle, that is why new athletic events were added and the athletes gradually became professionals. During the first period of the Roman conquest (146 B.C.), there were serious damage and pillaging like that of Sulla, but later on during the Imperial era, Olympia regained its former prestige, with many building projects, without however the athletic ideal of the pre-Hellenistic era returning. The celebrations continue until 393 B.C. when Theodosius I forbids them and in 426 B.C. Theodosius II orders the destruction of the temples.

113th Olympic Games

ROUTE INFORMATION – T.B.D. : Spring 2019

Central Greece

Historic Landmarks

  • Delos
  • Epidaurus
  • Olympia

4/5 Culture Shock

Total Length TBD km

7 Riding Days

Intermediate Skills Level

45% Offroad

Hotels and (1) Camping

National Forest of TBD

Middle May – Middle October

FAQ

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Lodging

Rent A Ride

Service

Brochure (coming soon)

We were learning about the news of Alexander from the Olympian Zeus, without Hera knowing. 2.000 Indians had been killed, the two sons of Porus among them. Porus riding his richly decorated elephant continued to issue commands and Alexander was admiring him, trying to save his life, but his old horse Bucephalus collapses in fatigue. Afterward Alexander treated Porus like royalty and gave him his kingdom back to rule and while he was ready to march to the depths of India, his army was unwilling to follow him.
Father Zeus himself had faced similar circumstances when Hera, Athena and Poseidon tried to chain him. Thankfully the goddess Thetis sent Aegaeon (Aegaeon and his brothers Gyges and Cottus are described as huge monsters with a hundred arms, also named Hecatoncheires) to rescue him. Of course Zeus does not intervene in the case of Alexander, pretty much like in the case of Heracles, because he has to solve his problem on his own, otherwise what kind of demigod would he be?
All this is fine, but look we was seeing Syros again and then Kea, on our right side this time around, while on our left we could see the island of Thermia or Ophiussa Thiramnia (Kythnos), known for its healing springs. It was the prehistoric home of the Dryopes. When their land, Dryopis, which was a region of Oeta and Parnassus, was taken over by the Dorians, they fled to Euboea, Argolis, Thermia and Asia Minor. This island too was an ally of Athens.

There the temple of Poseidon emerges on our right; that is why there were so many dolphins in the area. They say that this temple is turned in such a way that it faces towards Atlantis, where the god had a great altar. Plato used to talk about this lost island and then everybody tried to find it. I know a verse about the son of Poseidon, Atlas, whom he had with Cleito.

And the tall pillars on which the earth
he lifts
reach the starry dome and support the spheres
and support the spheres.

But there we are finally in Argolis, which was named after the son of Zeus and Niobe, Argos. It was the prehistoric residence of the Dryopes. Nearby, a mere seven kilometers from the Saronic Gulf, is the Sanctuary of Asclepius.

Epidaurus

Hospital Center of Greece

So we entered the temple of Asclepius, a work by Theodotus, in 380-375 B.C. The god, made out of gold and ivory, was sitting on a throne, with his trusted dog on his right and the snake on the left. Leaving the richly decorated temple, a work by Thrasymedes, Hectorides and Timotheus, we arrived to the Tholos or Thymele, which had three circular zones at its base under the floor. A white stone in the center covered the entrance to the crypt. This was a work by Polykleitos, the nephew of the sculptor Polykleitos and it took him 30 years to complete it (360-330 B.C.). A very beautiful project! We stood there and admired it for a while. In the meanwhile we went in the crypt of the labyrinth, where the tomb of Asclepius was.
We departed leaving behind us (on the right) mount Arachnaio, through the Phryctoria of which the Myceneans were informed about the fall of Troy. This route to Olympia was a totally different route because we was passing over cities lying between Myth and History.
We were passing over Tiryns, the most ancient acropolis of Myceneans which Homer calls it “Walled”, with its cyclopean walls, built from boulders of ten tons or more; like lifting an elephant and placing it on top of another one. Placed on the top of the acropolis was the palace of the anax, who held worldly and priestly offices, with the typical throne room where the hearth was in the middle of four pillars representing the elements of matter.
Further to the right there was Midea, which was built by Perseus and was the homeland of Alcmene, the mother of Heracles. We were passing over Argos on our left, the Homeland of Perseus who was its hero and the son of Zeus and Danae, the daughter of the king of Argos Acrisius. Danae was impregnated by the god, who had transformed into golden rain. What an imagination this god has, we thought. Argos, which means “plain”, was the most ancient city in Greece, and was inhabited by the Pelasgians, with its acropolis being Larissa. This city had lost its prestige when Tiryns and Mycenae were built, which were located 14 kilometers to my right.
Mycenae was the most famous city of prehistoric Greece. Homer calls it “rich” and it was a pioneer in the financial and cultural life of Greece, mainly in the 13th century B.C. Their king was the well-known Agamemnon, the leader of the campaign against Troy, whose daughter had to be sacrificed in Aulis, but was rescued by Artemis who made her a priestess in Tauris.
From the left we had passed Lerna, where Heracles performed his second labor, killing the Lernaean Hydra, a spawn of Typhoon and Echidna. Just a few kilometers away from Lerna, lies Nauplia (Nafplio), which was founded by the son of Amymone and Poseidon, Nauplius. Passing by mount Artemision, where there was a temple of Artemis, we were now entering Arcadia, the inhabitants of which, whom we meet constantly, were called Pelasgians.
I had been through Oenoe, the city of Oeneus, who met his doom there by his brother Agrius, and we were passing by Mantineia which was founded by Mantineus, the son of the king of the Arcadians, Lycaon. Lycaon was the son of Pelasgus and the Oceanid Meliboea or the Nymph Cyllene according to others, who succeeded his father on the throne. In a distance of about 10 kilometers to the right there was another city founded by another son of Lycaon, Orchomenus, while on our left, in a distance of 15 km we could see Tegea , a rival of Mantineia, which was founded by Aleus, son of Apheidas, who established in the area the worship of Alea Athena, thus uniting the inhabitants of his region.
After we left the sacred mountain of Pan, Hermes, Dionysus, the Maenads, Artemis, Atalanta and the Dryads, and mount Mainalo, we entered among the cities; Methydrio, a bit further Orchomenos and to the left the town of Schinus, where Atalanta used to put anyone who wanted to marry her, through a race as a test, Hippomenes won with the aid of Aphrodite. After passing from the ancient locations of Theisoa, Teuthis, Melenai,Heraia and Frixa, crossing the rivers of Ladon and Eurymathus, we reached Pisa.
Pisa is located east of Olympia and was in the forefront of the performance of the Olympic games. Its inhabitants founded Pisa (Pisa) of Italy. It is the place where Pelops and Hippodamea, the daughter of the king of Pisa Oenomaus, who was the son of Ares and one of the daughters of Asopus, Harpina, ruled. Oenomaus who was negotiating about his daughter’s wedding, would compete with the aspiring grooms in chariot racing. But he always won and took the life of the suitors, until the time when his daughter fell in love with Pelops. With the help of Hippodamea and malicious intent the axis of her fathers chariot broke and he died. So Pelops married Hippodamea.
Pelops was the son of Tantalus who ruled over Phrygia. Tantalus was the son of Zeus and the daughter of Cronus, Plouto. He killed his son Pelops, cut him in small pieces, cooked him and offered his meat to the gods. The gods realized it and restored him to life, Tantalus on the other hand was sent to Hades by Zeus and was sentenced to suffer from eternal hunger and thirst. Pelops was the one who organized the Olympic games. When he died, his remains were transported from Pisa to Troy, during the Trojan War. Later when the games were in decline, Heracles came along, delimited the precinct of “Altis” (Grove) and dedicated it to his father Zeus: he even built 6 altars for the twelve gods of Olympus and a shrine for Pelops. I learned about all this before I sat on the roof of the temple of Zeus.

Olympia

Sports Center of Greece

We would have stayed longer in Olympia, if I hadn’t received a new order from Zeus, a pretty sad one this time around. It said that Alexander would die in the 13th of June of 323 B.C., and that we should receive him from the Psychron Cave (Diktaio Andro), where his soul would be delivered by the primordial eagle of Zeus. Zeus knew everything before it happened, but he loved Alexander very much and wanted him by his side in Olympus, to gaze from above his beloved Macedonians. The life of Alexander grew even shorter, as time moved on, in the age of 33 years old.
So we drove south, by the Bouleuterion. In a while we would leave Alfeios behind us and found ourselves at mount Aphrodision, where Demeter had her sanctuary. We were descending towards the mountain range of Alivaina (Minthi) and suddenly we was on mount Lykaion, after we reached the temple of Apollo in Bassae.

Zeus’s Homeland

ROUTE INFORMATION – T.B.D. : Spring 2019

Central Greece

Historic Landmarks

  • Ideo Andro
  • Diktaio Andro

3/5 Culture Shock

Total Length 400 km

5 Riding Days

Intermediate Skills Level

35% Offroad

Hotels and (1) Camping

National Forest of TBD

Middle May – Middle October

FAQ

Packing List

Lodging

Rent A Ride

Service

Brochure (coming soon)

In mount Lykaion Lycaon, the son of Pelasgus who was a violent king in Arcadia, offered Zeus the flesh of a child alongside other dishes, Like Tantalus did. So Zeus transformed him into a wolf and sent a deluge to destroy the human race. Customary human sacrifices to Zeus Lycaeus, whose temple was near the temple of Apollo were performed on this mountain. Further along the way I come across Lycosura, the most ancient city in the world, founded by Lycaon, the Lykaia date to the Mycenaean period, between 1398 and 1294 B.C.
The son of Lycaon, Phigalus, had founded Phigaleia, a city we had passed on our right. It was the place where king Lepreus died by the hand of Heracles because he had provoked him. It is also the place where Eurynome, the daughter of Oceanus and Tetis, who was a mermaid, was celebrated. On our left we had passed from the city Alifiera, where it was said that Athena was born from the head of Zeus. Slightly above there was the city of Melainai and then Maratha and Boufagion, but also Gortys.
Gortys was named after the son of Stymphalus, Gortys. Stymphalus was the husband of Ornis and father of the Stymphalian birds, which Heracles killed near the lake Stymphalia, under mount Kyllini (Ziria), the birthplace of Hermes, the psychopomp son of Zeus and Maia, who was a daughter of Atlas.
Beneath Gortys, Vrenthi near Trapezous and Trikolonoi which were founded by the eponymous sons of Lycaon. In Trikolonoi there was the tomb of the Nymph Callisto, daughter of king Lycaon who, had Arcas with Zeus. Arcas ruled over and gave his name to Arcadia and his first son was Elatus who founded Elateia and Phocis.
Bellow Trapezous, was the town the town Basilis and then Thocnia, which was founded by another son of Lycaon, Thocnus. Opposite Lycosura was Megalopolis, where they worshiped the hero Boreus who protected them from the Lacedaemons. It was in this city that the Furies (Erinyes) appeared before Orestes and terrified him. From there on the towns became more scarce as we were advancing towards mount Taygetus, so after a long time, on our left we passed from the town Peraithei, Asea founded by Aseas, the son of Lycaon and Orestio where Orestes waited, by order of Apollo to be tried in the Court of Cassation of Athens. Upon entering Laconia, I came across Pellana, on the shores of the river Eurotas, father of Sparta.

image XX

At a distance of 8 kilometers from Sparta (image XX) lies its sacred center, Amyclae, where the new god Apollo, competes with the hero of Megalopolis Boreus, for the love of Hyacinthus, who was the son of Amyclas. In this competition, Boreus changes the course of the discus in the contest of discus throw and hits Hyacinthus in the face, whose grave is now found In the Sanctuary of Apollo in Amyclae.
In this place Tyndareus, the father of Helen, Castor and Pollux and Clytemnestra, was planning the marriage of Helen, for the sake of whom the Trojan War was fought. She chose Menelaus, who would take the kingdom of Tyndareus after the death of Castor and Pollux.
Menelaus was the brother of Agamemnon and son of Atreus, the king of Mycenae, from the line of Pelops who organized the Olympic games. Agamemnon had married the sister of Helen, Clytemnestra and became the king of Mycenae. Iphigenia was the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra.
After this multi-sided relation, with various big problems, we were passing swiftly, having Therapnes on our left, where the palace of Menelaus and Helen was located. It was from here that the two lovers, Paris and Helen left, taking with them her son Pleisthenes, the mother of Theseus Aethra, slaves and plenty of gold. After passing between the towns Krokees and Geronthres, we proceeded to the Myrtoan Sea, over the town Epidavros Limira having cape Maleas on our right, to where Heracles had pursued the Centaurs and killed the Centaur Chiron, the son of Cronus. That is why the pediments of the Parthenon depicting the Centauromachy face this way.
We had to fly for another 200 kilometers to the Psychron Cave. It was there in a cave that Zeus had been born; we would wait there together with Amalthea, the goat who had raised him, for the soul of Alexander.

Diktaio Andro

The Manger of God

Delos

East Gate of the Gods

Delos is located in the middle of an island complex whose colonists are basically Ionian, who at least since 700 B.C. organized common celebrations in Delos.
When it became famous as a religious center, it was claimed by many cities like Naxos and Paros, but it was the Athenians who took it under their protection circa in 540 B.C. removing all of the graves from the island.
In 426 B.C. it was forbidden to the Delians to die on the island.

images XIV-XV-XVI

In the 6th century B.C., with the final conquest of Eleusis, what was a religious theory started to be materialized with the removal of the graves from the island to the nearby island Rineia (image XIV); namely the creation of Life (Delos) in the east and Death (Necromanteion) in the west. Moreover during the Delian celebrations, the executions in Athens were postponed, as in the case of Socrates.
Births on the island were also forbidden; so the Delians lost their citizenship with the consent of the Spartans, who replied to the Delians, when they asked for their help, that Delos was not their homeland, since they could not die or be born there. Namely the island had to remain pure like Apollo (Sun).

If there was no reason for the alignment of the three sacred sites (Delos, Delphi and Necromanteion), they would logically have to be placed in different positions within Greece. Namely Delos does not correspond with a god of Rebirth like Apollo, who should have been born in a cave and in an area with rich vegetation, like the Minoan Zeus. Delos is a barren, water-less island, without any natural ports.

In fact the only cave in mount Kynthos (112,6 meters) is linked to a sanctuary of Heracles of the 3rd century B.C. (image XV). If it was not about a religious issue, the Delians would have been able to live on their island and practice religion like the residents of Eleusis. Finally there would be some kind of reaction from the other tribes, so there also must have existed a decision by the priesthood of Delphi, for the Athenians to undertake such an expensive project, but also of great strategical importance.
In 1100 B.C. when the Priesthood of Apollo took over the shrine of the chthonic gods in Delphi, the myth about the birth of the god naturally did not exist, which was to be desperately sought after by the clergy on the axis Necromateion – Delphi. However at a certain point in time the myth of the birth of Apollo was completed and Delos appeared as the birthplace of the god. On the other hand, the Odyssey and the Homeric hymn to Apollo, mention in circa 700 B.C. Delos as an Ionian center, where the Naxians had placed an Apollo of huge size. Therefore during this period there was great pressure by the clergy for the completion of the cult in accordance with the myth.
So in 540 B.C., the clergy of Delphi authorized Peisistartus to begin purging the island, removing the graves which were moved to the nearby island of Rineia. However what followed was the fall of tyranny and the Persian Wars, where the Persians respected Apollo and his island. In 478 B.C. Delos became a religious center under the supervision of Athens. So in 426 B.C. the second and more complete purging of the island from the graves took place and the religious Orphic template of worship was completed.
So then when we recall the chapters on Delphi and the Necromanteion and link them to the events of Delos, we will observe a uniform religious logic, according to the Orphic standard, where, despite the political disputes of the city-states, the religious program of Delphi continues to exist and to be structured with the Clergy serving as the connective tissue.

The barren island of Delos on its long side has an orientation from north to south. It is 5 km long and 1,3 km wide. Its highest point is Kynthos (112 m.) which was also the sacred mountain of the Delians in earlier times (image XV).
We already mentioned about Delos that Zeus, for the sake of the mother of Apollo, Leto, who found sanctuary there, fixed it forever on four pillars, and renamed it from Ortygia to Delos. The main sacred site of the god is found on the western side of the island, because it is from the west that its connection with Delphi and the Necromanteion can be achieved. Athens organized the “Delia” there every four years, during the month Mounichion (April-May), when the zodiac of Taurus appeared in the sky (image 5), which was associated with the constellation of Auriga, which was associated with the mythological Erichthonius or Erechtheus, the son of Polias Athena and Hephaestus. But also Taurus (Bull) symbolized Theseus who captured the bull of Marathon and sacrificed it in the temple of Apollo in Athens.

It was the time when Leto started having childbirth pains, which lasted for nine days and nine nights. All of the goddesses came to her aid, except for Hera and Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, who was prevented from doing so by the jealous Hera. Finally Iris convinced her by giving her some gift and thus Leto gave birth near the sacred lake (image XVI). Alongside Apollo she also brought Artemis into the world. In the end these two gods started having the advantage in the Greek Pantheon. They are a combination of Nature (Artemis) and its Rebirth (Apollo). That is why this festival was held during the time when even this barren land is changed by nature with wild flowers and low vegetation. For this reason Leto gives birth to her children near a circular lake, which is fueled by the gully Inopus, which springs from mount Kynthos, which became the mountain of Zeus, and after it flows fro 1.200 meters and fills the sacred lake, it spills to the bay of Scardana nearby.

She hugged the palm tree (Leto)
and supported the knees
on the tender meadow and the earth
bellow smiled
and as He (Apollo) came into the light, all
as one the goddesses cheered.

In all of the archaeological sites we visited the scenes exceed the human imagination. The Ancients had the ability to transform even barren wastelands like Delos, into an unsurpassed theatrical show.
The character of Delos, pretty much like that of Dion, is cosmopolitan, because alongside the sanctuaries of the Greeks, foreign religions started entering the island, by Egyptians, Phoenicians, Arabs, Jews, and even Samaritans. After all the Greeks as a commercial people could combine worship with trade without any problems. So, pretty much like in the case of Dion, as early as 166 B.C., districts of diverse racial origin started to form, without an urban design, contrary to Dion, due to the sudden commercial upgrade of the island, which in circa 90 B.C. had 30.000 inhabitants.

According then to everything we mentioned, Delos was the commercial, but also the religious gate of Greece. Further along the same axis (image XVIII), in Rhodes, there was the famous temple of the Sun, where Apollo started his route from on a quadriga. The gate of the gods was on this side, since the souls ascended after the death of the body, following the upwards path of the Sun, in correlation with the gate of mortals we mentioned in the Necromanteion, where the souls descend to be reincarnated, following the downward path of the Sun. So Delos was a “component” of an entire religious and commercial logic; it was through this gate that the export and import of new gods was carried out headed for the philosophical Athens, where the new ideas were being processed. The Church Fathers, like Basil of Caesarea (330-379 A.D.) will study in these schools to enrich their knowledge which will be used in the new worship of Christ.

Dion

Religious Center of Macedonia

This shrine was destroyed by the Aetolian army in 219 B.C., but was rebuilt by the Macedonians, because it is their eminent holy site. It was here that Phillip II celebrated the fall of Alynth and Alexander started his conquest of the east. 25 statues of the partners who fell in the Battle of Granicus were erected in this site, the statues were works of Lysippos.
The sacred site of Dion differs from all of the previous ones, because in its current state it is shaped as a town, in fact one of the Roman Imperial period. Namely, it has a cosmopolitan vibe, which corresponds to the form that Hellenism assumed after the invasion of the east by the Macedonians, led by Alexander. So then Dion is a town of each empire and not a city-state.
Dion, even though it preserves some characteristics, like the Macedonian tomb to the northwest of the town, does not seem interested in developing connective axes like the city-state of Athens, that we noticed in the 1st part of the book “Holy Sacramental Journey to Greece”. Its gods are also imported from the provinces, like Isis, Serapis or the Egyptian Anubis, and are worshiped along with the local gods like Demeter, Asclepius or Aphrodite in the same place as Isis.
After the roman conquest, the Orphic logic of Delphi starts to change, and the curvilinear structures start to rise to the surface. That is why alcoves appear in Dion, in which idols are placed, pretty much like in the temple of Isis.
We are at a period of search, during which construction is difficult to represent worship, when the gods – chthonic and celestial – try to find their own spot in a new pantheon which would also represent the Empire of the Roman state. This transitional period can be clearly seen in the worshiping site of Dion.
However, no matter the evolution of the site of Zeus, the initial worship was of the Olymian Zeus and the Muses, that is why the sanctuary is located east of Olympus on the eastern side of Greece. The Necropolis of the Dion is located to the northwest of the site, bellow the village Karitsa, where a burial column of the 5th century B.C. was discovered.

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After our wandering, let us see what kind of relationship may be forming between the shrines we visited (above image VII), investigating more thoroughly the Orphic logic.
Based on the Pythagorean Philosophy, the equilateral triangle between Necromateion – Delphi – Delos, is about the number 3, which for the Pythagoreans is time. They considered time to be that which includes the Past the Present and the Future.
Thus a vast equilateral triangle is formed, with a side of roughly 192,50 kilometers. If we observe it, it looks like the triangular base of a solid, with a side of roughly 1,040 stadiums (1 stadium=184,92 meters), namely roughly 35 poles. The axis of said solid passes through the point defined by the bisetrixes of the triangle and moves upwards (like the pyramids and ziggurats), towards the celestial gods. Because, however, there is also the Necromanteion, the axis also extends downwards, towards the chthonic gods, resulting in the formation of a double triangular pyramid of five edges, namely a six sided polyhedron.

The number 6 is associated with the sides of the polyhedron, and according to the Pythagoreans the only number which perfectly fits the Soul. They call it “Plenum”, like Orpheus, and it “Harmonically Exists”. It symbolizes the 6 kinds of living beings (Gods, Daemons, Heroes, Men, Animals, Plants); namely, what we observed in our mythological route, Delphi – Necromanteion – Olympus (Dion).

As far as the Past is concerned, the death of a person is the past for the living, just as were the chthonic gods, since they were pushed aside by the celestial ones through struggles, but also by Apollo in Delphi. Therefore this is the role of the Necromanteion. The Present is associated with Zeus who existed since the Minoan civilization and still exists in the new mythology formed in Delphi. Therefore it is about Olympus (Dion). Finally, the Future, is about Delphi, with the Inextinguishable Light which illuminated the Greeks and the Barbarians. Here the main character is Apollo, who as the Sun, is reborn creating the evolution of civilization.

If then, centered around Ω we draw the circumferences with a radius Ω-Delphi = Ω-Dion = Ω-Necromanteion, we will create a sphere, which will include the six sided polyhedron.
Keeping in mind the theory of the Orphics, the created sphere is indeed the Cosmic Egg, because it at least fits the general rules of the Orphic Thoughts, concerning everything that has to do with the Universe and the Celestial Sphere (image XVIII). For the Orphics the Sky is the celestial and chthonic spaces combined. Its shape is spherical.
Furthermore, the equilateral triangle, shows a deviation from the north by 23,5 degrees, compared to Olympus (image XI), a fact which suggests the axial movement of the earth, which is completed every 26,000 years. Therefore the triangular pyramid, which is surrounded by the forming sphere (Cosmic Egg), is a depiction of the earth (image VII).
For the Orphics, however, the Sky is considered the begetter of Cronus-Time the pyramid may not have a square base like that of the Egyptians, because it depicts time and not orientation. The orientation is assumed based on the relation of the north to Olympus from the point Ω.
Subsequently, the world of the Greeks had its own pyramid-sphere, which is not evidently shown by them who feel superior in comparison to other civilizations, because this shape carries wisdom within it.
At point Ω, there is the ancient city Metropolis (near Karditsa), which we have already mentioned. This is a composite word Mitra (womb) + Polis (city) and is in accordance with Phanes of the Orphics; it is a center of civilization, a birthing force and mother of cities.

mount-olympus

Mount Olympus, Greece – Mountain of the Gods

Over Dion, in Olympus, lies Zeus who is the father of Persephone (Zeus-Demeter) and Apollo (Zeus-Leto). Therefore we have two half siblings, Persephone who is located in the Necromanteion and is about the Underworld and Apollo who is found in Delphi and is about the World Above. These deities, besides their relation, they are also connected through the oracles that Pythia receives directly from Hades. Namely, we observe the mythological relation between the shrines, which is confirmed by their geometrical alignment on which the myth making scientists and priests worked within the geographical area of Greece.
Apollo as the Sun moves, while Persephone remains still. Therefore the axis performs circular movements with its lower part fixed, thus we have the movement of 23,5 degrees of the axis on the northern part of the earth. This is the reason for the purification of Apollo at the Hyperborean peoples. It is then characteristic that Apollo does not go to the northern peoples but beyond them, to the North Pole, namely Northernmost (Hyperborea). This way, Persephone is at the South Pole. It is now proven that the triangular moving rhombus is in fact the Earth; its axis, performs a procession of 23,5 degrees every 26.000 years. (Rhombus was the name of the ancients for the spinning top, a child’s toy. It spins just like the Earth. This is the logic of the Orphics as we have mentioned before.) We can see this movement of the Earth in image VII.
Zeus naturally comes to take over point Ω and becomes Phanes of the Orphics, the creator of everything. Zeus is also presented in mythology in the same way. Thus the axis of the rhombus is formed, namely Apollo-Zeus-Persephone, therefore also the axis of the Earth.
The triangle then, Necromanteion – Zeus – Persephone, is a fixed one and the positions of the shrines are not chosen randomly. The triangular rhombus is as stable and immutable, with the formation of the axis Apollo-Zeus-Persephone, therefore the sphere surrounding the triangular rhombus is also stable and immutable and, in extension, the Cosmic Egg which symbolizes the Earth is also stable and immutable (image VII).

pantheon-rome-dome

The dome of the Pantheon at Rome, Italy

The Pantheon of Rome, rebuilt by Apollodorus of Damascus in 113-123 A.D., during the reign of emperor Hadrian, who was initiated in Eleusis in 125 A.D., constitutes a practical application of this Orphic logic. The dome of the Pantheon, with a diameter of 43,30 meters, outgrew after 1.350 years the dome of the Treasury of Atreus of Mycenae, with a diameter of 14,60 meters. On the dome of the Pantheon there is a circular opening “lamp”, as it is shown in the picture, through which a beam of sunlight enters, cyclically illuminating the interior walls of the temple, following the circular movement of the Earth; therefore, in accordance to the logic we described above about the movement of the earth’s axis. In this case the movement is daily, while in the case we described above the movement is completed every 26.000 years (Axial Precession). Anyway Hadrian was involved with Astronomy and Astrology, performing various experiments, like his estate in Tivoli (Villa Adriana) which was a representation of the “Elysian Fields”.

villa-adriana

Hadrian’s Villa (Villa Adriana in Italian) at Tivoli, Italy

Dodoni

Religious Center of Epirus

Dodoni (Greek: Δωδώνη) is a village and a municipality in the Ioannina regional unit, Epirus, Greece. Dodona (Doric Greek: Δωδώνα, Dōdṓna, Ionic and Attic Greek: Δωδώνη, Dōdṓnē) in Epirus is the archeological site of the Hellenic oracle. It is the most ancient oracle of Greece and it is associated to the oracle of Zeus Ammon of Libya. According to tradition, two doves departed from Thebes of Egypt and sat in the places, where the shrines of Zeus Ammon in Libya and Pelasgic Zeus in Dodona where founded. It is a relation that Alexander the Great knew too well, when, in 331 B.C., he visited the oracle of Libya, which architecturally resembles to the Necromanteion; in fact it seems that it also operated in a similar way. The most important sanctuary in Dodona, around which the site was religiously formed, is the temple of Zeus “Hiera Oikia” (Sacred House), which is oriented to the southeast of the site. If we draw a straight line in the same direction, we will find out that it will lead us to Thebes of Egypt, passing over the Cave of Zeus of Crete. So the above myth is structurally confirmed. Namely the architect of the temple took under consideration the religious dependence of the sacred site in Thebes.
King Pyrrhus was the one who promoted the worship of Zeus, who embellished the site of Dodona, rebuilding it and creating new buildings, like the Bouleuterion, the Prytaneion and the Theater. Thus Dodona became the seat of power of the Epirote League. Dodonaios Zeus expanded to the colonies of Sicily and Southern Italy during the campaign of Pyrrhus, who undefeated, but also with many casualties in his army, reached the outskirts of Rome, leading 25.500 infantrymen, 3.000 horsemen and 20 elephants.

mr-history-08-dodona

In the above image we can see a theater of 17.000 seats, which was built in the beginning of the 3rd century during the reign of Pyrrhus (316-272 B.C.) who came into power in 297 B.C., at the age of 20 years. Through said construction, anyone can ascertain the high educational level of the residents of the area, in the most mountainous and most scarcely populated region of Greece, but also the high level of the leader of the region, who desired the upgrade it, despite his young age.
Starting from Ambracia (Arta), the believer, given his good physical condition, would travel on foot the 75 kilometers of poor road in 15 hours to reach the Oracle. To watch then the theatrical play, he should be well versed in Mythology, but also have a deep knowledge and understanding of the events transpiring in the Greek region.
Zeus of Dodona originating, as we noted, axially from Crete as a god wielding the double Axe, is of chthonic character, namely he is the god of Nature’s Rebirth, who dies every year in the winter and is reborn in the springtime. The cult of nature’s rebirth and of “tree-worship”, formerly passed from the Minoans to the Myceneans, who also adopted, among other symbols, the double axe (labrys). It is in Dodona then, where pottery of Minoan origin was found, that Zeus of the first Greek tribes in 2000 B.C. comes to be united with the chthonic goddess of vegetation Dione, the worship of whom, preexisted since the Bronze age (2600-1900 B.C.). The clergy of the divine couple were the Selloi, who slept on the ground and did not wash their feet to be able to come into contact with “Gaia” and draw their soothsaying powers from her. Based on the above, we can assume that the celebration must have taken place during the month Mounichion (April – May), when the zodiac of Taurus, which symbolized Zeus after his transformation to grab Europe from Tyre to carry her to Crete, appeared in the sky. Furthermore from this union, besides Minos, Sarpedon, Radamanthus and Carnus, Dodon was also born.

Eleusis

Ritual Center of Greece

Eleusis was one of the most important religious centers of Greece. It was founded, according to the archaeological findings, in 1800 B.C. and is located in the Thriasian Plain near the gulf of Eleusis. The operation of the site lasted for 2.200 years, when, beginning with Theodosius I in 379 A.D. and later by the accord of Theodosius II the ancient cults were definitively banned. In 395 A.D. Alaric reduced the shrine to ruins. Despite this fact, it was preserved in the memory of people, because a multitude of important persons, like Plato, Aristotle, Aristophanes, Plutarch, Pythagoras, Aeschylus, but also Roman emperors like Augustus, Marcus Aurelius, Hadrian, Sulla and many others were initiated in this sacred site.
What is quite impressive is that this sacred site, 10.000 square meters smaller in surface than the Acropolis of Athens, became so well known. This of course is mainly because of Athens, under the supervision of which it operated since the 8th century B.C. The second reason was the spread of the cult of Eleusis, which constitutes a combination of the Orphic and Cabeiri Mysteries, of Delphi and Samothrace or Lemnos, namely of Apollo and Hephaestus. In the following image, we can observe the geographical connection between Delphi, Eleusis and Lemnos (Volcanoes – Kaveiria).

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The Eleusinean mysteries were held in remembrance of Demeter and her daughter Persephone; they were celebrated in Eleusis under Athenian jurisdiction. The Eleusinean mysteries later incorporated the Orphic beliefs, when Dionysus was added. They were the oldest ones and were held from 1800 B.C. until the 4th century A.D. when they were definitively banned.

The Mysteries of the Cabeiri of Lemnos and Samothrace were very important. The Cabeiri were a group of deities of the ancient Greek religion, while in the dictionary of Sudas, Cabeir means Daemon. According to Welcker and Maury, the word Cabeiri is produced by the Greek verb καίω (burn), and are the evil daemons born in the depths of the sea, who expel the flame of their father Hephaestus and destroy the ground. The religion of Hephaestus prevailed in Lemnos (the location of his workshop) and the Cabeiri were considered his children, whom he had with Kabeiro, the daughter of Proteus, who accompanied the chariot of Poseidon.

There is also the opinion, according to Pausanias, that the worship of the Cabeiri  is associated with fire worship, which was introduced by the Thraco-Pelasgians and received by the Achaeans in 2.200 B.C. Apollo is also mentioned as a Cabeiri deity.

Other important Mysteries in Greece were the Hyacinthia Mysteries, which were held in Amyclae, just outside Sparta, in remembrance of Hyacinthus and were celebrated until the end of the Roman era. These Mysteries are of Minoan origin, but they were arrogated by the Dorians when they conquered Laconia in 1104 B.C. It is there that Apollo replaced Hyacinthus and was presented in a common worship. Amyclae was the prehistoric capital of the Lacedaemonians. It is the location of the grave of Hyacintus. Geographically it was built in the southeast of Sparta.

mr-imagex

In the above image we observe that if we connect the Cabeiri Mysteries of Samothrace to the Hyacinthia of Sparta, an axis will be formed which will pass from Eleusis, so that these three archaeological sites are on the same straight line, with a length of 364 km and a width of 10km, namely they present a deviation of 3%. This axis can be named “Path of the Mysteries” because it passes through the basic Mystery shrines of the Greek area. The length of 364 km between Samothrace (Cabeiri) and Amyclae (Hyacinthia) is equal to the distance between the Necromanteion and Delos (we shall call this axis “Sacred Path“). Ιt has a width of 5 km, therefore it presents a deviation of only 1,5%.

These two axes are not random because, when projected on the astral dome, they create a system of delineation through fixed geographical points, where the “Sacred Path” is the diameter of the Celestial Sphere (EE’) and this way we can locate the Solstices and Equinoxes of the celestial Sphere. Namely it is a delineation similar to the one used by astronauts, traveling in space, because for the travelers of that time anything that was located beyond the Greek world was unknown space, in the same way we see outer space today. Without this system of delineation there would be no colonies.

Telesterion

mr-history-01-eleusis

The basic building of the shrine of Eleusis was the Telesterion which was square shaped, with a surface of about 2.500 s.m., a work by Ictinus. Because of its shape, pretty much like in the case of the Brauronion of the Acropolis, an axis is formed in the center of the temple which, due to its chthonic character, leads downwards, bearing in mind that the mystics appear to be living in Hades. So the Telesterion had no windows, so it was a dark space, like Hades was considered to be, inside which the initiations took place.
All of the candidate mystics, the number of whom according to Plutarch was large during the Roman period, namely around 3.000 people, headed to the center of the space, where the Palace was located. It was a rectangular building, 14,20×5,60 m., namely a canopy like the one of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, where the sacred relics of Demeter were placed, which symbolized her presence in the temple. Entry in this space was forbidden and only the Hierophant was allowed to enter, like it happens nowadays in the Holy Sepulchre.
The Palace had a predetermined position and orientation, on the straight line that connects the Necromanteion with Delos (image X). While the Telesterion changed, on occasion, shape and dimensions, the Palace always remained in its initial position. So at some point in time, a blinding light appeared to be coming from within it, by the same logic that the same thing is happening in the Holy Sepulchre. From darkness (Necromanteion-Death), the initiated was bathed in light (Delos-Life) and that is why the Palace had that particular orientation. We observe therefore, how connected the Orphic cult was with Christianity.