KTM 790 ADV-R vs BMW F850GS

We have been switching between KTM and BMW for the last 15 years and have owned most of their motorcycle milestones. Even though most of these motorcycles are great for all-round purpose, one always stood out for pure adventure riding, so the bet was to find a genuine replacement for the KTM 990 Adventure R, the best twin-cylinder adventure motorcycle ever created.

Join our Central Greece Adventure for an epic trip, testing in real-life adventure conditions the brand new KTM Adventure 790 R head to head against it’s best rival today, the BMW F850GS Rally and KTMs most hardcore incarnation yet, the KTM 950 Super Enduro R.

BMW F850GS Rally


Last year we switched back to BMW and it’s brand new F850GS Rally, the best-suited model for our needs. Its 21″ front wheel, relatively lightweight and use of chain instead of shaft drive made it ideal for off-road adventure. We wanted something easy to ride, comfortable enough and able to carry our luggage. Also, since we ain’t getting any younger, cruise control, heated grips and electronic assistance were welcome. We also installed the optional BMW rally pegs since the OEM are not suited for riding in a standing position and AltRider 1” bar risers to help handle the many kilometers in standing position.

The twin BMW inline engine of the F850GS operates flawlessly and performs exactly how an adventure motorcycle engine should. It delivers enough torque to wheelie when it is required and produces minimal vibration, contrary to BMWs boxer engines. Brakes are fairly good with strong initial bite and can handle very well the excess heat generated in adventure riding conditions. The rear brake has an excellent feeling and in the “Enduro Pro” mode helps ride the motorcycle with controlled slides while keeping the ABS on for the front system.

The F850GS is a fantastic motorcycle to ride on the tarmac and feels like a proper street bike making you feel very safe. It is stable in all speeds, has moderate wind protection but zero helmet buffeting and is one of the most comfortable bikes we have ever ridden, with the optional comfort seat. It also features a nice quick shifter system, with a not so nice feeling of the gear lever, and a full off-road electrics package called “Enduro Pro” that helps you ride fast and safe.

When riding the middleweight beemer off-road in a seated position, or with slow sub 45km/h speeds, it performs flawlessly. Once you get excited and start asking for more the GS starts showing its various construction limitations with the lack of a proper suspension being the most notable. The front suspension keeps bottoming out as soon as you hit something hard, making the need for engine protection a true necessity since it keeps hitting every extruding rock. We addressed that with the built-as-a-tank construction of an AltRider skid plate.

A second side effect of the same problem is that even though it feels comfortable at low speeds, as soon as speed rises above 50-60 km/h every generated force is poorly damped and directed to the entire front system and your wrists. Another suspension problem emerger when the terrain became hard with planted rocks and the ESA equipped GS makes it impossible to find traction because of its very slow, non-adjustable, rebound setting.

In our opinion, if BMW had raised the bar on the F850GS suspension system we would be talking about a completely different motorcycle, very suited for all purposes and possible best adventure middleweight contender. It kind of reminds us of the HP2 Enduro that had the geometry characteristics to be a Super Enduro rival but is stock form was seriously lacking in suspension.

KTM 790 Adventure R


After owning almost everything in the legendary LC8 range, from the touring-oriented 950/990 Adventure to the radical 950 Super Enduro we were eager to find out if the 790 would win where the 1090/1290 failed: to become a true successor of the 990, the benchmark in twin-cylinder adventure motorcycles. For 2019-2020 we have ordered a couple of KTM 790 Adventure R since we were pretty confident that the ingredients for success were there. The brand new 790R is behaving completely different from what it looks and it is the first time an adventure bike ever looked that weird!

Our 790R is fitted with almost every available from the KTM Power Parts and we added the AltRider 1″ bar raisers and swapped the pegs for a set of 3″ wide PivotPegs for added rider comfort. We also turned the upper handlebar clamps 180 degrees to move our shoulders in a more relaxed angle for standing up position. An issue we had with the KTM right out the box is with the fuel level indicator not working properly, hopefully, fixable with some future software update.

Also if you are using the S model taller screen as we did, the bike gets higher overall wind protection, but helmet buffeting is very annoying, so we ended using the stock smaller R screen. Nevertheless, the F850GS has a cleaner helmet airflow.

The ergonomic characteristics of the 790R are great since you fell “on” the motorcycle and not trapped “in” the motorcycle as per all GS designs. Only weird thing is that the position of the footpegs is a bit back from its ideal position, so you keep adjusting your foot every time you place it on the pegs. A possible reason for this is that your toes keep touching the lower part of the tank, especially if you are an 11+ US size boot.

Another issue with the 790 design is that the rear side fenders that hold the tools are some made from some sort of thermoplastic and when riding with the added weight of soft saddlebags rested on them, they become loose. As a matter of fact, in our 3 days tour, one side came apart from the bike while riding.

Riding the 790R KTM on road, the front high fender produces some tremble on the bars and the motorcycle wobbles after 150km/h with the std Metzeler Karoo 3. From the first few kilometers, the KTM feels super stiff and stopped to check the std suspension setting that the bike was delivered with. Our goal is to find the perfect long-distance adventure motorcycle and not some rally replica. The std setting was adjusted to comfort setting and immediately the 790R felt more friendly both on and off the road.

The geometry of the 790R is super crisp and you could say that it is a 950 Super Enduro with some specs from 950-990 Adventure. Typically KTM, power and throttle response was there to help you pass anything on your way. You simply open the gas and orange magic makes all obstacles disappear! Even though this is the first parallel-twin adventure motorcycle for KTM, and even though it lacks its ancestor’s engine displacement, it will be hard for any V-Twin like the 1090R and 1190R to escape it when ridden hard on gravel roads. Of course, when talking brute power, the Super Enduro will easily outrun it on a drag race.

The suspension is typical KTM. Perfect and precise transforming any gravel road to smooth tarmac. It’s better than the old std 950/990, but not as precise as the 990R was. Travel isn’t much, for KTM standards, but it’s enough. KTM electronics work and in the 790R work very well. As per engine management, there are many settings to choose from, but when chaced by two Super Enduros, maybe you should stick to “Rally Mode”. Even though electronically aided riding is the only way forward, many KTM purists insist that it takes all the fun away.

Talking to a Belgian friend about the 790R Rally mode and the 9 levels of engine management, he replied that his beloved Super Enduro has only two modes: full gas or no gas! He did order whatsoever one of the first European limited production 790R Rally models, so we will be making a future test of the updated suspension kit. Regarding electronics, even Chris Birch told us when we met him at the KTM Adventure Rally Bosnia that he keeps his bike electronics “on”. The minimum setting, but “on”. And this says a lot about the future of adventure motorcycles.

Conclusions


Riding both bikes on the tarmac has a similar feeling since both bikes feel light and agile. Both feel too small for your average north European rider (I am 1.88m tall) and for tarmac-only riding we would rather choose their bigger equivalents.
Comfort-wise there is no doubt that the F850GS wins any day and this is simply because it is excessively soft. You will get diving under heavy braking on both motorcycles, but except for the R1200/1250GS, there no other way to get soft suspension settings and avoid diving under braking or heavy acceleration. KTMs electronically assisted try on this with the anti-dive system on the 1290T simply never worked well.

On the other hand, when road conditions deteriorate or when you start asking for more than mere transportation, then the orange beast leaps away howling at the mountains. Then you get reminded that the “ready to race” motto is more than a catchword.

The last thing to consider is history if anyone is interested in that in an age where we keep swapping motorcycles faster than helmets. If the KTM 790, rumored to become an 890 next year, make such a long-lasting impact as the 950/990 did remains to be seen. The miderange BMW, on the other hand, will not last in time, since it is always growing under the heavy shadow of a bigger brother. BMW is aware of this and maybe this is the reason for their sudden change of motorcycle choice for the GS Trophy 2020. Maybe this is an effort to make the midrange parallel-twin a true protagonist in BMWs future.

We will be sticking with both brands for the near future, using them more according to their design. Time to go back for another Mythical Routes adventure.

Featured Gear


All BMW and KTM motorcycles featured in this article are the property of Mythical Routes, so there is no sponsoring involved in our review.
All Klim, Enduristan, and AltRider equipment featured in this article is provided by Most Wanted Warehouse, sales agents of all the above brands in Greece.

Sacred Astronomy

BOOK INFORMATION

Original title: Ιερή Αστρονομία

Author: George Baltoyannis

English language

Translation: Chris Loutroutzis

Editing: Lorraine Adams

Graphic design: Angelo Baltoyannis

eBook pagination: Angelo Baltoyannis

Ancient Greek Architecture

Design layout: Mythical Routes

Editor in chief: Angelo Baltoyannis

Copyright © 2019 Mythical Routes

Mobile friendly

€19.99

Download Sample (coming soon)

In a first world publication, a fascinating and in-depth research that reveals the true significance of Astronomy for Hellenism in Antiquity and how it was used practically for political, diplomatic and military purposes, combined with Greek mythology. In this book we examine how the spread of Hellenism over the geographical area was the result of the conquest of the Astral Tholos, which gave the Greek to acquire Geostrategic logic.

Prologue


EVERY NIGHT, THE CELESTIAL DOME,dominates over our Earth, and he who possesses it automatically becomes the Master of the Earth. In this book we will examine how the spread of Hellenism on the geographical space, was the result of the conquest of the Astral dome, a fact which positioned the Greeks in the advantageous position of acquiring a geo-strategical logic.
One can easily perceive, that all of this, has happened over a long period of time and we are nowadays unprepared to understand it’s importance, as the knowledge of the operation of the Celestial dome is a subject bypassed in modern education, and we jump straight into Space, ignoring that our current space successes are still based on the functions of the ancient Celestial dome.
It is a work spanning many centuries, which was carried out by many Greek Astronomers, of which we know only of 188. However, it is possible for us to acquire a completed education, by starting with common logic. During the course of our study however, we will be proceeding spherically around Knowledge, due to the fact that the World of the Ancients is multidimensional, and each of their conquests was also extended and applied into their social life.
This way we will discover our spiritual proximity to our ancient ancestors, even if we are separated by thousands of years. Even our own worship is the projection of their own decisions, as the ancient world was a world of research on all fields of human activity. If we accept as a fact that the World leader of today is situated in Washington, we will seek for the answers to the questions, who was the previous World leader, where was he, and what was his association to the modern world.
The whole process of research creates complex emotions, as we transition from one historical site to the other and from one dimension to another. And this is because the Celestial dome essentially does not exist; it is a fictional impression of the visual system, which the Ancient ancestor turned into a real and functional one, for future generations.
When, during a starlit night, we find ourselves away from the city lights and turn our gaze to the sky, we will see that it is filled with stars. The spectacle is amazing, however, every one deals with it in a different manner, depending on the emotion of the moment and his knowledge regarding the Earth. The initiated, when looking at the sum of constellations, he will start to point to Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, Draco, Cepheus and Cassiopeia and everyone will listen to him with bewilderment(im. ). Because we all know the great movie stars like Greta Garbo, James Dean, Humphrey Bogart and many others. But who might the stars on the sky be and who placed them there?
On a different day with a clear sky, if we are initiated in the art of reading this part of the celestial dome, we will see these sums of starts again, but in a different position on the Celestial dome. Then, we will begin to realize that movement plays an important role and that will be confirmed, the more we learn about the history of these constellations. If our interest on the Celestial dome continues, then we will notice more gatherings of stars, like Perseus, Andromeda and Pegasus, which periodically appear on the sky. Next, going back to the myth of Perseus, we will begin to realize that this celestial movement is associated to the myth and that all of this is a celestial theatrical direction. The movement of these stellar sums functions in a cinematographic way, where the scene changes depending on time. Naturally, our surprise will become even greater when these stellar gatherings assume a form(im.2) because the western civilization fought hard for the prevalence of form during the Byzantine period of iconoclasm. So, we will be searching for the director, like Stanley Kubrick, John Ford or even Francis Ford Coppola. This way, we will reach the point of comparison, seeking for the cast and crew of this celestial conception, to award them with the Oscar for the best script, direction and acting.
The major movie studios may have spent vast amounts for the promotion of the stars of the 7th art, but they never reached or exceeded the duration of the projection of Heracles, whom we see roaming among the stars. All of this represents a vast, time spanning work, carried out by many intellectuals of a different era, which we should examine in depth. Thus we will discover the mechanism, based on which this entire system functioned, to rate this body of work, the results of which are evident on the Celestial dome surrounding us. So then, to approach the projected figures of the “celestial cinematograph”, we will research the Heroes of mythology, who seem to have been actual individuals with personal lives and deeds, who, after their death, transitioned for some reason into the sphere of the imagination.

The researcher,

George Baltoyannis

 


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Celestial Dome of the Greeks (In General)

  1. Astronomy and Astrology
  2. Initiation to the astral dome
  3. Astral and geographical system
  4. Loose federation
  5. Celestial cinematograph
  6. Artistic and political choice

Chapter 2 – Heracles (In General)

  1. Historical framework
  2. Heracles and the stars
  3. The mythological course of Heracles
  4. Data analysis
  5. Orphic Template
  6. Coordinates
  7. Projection of the image
  8. Conclusions and the worship of Heracles
    I. Spherical logic
    II. Revival of Orphism
    III. Geostrategy
    IV. Worship of Heracles

Chapter 3 – Mnemonic summary of chapters 1 and 2

  1. Celestial dome
  2. Ecliptic
  3. Heracles

Chapter 4 – The secrets of special “effects”

  1. Anthropocentrism
  2. Astral design
  3. Astral aesthetics
  4. Celestial Dragon
  5. Astral chronology
  6. Chthonic Apollo

Chapter 5 – Integrated thought

  1. Colonial policy
  2. Cartography-Portolans
  3. Architect God
  4. Columbus
  5. Transcendence of Alexander the Great

 


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Learn about Geometry, Orientation and Layout of the Temples and Sacraments of Ancient Hellenism. Learn about the role of the Priests, the Gates of the Dead and the Gods, the axis of the Mysteries and the Sacred Way. An impressive amount of information and groundbreaking links that shed light on modern multi-religious reality.

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Sacred Journey to Mystical Greece

BOOK INFORMATION

Original title: Ιερό Ταξίδι στην Μυστηριακή Ελλάδα

Author: George Baltoyannis

English language

Translation: Chris Loutroutzis

Editing: Lorraine Adams

Graphic design: Angelo Baltoyannis

eBook pagination: Angelo Baltoyannis

Ancient Greek Architecture

Design layout: Mythical Routes

Editor in chief: Angelo Baltoyannis

Copyright © 2019 Mythical Routes

Mobile friendly

€19.99

Download Sample (coming soon)

The well-known researcher and architect George Baltoyiannis, author of the best seller Sacred Architecture, becomes our precious guide to a unique trip to the most important ancient sanctuaries of Greece. These mystical key places, which with their energy and radiant wisdom supported the top culture that inspired and continues to inspire Humanity, come to life in front of our eyes, with all their glory and majesty. At the same time, through the “Sacred Journey”, the great work of the ancient Greek Priesthood is revealed in all its splendor and its decisive role in the development of a society that is still an unsurpassed pattern.

The book also interprets the logic of the Archaeological Sites, where the Architect constructs according to Vitruvius as a master master, serving the religion and political feasibility of the city-state, with knowledge of Geometry, History, Philosophy, Music, Medicine, Law and Astronomy.

Prologue


ENTERING THE “METRO” STATION OF ATHENS from Syntagma Square, in the large atrium of a stairway, on the right hand on the wall, there is a huge stratigraphy of the area. Suddenly then, you begin to realize that going forward to enter the train, you are on the ground of the 7th century B.C. Then, your eyes start to move up , until the stratigraphy brings you to your own time. Thus you understand that there is a thick layer of civilization beneath the streets of Athens, and there are very few cities in this world where the people have this luxury.
So you start to think, recreating history…Down here is where Solon the Athenian used to walk, who relieved anyone who was in debt from the Damoclean Sword of slavery with the “Seisactheia”. Slightly above Democritus of Abdera used to walk, who taught the atomic theory, and Zeno of Elea, the teacher of Pericles. But also Protagoras of Abdera, who was condemned by the Athenians for atheism, together with Socrates, Alcibiades and Plato with his student, Aristotle. A little higher above taught Chrysippus of Cilicia, on the same streets that the cynic Diogenes of Sinope used to walk. Somewhere there Epicurus of Samos could be found, who taught the release from the fear of death through “ataraxia”.
There is a lot to remember while you observe, in the various height of the statigraphy, pottery of various eras and graves of people, who once existed and lived just like you, but more dynamic. Now they are there, remaining still in the ground, but their spirit roams in the great hall, the shape of which gives the impression of a large box, in which many people race to catch the “metro” train.
This “Metro” station is a miniature of Greece, which resembles Pandora’s box, which once opened, releases many good and bad things, in a time sequence of consecutive civilizations, that draw from each other and their logic should be sought. So you exit the “Metro” station looking for the traces of these civilizations in the archaeological sites, each of which is a pebble of a mosaic that you should compose.
So then, you begin to observe that this mosaic is huge. It descends into the chthonic space and ascends to the celestial, and it keeps expanding into the cardinal points. Its composition is a time consuming process that requires patience, perseverance, method and practice, the experience of an old man and the flexibility of the young, but above all a spherical knowledge and great imagination, in order to get objective results. There will be errors and misfires, but these will start to become limited the less dogmatic you become. It is by this logic that we should enter each archaeological site, trying to comprehend the logic of the Ancients.

The researcher,

George Baltoyannis

 


Table of Contents

PART 1

  1. In General
    A. Logic of Space
    B. Political religious logic
    C. Territorial Dependency
  2. Acropolis
    A. Celestial Space
    POSITION 1
    POSITION 2 Parthenon B (Salamis – Pallini)
    POSITION 3 Parthenon C (Libya – Troy)
    Parthenon C1
    POSITION 4 Parthenon A (Eleusis – Braubrona)
    POSITION 5
    POSITION 6 Erectheion E (Libya – Parnitha)
    Parthenon C2
    B. Architectural Logic
    C. Chthonic Space
    D. Tribal Conflict
    POSITION 7 Erectheion D (Sicily – Mesopotamia)
    POSITION 8
    POSITION 9
  3. Mnemonic Summary
  4. Precession of the Panathenaic Games
  5. Beyond the Architectural composition
    A. Color Analysis
    B. Design Analysis
    C. Visual Image
    D. Religious Adaptation
    E. From Myth to History
    F. Cosmic Center
    G. Astral Geography
    H. Theater – Amphitheater
  6. Orphic Template

PART 2

  1. To the Land of the Dead
    a. Eleusis (ritual center of the Greeks)
    b. Sanctuary of the Cabeiri (religious center of the Thracian people)
    c. Delphi (Administrative religious center of the Greeks)
    d. Necromanteion (Death) (Western gate of mortals)
  2. To the mountain of the celestial gods
    a. Dodoni (Religious center of the people of Epirus)
    b. Dion (Religious center of the Macedonians)
  3. To the city of light
    a. Mythological park
    b. Braubrona (Athens children boarding house for girls)
    c. Delos (Life) (eastern Gate of gods)
  4. The 113th Olympic Games – 3628 B.C.
    a. Epidauros (hospital center of the Greeks)
    b. Olympia (sports center of the Greeks)
  5. To the homeland of Zeus
    a. Theocratic society
  6. Traveling to the stars

Purchase your eBook today!

Learn about Geometry, Orientation and Layout of the Temples and Sacraments of Ancient Hellenism. Learn about the role of the Priests, the Gates of the Dead and the Gods, the axis of the Mysteries and the Sacred Way. An impressive amount of information and groundbreaking links that shed light on modern multi-religious reality.

To learn all this and much more order your eBook with the safety of Paypal. Do not forget to provide us with your e-mail, in order to receive the eBook!

 

Sacred Architecture

BOOK INFORMATION

Original title: Ιερή Αρχιτεκτονική

Author: George Baltoyannis

English language

Translation: Chris Loutroutzis

Editing: Lorraine Adams

Graphic design: Angelo Baltoyannis

eBook pagination: Angelo Baltoyannis

Ancient Greek Architecture

Design layout: Mythical Routes

Editor in chief: Angelo Baltoyannis

Copyright © 2019 Mythical Routes

Mobile friendly

€19.99

Download Sample (coming soon)

Invasive and subversive research based on Architecture, Geometry, Orientation and the Layout of the Temples and Sacraments of Ancient Hellenism. The role of the Priests, the Gates of the Dead and the Gods, the axis of the Mysteries and Sacred Way, Alexander the Great and the Great Constantine.

 

Sacred Architecture explains the relationship between Religion and Construction through religious, historical and mythological events.

An impressive amount of information and groundbreaking links that shed light on contemporary political and religious reality. Here Philosophy, Science, Art and the Letters of ancient Greeks played a key role.

 

Prologue

As a Christian, researching a dead religion, such as the Olympian pantheon (twelve gods), it feels like something foreign which does not affect you emotionally. However, when you are reading mythology, you start to wonder how thousands of years ago people could engage in deeper reasoning than you and thus you are led to places where you face riddles impossible to imagine. Reading mythology you realize that you stand in front of a great religion, which you quickly become familiar with and you start to become enchanted by the wealth of knowledge. Things that held no meaning for you come to life in front of your eyes, and the rocks, the mountains or rivers acquire speech and grace, making your imagination travel far away.

You then start to realize that your ancestors did not live in a wild environment, but in an enchanting world, a paradise; your differences with them are minor and superficial. Then, you follow them in time and slowly approach and come to your own religion which you believe in and love.

However, all of a sudden fear is born and you want to explore your own space out of curiosity. You know that all the angels are watching you sternly from above, and you waver.

You know that someday you will die and you do not want to depart wondering if there is or what is life after death. And so you start to explore your own religion; going over every subject, opening books on the table, searching endlessly, and returning to the start, worrying that you might have reasoned incorrectly.

You are afraid that you will be disappointed, but you have confidence, knowing that whatever happens in the end, you will face it with courage. And as the ball of yarn unwinds, faces from history appear before you. You join their pieces like a mosaic in your thoughts, trying to figure out why your ancestor did this particular action or some other. You now compose their image, while struggling to understand them in their era. It is they who once determined your future with a command, before you even existed on Earth.

These are your thoughts as a man. If, however, you are also an architect, when you are tasked with constructing the temple of God, among your many other thoughts you will also have to create with your construction, the relationship between God and the faithful.

Then you start to search for God through the believer and come into contact with the priest, who is the connective link between the faithful and God. You assume sometimes the priest’s position and sometimes the believer’s to express the word, emotions or historical tradition through shapes. In this way you discover the symbols which, as soon as they are seen by the believer, will be recognized as divine and the believer will make them his own.

You then proceed from the shape to volume and from volume to architecture, creating internal empty spaces, in order for the believer to enter the temple and be embraced by God. The believer now feels the safety and love of God.

In a similar way you proceed to archeology, with the difference that you “reincarnate”E* to an architect of another era and through historical reasoning you try to capture the spirit of your fellow architect.

If you find out along the way that the path you are following does not tie in with your quest, then you try to look for the cause; another world now unfolds before you, the one that pre-existed, and thus you come into contact with previous worship, which takes you away, to the roots of the human race.

The researcher,

George Baltoyannis


Table of Contents

Part 1 – The Pre-Christian Infrastructure

A. Introduction
B. Change in Thinking
Axial Religious System
C. Geographical Conditions
D. Monotheism – Polytheism
Greek Mythology – Old Testament
E. Alexander the Great – Alexandria – Ptolemies – Palestine
Alexandrian Literature – Science
F. Orpheans – Pythagoreans – Philosophical Schools
Logic of Delphi
G. Old Testament – Thoughts

Part 2 – The Reform of Augustus

A. Religious Model
B. The Christian Model
The Reform of Augustus
Roman Politics
Religious Situation in Palestine
C. Crypto-Christians – Universality
Political Activities of the Apostle Paul
D. Conclusions

Part 3 – The Religious Extensions of the Ancient World

A. Coincidences and Opinions
Greek Mythology – New Testament and Alexander the Great
Jesus of Nazareth – Galiliee (Nazareth)
Nero : History’s Victim
Christian Political Progress
Global Pre-Christian Logic
1. China
2. Mound (Tomb) – Pyramid
3. Logic of the Pyramids
4. Astrology
5. Human processes
6. Cosmic Egg
7. America
8. Greco-Roman Level of Relations
9. Overseas Contacts
10. Homer’s World
11. Religious Periods
Nazarenes – Depiction of God – Man
B. Christian Religious Base
C. Architect God
Basilica (Analysis)
Greek Architectural Styles
Christian Logic
Holy Sepulchre
Greek Construction Teams
Domed Basilica
Religious Infrastructure
Imperial Interventions
Transfer of the Holy Lands
Christian Architecture
Metaphysical Processes in Alexandria
The Space-Time Dimension of Alexander the Great – Trade
Imperial Politics and Christianity
Furies – Fanaticism – Contract – Testament
Buddhism – Islam
Geographical Axes
Orphic Model of Alexandria
Metaphysical Experiments
Religious Interest of the Emperors
D. Mnemonic Summary
E. Major Gods Worshipped before the Christian Fathers
Apollo (Paragon)
Mithra
Asclepius
Is Alexander the Great Alive?
Jesus – Alexander the Great
The Tent of Alexander the Great
Epitaph
F. Christian Fathers of the Church

Part 4 – The Natural Phenomena – Sacred Way

A. Enceladus – Hephaestus – Apollo
B. Creating the Sacred Way
C. Achaeans
D. Function and Purpose of the Priesthood
E. Logic of the Sacred Way
F. The Hard Clerical Core
G. Secret Societies – New World Order


Copyright notice

Copyright © 2019 MYTHICAL ROUTES | All Rights Reserved

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below. For permission requests, send us an email or write at the address below:

Mythical Routes
Nymfon Sqr. 1, Glyfada
16674, Greece
www.mythicalroutes.com

Disclaimer
All materials are protected under the United States and international copyright laws and treaties which provide substantial penalties for infringement. The use of any images or other materials, in whole or part, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, reproduction, storage, manipulation, digital or otherwise, is expressly prohibited without the written permission of Mythical Routes.

Governing Law
Any claim shall be governed by the laws of the State of Greece without regard to its conflict of law provisions.


Purchase your eBook today!

Learn about Geometry, Orientation, and Layout of the Temples and Sacraments of Ancient Hellenism. Learn about the role of the Priests, the Gates of the Dead and the Gods, the axis of the Mysteries and the Sacred Way. An impressive amount of information and groundbreaking links that shed light on modern multi-religious reality.

To learn all this and much more order your eBook with the safety of Paypal (PDF format) or download it directly from iTunes (ePUB format). When paying with PayPal do not forget to provide us with your e-mail address in order to receive your eBook.

Tour Packages

Our carefully planned Adventure Tours connect the most important archeological sites with each-other, giving emphasis on the adventure experience while riding through the breathtaking scenery of long mountain ridges, remote dragon lakes, and isolated mountain hi-planes.

Our carefully planned tour packages can be modulated to fit any touring need. You can ride with your own motorcycle accompanied by one of our experienced guides, or you can participate in one of our all-inclusive packages that provide everything but your airplane tickets.

We are partners with BMW Motorrad Vagianelis and KTM Mimikos Motorcore, so all of our motorcycles are carefully serviced with the highest standards and certifications available. For On-Road Tours we can provide almost any motorcycle from the GS range, and for  our Off-Road Tours we can provide selected options from the LC4 and LC8 range.

Motorcycle Tour Packages


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Allianz Insurance*
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 All Meals
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(ATH) Airport pickup
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Enduristan Discount
Price/Day** (incl. VAT) €360 €300 €240 €70
*Not valid for off-road tracks **Price is based on a 6 Riders Group with BMW F850GS Rental (panniers included & full casco insurance)

Live a Mythical Adventure with us!

All of our Adventure Tours come with a leading Tour Guide rider and the possibility of a support vehicle if required. The BMW GS range motorcycles we can provide are perfect for Greece’s terrain featuring a high loading capacity, ease of use and top of the line rider comfort. A complete list of the available GS motorcycles, provided services, motorcycle gear discounts and Enduro Training can be found in the links below:

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.

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)
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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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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

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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

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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.

mr-imagevii

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).

mr-image13-parta

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.

City of Light

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

Central Greece

Historic Landmarks

  • Dion
  • Delphi
  • Brauron
  • Delos

4/5 Culture Shock

Total Length 1050 km

7 Riding Days

Intermediate Skills Level

45% Offroad

Hotels and (1) Camping

National Forest of TBD

Middle May – Middle October

FAQ

Packing List

Lodging

Rent A Ride

Service

Brochure (coming soon)

Dion

Religious Center of Macedonia

Religious Center of Macedonia

Wandering over Pineios, the brother river of Acheloous, we beheld Larissa, a prehistoric town, the founder of which, according to some myth, was Larissus, the son of Pelasgus. Its first king was Aleuas, the ancestor of the Aleuadae. In the Persian Wars they followed Xerxes, but in the Peloponnesian Wars they sided with the Athenians.
Alexander had with him 1.500 Thessalian horsemen, whose reputation as battle worthy was well established and rivaled the Macedonian cavalry; their leader was Calas, son of Harpalus.
Pelasgus from Peloponnese conquered Thessaly, which was at the time called Haemonia, together with his brothers Achaeus and Phthius, driving away its savage inhabitants. Thus Achaia, Phthiotis and Pelasgiotis were formed. This entire region of Thessaly, was in prehistoric times a lake, around which the Centaurs lived.

After a short while, I would be flying over the land of the Achaeans, which was formerly called Phthia and was the land of Achilles. His father Peleus was king in the city of Phthia of Thessaly and was descended from the lineage of Zeus, while his mother was the goddess Thetis, daughter of Oceanus. Thetis, out of respect for Hera who had raised her, had denied the advances of Zeus. So the god was pressuring her to marry Peleus. Thetis, in her attempt to escape, consecutively transformed into fire, water, wind, a tree, a bird, a tiger, a lion, a snake and finally into a squid, but Peleus following the advise of the Centaur Chiron, managed to make her his wife.
Achilles, this young lad of the Achaeans, fell dead, struck by the arrow of Paris of Troy, with the help of the god Apollo who guided the arrow to his vulnerable spot, his heel. Alexander had offered sacrifices at the tomb of the hero and took with him the shield of Achilles, who was his ancestor from his mother’s side Olympiad, before he embarked on his great campaign.

We passed swiftly over mount Orthys and after a while we could see the town of Lamia, named after Lamos, the son of Heracles and Omphale. It was the land of the malians, in the Malian gulf, where Ceyx the son of Eosphorus a friend and relative of Heracles was king, who also helped the hero drive away the Dryopes, who resided in mount Oeta and mount Parnassus, pillaging the neighbouring areas.

On the left we could see the land of the Locres, where the battle of Thermopylae took place in 490 B.C., in a narrow passage between the mountain and the sea near Anthele, where the representatives of the 12 tribes of the Delphic Amphictyony convened in the spring (here).
The Dryopes, whose name derives from the word “Drys” (Δρύς=Oak in Greek), were, as it seems, the first inhabitants of the Greek Peninsula. Dryops, their hero, was the son of the river god Spercheus, brother of Achelous and Peneus, who directed his waters into the Malian gulf. Spercheus was also the father of the Nymphs of mount Orthys. The father of Achilles, dedicated his son’s hair to this river, so that his son would return safe from Troy. The mother of Dryops, was the daughter of Danaus, Polydora. The land of the Dryopes was taken over by the Dorians and the Heracleidae, and thus it was renamed to Doris, after their hero Dorus, the son of Hellen, brother of Aeolus and grandson of Deucalion and Pyrrha.
Shortly we would be arriving in Parnassus. We would stop at Delphi, as guests of Dionysus, and then head to Delos, following the instructions of the Olympian Zeus.

Mythological Park

From Mythology to History

From Mythology to History

Roaming around at Delphi we observed this strange world of the Greeks, where one tribe dedicated votive offerings (oblation) for its victory against the other, without any problem; an offering of the Arcadians for the victory and plunder of Lacedaemon with Epaminondas in 369 B.C.; an oblation of the Lacedaemonians for their victory at Aegospotamoi in 404 B.C. and the destruction of the Athenian fleet; a bronze horse of the inhabitants of Argos for their successful invasion of Lacedaemon in 414 B.C.; opposite the Athenian Treasury for the battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., the treasury of Syracuse for their victory over the Athenians in 413 B.C.
One can go mad roaming the votive offerings of Delphi, because through them, each tribe saw its victory, but also its failure. Joy and sorrow at the same time. So I wandered if there is another people in modern day, or if there will ever be one in the future, which will accept its failures next to its successes, raising statues in both cases. The point is that this way one becomes wise through experience, so no tribe destroyed the oblations of the other tribes.

Delphi

Administrative and Religious Center of Greece

Administrative and Religious Center of Greece

We would now continue our journey to Delos. We passed again from mount Helicon and entered Boeotia. The primeval and antediluvian land, where the Ectenes of Ogygia (Boeotia). Ogyges was a native king, the son of Poseidon and Alistra; the deluge which covered Boeotia happened during his reign. On the left, in a distance of a few kilometers from our route, I was amazed to see towns like Mideia (Livadeia), with the terrible oracle of Trophonios which was consulted even by Croesus, with the fountains of Oblivion and Remembrance, just like the Necromanteion. The oracle also cured psychological illnesses by using sudden psychological breakdowns. The Minyan Orchomenus with its eponymous hero, who had three daughters, Leucippe, Arsippe and Alcithoe, who were punished by Dionysus because they neglected to partake in his celebration. Leuctra (Battle of Leuctra) where the Thebeans defeated the undefeated Spartan army. Further to the back Chaeronea, where Philip II with his son Alexander defeated the allied Greek forces in 338 B.C.; the men of the Sacred Band of Thebes fell in this battle. Thebes of Cadmus, a town built since the bronze age, the scene of countless myths and tragedies of Aeschylus (“seven Against Thebes”), of Sophocles (“Oedipus the King”) and Euripides (“The Phoenician Women”), which out of hatred for the Athenians allied with the Persians and was defeated in the Battle of Plataea in 479 B.C.. Later it was destroyed by Alexander in 336 B.C., slaughtering 6.000 of its inhabitants.
Many memories are on this part of the route, some to be happy and some to be sad about. But there, on our right lies the city of Megara with the many colonies, Megara Hyblaea in 730 B.C. and Selinunte in Sicily in 628 B.C. Astacos in 722 B.C. Selymbria in 716 B.C. Chalcedon in 684 B.C. Byzantium in 660 B.C. and Heraclea of Bosphorus in 550 B.C.. The Megarians were forced to migrate because their territory was diminishing by the Athenians, who took Salamis and Eleusis from them, and the Corinthians who grabbed the area of Geraneia, cutting down their state by one third. A land in the narrows between Attica and Peloponnese, which became the theater of conflict between Sparta and Athens, between the Dorian and Ionian tribes, during the Peloponnesian Wars (431-404 B.C.)
But there, we entered Attica, near the town of Eleutherae, where from the worship of Dionysus comes to Athens. From the smell of the sacrifices we understood that we were nearing Eleusis.

Acropolis of Athens

Route in Spacetime

Route in Spacetime

Seeing the Parthenon I remembered that Alexander had sent 300 armors there after Granicus with the inscription “Alexander of Philip and the Greeks, minus the Lacedaemonians, from Asia inhabited by barbarians”. The issue however still troubles me, who was his father Philip or Zeus? Leaving the Acropolis we pass by the Theater of Dionysus, The Auditorium of Pericles, the Olympion (Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens) where the tomb of Deucalion was located, exiting from the gate of Aegeas, over the river Ilissos rich in water which had its springs in mount Hymettus. On its banks the shrine of the Muses was erected, the fountain Callirhoe, the shrine of Demeter where the minor Mysteries of Eleusis were held. There, the platanus of Socrates. At this place they worshiped Pan, Achelous, Heracles and the wind Boreas, who from this place abducted Orithyia, one of the daughters of Erechteus and took her to Thrace, where he resides.
Athens, what a city, which 9.000 years ago fought off the invading Atlanteans, as Plato would say, who was now in Hades since 347 B.C. A strange city with thousands of philosophers and many schools. All of them are there in the Agora; the Sophists, Cynics, Megarian philosophers, Pythagoreans and the Physiologists. It is very difficult to mention them all, with their many differences, seeking the Truth.
What are we” and “where do we go” was their unsolved problem, which only they thought of, while the “barbarians” led a life without much thought. Thus Zeus was laughing at their problems. He kept murmuring, “look at what man is capable of thinking” and kept saying again and again “this is not good, because I foresee that in some distant future, they might abolish me, like I did to my father Cronus, and he to his father Uranus“. Because he remembered the conspiracy of his wife Hera. I often heard him say “these Greeks are restless, even after the deluge they remain the same“.
What problems do the gods face, I was thinking. But there, we were riding over mount Hymettus, on the right of its peak of 1.025 meters, where there was the statue of Zeus Hymettus and the altar of Rain Zeus, together with his son Foreseeing Apollo, he who predicted the rain so much needed by the Basin of Attica. On the left, in a distance of 6 kilometers we could see the temple of Braubronia Artemis.

Brauron

Athena’s Children Boarding School for Girls

Athena’s Children Boarding School for Girls

In the morning we start our journey for Delos. As soon as we are in open sea, on our right we see the island of Keos (Kea), named after the mythological hero Keos, where the Carians, Pelasgians and Leleges had first settled. The Carians are an antediluvian people of Attica of pelasgian descent, Car was the son of Phoroneus who decided in favor of Hera in her dispute with Poseidon over the Peloponnese. The Pelasgians are an antediluvian people of Arcadia; their primogenitor was Pelasgus, the father of Lycaon who succeeded his father while his mother was the Oceanide Meliboea. The Leleges were an antediluvian people of Laconia, with Lelex being their first king succeeded by his son Myles.

Kea in historic times was inhabited by Ionians who are a prehistoric people of Attica and Northern Peloponnese. Ion was the son of Xuthus and the daughter of Erechteus Creusa and descended from the line of Deucalion. The brother of Xuthus was Dorus. So they are populations emerging after the deluge.

After a while we was passing by a barren island (Gyaros), which as Hermes used to tell us, someday after many years, would be turned into a prison for political prisoners. We soon remembered that this did not exist in Athens, because they exiled politicians by “ostracism”, or forces them to die like Socrates. After Gyaros, on the left, we noticed the island of Andros or Andreus, son of Eurymachus, one of the suitors of Penelope who was killed by Odysseus, when he returned to the island disguised as a beggar. Others say that Andreus was the son of Anius, who himself was also a son of Apollo and ruled over Delos during the time of the Trojan War. The mother of Anius was Rhoeo (Pomegranate), who descended from Dionysus, through her father Staphylus. The Carians, whom we mentioned earlier were the first inhabitants of the island, followed by the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Creatans, Pelasgians and the Ionians. In 480 B.C. it sided with the Persians, while in the Peloponnesian War it allied with Sparta.

Before we reached Delos, we found ourselves between two islands, Syros on the right, which was initially inhabited by the Phoenicians and later the Ionians and was part of the first Athenian League. While on the left was Ophiusa (Tinos), with the many snakes and the famous temple of Poseidon and his wife Amphitrete, who is the queen of the sea, a daughter of Doris, one of the daughters of Oceanus and Nereus, who had the ability of transformation. The Nereids (sea waves) come from him (Nereus). Ophiusa was also an ally of Athens.
As we were reaching Delos, we noticed on the left behind the island of Apollo, the island Mykonos, named after the son of Anius. Its last inhabitants were the Ionians, led there by Hippocles, the son of Neleus and father of Phorbius.

Delos

East Gate of the Gods (Life)