One of the Architectural problems of the Ancient word that concerned architect and author George Baltoyannis as a student of Architecture in Rome, was the Arch, specifically the Architectural solution to supporting large openings in constructions. According to his professors, the Arch was a Roman invention, unknown in the Ancient Greek World, but having visited many Greek archeological sites, something did not feel right. We had all witnessed the use of the Arc in Greek temples and constructions, long before the Roman Civilization. Could it be that George’s old university professors were wrong? Could the Arc be a Greek invention after all?
This simple question evolved into eleven-year research that kept bringing up new questions that needed answers. Finally, the books and theories of architect and author George Baltoyannis have been embraced by the scientific community, both by the University of Ioannina in Greece and the Università degli Studi dell’Aquila in Italy, where he was invited to give lectures to the students.
George Baltoyannis (Γεώργιος Μπαλτογιάννης) was born in Athens in 1941. He studied Architecture in Rome, Italy (Sapienza Università) and took part in many Art Exhibitions (Margutta – San Luca – Artecom – Palazzo Delle Esposizioni etc.).
He returned to Athens in 1970 and dealt with Architecture as a freelancer and at the same time as an employee in succession at the Greek Ministry of Defense (Pentagon), National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and the Autonomous Building Officers Organization (AOOA).
With more than 30 years of Historical research on the relation between Ancient Architecture and Ancient Religion, George Baltoyannis is the whiter of the Best Seller books:
Dionysus Revelation (ed. Aldebaran – Athens 1997)
One of the Architectural Problems of the Ancient World, which puzzled me as a student of Architecture in Rome, was the Arch. That is the Architectural Solution, which for my professors was a Roman invention, unknown to the Ancient Greek World.
The same opinion prevails today, after 35 years. I noticed this on my last trip to Italy, where the Taormina tour guide repeated, that the Arch was a Roman invention. So I decided to deal with the matter and find out the truth, since, from the first moment, I felt that something special happened in the Greek Ancient World, whose achievements we see today with our own logic, without following the mentality of the ancient times.
Passing through the process of research with the eyes of the Ancients, I encountered unknown places and secret cults, who played a leading role in the shaping of Architecture and were a cosmic model, with Axes and Shapes, through which the ancients satisfied their religious Needs. At the same time, they attempted to convert the Theory into Reality, with constructions and Symbols, placing the Sacraments in specific points, with axial relations between them.
Here I met a world where Art was a component of a Global Logic, which should keep up as a Unity. Thus, was suggested that, behind the ancient wars and the struggles, there was a Constitutional Authority, that had the wisdom to impose the advice, having Religion as its tool.
Therefore, wanting to solve the problem of the Ancient Logic only with the findings, unilaterally without putting one’s imagination to work and without entering in their shoes, it is like working on a modern computer only to make subtractions. This is the main reason for the successes that many amateurs had against the professionals, such as the Schliemann case.
Acropolis through the blue eyes of the goddess Athena
Acropolis through the blue eyes of the goddess Athena (ed. Aldebaran – Athens 1998)
Before we move towards the Sacred Rock of Acropolis, we must be mentally transported with our imagination in the 5th century B.C. Because this place, as all in the Ancient World, with the broader Geographical meaning of the term, were in a different Dimension than ours.
Inside the words and actions of the Ancient World were embedded the Symbols and the Mythology. People of the time took these under serious consideration since they were all about their religion. Moving an object now, for example, has only a practical meaning, instead of the Ancients was a combination of practical + symbolical action. So, an imminent war between two regiments could be postponed if the Gods did not approve through sacrifices. Sacrifices were the Contact and Dialogue between man and God.
With this logic, we will ascent the Sacred Rock of Acropolis and we will investigate the antiquities of the 5th century B.C. with the spirit of the Ancient.
This way we will the space back to life, even for a little while. But when we depart from this Sacred place, we will have understood that the Imagination of the modern cinematic movies derives directly from the Mythology of the Ancient World.
We will also discover that, other than the imagination, a Construction can be placed in Time and be connected with Religious and Actual facts, that give to that construction a fixed Location with a given Orientation.
W will also understand how does this Construction combine with the Structural Logic of surrounding buildings, serving specific needs, so that all of the Sacred places work as an interrelated Unity.
Sacred Architecture (ed. Esoptron – Athens 2002)
As a Christian, researching a dead religion like the Olympian Pantheon, it feels like something foreign which doesn’t 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 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 to come to life in front of your eyes, and the rocks, the mountains or rivers acquire speech and grace, making your fantasy 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, which slowly approaches you and comes 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 strictly from above, and you waver.
You know that someday you will die and you don’t want to depart wandering 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 that act through 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 know them in your time. 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.
Holy Sacramental Journey to Greece
Holy Sacramental Journey to Greece (ed. Esoptron – Athens 2005)
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 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 stratigraphy, 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.
Sacred Astronomy (ed. Esoptron – Athens 2008)
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, everyone 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. 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?
The books and theories of George Baltoyannis have been embraced by the Università degli Studi dell’Aquila in Italy, where he was invited several times to give lectures to the students.
Theories of the book Sacred Architecture have been integrated into the curriculum of lesson “Elements of Geometry” of the University of Ioannina in Greece.
Many of his articles have been published in the magazine ek magazine (Ελληνικές Κατασκευές), reddot official media partners.