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

Mountain of the Gods

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

Central Greece

Historic Landmarks

  • Necromanteion
  • Dodoni
  • Dion

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

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Necromanteion

West Gate of the Mortal

West Gate of the Mortal

On the way to mount Olympus, we learned many different things. For starters, Alcibiades, was murdered in 404 B.C. and our opinion of him changed when we found out how much he had harmed his homeland, Athens. We found out about the destruction of the campaign in Sicily in 413 B.C., the death of Nicias and the annihilation of the 50.000 men, many of whom lived as prisoners in the quarries in Syracuse; about the surrender of the Athenians and the Thirty Tyrants imposed by the Spartans; about the march of the Ten Thousand in 401 B.C. and the death of Socrates, in 399 B.C.; about the hegemony of Thebes and the battles in Leuctra in 371 B.C. as well as Mantineia in 362 B.C., where Epaminondas was killed. Namely the whole collapse of the city-states, which was leading the country to a financial and sociopolitical crisis.
And yet, as things seemed dark in the Greek region, Philip II, the king of Macedonia appears since 356 B.C., defeating in Chaeronea in 338 B.C. the coalition of the Athenians and Thebians and thus putting things in order.
We were over the Athamanika (Tzoumerka) when Hermes reminded us about the murder of Philip II in 336 B.C. He then reassured us that everything will be fine, since – in his words – “Father Zeus has provided for the future of Greece. Alexander, the son of Philip II, will follow the advise of Isocrates, even though he died two years after that, in 338 B.C. The Greeks will unite under his scepter.” How strange a race are these Greeks, we thought, one moment they kill one another and the next they become brothers.

But there it is, the spot where the ArK of Deucalion landed (Ancient Greek flood myths), which I could see on my way to the Necromanteion, on top of the Athamanika.
Athamas was a son of Aeolus and grandson of Hellen, who was a son of Deucalion who was a son of Prometheus, namely of the cousin of Zeus. Athamas was the king of Boeotia and agreed to raise the young Dionysus, but Hera in her anger drove him mad and he killed his son Learchus, from his second marriage. It was he who in his first marriage with Nephele, fathered Phrixus and Helle. Helle drowned in Hellespont and Phrixus reached Colchis, creating the myth of the golden fleece.

After the murder of his son, Athamas was driven out of Boeotia and, following the oracle given to him in Delphi, he settled on this mountain giving it his name. It is the second most important mountain after Olympus. Euripides and Sophocles wrote their tragedies based on his myth.
The spot where the Ark of Deucalion landed, lies on the course from the Necromanteion to Olympus (point Δ); Jason, the relative of Phrixus passed from that exact spot, coming from Iolcos, to reach the Oracle of Dodoni. From Iolcos he embarked on the Argonautic Campaign, having first built the prow of Argo from oak wood he took from the Oracle of Dodona.
It is the next tallest mountain of Thessaly, after Olympus, and, as it seems, the waters of the deluge receded through the Necromanteion to Hades and from then to the Ocean of the Ancients which surrounds the Earth.

There, the ancient Metropolis (“Μήτρα” is Greek for Womb + “Πόλη” is Greek for City) which along with Trikke, Pelinnaioi, Gomfoi and Ithome, constituted the fortified square of the Thessalians. Metropolis was the center of the Thessalian Leauge with a powerful acropolis. This city took its name from Thessalus, who was a son of Haemon, who was the hero of the region which was initially called Haemonia. Haemon arrived here from Thesprotia.
At a distance of 116 kilometers from the spot where the Ark of Deucalion landed, to the right of my route, lies Iolcos, the inhabitants of which were Pelasgians just like the first inhabitants of Epirus, which was called Pelasgia, that is why Homer names the Dodonian Zeus Pelasgic. His sanctuary is located on the left of our route, at a distance of 20 kilometers.

Dodoni

Religious Center of Epirus

Religious Center of Epirus

We had traveled a fair distance from the spot of the Ark and we were still thinking about the creation of the human race by Deucalion and Pyrrha, who threw stones over their shoulders to create the humans. We were passing over the river Lethaeus and Lethaea came to my mind, the wife of Olenus, who were turned to stone because Lethaea was bragging that she was fairer than the goddesses. However I felt that this must have been the spot where Deucalion and Pyrrha were throwing the stones, because it is strange for the river to be called that, just a few kilometers from the spot where the Ark landed. Moreover just next to us is the location of the Meteora, the standing rocks up to 400 meters in height, that span in an area with a surface of 30 square kilometers.
This was the land of the Perrhaebians, a prehistoric people of Thessaly, which took part in the Trojan War. One of them Guneus, the son of Ocytus, was the leader of the Aenianes and the Rerrhaebians army, but also a suitor of Helen of Troy, that is the reason he joined the campaign. The Aenianes were also a prehistoric people residing in Dodona. They were part of the conference of the Greeks, namely the Delphic Amphictyony, founded by Amphictyon, the son of Pyrrha and deucalion, who lived in Phtiotis.

We were thinking about all of this while getting very close to Mount Olympus and suddenly we saw before us a huge mountain over the clouds covered in snow. It was the residence of Zeus and from there the god decided for the fate of Gods and men. We had already passed from the river Titaresius, where the Lapith Mopsus was born.
Mopsus was the son of Ampyx and Chloris, and joined the Argonautic campaign as a seer alongside Idmon, where they both died. Idmon was killed in Mariandyni, on the way to Colchis, by a boar and Mopsus died in Libya bitten by a venomous snake. The Lapiths were a prehistoric people of Thessaly and were related to the Centaurs, who initially lived in Perrhaebia. The Centaurs were monstrous hybrids, human from the waist up with the lower half of a horse, most of whom were driven away by the Lapiths, that is why we did not meet any Centaurs.
The further we distanced ourselves from the son of Macedon, Pindus, after whom the whole mountain range from Grammos to the Corinthian gulf was named; maybe it was the death of that lad which darkened this side of our homeland. Because to the west is where the wild and mysterious side of Greece could be found.

Olympus is the most beautiful mountain and we love exploring it. It is a volume rising steeply from the surrounding areas, with 1.600 species of plants many trees, but also animals and birds, that is why the Muses, born from Zeus, gather here. It has plenty of waters, from the snow on its peaks, which when the sunlight falls make the area shine. That is why it was called Olympus which means “Full of Light” (Ολόφωτος). Down bellow on its base, in the area of Pieria, there is the Sanctuary of Zeus, founded by the first king of Thessaly, after he was saved from the deluge. Up there, on the altar of Zeus, every new year the kings of Macedonia offered sacrifices, in their month of Hyperberetaiaos (September-October) according to their own customs; when the sign of Libra appeared in the sky, which symbolized the justice of Zeus towards gods and men.

Dion

Religious Center of Macedonia

Religious Center of Macedonia

Roaming Olympus through the mountains and plains, we understood that the “present” was every moment we could feel the beats of our heart, because there the gods are eternal and time loses its meaning. Only down bellow did Alexander struggled with it, advancing rapidly to Asia Minor of the state of Darius. His victory in Issus in 333 B.C. made the Olympian Zeus very happy for his son, because Alexander won without his help. On the other hand the merciful god was very sad about the degradation of Darius. Fate played an ugly game with him.
We was ordered to secretly leave for Delos, because the celebration of Apollo was to be held there and the jealous Hera would not let Zeus go. Leto, the darling of Zeus, found sanctuary on the barren island of Delos, which flowed endlessly on the sea. As a reward, the god stabilized it on four pillars forever and changed its name to Delos (bright, overt) from Ortygia, because it was the place that the god of light Apollo (Sun) was to be born.
We started traveling again in the company of Hermes who had to transport other souls to Hades, that is why he would pass again from Delphi, to ask Dionysus, who was replacing Apollo, if he had any orders from the god of light, before he would depart again for the hyperborean people.
Dionysus was a very peculiar god, because he had a difficult childhood, having Zeus for a father. The jealous Hera was trying to kill him. His mother was Semele, the daughter of Cadmus and Harmony, who was thundered by Zeus when she asked him to show himself to her with all of his might.
He was the god who discovered the vine, but Hera drove him mad and he roamed in many places in this state, like Egypt, Syria and Thrace. From there he left and reached as far as India, conquering many peoples. I did not forget that the god and my traveling companion had received soothsaying lessons from Apollo, that is why I believed him.
Through these and other hardships Dionysus decided to remain close to the humans, that is why he was a beloved god and was celebrated everywhere. So the god created the theater and, where comedies, tragedies but also the satyrical drama were performed.