Showing posts with label Ancient Greece. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ancient Greece. Show all posts

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Greek Balance Will Make The Best Society

Alcibiades and Sokrates (Indulgence and Temperance = Moderation)

The altar of politics is not absent from my personal life, even though it may sound ridiculous for me to then say that I actually don't like politics, and I never bring it into my temple because it has no place there. We are a temple for all people and are bound by our spiritual devotion alone. But when it comes to the kind of America I want to live in, I take time to vote, and sometimes talk about controversial issues on my personal social media and in my personal life, like gun control, abortion, taxation, wages, and unnecessary wealth. Largely, I would be considered liberal, but I am a registered Independent. I don't identify with any political movement because I like to think of myself as a free thinker. I prefer to be a Chris Aldridge who does what Chris Aldridge thinks is right, and not what my party decides is right. 

I think some people, including myself, start out in Hellenism thinking they know everything or have a certainty about specific things, but the more you learn and grow as a Hellenist, you're not only humbled in your knowledge, wisdom and beliefs, but you understand what it really means to live a life of moderation. On the surface, many presume that moderation just means to not eat too much or sleep with everyone in town, but it's a far larger picture than simply a carnal canvas. To find a healthy balance between the two extremes, is how humans retain their civility, justice, and sensibility toward their fellowman, laws, countries and world. Moderation is not abstinence, it's balance. 

Hopefully without being in danger of being called a political Moderate, who is thought to be someone who doesn't actually know what they believe in, I would use my Hellenic education, experience and years on this planet to argue that meeting in the middle, or finding that healthy balance, is the best way to resolve all of the issues facing our societies. When looking at a controversial or hot button topic, I often find myself concluding that both the Democrat and the Republican, or the Liberal and Conservative, are equally wrong, and the cause of their wrongness is the fact that they are going to unhealthy extremes instead of the reason that is found in moderation. 

I won't spend numerous paragraphs giving painstaking examples, so let's just take a look at the issue of gun control for a starting example, since it's in recent news. While I am a supporter of the 2nd amendment, I do support common sense gun reform, as we have far too much gun violence in America today. But one side thinks we should have the wild west on steroids, and the other thinks you should barely be allowed to carry a slingshot, and some would even prefer complete disarmament. What do these ideals create? The first creates, or has the potential to create, dangerous chaos, and the second ideal creates oppression, neither of which is good. So what's the moderation? The moderation would be to have a well regulation of firearms so that bad people won't get them, but to also uphold the human right of self-defense for everyone else who wants to own a gun. In the moderation of the issue, both outcomes are good, there is no bad. 

Moderation is the realization that both over indulgence and starvation are equally destructive, and that the best answers to the human condition mostly lie in the middle or the healthy balance. Civilization is in so much constant chaos because we have most people taking one extreme or another, causing balance to be thrown off. Ancient Greek ideology can solve every problem in our world today, if we were to ever adopt it again.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Cave From The Common

To look at some of the gorgeous and breathtaking caves of the world, it's not hard to see why they were sometimes used as sanctuaries of Gods. We can find ourselves feeling as though we are entering another world, leaving our own realm for an entirely new one, that even separates us from our past. In ancient Greece, I don't think this revelation changed much in the minds of worshipers, for they used these beautiful caverns to connect with the Divine world. Of course, they also built amazing temples and outdoor sanctuaries, but it appears that the Hellenic mind believed there were many ways to find the Gods. I also share that worldview. In fact, when I built my Elizabethan Sanctuary of Artemis back in 2016 when I lived in Elizabeth, Illinois, I chose to construct it within a solid, enclosed area on all sides except the entrance. It was the closest I could come to a cave-like structure on my property. It also seemed to give the precinct great protection from the elements. 

On the Akropolis in Athens where Athena's grand Parthenon stood, simple cave sanctuaries could also be found on the cliffs. Zeus, Apollon and Pan all have such precincts there. But when we look deeper into the structures of caves, whether simple or elaborate, their many functions for religious purposes are revealed. You don't really have to build anything because the structure is already there by nature, the inside provides a cooling from the summer heat that would have especially been sought in a Mediterranean summer, some caves have their own water sources that might be used for purification or even drinking, and it's easy to store offerings, gifts and religious objects in safe and hidden places. There's simply just an otherworldly feeling about these majestic parts of the Earth, that by going into Gaia, we can find ourselves and our links with the universe.

I myself personally prefer a temple or built sanctuary, but all my life, I have found so much peace and wonder in the natural world. As a child and teenager, the forests of North Carolina were my running grounds. My late grandfather would even take me to the next City and its nature preserve to see Boone's Cave. I found it as mysterious, intriguing and even scary as the myths he would tell me about it. The inner workings of the Earth have become part of the human experience, religious or not. They remain as some inherent presence of our being.

In the Goodness of the Gods,

Chris Aldridge.

Friday, March 18, 2022

The Sacred War To End All Sacred Wars


Even after 245 years of fighting, it seemed that people still had not learned that Delphi would always defend itself against invasion and desecrations. Just 7 years after the last war has ended, a new threat emerged on the southern plain of the City in 339 BCE, as the City of Amphissa (a region of Phocis) began to take possession of and cultivate the sacred land of Apollon that was always supposed to remain untouched without exception. It belonged exclusively to the God.

Delphi was a beautiful place of architectural and dedicatory advancement during this period. Its previous wars and the great conflicts between the Cities involved had not inflicted any damage on its religious functions or the love and devotion that people continued to retain for this center of their world. In fact, most Cities had an interest in protecting it, but religious and diplomatic unrest seems to have always been a danger from those who felt they had to compete.

After Philip II had won the last Sacred War for Delphi in 346 BCE, an agreement of peace between the parties had keep confrontation rather lowkey. That was until the people of Amphissa, or at least their government, came into the picture. It does not appear that there was a cease and desist order for uprooting Apollon's land, and it could be argued that even if there had been, the League of Delphi would have sought punishment for the offense. Amphissa was to face a military conquest by the Delphic Forces. 

Philip was naturally chosen to lead the assault, but his mentality and strategy seems to have been different this time. It appears that Phillip viewed the Fourth Sacred War as the war to end all Sacred Wars. Not only did he plan to defeat Amphissa, but conquer all of Greece itself in order to bring stability amid the Wars. He successfully invaded the City, exiled all of its citizens, and allowed Delphi to take control of it. And by 336 BCE, all of Greece would come under Phillip's authority. Although he was not universally opposed by mainland Greeks. The Cities of Thessaly, Argos and Arkadia fought on his side, while various other States led by the great powers of Athens and Thebes fought against them. The armies of both Athens and Thebes were decimated at the Battle of Chaeronea, which brought the war to its official close. As a result, the Hellenic League or League of Korinth came into being, consisting of the united City States that would later be used in the Eastern campaigns of Macedon. 

Phillip may have conquered the Greeks, but in reality, he was not that much different from them. He worshiped the Greek Gods and lived by Greek culture, as would his successor. While Phillip was viewed by many as the Lord of the peace that had been absent for so long, it also made him a target for those still determined to resist and/or who had major problems with him. Only 2 years after his ultimate victory, Phillip was assassinated. His son, Alexander the Great, became the king of a united Greece in a final overthrow of the Persian Empire, which he achieved. But Alexander would also die only 13 years later, and His Empire divided among His generals.

It appears that Phillip and Alexander, who fought alongside His father in the Delphic Wars, had achieved their goal, as there were no more Sacred Wars of Delphi. The only other conflict that came to be termed a Sacred War was actually a conflict between Alexander's generals after His death over control of the regions of the Empire. While Delphi was, of course, included in the Empire, it was no longer specifically about them.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.


Sources
* Scott, Michael, Delphi: A History of the Center of the Ancient World, Princeton Publishing, 2014.
* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expansion_of_Macedonia_under_Philip_II#Fourth_Sacred_War  

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Is Giant DNA Still With Us Today?

Robert Wadlow and His Father, before 1937

As far back as ancient Greece herself, there have been stories of giants who walked the Earth, made trouble for smaller people, and even unsuccessfully warred against the Gods. While people today scoff at the idea as a mere fairytale or a story invented to make kids go to bed, I've taken time to do my own brainstorming as a mythologist on the topic, and I have developed a theory to present. Generally put, the stories of giants are not false, incorrect or misinterpreted.

Let's begin by examining the average height of an ancient Greek male, which was 5'7". Even today in America, that has only increased by 2 inches. Six footers and above like myself, are not the norm. However, we also know that there have been extremely rare cases of people who have grown to extraordinary size and height, such as Andre the Giant and Robert Wadlow, Andre being 7'4" and Wadlow 8'11", and from my own state of Illinois. 

These incredibly large people achieve their status not through a fairytale, but hard genetics. Both men had what is called gigantism, which is the result of abnormal or very overactive hormones and glands. And here's the kicker about Wadlow; at the time of his death, they could not conclude that he had reached his maximum growth. That's right, it is possible that he could have gotten even bigger. He also possessed amazing strength, perhaps the kind that would have been used to help build what we know as the Cyclopean Walls.

An average person looking up at these colossal people would certainly think of them as what they literally are, giants. Because these conditions of great size are science, what if it is, in fact, the rare DNA of ancient giants, that continues to sometimes be handed down through the human line? People today think of giants as those who reach to the clouds, and are even monsters, but that doesn't have to be the case. To me, there is no question as to whether giants existed. We have seen them with our very eyes.

Our ancient past isn't as distant as we have been led to believe, nor are the old stores as far fetched as we have been taught by the modern education system.

In the Goodness of the Gods,

Chris Aldridge.

Sources: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Wadlow

Monday, March 7, 2022

The Shotgun Wedding That Started A Holy War

In the name of liberty, to Apollon's temple once again! 

The bones of the first two sacred wars were now lying still in the soil, but as has been said, only the dead have seen the end of war. 

Historians would more than likely conclude that the conflict had been brewing for a while, but this part of the story starts on the day of a wedding at the sanctuary. A father by the name of Crates became outraged, to say the least, perhaps even insane when his soon-to-be son in law Orsilaus got cold feet and cancelled the marriage. Not only did the father have the groom executed, he also murdered the groom's family members right in the sacred areas of Delphi itself, which was the worst religious offense. The fact that the father supported Theban domination at Delphi and Orsilaus supported Phocis, probably did not aid in resolving tension between the families either. Some say the execution and murders likely had political ends as well as revenge. We will remember that in the last Sacred War, Phocis remained in control of Delphi, and the power struggles between the Cities were far from over.

As punishment for the pollution of murder in a sacred area, Crates and his family were faced with heavy fines, and the feud between Thebes and Phocis over Delphi would only intensify from this point. It all came to a head when the League of Delphi, who has been victorious in the past wars, came to support Theban power, and Phocis, unlike in the last Sacred War, was losing strength and support fast. 

At a meeting between the League and Phocis, which no doubt included talks about the actions of Crates against Osrilaus, the Phocians found themselves to be charged with basically the same thing Crates had been convicted of, impiety, blasphemy, sacrilege, etc. Phocis faced heavy fines as a result. Phocis, however, refused to bow to the League or the emerging Theban power, but at the same time, knew that defiance would inevitably lead to physical confrontation. Therefore, they attempted to end another war before it began. In 356 BCE they conquered Delphi. However, they surely knew that this was not the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning. If they had expected Greece to remain passive, they were wishful thinkers.

That summer, the League forces reunified, retook Delphi, and dethroned Phocis from its position of supremacy. Because of their eventual defeat, and probably their desire to remain important at Delphi, they began to comply with the original demands of the League. But the Third Sacred War was far from even a remote close.

In 355 BCE, the League decided to punish Phocis even more for their actions one year prior and attacked them with military force. The conflict was apparently too much for some of the Phocian leaders to handle, as their General committed suicide and even his replacement was killed in action. Nevertheless, Phocis was determined to take the war to whatever ends necessary to win. They robbed the temple's treasury and broke down valuable metal objects they could find in the sanctuary. This resulted in the immense loss of much of Delphi's history, story and economic stability. The theft was, in large part, to fund their army, but it probably also struck a blow to the spirit of the City, or so they might have thought. Religious work and consultations of the Oracle went on uninhibited.

As the fourth year of the war came in, it was clear that it was only a matter of time before Phocis collapsed, both from bankruptcy and military setbacks. However, a friend of Delphi to the far north would be the one to put the final nail in the coffin: Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. He had received word from the League and was asked to intervene on their behalf, which he did because of his dealings with and great respect for Delphi. By 346, Phocis was not only thrown completely out of the temple and sanctuary, but banned from having anymore influence over it. Even what remained of the Phocian City State was divided up into small neighborhoods, probably an effort by the League and Philip to ensure they could never again unify in power. Finally, Phocis was forced to pay monetary compensation for all they had destroyed and defiled. 

Delphi emerged the victor once again, although they could never get back the originality of their geographical glory. What had been destroyed, was destroyed. But if there's one thing to always remember about ancient Greeks, it is that they will press on despite any obstacles. 

In the Goodness of the Gods,

Chris Aldridge.

First Sacred War 

Second Sacred War

Source: Scott, Michael, Delphi: A History of the Center of the Ancient World, Princeton Publishing, 2014.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Fire Didn't Raise No Fool

Prometheus gave humans fire in order to advance our minds, that is what the ancient Greeks believed. Humans were made last, and there was nothing left to give us in the way of natural weapons or abilities, and so the Gods gave us an amazing mind, that we could be superior to all the animals around us. The beginning of that development was the gift of fire that the Titan blessed us with. While most people of our modern Age may think nothing of the story outside of a cultural worldview long passed, science proves that it's actually true. As with mostly all the Myths, our educational system of today leads us to discount rather than examine them.

Prehistoric man did indeed have fire, and we now know that because they had fire and were able to cook with it, the human brain grew. Because of the fact that food became more digestible, far more nutrients went into the body as opposed to earlier primates who couldn't use the tool. In short, it is a literal fact that the gift of fire advanced the human mind. In the broader view of humanity, it literally gave a rocket boost to human evolution itself. Fire later became used in sacrifices and was considered a sign of the presence of a God. Fire, when big enough, would also keep nightly predators away, and so it became known as that which drives away evil. 

Of course, the ancient Greeks had no knowledge of this prehistoric and modern science, so how did they know? Who told them? The Higher Powers and Intelligences of the universe, whom all humans have an inherent connection and quest for because of schema, created that realization. Simply put, the Gods told them. Today we are often raised and trained to be afraid of fire. I remember when I was growing up, just lighting a stove scared or made me very nervous. We should most certainly be careful with it, because after all, it did come from Powers beyond our control, but I think that the more we grow accustomed to the natural world and our natural selves, we understand the Divinity and wonderfulness of it all. 

In the Goodness of the Gods,

Chris Aldridge.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Holy War That Shook Ancient Greece To The Core

As we saw in the First Sacred War, the victory of the League of Delphi resulted in the destruction of the town occupying its harbor and the restoration of Apollon's Temple. Delphi had won her first holy conflict, but it would be only the beginning of religious and economic fights over the center of the Greek world. 

Athens has always taken powerful and pivotal roles in ancient Greek history, and even today they hold tremendous influence as the capital of modern Greece and the most populated City of the nation. Although, we must remember that in ancient times, Greece or Hellas was not a unified land. Each City State had its own government, laws and religious observances. In the decade of the 440s BCE, the imperial power of the City of Athens began to flex its muscle into central Greece, and the fact that Delphi was there did not go unnoticed, neither by Athens or its biggest rival City, Sparta.

Not only had Athens spent a lot of time, money and effort dominating the Delphic sanctuary with their own dedications and even a treasury whose ruins still stand today, but Athens also started to control and influence all the areas around or within proximity of Delphi, and the people who would strike this match were the Phocians. Phocis was a central region of Greece in which Delphi resided, and the people wanted to incorporate it into their jurisdiction, probably not only because of the influence it held over the Greek world, but the immense amount of wealth that was accumulating there. But it appeared as though the Phocians were not strong enough to do it on their own. They managed to enlist the powerful aid of Athens in removing the independence of Delphi.

Sparta had frequently consulted the Oracle of Delphi and had begun establishing their presence in the sanctuary. They did not like the fact that Athens was literally the master of the Temple and the City, so they decided to send troops to overthrow the Phocian control and return Delphi to its full independent state in 449 BCE. Sparta succeeded and Delphi was again ruled by Delphi alone, which the people of the City and Temple were extremely grateful for. They even erected dedications to the Spartans for their liberty. 

However, the victory was brief. Two years after the Spartans left, Athens sent its troops under the command of Perikles and restored Phocian rule, establishing a tug of war in central Greece. But by 445 BCE, independence was again won by Delphi, noting the fact that Athens had to eventually turn its attention fully to Sparta in the Peloponnesian War by 431. Athens, at that point, simply did not have the time or power to keep Delphi locked, and would end up losing the war to Sparta after nearly 30 years of brutal fighting. Further conflict would not return to the City of Delphi for around 100 years later, what would come to be known as the Third Sacred War. For the time being, Delphi would once again remain a free State.

Read my post on the First Sacred War here. 

In the Goodness of the Gods,

Chris Aldridge.

Sources

Scott, Michael, Delphi, A History of the Center of the Ancient World, Princeton Publishing, 2014.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The Ancient Greeks Had Holy Wars, But For Different Reasons (1)

For a long time I've been wanting to write about the Sacred Wars of Delphi and what they mean to our Western world even today. In recent years, it's been a subject that has fascinated me. We think of Holy Wars as modern inventions of radical and extremist Christians and Muslims. The ancient Greeks fought them too at times, but the interesting part is that they were for far different reasons. They were not waged to eliminate another belief system, or to force another culture to adopt Greek religion.

Largely, there were four conflicts that took place over Delphi (the center of the ancient Greek world and seat of Apollon's renowned Oracle). The First Sacred War unfolded from 595 to 585 BCE, between the League of Delphi, consisting of religious tribes that included Athens, Thessaly and Sikyon, and the town of Kirrha (the League being allies against Kirrha). Kirrha was the harbor of Delphi, which meant that it held considerable influence over who and what came and went from the Temple Of Apollon and the Oracle therein. One must keep in mind that the Oracle of Delphi was not only vitally important to her locality, but all of the Greek world who went to her for counsel.

Tensions began to mount when Kirrha basically turned into a region of bandits and extortionists. Not only were people who were going to see the Oracle being attacked and robbed, but the town itself began charging astronomical tolls for those coming through their harbor to consult the Oracle or pay homage to Delphi (this likely also resulted in the theft of valuable gifts being brought for dedication to the sanctuary). Not only were they taking money and resources from Delphi, but also property that rightfully belonged to the God. The last straw probably came when Kirrha started to raid parts of Delphi directly.

The tribes who would form the League of Delphi decided they would unite in Delphi's defense. Along with Athens, Thessaly and Sikyon, the League likely included soldiers from many other parts of Greece that shared in Delphi's sphere of influence, including troops from Delphi herself. The War lasted for ten years. On advice from the Oracle, the League launched merciless and relentless war on the town. But what brought the conflict to an end was the first recorded use of chemical warfare. The League put hellebore into the water supply of Kirrha. It was an herb that simply gave everyone really bad diarrhea to the point that they could not fight. The League was victorious in the end. The result was the complete destruction of the town and the confiscation of its land by Delphi. Said land was left uncultivated and dedicated to Pythian Apollon, His sister Artemis, their mother Leto, and Athena Pronaia. The confiscation was also probably done to make sure the town could not reemerge. It's lack of virtue and justice meant that it had forfeited its right to exist in the eyes of its fellow Greeks. 

The remaining people of Kirrha who managed to escape, went to Mount Kirphe, which is the southern part of Mount Parnassos that overlooks Delphi. The Games of Delphi, or Pythian Games, were born after this, to celebrate the victory, and members of the League would remain as protectors of Delphi.

The First Sacred War was fought in support of religious freedom, not against like modern Holy Wars. Delphi and the League had no interest in the beliefs of Kirrha nor her lifestyles. The League simply wanted Delphi to remain free, open and possess its property, and for everyone to have the safe right to go there for their pilgrimages. I think the War is a reminder to us in the West still today that freedom is not free and that it can be easily impeded if we don't protect it, especially from those who have the money and power to extort it. This factor plays out in our own American government where lawmakers are constantly bribed for their votes, and influential powers that can effect our country if they have a corner on something. However, if enough people simply stand for what's right and use their united powers (through things like voting and community organizing), they cannot be drowned out by the unjust.

In the Goodness of the Gods,

Chris Aldridge.

Sources, Citations and Credits

Photo: Ruins of Sikyon, Photo by Carole Raddato, Copyright of Author, Not The Creation of Chris Aldridge. Licensed Under Creative Commons (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/). Location (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicyon#/media/File:Sikyon,_Greece_(23187324446).jpg)

Book: Scott, Michael, Delphi, A History of the Center of the Ancient World, Princeton Publishing, 2014.

Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Sacred_War

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Greeks Kept Plague Away Through Piety and Physicians

The ancient Greeks were no strangers to disease. In fact, no human culture ever has been. The Greeks knew that disease and disorders were an issue, which is why they had doctors and physicians. The ancient Greeks were the forefathers of modern medicine. They were also highly spiritual and pious people who often gave more to their Gods than they did to themselves, and it was no different when there was a virus going around. They used medicine, doctors, prayer and sacrifice to combat it. They did not think either method was a waste of time. Plato himself wrote about the success the Athenians once had in keeping infection out of their City through spiritual means in the Dialogue of Symposium. 

"I shall try to go through for you the speech about Love I once heard from a woman of Mantinea, Diotima - a woman who was wise about many things besides this: once she even put off the plague for ten years by telling the Athenians what sacrifices to make." 

Plato was not a writer of fiction. He recorded the actual events of his society and the people around him. The Greeks, for an ancient people, knew quite a bit about the medical field, but no matter how much knowledge they gained or philosophy they discussed, it never made their Gods irrelevant or unnecessary. In fact, any good thing that happened or was discovered, was naturally followed by thanks to a God or Gods for the success. They did nothing without their Gods. Or, in other words, they knew that without their Gods, they could accomplish nothing. 

Therefore, even now as we face another virus or plague, I don't think we should forget the importance of our spirituality and the salvation and care that it can bring to us. A while back, I was talking with a member of my temple who lives out of state. They claimed they contracted Covid19 and that Apollon instructed them on how to get rid of it. They have since made a full recovery. I note in this story that neither this person nor Apollon turned away from the medical field. In fact, Apollon IS the God of medicine. If we examine this person's story carefully, we see the hallmark of a Greek mindset, which is the combination of spirituality and science. Science is the pursuit of truth, and the Gods are the truth.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Work Cited: Plato Complete Works, edited by John M. Cooper, page 484, 201d.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Preordained Death: Feelings of Fate

The ancient Greeks, to a good extent, believed in Fate, as is evident in their mythologies and religious beliefs. Homer, the ancient Greek Poet, once said that no one can send Him into the Underworld until it is His time, but that when it is His time, nothing can stop it either. So the question begs, are our lives preordained in the sense that we have a time to live and a time to die? I talked with my wife about this idea briefly last night. I myself have always believed the words of Homer concerning the situation, but through philosophy, I think I have been forced to add something onto it.

I do think that most people will not die until it is their time. How many brushes with death have people had and missed it? There are lots of people in the world today who should be dead, but they're not. So it's clear that there was an aversion to the end of their lives at that point. However, we must also consider another fact. Nature always has anomalies. So when we ask ourselves, can someone die before their time? In some cases, the answer would have to be yes. Because if people couldn't die before their time, the Gods would not acknowledge such a thing as murder. A human life could not be taken unjustly if no one died until their time. So the fact that the opposite is true, shows that not everyone will make it to their destined time, whether it be because of murder or a natural cause of death. However, I do not think that's the norm. I think the vast majority of us will not die until our time, or for that matter, experience anything we are not supposed to.

But at the end of the day, I know the Gods are good, and along with Homer's words, I live my life in a state of comfort.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Building Your Ancient Greek Pillar Complex

Going all the way back to Mycenean and even Minoan times, the Tree Sanctuary, or as I call it, the Pillar Complex, is one of the easiest and most beautiful outside constructions for ancient Greek rites. The picture on the left is of my own, built for my temple's sanctuary to host public rites. Walter Burkert, in his book Greek Religion, page 28, describes the architecture of this precinct. 

"A large, imposing tree, almost always enclosed by a wall, and so set apart as sacred. The wall may be decorated with stucco or crowned with cult horns. A door, also embellished, leads into the interior, occasionally revealing a stone pillar. Various forms of altars are also shown, and in a number of cases a temple-like building stands opposite the tree. Open, stony ground is sometimes suggested."

My own Pillar Complex follows this basic pattern. It is built before a large tree, and the entire structure, including the tree, is encased by a brick wall (although in ancient times, the wall was probably much higher). The opening in the front leads into the interior where an altar and a stone pillar stands. The ground around it is also of small stones, but leaves in this picture are covering most of them up. The entire Complex is set apart from the rest of the surrounding area as its own sacred precinct. If you have your own property and are wanting to build religious structures, it's a far easier, more affordable alternative to a standing temple, which can take countless man hours, hard labor, and several thousands of dollars. 

Building it out of stone and brick, and having it dominated by a strong tree, is in itself an excellent way to keep the structure standing and protected for a long period of time, and it will give you the ability to hold any kind of festival, rite or sacrifice to any God, Spirit, Hero, Ancestor or Deified Mortal the occasion calls for. In my own, the central pillar acts as a shrine, upon which a statue is placed of the One who is being worshiped at that time. So for a rite of Artemis, I'd place Her statue there during the rites. Of course, the Complex can also be a place for any time one wants to do general prayer and sacrifice. It doesn't have to always be one Deity at a time. Opposite the pillar, as you can see, is the altar, also made of stone and identified by being raised from the ground above the general flooring of the Complex. Upon the altar is also an incense burner to keep incense separate from things on the stone that might extinguish it, like libations or foods.

The first step is to find ground that is suitable. You want it to be as level as possible, otherwise the bricks you lay are all going to be crooked and it will drive you insane. You can also make the ground more level yourself by moving or adding soil. Making the ground proper and ready is a very crucial part, because ones those heavy bricks and stones are laid down, it's going to be very hard, if not impossible, to do anything about it unless you tear up the entire Complex and start over. So it is dire that you make sure the ground is good.

Step two is placing the flooring, which in mine is made of flat brick. The flooring is important because it's going to give the interior balance and stability. You notice that, for example, if you walk outside and just put a pillar on the bare ground, it's going to lean or fall over. Strong flooring helps against this. The brick used for the flooring also forms the altar on the far end toward the entrance by simply stacking themselves a few feet off the ground. The tree in the picture is encased by a wall of very simple red bricks, which are simply laid down and pressed into the soil where possible, all the way around the tree, pillar and altar, leaving a front entrance. Finally, gravel or stones fill the entire interior where the ground would still be visible. All together, the project took me an afternoon, and a cost of only about $60, since the only thing I had to buy was a stone pillar which I purchased at a local craft store, and the decorative flowers which were bought at a department store. Here's the best part, everything else was found around my home. By simply doing some scavenging, I found all the bricks and stones I needed. If you own your own house and land, there are probably more things lying around the yard and basement than you think, especially if you have just purchased the property.

On an ending note, when building an outside shrine, sanctuary or temple, if you can do so near a natural spring or natural water source, that would be the icing on the cake. Many temples and sanctuaries in ancient times followed the same custom, as the natural water can be used for purification of the sanctuary and the people entering it, and even as offerings to the Gods. If you've ever been to Circle Sanctuary in Wisconsin and looked at the springs of Brighid, those are natural springs.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

An Amazing Visit To A Local Hero's Tomb

Calm, inviting, comforting, that's all I felt in abundance when I entered the burial place of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Since I moved to Illinois in 2012, Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield had always been on my vacation list. Lincoln is a man who needs no introduction, and His tomb is one of the most beautiful in the state of Illinois. As a historian and an American, the final resting places of Heroes has always fascinated me, to know that their bodies are right there before you, and that if you could open their coffins, you might still be able to see the marks on their bodies and bones from so long ago that marked pivotal moments in their lives. As a member of a minority religion, Lincoln has always held a sacred place in my heart because of the fact that He fought and died for the ideal that we are all created equal, and that the rights of humanity are not reserved only for one race or culture. His body lied before me this weekend, as a martyr to that cause which gave me and my family our blessed freedom upon this land.

As an ancient Greek, I found myself equally fascinated by the ancient Greek Hero worship that goes on at His tomb every single day. For one, the tomb is unique and set apart from all the others in the cemetery as a sacred and protected place, and people will go there to gain Lincoln's favor. One way they do this is by rubbing the nose of His statue outside the front entrance, which you can see my own son doing in the picture above. The nose of the bust is severely worn down from all of the invocations Lincoln has received here. If that's not an example of ancient Greek Hero worship, I don't know what is, and people do it with each passing hour, most not even realizing it. It's wonderful to see how the ancient customs continue over into our own culture.

When you enter the tomb, you find that almost everything is made of beautiful marble, and ancient Greek wave patterns encircle the floor at the main entrance around Lincoln's main indoor statue, or if we're honest with ourselves, a shrine, which you can see to your right. As you walk through the conjoining hallways, you find many other statues and engravings on the walls of His most famous histories and speeches, my favorite being the Gettysburg Address. One statue I really loved was called The Debater, a replica from Lincoln's historic debate with Stephen Douglas in Freeport, Illinois when He was running for president. Freeport was the first city I lived in when I moved to Illinois. Finally, you come to the burial chamber itself. Lincoln's headstone is a massive marble monument. Ten feet blow it rests His remains. Across from His crypt is that of His wife and most of His children. 

Going into Lincoln's tomb, I didn't feel southern or northern; I felt American. I prayed to Him as a Hero of my state several times while I was there at His grave, hoping for His blessings in my life. His presence was grounded toward me, not opposing. I felt that I could stay there all day if I liked. I love this man. If only He could come back and talk to us, the things He could tell and remember. Solon would most certainly be proud of Him, because He didn't do what was popular in His life, He did what was right, no matter how hard. He had enemies at every turn, and yet He still changed the American world forever. Before Him there was slavery and division, and after Him, the American ideal was possible. 

However, not all people have come to my own mindset. Upon leaving, I got into a conversation with the woman who operates the tomb. She is also considered its guard, because there is still the fear that haters will come there and desecrate it in the name of the Confederacy. Only the lowest forms of life destroy the grave of a dead person. I can't imagine how trashy someone's mind has to be, but I am certainly thankful for the service and bravery of the guard. If I lived in the city and didn't have my own career, I'd also be more than happy and anxious to help guard Lincoln's tomb.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Monday, September 9, 2019

What's The Difference Between A God and A Spirit?

At Madison Pagan Pride last Saturday, I had the privilege of leading and teaching a workshop on ancient Greek charms, amulets and talismans. It turned into about an hour long class that ended up hosting a vast array of ancient Greek spirituality and knowledge with about 15 to 20 students. I received nothing but positive feedback from the people. I think everyone loved it. We couldn't have had better weather for the event itself. The Gods certainly blessed us with sunshine and comfortable temperatures.

But during my workshop, there was one question in particular that I thought needed a blog post. Someone asked me to explain what sets a God and a Spirit apart. This can be a bit tougher to explain than one may think. In fact, I myself had to contemplate for several minutes through the class while we explored other things, and I gave examples until I was satisfied with what I had told the person and the other students in attendance. 

There is certainly a fine line difference between a God and a Spirit, although sometimes there might be some disagreement. For example, people who view Nike as a Goddess and those who view Her as a Spirit, or those who think that Morpheus is the Spirit or God of dreams. Even though we might very well find a majority consensus on the two, Hellenism is not really based on a correct belief system, but rather a correct practice. Therefore, if the question is up for debate, and not laid down in Hellenic law, as it were, people can take one position or the other on who is and who isn't a Spirit, or even what constitutes a Spirit. 

On a basic level, one major difference between a God and a Spirit is might and influence. The God is far more powerful and encompasses a far larger spectrum, while the Spirit has a more centralized, simplistic focus. Think of the God as a tree and the Spirit as a leaf. The tree is a whole of the Universe, while the leaf, still just as real as the tree, is an essence of the tree or the Universe, almost a conscious energy, or even an extension, if you will. The leaf can also come down closer to the human realm and even connect you back with the tree at times. Or picture the God as the vast sea and the Spirits as seashells that swirl around in it. So I would imagine it as different levels of Divinity and power. Arete, for instance, being the Spirit of virtue, while a God of virtue is the highest consciousness and power of that realm.

What's interesting and important to remember is that while a God has the power to transcend into a Spiritual presence, a Spirit does not have the power to do the vice versa, because a Spirit is not a God, while a God has all the power to do anything they choose and become anything they want. That's why in ancient Greek religion and myth, Gods were sometimes referred to as a Spirit of something, such as when Orpheus calls Poseidon the Spirit of the deep. It's not that the God has changed from being a God, it's just that they can become and do whatever they want. The Spirit which is a Spirit by its natural being, however, remains a Spirit.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Could Solon Solve Our Economic Crisis?

Class warfare isn't unique to America. The rich and poor have really never gotten along, and have had periods when they are ready to literally start throwing punches, especially when an economy deteriorates into those who have it all and those who have nothing. When the middle class vanishes, the society fractures. It's why Plutarch said that an imbalance between rich and poor is the most common and fatal error of all republics.

In our current political and economic atmosphere in the United States, we once again have the extremes that Athens faced some 2,500 years ago. We have the extremely rich and the extremely poor, and those in power and society who are for the rich or for the poor. Really no one stands on middle ground anymore. But in ancient Athens, one famous Reformer and Lawgiver seems to have done such a good job with these issues that his face was hung inside the United States House of Representatives, although it remains to be seen as to whether or not our government will ever live by his example. His name was Solon, someone who loved the Gods and the people.

He himself was not poor, but he also wasn't dishonest, deceitful or uncaring, which is why the poor loved and trusted him to improve their society. He did not make it illegal to be rich. He allowed success. But he also didn't permit it to be gained through the oppression or destruction of others. He forgave the debts of the poor and outlawed slavery as a condition for repaying debt, as was a custom at the time. In other words, no one could any longer turn you into an involuntary servant just because you owed money. He also repealed the harsh Draco Laws. These laws gave the death penalty even for minor offenses, which probably impacted the poor more than anyone else. Finally, he gave all citizens a voice in the government and established a kind of Athenian congress known as the Boule. Solon literally made life livable for all people.

Last night, I was thinking about how Solon would handle the situation today in the United States, which is much like the one he faced so long ago. What if the best way to handle our social and economic problems is not to destroy one side or the other, but to simply institute and enforce humanitarianism and civilized justice? And more so, has our country lost those two things? I think it has. We have become so obsessed with success and wealth that we actually devalue and exploit people who don't have it. The imbalance that Plutarch called the fatal error of all republics is growing by the day, and we are far past the declaration of war between the two classes; it's already raging.

Perhaps Solon would tell us to be humane and fair, that the best way to solve our problems is to simply give everyone the best quality of life possible. 

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Epithet Enigma ~ An Ancient and Modern Theology

Epithets are a paradox in Greek religion at times. Some ancients considered them to all be different Gods entirely, while most of us today think of them as different manifestations of the same God. For instance, we today would think that Athena Polias and Athena Nike is Athena Herself in two manifestations, while ancients might have considered Athena Polias and Athena Nike to be individual Gods in their own selves (although I am sure there were also ancients who saw them as the same Deity). 

I myself have always considered the Epithets to obviously be different manifestations and functions of the God that they come from. For one, it just doesn't make any sense to think that there are 50 different Zeus's. How would that even work? If there were indeed 50 different Gods fulfilling similar functions to Zeus, it would make more sense to give them their own personal names or a name that means "like Zeus," instead of Zeus Himself. And secondly, the very definition of an Epithet is that it's an aspect of your whole. It's not something that separates itself from you and becomes its own person. In fact, without your whole self, there wouldn't even be an Epithet in the first place. So in my view, all of the Epithets of Athena, or any God, is the one God manifesting into the different areas over which they have dominion. They're all the same God doing different things, and rest assured, they're the best at what they do.

This doesn't take me away from being a Hard Polytheist either. I believe there are many Gods in their own independent forms, such as the 12 Olympians. I just believe that each one is their only one. I don't think there's 100 different Athenas, I think there's one Athena and She can manifest into whatever She wants, because the Gods permeate Nature however they choose.

In my own home, I do have shrines to the same Deity but as different manifestations. Alongside my shrine of Apollon next to my library, I have a shrine to Athena in Her Epithet that I call PanAthena, or All Athena, in the sense that it honors everything that She is. But at the end of my hallway, I also have a wall shrine to Athena Parthenos, to honor Athena as the Virgin, the Goddess of Athens, and the Goddess of the Parthenon that gave birth to Western civilization, which is the civilization in which my family and I live and are from. The shrine is also a tribute to the memory of the original Athena Parthenos statue that once stood in the original Parthenon itself. It has since been lost, presumably forever. If I had to take a guess, I would say it was probably either destroyed during the times of Pagan persecution, or it was broken down for its gold and ivory and made into other things by the Common Era Greek State. But the point is that, even with my two different shrines of Athena, I do not consider them to honor two completely different Goddesses. They stand for the same Goddess in many different forms.

I think the Gods use their many Epithets, in part, to better connect with mortals and Earth. We have so many different things that go on in our lives and world, and for Gods who love to take part in the affairs of mortals and the Natural World, they reveal themselves to us in all the ways that we can understand them. 

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Being Hellenic Isn't Just About Blood

When my DNA results came back last year, I was very disappointed that it did not reveal any known Greek lineage, even though I still came from the over all Classical World. Not being specifically Greek, at least in part, was an emotional blow to someone like me who is devoted to the Greek Gods, and who at one point thought for sure they had Greek blood somewhere. Before the results came back, I stated that it wouldn't change who I was, and it hasn't. But I also got to thinking what it really means to be Hellenic, and I realized it's about more than just blood.

People who were born Hellenic have the easiest time being it, but not necessarily acting like it. There are countless ethnic Greeks today who are basically the Stockholm Syndromes of their people, who side and have a relationship with their Christian oppressors who teach them to hate the original Greek society they came from. It's basically a hatred for self. So just because someone has Hellenic blood, doesn't necessarily make them a real Hellene. Being an authentic Hellene is a mentality, a worldview, and a lifestyle.

It's about an undying love for the original Gods, for Hellenic virtue, honor and piety, for life and all of its wonders and pleasures, and for your ancestors. And it's also about having the mentality of a Hellene - meaning that your worldview does not oppose, destroy or contradict what it meant to be Hellenic. Sadly, Greece and her people have not been governed by the Hellenic mindset or values, and it doesn't take much to see how far the country and society has fallen since the time of Christian obstruction.

Blood is great, but it only goes so far. Your birth you had no control over, but the way you think and live is something you have complete control of, and therefore the latter is where you make your choice as to who you are, and who you are not.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Sense of Faithful Fear

If you base your religion on the views of the ancient Greeks, there's no denying that Greeks do fear, as well as love, the Gods, but it's for a good reason and perhaps not in the way you think.

Firstly, any mortal who doesn't have some level of fear for a God, is foolhardy at best. Fear isn't something that is directly taught in Greek religion, it's simply there by nature. You should fear a God for the same reason you'd fear a bolt of lightning, or a raging sea, because they are more powerful than you and can wipe you from life in the blink of an eye. A God is also far wiser than yourself will ever be. Fear is the result of a recognition of superior power. It is the "right" kind of fear because it breeds humility and prudence. Without a good sense of these things, we may find ourselves in more trouble than we can get out of.

Fear does not mean you're not brave, strong or confident, there is simply a fine line between these things and arrogance and stupidity. For example, saving someone from drowning is brave, strong and confident, but swimming with sharks is stupid, and you will eventually become drive thru for a dinosaur. Fear is merely the recognition of your place and limitations, arrogance is a failure to do so. Now some people might ask me, "Didn't the Heroes do things that most people would have considered beyond human limitation?" Yes, they did, but they were sent by the Gods to do something that was possible. They also didn't sink in over their heads. In fact, the Gods routinely provided them with assistance so they wouldn't. Bellerophon couldn't have killed the Chimera without Pegasos (the horse of heaven). A Hero always knows, recognizes, and most importantly, accepts the difference between themselves and the Divine. Being an affront to the Gods is not what it means to be a Hero.

I find that a lack of fear and piety among Pagans can be an issue. I've seen Pagan writers call Gods "scoundrels," and Pagan worshipers call them "assholes." While it may be rare, it is certainly a real case. A mortal picking a fight with a God is idiotic at best. Probably the only reason they haven't punished those people is because of their forgiving nature, or they think there is something mentally wrong with that individual. At any rate, you're never going to gain the favor of a God by insults, arrogance, or impiety. Even if they don't punish you, they'll probably turn away. Would you help someone who insulted you? Probably not, you likely wouldn't even give them the time of day until they shaped up and treated you with proper respect.

The only time fear is wrong is when it's unwarranted. Fear the Gods because you know they can destroy you, but love them because you know they're kind enough not to, and you will find wisdom. 

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Sexism That Never Occurs

Some people, whether they're Hellenic Polytheists, Pagans, or just historians, tend to think of ancient Greek religion as being sexist to some degree. I've even read this from other ancient Greek Pagan authors such as Laura Perry. I think it's clear, however, that some authors and historians simply desire to stick to their own one sided view of things, because they never talk about something even as ancient as the Homeric Hymns saying that Hera is revered "no less" than Zeus. In other words, they are equal in the powers of Divine Male and Female. There is no sexism there. They also won't mention how the most revered religious leader in the Greek world was always a woman (the Oracle of Delphi), nor do they bring to light the societal powers that Spartan women held. I'm not saying there weren't women-haters in ancient Greece, but it's unfair to judge an entire culture by the opinion of one playwright, or even the opinions of 20 philosophers. But this post isn't strictly about historical records. Instead, it's regarding the interesting fact of my own Hellenic worship.

When I am praying to the Gods, calling out male and female names, there's never, in my mind, a dependent connection between their power and their gender. In other words, I don't think Zeus is King because He's male. I think He's King simply because He's King. I don't think Athena to be the champion of battle because She's female, but simply because She is. Besides, with most Divinities of the Greek world, you can normally find a reasonable gender counterpart, such as Poseidon and Amphitrite, or Aphrodite and Eros. It's true their sexes are essential parts of their identities, and it's disrespectful to call them something they're not, but a gender preference never occurs to me. Sexism is just not something that makes itself a relevant factor, nor should it. To me, the Gods simply are, requiring no other reason. And indeed, there are certainly female Gods who hold positions higher than some male Gods.

I suppose for some people, no matter their religion, it may be hard to see Deity as someone different from their own self, but when it comes to a Polytheist I think we understand the immense diversity of the universe and all the life around us, that we as humans are but one part, and everything and everyone doesn't have to reflect our personal selves to be powerful, beautiful and relevant.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

"Greek" Christians Who Laugh At Me

Often times, I find myself in several Greek-based groups online, and they're not all Polytheistic. Some of them are dominated by the dominant religion of Greece today, that being Orthodox Christianity. While most of them are nice to me, there are others who are very rude and confrontational when they find out that I worship the Greek Gods; that my religion is ancient Greek and I reject Christianity. It's all the worse when you consider the fact that I do not make fun of or attack them in the group for their religious choices, but let me post something in a universal Greek group about my shrines, sanctuaries, or general spirituality, and at least one or two people will laugh at me or call me crazy in one form or another. One person even told me that I should see a psychiatrist. I should have retorted by saying that she's the one with Stockholm Syndrome. 

I do wish the group administrators would ban the bigots instead of just deleting my threads to stop the confrontations, but I have always found it very interesting that the people who submitted to the religious invaders who did everything they could to destroy the ethnic Greek culture and subjugate the Greek people, would think that someone like me who chooses to fight for their freedom from it, is delusional, crazy, laughable, etc. They certainly have the right to follow whichever religion they want and I'd never try to stop anyone from having that right, but it's clear that they think Christianity is the legitimate religion of the Greek people, or that it saved the Greek people from destruction. When in fact, it's the opposite. The legitimacy of any people is their ethnicity, not outsiders or foreigners who forced them into another ethnicity, and Greece today is not even a shadow of the greatness it was in the ancient times.

It also angers me that these Greeks in question resent the ancient worshipers and followers, but also have no problem using our architecture, forms of government, ethics, art, science and philosophy. They're more than willing to take the cultural constructs and claim their greatness for their own, but not the Gods who inherently come with it. Because the ancient Greeks had their religion intertwined into everything, you naturally cannot adopt that culture while excluding its spirituality. Otherwise, it makes you hypocritical. So I wish these Greeks, if they hate the ancients so much, would form their own culture, their own ideas, and give ours back to us along with the land they hijacked. It would be great if we could have all of our temples and religious lands back, along with restitution so we could restore them.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Was Ancient Greece Sexist?

Historians usually pin up ancient Athens when they want to talk about the sexism that existed in ancient Greece, or at least Athens of the Classical Period. While I am certain that sexism existed, as it has existed in many forms throughout human history, I have also found myself increasingly skeptical of its magnitude in ancient Greece. 

Ancient Greek sexism is normally applied to a starting point with the writer Hesiod, although the alleged statement he made about women isn't even 1% of his writings. What we must remember about Hesiod's writings is that, what we have today, could, in some cases, be entirely different from what he actually wrote. It's very possible, and likely, that Greek cultures down through the centuries did their own editing based on the culture of their time period. Unlike the bible, there was no "change nothing nor add nothing" when it came to Greek literature. But in the Hesiodic writings, it is claimed that he said that anyone who trusts a woman is a fool, and that she is after everything you have. But depending on translation, such as the one found in my copy, what he actually said was that to trust a woman is to trust a flatterer; do not trust flatterers. Hesiod was only able to look at the world from his own eyes, which were that of a man, so the flatterer to him would have been a woman, whereas a flatterer to a woman may have been a man, and that to let your lust lead you astray without thought and reason, may end up costing you everything you have. He was probably more so warning against a lack of moderation and recklessness than against women themselves.

We are led to believe that in the more Archaic Era of Athens, according to Plato's Dialogue of Critias that, "Military training for both men and women was very common in the ancient days. Athena was adorned with armor - an indication that all the female and male creatures that live together can pursue in common the special talents that are suited to each (Plato Complete Works, 1,296).

But even in the Athenian times of Socrates and Plato, we find that the City, ran by men, venerated a Goddess (Athena) as the Patron of the City, and did so in place of a male God (Poseidon). That's not something you'd expect from a culture that is overly sexist. You normally see that in monotheistic cultures where the worship is centered around one male deity. While the religions have many prominent female figures like the Virgin Mary, they are never considered divine or deified. You'd also not expect a culture, like ancient Greece, to be highly sexist while putting their trust in a female oracle, who was the greatest and most revered one of the ancient world; the Oracle of Delphi. The office was always held by a woman, who had been appointed by Apollo. So a mortal woman was always selected to bring the messages of the Gods to mankind, whereas in the male-dominated monotheistic cultures, women weren't even allowed to be clergy.

Being that Greece in the times of old was not a unified nation, but rather a collection of numerous City-States with their own laws, governments, calendars and religious denominations, it would also be entirely inaccurate to assume they were all the same when it came to societal roles. The women of Sparta were highly revered by the men. Women in Sparta could own land, receive an education, and gained a reputation for being the heads of their households. The Spartan society wanted thriving soldiers, and an essential part to that was a thriving female population to have and care for the men in the military, and naturally to look after things while the men were away at war. So you can't really say that ancient Greece was "this way or that way," because each culture was different.

If you knew nothing of ancient Greece and went back in time to judge their culture by simple appearance, it would shout at you, "We revere the female as well!" There would be no doubt as to what your eyes and mind would automatically interpret as the religious and spiritual foundation of their culture, and in many cases, even in the foundation of their societal roles.

Depending on where you went in the ancient Greek world, and the time period, you were likely to find women in several professions, including priesthoods. A notable woman may have even found herself being worshiped by a locality after her passing, like Helen of Sparta/Troy. Did sexism exist? Of course it did. But were women always viewed as moles of society? Certainly not.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Work Cited

*Hesiod, Works and Days, trans. Lattimore, Richmond, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor Paperbacks, 1991. Print. (pp. 63).

*Plato, Plato Complete Works, edited by Cooper, M. John, Indianapolis, Indiana, Hackett Publishing Company, 1997. Print. (pp. 1,296). 

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