Showing posts with label Greek Reporter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greek Reporter. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Palace Of Odysseus FOUND At Last!

When the Greek Reporter released an article this week about modern Greeks having Mycenean DNA, it made me think about the elusive Odysseus and the search for Him that has been by far one of the hardest.

But a few years ago, I became fascinated by the quests of modern adventurers like the late Tim Severin who proved the voyage of Jason possible, and then I moved on to the geographical research into Homeric Ithaka. Like Severin, I refused to accept the analysis of "myth busters," mainly because they've been proven fools numerous times. I was not content with the conclusion that Homer's Odyssey describes an island civilization that didn't exist. Because the problem with this analysis is that Homer's world was not set in stone, but one forever in motion due to earthquakes. Even Troy was only accepted as factual when Schliemann dug it up from the earth and matched it to Homer's descriptions. And Schliemann, among others, also visited Ithaka during his time as an archaeologist and mythologist. Not only were coins discovered depicting Odysseus, but a sanctuary to Apollon from 1,400 BCE, before the Trojan War (the specific worship of Apollon on Ithaka is mentioned in Homer). But of course, evidence of life on the island goes all the way back to 3,000 BCE, with findings that prove Mycenean civilization was there at one time. So there is no debate whatsoever that Ithaka was notable during the Iliad Era. 

It was perhaps only a matter of time before we either found the location of Odysseus' home or declared it lost forever. Indeed, Greece has always been a very seismic region, especially on the islands. Sometimes earthquakes completely wiped out the town or village and sent part of it plunging into the sea. Some things from Homer may be unfindable simply because they were destroyed not only by the Christian church, but through natural movement and erosion. I suppose I've always been fascinated by Odysseus and Ithaka because The Odyssey was my first taste of ancient Greece when my English high school class watched the film. I was captivated at that point. I even dressed up like Odysseus during Hero Day, one of the days held during School Pride Week. In truth, I never doubted the story for a minute. I always believed it.

For a long time, Odysseus' palace remained the only Homeric royal residence that had not been located. But by 2018 and on into today, it has been declared found by archaeologists on Ithaka. The Greek government was so sure of this that the Prime Minister sent 120,000 Euros to continue funding the excavations. The large building found in Agios of Ithaka has been confirmed to be a Mycenean complex, which existed at the time of Odysseus' rule and fits perfectly with Homeric details. The archaeologists and professors responsible for the find are not leaving it to mere interpretation either. They believe it proves Odysseus was real. The final piece of the palace puzzle has now fallen into place. Homer is history. With so much discovery and truth of the ancient stories, and now one more added to the pile, one may wonder how long it will take before the Greeks realize where they truly come from.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.


Picture: Fresco of a Mycenean Woman, 1,300 BCE. Image is in the public domain in the United States because it is PD-Art and the copyright term therein has expired 100 years after the author's death.

Article 1 (Ithaka Archaeology)

Article 2 (Excavation of Odysseus' Palace)

Google (Palace Landmark and Visitation)

Saturday, January 26, 2019

British Museum Says Greece Doesn't Own The Parthenon

I'm not sure exactly who owns the Parthenon and its fragments if not the people who built them, but according to the Greek Reporter today, the British Museum which has been housing stolen sculptures from the Parthenon that were taken 200 years ago, aka the "Elgin Marbles," had the audacity to claim that the pieces don't actually, legally belong to people they were taken from, since they were, according to the museum, legally given over to a one Lord Elgin by the Ottomans in the early 1800's.

This, of course, would be fine if the Ottomans actually had legitimate claim to the Greek lands. They didn't. The Ottomans were not ethnic Greeks, and they did not build the Parthenon. In fact, shortly after Lord Elgin was said to have been given the pieces of the Parthenon, the Greek people launched the Greek Revolution and broke free from the Ottoman Empire. So when it comes to the Parthenon fragments, the situation is basically the same as your captor selling off your possessions as a legitimate trade, when obviously, you have no power to say no. It wasn't theirs to give, period. Of course, the Greeks of the time weren't the same ones who built the Parthenon either, or ones who had legitimate claim to the ancient structures, but they still had more of a right to keep them in the Greek country than anyone else. While it may be legal for the museum to keep the pieces, it certainly isn't ethical, and they know it.

The ancient Greek heritage has been destroyed and plundered for 2 millennia, but that doesn't seem to matter to the Brits, who would clearly rather keep the stolen property because they're still making money off it. Although the British people, to their credit, mostly support the return of the pieces to Athens by 69%. Like in many cases throughout history, the government and the people support two different paths.

I think it's time to fully restore the Parthenon myself. She has suffered through centuries of persecution and destruction, but yet her main frame is still standing. She's a magnificent example of ancient architecture, spirituality, and resilience. This latest refusal to return to the Greek people what is theirs, of which there have been many refusals throughout history, is just another example of the oppression that the ancient people have endured and continue to struggle against. It's time for the modern world to do the right thing and pay it back.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

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