Showing posts with label Water. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Water. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Where Is The Akropolis Well of Poseidon?

The two incredibly powerful Deities faced off, Athena and Poseidon, battling it out for Patronage of the glorious City that would become Athens. 

The contest was simple, provide the greatest gift to the Athenians. We all know Athena won with the gift of the olive tree, and that Poseidon's saltwater spring, while great for sea navigation, was not chosen. The mark of His trident, where He struck the ground on the Akropolis and produced the water source, can still be seen today. But what of the spring itself? 

It existed well after the battle had concluded, and was documented late into Athenian history. Modern scholars and scientists have also admitted its reality in the Temple of Erechtheion on the Akropolis. The well was called The Sea of Erechtheus. In his chronicles of Greece, Paunsanias attests to the salty water of the well, which is astounding considering how far from the sea, and how high the Akropolis rises above sea level.

The Erechtheion temple rests on the north of the Akropolis, and still today can be visited and toured. The well lies abandoned as it is not used for any purpose today.

How did a saltwater well end up in this location? People can always find an alternative narrative they like in anything, if they look long and hard enough. But for me, its origins are obvious. Poseidon's mark is there and so is the spring. For me personally as a Hellenist, I find it fascinating each day that our religion is found everywhere. And the things left behind by the Gods are not only reminders of them, but also of human history.

Some might argue that water from the nearby sea eventually somehow pushed its way into the well, while leaving all the other wells in Athens alone for some reason. But entertaining that idea, could it be plausible that the contest was not a one day event? 

Maybe it was drawn out over a period of time, using the natural world as a means by which to accomplish the objective. Perhaps Poseidon's trident shook and began the process of this part of the earth becoming integrated with seawater so that His gift upon the Akropolis could come to fruition. Who knows these things? What I am confident of is the truth of it all.

I came up with this topic today after reading a portion of one of my history books on Athenian worship the other night. I find that few people go after the historical truth of these things, and even fewer realize they exist. But I suppose we all have our own callings in whatever it is that we do.

In the Goodness of the Gods, I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,

Chris Aldridge.