was the god of the sky and weather and his image appears on most
Greek coins. The people of Greece worshipped him as their main god.
He was the supreme god and ruler of Olympus... where the gods all lived. He was known by many names... God of the Sky, the Cloud- gatherer, the Rain-god and Zeus the Thunderer, all of which show which power of nature was the most important in the Ancient World... rain for the crops! Unlike many gods in other religions he was not all powerful and all knowing. He could be, and in fact was, deceived, challenged and tricked by gods and men alike. His power, although great, was not boundless, Zeus had no control over The Fates and Destiny.
Like all Greek gods, Zeus was subject to
human pleasure, pain, grief and anger... but he was most susceptible to
the power of love, which often got the objects of his desire into a lot
of trouble with his jealous wife Hera... the Queen of the gods..
Symbols of Zeus.... The Eagle &Thunder bolts!
After being held in the pass for two days by the Spartans, the Persians were guided through the mountains by a local Greek... Ephialtes, a man from Malis, who went to King Xerxes and told him that he knew of a goat path that went around the Greek position. Warned in time, most of the Greeks in the pass withdrew but the Spartans and some of the others remained, including those from Thespiae, to fight to the death. The last stand was made on the hillock opposite the modern monument that stands as a tribute to them to this day.
ABOVE YOU CAN SEE A BATTLE SCENE FROM ANCIENT GREECE. (THE WARRIORS WE PORTRAY HERE ARE SPARTAN HOPOLITES.) THE SHIELDS CARRIED BEAR THE GREEK SYMBOL 'L'. ALL SPARTAN WARRIORS HAD THIS EMBLEM ON THEIR SHIELDS. IT STANDS FOR LACONIA, THE AREA IN SOUTHERN GREECE WHERE IN THE 10th CENTURY BC THE SPARTANS HAD SETTLED AFTER DEFEATING THE LOCAL POPULACE AND FOUNDING THE CITY STATE OF SPARTA.
c740-720 BC THE SPARTANS DEFEATED THE NEIGHBOURING STATE OF MESSENIA,
THIS ACTION MADE SPARTA ONE OF THE LARGEST GREEK STATES PROVIDING IT WITH
ENOUGH FERTILE LAND TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT IN FOOD.
From a film where we took the part of Athenian Marines.
IN SPARTA, TWO ROYAL FAMILIES. THIS SYSTEM OF GOVERMENT WAS QUITE UNIQUE.
THE MAIN TASK OF THIS DUAL KINGSHIP WAS TO LEAD THE ARMY IN TIMES OF WAR,
WHEREAS IN PEACE THEIR POWER WAS LIMITED TO MAINLY RELIGIOUS DUTIES. BENEATH
THE KINGS THERE WERE FIVE OF SPARTA'S MOST PROMINENT MEN WHO WERE CALLED
OR OVERSEERS. THEY WERE ELECTED ANNUALLY BY AN ASSEMBLY AND HAD THE TASK
OF RUNNING THE DAY-TO-DAY FUNCTIONING OF THE STATE. THE REAL POWER, IF
ANY, LAY IN THE HANDS OF THESE FIVE MEN.
EACH WARRIOR WAS KNOWN BY THE PERSONAL IMAGE PAINTED ON HIS ARGIVE SHIELD.
DURING THE CLOSE QUARTER FIGHTING BETWEEN CITY STATES IT WAS VIRTUALY IMPOSSIBLE TO TELL BETWEEN FRIEND AND FOE WITHOUT INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR ALLIES & ASSOCIATES SHIELD DESIGNS.
THIS TAUGHT THE YOUNG SPARTANS A VALUABLE LESSON THAT MIGHT SERVE THEM WELL IN YEARS TO COME.
They also learned about poetry and music; boys were taught to learn poems and stories off by heart. They learned about philosophy.
Philosophy; thinking and writing
about thinking :-)
"When Paedaretus the Spartan was not selected to be one of The Kings Three Hundred elite soldiers; an honor which was the highest in the State, he departed cheerful and smiling with the remark that he was well satisfied... "For now the State posesses three hundred citizens who are better than myself."
Goddess of war and wisdom
Athena was the favourite daughter of Zeus.
born without a mother... and sprang from Zeus's forehead full grown in armour
and with a battle cry that echoed throughout the heavens and earth! She
was fierce and brave in battle and was
one of the most
powerful forces on Mount Olympus... Goddess of war and the immortal spirit
of wisdom. She was also the goddess of handicrafts... she invented the bridle,
which permitted man to control horses, the flute, the plough, the yoke,
the chariot and the ship. She was the embodiment of wisdom, reason and purity.
As Zeus's favorite child she was allowed to use his weapons including the
thunderbolt. Her favoured city was Athens. Her tree the olive and her bird
of wisdom the owl. [Bubo]. Although Athena was Zeus's favourite
daughter, she could also sometimes oppose his plans and work against him
as she did in the Trojan wars.
Athena and Poseidon once competed for the affections of the Greeks, each had to provide one useful gift to the people. Poseidon provided a wonderful horse but Athena provided the simple olive tree; giving olives, oil and shade.
. The Greeks accepted her gift and therefore named the city after her... Athens!
Many temples were built in honour of her name.
Athena was the patroness of weavers and embroiderers. Once a girl who Athena had taught did not respect her teachings and made claims her skills were of her own ability. She even went further and challenged Athena to a competition to prove who was the best. Athena showed up disguised as an old woman and advised Arachne to be more modest. Arachne insulted the goddess further by presuming she was better at weaving than the Goddess herself... so Athena revealed her true self and the contest began. Arachne's perfect tapestry and boastfulness annoyed Athena so much that she destroyed all her rival's work, and turned Arachne into a spider.
women were a major influence in the city state.
Girls were given a good tuition in the arts and athletics.
Women were encouraged to develop their intellect.
Spartan women owned more than a third of the land.
Girls in Sparta married at a later age than girls in Athens.
Unlike Athens, there was less difference in age between husbands and wives in Sparta.
Husbands spent most of their time in the military barracks and since the men were rarely home…the women were free to take charge of almost everything outside of the army.
In Sparta... girls also went to school at age of seven. They were taken from their parents and trained in their own sisterhood barracks. Whether their training was as arduous or as rugged as the boys school... history does not recall, but the girls were taught gymnastics wrestling and survival skills. Some historians believe that the two schools were very similar, and that an attempt was made to train the girls as thoroughly as they trained the boys. In this way Sparta was assured that strong young healthy girls would produce strong young healthy babies. At the age of 18... if a Sparta girl passed her skills and fitness test, she would be assigned a husband and allowed to return home. In most of the other Greek city-states, women were required to remain inside their homes most of their lives, where they were expected to entertain. In Sparta, citizen women were free to move around, and enjoyed a great deal of freedom, as their husbands did not live at home.
Although this could change if she failed in her duty as a wife... she could lose her rights as a citizen, and become a perioikos, a member of the middle class.
Hermes being the messenger of the gods, it was his duty to guide the souls of the dead down to the underworld... across the dark river Styx to Hades. He was the go-between the Gods and mortals and was also responsible for bringing dreams to the minds of men. Hermes is usually depicted with a broad-brimmed hat or a winged cap, winged sandals which enabled him to fly, and the heralds staff (kerykeion in Greek or Caduceus) in Latin. Serpents were intertwined on it in a figure of eight shape, and the shaft often had wings attached at the end. The clothes he appeared in at times in disguise on earth were usually that of a traveller, or that of a shepherd.
Many ancient greek houses had a this type of statue of Hermes either in bronze or stone. Known for his swiftness and athleticism Hermes was given credit for inventing boxing and foot-racing. Even at Olympia a statue of him stood at the entrance to the stadium and his statues where in every gymnasium throughout Greece. It was tradition to keep a 'Herm' in every house for protection and good luck.
symbols of Hermes are the tortoise, cock, and money pouch.
was one of the Gorgons and the only one who was mortal. Her gaze could turn whoever looked upon her into stone. Medusa was originally a beautiful maiden. She desecrated Athena's temple by lying there with Poseidon. Outraged and jealous of her beauty, Athena turned Medusa's hair into living snakes. Medusa became a cruel monster of so frightening an aspect that no living creature could take a look at her without being turned into stone. In the vicinity of the cavern where she dwelt were stone figures of men and animals which had glimpsed into her eyes and had been petrified into stone by the sight of her. Perseus, favoured by Athena was given her reflective shield and Hermes winged shoes. He approached Medusa while she slept taking care not to look directly at her. Guided by her image reflected in the bright shield… he cut off her head.
Athena placed it in the center of her Aegis, which she wore over her breastplate.