Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sunday Salon: Hellenic Dreams

We are shortly off to Athens for both a holiday and research for the novel I am writing at the moment (oh, I do so love my 'work'). It always amazes me how time-consuming it is to organise anything like this even if there is not much to apparently 'organise'. Today I have established that there is a museum about the area I am interested in (the ancient cemetery at Kerameikos), the baggage limits for two different European airlines, that it is possible to check-in on-line, and booked a taxi to the airport. I have also discovered that Athens does have its own wine (not quite sure why I needed to know that) and have started reading one of the pile of books I got from the library a week or so ago.


The one I have elected to start is 'The History of Ancient Greece' by Nathaniel Harris mainly because it seems quite short and has lots of pictures.

It starts with the Minoan civilisation on Crete and then goes on to one of the places we're visiting: Mycenae which guarded the southern end of the Greek peninsular; Epidaurus, on the east coast, where there is a spectacular ampitheatre; and Delphi, slightly further north, where some crazed woman chosen from the surrounding countryside was elected 'sybil', made to inhale the gas ethene from a fissure in the rock, and her resulting ramblings reinterpreted as prophecy by priests. I quite fancy having a go at this myself. I think I should be a natural.

16 Comments:

Blogger Pour of Tor said...

This is a great itinerary: Mycenae (the cyclopean wall! the lion's gate, under which Clytemnestra greeted Agamemnon and Cassandra!), Epidaurus and Delphi are all *stunning*. I am filled with envy.

When I was in Delphi, the ambiance was spoiled (enhanced?) a bit by a fellow (sigh) American tourist who insisted on yodeling down the side of the hill where the ruins are situated. (Please don't ask me to explain the logic of that.) Unfortunately there are these herds of goats that live among the ruins, and they were so alarmed by the yodeling that they came plunging down the hill, en masse, slamming over the ancient stones....

Sun Oct 03, 06:09:00 pm  
Blogger Maxine said...

We recently went to all those places (Athens, Epidavours, Delphi and Mycenae -- all brilliant) -- but apart from me no crazed women the I coudl see.

Sun Oct 03, 07:02:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Pour of Tour: Thank you! You're making me more excited than ever - all these places I've heard of coming to life. I can't wait.

That American visitor sounds just a little too ebullient for my tastes. I think Homer would have sat on him, or maybe offered him (gagged) as sacrifice to the gods, or maybe just submitted him to an especially cutting piece of rhetoric.

Maxine: Heh, heh - maybe we have missed our true vocation in life. I could do Monday and Wednesdays, maybe you on Tuesdays and Thursday. Any volunteers for the rest of the week?

Sun Oct 03, 08:27:00 pm  
Blogger readerbuzz said...

How can I figure out a way to go to Greece and write it off as a job expense? I am a children's librarian. Somehow corporate sharks do it all the time. Surely I can, too?

E

Mon Oct 04, 12:47:00 am  
Blogger readerbuzz said...

Envious.

Mon Oct 04, 12:48:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That American visitor sounds just a little too ebullient for my tastes. I think Homer would have sat on him (...)"

Fortunately, Americans did not exist yet during Homer's lifetime. If Homer really existed, and not counting the Sioux (and others) as "Americans", that is.

I recommend a visit to Σαντορίνη, if you have enough time. There's a direct link (the flight lasts approx. 45 minutes) from Athens.

— G.

Mon Oct 04, 07:32:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks for the tip, Gilles - unfortunately, every day is accounted for.

Mon Oct 04, 07:55:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

I wrote a reply to Readerbuzz here, but something's happened to it. Strange.


Readerbuzz: Yes, I definitely think there should be a way! I think Super Reader needs to have a few Greek reading adventures...

Mon Oct 04, 08:43:00 am  
Anonymous Debra Hamel said...

Ah, I didn't realize you were going to Delphi too. Wonderful! (Just realized I hadn't checked my RSS feeds in eons.)

Mon Oct 04, 02:27:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

I think maybe Delphi is the place I'm looking forward to most. And Mycenae. And Epidaurus. :-)

Mon Oct 04, 02:49:00 pm  
Anonymous Mary said...

I knew there was some explanation for the sybil, but had no idea it was related to breathing ethene. How long would a sybil survive doing this?

Mon Oct 04, 05:42:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

I have the impression it was a little like glue-sniffing, Mary - maybe a single inhalation was enough to kick in the babbling.

Mon Oct 04, 10:19:00 pm  
Blogger Anne S said...

There are so many Greeks in Melbourne (we are known as Little Greece) that it rather colours any thoughts of going to Greece itself, especially considering the mad Greek crone across the road from where I live. The idea of encountering more like her rather puts one off.

Mon Oct 04, 11:09:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Heh, heh - sounds like another natural for the 'Sybil' job, Anne!

Tue Oct 05, 07:55:00 am  
Anonymous marly youmans said...

I should like to hear your prophecies...

Wed Oct 20, 03:02:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

I am still trying to get them in order - but maybe I shouldn't. Maybe prophecies should be chaotic like tealeaves or the arrangement of stars in the sky. Maybe that's the point - thinking about it I am sure that it is.

Thu Oct 21, 08:28:00 am  

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