live at the apollo (part 3): delphi

we’ll leave the peloponnese for a while and move on to delphi, on the slopes of mount parnassus. it is said that zeus wanted to find the center of the earth, gaia, so he sent two eagles flying from the east and the west, and they crossed at delphi, where gaia’s “navel” was.1 delphi, of course, is famous for the oracle (pythia) at the temple of apollo.  the legend is that apollo shot an arrow that killed python, the son of gaia, and python’s body fell into a fissure. the pythia, who had to be an older woman of virtue, sat…

more antiquities: the sanctuary and death oracle of poseidon tainarios

as we continued our journey through the peloponnese, we came to cape tainarios … … and, at its tip, the sanctuary and death oracle of poseidon tainarios. “death oracle of poseidon tainarios” sounds like the name of a swedish heavy metal band from the 90s, but it’s an actual archaeological site, albeit one that is fairly unassuming. apart from a pointing to the ruins, there is no information about how old the site is or how it was used, and the oracle site itself had a metal cover on it; an archaeologist we later met suggested that there may have been a…

more antiquities: the temple of alea athena

one of the more interesting things (to me) about the ruins in greece is the way that you find them in quietest of places.  when you think of greek ruins, the acropolis might be the first thing to spring to mind, but there are many small archaelogical gems tucked away in villages or in the middle of an olive grove someplace. for today’s example, we have the temple of alea athena in tegea. it’s not clear when the temple was built, but it burned down in 395 or 394 bc and was rebuilt in 350 bc.  the new temple was…

on to the peloponnese

the peloponnese are the part of greece south of athens. this is the area where the peloponnese war happened between athens and sparta in 431-404 bc, and where independent greece first was established. nafplio, the city where we started our trip, was the first capitol of independent greece. the weather was fairly dismal every time i wanted to walk through town and take photos, so all i have are some pictures of the harbor. the castle in the center of the harbor is bourtzi castle, built by the venetians in the 15th century to protect the city against the ottomans….