Summer of Classics 2014: Greek Adventures

It's hard to believe that I started this blog over a year ago!  While I haven't been always been diligent when it comes to posting things, it's been nice to know I have an outlet for Classic-sy thoughts and ideas outside of my academic studies.  Hopefully the next twelve months will see more regular postings detailing my Classical exploits.

Summer 2014 started with a bang!  I was elected President of my university Classics Society (twitter.com/UoEClassicsSoc), which prompted a rush of organisational enthusiasm as my committee and I made plans for the coming year.  This exciting announcement was shortly followed by a society trip to Greece, which included visits to Athens, Nafplio and Mycenae.  Watching a magnificent sunset from the top of Mt. Lycabettus and seeing (or thinking we could see) the site of the battle of Salamis in the distance was definitely a very special moment.


Our merry party on Mt. Lycabettus.

Other highlights of the trip included visiting The Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, which are home to some fantastic collections.  I really enjoyed seeing some of the Ancient sites covered or mentioned in my studies over the past two years, namely the Acropolis, the Athenian Agora, Epidaurus, and the ruins of Mycenae.  It was amazing to get a proper sense of the scale and impact of ancient structures, particularly the theatre at Epidaurus with it's incredible acoustics. 

The Theatre (and beautiful view!) at Epidaurus


I really enjoyed our trip to Mycenae, not only because I had spent time poring over diagrams and drawings of the settlement as part of my first year studies, but because, having come across some artifacts from there while volunteering at Liverpool World Museum, it was really interesting to be able to imagine them in the wider context of the settlement.  Given that our visit to the site took place on an extremely hot day, we were also keen to explore the underground cisterns, which were wonderfully cool in comparison to the sun outside.  Although at times, due to the ruined and low-level state of the site, it was hard to get a real sense of the ancient settlement there, visiting the Tholoi (beehive tombs) was a great experience. 

Tholos tomb at Mycenae

Mycenae (just inside the gate)

 We were lucky to be able to catch a performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni at the beautiful Odeon of Herodes Atticus.  With views of the illuminated Acropolis and the rest of Athens (before the sun went down), it really was the perfect way to finish the trip!

Sitting in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus

I will be adding some more detailed posts about various aspects of this trip with reference to all kinds of other interesting Classical things, so forgive me for not going into very much detail here; I don't want to repeat myself!

National Archaeological Museum of Athens


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