Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010

The Theater of Epidaurus is not only the best preserved ancient theater in all
of Greece, but was also once a center of healing. Apparently once the ancient
patients were on their way to physical health, they spent the day watching the
performances of the ancient tragedy plays like Medea or Oedipus Rex in order to
complete their healing through “catharsis.” Wow! An early example of art therapy
in practice!

The highlight of our visit was Kamie’s beautiful center-stage rendition of “You Are
My Sunshine” just as real raindrops began to fall. Unfortunately her song was
drowned out by the clanging of Greek workmen.

Next we ventured on to the fortified palace of Mycenae. Only the ruling class
inhabited the hilltop palace, and the artisans and merchants lived outside the
city walls. We viewed the Lion’s Gate (insert photos), the Circle Grave A(insert),
and the Treasury of Atreus (photo). Katya, our local guide, told us that the dead were buried with a coin in each of their mouths so that they could pay their passage to the “other side”. The dead (at least those that were not deserving to be buried in tombs) were buried underneath their kitchen floors. When the
families indulged in libations, they were also sure to “feed” their departed. Walking in the footsteps of the ancients brought alive the stories of the people and places of the Trojan War. Was it a love triangle involving King Menelaus, his wife Helen, and Paris or just another political move to gain the fertile land and riches found in Troy (present day Turkey)?

Michael: I could sum up the day thusly: it was amazing to see the 1st ancient Greek Culture. This is where future Greeks get the idea for building on the acropolis, the high point, and the town around down below. These were the first people to speak Greek. Here is where it all began. These people did not have democracy, however there is no way that one can deny the cultural ties this past generation had to future Greeks.

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