No matter how many years I have spent in the Mediterranean in wintertime, I cannot get it into my head that it rains a lot. This New Year in western Crete the rain was biblical save for one magical sunlit day. Chania, in western Crete, seemed to be the vengeful target of black brooding skies […]
Sailing to a remote maritime sanctuary brings Richard Hodges to Europe’s earliest central place As the ferry slipped through the still-sleeping grey sea heading northwards, I raced to the aft windows to get a last look at Dhaskalio, albeit in silhouette. Dark now, this conical rock reminds me of Tintagel, detached in this case from […]
The small size of the Cycladic island of Delos belies its significance in the ancient world, both as a major sanctuary and as a thriving port. According to myth, it was on this remote and rocky pocket of land in the Aegean that Leto, pregnant by Zeus and persecuted by his wife Hera, took refuge […]
More than a decade ago I took a holiday on Naxos. This Cycladic island is a paradise for walkers and those who find pleasure in old high-walled mule tracks that connect miniature Byzantine churches. A German guidebook led me from village to village through this blessed landscape. One day, to escape this comforting world, I […]
When excavations at Akrotiri commenced in 1967, they revealed a prehistoric town with buildings still standing two or even three storeys high. More than 50 years later, the story of the life and death of an extraordinary settlement is still being teased out. We find out more.
A trip to Crete allows Rachel Glaves to delve into the fact and fiction of Knossos. Knossos is hardly an unsung site. Indeed, this archaeological gem comes with a mythology that almost rivals that of Troy. It is no coincidence that Heinrich Schliemann, the maverick investigator of Troy, had designs on Knossos, before being famously […]
Situated at the remote tip of a sparsely inhabited Cycladic island, Dhaskalio seemingly had little to draw visitors. Yet they came in sufficient numbers to create a type of settlement previously unseen in Europe. Why?
Sami Redux …I have sailed the seas and come To the holy city of Byzantium. W B Yeats, ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ (1928) The arrival of a parcel from Amazon awakens memories of magical summer days last year. Inside is Brian and Eileen Anderson’s Walk and Eat Kefaloniá, an evocative pocket guide to this Ionian island. […]
Greece in the Ancient World Jeremy McInerney Thames & Hudson, £35 ISBN 978-0500252260 Review by: Matthew Symonds The story of Greece from the Minoans to the arrival of the Romans is one of great powers rising and falling, trade networks flourishing and fading, and artistic highs set against the darker work of the arts of […]
What is it? This masterpiece in miniature is an engraved agate sealstone, measuring only 3.6cm in length. Carved with exceptional skill onto its hardstone surface is a combat scene with such fine details (some barely visible through the veining of the agate) that they can only be seen properly with photomicroscopy or a close-up camera […]
Seeking a Byzantine rebirth All Greece is absorbing and rewarding. There is hardly a rock or stream without a battle or a myth, a miracle or a peasant anecdote or a superstition; and talk and incident, nearly all of it odd or memorable, thicken round the traveller’s path at every step. Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani, […]
In 1640, a bronze tablet was discovered during construction work on a palace in Tiriolo, southern Italy. Dating from 186 BC, it records a decree issued by the Roman senate strictly regulating the cult of Bacchus, which it seems had gotten too big for its boots. But despite its ostensible threat to authority, worship of […]