GREEK CULTURE – ANCIENT GREEK TECHNOLOGY – THE ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM. The Antikythera mechanism was recovered from a shipwreck found in 1900 by sponge divers off the island of Antikythera.
Built in Hellenistic times, this intricate device was used for astronomical calculations and has been described as the oldest analogue computer. Its more than 30 bronze gearwheels rotated pointers over different dials. Thus, manually selecting a date on the main dial – which represented the zodiac, as well as the solar and lunar years – shifted the smaller gears, so that the pointers on the other dials indicated the position of the selected date in the four-year cycle of the Panhellenic games (Olympia, Pythia, Isthmia, Nemea), the positions of the five then-known planets and the correlation with astronomy cycles that were of particular interest to the ancient Greeks.
The mechanism also predicted solar and lunar eclipses. Research on the mechanism, which has fascinated scholars for decades, is still ongoing under the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project, which, using advanced imaging technologies, continues to provide impressive new insights into the mechanism’s complex inner workings.
George Gordon Byron (London 1788-Missolonghi 1824) was an emblematic figure of European Romanticism and one of the most important poets of the 19th century.
From a very young age, he embraced liberal and philhellenic ideals. His Grand Tour of the Mediterranean in 1809 brought him to Greece, to which he dedicated the second canto of his defining poetic work, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.
The outbreak of the Greek Revolution in 1821 set fire to Byron’s romantic soul. He ultimately moved to Greece in 1823 in order to take part in the struggle and settled in Missolonghi, where he spent much of his fortune on setting up military and naval units. However, he was never to see action, as his life was cut short on 19 April 1824, following a serious illness. His untimely death was a tragic loss and was deeply mourned by the Greeks, but at the same time boosted philhellenic sentiment around the world.
SILVER COLLECTOR COIN 10 EURO DEDICATED TO: “80 YEARS FROM THE BATTLE OF CRETE”. The Battle of Crete (20 May – 1 June 1941) was one of the most dramatic episodes of World War II. After occupying the rest of Greece, the Germans launched an unprecedented airborne operation on Crete, spearheaded by parachutists who were to seize the airfields so that ground troops could then be landed. The island was defended by Cretan civilians, the remnants of the Greek Army (without its Cretan Division, stranded on the mainland), as well as British, Australian and New Zealand allies. After suffering heavy losses on day one of the Battle,
the Germans seized the Maleme airfield on day two and thereafter occupied the entire island. The heroic resistance of the Cretan people won them worldwide admiration, but also led to harsh German reprisals.
Collector case of the 8 silver coins. The collection of the 8 silver coins is available in a wooden collector case with the corresponding certificates. The collection includes the following coins: 1830, The first Greek State. The coin depicts Theodoros Kolokotronis.
1864, The Ionian Islands (Heptanese). The coin depicts Ioannis Kapodistrias. 1881, Thessaly – Arta. The coin depicts Rigas Velestinlis (Feraios). 1913, Crete. The coin depicts Eleftherios Venizelos. 1913, Macedonia. The coin depicts Pavlos Melas.
1913, Epirus. The coin depicts Athanasios Tsakalof. 1920, Thrace. The coin depicts Georgios Vizyinos. 1947, The Dodecanese. The coin depicts the Lady of Ro.
SILVER COIN 5 EURO DEDICATED TO ENDEMIC FLORA OF GREECE ― IRIS HELLENICA. Iris hellenica was described as a new species in 2010. Resembling Iris germanica, a widely cultivated plant of hybrid origin, it is distinguishable primarily by its smaller height (25-55 cm), smaller leaves, fruits and seeds and the lighter bluish-purple tint of its flowers. It blooms from May to early June. Its main distribution is in the mountains of the northern Peloponnese (Kyllini, Chelmos, Saitas, Erymanthos), where it is mostly found in openings of Greek fir (Abies cephalonica) forest, as well as in rocky areas, at altitudes of 1,300-1,800 metres. Populations of Iris hellenica have also been discovered on Mount Oiti in Central Greece, indicating a phytogeographical affinity between the mountains of that
region and of the northern Peloponnese. This can be explained by the fact that the two regions, separated today by the Corinthian Gulf, were once united (until 900,000 years ago).
The obverse represents the archaeological site of Olympia with its columns made from the remains of ancient monuments. The birthplace of the Olympic Games is translated by the flame that gushes out of the basin. An Olympian goddess tries to light her torch with this Olympic flame. The geometric shapes at the back of the coin evoke the famous Greek amphitheatres and therefore the first Olympic stadiums that hosted the Games in antiquity.
SILVER COIN 5 EURO DEDICATED TO 150 YEARS SINCE THE BIRTH OF THEOPHILOS. Folk painter Theophilos Hatzimihail (1870-1934) was born in Vareia, on the island of Lesvos, and was essentially self-taught, apart from elements of painting learned from his grandfather, an icon painter. He left for Smyrna at a young age, but spent most of his life in Volos and villages of Mt Pelion, before returning to Lesvos in 1927. His themes are inspired from Greek history and mythology, Byzantine art, folk life and tradition, as well as from landscapes of his native island. He lived in poverty, often decorating the walls of houses and shops for a pittance. He was frequently the target of mockery for wearing the national Greek costume (fustanella) and an ancient Greek helmet. In 1928, he was discovered by art critic and collector Stratis Eleutheriadis (Teriade), who purchased several of Theophilos’s paintings and commissioned other works for a large exhibition in Paris. The exhibition, which took place in 1936, after the painter’s death, was an enormous success. A retrospective exhibition at the Louvre followed in 1961.