Hermes was the son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia, daughter of Atlas. Born on Mt Kyllene, Hermes immediately showed signs of cunning resourcefulness, stealing Apollo’s cattle and promptly crafting the first lyre to appease him. Known as dolios, i.e. the schemer, Hermes was the divine trickster and patron of thieves. But, above all, he was the herald of the gods, which is why he was traditionally depicted wearing winged shoes, sporting a petasos (a broad-brimmed hat worn by travellers) and holding a caduceus. As psychopompos (i.e. conveyor of souls), he guided the souls of the deceased to the underworld. He was the protector of shepherds, tradesmen, as well as travellers. In fact, the road markers of the ancient Greeks were called herms, i.e. rectangular shafts topped by the head of hodios Hermes (i.e. Hermes of the roads). Given his additional status as patron of athletes, statues of him often adorned gymnasiums and stadiums. His varied roles, together with his playfulness, made Hermes the friendliest of the Olympian gods.
The ancient city of Messene was built in 369 BC at the foot of mount Ithomi, sacred to the Messenians, after the Spartans had suffered a crushing defeat to the Thebans under Epameinondas at the battle of Leuktra (371 BC), which led to the Messenians’ liberation. The city was surrounded by a 9.5 km-long fortification wall, with two gates, the Laconian and the Arcadian. Although the former no longer stands, the latter is now the site’s emblematic monument, winning a Europa Nostra Diploma in 2005 for its excellent restoration. Archaeological excavations, first launched in the late 19th century and resumed since 1986 under Professor Petros Themelis, include a vast programme of impressive restorations. These allow the visitor to form a vivid and accurate picture of the most important public buildings, including the Arsinoe fountain, the Asclepieion building complex, the stadium with the mausoleum of the Saithidae family, the gymnasium, the theatre and the odeon (also called ecclesiasterion, i.e. assembly hall).
Apollo, son of Zeus and Leto and twin brother of Artemis, was the god of light, music and the arts, as well as of prophecy, healing, measure and harmony. He was born on the island of Delos, at the centre of the Cyclades, where the Delia festivals were held in his honour. After slaying the serpent Python, he founded the famous oracle in Delphi, where the Pythian Games were celebrated. Other important sanctuaries of Apollo existed in Amyclae (near Sparta), Bassae in Arcadia (Temple of Apollo Epikourios) and Didyma (Asia Minor). Apollo was traditionally portrayed as a beardless, ideal youth, holding a lyre and sometimes a bow, as he was not without his dark side, being the god of plague and a punisher of hubris. Some of his other epithets were Phoebus, loxias (in reference to his ambiguous oracles) and musagetes (leader of the Muses).
Aphrodite of Milos, better known as the Venus de Milo, is an ancient Greek statue and one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture. Created sometime between 130 and 100 BC, the statue is believed to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty (Venus to the Romans). It is a marble sculpture, slightly larger than life size at 203 cm (6 ft 8 in) high. Part of an arm and the original plinth were lost following its discovery. From an inscription that was on its plinth, the statue is thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch; earlier, it was mistakenly attributed to the master sculptor Praxiteles. It is currently on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The statue is named after the Greek island of Milos, where it was discovered.
Mini Gold Collector Coin with face value of 50 euro, dedicated to the CULTURAL HERITAGE — MINOAN CIVILISATION.
Weight 1g, diametre 14mm. Maximum mintage 1.500 coins. Quality: proof
ARISTOTLE, 2014. Gold coin 200 Euro, 2014. Au 916.7 – weight 7.99g – diametre 22.10mm. Μintage 600 items in Proof Quality.
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Collector gold coin 50 Euro dedicated to the archeological site of Tiryns, which has been listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
Both the obverse and the reverse of the coin feature Mycenaean decorative motifs. Tiryns is the second largest Mycenaean acropolis, after Mycenae, in the eastern Peloponnesian region of Argolis. The hill of Tiryns was first inhabited in the Neolithic age. The settlement grew and reached its apogee in the Mycenaean Age (1600-1200 B.C.).
Greece – 50 Euro mini gold 2013 dedicated to Ancient Tiryns. Au 100% – Weight 1g, diametre 14mm. Mintage 1.000 coins. Quality: proof
Gold coin 200 Euro dedicated to Greek culture, Hippocrates of Kos, the Physician, 2013. Au 916.7 – weight 7.99g – diametre 22.10mm. Μintage 1.200 items in Proof Quality.
The obverse features a portrait of Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.), while the reverse features Asclepius healing patients. Continue reading