Monday, March 21, 2011

Mycenae- Citadel of "Agamemnon"

"Hell to ships, hell to men, hell to cities."
-Aeschylus (Agamemnon, 689)

It's humbling to study such a powerful nation in the knowledge of its total annihilation. Fascinating, but existentially terrifying.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
   he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.
-Psalm 46:7-8

For the last two rainy days we have been studying at the ancient ruins of Mycenae (fl. 1500-1200BC). 

This is the ruin that Schliemann invaded and immediately began attributing graves, masks, and treasures to the house of Atreus. While a lot of people might criticize him for this, I think I might have done the same thing in his shoes. It's like when Roman and I were running around the creek when we were little. Every extraordinary little treasure had intrinsic value an an exponential scale of imagination. Therefore, the largest Tholos tomb belongs to Agamemnon's father Atreus:

There are 9 total massive tholos (beehive) tombs. The most famous ones are attributed to Atreus, Clytaemnestra, and Aegisthus. The citadel and palace outsize the rest of all bronze age ruins (including our selection for the rest of the week: Lerna, Tiryns, Pylos, Heronaea). There are two fundamental grave circles from which we get a great deal of artifacts. There is a Megaron that overlooks the Argolid Plains and views the bay of Nafplio. There is a possible second Megaron and a stone carved cistern at the rear of the complex. It's pretty fantastic. This is where the "Mask of Agamemnon" was "found". The most exciting thing to see on the citidel is the "Lion's Gate"

Taking notes in the fresh hilltop air of the Argolis has been fantastic. It feels like were standing over the plains of Rohan. Bronze Age History is never dull because of the lack of concrete evidence. Progress over time is shown through burial, architecture, and manufacturing practices, and all through insufficient archaeological evidence. It involves a great deal of inductive reasoning and comparisons with other sites.

Also, yesterday I tried Moussaka, which was delicious. It's essentially a casserole with eggplant, spiced lamb, potato, and cheese custard. We ate at a cafe called Noufara for dinner. For lunch we usually hit up a gyro stand or a bakery for tyrokopita (fillo cheese pie). You eat a lot of spiced meat, cheese, and oil here. Coke flows like water and the coffee is thick. 

Tomorrow, we are going to Pylos to visit good old Nestor's home. Every once in a while my mind returns to glorious days in a small white room at a church in Bristol, where a small handful of students were introduced to the further question and the idea that truth (in its absolute form) is a valuable and attainable pursuit. Through the works of Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Herodotus, and Plato we learned that we were created to glorify God with purposeful understanding of history, philosophy, beauty, and our place in the world God created. Thank you, Dr. RJ Snell, for taking the time to open the eyes of a bunch of kids to destiny through the development of character. Thank you. I miss my fellow Omnibus students and wish they could have this opportunity that each and every one of them deserves. Know that I am thinking of our time together and praying that we will reunite some time soon. 

Goodnight and God Bless, 

Eddie Kristan

1 comment:

  1. Hey Eddie,

    This was awesome! Just so you know, I am totally jealous. I am also really happy for you that you get this opportunity to see the places we all read about. This brings back fond memories.

    -Matt Hughes