Ancient Greece, Classical Education, Jewelry, Perseus, Susanna Galanis Classical Education, Susanna Galanis Inspired by History Jewelry, Susanna Galanis Jewelry, Uncategorized

Perseus – THE WARRIOR OF LIGHT

PERSEUS – another beautiful warrior and demi-God from the AGE OF GODS and the glorious world of ancient Greece. I worship him! After all, he slayed Medusa. He was the son of Zeus, Athena’s brother,  and the great-grandfather of Heclules... according to the myths and the legends… in the AGE OF GODS... He also was an Argead,  a tribe that eventually, later on in history, moved to Macedon and created the Argead Dynasty…thus, me being a Macedonian…possibly…could be related…so, therefore, he is definitely on the list of my favorite ancestors… right along with Phillip and Alexander the Great and the rest of the immortal and divine Macedonias.
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Perseus slaying Medusa
Perseus above slaying Medusa, by Lauren-Honore Margueste – 1903
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Perseus is a major hero from Greek mythology best known for his clever decapitation of Medusa, whose head turned people to stone. He also rescued Andromeda from the sea monster. Like most of the mythological heroes, the genealogy of Perseus makes him the son of a god and a mortal. Perseus is the legendary founder of Peloponnesian city of Mycenae, home of Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek forces in the Trojan War, and the father of the legendary ancestor of the Persians.

Family of Perseus:

The mother of Perseus was Danae, whose father was Acrisius of Argos. Danae conceived Perseus when Zeus impregnated her in the form of a golden shower.

Electryon is one of Perseus’ son. Electryon’s daughter was AlcmenaHercules mother. The other sons of Perseus and Andromeda are Perses (legendary ancestor of the Persians), Alcaeus, Heleus, Mestor, and Sthenelus. They had one daughter, Gorgophone.

Infancy of Perseus:

His mother, Danae, was locked in a prison by her own father, King Acrisius of Argos. The King had been told by a oracle that his daughter’s son would one day kill him. Instead of taking the risk that his daughter would become pregnant, he locked her away in a tower with no doors, and only one small window. Zeus saw the lovely princess, fell in love with her, turned himself into a shower of gold, and slipped through the window. He turned the prison into a lovely meadow filled with sun. Danae’s father saw light coming from the window and demanded that a wall be torn down so he could check on his daughter. I am labeling Perseus, therefore, “the Warrior of light” [the reason I am sharing my “labels” at this point is, that Perseus is my inspiration for  the “WARRIOR OF LIGHT” jewelry collection for men.]

When the wall came down Danae could be seen holding a baby boy. Afraid of angering Zeus, King Acrisius put the mother and child in a chest and shoved them into the ocean, letting the sea do the killing instead, but Zeus protected them along the way. They washed up on the shore of an island and were greeted by Dictys (a fisherman). Perseus grew up quite happily until one day King Polydectes decided he wanted to marry his mother.

Danae was not interested in marrying Polydectes, however. Unfortunately, the king wasn’t taking no for an answer, but Polydectes couldn’t get around Perseus, so instead he pretended to marry someone else. When Perseus came to the wedding without a gift, according to the myths ad the legends,  the King demanded that Perseus bring him Medusa’s head as a gift.

Medusa was one of three sisters, the gorgons, but she was the only mortal one. Some versions say all three were born as monsters, but the predominant myths had them as gorgeous maidens. Medusa was so beautiful that Poseidon was crazy about her, but she didn’t care about him; Poseidon turned her and her sisters into monsters with live snakes covering their heads. Medusa kept her beautiful face but everything else was so monstrous. And whoever dared to look into her face ended up being turned into stone.

[When he cut Medusa’s head off, from the drops of her blood suddenly appeared two offspring: Pegasus, a winged horse, and Chrysaor, a giant or a winged boar. It’s believed that those two were Medusa’s children with Poseidon.  I will write about Medusa with more details in an upcoming post as the whole world finds her fascinating, plus, one of my favorite designers Gianni Versace used her image as part of his logo and his designs.]

In any case, once he accomplished his task Perseus flew back and escaped Medusa’s sisters who tried to reach him. Later, Perseus used Medusa’s head as a weapon in many occasions until he gave the head to Athena to place it on her shield.

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The Trials of Perseus:

Perseus went on a long quest, ended up slaying Medusa (the Gorgon), with the assistance of Hermes, god of travelers (who loaned him his sword, which was previously used to slay Argus, and winged sandals), Athena, goddess of wisdom (who gave Perseus a mirror shield), and Hades the ruler of the Underworld (who gave Perseus the Helm of Darkness to hide in the shadows). He also, at one point, took away the Gray Sisters‘ [Athenas’] eye to taunt them into telling him of the position of the Island of the Gorgons. However, on his way back to the king, Perseus showed the true nature of his heroism: Saving Princess Andromeda from the sea monster, Keto, who he later married.

Eventually, he takes the head back to King Polydectes only to find out the wedding was a sham and that his mother has been forced to be the King’s wife. Furious, Perseus uses Medusa’s head to turn his enemies in the Kingdom to stone, thereby rescuing his mother. Eventually, later in his life, he was playing in the Olympics when a gust of wind threw his discus at his grandfather, killing the old man (despite his best efforts) and fulfilling the prophecy.

Perseus

Perseus and Andromeda:

On his travels, Perseus fell in love with a maiden named Andromeda who was paying for the boasts of her family (like Psyche in Apuleius‘ Golden Ass) by being exposed to a sea monster. Perseus agreed to kill the monster if he could marry Andromeda, with almost predictable obstacles to overcome.

Perseus Returns Home:

When Perseus came home he found King Polydectes behaving badly, so he showed the king the very prize he had asked Perseus to fetch, the lithifying head of Medusa. Inevitably, Polydectes turned to stone.

Perseus Fulfills the Oracle:

Perseus then went to Argos and Larissa to compete in athletic events. There he accidentally killed Grandfather Acrisius when a wind swept away a discus he was holding. Perseus then went to Argos to claim his inheritance.

Local Hero:

Since Perseus had killed his grandfather, he felt badly about reigning in his stead, so he went to the Tiryns where he found the ruler, Megapenthes, willing to exchange kingdoms. Megapenthes took Argos, and Perseus, Tiryns. Later Perseus founded the nearby city of Mycenae, which is in the Argolis, in the Peloponnes.

Death of Perseus:

Another Megapenthes killed Perseus. This Megapenthes was a son of Proteus and a half-brother of Perseus. After his death, Perseus was made immortal and put among the stars. Today, Perseus is still the name of a constellation in the northern sky.

Perseus and His Descendants

The Perseids, a term referring to the descendants of Perseus and Andromeda’s son Perses, are also a summer meteor shower that comes from the constellation of Perseus. Among the human Perseids, the most famous is Hercules.

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Alexander the Great, Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek history, Classical Education, Suanna Galanis History and Glamour, Susanna Galanis, Susanna Galanis Classical Education, Susanna Galanis Inspired by History, Susanna Galanis Jewelry

Postcard – Classical ideal

 

 

CLASSICAL IDEAL- Ancient Athens, Classical Greece, Hellenistic Greece and  Ancient Rome

 

Classica Ideal - Classical and Hellenistic, and Roman worlds

Classical Ideal – Classical and Hellenistic, and Roman worlds

The Classical ideal of ancient Athens, pertains to the standard of excellence proposed by the cultures of ancient Greece, and Rome, beginning in the Golden Age of Greece. The ancient Greeks aspired to perfection in both body and mind, and sought a synthesis of the two poles of passion and reason. Through athletic behavior, they were able to exercise the value of perfection of body. Through philosophy, government, poetry, drama, law, logic, history, mathematics and architecture, they were able to express their desire for perfection of the mind. Through artistic portrayal of the human form they tried to achieve a synthesis of passion and reason.

The philosophy of Greek art of the Golden Age was that of moderation in all things, as represented by ‘The Winged Victory’. In sculpture, the characteristic form was

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the male nude, which later inspired Michelangelo’s Statue of David of the Renaissance. During the peak of the Classical Greek civilization, the idealized figures of Greek art and architecture exemplified order and harmony. In architecture, the most famous building was the Parthenon. To the ancient Greeks, monuments were to be treated as large sculptures. They were thus built around the same rules of symmetry and ideal proportion. Public rites took place in front of a temple, where sculpture told the story of the temple’s deity. The religion of the Classical period of Greek and Roman history was polytheistic. The gods and mythical figures of the civilization were the subjects of homage in the arts, including drawing, sculpture, and architecture. The signature city of the Greek classical era was Athens. The main contributions of the Golden Age of ancient Athens were democracy, individualism and reason. The ideals and values were transmitted from Greece to Rome, and were later revived by many cultures of Europe.

The ideals of order and solemnity repeated themselves in the art and architecture of the ancient Romans, in the European Renaissance era and in the era of Neoclassicism in 17th and early 18th century Europe.

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Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek history, Apollo, Apollo and Daphne, Susanna Galanis, Susanna Galanis Classical Education, Susanna Galanis History & Glamour, Susanna Galanis Inspired by History Jewelry, Susanna Galanis Jewelry, Uncategorized

Apollo and Daphne

 

 

 

APOLLO AND DAPHNE – TRAGIC LOVE

 

 

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I was always fascinated with the Greek Gods, the myths and the legends. The story that I will share with you today is my inspiration for creating the Spring ’13 jewelry collection  called AGE OF GODS – Daphne.

It is the sad love story of Apollo and his great obsession/love with ancient Greek nymph Daphne. The curse of Apollo [ a great warrior, God of light and poetry] was brought to him when he insulted the god Eros for playing with bows and arrows – Eros was using bows and arrows to struck people into love. Arrogant warrior Apollo, having won Python, a horrible earth-dragon that was living in the area of Delphi, abruptly told Eros to leave war-like weapons to mighty warrior Gods like himself and stick to his own pastimes devaluing his duty to inflate love and passion to others. This infuriated the headstrong Eros who decided to take his revenge on the audacious Apollo.

75906_300649780035997_300901400_nEros climbed on the rock of Mt Parnasus and unleashed two arrows: one sharp and gold-tipped and another blunt and lead-tipped. The sharp, gold-tipped arrow pierced the heart of Apollo inflaming his love for Daphne, a beautiful nymph, while the blunt, lead-tipped arrow struck the nymph creating an aversion for love in her heart. She was constantly rejecting the love of the glorious Apollo, who was persistently pursuing her. Daphne in order to escape him metamorphosed into a laurel tree [called daphne in Greek.]  Her skin turned into bark, her hair became leaves, and her arms transformed into branches. She stopped running as her feet became rooted  to the ground.SG Daphne Collection S'13

Apollo was heart-broken at the loss of his love Daphne.  Since he could no longer take her as his wive, he vowed to tend her as his tree, and promised that her leaves would decorate the heads of leaders as crowns, and that her leaves were also to be depicted on weapons.

Mighty Apollo also used his powers of eternal youth and immortality to render her ever green. Since then, the leaves of the Bay laurel tree have ever known to decay.

Since Apollo was a God of poetry as well, he also made laurel the symbol of tribute to poets. The laurel became therefore the symbol of the God. Pythia, the priestess in the oracle of Delphi, was chewing leaves of laurel to communicate with Apollo and give her prophesies to people.  

So sad…

The Spring ’13 jewelry collection that I created is inspired from Daphne with signature leaves and flowers all finished in beautiful green gold.

Here are a few details of my upcoming collection plus images of a very famous baroque, life-sized marble statute entitled Apollo and Daphne – sculpted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini [1622-1625.]  

More to come later…xoxoS

CollectCollec

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Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek hairstyles, Classical Education, Suanna Galanis History and Glamour, Susanna Galanis, Susanna Galanis Inspired by History Jewelry

My day with the Gods

 

 

 

My favorite Gods of New York City.

Its Sunday in the magnificent New York City. A beautiful, sunny day. Yet, I feel so blue.

“It’s normal” I say to myself. “We just had a tremendous and very cruel hurricane storm, Sandie, and the catastrophe it brought to this beautiful place is devastating —  the pain and suffering of the people is unbearable to watch. How can I feel any better?”

I knew immediately what to do. Go to the Met [Metropolitan Museum of Art.] My favorite place in the entire world. This is where I visit the Gods, the Goddesses, the nymphs, the warriors and the heroes and I draw strength and energy from the divine — my divine ancestors.

It was an unusually brilliant and sunny early afternoon. As soon as I run up the stairs, a beautiful flock of birds with wings flickering up  in the sun  light greeted me. The sun rays were so defined and  intense against the  background of the museum. It felt like a divine sign, an omen, a blessing.  “What is this supposed to mean?” I said to myself.  “It’s definitely something good.” But, I always feel good when I go to the museum. This is why I go there when I have the blues. It is my divine cathedral, my temple, a holy place.

Well, this incredible feeling skyrocketed as soon as I saw Zeus, Hercules, Apollo, Alexander, Dionysos, Artemis, Athena and Aphrodite! They were all there. I cannot describe the feeling. “I am not surprised at all that these great Gods decided to make New York City their home,” I thought to my self giggling.

While I stood in front of the huge column right at the center of the Grecian and Roman Galleries, I felt compelled to touch it! “Can I touch this?” I said to the guard. “Why?” he answered. “I just want to connect with its energy” I said. “OK. I will turn around pretending that I didn’t see you.” He said. Wow!!! it felt like electricity running through my left arm. I had shivers. A stand with a mask featuring my glorious Macedonian ancestor Alexander The Great, and a favorite of all of my favorite Gods, was to the left.  His father Zeus [according to the myths and the legends] was a few steps besides him. The atmosphere was magical. I felt like one of the dancing meneads…in a trance…worshiping drunken Dionysos that was further down the hall. Oh…just a reminder… I promised you in the past that I will write about  Queen Olympias of Macedon [Alexander’s divine mother]…well, wait a see how she was worshiping God Dionysos…coming next.

At the fountain, further down, I tossed a coin making a wish about my beautiful city NYC. May the Gods always protect you and may you continue to prosper and excel and be the City of Lights for eternity! May you always be favored by the divine Gods!

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