Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek history, Classical Education, Men's Spring '14 collections

Dolce & Gabbana – Inspired by the Gods

As you already know, I am obsessed by the ancient Greek Gods…but, I am not the only one!

My favorite design duo Dolce & Gabbana was inspired this season as well. Well, the huge difference between us is that, I am always inspired…season after season…and… I will be obsessed with the Gods for… eternity! They are in my DNA… going back to D&G, the collection they presented recently in Milan was all about the glamour of ancient Greece – they managed to turn all these contemporary men into Greek Gods. Bravo!

 

For the complete show please see here:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omIMOAneTwM

 

 

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God Hermes

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Hermes, the herald of the Olympian gods, is the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia, daughter of Atlas and one of the Pleiades. Hermes is the god of shepherds, land travel, merchants, weights and measures, oratory, literature, athletics and thieves, and known for his cunning and shrewdness. Most importantly, he is the messenger of the gods. Besides that he was also a minor patron of poetry. He was worshiped throughout Greece — especially in Arcadia — and festivals in his honor were called Hermoea.

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According to legend, Hermes was born in a cave on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia. Zeus had impregnated Maia at the dead of night while all other gods slept. When dawn broke amazingly he was born. Maia wrapped him in swaddling bands, then resting herself, fell fast asleep. Hermes, however, squirmed free and ran off to Thessaly. This is whereApollo, his brother, grazed his cattle. Hermes stole a number of the herd and drove them back to Greece. He hid them in a small grotto near to the city of Pylos and covered their tracks. Before returning to the cave he caught a tortoise, killed it and removed its entrails. Using the intestines from a cow stolen from Apollo and the hollow tortoise shell, he made the first lyre. When he reached the cave he wrapped himself back into the swaddling bands.

When Apollo realized he had been

2hermescondionisosdepraxc3adtelesrobbed he protested to Maia that it had been Hermes who had taken his cattle. Maia looked to Hermes and said it could not be, as he is still wrapped in swaddling bands. Zeus the all powerful intervened saying he had been watching and Hermes should return the cattle to Apollo. As the argument went on, Hermes began to play his lyre. The sweet music enchanted Apollo, and he offered Hermes to keep the cattle in exchange for the lyre. Apollo later became the grand master of the instrument, and it also became one of his symbols. Later while Hermes watched over his herd he invented the pipes known as a syrinx (pan-pipes), which he made from reeds. Hermes was also credited with inventing the flute. Apollo, also desired this instrument, so Hermes bartered with Apollo and received his golden wand which Hermes later used as his heralds staff. (In other versions Zeus gave Hermes his heralds staff).

Being the herald (messenger of the gods), it was his duty to guide the souls of the dead down to the underworld, which is known as a psychopomp. He was also closely connected with bringing dreams to mortals. Hermes is usually depicted with a broad-brimmed hat or a winged cap, winged sandals and the heralds staff (kerykeion in Greek, or Caduceus in Latin). It was often shown as a shaft with two white ribbons, although later they were represented by serpents intertwined in a figure of eight shape, and the shaft often had wings attached. The clothes he donned were usually that of a traveler, or that of a workman or shepherd. Other symbols of Hermes are the cock, tortoise and purse or pouch.

Originally Hermes was a phallic god, being attached to fertility and good fortune, and also a patron of roads and boundaries. His name coming from herma, the plural being hermaiherm was a square or rectangular pillar in either stone or bronze, with the head of Hermes (usually with a beard), which adorned the top of the pillar, and male genitals near to the base of the pillar. These were used for road and boundary markers. Also in Athens they stood outside houses to help fend off evil. In Athens of 415 BCE, shortly before the Athenian fleet set sail against Syracuse (during the Peloponnesian War), all the herms throughout Athens were defaced. This was attributed to people who were against the war. Their intentions were to cast bad omens on the expedition, by seeking to offend the god of travel. (This has never been proved as the true reason for the mutilation of the herms.)

345px-Hermes_Logios_Altemps_33The offspring of Hermes are believed to be PanAbderus and Hermaphroditus. Hermes as with the other gods had numerous affairs with goddesses, nymphs and mortals. In some legends even sheep and goats. Pan, the half man half goat, is believed to be the son of Hermes and Dryope, the daughter of king Dryops. Pan terrified his mother when he was born, so much so that she fled in horror at the sight of her new born son. Hermes took Pan to Mount Olympus were the gods reveled in his laughter and his appearance and became the patron of fields, woods, shepherds and flocks. Abderus, a companion of the hero Heracles, is also thought to be a son of Hermes, he was devoured by the Mares of Diomedes, after Heracles had left him in charge of the ferocious beasts. Hermaphroditus (also known as Aphroditus) was conceived after the union of Hermes and Aphrodite. He was born on Mount Ida but he was raised by the Naiads (nymphs of freshwater). He was a androgynous (having the characteristics of both sexes) deity, depicted as either a handsome young man but with female breasts, or as Aphrodite with male genitals.

Known for his swiftness and athleticism, Hermes was given credit for inventing foot-racing and boxing. At Olympia a statue of him stood at the entrance to the stadium and his statues where in every gymnasium throughout Greece. Apart from herms, Hermes was a popular subject for artists. Both painted pottery and statuary show him in various forms, but the most fashionable depicted him as a good-looking young man, with an athletic body, and winged sandals and his heralds staff.

More facts about Hermes (well facts according to the myths and the legends, but I believe them – I believe everything the ancient Greeks believed):

See below the recent birthday (May 25th)  gift I received from my two beautiful nephews George and Angelo. Thank you kids! I love you!

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Family of Hermes

Parents: Hermes was the son of Zeus, the King of the Gods, and the mountain Nymph Maea, who was a daughter of the Titan Atlas. Hermes was born inside a cave on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia, southern Greece.
Famous ChildrenHermaphroditus and the Satyr Pan.

Hermes, the God’s Messenger and Conductor of Souls

Hermes was wearing wings on his sandals and therefore was the speediest of all Greek gods. Because of his speed, Hermes received the role of the messenger and conductor of souls to the Underworld. Hermes was the only Olympian god who was authorized to visit Heaven, Earth and also the Underworld and enjoyed this way popularity among all the Greek gods and spirits.article-new_ehow_images_a07_b9_dh_make-hermes-costume-800x800

Hermes, the God of the Thieves

It is well known that Ancient Greeks endowed their gods with human weaknesses. Hermes, for instance, felt an irresistible impulse of stealing ever since his infancy and quickly developed as the god of the cheaters and the thieves.

Hermes’ special Relation to Zeus

Hermes was a messenger of all gods, but mostly he was known for performing duties for his father Zeus with great pleasure. Zeus appreciated Hermes’ wits highly and always asked for Hermes’ assistance throughout his decisions, especially when it came to cheating on his wife Hera.

Appearance of Hermes

Hermes was a young man, wearing traveling clothes, a flat hat known as “petasus” and winged sandals on his feet. Oftentimes he was also considered to have wings attached to his shoulders and hat.
Hermes usually held a winged staff with snakes wrapped around it in his hands in order to gain access everywhere. This staff helped Hermes to charm the gods or to wake up those who were tamed by the god of sleep.

Symbols of Hermes

The caduceus (his staff), the purse (or leather pouch), the winged sandals, the ram and the petasus (his hat).

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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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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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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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Classical Ideal – Spring ’13 NYC style

 

 

 

Fashion week was here…and gone…leaving its imprint permanently on the pages of fashion history…HISTORY WAS MADE ONCE AGAIN.

Spring 2013 was shown recently in New York City’s runway. 

The beauty, glamour, style and fairy-tale inspired styles were presented to the fashion world again. Glamour must go on…regardless. All the designers did such a fantastic job. Here are my favorite looks. In an “ideal” world, I would wear every one of them. The looks of course, were inspired by Ancient Greece. Lovely! 

 

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POSTCARD Happy Birthday Alexander the Great

On this day in history, July 20,356 BC in ancient Pella Macedonia, Alexander the Great was born to King Phillip and Queen Olympias of Macedonia. One of my favorite ancestors! Happy Birthday Alexander the Great! Thank you for all the light you have brought into this world.

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