Alexander the Great, Ancient Greek history, Classical Education, Macedonian Kingdom, Susanna Galanis Inspired by History, Susanna Galanis Jewelry

A Post Card – Alexander the Great

A POST CARD 

“Nothing is impossible to him who will try.” Alexander the Great

                                                                                                           

 

 

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Alexander the Great, Ancient Greek history, Classical Education, Macedonian Kingdom, Susanna Galanis Jewelry

From Aristotle to Alexander the Great – a new charity is born!

The latest news I want to share with you is the formation of a new charity:

ALEXANDER THE GREAT Foundation

A GLOBAL charity to help children and young adults through the introduction and education in the fields of: CLASSICAL EDUCATION -ancient Greek wisdom and teachings, philosophy, physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, arts, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, mathematics, medicine, biology, zoology, nature, athletics…and anything else that will enhance thought, mental and physical endurance, wellness and develop the power of the mind.

“Nothing is impossible to him who will try” This was Alexander the Great’s [my famous ancestor and most important force in my own life] philosophy, but, he was tought that – by Aristotle. Why can’t contemporary children get the same influence and the same education? Why can’t they attain the same glory, and success like Alexander Great? Anything is possible he kept on saying that. THIS IS A FACT!

I would like this charity to enhance, support, influence and encourage the young generation [like I was] as I believe that history is always repeating and there are so many young people who have so much to generate and contribute if they are given a chance by having the right influences and education.  And here I am — developing this foundation with all this in mind — my biggest desire is to create the “next Alexander. ” 

P.S. I will be updating you on all the upcoming news regarding this charity and providing you with contact information. If you need to reach me you can do so through this post.

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Aegead dynasty, Alexander the Great, Hercules, Macedonian Empire, Zeus

From Hercules to Alexander: Argead dynasty & the Legend of Macedonia

 An exhibit about my favorite ancestor Alexander II of Macedon or, Alexander the Great (356-321 BC) as he is generally known,  ended recently in Oxford England. This exhibition was about the ancient Macedonian royal lineage of Alexander the Great (pictured left) and presented evidence that his family and kingdom were firmly rooted in the culture and civilization of Ancient Greece. The tittle of this exhibition was: “From Hercules to Alexander: the legend of Macedonia” and it featured exhibits from the Aigai Museum in Northern Greece. According to Greek archaeologists who worked on the recent digs at the Palace in Aigai, a series of finds prove that “Alexander the Great did not just spring out of nowhere to take over the entire world. He was a scion of the Argead dynasty  that ruled the Macedonian Kingdom for three and a half centuries and who were descendants of Hercules and Zeus.” According to the narrative of the exhibition in Oxford, the genealogical tree of the ancient Macedonian kings claimed to be stemming from Zeus and Hercules and reaching to Alexander’s son, Alexander IV.

The Argead dynasty is an Ancient Greek royal house. They were the ruling dynasty of Macedon Greece from about 810 to 310 BC. Their tradition, as described in ancient Greek historiography, traced their origins to Argos (hence the name Argeads and the Argead dynasty), in southern Greece.

Map of Argean migration route from Argos, Peloponnese, to Macedonia northern Greece.

Initially the Argeads (and because I am Macedonian, at this point, I will start referring them my great ancestors), they were just the rulers of their homonymous tribe, but, by the time of King Philip II (382-336 BC), which I wrote at a previous post, the Argeads had expanded their reign further to include under the rule of Macedon all Upper Macedonian states. 

The family’s most celebrated members were Philip the II (pictured left) of Macedon and Alexander the Great, under whose leadership, the kingdom of Macedon gradually gained predominance throughout Greece, defeated the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire, and expanded as far as Egypt and India. The Argeads claimed descent from Temenids of Argos, in Peloponnese, whose legendary ancestor was Temenus, the great-great-grandson of Heracles. In the excavations of the royal Palace at Aegae the “tholos” room (believed to be the throne room) was discovered with an inscription relating to this belief. This is testified by historian Herodotus,  in The Histories, where he mentions that three brothers of the

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lineage of Temenus (named Gauanes, Aeropus and Perdiccas) fled from  Argos to Macedonia, where after several moves, they ended in a part near mount Bermio (close to my birthplace which I find this fascinating) and gradually they formed the Macedonian kingdom. According to historian Thucydides, in the History of the Peloponnesian War, he is also stating that the Argeads were originally Temenids from Argos, who descended from the highlands to Lower Macedonia, expelled the Pieriens from Pieria, and acquired in Paionia a narrow strip along the river Axios extending to Pella and the sea.

So who were the Argeads before they occupied Argos and the Peloponnese? They were the Dorians — around 1,200 BC they migrated from the North, North-Eastern mountainous region of Greece, Ancient Macedonia and Epirus and returned to the earlier Mycenaea in the Peloponnese “as the return of the sons of Hercules.” This group of  Dorians, with Temenus as their leader (who was the descendant of Hercules, a demi-god whose father was zeus), invaded and destroyed the Myceneans. According to various myths and legends, the founder of the Dorians was  Dorus, son of Hellen — patriarch of the Hellenes. The Dorian invaders were known for the use of  iron weapons where the tribes (Mycenaeans) that lived in the Peloponnese fought with stones — they had no chance winning against the superior weapons of the Dorians. And why did the “sons of Hercules” returned or invaded the Mycenaeans in the Peloponnese? According to legend, Hercules performed a heroic act by restoring King Tyndareus, King of Sparta, to his throne and king Tyndareus gave him a part of his kingdom as a gratitude gift. Hercules asked for the gift to be safeguarded until it was claimed by his descendants, which of course were Temenus and the Dorians, and this explains the “Dorian Invasion” of the Peloponnese and the Mycenaeans.  Eventually, the Argeads  that settled in Argos, moved up North again to Macedonia and created the Macedonian kingdom.

More about Philip II, Alexander the Great, and much more about  Macedonia coming up–as these are my GREAT ancestors and my GREAT birthplace,  and I am fascinated by the discoveries, as I condider myself to be extreemely priviledged and lucky to be associated with such history..

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Alexander the Great Exhibit, Louvre Museum, Macedonian Kingdom, Paris, Phillip of Macedon

Alexander the Great of Macedon at “Le Louvre”

“I am not interested in the descendance of the citizens or their racial origins. I classify them using one criterion: their virtue. For me every virtuous foreigner is a Greek and every evil Greek worse than a Barbarian.”    Alexander the Great – King of Macedon (356 – 323 BC)

  

We all know the power of words. Alexander the Great used them.    Crossing the Hellespont with his army in 334 BC Alexander threw his spear from his ship to the coast and it stuck in the Asian ground. He stepped onto the shore, pulled his weapon from the soil and declared that the whole of Asia would be won by the spear.

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Alexander the Great, Macedonian Kingdom, Paris-France, Louvre Museum, are magical words in my bilingual dictionary — they light me up and elevate me to the highest state of euphoria — and they are all included in this announcement:  Alexander the Great, my favorite Greek God ( he is a Greek God as far as I am concerned , the God of eternal glory and immortality), is visiting Paris! Nothing will get me to Paris faster than that —  not even Chanel, Lanvin, Dior or any other names – not even Alaxander McQueen, another one of my favorite Alexanders – anyway, I saw him recently at the Met in New York city.

Yes! Alexander the Great goes to Paris next October for a unique exhibition! And not just any place in Paris but at “Le Louvre”, the country’s most famous museum and one of the best museums on the planet!

Image of the Louvre Museum – Paris, France

 A major exhibition entitled “In the Kingdom of Alexander the Great – Ancient Macedonia” will be hosted at the famous museum from October 2011 until January 2012.

Image  Map of Alexander the Great’s Kingdom of Macedonia

In 323 BC Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia, ruled a dominion that stretched from the Balkans to the Himalayas and from Egypt to the Caspian Sea. The most brilliant and most charismatic leader — I  don’t think in my humble Macedonian opinion anyone was able to surpass him since —  he had led a small Greek army on the campaign of over 20,000 miles to conquer the mighty Persian Empire. Originally from Iran, the Persians held sway over a domain which also included all of what are now Turkey, Israel and Egypt. It had taken him twelve years and he was only thirty-two. Alexander the Great  was at that time the undisputed master of the world. 

The curator of the department of Greek and Roman antiquities of the Louvre Mrs. Sophie Deschamp has travelled to all Macedonian cities in Northern Greece in order to select the 668 objects which are going to travel to Paris. “The French know that Alexander was Greek, but not Macedonian. Things are a little confused. They don’t know that Macedonia, the birthplace of Alexander the Great is part of Greece. The exhibition will be a great opportunity for all the visitors of the Louvre to learn about Alexander the Great, the origin and the timelessness of his myth” said Mrs. Deschamp.

The exhibits will include architectural portions of the Palace of Vergina, remnants from the grave of Phillip II, and other Macedonian graves, and significant findings from other regions. The French museum is considering this exhibit to be one of major importance. It will allocate its largest periodical exhibition halls measuring a total of 1,200 square meters.

Thanks to this exhibition I will be reunited with my beautiful ancestor and I will reconnect with Macedonia — my divine motherland! I love the French for giving me this opportunity. I am going back home! Home is where Ancient Macedonia and Alexander is, and this time home is Paris!

Alexander finally gets to go West. He is  conquering Paris and the hearts of the French. The glory of the Ancient Macedonian Kingdom continues 2,300 plus years later.

The City of lights will shine brighter than ever with Alexander’s visit. His intention was to visit earlier, back in the days when  he was conquering the world, but, his untimely death prevented it. Better late than  never Alexander!

 

Image of the Louvre with Alexander the Great — promoting the upcoming exhihition (top left)

For more information about the new charity I am in the process of creating please read post dated 9/19/2011: FROM ARISTOTELE TO ALEXANDER – A NEW CHARITY IS BORN.  If you would like to participate, please contact me here.

I will be back soon…

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Alexander the Great, Ancient Greek history, Macedonian Kingdom, Phillip of Macedon

Phillip II of Macedon – Alexander the Great (continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Oh, how a small portion of earth will hold us when we are dead, who ambitiously seek after the whole world while we are living!”

PHILLIP  II OF MACEDON  – Macedonian king, father of Alexander the Great (382 BC – 336 BC)

Phillip II  (359 BC), father of Alexander the Great, was a charismatic ruler, whose strategic genius and diplomatic ability transformed Macedonia from an insignificant and marginal country into the most important power in the Aegean and paved the way for the pan-Hellenic expedition of his son Alexander III to the Orient. He was an expansive leader who had the breath of vision to usher the ancient world into the epoch of the Hellenism of three continents.

During the course of his tempestuous life, he firmly established the power of the central authority in the  Macedonian kingdom, reorganized the army into a flexible and amazing efficient unit and  made Macedonia incontestably superior to the institution of the city-state which, at this precise period, was declining.

He was a major inspiration to Alexander who eventually surpassed him in his accomplishments and his achievement of eternal glory.

Phillip’s unexpected death at the hands of an assassin in 336 BC in the theater at Aigai (on the very day of the marriage of his daughter Cleopatra to her uncle Alexander King of the Molossians and Olympia’s brother) , brought  to an end a brilliant career, the final aim of which was to unify the Greeks in order to extract vengeance on Persia for the invasion of 481-480 BC; Macedonia, in complete control of the Balkan peninsula, was ready with Alexander III as its new king, to assume its new role.

 …more about Alexander the Great’s legend …                                              

                                                                                 

                                                                                                            

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Alexander the Great, Ancient Greek history, Classical Education, culture, Macedonia, Uncategorized

Ancient Macedonia – Alexander the Great (continued )

 

 

 

 

” Macedonia my divine motherland” SG

Occupying the bigger part of Northern Greece, Macedonia  first appears on the historical scene as a geographical-political superpower in the 7th century BC,  (around 810 BC) when it

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extended from the upper waters of the Haliakmon river and mount Olympus to the river Strymon. At this time the Greek tribe of the Macedones called the Argeads (of Dorian decent) who have migrated from the south  (Argos) and whose home was in Orestis, began to expand, driving out the Thracians and contending with the Illyrians, and gradually settling in the region called “Lower Macedonia or, Macedonia by the Sea”.

This time is the official begining of the Argead or Macedonian Empire — more about the origins of the Argeads to be posted very soom..

Image. Map of Ancient Macedonia.

The country was self-sufficient in products to meet basic needs (timber, cereals, game, fish, livestock, minerals) and soon became the exclusive supplier of other Greek states less blessed by nature, though at the same time it came to be the target of expansionist schemes dictated largely by economic interests.  A particularly “introspective” land, with conservative customs (still existing today, if I can say based on my personal experience of my upbringing by my Macedonian parents) and way of life and social structure and political organization of markedly archaic character, speaking a distinctive form of the Doric dialect, Macedonia took over the reigns of the Greek spirit in the 4th century BC when the city-state was entering on its decline, revealing admirable adaptability in the face of the demands of the present and the achievements of the past, and ingenuity and boldness when confronted with the problems of the future. The country was quickly transformed into a performer of new roles, opening up new roads towards the epoch of the Hellenism of the three continents.

This is about when  Alexanders’ father, King Philip II of Macedon   (359 BC) succeeded as the ruler of the Macedonian Empire.

…more about Phillip and Alexander coming up…

Note: Please see future post dated 10-09-11: From Hercules to Alexander  – for more information about the Argead Dynasty and the legent of Ancient Macedonia.

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Alexander the Great, Ancient Greek history, Classical Education, Macedonia, Persian Empire, Susanna Galanis Jewelry, Temple Artemis of Ephesus

Temple of Artemis at Ephesus – Alexander the Great (continued)

 

 

Ephesus was an Ancient Greek city located on the west coast  of Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey. Its history stretches back to 1,000 BC.

Being one of the largest cities in antiquity, it was the center of travel and commerce. Stretched on the Aegean Sea the city of Ephesus  was one of the  greatest seaports of the ancient world and it was famed for its cult for the Goddess Artemis in a Temple whose magnificence permit it to be classified among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks to the Temple of Artemis the bustling port of the city grew large and wealthy. Beautiful stone buildings lined its streets and a huge amphitheater/stadium for gladiatorial games kept the populus entertained. At its height, some 250 thousand lived in Ephesus making it one of the largest cities of the ancient world.

Following his conquest of the Greek city of Ephesus and several other Greek cities on the Asian coast, King Croesus [King of Lydia, an ancient kingdom in Asia Minor] build the temple to honor its Goddess Artemis. Completed around 550 BC, the temple was designed by the Greek architect, Chersiphron and it was  revolutionary in design – was said to have rivaled the Parthenon in size and fame.  This ancient wonder made of marble with a cedar roof, and ornamented inside and outside with gold, was overflowing with treasures.

Image (suggestion) of  The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

The temple of Artemis had 127 columns (each around 66 feet tall)  with the front rows decorated with intricate sculpture. A statue of the Goddess Artemis — an  Anatolian Mother Goddess, with its enormous power and influence associated with, stood in the middle.

Image Map of Asia Minor (Modern-day Turkey)

Artemis was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth,  virginity, and young girls and twin of Apollo. At Ephesus, a goddess whom the Greeks associated with Artemis was passionately venerated in an archaic icon. She was worshiped primarily as the “Mother Goddess. This was the Artemis of Ephesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image of Greek Goddess Artemis-Left

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image of Ephesian Goddess Artemis – Left

 

 

Artemis of Ephesus was carved of wood, with many breast-like  protuberances apparently emphasizing fertility over the virginity traditionally associated with the Greek Artemis. The statute of the many-breasted Artemis was the symbol of the temple as well the symbol of abundance, hunting and wild life. The temple became an important attraction visited by merchants, kings,and sightseers, many of whom paid homage to the goddess in form of jewelry and various other treasures. It also offered sanctuary to those fleeing persecution or punishment, a tradition linked to the myth of the Amazons who twice fled these seeking the goddesses’ protection from punishment firstly by Dionysus and later by Heracles (more about the Amazons on a later post).

The wealth and splendour of the temple and the city of Ephesus were taken as evidence of Artemis Ephesian’s power, and were the basis of her local and international prestige – a gift and honor to the goddess brought prosperity. The splendor and beauty of the temple at the time is  described by a visitor, Antipater of Sidon who commented:  …But when I saw the sacred house of Artemis that towers to the clouds, the [other of the seven wonders of the ancient world] were places in the shade, for the Sun himself has never looked upon its equal outside Olympus.

On the night of July 21, 356 BC a man named Herostratus set fire to the temple in an attempt to immortalize his name. According to historian Plutarch, the burning of the temple coincided with the birth of Alexander – Artemis was too preoccupied with Alexander’s delivery to save her temple from its fiery destruction. This destruction was considered a very bad omen by the Persian magi who interpreted this as the destruction of the Persian empire. 

 Alexander the Grea –  King of Macedonia statue

When Alexander the Great defeated the Persian forces [who at that point had conquered the Lydians], in the battle of Granicus in 334 BC, the Greek cities of Asia Minor were liberated – Alexander was greeted warmly when he entered Ephesus in triumph. Legend has it that Alexander offered to rebuild  the destroyed temple, after all the Goddess Artemis was overseeing the safe delivery of his birth and was not able to save her temple. He was told however, that it was not fit for a God such as himself [as he was considered by many] to build a temple honoring another God. Alexander gave the city of Ephesus special privileges. A different version of the story is, that the Temple was restored with the help of Alexander.

In 262 AD the temple was destroyed again, it was restored but this great monument eventually began to lose its importance as many began switching to Christianity and the town of Ephesus was eventually deserted. In recent years, archeologists have discovered and excavated the town. The British Museum in London counts some of the temples sculptures among its treasures.

…more about Alexander the Great and the cult of Artemis of Ephesus [which I find incredibly fascinating] coming up soon…

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