Ancient World Now: Mycenae, Tiryns, and Epidaurus

Listen to my podcast on Mycenae: Episode #36: The Mycenaean World
MYCENAE
After all these years of reading Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and marveling at Heinrich Schliemann’s fabulous discoveries, I finally made it to the Lion Gate at Mycenae! This place holds special meaning for me because the story of the Trojan War is my life’s focus, and its richness and depth continue to lead me in new directions.

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The Lion Gate is the main entrance to the citadel of Mycenae, which is on the hilltop behind me in this photo. This is where Agamemnon, Menelaus, Achilles, Odysseus, Ajax, and the rest of the Greek warriors met to discuss their plan to get Helen back from the Trojans, and where Clytemnestra watched for the signal fires for her husband’s return from the war.
Agamemnon had no idea what awaited him, but Cassandra, princess of Troy and war prize to the king, wailed unabated as she was brought in to the palace.

Shown below is the Tomb of Agamemnon, or the Treasury of Atreus, a beehive tholos built around 1250 B.C.: a massive structure. Bees actually inhabit the tomb and you can hear their buzzing hum when you walk inside.  This land is layered in myth and metaphor; every hill and valley, stream and copse tells a story. I still can’t believe I am here.photo 1 (1)
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TIRYNS
Before our visit to Mycenae we stopped to tour the fortress ruins of Tiryns. This site is where the term “cyclopean walls” originated, and in Homer’s Iliad, its epithet was “mighty-walled Tiryns.” Legend claims Hercules ruled here and that the walls were built by the cyclopes. Mycenae controlled the mountain pass into the plain, while Tiryns controlled access by sea.
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photo (9)photo (7)EPIDAURUS
At the 4th century Theatre at Epidaurus, the first 2 scenes from my Iliad play were performed by some members of our tour group. Considered by scholars to be the best preserved theatre from the ancient world, it is a masterpiece of acoustical engineering and architectural proportions.  Erika, from the audience, receives a copy of the play.

Ancient World Now:Mycenaean World

Click here for direct link to audio podcast Episode #36.

Click here for previous episodes.

Once upon a time, Heinrich Schliemann married a girl named Sophia. For the rest of their lives they searched for Homer’s Troy and Agamemnon’s Mycenae. News that they had discovered both stunned the world. And they lived happily ever after! This image of Sophia draped in “Helen’s gold” set off a firestorm of excitement for ancient-style jewelry. Enrich your life by reading about Schliemann’s heroic search. And enjoy today’s podcast on the basic facts about the Mycenaean world.

Ancient World Now….one day…hey, wait—i counted wrong! Inaugural Podcast

Podcast launch date: Today…
Next podcast: The Iliad-Part II, in one week

Here it is…….Click here for direct link to audio Episode #1

Click here for up-to-date list of all podcasts.

I can’t do math to save my life! It is no surprise that I counted wrong! But who’s counting?!!!

And for those of you who were paying attention the other day, here is the follow up
to the Heinrich Schliemann saga……One morning, so the story goes, Sophia & Heinrich went to the site where their workers were digging. They had laid bets that in this one particular spot on the Greek mainland, Agamemnon’s Mycenaean kingdom had stood and prospered. As they were approaching the work site, Sophia caught a glint of  gold. Thinking fast, she declared, by George, that it was Heinrich’s birthday, (how could they have forgotten) and all the workers had the day off! When the workers cleared off, the couple dug up one of the most important archaeological treasures ever to be recorded. Sophia donned the gorgeous gold jewelry, they took pictures and notified the press, and a firestorm of renewed interest in the ancient world (picking up where eighteenth century discoveries of Herculaneum and Pompeii left off) immediately swept the globe. This photograph inspired designers to fashion jewelry in the old, old styles, and nineteenth century ladies fell all over themselves trying to keep up with the new trend.

Okay, now to the podcast…drumroll, please…..I am crossing my fingers that this works properly, but as with all things tech, there’s bound to be a glitch. Let me know what you think! And contact me ASAP if something is amiss. From here on out, podcasts will be available every Monday. Thanks to everyone for your help and support. Let’s roll!

Ancient World Now….three days…..

Podcast launch date: Monday, June 14, 2010.

First episode: The Iliad 20-30 minute podcast.

From the time Heinrich Schliemann was a wee lad in Germany, he dreamed of finding the location of legendary Troy. He dedicated his entire life to this dream. He came to America and made a gold rush fortune out west. He did the mail-order bride thing and hooked up with a Greek girl named Sophia, who was also a big fan of all things Homeric. Together, they combed Greece and Turkey in the hopes of locating Ilium. While Heinrich has a bad rap in today’s world for his rough & tumble archaeological practices, you gotta hand it to him, the man was passionate!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about his young wife, Sophia, and show you how she influenced ladies accessories in the mid-nineteenth century.

Tune in to the maiden podcast of Ancient World Now to see what inspired these two characters!

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