Indecipherable Crete

Nigel Gibbions

I first visited Crete in December 2002 for the wedding of my friends Keith and Maria, who are responsible for the Philhellenes website. I have loved the island ever since. This is a record of that first visit.

My plane lands at 5am: dark palm trees and red sky. The wedding is later today and I must rest.

pithos about my height picture me inside it peeping out

The day after, my arms […]

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Marjory McGinn's Big Fat Greek Odyssey

Photo of Marjory McGinn with her dog

Marjory and Wallace

Marjory McGinn is a Scottish-born journalist and author, who has had a long connection with Greece, starting with a youthful work/travel year in Athens in the seventies. More recently, in 2010, she set off on a mid-life odyssey to the southern Peloponnese with her partner Jim and their crazy Jack Russell dog, Wallace. What was planned as a year’s adventure turned into four, living first on a hillside village in the Mani, […]

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John Kittmer's Thirty Great Things About Greece

Photo of John Kittmer

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A Greek perspective on austerity psychology

Graffiti image of person holding 'Hopeless' sign

Keith Frankish and Maria Kasmirli

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Photographing the Acropolis Museum

Photo of the New Acropolis Museum by Giorgos Vitsaropoulos

The photographer Giorgos Vitsaropoulos has kindly given me permission to reproduce one of his photographs of the new Acropolis Museum in Athens. It is an evocative image, which beautifully contrasts the permanence of the ancient statuary with the fleeting human visitors — a contrast mirrored in the clouds passing across the deep blue sky above.

[Click on the image to view at a larger size.]

More of Giorgos’ work, including further […]

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Sketching the gods

Laocoon by Diana Probst

Diana Probst is a professional artist based in Cambridge, UK. Diana has kindly given me permission to reproduce some of her sketches of ancient Greek scultures. Below the images, Diana adds some remarks on her choice of subject and the influence of Greek culture on her work. First is a sketch of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.

Diana writes: ‘I could never be the artist I am without the influence of Greek culture. The […]

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The goddess Athena

Detail from black-figure ceramic amphora depicting the birth of Athena from Zeus' head,

Charles Fernyhough

The goddess Athena sprang, fully armed, from a bump on her father’s head. Other versions of the myth associate her birth with water, with a stream or a lake, which may reflect her origin in the earth goddesses of the pre-Hellenics. In Greek mythology, however, she is a virgin goddess. In Book Seven of the Odyssey, she appears to Odysseus as a little girl in pigtails, hugging a water jug. The poet tells […]

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The tragedy of my beloved Greece

Victoria Hislop

My passion for Greece began the day I first went on holiday there 30 years ago, and has intensified ever since. I have been at the “party” that Greece once was. Now I am sharing the hangover. And it is desperately painful and sad.

I travel to Greece most months, to give talks on my novels, to work on adapting The Island into a 26-part miniseries for local television, and to research writing […]

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Stuart Franklin: The Greek landscape in flux

Stuart Franklin is a world-famous, award-winning photographer, and former president of Magnum Photos. He has kindly given me permission to reproduce his photograph of the deserted village of Anthochori in Arcadia, which appeared in his book Footprint: Our Landscape in Flux (Thames & Hudson, 2008). ‘Anthochori’ means ‘village of flowers’.

 

Stuart has commented on the image:

‘To the ancient Greeks, Arcadia was a rural idyll. Instead of a lush, bucolic landscape, […]

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