Posted by: Jack Henry | August 20, 2019

Editor’s Corner: Greece is the word!

Καλημέρα! (Kaliméra/good morning), my little chickadees! I got back from a vacation a couple of weeks ago, and surprisingly, I haven’t forced my photos or stories on you…yet! It was a double birthday celebration for my brother and cousin, and instead of meeting here in the states, we went to my cousin’s home: Greece. It was quite an adventure with twelve family members; various homes, hotel rooms, and bungalows; three cars; and ten really stubborn, loud, opinionated people swearing in Greek. I’ll let you figure out who the two gentle people were, but I was not one of them. J

While I was going through the Acropolis Museum, I sent myself a few words to cover with you when I returned home. The top floor of the museum is built in the dimensions of the Parthenon and contains a few original marble sculptures and a lot of casts of the Parthenon’s ancient sculptures that are now in other countries. And here is where our language lesson starts.

At either end of the museum’s top floor, you will see what remains of the two pediments. The pediments are the triangular areas above the columns. The pediments of the Athens Parthenon comprised two scenes from mythology: the birth of Athena from Zeus’s head, and a battle over Attica between Poseidon and Athena. Considering the name of the city below, I think we know who won that battle with her gift of the olive tree.

Today’s Parthenon (red indicates pediment placement):

Here’s a recreation of the pediment of Athena and Poseidon:

Hmm. I’m already running out of time and I’ve only covered “pediment.” Well, here’s another word for you: metope. A metope, according to Merriam-Webster is “space between two triglyphs of a Doric frieze often adorned with carved work.” Doric is the style of column used on the Parthenon, and a triglyph is

is a tablet with three vertical grooves. Put them all together and you have the next level of art beneath the pediment.

Okay, that’s it for today, except one more photo that I took far away from Athens, at the River Styx. Yes, this is where souls were supposedly ferried from the world of the living, across the Styx, to the world of the dead. You may remember seeing historical references of putting coins on the eyelids of the dead to pay the ferryman. This is where and why the Greeks did it. How did such a beautiful place get such a dark reputation?

Have a lovely day!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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