23.A.2.a. A Spartan Poem

Thermopylae (Greece)

As in our 21st century funerary customs so it was then and what it is now. On this commemorative bronze stone is an epitaph, translated “”Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here obedient to their laws we lie.””

Tradition says: Flowers are fleeting; but the use of a stone is to show that the love, honor, memories, and soul of the loved one are eternal.

My photo.

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23.A.2. Memorial to “Go Spartans!”

Thermopylae (Greece)

To continue where I left off on my Blog 23.A.1. are two marble statues on the left and right. In my research, this represent landmarks, the left for a river, the river Eurotas and the right, Mount Taygetos.

In this photo is another symbol, epigram, in memory of Spartan courage. On this hill surrounded by mountains, bushes stands the burial mound of the Spartans at Thermopylae and on which the last of them died. As I stand on this commemorative bronze stone I feel some emotion because this place is actually a graveyard remembering the dead Spartans.

23.A.1. Leonidas I Monument, Thermopylae

Thermopylae (Greece)

Our next destination after Patras is our sixth, Thermopylae. Thermopylae is a place, a Pass. The Battle of Thermopylae has influenced western popular culture, such as in literature, song, video games and in films: 300 (2006) and 300: Rise of an Empire. In the 2006 film the plot revolves around King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) of Sparta, who leads 300 Spartans into battle against the Persian “god-King” Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his invading army of more than 300,000 soldiers that took place here.

Another historic location and Wow! I’m actually here. Here is a monument of the Spartan king, Leonidas. I did not include myself in photos- just my husband … the space all around was so manly- strength, courage and bravery. You will find out in my next follow up blogs.

Do you see what’s on the left and right in the picture?

22.A.2.Miguel de Cervantes Statue

City of Patras, Greece

Refer to Blog 22.A.1. This is our 5th destination. It was difficult to translate the inscription on this memorial slab and the who the individual is commemorated here. With deep research, I find that this statue is of Miguel de Cervantes. He is known for his novel, Don Quixote.

Here, in which he is looking at a feather he is holding up with a gesture of pride as representation of his distinguished literary work. His brave fighting in the battle of Lepanto (formerly Nafpatkos)granted him this imposing iron statue.

The inscription above the statue says Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616), Spanish soldier and a genius of letters.

My photo.

22.A.1. Castle of Nafpaktos

City of Patras, Greece

My husband and I picked a great travel tour company and the best tour guide in Greece. Our package trip was going to historical destinations in the north, west, east and south including the Greek Islands on ship for 14 days. It was called The Best of Greece.

Our first destination was Athens, the capital city then moved on to our 2nd to 4th and now this 5th destination. Going west from Athens, is the city of Patras, the 3rd largest city in Greece. We cross a famous bridge, the Rio-Antirio bridge (which is the longest of fully suspended bridges).

We stopped at a historic site of the Castle of Nafpaktos. It is well preserved and keeps watch on the bay and a fortification enclose a picturesque little harbor. We had fish for lunch obviously, at a seafood restaurant by the water. It was cloudy but you set your sight on this castle with a statue on top its ramparts.

My photo.

21.A.1. Bronze Censer (Thymiaterion)

Delphi Archaeological Museum

A thymiaterion is a type of censer or incense burner used in the region of the Mediterranean for spiritual and religious purposes and especially in religious ceremonies. This burner is unique in color and it’s so close to the Olympic torch in miniature.

In modern times it can be used as a potpourri burner.

My photo.

17.A.1. Charioteer of Delphi

Delphi Archaeological Museum

I will take you right away to it’s description. Visual is sometimes stronger than words in this instance, in the museum.

The sculpture depicts the driver (a young man) of the chariot race at the moment when he presents his chariot and horses to the spectators in recognition of his victory.

My photo.