Pasta Flora

pasta flora

Greek society

The Greeks were the pioneers in so many fields – athletics, astronomy, biology, philosophy, theatre, geography, medicine among others – that it is easy to take them for granted, to see their achievements as simply part of the human make-up.  But what makes us modern  today frequently stems from the Greek experience.  With the Greeks, Western literature began on an unparalleled high with Homer,  still being translated anew today.  With the Greeks Western medicine, with its Hippocratic oath, began, as did Western theatre (and so, by extension, cinema).  With the Greeks formal mathematics, astronomy and geography emerged for the first time.  Competitive sport, too, first sprang up in recognizable form in Ancient Greece.

The Greeks were not omniscient or infallible.  In early years they borrowed what they needed from their older, often richer neighbours.  They were certainly not the richest or most powerful people in the ancient world, but they influenced those who were, including the Romans later.  Greek life, which centered on the polis, the often tiny city-state, was simple but lived with passionate vigour in a spirit of keenest competition.  “Nothing in excess”, the god Apollo’s famous maxim, was needed in a turbulent world in which men often sought everything in excess.  The Greek world had its dark sides.  Women were excluded, at least in the classical period, from all public life.  And male citizens’ frugal leisure depended on the labour of slaves, whose status was seldom questioned even by philosophers.  But women and slaves were no freer in many comparable societies, at the time or later, that have never begun to rival the Greeks’ contribution to human achievements in so many spheres. extract taken from here Continue reading

Ambrosia

ambrosia

Aphrodite and Eros

Dedicated to those in Love (including Love to Others, Life, Nature, the Universe, etc. (as long as one is – and continues to be – in Love).

EROS was among the first powers of the Cosmos (Creation).  God of attraction and passionate love (one understands readily there would be no life without him).  Forever a child, playful and mischievous!  His mother, Aphrodite, was in Ancient Greece the symbol of love, beauty and sexuality. She brought him to this earth, being the fruit of her love to Zeus, Ares or Hermes.  Aphrodite - according to Hesiod’s Theogony -emerged at the foam of the sea, either that of Kithera or of Cyprus (they both claim her) allegedly when the genitals of Uranus, cut by the Titan Cronus, fell into and fertilized the sea (don’t forget water is an all-creating power).

She was worshiped and had temples everywhere in Greece, both the Divine (divine, ‘spiritual’ love) and the Earth-bound Aphrodite. She also represented fertility and the blooming of nature, hence the arrival of spring.  The pomegranate and the apple were her symbols. Many sculptors portrayed her – amongst them the famous Praxiteles in the 4th century BC.  There are no remains of this statue.  Today we can admire the statue of Aphrodite at the Louvre in Paris which is attributed to the artist Alexandros of Antioch around 130 to 100BC. As well a masterpiece, found by a farmer in his land in the island of Melos in 1820.  Continue reading