Showing posts with label Athens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Athens. Show all posts

Ancient Athens and Attica

First arriving in Athens by bike 2000 and today with Drake Winston. On October 28, 1940 Mussolini demanded that his troops be allowed to march freely through Greece as well as establish bases there. The Greek dictator Metaxas responded with his famous 'OXI' (No) from which followed war between Greek and Italian armed forces. Battles initially took place under terrible conditions in the mountainous region of Epirus. The Italians as always were poorly prepared, made unitelligent decisions and were consequently routed by the Greek army. In fact, by April 1941 they were pushed right back to their starting point in Albanian territory. The consequence of this Italian defeat was that Germany had to come to the aid of its Axis-partner. On March 1, 1941 Bulgaria joined the Tripartite Pact and permitted the Germans to position troops on its territory. On April 6, 1941 the Balkan Campaign began under Operation Marita which saw German troops break through the so-called Metaxas-line three days later. The weakened Greek army could do nothing against the power of the Wehrmacht and on April 27 Athens was captured and the swastika flag was raised over the Acropolis. After heavy fighting with British forces Crete fell at the end of May under Operation Merkur.
Dornier Do 17 light bombers flying over Acropolis, 1942.
Greece herself was divided into three zones of occupation- Bulgaria ruled the north-east, including Macedonia and Thracia, Italy was primarily responsible for central Greece, the Ionian Islands and the Peloponnese whilst the two largest cities, Athens and Thessaloniki, several Aegaen Islands and more than half of Crete fell into German hands. This pretty much lasted until September 8, 1943 when, after the so-called Armistice of Cassibile, Italy officially capitulated to the Allies, leading to the breakup of the Italian zone of occupation which now came under the control of the Germans.
The acropolis behind me and from the same site as a backdrop to a group photograph of visiting Wehrmacht soldiers on furlough.
It was at a meeting at his headquarters on August 23, 1944 that Hitler told Field Marshal Maximilian von Weichs, commander of the German forces in the Balkans, that with the Romanian oil fields lost, there was now no more point in occupying Greece and he should begin preparations for a withdrawal from Greece at once. German troops eventually evacuated Athens on October 12 and by the end of the month, they had withdrawn from mainland Greece. The first British troops under General Scobie arrived in Athens on October 14, 1944. By that time 80% of Greece's industry and 28% of its infrastructure had been destroyed including 90% of her ports, roads, railways and bridges. A full quarter of her forests and other natural resources was lost as well as anything from 7.02% to 11.17% of its citizens. Indeed, over 40,000 civilians died in Athens alone from starvation, and tens of thousands more died from reprisals by Nazis and their Italian and Bulgarian collaborators.
Behind me (and the Wehrmacht exactly sixty years before) is the Acropolis, its buildings the legacy of Pericles's decision to use the Delian League funds, contributed for the war against Persia, for the rebuilding of Athens which heralded the most important programme of state patronage to have been seen in Greece, rivalled only later in the capitals of the Hellenistic kings. Work was not completed until the end of the century, the last phase being undertaken despite the distractions of a crippling and unsuccessful war. But even these latest additions can be seen as necessary parts of the overall programme. The Acropolis was to have a new, or rather redesigned, temple to replace the incomplete one overthrown by the Persians. The Parthenon was less a cult place than a war memorial, dedicated as much to the glory of Athens and Athenians as to the city goddess Athena. Whilst it was building other temples were planned and under construction in Athens and in the Attic countryside, some not to be completed until later in the century, when also the Acropolis received its new monumental gateway, the Propylaea, in the 430s and the Erechtheion from 421-406 BCE, to house its oldest cults.
In front of the Parthenon and how it appears in a reconstructed form in Nashville. Dedicated to the goddess Athena, construction began in 447 BCE when Athens was at the peak of its power and completed in 438 BCE, although decoration of the building continued until 432 BCE. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered the zenith of the Doric order, and its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy and Western civilisation, and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments. When the Turks took over Greece, it desecrated and turned into a mosque in the early 1460s. On September 26, 1687, an Ottoman ammunition dump inside the building was ignited by Venetian bombardment during a siege of the Acropolis, and the resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon and its sculptures. Fortunately, from 1800 to 1803, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, safely removed some of the surviving sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles, with the permission of the Turks of the Ottoman Empire and they are now safely protected within the British Museum.
Joseph Goebbels visiting in April, 1939 and Drake Winston eighty years later. He had earlier visited on September 22 which he described as “one of the most profound and beautiful mornings of my life. [...] Spent hours strolling through the most noble site of Nordic art. The Propylaea, the Parthenon, and the Erechtheion. I'm quite stunned. Over everything this deep blue Attic sky [...] How the Führer would love to be here with us!" His later visit when his joy at seeing the Acropolis again inspired Goebbels to describe it as the cradle of Aryan culture: "...On Acropolis. O, this shattering view!" Of this visit, Irving (527) writes how
In Athens, though formally the guest of the mayor, he again visited Prime Minister Metaxas. The Greeks reassured the British afterwards that they had stressed their special relationship with London: Goebbels, they reported, had told Metaxas that in his opinion Hitler was not planning any further move ‘for the moment’ (which was a faithful rendering of what Hitler had told him). In Athens, he learned belatedly that Poland was still holding out over Danzig. ‘If the fat hits the fire the Führer will recall me,’ he decided, and travelled on.
Germans raising the German war ensign above the Acropolis on April 27, 1941 and with Drake Winston at the same spot. The message sent back to Hitler read
My Führer, 

On the 27th of April 1941, at 8 and 10' a.m. we arrived in Athens … and at 8 and 45' a.m. we raised the German flag on the Acropolis… 

Heil my Führer

According to the most popular account of the events, the Evzone soldier on guard duty, Konstantinos Koukidis, took down the Greek flag, refusing to hand it to the invaders wrapped himself in it and jumped off the Acropolis. Whether the story was true or not, many Greeks believed it and viewed the soldier as a martyr. During a television programme on April 26, 2000, the then mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos stated that there was no actual documentary evidence either about Koukidis or his deed. It was noted that a heroic legend of this nature had been important in maintaining national morale under a harsh occupation. On the same occasion, Lieutenant General Ioannis Kakoudakis, Director of the Department of the History of the Army, reported that an investigation had failed to confirm the very existence of this soldier. Nevertheless, a commemorative plaque near the spot marks the event.
One event however that is true concerns the remarkable actions of Apostolos Santas who, along with Manolis Glezos, was responsible for taking down of the German flag from the Acropolis on May 30, 1941.  That night he and Glezos climbed on the acropolis and tore down the Nazi flag, which had been there since April 27, when the Nazi forces had entered and occupied Athens, leaving the flagpole empty which marked one of the first resistance acts in Greece. This act inspired the Greeks to resist the occupation, and made the two into folk heroes. The Germans responded by sentencing Glezos and Santas to death in absentia although neither man was identified until much later. Glezos was arrested by the German occupation forces on 24 March 1942, imprisoned, and tortured. As a result of his treatment, he was affected by tuberculosis. Glezos was arrested again on April 21, 1943 by the Italians and spent three months in gaol. In 1944, he was imprisoned by Greek collaborators and beaten for trying to escape. In 1942 Santas joined the fledgling National Liberation Front (EAM), and a year later the guerrilla force ELAS, with which he participated in several battles with the Axis troops throughout Central Greece.
 Overlooking Athens from atop the Acropolis April 27, 1941 and now with Mount Lycabettus as reference point; on the left, the Presidential palace provides another point of reference.
Greece was occupied by German forces in 1941. The Athens section of the German Archaeological Institute already had a long history of sympathy for the Nazi regime. Georg Karo, though of Jewish parentage, early lent his support to the regime and enthusiastically greeted the prospects of renewed excavations at Olympia. When Karo was forced out for racial reasons, he was succeeded as first secretary by his deputy Walter Wrede, an enthusiastic Nazi. It was Wrede who warmly welcomed the conquering German army to Athens in April 1941 and gave Field Marshall von Brauchitsch and his staff a special tour of the Acropolis dressed in full Nazi uniform. Another archaeologist, Erich Boehringer, was the German cultural attaché in Greece from 1940 to 1943. He was a follower of the poet Stefan George and had been strongly influenced by George’s elitist Hellenic enthusiasm. Some of the German archaeologists urged that a less oppressive policy be followed in occupied Greece, partly out of Hellenic sentiment and partly because they argued that the Greeks represented “the only people of non-Slavic stock able to fulfil the European mission against the Slavs.”
Dyson (209-210) 

The propagandistic use of such ancient sites also played a major role at this time for the German occupiers. Politicians and representatives of the Wehrmacht liked to appear amongst the ancient backdrops, firstly to stake a claim to the Greek legacy, as well as to assert German cultural superiority. Considerable written and visual material testifies to this “appropriation” of Greece's cultural heritage. During such visits by prominent figures to ancient sites, archaeologists from the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) or Kunstschutz frequently offered their services. The latter oversaw the publication of the “Leaflets for the German Soldier at Greece’s historical sites”. Almost half a million copies were printed, of which only a few have survived, due to the poor quality of the paper. These leaflets contained descriptions of the ancient sites and were intended to have an educational function, and contained guidelines for the behaviour of German soldiers, such as “Greek art and culture are made accessible and brought to life through the vigour and spirit of German men” or “[u]rinating on marble columns ruins the marble, leads to damage of art works and is a breach of discipline.” Such resources as photographs, illustrations and texts collected by the Kunstschutz  were used for further research and publications after the war, including in the book “A Guide for the German Tourist in Greece” by Kirsten and Kraiker, which appeared in the 1950s and became a standard reference work. Nowhere does it provide any indication as to the conditions under which the contents were made possible.

German troops getting a group photo and members of Britain's elite Special Boat Squadron (SBS) after their liberation of Greece.
Drake's selfie and as it appears in Assassin's Creed 
A couple of examples of how much the buildings on the acropolis today are a product of reconstruction. On the left I'm at the Erechtheum, comparing the view today with how it appeared before the extensive renovations and shown in Frederick Edward Gould, the 9th Earl of Cavan's With the Yacht, Camera, and Cycle in the Mediterranean published in 1895On the right below is Drake Winston a generation later showing the difference from the other side.
Heinrich, in his extensive studies, highlighted the Nazis' admiration for classical Greek culture, which they believed embodied ideals of racial purity, physical perfection, and martial valour. These values, as reflected in the artistic and architectural legacy of the Acropolis, resonated deeply with Nazi ideology. Heinrich argued that the Nazis saw in ancient Greece an Aryan 'Golden Age' which they sought to recreate. However, Heinrich's focus on the ideological interpretation of the Acropolis may overlook the pragmatic motivations behind the Nazis' interest. Fulbrook's research provides a different perspective, emphasising the strategic value of the Acropolis as a propaganda tool. After Germany occupied Greece, the Nazis took great care to present themselves as the protectors of Greek antiquities, including the Acropolis. They propagated images of the Acropolis under their guardianship, fostering a narrative of Nazi Germany as a custodian of European heritage and civilisation. Steinweis offers an interesting viewpoint on the reinterpretation of the Acropolis's historical narrative, arguing that the Nazis attempted to reconstruct the ancient Greek past, asserting an Aryan identity to the Greeks and linking them to Germanic origins. This reappropriation allowed the Nazis to establish a historical lineage from the ancient Greeks, depicted as their cultural ancestors, to the modern Aryan race. The Acropolis's importance to the Nazis, therefore, lay in its multi-dimensional significance. It was a symbol of their perceived cultural ancestry, a tool for propaganda, and a subject for historical revisionism. The ideological, strategic, and historical interpretations of the Acropolis collectively illustrate its significance within the complex fabric of Nazi ideology and policy. The Acropolis, an emblem of classical antiquity, served the Nazis' broader goals of racial supremacy, historical legitimisation, and propaganda warfare.
Drake within the Pandroseion, a sanctuary dedicated to Pandrosus, one of the daughters of Cecrops I, the first king of Attica Greece, occupying the space adjacent to the Erechtheum and the old Temple of Athena Polias. The sanctuary was a walled trapezoidal courtyard containing the altar of Zeus Herkeios, protector of the hearth and of the courtyard, under the sacred Olive Tree planted by Athena. At the west was an entrance stoa from the propylea. In the northeast corner was an elaborate entrance into the north porch and the entire Etrechtheion complex. At the east, there was also a small opening through which the Thalassa of Poseidon could be viewed. The south-east corner gave access to what some thought was the tomb of Cecrops. According to legend, Athena presented the sacred olive tree to the city here after her victory over Poseidon in the contest for the land of Attica. Herodotus (viii.56) wrote that on the day after the destruction of the Acropolis by the Persians in 480 BCE, a fresh shoot had sprung from the trunk of the burned tree. This tree became a symbol of Athens's survival. As a tribute to this ancient event, an olive tree was planted here in modern times by Sophia of Prussia, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, in honour of the Athenians.
In front of the south side with the famous "Porch of the Maidens" featuring its six draped female figures (caryatids) as supporting columns, built to conceal the giant fifteen foot beam needed to support the southwest corner over the Kekropion, after the building was drastically reduced in size and budget following the onset of the Peloponnesian war. In 1800 one of the caryatids and the north column of the east porch together with the overlying section of the entablature were removed by Lord Elgin and later sold to the British Museum (along with the pedimental and frieze sculpture taken from the Parthenon) where Drake and I visited her shown on the right. Athenian legend had it that at night the remaining five Caryatids could be heard wailing for their lost sister.
As it appears in the video game Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
In the Odyssey viii, 80-81 the Goddess "Athene came to Marathon and entered the stoutly- built house of Erechtheus." This building "where first Athene brought to light the shoot of the grey olive  heavenly crown and ornament to brilliant Athens," has undergone a good deal of restoration. Previous attempted restorations by Greece damaged the roof of the Caryatids' porch with concrete patches, along with major damage caused by pollution in Athens. In 1979, the five original Caryatids were moved to the Old Acropolis Museum and replaced in situ by exact replicas removing any further argument that the one in the British Museum should be returned.
The Nazi propaganda picture from April 1941 showing soldiers of the German Wehrmacht on the Acropolis of Athens after the conquest of the city. 
In 1941 the invasion initially prompted some disillusionment and confusion, until the Nazis’ awareness of their Nordic superiority swept it away and cleared their consciences. The contemporary Greek people were a population of half-breeds that had degenerated through long centuries of promiscuity and racial mixing with their Asiatic and Turkish neighbours; accordingly, all sexual relations between German soldiers and Greek women were strictly forbidden. Little by little, such haughty disdain would nourish and legitimate the Nazis’ practice of almost genocidal terror upon the Greek civilian population, beginning in 1942, as Mark Mazower has shown [in his study Inside Hitler’s Greece]. The Greek people were thus less native to their own country than the Germans themselves, who were the legitimate, pure descendants of the Indo-Germanic race that had come from the North in the first place to bring civilisation to the Greek peninsula.
The occupying Germans in front of the Erechtheum and my Dad decades later. In fact, Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, hanged after the war in Nuremberg, already wrote in The Myth of the Twentieth Century (62) published in 1930 how he
considered the polarity between Apollo and Dionysus to be a consequence of the racial and spiritual schizophrenia of the Greeks, who were torn between faithfulness to their Nordic roots and an upwelling of nonnative peoples that had insinuated itself into their blood after their emigration south: ‘The Greek was always divided within himself and vacillated between his own natural values and those of alien and exotic origin’

Drake Winston provides the comparison with a photograph from an exhibition of photographs taken by professional and amateur German photographers during the Nazi occupation of Greece in 1941-44, presented in the 17th century Fethiye Mosque, inside the Roman Agora, which was only recently opened to the public. Belonging to Vyronas Mitos and mostly comprising shots of Athens, the collection was compiled by a German soldier stationed in Greece during the war who later bequeathed it to his daughter. She went on to sell the collection in the 1980s, with Mitos picking up some three thousand photographs related to Greece. Over 40,000 civilians died in Athens alone from starvation, and tens of thousands more died from German reprisals.

 On the right are the British allies of Greece at the same site three years later as Sergeant R. Gregory and Driver A. Hardman admire the Caryatids during a tour of the Acropolis in Athens in October 1944. Britain was obliged to assist Greece by the Declaration of April 13, 1939 which stated that in the event of a threat to Greek or Romanian independence, "His Majesty's Government would feel themselves bound at once to lend the Greek or Romanian Government... all the support in their power." The first British effort was the deployment of RAF squadrons commanded by Air Commodore John D'Albiac that arrived in November 1940. With Greek government consent, British forces were dispatched to Crete on October 31 to guard Souda Bay, enabling the Greek government to redeploy the 5th Cretan Division to the mainland. Churchill had deemed it vital for Britain to take every measure possible to support Greece and on January 8, 1941 he stated that "there was no other course open to us but to make certain that we had spared no effort to help the Greeks who had shown themselves so worthy."

Then-and-now of my first visit to the site and a later visit by my parents

Drake Winston in front of the temple of Nike and as it appears in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey The site was used as a site of worship to Athena Nike as early as the 6th century BCE by settlers from the Mycenaean period. Unfortunately, it was destroyed during the Graeco-Persian Wars. However, it was rebuilt during the Peloponnesian War as a temple. As Nike was the personification of victory, the Athenians hoped rebuilding it would bring glory to Athens. Historically, the Temple was built in 421 BCE, making its appearance in Assassin's Creed anachronistic.
In 1998 the frieze of the monument was removed to the Museum, and in 1999 the Central Archaeological Council of the Ministry of Culture had approved the relevant plans proposing the complete dismantling of the temple, which had already been reconstructed twice in the past, with conservation of the architectural members and their resetting in order to correct the mistakes of the earlier intervenions. This task was completed in 2000, and the further work of dismantling the monument commenced with the removal of the ceiling coffers and beams of the porches. Conservation and structural restoration of the dismantled blocks was started on the ground.
The Temple of Athena Nike during its reconstruction, painted by Hans Christian Hansen in 1836. This was the first monument reconstructed on the Arcropolis, made all the more difficult given that it had all but disappeared by the beginning of the 19th century with no one sure of where it even stood or what it had looked like. After using it as a gunpowder magazine, the Turks completely dismantled it to reinforce the fortifications in front of the Propylaia and convert them into cannon emplacements. By 1836 Edward Giffard described the building as having
subsequently totally vanished from the eyes of modern travellers. Dr. Clarke does not even allude to it, and its disappearance has puzzled the critics. Some suspected the text of Pausanias, and the testimony of Wheeler - others imagined the site to have been on the left instead of the right; in short, it was gone - and the learned began to wonder, that of all the temples in Athens, it should be that of Victory without wings that had unaccountably flown away; so complete was its disappearance.
This last comment is an allusion to the only reference in Pausanias i.22.4 referring to the temple which he attributes to Apteros Nike, or Wingless Victory, reporting that the cult statue of the goddess had no wings so that she would never leave Athens and that "[f]rom this point the sea is visible, and here it was that, according to legend, Aigeus threw himself down to his death."
In fact, the year after this painting William Leake wrote how William Wilkins, the  man who designed the National Gallery, "still questioned whether the site of the temple of Victory had yet been discovered." 
Standing atop the
Areopagus which was a small hill facing the Acropolis Sanctuary of Athens and as it appears in the video game 'Assassin's Creed: Odyssey'. In Greek mythology, this was the hill was where Ares was judged for killing one of Poseidon's sons. During the Classical period, the hill served as the court for significant cases, and the name "Areopagus" is still used to refer to the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court of Greece for this reason. It is referred to in Acts xvii.16-34 as the setting for the Apostle Paul's Areopagus sermon during his visit to Athens, notably leading to the conversion of Dionysius the Areopagite although it's unclear whether Paul gave his speech before the Areopagus council in the setting of a judicial investigation or trial, or on the physical location of the Areopagus hill here where I'm standing as an informal speech. The Areopagus ceased operation as a political council by at least the early 5th century CE, according to Theodoret of Cyrus.
  Standing under the east side of the Arch of Hadrian with the Acropolis in the background about 300 yards away, twenty years apart to be joined by Drake Winston. It's a monumental gateway resembling a Roman triumphal arch which had originally spanned an ancient road from the centre of Athens to the complex of structures on the eastern side of the city that included the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The entire monument is made of Pentelic marble the same kind used in the Parthenon and other important buildings in Athens, although the marble used in the gate is of a lower quality and had more inclusions than that used in the best Athenian buildings. The gate was constructed without the use of cement or marble mortar, using instead clamps to connect the stones. Eighteen metres in height, it's been proposed that the arch was built to celebrate the adventus of Hadrian and to honour him for his many benefactions to the city, on the occasion of the dedication of the nearby temple complex in 131 or 132 CE. It is not certain who commissioned the arch, although it is probable that the citizens of Athens or another Greek group were responsible for its construction and design. There were two inscriptions on the arch, facing in opposite directions, naming both Theseus and Hadrian as founders of Athens. Whilst it is clear that the inscriptions honour Hadrian, it is uncertain whether they refer to the city as a whole or to the city in two parts: one old and one new. Whilst it was once thought that the arch marked the line of the ancient city wall, and thus the division between the old and the new regions of the city, it's apparently been disproved through further excavation.
The arch reconstructed as it might have originally appeared. Originally the attic would have been decorated, with the three sections containing either paintings or painted reliefs depicting Theseus and Hadrian. The presence of statues, or even of painted reliefs in combination with statues, is also likely given how the attics of the two arches at Eleusis appear. Since older illustrations of the arch depict the two inscriptions above the apsidal opening as darker than they appear today due to the effects of weathering and pollution, it's likely that the letters were originally painted in a dark“The City of Hadrian and not of Theseus.” There are still to be seen traces of orange-brown paint on the attic suggesting that at least part of it was painted red ochre, a colour symbolising victory and fortitude in antiquity. Whether these remnants of paint reflect the original Hadrianic-period colour scheme or later repainting during the Byzantine period is questionable. Given that the monument is situated in one of the busiest avenues of the city, it's accumulated a great deal of pollution and has been cleaned and restored on more than one occasion preventing most current means to verify its colour scheme.
German occupying forces in front of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in May, 1941, Begun in the 6th century BCE during the rule of the Athenian tyrants who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, it was not completed until the reign of Hadrian in the 2nd century, roughly 638 years after the project had begun. During the Roman period the temple -that included 104 colossal columns- was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world. In his treatise Politics (v.1313b) Aristotle cited the temple as an example of how tyrannies engaged the populace in great works for the state and left them no time, energy or means to rebel.
The view from Lancelot-Théodore Turpin de Crissé, dating from 1804.
Hadrian dedicated the temple to Zeus, also erecting a huge golden ivory statue of Zeus in the nave of the temple. The pediments were decorated with many statues, but also throughout the temple there were statues and busts of famous men. The Athenians, to show their gratitude to Hadrian, erected a statue of him behind the temple. Unfortunately, none of the sculptures that adorned the temple have survived. It is not known exactly when the temple was destroyed but it is assumed that, like other large buildings in Athens, it was probably destroyed by an earthquake during the Byzantine years and its ruins were used to build other buildings.
The temple's glory was short-lived as it fell into disuse after being pillaged during a barbarian invasion in 267, just about a century after its completion. It was probably never repaired and was reduced to ruins thereafter. In the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, it was extensively quarried for building materials to supply building projects elsewhere in the city. Despite that, a substantial part of the temple remains today, notably sixteen of the original gigantic columns, and it continues to be part of a very important archaeological site of Greece.

Germans saluting at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with Drake Winston at the site.

 In a speech made at the Reichstag May 4, 1941, Hitler paid tribute to the Greek resistance, declaring that 

I believe that I owe it to historical truth to differentiate between the Greek people and their narrow, corrupt class of leaders. Inspired by a king enslaved to England, it had its eye not on fulfilling the tasks of the Greek government, but on appropriating the goals of the British war policy. I sincerely regretted this. For me, as a German whose education as a youth as well as in later life was imbued with a profound admiration for the civilisation and art of the country from which the first light of human beauty and dignity emerged, it was very hard and bitter to watch this development without being able to do anything against it. 
Hitler later ordered the release and repatriation of all Greek prisoners of war as soon as they had been disarmed, "because of their gallant bearing." According to Hitler's Chief of Staff, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Hitler had "wanted to give the Greeks an honourable settlement in recognition of their brave struggle and of their blamelessness for this war: after all the Italians had started it."
Italian officers paying homage to the Tomb of the Greek Unknown Soldier after the fall of Greece in the spring of 1941.

On the right a Wehrmacht soldier stands beside a Greek Evzone guarding the tomb on Syntagma Square on April 27, 1941 and Drake Winston today. Inspired by the Greek resistance during the Italian and German invasions, Churchill said, "Hence we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks". In response to a letter from King George VI dated December 3, 1940, Roosevelt stated that "all free peoples are deeply impressed by the courage and steadfastness of the Greek nation" although he was determined still to offer no help. Eventually when his country found itself at war, in a letter to the Greek ambassador dated October 29, 1942 he wrote that "Greece has set the example which every one of us must follow until the despoilers of freedom everywhere have been brought to their just doom."

 Across the street is the Hotel de Grande Bretagne, a five-star luxury hotel in central Athens with a striking view of the Acropolis from its rear terrace. Not surprisingly, it became a German headquarters building and VIP residence during the Occupation.
October 18, 1944 during the liberation of Athens as Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou lays a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier with the Hotel Grande Bretagne behind as British Lieutenant General Ronald Scobie salutes, and Drake at the same spot today. The British had arrived to liberate Greece in October under Operation Manna with the exiled Greek government and some units of the Greek army, led by General Thrasyvoulos Tsakalotos. On October 13, British troops entered Athens and Papandreou and his ministers followed six days later. Greek King George II stayed in Cairo because Papandreou had promised that the future of the monarchy would be decided by referendum. Eventually after fifteen communist protesters were shot dead, fighting broke out between ELAS and the British on December 3. Scobie's troops were outnumbered and clinging onto a small section of the city, but once reinforcements arrived they regained the initiative and suppressed the uprising. On Christmas Eve, Churchill and his foreign secretary Anthony Eden flew to Athens to resolve the situation. A ceasefire was agreed on January 11 and a political settlement reached in February. It was not to last as Greece ended up fighting its savage civil war from 1946-9.
The temple from a collection of photographs taken by a German photographer during the Nazi occupation and from the same spot when I first visited in 2000. 
German Panzer IV Ausf. G  AthensOn the left a German Panzer IV Ausf. G in 1943 with the Temple of Hephaestus in the background. The photographs were later bequeathed to the soldier’s family who eventually went on to sell the pictures to Greek collector Byron Metos. I was able to see them in an exhibition held in the 17th century Fethiye Mosque located inside the site of the Roman Agora after the mosque had been restored and reopened to the public in 2017 and used as a space to host cultural events.
A crucial aspect of Nazi propaganda was the suggestion that the soldiers and officers should take photos themselves and use these images to make everyday life behind the actual front appear more of a tourist pleasure. These pictures, which make up the largest part of the Byron Metos collection, were censored several times- firstly, care was taken to ensure that photography was taken during leisure time; Then the films were developed and edited at laboratories on site or at home, with the laboratory owners having precise instructions as to which images they should not return to the photographers. The private collection of such pictures is also subject to self-censorship. And finally the person who sold the pictures to Metos must have ensured that nothing indicating abuses or war crimes are shown.
At the Panathenaic, or Kallimarmaro, stadium and from a German soldier's photograph during their occupation. A stadium was built on the site of a simple racecourse by Lycurgus around 330 BCE and later rebuilt in marble by Herodes Atticus. The only stadium in the world built entirely of marble, it was excavated in 1869 and hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and serves as the last venue in Greece from where the Olympic flame handover ceremony to the host nation takes place.
The Lysicrates Monument from the northwest from a photo by James Robertson showing how high the ground had been raised compared to today. It had been erected by the choregos Lysicrates, a wealthy patron of musical performances in the Theatre of Dionysus, to commemorate the award of first prize in 335-334 BCE to one of the performances he had sponsored. The choregos was the sponsor who paid for and supervised the training of the dramatic dance-chorus. The monument is known as the first use of the Corinthian order on the exterior of a building. In 1658, a Capuchin monastery was founded near the site and, a decade later, bought the monument which by then was known either as the "Lantern of Demosthenes" or "Lantern of Diogenes". A reading of its inscription by Jacob Spon established its original purpose. Lord Byron stayed at the monastery during his second visit to Greece. In 1818 the first tomato plants in Greece were planted in its gardens before the Turks burned down the convent leaving the monument exposed to the elements. In 1829, the monks offered the structure to an Englishman on tour, but it proved to be too cumbersome to disassemble and ship. Lord Elgin, rescuer of the Parthenon marbles, ended up unable to negotiate successfully for the monument. After Robertson's photo had been taken, the architects François Boulanger and E. Loviot supervised a restoration which is seen today. On the right is how it might have originally appeared as imagined by Anasynthesis. The frieze on top bears a relief from the myth of the capture of Dionysus by Tyrrhenian pirates. The roof consists of a monolithic dome made of blue marble from Hymettos, decorated on the lower periphery with unusual waves, and on the domed surface with scaly jewels. This surface is crossed from two sides by a series of anthemiums that end in the upper centre of the roof where they transformed into a thorny appendage on which rested the bronze tripod, the prize of Lysicrates supported by two statuettes of a Satyr and a Dolphin. Such a restoration hasn't been helped given that since the mid-18th century the monument has been badly damaged by careless building work, war and most recently of course from Athens's intolerable air pollution. Much detail has been lost leaving architect James Stuart and architect and draughtsman Nicholas Revett's highly detailed drawings in their Antiquities of Athensas the best surviving representations of the complete monument. Stuart and Revett’s publication featured a series of detailed engraved architectural plan drawings.
The so-called Tower of the Winds or Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes, an octagonal Pentelic marble clocktower in the Roman Agora in Athens that functioned as a horologion or "timepiece" and is considered the world's first meteorological station after recent research has shown that the height of the tower was motivated by the intention to place the sundials and the wind-vane at a visible height on the Agora. The structure features a combination of sundials, a water clock, and a wind vane supposedly built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus around 50 BCE, but may in fact have been constructed in the 2nd century BCE before the rest of the forum. It stands twelve metres in height with a diameter of roughly eight metres and was topped in antiquity by a weathervane-like Triton that indicated the wind direction. Below the frieze depicting the eight wind deities—Boreas (N), Kaikias (NE), Eurus (E), Apeliotes (SE), Notus (S), Lips (SW), Zephyrus (W), and Skiron (NW)—there are eight sundials. In its interior, there was a water clock driven by water coming down from the Acropolis. On the right is the Gate of Athena Archegetis situated on the west side of the Roman Agora as reconstructed by Dimitris Tsalkanis for Ancient Athens 3d, and which is considered to be the second most prominent structure remaining at the site after the Tower of the Winds. In 51 BCE the Athenians sent their envoy, Herod of Marathon, to Julius Cæsar,  asking for funds for a new market given the urgent need for public commercial space. Cæsar agreed to help financially but, given the onset of the bello civico, the construction began and was completed under the emperor Augustus, between the years 19-11 BCE. It was constructed of an architrave standing on four Doric columns and a base, all of Pentelic marble. A dedicatory inscription offers an insight into the time and circumstances of the monument's construction, dedicated by the Athenians to their patroness Athena Archegetis.
Eventually after the invasion of the Herulae in 267, the city of Athens was restricted to the area within the Late Roman fortification wall, and the administrative and commercial centre of the city was transferred from the Ancient Agora to the Roman Agora and the Library of Hadrian shown here of its remaining western wall with its propylon with Corinthian columns and from a 1759 engraving from Robert Sayer. Founded in 132, originally the main building of the library had two rooms where visitors either read or attended lectures.
The library hall was probably three-storeyed, but the third floor has not been preserved. The walls are thought to have been equipped with shelves with a total capacity of 18-20,000 parchments. In 267 the Library was destroyed during an attack by the Heruli and its remains were incorporated into the late Roman wall. In 412 it was renovated by the decision of the Roman commander Erculius. With the advent of the Middle Ages, the area of ​​the library protected by the late Roman wall became the heart and economic centre of Mediæval Athens. At the same time, a Christian church was founded in the inner courtyard, which in the 7th century was enlarged and became a royal three-aisled church. This conversion prevented the demolition of the building. In the 11th century, the Church of Megali Panagia was built on the same foundations, which was destroyed by an arson attack on August 9, 1884, as well as the more than one hundred small shops that existed in the bazaar of the Library of Hadrian, as well as other buildings in the area. As a result, the library area is now empty of buildings which immediately provided the opportunity to start archaeological research in the area.
Drake outside the so-called Prison of Socrates. Cut into the rocky slopes of the Hill of the Muses, this site probably contained a monumental two or three floor dwelling given the alignment of beam-holes on the surface of the rock. The wooden beams supported the front part of the structure, which was made of stone masonry and wood. To the exterior floor are passageways that used to connect with water channels cut into the facade of the building, and a carved stairway at the south provided communication with the higher levels of the slope. The preserved back part of the structure is a complex of three rooms, carefully cut into the bedrock, with doorways at the east and a cistern at the back. The use of the rooms is yet unknown. Its cave-like structure and its location near the agora no doubt led to the legend that the building is non other than the Prison of Socrates, or an ancient bath. During the war the structure was used to hide antiquities of the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum sealed up behind a thick concrete wall to protect them from the German looting.

LEFT: The northwest corner of the Acropolis from the Areopagus as it appeared in the late 19th century and today with Drake. In classical times, the Areopagus functioned as the court for trying deliberate homicide, wounding and religious matters, as well as cases involving arson or olive trees; Ares was supposed to have been tried here by the gods for the murder of Poseidon's son Halirrhothius. In Aeschylus's The Eumenides from 458 BCE, the Areopagus is the site of the trial of Orestes for killing his mother Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. It was from here, drawing from the potential significance of the Athenian altar to the Unknown God, that the Apostle Paul is said to have delivered the famous speech, "[n]ow what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands." (Areopagus sermon, Acts xvii.24)  
RIGHT: Drake atop the Pnyx, used for popular assemblies in Athens as early as 507 BC, when the reforms of Cleisthenes transferred political power to the citizenry. From then on Athenians gathered on the Pnyx to host their popular assemblies, thus making the hill one of the earliest and most important sites in the creation of democracy. At this site all the great political struggles of Athens of the "Golden Age" were fought out. Pericles, Aristides and Alcibiades spoke here, within sight of the Parthenon, temple of Athena. Here Demosthenes delivered his vilifications of Philip of Macedon, the famous Philippics. It was then outside the city proper, but close enough to be convenient. It looks down on the ancient Agora, which was the commercial and social centre of the city.  Some like Christopher Wordsworth note that the environs and position of the Pnyx as well as its openness and objects of appeal, provided the ancient Greek speakers with the inspiration that not even the Roman Forum could rival, a result of previous reforms that included the utilisation of demography and topography for the purpose of serving the interests of a rhetorical culture. As such, the Pnyx is the material embodiment of the principle of ἰσηγορία, "equal speech"- the equal right of every citizen to debate matters of policy. The other two principles of democracy were ἰσονομία, equality under the law, and ἰσοπολιτεία, equality of vote and equal opportunity to assume political office. The right of isēgoría was expressed by the presiding officer of the Pnyx assembly, who formally opened each debate with the open invitation "Τίς ἀγορεύειν βούλεται;", "Who wishes to speak to the Popular Assembly?".
The monument of Philopappos during the second half of the 19th century and during the Great War, March- June 1917. Dedicated to Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappos, a prince from the Kingdom of Commagene, who died in 116, his death caused great grief to his sister Julia Balbilla who, with the citizens of Athens, erected the mausoleum on Muse Hill near the Acropolis. Pausanias in his Description of Greece, i.25.8, described Philopappus’s grand tomb as a monument built for a Syrian man. The monument was built on the same site where Musaios or Musaeus, a 6th-century BCE priestly poet and mystical seer, was held to have been buried. The location of this tomb, opposite the Acropolis and within formal boundaries of the city, shows the high position Philopappus had within Athenian society. The monument itself is a two-storey structure supported by a base. On the lower level there is a frieze representing Philopappus as a consul, riding on a chariot and led by lictors. The upper level shows statues of three men: of Antiochus IV on the left, of Philopappus in the centre and of Seleucus I Nicator, now lost, on the right.  In the niche below Philopappus is an inscription in Greek translated as: "Philopappos, son of Epiphanes of the deme of the Besa" which was the name Philopappus carried as an Athenian citizen. In the niche left of Philopappus, a Latin inscription records Philopappus’s titles, honours and his career as a Roman magistrate: "Caius Iulius Antiochus Philopappos, son of Caius, of the Fabian tribe, consul and Arval brother, admitted to the praetorian rank by the emperor Caesar Nerva Trajan Philopappos monument then and nowOptimus Augustus Germanicus Dacicus". On the right niche of Philopappus once stood a Greek inscription of which now only the base is preserved: "King Antiochus Philopappos, son of King Antiochus Epiphanes".  Below the statue of Antiochus IV, Philopappos' paternal grandfather, is an inscription that states "King Antiochus son of King Antiochus". This inscription honours Antiochus IV and his late father, the last independent ruler of the Kingdom of Commagene, King Antiochus III Epiphanes. When Antiochus III died in 17, Commagene was annexed by Tiberius and became a part of the Roman Empire. Below the statue of Seleucus I, the founder of the Seleucid Empire from whom the Commagene kings claimed descent, stood another inscription, now lost. The traveller Cyriacus of Ancona wrote in his memoir that underneath the inscription stated "King Seleucus Nicator, son of Antiochus".  The monument measures 32.2 feet × 30.5 feet and contains Philopappus’s burial chamber. In 1898 excavations were carried out at the monument and in 1899 conservation work was undertaken. In 1940, archaeologists H. A. Thompson and J. Travlos conducted small additional excavations. Recent investigations have certified that architectural parts of Philopappus’s Monument were used for construction of the Minaret in the Parthenon. Only two-thirds of the façade remains. The tomb chamber behind the façade is completely destroyed except for the base. The Philopappus Monument was apparently still intact in 1436, when the traveller Ciriaco de' Pizzicolli visited the monument and wrote in his memoirs that the monument was still intact. The destruction of the monument must have occurred after this time.
The Academy in 1870 and when I posed in 2001 showing the subtle alterations that have occurred. During the occupation there arose several different groups of the National Resistance who either offered armed resistance or applied political pressure. Many hostages were taken from resistance movements, mostly young people, and were held as prisoners. In 1943, the Academy of Athens supported freeing these hostages and it also attempted to bring relief to large numbers of starving Greek people. It refused to condemn the National Resistance as demanded by the Government of Occupation, as the President, Spyridon Dontas  Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Athens, made clear in his reply. As a consequence, Dontas was suspended from his position as President of the Academy for three months.
Drake in front of the
National Archaeological Museum and as it was represented in the original plans. The morning after the Germans entered Athens on Sunday, April 27, 1941 Nazi officers entered the National Archaeological Museum to survey its treasures and determine what would be confiscated and moved to Germany only to find the building empty. Six months earlier curators and archaeologists at the museum had  hatched a plan to protect and preserve thousands of priceless ancient treasures. Following the country’s declaration of war in October 1940, the Greek Ministry of Culture’s archaeology department issued a letter to all museums instructing them to protect antiquities from air raids and other acts of war through two ways to protect bulky treasures: the first method was to cover the statue or item with sandbags after protecting it with wooden scaffolding and the second method, which was deemed more effective, was to bury the statues in the ground. After the National Archaeological Museum organised its committee, the monumental operation to hide thousands of objects was underway. Massive trenches were dug in the basement of the museum, often extending under streets and avenues that surrounded the vicinity of the building on Bouboulinas Street in central Athens. Above, meanwhile, city life went on in the bustling capital. The storing of the statues would take place according to the size and importance of each one. The bulkiest among them would be lined up standing in deep ditches that had been dug in the floors of the north halls of the museum, whose foundations happened to lay on softer underground as museum technicians used improvised wooden cranes to lower the statues into ditches “reminiscent of mass graves.”
One such statue was the the Aphrodite of Syracuse shown here, restored by Canova having lost its head, neck and right arm. Museum technicians and staff painstakingly filled the underground trenches one by one with extreme care. Once the antiquities were placed in the concrete-fortified trenches, they were topped with sand and eventually filled with dirt for further concealment and protection. Whilst the hiding operation was taking place, museum registrars were completing the meticulous process of cataloguing each and every item. This cataloguing included the items’ location in the ground and method of preservation. The registrars needed to record as many details as possible for those who would one day uncover the treasures. The crates of antiquity registration were handed over to the general treasurer of the Bank of Greece for safe keeping. Along with the records, wooden crates filled with the golden objects and famous treasures from Mycenae were delivered to the headquarters, as they were considered to be the most priceless treasures of all. There were naked walls and empty showcases and not a single trace of an antiquity in sight. One by one, museum staff reported in a line up to receive their new conquerors. The German officer sent to occupy the building asked persistently where the treasures were and the staff sat motionless and speechless, preserving the secret operation to hide the treasures. Not a single treasure was ever found from the massive collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and the secret location of the antiquities was never revealed. The efforts of the museum’s curators and archaeologists preserved for generations to come important statues like the Kouros and other timeless Greek antiquities. These antiquities were eventually dug up and put back on display years after the liberation of Athens in 1944. 
The Artemision Bronze as it appeared when recovered, missing its arms and greatly deterorated before being completely rebuilt. On the right is it before the war with Goebbels visiting and a copy of it at the Nazis' former Veraltungsbau in Munich with proposed thunderbolt (and not the trident of Poseidon as some would have it despite the unsuitability of the device and the fact that miniature copies clearly show Zeus with the thunderbolt.
The sculpture was first discovered in 1926 and further excavated in 1928, at the site of a shipwreck that occurred no earlier than the middle of the second century BCE. Unfortunately, not much is known about the wreck because exploration was abandoned when a diver died in 1928 and was never resumed. Many such shipwrecks are of Roman date and were of vessels looting Greek art to Italy, but it is unclear whether the Artemision wreck is one of these. The Jockey of Artemision – a bronze statue of a racehorse and its jockey also at the museum – was recovered from the same shipwreck and Seán Hemingway has suggested that the jockey and horse may have been looted from Corinth in 146 BCE by the Roman general Mummius in the Achaean War, and was on its way to Pergamon when lost.
During the war wrapped in tar paper before burial to hide and preserve its priceless collections from widespread looting by occupying forces. A month after Greece became embroiled in war with Italy – treating with contempt Mussolini’s ultimatum issued on October 28, 1940 – every museum in the country received a letter from the government giving detailed instructions as to how they were to hide their treasures from the invaders. One of the proposals was to pack the exhibits in crates, hidden under sandbags. The other, which was more widely applied, involved burying the artefacts under museum floors, in courtyards and stowing them in the basements of any state institution.
The Artemision Bronze is shown in the game Assassin's Creed: Odyssey in front of the temples of Poseidon. Whilst it is often referred to as representing the sea God, it probably represents Zeus. The debate over whether the statue represents Poseidon or Zeus hinges on the lost attribute held in the figure's right hand. As Caroline Houser writes, "[s]ometimes the Artemision protector is called 'Poseidon'. Those who would do so have been known to argue that the image must be that of the great sea god since the statue was found in the Mediterranean. But like other statues of totally different subjects, this one went into the sea simply because it was on board a ship that sank. Others cite the example of the Poseidonia coins, overlooking the much weightier evidence presented by the numerous surviving statuettes of Zeus launching his thunderbolt in a pose matching that of the Artemision figure." A trident would have obscured the face, the most important view. Iconographic parallels with coins and vase painting from the same time period extending back into the late 7th century show Zeus depicted fighting with his arm raised, holding the lightning bolt overhead, in the same position as the Artemision Bronze. The god is caught at the moment of pause in the full potentiality of his coming movement, described by Carol Mattusch where "the figure has the potential for violence, is concentrating, poised to throw, but the action is just beginning, and we are left to contemplate the coming demonstration of strength." A comparison can be made with the Charioteer of Delphi also found in the game Assassin's Creed, a roughly contemporaneous bronze.
Also in the Archaeological museum, the statue of the emperor Claudius in Pentelic marble found at Megara. The over life-size statue renders the emperor as Zeus where his symbol, the eagle, is depicted in front of the support, which has the form of a tree trunk.
Joseph Goebbels visiting in April, 1939 and me at the same spot, showing the alterations made to the temple from the 1950s. According to legend, here on Cape Sounion was the spot where Aegeus, king of Athens, leapt to his death off the cliff, thus giving his name to the Aegean Sea. The story goes that Aegeus, anxiously looking out from Sounion, despaired when he saw a black sail on his son Theseus's ship, returning from Crete. This led him to believe that his son had been killed in his contest with the dreaded Minotaur, a monster that was half man and half bull. The Minotaur was confined by its owner, King Minos of Crete, in a specially designed labyrinth. Every year, the Athenians were forced to send seven men and seven women to Minos as tribute. These youths were placed in the labyrinth to be devoured by the Minotaur. Theseus had volunteered to go with the third tribute and attempt to slay the beast. He had agreed with his father that if he survived the contest, he would hoist a white sail. In fact, Theseus had overcome and slain the Minotaur, but tragically had simply forgotten about the white sail.  
The earliest literary reference to Sounion is in Homer's poem the Odyssey, probably composed in the 8th century BCE, recounting the mythical tribulations suffered by Odysseus in a gruelling ten year sea-voyage to return to his native island, Ithaca, in the Ionian sea, from the sack of Troy. This ordeal was supposedly inflicted upon him by Poseidon, to whom the temple at Sounion was dedicated.  As the various Greek commanders sailed back from Troy, the helmsman of the ship of King Menelaus of Sparta died at his post while rounding "holy Sounion, cape of Athens" in Homer's Odyssey iii. 278–285. Menelaus landed at Sounion to give his companion full funeral honours. The Greek ships were then caught by a storm off Cape Malea and scattered in all directions. The first version of the temple was built in the archaic period but it was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BCE in the second Greco-Persian War. Pericles rebuilt the temple of Poseidon probably around 440 B.C. but only some columns of it stand today. A five metre tall statue of Poseidon used to stand inside the temple, but today only a part of it survives and it is displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Athens. The frieze of the temple was made of marble from Paros island and it depicted the legends of Theseus. On one column, one can see the word "Byron" on it, engraved by Lord Byron during a visit in 1810.
Drake Winston showing the changes in restoration to the temple; its present state is due to the work performed in the 1950s by the Greek Archaeological Service led by Anastasios Orlandos.
Anthony Quinn and Jacqueline Bisset at the Temple of Poseidon whilst filming "The Greek Tycoon" in 1978. Clearly based on Aristotle Onassis and his relationship with Jacqueline Kennedy, the film focuses on the courtship and marriage of aging Greek Theo Tomasis played by Quinn, who rose from his humble peasant roots to become an influential mogul who owns oil tankers, airlines, and Mediterranean islands and longs to be elected President of Greece, and considerably younger Liz Cassidy, the beautiful widow of the assassinated President of the United States. The two first meet when she is visiting his island estate with her husband James, the charismatic Senator from the state of Massachusetts. Theo immediately is attracted to her and, despite the fact she obviously is happily married, begins to woo her aboard his yacht while her husband is deep in conversation with the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. As the plot unfolds, Theo's beloved son Nico dies in an accident, his wife Simi commits suicide, James becomes President and appoints his brother John Attorney General, and Theo ends his affair with Paola to comfort and eventually marry grieving widow Liz.
Marathon then now 
The burial mound at Marathon of the 192 Athenian dead which was erected near the battlefield showing how much the area has changed in the twenty years between the photos of me and with Drake Winston with the granite blocks removed and the area grassed over. The 192 fell where, in Byron's words, "The mountains look on Marathon — and Marathon looks on the sea." Marathon runners -and a 26-mile, 385-yard Olympic event -honour the original messenger. This tumulus is unusual given that such monumental burial practices had been out of style in central Greece since the seventh century. The Athenians normally buried their war dead in the Kerameikos cemetery, with a stele or marker vase to show the location of the deceased. However, some scholars have suggested that the raising of the tumuli- another one was established for the  Plataeans- was a deliberate attempt to evoke Homer by the Athenians and their allies. This concept is based on the similarities between the structure and interment method used with the tumuli, and the description of the burial practices used by and for their mythical heroes in the Iliad. The Athenian Tumulus stands around forty feet in height and was excavated in 1884 by D. Philios despite Schliemann's systematic efforts to discover the burial tomband again in 1890 and 1891 by V. Stias. A large layer of ash and charred bone was found within as well as traces of the funeral dinner. The Victory Column has since collapsed and been replaced with a modern replica which matches the original both in height and in general mass.
Under the slope of Dirphys we fell. This mound in our honour
Hard by Euripus stands, raised by our countrymen here.
Just was the tribute. We lost the early prime of our manhood,
We who holding our ground, met the rude cloud of the war.
Marathon Tymbos
The Tymbos is now marked by a marble memorial stele and used to be surrounded by a small park as shown in the photo of me in 2000, but too has changed considerably both in base and site. This stele is a reconstruction of the Stele of Aristion which dates from around 510 BCE, created by Aristokles out of pentelic marble and which still shows traces of polychrome. It was found at Velanideza near Marathon and is considered one of the best sculptures from late Archaic Greece. It is made of Pentelic marble and measures 2.02 metres high. The uppermost portion of the head and helmet is missing. At the top of the base is an inscription, giving the name of the deceased in the genitive: Ἀριστίονος:"Aristion's". Aristion is depicted as a bearded hoplite soldier in profile, facing right, wearing a short, thin chiton under a corselet. This was originally decorated with painted designs: meanders, zig-zags, and a star on his shoulder. The rest of the statue was also extensively decorated with paint—traces of red, yellow, and blue paint still survive and which can be reconstructed as shown on the left. There are also remnants of red pigment located on the ground of the relief, on the end of the shoulder strap, and on the drapery. The amour of the soldier would have been a blue tint, and the hair would be that of a dark colour. Aristion also wears an Attic helmet and greaves. His right arm hangs at his side, his left hand holds a spear. Some details are especially well-worked, like the wavy beard, the hair, and the musculature of the arms, legs and chest. In the empty space under his feet there is a horizontal inscribed band, which names the sculptor of the stele: ἔργον Ἀριστοκλέος "Work of Aristokles".
Marathon Dam on the Charadros RiverThe Nazi flag flying over the Marathon Dam on the Charadros River, five miles west of Marathon and 28 miles northeast of Athens. Its location near Marathon signified a connection to Greece's past with the Athenians' victory at the Battle of Marathon, whilst its modern structure, the largest project in the Balkans at the time, signified a connection to the future and victory over nature. A replica of the Athenian Treasury temple at Delphi constructed at the base of the dam further illustrates the connection. A plaque on the temple reads: "To commemorate their victory at the battle of Marathon, the Athenians erected a treasury at Delphi. This building is a replica and commemorates a victory at Marathon in wrestling from nature its life giving water for the citizens of Athens." The dam's face and visible structure were covered in the same Pentelikon marble that was used to construct the Parthenon. Constructed between 1926 and 1929, it was the sole supplier of water to Athens until 1959. The dam is often cited for its role in the modernisation of Greece and the first recorded case of seismic activity associated with reservoir inundation. The first earthquakes were felt in 1931, with two 5MW+ earthquakes occurring in 1938. All but two of the earthquakes were believed to have occurred during rapid rises in the reservoir level, the earliest known example of earthquakes being caused by reservoir filling.