We took a trip to Eleusis today, it’s 14 miles from Athens down the Iera Othos (Sacred Way), but we didn’t go that way so it took us about an hour to get there by bus. I was able to siesta there and back, so it wasn’t a bad trip. Eleusis was pretty sweet. We learned all about the cult of Demeter and Persephone yesterday in class. Basically every year at Spring time, when Persephone was returned to Demeter, there would be 9 days of ceremony: 6 public and 3 secret. On the 5th day was the procession to Eleusis, via 14mi walk down the Sacred Way. Once they got there, there would be a a secret ceremony, followed by a pagent reenacting the return of Persephone to her mother Demeter. The next 3 days are completely secret, since the members were forced to take a vow of silence against speaking the secrets, no one today knows what they were. Apparently the Greek Orthodox Church incorporated some of the same ideals into Easter celebration. Namely, the renewal of life to the earth and light out of darkness. It’s all terribly fascinating, especially from a mythological standpoint, as well as religious in some aspects.
Other then that little trip, we got back to Athens too late to see any museums, and I figured it would be a good oppertunity to look over my notes instead of wandering around and shopping. So now we’ll have class in 10 min. and after that we might dabble in the nightlife. Who knows. I know I’m definitely going to some museums after morning class tomorrow and I’m looking forward to that. Then Santorini this weekend..whoop whoop!
Posted from Turkey:
posted Tuesday June 2008