This is a brief exploration of the ancient Greeks, their inspiring art, their polity & the ideals that breathed life into their civilisation. The first five parts were strung together as a study that I did before I made a visit to this fascinating land. The sixth was written as a reflection on having visited the original site of the Greek olympics.

1. Discovering Greece before getting there

Epidaurus theater

Why is Greece special, and how do we get to the heart of ancient Greece?

2. On the Greek mind, Hellenic culture and us ‘moderns’

greek sculpture

What was the Greek conception of life? A brief article contrasting the ideals of Hellenic culture with those of our modern civilization.

3. The participative democracy of Greek city states

Greek City States

What about Greek ‘city states’ led to democratic ideas in later Europe? How did life in ancient Athens shape European thought and culture? Some aspects of Greek political life.

4. On the spirit of Greek art and sculpture

Where are the sculptors? On the art of sculpture, and the range and bounds of Greek expression.

If this interests you, consider the related piece Critiquing art – Form, Spirit and Intention

5. On the power of Greek poetry

greek poetry

How much does the poetry of a nation affect its culture? What gave Greek poetry its characteristic power? Without Homer, without the Iliad and the Odyssey, there would be no Greece..

6. Archaia Olympia, the Greeks and Physical culture

The entrance to the Olympic Stadium. Hear the echoes of athletes bursting through here three millennia ago..

Ancient Greece’s emphasis on beauty and strength can be felt everywhere, even in their ancient ruins. On physical culture, perfectibility and the experience of visiting Archaia Olympia in Greece..