June 26, 2011

In Greek Key

Speaking of Mediterranean, I have been in Athens (for work) over the past few days. Since I have not seen much of the city, perhaps during a moment of calm I can soak up some of the local flavor through Greek icons.

First on the list is a perfectly modern deity: Athena. Her attributes are impressive: wisdom, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, female arts, crafts, justice and skill. Sure, her parents may have had a troubled relationship, but this patron of Athens, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, is “urban and civilized, the antithesis in many respects of Artemis, goddess of the outdoors.”

Athena Greek goddess of wisdom

The popular flowing pattern is called meander motif. Meander takes its name from the river Meander, which has many turns and is mentioned by Homer (Greek poet, not Simpson). The pattern is laden with meaning, of course. It is symbolic of infinity and flow of things, bonds of friendship and devotion, four seasons, and waves.

greek key the meandering pattern

St. George – or St. Georgios – seems to be everywhere around Greece. There seems to be many legends but St. George is best known for his epic battle with a dragon. His depictions are stunning, here are my two favorites, one a Byzantine icon....

St. George Byzantine icon

...and another a more modern, 19th Century interpretation by Gustave Moreau.

St. George slays the dragon painted by Gustave Moreau

More from Klatch when I return!

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