constantinakatsari's Posts

Why did Islam become the undoubted ruler of the Mediterranean?

Why did Islam become the undoubted ruler of the Mediterranean?

Have you ever thought how the Arabs, a nomadic people, managed to rule the Mediterranean and beyond? How did they expand beyond their small (by comparison) region in the Middle East and occupied areas such as North Africa, Spain and the Eastern Mediterranean? Most scholars agree that one of the main factors that allowed the Arabic conquests was the tendencies towards their political unification and centralization of power. Allah, the one and only God to whom they believed, in a way made this uni... »

The Arabic Invasion of Europe

The Arabic Invasion of Europe

Arab influence on European culture was undoubtedly important and long lasting. The Byzantines were the first people that came in direct contact with the Arabic civilisation. On 14 September 628 the byzantine emperor Heraclius returned to Constantinople victorious after his military clashes with the Persian neighbours. He brought with him the True Cross of Christ that, until then, remained in Jerusalem. The Cross had a powerful meaning for the people of Constantinople. It signified the fact that ... »

Underwater city in Zante

Underwater city in Zante

Antiquities are everywhere in Greece, under the streets, under the buildings, in the parks, on the mountains…everywhere. We find them, though, more rarely under the water. So, I get very excited every time new findings emerge. This is the case of the buried city under the sea of Alicana in Zante. Zante or other wise called Zakynthos is a beautiful island on the Ionian Sea. Although it is part of Greek territory, it has been for several centuries under Italian rule; hence, it has a strong b... »

Economic Reality and Greek Culture

Economic Reality and Greek Culture

You all know how modern Greece became bankrupt, how its population lives under extreme economic conditions, how the government is trying to pay off the debts (though, not that successfully). The IMF process demanded that the entire economy deflated, that the salaries and the prices were reduced, so that Greece became competitive again. Competitive in what, though? Since the euro entered our lives, most Greeks have been living on borrowed money and time. They neither created products nor offered ... »

Baby-making seasons in Egypt

Baby-making seasons in Egypt

I knew that life in Egypt was seasonal because of the behaviour of the Nile, the river that defined the lives of the people who lived of it. It is well known that the Nile floods during the summer months and that Egyptians arrange for their agricultural activities accordingly. What I did not know was that also the sexual life of the Egyptians was seasonal! It looks like the peak of sexual activity can be restricted to the summer months of July and August. Excavations of a cemetery of the Dakhles... »

Theater re-opens after 1700 years in Greece

I am not sure if the re-opening of the ancient theatre of Messene is connected to the economic crisis in Greece or not. Either way, it is a fact that cannot be ignored. As part of the Greek Festival the opening night will be the 3rd of August 2013. In the first instance 2500 people will be able to attend, although after its full restoration it will host more than 5000 people. The restorations will continue over the summer with the help of funds from Niarchos foundation and the European Union. Fa... »

New Rock Drawings in Epirus

Today I was browsing for news on my native region in Greece, that is Epirus, when I found out about a new and exciting discovery! The archaeologist and archaeology professor at the University of Ioannina, Andreas Vlachopoulos, announced the existence of 5000 year old rock drawings in Vathi, Astypalaia. He mentioned that the drawings were of 70 cm length. They represent mostly boats with oars, while three of them seem to be carrying fish. According to Vlachopoulos the findings are similar to the ... »

Ancient city discovered in Greece

Ancient city discovered in Greece

Ancient historians may complain about the lack of new data coming to surface. Archaeologists, on the other hand, do not seem to have such a problem, since new excavations reveal new and exciting material all the time. Of course, most of the sites are already known to seasoned archaeologists, although excavations are slow to come about due to increasing financial difficulties. An announcement on a new ancient city found in Greece is about the city of Thuria in Messenia (south west Peloponnese). T... »

Syrian Unesco Heritage Site Falls in Battle

I was devastated when I read in the Guardian about the fatal damage at Umayyad’s mosque in Aleppo, Syria. It looks like the minaret collapsed after intense fighting between the two parties. The minaret was part of the 12th century Sunni mosque in the middle of the old walled city. The video below is indicative of the damage inflicted upon the famous site. By the way, I tried to embed the video in this post but it was not working. So, I suggest that you follow the link below. Source: The Gu... »

Covering up the genitalia of ancient statues

Covering up the genitalia of ancient statues

When I saw the following article, I thought I was transported back in medieval times. Ancient Greek nudity seems to have offended the Doha authorities in Qatar. It looks like the Greek government sponsored an exhibition in Qatar on ancient Olympia. Around 600 items have been shipped in the Middle East, among which were the nude statues of two young men. The authorities have been offended and the exhibits had to be returned to their native land. In my view, they should not have left in the first ... »

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