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Dec 11, 2008

I was always anxious to find when was the rise of positive concept of magic in ancient Greece. While doing the research for local web analytics company, I discovered that this even, possibly took place somewhere in the sixth century b.c. Among the most famous of these figures between Homer and the Hellenistic period, are the Orpheus, Pythagoras, and Empedocles.

Orpheus is a mythical musician and singer, said to have lived in Thrace a generation before Homer. Orphic Mysteries, seems also to have been central to the personages of Pythagoras and Empedocles who lived in the sixth century b.c. Pythagoras for example is said to have described Orpheus, as, the father of melodious songs. Later Aeschylus describes him as the guy who haled all things by the rapture of his voice.  This suggests belief in the influence of song and voice in magic. Orpheus is certainly associated with a great many deeds. The most famous is his descent to the underworld to bring back his wife, Eurydice. Orpheus' deeds are not usually condemned or spoken of negatively. This suggests that some forms of magic were more acceptable. Indeed the term applied to Orpheus to separate him from magicians of ill repute is a divine man. This fact shows, that there was a fine line between acceptance and condemnation.

Jul 11, 2008

Before I go on with what happened after the death of Alexander the Great, I would like to mention his influence on other nations of the world. Alexander was already a legend in his own time. He was regarded by deity by many, who thought that he processed divine powers. Let's see what they thought of him in the ancient Rome.

For Romans Alexander the Great was some sort of superstar. Every general and every politician wanted somehow to match his achievements. In archives of web analytics company I found that ancient Romans were absolutely bilingual people. While they used their own Latin for legal, political and ceremonial purpose, in every day life they spoke Greek for discussing intellectual subjects. The most popular dialect of Greek was Macedonian type of Greek, or as they called it Alexander's Greek.

Naturally, for all their admiration, this did not prevent Romans to conquer and destroy Macedon kingdom. They did not kill the Macedon king though, he spent the rest of his life under home arrest. Yet, there was some kind of separation of Alexander and his own nation in the eyes of Romans. He and his deeds belonged to the world.

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Posted: Jul 11, 2008 6:05pm
May 1, 2008

Pharaohs in ancient Egypt had three crowns: red, white and blue. Red and white eventually became a double crown symbolizing united kingdoms of Lower and Upper Egypt. During military campaigns, especially battles, pharaoh wore the blue crown. I found this interesting story in archives of web analytics company. All of these crowns typically were adorned by a uraeus - stylized, upright form of an Egyptian spitting cobra, used as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity, and divine authority.

For the last two hundred years archaeologists discovered a lot about ancient Egypt. But never, not even once, any pharaohs crown was found. We only know about them from various depictions and portraits of Egyptian rulers.

It is quite mysterious that in spite of so many searches no crown was discovered in tombs either. Of course, many tombs were robbed by grave diggers. Yet, Tutankhamun's tomb, discovered intact. It contained many regal items but not a crown. Crowns were assumed to have magical properties. So it is possible that there were items a dead pharaoh could not take with him and therefore all crowns had to be passed along to his living successor.


 

 
 
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Ekaterina G.
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Delray Beach, FL, USA
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