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Studying the Trojan War - Was it Real?

Did the Trojan War really happen? I am doing a bit of research and wanted to know what you guys thought:

The war is believed to have happened around 1200 BCE, and while there is no concrete evidence to support its occurrence, it is widely accepted as factual.

What is confusing me is how prevalent it is in Greek Mythology. In addition to the gods' involvement in the conflict, various stories and legends were added over time to give the tale more depth and drama. For example, the character of Achilles was said to be invulnerable except for his heel, which led to the phrase "Achilles heel" being used to describe a person's one weakness.

While some scholars once dismissed the Trojan War as pure myth, modern archaeological evidence has suggested that it may have been a real event. Excavations at the ancient site of Troy have revealed evidence of a long period of conflict and destruction, and historians have found similarities between the tale as it is told in ancient texts and what is known about the region's history at the time. While many details of the Trojan War are still shrouded in mystery, it seems increasingly likely that it was not just a legend but a real event that has been passed down through the ages.

History of the tradition of decorating boats for Christmas

One of the most interesting Greek Christmas traditions to me is the one where people decorate boats. So, I started to research the history. Here's a bit of what I discovered:

The roots of the tradition of decorating boats in Greece for Christmas can be traced back to the country's longstanding ties with the sea. In Ancient Greece, people would often looked to the sea for both sustenance and inspiration, and it was not uncommon for ships to be adorned with religious symbols and decorations.

It also has ties to early Christianity in Greece. According to Greek Orthodox beliefs, Saint Nicolas (aka Santa Claus) was a sailor, and he is the patron saint of sailors. Decorating boats is often seen as a way to honor him.

Over time, this practice became associated with the Christmas season, and the boats began to be decorated specifically for the holiday.

People also make paper boats to decorate. Some call these the "yule boat" or karavaki. One of the most famous examples of this practice is the Yule boat, or karavaki.

The earliest known evidence of decorating boats for Christmas in Greece dates back to the 19th century. During this time, sailors would deck out their boats with lights and tiny boats. These tiny boats were often placed inside the larger boat, symbolizing protection from harm while at sea.

Does anyone have anything to add?

My Top Favorite Greek Philosophers

There are too many philosophers to count, but these are the ones I am studying at the moment. It's fascinating to me how influential the Greek philosophers are. Here's some things I am learning:

#1 Socrates

If philosophy had a poster boy, Socrates might very well be it. The father of Western philosophy, Socrates was a gadfly to Athenian society, questioning everything and Master to Plato. Known for the Socratic Method and his unflinching commitment to truth, Socrates' influence is immeasurable despite never having written a word.

#2 Plato

Rightly succeeding his mentor on this list, Plato's Academy saw him birth the first "university" of its kind. His unabashed idealism, immortal Forms, allegories like the Cave, and the pursuit of 'The Good' in moral philosophy set the stage for much intellectual discourse.

#3 Aristotle

Aristotle, another of Plato's students, had a more grounded approach to philosophy than his predecessor. With establishing principles of logic and reason, and contributions to virtually every field of academia, from poetry to physics, Aristotle's body of work remains foundational.

#4 Heraclitus

Heraclitus, famed for the idea that "change is the only constant," viewed the cosmos through a lens of process, flux, and an everlasting Logos that governs the world. Although little of his work survives, his influence on ancient and modern thinkers is profound.

#5 Epicurus

Known for his eponymous philosophy, Epicurus taught that the greatest good is to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility, freedom from fear (ataraxia), and absence of bodily pain (aponia). Often misunderstood, Epicureanism is starkly different from the modern use of 'epicurean' - it's much less about a luxury lifestyle and more about ethical considerations regarding personal fulfillment.

Learning about Greek Independence Day

March 25th marks a significant celebration in Greece, but I realize my knowledge on its historical context is quite limited.

From what I understand, this day commemorates the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821, where Greece sought to end several centuries of Ottoman rule. However, I'm eager to learn more about the intricacies of this period, the key figures involved, and how the struggle for independence unfolded over time.

Additionally, I'd be interested in understanding how this day is celebrated across Greece today and whether any particular traditions are tied to it. For example, are there specific ceremonies, parades, or family traditions that uniquely mark this day in Greek culture?


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Question about Greece during WWI

I am trying to learn more about Greek history. This is a family project! What I am learning about now is Greece's involvement in WWI. From what I've gathered, Greece had a rather complex and interesting stance during World War I, but I'm looking for more in-depth information.

Could anyone here provide insights or point me towards resources that detail:

  1. Greece's political climate leading up to its involvement in WWI.
  2. The significance of the National Schism and how it affected Greece's participation.
  3. Key battles or military campaigns that Greek forces were involved in.
Thanks so much!
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