Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

If you like it, why not share it ?...Thanks!

Greek Word of the Day: Arcadia: Greece: Nymphs, Naiads and Dryads. "Et in Arcadia ego"



"Dance of Satyrs and Nymphs in Spring Landscape" Max Ernst Pietschmann
"Dance of Satyrs and Nymphs in Spring Landscape"

Max Ernst Pietschmann

Since the time of the ancients, Arcadia has been the inspiration for many poets, painters, and writers.

 Virgil, (Roman poet) aroused by Arcadia, wrote his "The Eclogues" a series of poems, set in Arcadia, Jacopo Sannazaro, Italian poet and humanist, influenced by the otherworldliness of the place, wrote his pastoral poem, Arcadia.



Mount Lykaion, Arcadia Peloponnese Greece
Mount Lykaion, Arcadia
Peloponnese Greece

In more recent times, Evelyn Waugh, chose the sub heading:

 “Et in Arcadia ego”

 for the first part of his best selling novel:



“Et in Arcadia ego” is a Latin phrase, meaning, “In Arcadia, there I am”, the “I” referring to death, the “Arcadia” referring to paradise.



Waterfalls of Lepida Parnona Mountain, Arcadia, Greece.
Waterfalls of Lepida

Parnona Mountain, Arcadia, Greece.

Arcadia was a fashionable subject for Renaissance Art, Nicholas Poussin, was so enamoured of Arcadia, he painted two versions of a painting, using the same title;


 “Et in Arcadia ego” (Les Bergerer d’ Arcardie)


Maybe the first time this Latin phrase was ever uttered!


"Et in Arcadia ego" (Les Bergerer d' Arcadie) Version I  Nicholas Poussin
"Et in Arcadia ego"
(Les Bergerer d' Arcadie)
Version I

Nicholas Poussin

"Et in Arcadia ego" (Les Bergerer d' Arcadie) Version II  Nicholas Poussin
"Et in Arcadia ego"
(Les Bergerer d' Arcadie)
Version II

Nicholas Poussin

 These superb paintings, "Et in Arcadia ego" by Poussin, show mythical shepherds, set in idyllic, pastoral scenes.

Another painting, also named "Et in Arcadia ego" was painted by Guercino, (a nickname meaning "the squinter", originally Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), Italian painter of the Bolognese school.


"Et in Arcadia ego"  Guercino
"Et in Arcadia ego"

Guercino

Demis Roussos, the late renowned Greek singer, had a massive hit with his song;

 “Lovely Lady of Arcadia





So, just what and where is this Arcadia, this pastoral never land, which has raised so much enthusiasm in so many people?


The Lake of Ladonas River Arcadia, Greece.
The Lake of Ladonas River
Arcadia, Greece.

Arcadia is situated at the heart of The Peloponnese in Southern Greece, a region of green pastures, lush forests and fast flowing rivers, today, scattered with wonderful, typically Greek, small villages, dwarfed by the large town of Tripolis, the capital of Arcadia.


Pastoral Arcadia Greece
Pastoral Arcadia

Greece

Arcadia is an amazing part of mainland Greece, mountainous, the two main mountains, being, Mount Lykaion and Mount Mainalo, with forests of chestnut and oak, dissected by the rushing rivers of the Alpheios, and the Lousios, where the nymphs were said to have bathed the infant Zeus.


River Lousios. Arcadia Greece
River Lousios.

Arcadia
Greece

The caves of Kapsia, over three million years old, are said to have been home to the God Pan.


Caves Of Kapsia  Arcadia, Greece
Caves Of Kapsia

Arcadia, Greece

In Ancient Greece, most people lived an urban life, next to the sea, the source of their livelihood, only in the region of Arcadia, away from cities, did people live simply, in harmony with nature.


"The course of  Empire, the Arcadian or Pastoral State"  Thomas Cole
"The course of  Empire, the Arcadian or Pastoral State"

Thomas Cole

Arcadia was an idyllic place, a kind of Utopia, a Shangri La, but not created by man, Arcadia evolved naturally, an unspoiled wilderness, in Greece, said in Greek Mythology to be, the original site of "The Golden Age", an age of peace, harmony, stability and prosperity.


"Arcadia"  Thomas Eakins
"Arcadia"

Thomas Eakins

Arcadians were humble people, without hate or greed, living peacefully, as shepherds, uncorrupted by civilization.


"Arcadia. Daphnis & Chloe"  Pierre Cabanel
"Arcadia. Daphnis & Chloe"

Pierre Cabanel
In these blissful green pastures, cooled by flowing
 streams and rivers, lived Nymphs, playful, mythical creatures, cavorting amongst the forests, valleys and dells, of this unobtainable, now lost world.


"Hylas & Water Nymphs"  Henrietta Rae
"Hylas & Water Nymphs"

Henrietta Rae

Naiads, freshwater nymphs, (Saltwater nymphs are called Oceanids)
 always female, ruled over wells, springs, brooks, rivers and lakes, and had quite a reputation for being jealous little sprites.


"Nymph"  John William Waterhouse
"Nymph"

John William Waterhouse

These immortal naiads, kept a look out for the young girls and women, guiding them as they reached adulthood.

Dryads were the tree nymphs, their name deriving from the Greek word for oak tree, were shy beings, who led long lives, living closely to the tree they were protecting.

"A Hamadryad"  John William Waterhouse
"A Hamadryad"

John William Waterhouse

Hamadryads, were actually tied to trees, and when the tree died, they died, if the tree blossomed, they blossomed.


"The Dryad"  Evelyn de Morgan
"The Dryad"

Evelyn de Morgan

Friends with the naiads and the dryads were the oreads, the mountain nymphs, they frolicked together or tended to their sheep, occasionally being chased by Pan, the God of nature, wilderness, fertility and spring.

 They all lived together, in the groves and glens, of mythical Arcadia.


"Les Oreades"  William Adolphe Bouguereau
"Les Oreades"

William Adolphe Bouguereau

 The Great God Pan is depicted as a satyr, with a dark hairy body, two horns on his forehead, pointed ears, a snub nose and the legs and tail of a goat, wearing a crown of pine needles.


"The Great God Pan"  Norman Wills Price
"The Great God Pan"

Norman Wills Price

The name Pan, is generally thought to come from the Greek word Pan, meaning “All” but, it is derived from the word “Paein”, the Greek for “To pasture”


"Nymphs & Satyr Pan"  William Adolphe Bouguereau
"Nymphs & Satyr Pan"

William Adolphe Bouguereau

 Not surprising then, that this blissful, magical world called Arcadia, inhabited by hedonistic nymphs, a decadent pipe playing Romeo, oh, and the odd sheep, was the inspiration for some of the most beautiful, classic poems and alluring paintings, and a veritable Paradise on Earth.


More Great Greek Words

Elysian  Meraki  Eudaimonia  Sophrosyne  Philotimo  Eucharisto  Ichor  Daimon  Palikari  

Kairos  Halcyon  Sirens

How the ancient city of Athens got its name 

The Passing Of Maurice The Pug Dog



Maurice
Maurice

Last week I had to make the worst decision of my life, a decision I was praying I would never have to make.

Our Pug Dog Maurice, a loved member of our family, for the past nineteen years, a ripe old age for any dog, was on his last legs, in fact, he had been that way for quite a while.  


The last photo of Maurice.  Easter 2014.
The last photo of Maurice.

Easter 2014.

When we first adopted Maurice, he was named Aramis, he didn't look quite the type to be a musketeer though, so, my daughter re-named him Maurice, rather strange, I thought, at the time, where on earth did that come from? But he did grow into his name!




Maurice's father, sitting proudly, with his awards.
Maurice's father, sitting proudly, with his awards.

See what a grand background Maurice came from?


Our good friend Robert, who makes a yearly trip to visit us, had already said his goodbyes to Maurice, twice, when returning to England, but, after his last trip in September, there were no goodbyes, “What’s the point?” asked Robert;

 “He’s going to outlive us all”


Maurice, when he first joined our family.
Maurice, when he first joined our family.

MGG giving Maurice his first bath, on coming to live with us.
MGG giving Maurice his first bath, after he came to live with us.

MGG, Amos and Maurice.
MGG, Amos and Maurice.

All three in their youth!

Dimitris, my daughter’s boyfriend, when visiting, would say; 

”Maurice, are you still alive?”

Then, things changed, Maurice looked worse, it wasn’t a joke anymore, people were now asking me what I was going to do about him.

At this point Maurice was still capable of getting in and out of his basket, he was eating and although we did have accidents, he was still able to walk outside to the “Loo”.
    

Maurice, chilling!
Maurice, chilling!

Maurice did look terrible though, just skin and bone, and rather wobbly on his legs, it took him a while to “Get going”

I decided that when he could no longer get out of his basket, well, that was the end.

When that time came though, I couldn’t do it; instead, I lifted him, in, and out of his basket to eat and to go to the “Loo”


Maurice
Maurice 

The situation deteriorated, I was washing his bedding three times a day, and I couldn’t keep up with it.

Every morning, on waking, I would pray that Maurice had died in the night, peacefully, in his sleep.

He didn’t do me the favour,

I talked to him, begged him to go, but Maurice just hung on.

I was being selfish, thinking more of my own misery, than the misery of Maurice, I felt guilty, I felt terrible, and I was a wreck.

Maurice in the snow.
Maurice in the snow.

A rare occasion in Greece!

 The only thing on my mind, from waking in the morning, until going to bed at night, was Maurice.

My family tried to persuade me to make the decision, bite the bullet, I knew they were right, I agreed a couple of times, yes, alright, tomorrow, but when tomorrow came, again, I said no.


Old friends, Maurice and Hugo.
Old friends, Maurice and Hugo.

Last Monday, the family were all here for a meal, and the subject of Maurice was brought up, yet again, I came to my senses, this time, I thought of Maurice, not of myself.

MGG (My Greek God) rang the vet, Maria, she was at her surgery, but would come as soon as she closed.

It was only six o clock, the surgery finished at nine; I had three hours of hell to get through.

It was suggested  I take Maurice there, to Maria, to avoid an excruciating three hours, but no, Maurice was going to die, here, at home, with all of us around him, I owed him that much.


Me and my Maurice.
Me and my Maurice.

MGG went down to the bottom of our garden, the resting place of Amos, our boxer dog, who died at the age of twelve, and of Ziggy, our groenendael, who died at the early age of only four years, and of my friend’s dog, a beautiful blonde cocker spaniel, Daisy.


Amos as an old man.
Amos as an old man.


My daughter, Nais, and Amos
My daughter, Nais, and Amos

Amos and Ziggy
Amos and Ziggy

Daisy
Daisy

MGG dug a space for my darling Maurice, in the garden, where once, Maurice had happily frolicked about with his friends , he was now about to go and join them all, there in doggy heaven.

Sweet Maurice.
Sweet Maurice.

With these three aforementioned dogs, we had been lucky, they died naturally, and as sad as it was, no nasty decisions had to be made.

The doorbell rang just after nine, I thought my heart would break, I held Maurice in my arms, said my last goodbye and Maria, who was so sweet and kind, did what she had to do.


Maurice, going through a chubby stage.
Maurice, going through a chubby stage,
don't we all?

I hope, with all my heart, Maurice didn’t understand what was happening, and that he is now, once more with his friends, Amos, Ziggy and Daisy.

Who'll get the biscuit?  Nais with the gang, Amos, Ziggy and Maurice
Who'll get the biscuit?

Nais with the gang, Amos, Ziggy and Maurice.


They always joined in with family birthday celebrations.
They always joined in with family birthday celebrations.

Here they all are enjoying a piece of birthday cake from my 50th!

Maurice had gone and I was devastated, but also relieved, he was out of his misery, I had done it, got it over with.

Maurice, my little friend, I’ll never forget you, just as I have never forgotten your three friends.

I wish you all a happy reunion. 

  
Always together, never apart.
Always together, never apart.

Now, you're all together again.
Now, you're all together again.

Now, it’s just you and me Hugo;

 “Are you missing your old pal?”


Hugo, missing his old friend, Maurice.
Hugo, missing his old friend, Maurice.

Hugo, we’ll get through it together.

Hugo is our other pug, he’s eight and a half years old, and, as you can imagine, right now he’s being spoiled to death!


Maurice and Hugo.
Maurice and Hugo.

There is nothing sadder than an old dog.


I say now, that Hugo will be our last dog, but, you know what they say;

” Never say never”

The Greek Orthodox Church and Her Saints: 7 January; The Synax of Saint John The Baptist/John The Forerunner


Saint John the Baptist  Leonardo Da Vinci
Saint John the Baptist

Leonardo da Vinci

 Saint John the Baptist, a Jewish travelling preacher, is a dominant religious figure in Christianity, Islam, Baha’i (Persian Monotheism) and Mandaeism (Gnostic religion), and the last prophet of The Old Testament.

 He is known as a prophet in all the above religions, and as a Saint in Christianity.


In The New Testament, Saint John the Baptist prophesies the coming of The Messiah, a person greater than himself, and this person was Jesus.


Saint John the Baptist
Saint John the Baptist

Details from Deesis mosaic, Hagia Sophia,Istanbul, Turkey.

In The Greek Orthodox Church, Saint John the Baptist is also called, Saint John the Forerunner (Ioannis O Prodromos); the one who prepared the way for the coming of Jesus.

Saint John the Baptist’s main Feast Day, celebrated by The Greek Orthodox Church, is “The Synaxis of Saint John the Forerunner”, on the seventh of January.


Other Feast Days of Saint John the Forerunner, celebrated in The Greek Orthodox Church are:

       February twenty fourth. The first and second finding of the head of John the Forerunner.

        May twenty fifth. The third finding of the head of John the Forerunner.

 June twenty fourth

         August twenty ninth. The beheading of John the Forerunner

        September 23. Conception of St John the Forerunner and the Commemoration of Saints Zechariah and Elizabeth.


Saint John the Baptist’s parents, Zachariah, a Jewish priest, and Elizabeth, cousin to The Virgin Mary, today known as Saint Elizabeth, had no children, and were of an age where it was unlikely that they ever would.


Zachariah & Elizabeth
Zachariah & Elizabeth

Parents of Saint John the Baptist

One day, whilst in the Temple, Zachariah was visited by the angel Gabriel, who told him that his wife would give birth to a son, and they were to name that son, John.

Jacapo Carucci, known as Jacapo da  Pontormo
Jacapo Carucci, known as Jacapo da  Pontormo

Zachariah writing "I name this child John"

Born in Judea, six months before Jesus, Saint John the Baptist, grew up to realize he had been chosen by God, to prepare the people for the coming of The Messiah, by turning them away from sin and baptizing them.

John could be seen roaming the wilderness of the desert, dressed in camel’s hair clothing, eating locust and wild honey, preaching his message, and, owing to this, he is sometimes called “The Angel of the Desert” and is often depicted, on icons, as having wings.

Saint John  El Greco
Saint John

El Greco

As John’s fame grew, Jesus heard about this man, who had become a phenomenon, sought him out and became one of his followers.


"The Preaching of St. John the Baptist"  Pieter Bruegl the Elder
"The Preaching of St. John the Baptist"

Pieter Bruegl the Elder

Saint John the Baptist baptized Jesus, along with many others, in the River Jordan.

John’s downfall, came when Herod had him thrown into prison for public ally accusing him of divorcing his wife, Phasaelis, and unlawfully marrying his brother Philip’s wife, Herodias.


When, at Herod’s Birthday celebration, Salome, Herodias’s daughter, danced for Herod, he was so delighted, he exclaimed that he would reward her with anything her heart desired.

"Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist"  Andrea Solario
"Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist"
Andrea Solario

After discussing Herods's  offer with her mother, Salome requested from Herod, the head of Saint John the Baptist.

Herod was hesitant to do Salome’s bidding, but, he was a man of his word, and so Saint John the Baptist lost his head.


"The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist"  Puvis de Chavannes
"The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist"

Puvis de Chavannes

According to The Greek Orthodox Church, after his death, Saint John the Baptist went to Hades (Ancient Greek underworld) where he continued to preach the coming of The Messiah, so being the Forerunner of Jesus Christ, in both life and death.

Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church . Old Jerusalem
Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church
.
Old Jerusalem

John the Baptist is said to have been be buried at Sebaste in Samaria, but after the place was desecrated, around 362, his relics were taken to Jerusalem, and later, to Alexandria, in Egypt.

Nabi Yaha Moaque Sebastia  Traditional burial place of Saint John the Baptist.
Nabi Yaha Moaque Sebastia

Traditional burial place of Saint John the Baptist.

The head of John the Baptist is said to have either been buried in the fortress of Machaerus (Jordan) or, at Herod’s palace in Jerusalem


Relic; Saint John the Baptist's Head  Amiens Cathedral, France.
Relic; Saint John the Baptist's Head

Amiens Cathedral, France.

Other relics, found during the reign of Constantine, are said to have been taken to Emesa, in Western Syria, and hidden, where they were allegedly found in 453.

Skull of Saint John the Baptist  Munich
Skull of Saint John the Baptist

Munich

If claims are to be believed, John the Baptist was a man of many heads and a multitude of hands!


Other locations, where the head of the Baptist, is to be found are:

The Great Mosque of Damascus

Rome. San Sivestro in Capite

Munich, Residenz Munich, former Royal Palace of Bavaria.Antioch, Uncertain where, exactly.

Amien Cathedral, France (Said to be taken there by The Knights Templar).

The Parish Church of Tenterden, Kent
 
Head of Saint John the Baptist.  Rome
Head of Saint John the Baptist.

Rome

Head of Saint John the Baptist.  Topkapi Palace.Istanbul.Turkey
Head of Saint John the Baptist.

Topkapi Palace.Istanbul.Turkey

The right hand of John the Baptist, the hand with which he baptized Jesus Christ, can be found in the following places:


Serbian Orthodox MonasteryMontenegro.

Topkapi PalaceIstanbulTurkey.

Mount Athos (The Holy MountainGreece.


The left hand of John the Baptist can be found in:


        Armenian Apostolic Church of Saint JohnWest Bengal.

       Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great, Egypt.


Right Hand of Saint John the Baptist  Cetinje Monastery. Montenegro.
Right Hand of Saint John the Baptist

Cetinje Monastery. Montenegro.

  Bone fragment of Saint John the Baptist's hand, encased in silver.  Photo; John Canning
Bone fragment of Saint John the Baptist's hand, encased in silver.

Photo; John Canning

Right hand of Saint John the Baptist.  Topkapi Palace. Istanbul. Turkey.
Right hand of Saint John the Baptist.

Topkapi Palace. Istanbul. Turkey.

In 2010, bones were unearthed in the ruins of the Bulgarian Church of Saint John, on the Black Sea island of Saint Ivan, which, when the DNA was tested two years later, proved to be the bones of a Middle Eastern man of the first century AD.

Relics of Saint John the Baptist  Found on The Black Sea island of Saint Ivan.
Relics of Saint John the Baptist

Found on The Black Sea island of Saint Ivan.

These relics; a knuckle,  a tooth, part of a skull, a rib and a forearm bone, are now kept in Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral, Sozopol, Bulgaria.


The most surprising claim of all, one that I have never heard of, is that the Head of John the Baptist is to be found in my neck of the woods, WestYorkshire!

The head of John the Baptist appears on the official coat of arms of Halifax.


The coat of Arms of Halifax, West Yorkshire, England.  Depicting the head of John the Baptist.
The coat of Arms of Halifax, West Yorkshire, England.

Depicting the head of John the Baptist.

A legend, recorded in the late sixteenth century, in William Camden’s “Britannia”, states that the name Halifax derives from; “Halig”, holy, and “Fax”, face.

William Camden states that the first religious settlers, brought with them, the face or head of John the Baptist.

Apparently, not only in life did John the Baptist spread himself around, but in death also!


Of course, the "Yiannis" (Greek version of the name John) all over the world, celebrate their Name Day on seventh of January.

Yiannis is such a popular name in Greece that there is a saying:

"There's not a house in Greece that doesn't have a Yiannis"


My Yiannis!  My Son John  Happy Name Day!
My Yiannis!

My Son John

Happy Name Day!

I'll take this opportunity, to wish my Yiannis, my son John,

 "Happy Name Day"


 More Saints of The Greek Orthodox Church.




If you like it, why not share it? Thanks!