Sunday, July 31, 2016


I first heard about the Lions’ Gate at Mycenae in an Art History course in the 1970s. Finally, I am here.  

The city was said to be ~3,000 years old.  It was the home of King Agamemnon, the leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War.  It invokes images of Helen, the beautiful face that launched a thousand ships; Paris, whose seduction of Helen triggered the Trojan War; Odysseus,  the hero of numerous amazing tasks as well as sufferings; Hector, the great fighter who died in defence of Troy; Achilles, with the famous Achilles’ Heel; Apollo, one of the gods on Troy’s side; Athena, one of the gods who favoured the Greeks; … 

Some of the characters and exploits seem magical.  But Mycenae and Agamemnon and many others seem real enough.  This is particularly real when I stand right in his city, underneath the Lion’s Gate, and atop the amazing theatre.  Much lies in ruins.  But without a doubt a prosperous, powerful, skilful and creative people lived here thousands of years ago.  And their influence on us continues today. 

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