"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Thursday, July 5, 2007

LONDON! British Museum: Ancient Greece

Probably my favorite part of the museum! I just love myths, legends and folklore. I love it so much that I took a class on it at BYU and named my daughter after the professor. True story!


This is called the Nereid Monument. While it looks like a temple, it's actually a tomb that was made to look like a temple. At the British Museum on a Saturday is probably not the best time to try to take a picture without any people in it. The Ancient Greece section, especially, as everything is very large.


Here is another statue from the Nereid Monument. Nereids are basically sea nymphs, although a few of them became quite famous: Thetis (mother of Achilles), Galatea (love interest of the Cyclops), and Calypso (for those of you who've seen Pirates of the Caribbean). I really liked the playful movement of this statue.


This is half of the pediment sculpture from the Parthenon, called the Birth of Athena. The centerpiece - featuring the actual birth of the goddess out of her father's head- is missing. This half features Dionysis (god of the vine) on the left; Persephone (wife of Hades) and her mother, Demeter, in the middle; then a younger goddess. To the right would have been Zeus, with Athena coming out of his skull, and then most likely Hephaestus (god of metalworking), who came to help Zeus with his terrible headache by whacking him in the head with an axe, which resulted in Zeus' head splitting and a full-grown woman dressed in battle gear emerging. I would have suggested a couple aspirin taken with Dr Pepper, but hey, whatever works!

This is the other half of the Birth of Athena. There is much debate over who these three goddesses are but I think it's not as tricky as you might think. Sure is hard to tell for sure, seeing as how they're missing their heads but I've seen CSI and you can find an identity without the head. The far left goddess is possibly the hardest to name because there's not much to identify her. The far right goddess, however, is obviously Aphrodite. Seriously, which other goddess is going to show up at her dad's house looking like she was just in a wet t-shirt contest? The goddess in the middle, the one Aphrodite is leaning on, could very well be her mother, Dione.

1 comment:

Kristie said...

Very cool! You sure did pack a lot into your 2 hours there at the museum!!

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