Almost 4000 years ago, there was a Greek Island -Thera- with an amazing civilization, the best known Minoan outside Crete. Then, the volcano erupted -the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history- and everything was lost, buried in volcanic ash. The island was devastated, the settlements destroyed and a hundreds of meters deep caldera, a giant central, rectangular lagoon, was created.
Messene, a very significant city in antiquity named after a mythical queen and local deity, daughter of Triopas, the king of Argos, was established in the winter of 370 BC-369 BC and according to Diodorus, it was built in only 85 days. It was the 2nd largest state of Peloponnese and the capital and cultural center of Messinia.
From antiquity until today there are places that, because of their fame, seem to be “dreamy destinations” for those who cannot afford to visit them. It appears that ancient Corinth was one of them. Why was that? Imagine a very busy trading city, made up of three parts; the acropolis on the hill (Acrocorinth), the city itself and its port (Lechaion) on the coast. It had a cosmopolitan character, loose living and was noted for its wealth and for the luxurious, immoral and vicious habits of its people.
A large open area surrounded by buildings of various functions was the place where, through all the periods of the history of the city of Athens, everything happened. It was the heart of public life, the market and a meeting place, the center of any political, social, commercial, administrative, cultural, religious activity and the seat of justice. People, any kind of people –simple citizens, politicians, philosophers, traders, scientists, solders, slaves– but actually not so many women– sold, bought and traded products there, discussed about business, politics, social events and news, told jokes, gossiped, but also exchanged ideas and shared knowledge.
Architectural perfection, complete harmonization with the natural environment and perfect acoustics -which allow excellent intelligibility of unamplified spoken words from the skênê to all 15,000 spectators- are the unique characteristics of the Epidavros Theater, the best preserved ancient theater in Greece.
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