Olympias at the Olympics Scuttled

Ελληνικά: Η Τριήρης "Ολυμπιάς" Engli...

Ελληνικά: Η Τριήρης "Ολυμπιάς" English: Trireme Olympias of the Hellenic Navy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The incipit of a piece from the Financial Times (tip o’ the pileus to Adrian Murdoch for sending it our way):

It was supposed to be a glorious display of British pomp combined with a potent symbol of ancient Greek strength.

Under top secret plans, London Olympic organisers came up with the idea of carrying the Olympic flame aboard the replica of Olympias, an ancient Greek warship that showed its mettle at the Battle of Salamis against the Persian empire in 480BC.

The plan was for 170 of Putney’s finest rowers to ferry Olympias, a 70-ton wooden trireme, down the River Thames on July 27, the day of the opening ceremony.

The Olympias would start its journey from Tower Bridge, after receiving the flame from the Queen’s Jubilee barge, and meander down the river towards the packed Olympic stadium in Stratford.

From there, the world would watch the flame being carried into the stadium, then lit, to mark the start of the London Olympics.

But in a tale more fitting for the Olympic TV satire Twenty Twelve, the plan has been scuppered because organisers were worried the spectacle of Olympias along the Thames would prove too popular, causing a security risk that might even see people throw themselves off bridges.

And for good measure, the decision has sparked off a diplomatic row with the Greek government and enraged the Greek navy. [...]

If you click through, they’ll require you to register … it’s free, though. Hopefully this story gets picked up in more detail by papers not behind registration … Whatever the case, I was kind of looking forward to seeing the Olympias row up the Thames with the flame; hopefully organizers will reconsider this — the spectacle’s the thing!

More of the Palladion Found

Greek Reporter seems to be the only one mentioning this one:

Part of the ancient Greek court Palladion, which tried murder cases from Classical until the Roman Ages, was discovered along with movable findings in downtown Athens.

In the 60′s, archaeologist Ioannis Travlos discovered another part of the court, including the entrance. But now, excavations provide interesting clues about the court’s function. The lodge found in the southern part of the court is believed to be the hearing process room.

Palladion Court, according to ancient Greek myth, was dedicated to Goddess Athena in memory of her friend Pallada. The Greek Goddess injured her friend accidentally while they were together, resulting in death.

As for the moving items, ceramic ballot boxes and coins puzzle the image of the ancient court. Judges may have had to vote for the innocent or guilty by choosing one of the two ballot boxes to throw their inscribed vote in.

Only cases of manslaughter were tried in the court. Murders characterized as “fair,” such as those caused due to wars or adultery, were tried in the Delphinion Court.

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem xiii kalendas maias

ante diem xiii kalendas maias

  • ludi Cereri (day 8)– games in honour of the grain goddess Ceres, instituted by/before 202 B.C.
  • Cerealia — the actual date of the Cerealia is uncertain, but it ‘reenacted’ Ceres’ search for her daughter Proserpina, with apparently all participants and spectators dressed in white.
  • 69 A.D. — Vitellius is recognized as emperor by the senate in Rome
Spring (194) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, depictin...

Spring (194) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, depicting the Cerealia in a Roman street (J. Paul Getty Museum) Swanson, Alma-Tadema, p. 130 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

… we also note today is the commemoration of an (undated) Roman soldier saint Expeditus