Bumper Welcome Back to School Edition!
A New Hellene Team Member, Guest Blogs, School Trip Site and Museum /Rules & Regulation updates, Articles & Resources and the usual miscellaneous collection of Classics News from around the world!
Χαίρετε! Salve! Welcome back! We trust you are well rested, reinvigorated and not too miffed by the mixed bag of Examination Results. Do seek out the plentiful offers of help and advice in Classics Social Media – you are never alone!
TRIP UPDATES – Prices, Ticketing, new Rules and Regulations and overzealous Guards and misleading advice
There may well be a cost of living crisis but it doesn’t (so far) seem to have affected Trips abroad. Flight prices continue to soar and BA Group availability seem as rare as hens’ teeth. Congrats to those who secured their flights with us in the last weeks of the Summer Term and even during August (unprecedented). Apologies to those who are now looking to finalise as flight prices have soared by up to £250.00 in some instances. UK Outbound Travel to Greece Soars 62% for Autumn Half-Term
With cruise ships decanting thousands of tourists in Athens, tough new controls have been imposed at the country’s most visited site Visitor numbers have increased so much to the Akropolis that Culture ministry announces Acropolis visitor zones to tackle overcrowding with New Visitor Zones to Ease Tourist Traffic at the Acropolis………here’s the rub, we still are not sure how it’s going to work for Groups
“We are expecting the completion of electronic ticketing system, the implementation of visitor zones and the establishment of separate entry points for organized groups of tourists” “We expect the completion of the reform of the electronic ticketing system, the implementation of visitor zones and the establishment of separate entry points for organized groups of tourists,” the Federation said.
The GROUP E-TICKETING SYSTEM planned for completion at the end of June only became operational on 4th September and is currently in its trial stages and will likely be formally enforced from April 2024! We expect teething issues!
The Acropolis Adopts Crowd Control Measures for the First Time. Greece to stagger Acropolis visitors from September. The new time-slot system would be introduced on a “trial basis” on September 4, it said in a statement. Daily visits at the monument will also be capped at 20,000, and visitors will be assigned to hourly times-lots during the hours that the Acropolis is open each day
In addition the Hellenic Organization of Cultural Resources Development calls on visitors not to be misled by sites/posts promising fake services, and announces that the only official online portal for the purchase of Acropolis tickets is hhticket.gr (Hellenic Heritage e-ticket) Online Ads for Acropolis ‘Skip the Line’ Entrance Tickets are Misleading
Visitors to Rome are experiencing similar; Pantheon Tickets Frustrate Tourists in Rome. Abuse & misunderstandings
Overall our Summer Trips ran well; still grumbles about food, especially in Italy which we will continue to press and still moans about overzealous guards criticising small groups of well behaved, unaccompanied pupils and insisting upon Whispering Guide Headsets in both Greece and Italy, when not necessary. They are now only mandatory in Colosseo, New Akropolis Museum and if you hire an Official Guide……..though you probably won’t be forced to wear them, just purchase them!
Whilst we continue to raise standards, feedback like this makes our hearts sing!
“We felt well briefed and prepared and able to manage these well. In Sorrento, we met up with some colleagues we knew from a nearby school there at the same time, and we felt very lucky with the support and communication we had received from you compared to what they had experienced with a different company.”
EUROPEAN WILD FIRES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PLANS
“In the season of summer [theros], with all its labours,
then it is that goats are fattest, wine is best,
women are most wanton, and men are weakest;
for Sirius dries up [azein] their heads and their knee-caps,
and the skin gets dry [aualeos] from the heat”
Notwithstanding this Summer’s naming of weather fronts (Cerberus, Charon, Cleon and Nero) the Kosmos Society article “Summer for the Ancient Greeks” is an apt reminder of the stark travails to be encountered even today in mainland Europe.
Greece was probably hit the hardest and thank goodness none of our Schools were affected.
This year’s figures for the amount of land burned by wildfires in Greece and Europe are tracking ahead of the 2006-22 average A visual guide to Greece’s deadly wildfires.
Acropolis closed for a few hours to protect visitors from a heatwave and wildfires reached the UNESCO World Heritage Monastery of Hosios Loukas, Greece The monastery of, one of the most important Byzantine monuments in the world, has been engulfed in flames but it was ultimately saved without damage to frescoes and artefacts and has now reopened.
In Sicily The flames surround (without damaging) the temple of Segesta, with only the Ticket Office and café (a private concession) obliterated. As ever, it’s the ordinary people, small businesses, farmers, stock and wildlife who suffer the most…….
More green spaces and lower emission rates are the way to go obviously, but it’s an uphill battle to balance the environment with, let’s be honest, our selfish desires for creature comforts.
The Athens City Council has recently approved plans for the creation of a new climate-resilient park in the Votanikos area. The park, which will be located in the former industrial area of Elaionas, near the new Panathinaikos stadium, will cover an area of 60 acres and will be the largest urban park created in Athens in the last hundred years. The park is designed to improve the microclimate of the area and to contribute to the reduction of the urban heat island phenomenon.
High-Speed Train Will Connect Rome to Pompeii: 3rd Sunday of the month, 1hr 47 mins between 8:53 & 10:40 with a return journey of 2hrs 15 mins leaving 18:40 arriving back in Rome at 20:55. It will be insufferably crowded and doubtless very expensive.
If money is no object, take an exclusive trip from Rome and through Sicily and aim to pamper with less climate guilt.
two more fabulous contributions from the BM and Sweden.
Figure 1: Interior of the Museum
Figure 3: The Case of Finds from Ayia Irini
We await the next contributions, Classics Teachers – untold wealth and rewards for your next Department Meeting!
OUT AND ABOUT
Whilst Claudia and her family sweltered in Athens & Agolid (Twitter) but still found time to eat ice cream and pastries and enjoy cool evenings with our favourite Coach Driver………..
and James hunted down Classics in Stockholm, Alan Sugar @Lord_Sugar was Tweeting rather laconically about Pompeii!
I do hope someone introduced him to Caecilius and thus enlivened the visit with tales of pecuniary interests across the centuries.
Our Agents and Friends in Italy visited and Tweeted amazing pics from the Infiorata Flower Carpet Festivals, Genzano (Lazio); a tradition dating back to June, 1625 when Benedetto Drei, head-florist at the Vatican, used flowers to decorate a basilica with the mosaic on the day of Saints Peter and Paul.
Sadly, we couldn’t manage to join the ARLT Summer School, but we were there in Spirit!
Thank you very much for your generous sponsorship both this year and last. We decided, with your approval, to put the money towards the cost of the trip (Hadrian’s Wall this year) as this seemed both sensible and appropriate. Best wishes to you both. I really miss our trips abroad. A
We hope to make this a regular sponsorship!
During our meagre adventures this Summer, we were reminded of the “Romans on the M25 – Clacket Lane Service Station #Titsey, always good to remember on a School Trip!
We also enjoyed a good day out at Richborough Roman Fort (Twitter)
with its new gate House
We also found Romans in Warrington in a smashing little Museum with an old-fashioned vibe! (Twitter)
Great collection including one of only 3 Roman Actor Terracotta Masks to be found in UK!
We took the scenic route back down south via Ardotalia/Melandra Flavian (Twitter) Auxiliary Fort (AD 69–96) + Bath House, Latrines, Mansio & Vicus. No info boards on 3.5 acre site, but still quite a bit to be seen here and local kids at a loose end were thrilled to be given a mini Tour and left in the latrines! Once a Classics Teacher …….
We also stopped in Buxton for the Ardoltalia/Melandra remains in the Local Museum and Art Gallery En route back home after Warrington, Manchester; Melandra Fort we stopped at Buxton to view Roman remains from the latter’s excavation + surrounds. Pleasant surprise it was too! Jam packed!
WHAT ELSE HAS BEEN HAPPENING IN THE CLASSICAL WORLD?
In addition to the article What Became of the Ancient Greek City they Found in Afghanistan Founded by Alexander, rediscovered in the 1960, it was christened by archeologists as Ai-Khanoum, or ‘Lady Moon’, after an Uzbek princess who had lived on its rocky summit my personal favourites are the ‘lost’ Bronze Roman Lupa in Libya, conservation of the little the Albanian Horse rider and evidence of a Roman Landowner possibly, just possibly meeting his comeuppance at the hands of local Celt Farmers ……… just up the road from the family farm as it happens, just sayin’…….
With the discovery of the Pizza Fresco in Pompeii, I’m sure you all spent many a happy hour explaining to family, friends and acquaintances exactly why it isn’t……
A new fresco depicting an Italian flatbread has been discovered at Pompeii. Culinary archaeologist Farrell Monaco offers a recipe to make it and explains why it’s not a pizza …………. whilst simultaneously planning other ‘highly authentic’ Roman Recipes
Further restoration at Bassae (YES!) and MASSIVE development at Corinth/Istmia (Double YES!), hidden Sites in Athens, reopening of Lykabettos Theatre and Nafplion Bourtzi, restoration at Pleurona Theatre, Visa announced this week that six automated ticketing points were now issuing tickets to the Acropolis, Ancient Olympia, Epidaurus and the Archaeological Museum of Delphi (but whether it will permit reductions for School Groups remain to be seen) and HUGE excitement from Epidaurus Festival during the Summer, thrilling audiences and thrusting theatre into the 21st century ‘I thought people would throw bottles’: orgy in Athens as ancient Greek drama strips off and lets rip. Naked choruses, sexual fantasies, rubbish tip wastelands and nods to refugee camps …
Whilst Italy continues to experience Problematic Tourism on Ancient Roman Sites and Rome plans to pedestrianise Piazza Pia near Vatican for Jubilee 2025 (looking forward to that, not…) there’s a promise of some good exhibitions in the offing and excellent archaeological revelations galore throughout the summer – Theatrum Neroni, Largo di Torre Argentina accessibility, two new fragments of Fasti Ostienses, new excavations in Pompeii, Baiae, Stabiae, Selinunte, Sarsina (birthplace of Plautus), Ficulle, Fano and Nemi.
Ancient paw prints, Thracian horsemen, ‘unknown’ Albanian City, Greek and Roman Boats and an Eurasian Pyramid.
Phoenician Shipwreck, Battle of Lyon weapons & decapitated human heads, ‘exceptional’ Bath complex, new settlements & forts, amber beads, huge gateway, evidence of early textile industry and Ancient Roman bust affectionately named ‘Dennis’ found at Austin Goodwill was officially returned to its former location, the Pompeiianum in Aschaffenburg, after being missing for 70 years
Hekate Sanctuary, Griffin Weights, New Interactive Pergamon Walking Tour, When Rome Tried to Tame Nature in Pergamon (With Catastrophic Results), ancient Harbours and Lighthouses……and of course that lost Libyan Lupa!
UK – Appendix F (Wales doing well this Summer!)
Vengeance of Silures Farmers (possibly), Roman Inscriptions of Britain in Schools, Mars & Medusa on Hadrian’s Wall, Greek Coins on Anglesey, lost Roman Bridge near Chepstow, Roman Road Network in SW, another London Wall, more finds at Caistor and a new Fort in Port Lympne.
Another Domus in Rabat and further discoveries in Nora
Inevitably, Indiana Jones and the Antikythera Mechanism, Marx Engels and Dialectics, constructing a Mycenean Chariot, the Letter of Claudius to the Alexandrians, Cui bono? In Search of Useful Latin, Top Roman Historian Rates Famous Movie Scenes and Assistive Technology in Ancient Greece – how disabled people in ancient Greece could navigate the spaces and activities of their communities and (in a change from Mahabharata, Beowulf, Mabinogion) prepare to unveil the Homeric influence in Waltzing Matilda!
Finally – A NEW HELLENE TEAM MEMBER
Thank you to the nearly 40 applicants from USA, S Africa, Europe, UK and Eire, we are immensely flattered. Although we either emailed or spoke to everyone (and most replied) inevitably we hated disappointing many very good acquaintances and friends, all of whom (we hope!) were very understanding and wished us well.
On the plus side it resulted in our making new contacts abroad and resurrecting old friendships!
After weeks of interviewing an incredibly talented, numerous and far flung set of interviewees we eventually decided to welcome Dr. Kerry Phelan into our fold; check her out on our Meet the Team Page.
An experienced and enthusiastic (of course!) Classicist, Kerry will initially be assisting me with Greek Itineraries, but will also pop up in other areas too!
She’s been keeping me on my toes for the last month and we look forward to a fruitful collaboration!
As the manic craziness of Autumn Half Trip Season approaches, we’ll be trying our best to remember
If all else fails we’ll just remember to employ 8 Health Tips from Ancient Rome Nos 1 – Drink wine!
Best wishes for the New Academic Year from The Hellene Team……..
Sarah, John, Claudia, James, Vishal, Nidhi – and Kerry!