|Today was my last day in Greece. I took a picturesque bus ride and headed south-east to a place called Sounion, on the tip of the Attiki Peninsula.
The ancient sanctuary of Sounion is first mentioned in the Odyssey, as the place where Menelaos stopped during his return from Troy to bury his helmsman, Phrontes Onetorides.
At the beginning of the 5th century B.C., the Athenians initiated the construction of an imposing temple for Poseidon, the Presiding Deity of the Water, Otherwise known as Neptune to the Romans, and Varuna in Vedic Cosmography.
With all the frantic to-ing and fro-ing of history, the building was never completed, as both the temple and the offerings were destroyed by the Persians in 480 B.C. In the following decades, Sounion, like the rest of Attica, flourished, and an important building project was undertaken at both sanctuaries.
At the end of the 5th century and during the Peloponnesian War, the Athenians fortified Sounion cape. But, alas – as is the nature of all things of rock and stone – from the 1st century B.C. onwards the sanctuaries gradually declined.
These are the remains of the Temple of Poseidon. It is situated on top of a massive cliff face that gives breathtaking 360 degree views of the Aegean Sea and many Greek islands. The Doric columns are made of Agrileza marble.
In ancient times the temple was the last sign of civilization the Athenians saw as they sailed away from home.
And it’s the last glimpse of Greek history I’ll be seeing before I fly back to Australia. Kalinihta, and adio Ellada!
Posted by Kurma on 21/1/07; 5:04:19 AM