Finding clues to ancient Greek culture in its material remains

January 14, 2013

As they explore the history and culture of ancient Greece through its material remains with Classics professor Tom Falkner, the travelers in the Jan Term study tour “McDaniel in Greece: Myths, Monks, and Monuments” have encountered surprises – moments that have enriched their 18-day sojourn abroad.

Caroline Babylon ’76, one of eight adults and 14 students on the trip, sends back a photo a day. On day three, she shared a story with her photo of a village priest.

“The unexpected treasure of the day, on the little boat dock before the trip to the island, here came the priest and the procession for the Blessing of the Water for Epiphany. First a cross was thrown in the water, then swimmers went after it, then the swimmers returned and were blessed,” Babylon wrote. “When we returned from the island, several of us met the priest on his rounds, blessing the houses with basil in one hand and a cross in the other, and he blessed us.”

Falkner is also focusing on Greek religious belief and practices, and how they are related to the material remains. In addition to extensive time and study in Athens, students are traveling to Corinth, Crete, Delphi, Eleusis, Meteora, Mycenae, Olympia, Santorini, and Sounion. 

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