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Greek glossary



Greek Glossary


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Achaeans: also known as the Mycenaeans. This civilization built independent city-states in the Peloponnese that were characterized by palaces on fortified hilltops. They wrote in the deciphered Linear B script and many fine examples of their gold jewelry are on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The height of their civilization was in 1300 BC but was in decline by 1100 BC with the arrival of the Dorians.

Abacus Photo gallery : a flat slab that sits upon the capital of a column forming its uppermost member. Its chief function is to provide a larger supporting surface for the architrave or arch it has to carry.

Acropolis: the upper part of a town. For purposes of defense early settlers naturally chose elevated ground, frequently a hill with precipitous sides. These early citadels became in many parts of the world the nuclei of large cities which grew up on the surrounding lower ground. The most famous example is the Acropolis of Athens which, by reason of its historical associations and the famous buildings erected upon it, is generally known as the Acropolis. It was built in honor of Athena, a Greek goddess that the city worshiped.

Agora: a marketplace. It was the center of commercial activity of an ancient city. The Ancient Agora of Athens is a good example.

Adyton Photo gallery : a restricted area within the cella of a Greek or Roman temple. Its name meant "inaccessible" or "do not enter". The adyton was frequently a small area at the farthest end of the cella from the entrance and it would often house the cult image of the god.

Aisle Photo gallery : open area of a church parallel to the nave and separated from it by columns or piers.

Akroterion (Acroterion) Photo gallery : an orrnament placed on a plinth or acroter at the apex of the pediment of a building in the Classical style. It may also be placed at the outer angles of the pediment; such acroteria are referred to as acroteria angularia. The acroterion may take a wide variety of forms, such as a statue, tripod, disc, urn, palmette or some other sculpted feature. Acroterion is found in both gothic and classical architecture.

Amphora Photo gallery : a type of ceramic vase with two handles, used for the transportation and storage of perishable goods and, more rarely, as containers for the ashes of the dead or as prize awards. Most were produced with a pointed base to allow them to be stacked in sand or soft ground, while those with a ring base tended to be used for domestic or votive purposes. The latter were often glazed and decorated with figures, while purely functional amphorae were plain in appearance, often distinguished only by the stamps or signatures of their owners.

Amphorae were invented by the ancient Greeks and adopted by the Romans as the principal means for transporting and storing wine, oil, olives, grain, fish, and other commodities. They were produced on an industrial scale from Greek times and used around the Mediterranean until about the 16th century. They are of great benefit to maritime archeologists, as amphoae in a shipwreck can often indicate the age and nationality of the wreck. They are occasionally so well preserved that the original contents are still present, providing invaluable information on the eating habits and trading systems of the ancient Mediterranean peoples.

Antefix Photo gallery : the covers at the edges of a roof on all four sides of a building. The cover tiles are the second layer that cover the joints of the first layer of tiles on the roof and end in decorative relief representations called acroterion.

Anticum Photo gallery : also called pronaos, the inner area of the portico of an ancient Greek or Roman temple, situated between the colonnade or walls of the portico and the entrance to the cella.

Apex: the highest or culminating point.

Apobate: a fully armed warrior who, in a contest, rode in a chariot for a while, dismounted, ran alongside the chariot and jumped back onto the chariot.

Apse Photo gallery : rounded end of a building, most often a basilica or a church, but sometimes a private house or a Roman bath building.

Archaic period: also known as the Middle Ages. It dates from 800 to 480 BC and was marked by the increase in power of the city-states. Due to the decline of the Phoenicians, Greek colonies stretched as far as Africa, Sicily, Italy, southern France, and southern Spain. A Greek alphabet derived from the Phoenician alphabet, Homeric verses, the Olympic Games, and the defeat of the Persians all marked this period.

Architrave Photo gallery : the beam that rest on the capitals of the columns. As such, it is the lowest part of the entablature consisting of architrave, frieze and cornice.

Attic Photo gallery : a low wall at the top of the entablature that hides the roof.

Barrel vault or tunnel vault Photo gallery : the simplest form of a vault, consisting of a continuous surface of semicircular or pointed sections. It resembles a barrel or tunnel which has been cut in half lengthwise.

Bas-relief Photo gallery : a method of sculpting which entails carving or etching away the surface of a flat piece of stone or metal. The resulting image is raised above the background flat surface.

Boule: a council of citizens appointed to run daily affairs of the city. Originally a council of nobles advising the king, boules evolved according to the constitution of the city. In oligarchies, boule positions might be hereditary while in democracies members were typically chosen by lot and served for one year.

Bouzouki Photo gallery : a stringed instrument similar to a guitar or lute that is used to play Rebetika music.

Bouzoukia: a nightclub that plays songs performed with a bouzouki instrument. They are generally popular and packed with Greeks every evening.

Bronze Age: from 3000 to 1800 BC there were three great civilizations, the Cycladic, Minoan, and Mycenaean civilizations, that were inspired by the introduction of bronze working in Greece.

Buttress Photo gallery : mass of masonry built against a wall to strengthen it. It is especially necessary when a vault or an arch places a heavy load or thrust on one part of a wall. In the case of a wall carrying the uniform load of a floor or roof, it is more economical to buttress it at certain intervals than to make the entire wall thicker.

Byzantine period: the Roman Emperor Constantine I, moved the capital of the Roman Empire to present day Istanbul in 324 AD and it formally became the Byzantine Empire at the end of the 4th century when Rome went into decline. There were invasions of Goths, Visigoths, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Bulgars, Huns, and Slaves in this period but Christianity, blended with Hellenism, had taken a strong hold. Christianity was declared the official religion in Greece in 394 AD and Greek and Roman gods were branded as pagan and outlawed. Even classical philosophy was forbidden in 529 AD and replaced with Christian theology. The Byzantine Empire lasted until the fall of Constantinople to the crusaders in 1205 AD and to the Ottomans in 1453 AD.

Caique Photo gallery : a small, wooden fishing boat often used to transport people to beaches on the Greek islands.

Capital Photo gallery : the crowning member of the column which projects on each side in order to support the abacus and unite the square form of the latter with the circular shaft. The bulk of the capital may either be convex, as in the Doric order; concave, as in the bell of the Corinthian order; or scrolling out, as in the Ionic order. These form the three principal types on which all capitals are based.

Castro Photo gallery : a castle or walled-in town.

Cavea Photo gallery : the name of the tiered seating area in an amphitheatre.

Cella Photo gallery : In ancient Greek and Roman temples, the cella is a room at the centre of the building usually containing a statue to the particular god respected by the temple. In addition the cella may contain a table to receive votive offerings. The cella is typically a simple, windowless, rectangular room with a door or open entrance in the middle of one of the shorter walls. In larger temples, the cella may be divided into two or three aisles by rows of columns. They may also contain an adyton, an area restricted to access by the high priests.

Cenotaph Photo gallery : a tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person or group of persons whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person that has since been interred elsewhere. The word derives from the Greek words kenos, meaning being "empty" and taphos, "tomb".

Centaurs Photo gallery : mythological wild creatures that were half man half horse. They lived in the mountains of Pelion and Ossa of Thessaly.

Chiton Photo gallery : a piece of clothing made of a two sheets of light drape and worn directly over the body. A belt, usually under the breast ("high-girded") or around the waist ("low-girded") helped contain it. Double-girded were also fashionable. The chiton was often worn in combination with the heavier himation, which had the role of a cloak. It was the outfit of Aphrodite because it was considered very feminine & sexy. Men also wore it. Dionysus is often drawn wearing it. Poets & male artists also wore it. When used alone (without a himation), the chiton was called monochiton.

City-state: a region controlled exclusively by a city. City-states were common in the ancient period. A city state was sovereign, although many cities were joined in formal or informal leagues under a high king. Many historical empires or leagues were formed by the right of conquest or under peaceful alliances or mutual protection.

Classical period: from 480 till 338 BC, the classical period is marked by the rise in and affluence of Athens, the Peloponnesian Wars, the falls of Athens and the eventual decline of all of the city-states.

Cloisonné style Photo gallery : walls built in sculpted stone surrounded by bricks.

Conch: rectangular or semi-circular recess on a wall with decorative or functional purpose. Conch is sometimes used a synonym of apses.

Corinthian architecture Photo gallery : the most ornate of the three orders of classical Greek architecture. The columns have bell-shaped capitals with adornments based on acanthus leaves.

Cornice Photo gallery : the set of projecting moldings that crown an entablature. The cornice lies above the frieze, which rests on the architrave. The function of the projecting cornice is to throw rainwater free of the building's walls.

Cupola Photo gallery : a dome-shaped ornamental structure located on top of a larger roof or dome often used as a lookout or to admit light and remove stale air. In some cases, the entire main roof of a tower can form a single cupola. More frequently, however, the cupola comprises a smaller structure which sits on top of the main roof. If one can reach the cupola by climbing a stairway inside the building, one can refer to this type of accessible cupola as a belvedere or as a widow's walk. Some cupolas, called lanterns, have small windows which illuminate the areas below.

Cycladic period: based in the Cycladic islands from 3000 till 1100 BC. A civilization of accomplished sailors who traded all over the Mediterranean and left behind many carved marble figurines. The period is divided into early (3000-2000 BC), middle (2000-1500 BC), and late (1500-1100 BC) phases.

Dark Age: the period from 1200 till 800 BC is also called the Geometric period. It is named for the demise in city-states due to the ruling and warring Doric civilization. They created a system of aristocratic landowners and made pottery decorated with geometric designs that is the source of the alternate name for the period.

Deme: (plural demi) was a subdivision of Attica, the region of Greece surrounding Athens. Demi as simple subdivisions of land in the countryside seem to have existed in the 6th century BC and earlier, but did not acquire particular significance until the reforms of Cleisthenes in 508 BC. In those reforms, enrollment in the citizen-lists of a deme became the requirement for citizenship; prior to that time, citizenship had been based on membership in a phratry, or family group. At this same time, demi were established in the city of Athens itself, where they had not previously existed; in all, at the end of Cleisthenes' reforms, Attica was divided into 139 demi. The establishment of demi as the fundamental units of the state weakened the gene, or aristocratic family groups, that had dominated the phratries.

A deme functioned to some degree as a polis (a city of city-state) in miniature, and indeed some demes, such as Eleusis and Acharnae, were in fact significant towns. Each deme had a demarchos who supervised its affairs; various other civil, religious and military functionaries existed in various demi. Demi held their own religious festivals and collected and spent revenue. Demes were combined with other demes from the same area to make trittyes, larger population groups, which in turn were combined to form the ten tribes, or phyles of Athens. Each tribe contained one trittys from each of three regions, the city, the coast, and the inland area.

Dentils Photo gallery : an even series of rectangles used as ornament to decorate cornices of classical buildings. First found in Greek architecture 400 BC. Dentils can be found on almost any Classical style building.

Distyle temple: having two recessed columns at the front of the temple to form a porch or entrance to the temple.

Doric architecture Photo gallery : the oldest and simplest of the three orders of classical Greek architecture. It is characterized by a column with no base, a fluted shaft, and a plain capital.

Doric period: the warrior-like Dorians conquered Greece's city-states and created a class of land owning aristocrats from 1100 till 800 BC. They brought with them iron age technology but also created pottery with geometric designs, thus giving rise to the Geometric period also known as the Dark Age due to the Dorians constant warring and subjugation of the population.
Ecclesia: the principal assembly of the democracy of ancient Athens. It was the popular assembly, opened to all male citizens over the age of 18 by Solon in 594 BC. In the 5th century BC this amounted to about 43.000 people. However, only those wealthy enough to spend much of their time away from home would have been able to participate. The assembly was responsible for declaring war, military strategy and electing officials. It originally met once every month, later three or four times per month. The agenda for the ecclesia was established by the Boule, the popular council. Votes were taken by a show of hands.

A gang of slaves, called Scythians, carrying ropes dipped in red paint would travel through the city on the days the Ecclesia was to meet and would lash those citizens not in attendance with their ropes. With garments thus stained, shamed citizens could legally carry out no business until they visited the meeting grounds of the Ecclesia on Pnyx Hill.

Dromos Photo gallery : in architecture, is the name of the entr’acte passage leading down to the beehive tombs in Greece, open to the air and enclosed between stone walls.

Drum Photo gallery : a cylindrical wall which supports a dome.

Entablature Photo gallery : the superstructure which lies horizontally above the columns, resting on their capitals. It is commonly divided into architrave, the part immediately above the column; frieze, the central space; and cornice, the upper projecting moldings.

Epigram: a short poem with a clever twist at the end or a concise and witty statement. They are among the best examples of the power of poetry to compress insight and wit.

Epistyle: see architrave.

EOT: Ellinikos Organismos Tourismou or the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO). There are offices in all major tourist destinations that offer useful information and sometimes assistance in booking rooms.

Estiatorio: literally a restaurant. They are usually more formal and more expensive than a taverna but offer a more formal standard of eating.

Evzones Photo gallery : named for the small village of Evzoni in northern Greece. The Evzones stand guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier in front of the parliament building on Syntagma Square in Athens.

Exedra Photo gallery : an often semicircular portico with seats that was used in ancient Greece and Rome as a place for discussions.

Fluted Photo gallery : a style of architecture where a column has vertical indentations.

Flying buttress Photo gallery : a structural feature, usually on a religious building, used to transmit the weight of a vault across a space such as an aisle or a chapel or to a buttress built outside. The employment of the flying buttress means that the load bearing walls can contain cut-outs, such as for large windows, that would otherwise seriously weaken the vault walls.

Frappe Photo gallery : considered by some as the national drink of modern Greece. Most Greeks drink at least one a day. It is a cold, frothy mixture of instant coffee, water and, optionally, milk and sugar.

Frieze Photo gallery : the wide central section part of an entablature. It can be plain or, in the Ionic or Corinthian order, decorated with bas-reliefs. It lies upon the architrave and is capped by the moldings of the cornice.

Geometric period
: the period from 1200 till 800 BC, also called the Dark Age. The period is named for pottery decorated with geometric designs that was made by the ruling and warring Doric civilization.

Gorgons Photo gallery : In Greek mythology, the Gorgons ("terrible" or, according to some, "loud-roaring") were vicious female monsters with sharp fangs and hair of living, venomous snakes. Gorgons are sometimes depicted as having wings of gold, brazen claws, and the tusks of boars. They even have fire coming out of their hands and they can steal powers from the gods. They are so strong they can kill anyone who stands in their way. They are the Queens of the underworld.The Gorgons can go anywhere they want and even look like humans. There is only one male Gorgon his name is Nanas the guard of Zeus. According to the myths, seeing the face of a Gorgon turned the viewer to stone.

Griffins Photo gallery : mythical animals with the body of a lion and the head of an eagle. They were mainly known in Anatolia from where they passed into the Minoan and from there to ancient Greek mythology and art.

Hellenistic period
: from 338 till 146 BC, Greece expanded its influence over a large area. Phillip II of Macedonia began by taking over Greece and the city-states that were rundown from the many wars during the classical period. After his assassination, his son Alexander the Great conquered Syria, Palestine, Egypt (where he founded Alexandria), Persia, northern Afghanistan, and northern India thus spreading Hellenism throughout a great area. After Alexander's death his conquered territories were divided and weakened thus ushering in the period of Roman control.

Hexastyle temple: having a portico of six columns at either end.

Himation Photo gallery : a type of clothing in ancient Greece. It was usually worn over a chiton, but was made of heavier drape and played the role of a cloak. The himation was markedly less voluminous than the Roman toga. When the himation was used alone (without a chiton), and served both as a chiton and as a cloak, it was called an achiton.

Hippodamian system: a form of ancient city building with a grid of parallel streets and residential blocks of the same size, called insulae.

Hora: the generic name for the main town on a Greek island, regardless of the town's actual name. Therefore, nearly every island in Greece has a town called Hora.

Hydria Photo gallery : a type of Greek pottery used for carrying water. The hydria has three handles. The two handles on either side of the body of the pot were used for lifting and carrying the pot. The third handle, located in the centre of the other two handles, was used when pouring water. This water vessel can be found in both the red and black figure pottery styles. They often depicted scenes of Greek mythology that reflected moral and social obligations.

Hyperoon Photo gallery : the area above the side nave of a temple. In the Hellenistic basilica, the hyperoon was above the side nave and the narthex from where the women watched the service, giving this area the name gynaikonite or women's nave.

Hypocausts Photo gallery : installations under the floors for heating the rooms in ancient bathhouses.

Icon Photo gallery : a religious picture painted in oil on a small wooden panel. They are respected in the Greek Orthodox religion.

Iconostasi Photo gallery : an altar screen embellished with icons running across an entire end of a church. At first, an iconostasis was just a small wall that served as a symbolic marker of the division between the sanctuary and the nave (or between heaven and earth). Icons were placed on the small wall and eventually several rows were permanently installed thus creating the altar wall seen today.

Ionic architecture Photo gallery : one of the three orders of classical Greek architecture that was neither simple nor ornate.

: coffee house where men spend the day playing cards, backgammon, smoking, and drinking coffee. Kafeneia are for men only.

Kafeteria: cafe or coffee shop that rarely serves food. Greeks spend several hours at drinking coffee, chatting with friends and people watching.

Katholikon: the main church of a monastery.

Kleroterion Afbeelding : a simple lottery device used by Athenians during the period of their democracy to randomly choose citizens for public posts. It consisted of a flat surface incised with many slots into which the citizens' tokens would be placed, as well as a tube that was to be filled with different-colored balls that, when cranked out, determined which slots would be chosen.

Kore Photo gallery : female statue of the archaic period. The male versions are called Kouros.

Kouros : statues of the archaic period that were symmetrical stiff standing males, the female representations are called Kore

Kufic Photo gallery : decorative elements that immitate the old Arabic writing in which the Koran was first written in the city of Kufa, in present-day Iraq.

Lekythos Photo gallery : a type of Greek pottery used for storing oil, especially olive oil. It has a narrow body and one handle attached to the neck of the vessel. The lekythos was used for anointing dead bodies and many lekythos are found in tombs. The images on lekythi were often depictions of daily activities or rituals. Because they are so often used in funerary situations, they may also depict funerary rights, a scene of loss or a sense of departure. These drawings are usually outline drawings that are quite expressionless and sombre in appearance.

The decoration of these ceramic vessels consists of a dull red and black paint. These colours may have been derived from the Bronze Age but were not used until 530 BC in Athens. Many artists of these vessels attempt to add more colours to the figures but end up abandoning the idea as to leave more of a contrast. These vessels were very popular circa the 5th century BC. However, there are many that have been found dating all the way back to 700 BC.

Linear A Photo gallery : a script from the ancient Minoans that is similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics but that has not been deciphered.

Linear B Photo gallery : a script from the ancient Mycenaean civilization that has been translated.

Loutrophoros Photo gallery : a distinctive type of Greek pottery characterized by its elongated neck. The loutrophoros was used to hold water during marriage and funerary rituals, and was placed in the tombs of unmarried women.

Meltemi: a strong wind that blows throughout the Aegean Sea in July and August. It regularly disrupts ferry schedules and sends beach equipment flying.

Metope Photo gallery : a slab of stone sculpted with reliefs that on a Doric frieze alternate with triglyphs.

Meze or Mezedes Photo gallery : appetizers.

Moni: monastery.

Minoan period: this period (3000 till 1100 BC) is named after the great Minoan civilization on Crete. Influenced by the Mesopotamians and Egyptians, the Minoans were a maritime power that had their own script similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics and later a script called Linear A that has not been translated. Their pottery, metalwork and cities are well preserved. It is generally accepted that the civilization declined after an enormous volcanic eruption on Santorini. The period is divided into early (3000-2100 BC), middle (2100-1500 BC) and late (1500-1100 BC) phases.

Mycenaean period: the decline of the Minoans led to the rise of the Mycenaeans from 1900 till 1100 BC. Their independent city-states in Peloponnesos were characterized by palaces on fortified hilltops, they wrote in the deciphered Linear B script and many fine examples of their gold jewelry are on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Also called Achaeans, the height of their civilization was in 1300 BC but was in decline by 1100 BC with the arrival of the Dorians.

Narthex: a vestibule leading to the nave. Also the portico at the west end of an early Christian basilica or church.

Nave: the areas into which the interior of a building is separated by the columns.

Necropolis Photo gallery : an ancient cemetery.

Neolithic period: the period from 7000 till 3000 BC affected mainly the central landmass of Greece in the region known as Thessaly. The people grew crops and raised animals and by 3000 BC they were living in settlements with streets and houses. The most complete Neolithic settlements in Greece are found near the present city of Volos.

Odeion or Odeon
Photo gallery : ancient Greek theater.

Odos: street.

Omphalos Photo gallery : stone in Delfi that Greeks believed marked the center of the world.

Opisthodomos Photo gallery : or Opisthodome, also called Posticum. A small room at the rear of a classical temple used as a treasury. By balancing the pronaos at the front of the temple, the addition of an opistodomeos could create a symmetrical design.

Ottoman period: for nearly 400 years (1453-1829 AD) the Ottoman Empire controlled Greece although they continually struggled with Venice for control. In the beginning, the Greeks preferred the rule of the Ottomans to the Venetians who were ruthless subjugators but eventually they resented the rule of the Ottomans as well. It was in 1627 during a battle with the Venetians that a shell struck a gunpowder storage in the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens and blew it up. In the late 1700's the Russians came to Greece in an effort to expand their power base. On 25 March 1821 the Greeks began their War of Independence and the Ottoman Empire finally fell in 1829.

Ouzeri: a restaurant that serves ouzo and light snacks. Recently they started serving a wider variety of food and are more similar to a taverna.

Ouzo Photo gallery : a hard liquor unique to Greece that tastes like anise seed or black licorice. When diluted with water, ouzo changes from clear to cloudy.

Palladium: according to the myth, when the goddess Athena was still a young girl, she was brought up in the house of the god Triton whose daughter, Pallas, was as equally talented as Athena in the art of war. During a fight between the two girls, Athena killed Pallas by accident in front of Zeus. The goddess, suffering the loss of her friend, used her considerable technical ability to build the famous Palladium (a wooden statue) in the likeness of her friend. She put it under her aegis (armor plate) and described its divine honors. In art it is normally noted as a statuette depicting the goddess Athena.

Panathenaic games: a set of games held every four years in Athens in ancient Greece.

Pantheon: a temple to all the gods.

Parapet Photo gallery : a dwarf wall along the edge of a roof, or round a lead flat, terrace walk, etc., to prevent people from falling over, and as a protection to the defenders in case of a siege.

Pediment Photo gallery : a classical architectural element consisting of a triangular section found above the horizontal entablature which lies immediately upon the columns.

Peribolos: enclosed court surrounding a temple.

Periptero Photo gallery : a street kiosk. They are found in every city in Greece and they sell everything from candy bars, newspapers, cigarettes, telephone cards to stamps.

Peristyle Photo gallery: columns surrounding a building or enclosing a courtyard.

Pithos Photo gallery : Minoan jars or vases, sometimes taller than a person, that were used for storage.

Plateia Photo gallery : square.

Poros stone : soft stone with porous composition used widely in ancient Greek architecture and sculpture.

Portico : a porch or walkway with a roof supported by columns, often leading to the entrance of a building.

Posticum : also called opisthodomos. A small room in the cella of a classical temple used as a treasury.

Pronaos : also called Anticum. An open vestibule before the cella in a classical temple.

Propylon : an enormous entrance built to protect the main artery in and out of an ancient city or sanctuary.

Psarotaverna: a taverna specializing in fish and seafood usually found on or near the beach.

Psistaria: a taverna specializing in meats grilled on a spit. Make sure you find out the price per kilo before you order as it is not always displayed and can sometimes be quite expensive.

Rebetika: Rebetika music is a type of music that is distinctly Greek yet no one knows quite where it came from. Its earliest forms could not have been sung before about 1850 but it was the refugees from Asia Minor in the 1920's who popularized it. To this day, you will see young and old people alike singing or mouthing the words to these songs when they are played in restaurants, clubs, and cafes. The word also refers to restaurants that serve traditional Greek food and have live rebetika bands.

Retsina : a cheap Greek wine made with tree resin. Retsina is pretty popular in Greece.

Roman period: the Romans ruled Greece from 146 BC till 324 AD when they defeated the Achaean League, a remnant of Alexander the Great's conquered territories. Mark Anthony was the first ruler and Greece flourished under Rome's influence.

Rombus : a four sided shape with all four sides equal, two opposite angles being greater than a right angle and two smaller. Also a diamond shape or diamond shaped object.

Sima : this was usually only on the sides of the temple and had two main functions: it was there to hold the rainwater and it served as a decorative crowning to the building. In many temples it was also there to catch the run-off from the roof. For this purpose, it had equally spaced pipes or lion-head water spouts. On temples of the 4th century BC, the sima had relief decorations of plants.

Sobriquet: a nickname or a fancy name, usually a familiar name given by others as distinct from a pseudonym assumed as a disguise but a nickname which is familiar enough such that it can be used in place of a real name without the need of explanation. This salient characteristic, that is, of sufficient familiarity, is most easily noted in cases where the sobriquet becomes more familiar than the original name for which it was formed as an alternative.

Stele Photo gallery : vertically standing gravestones.

Stylobate Photo gallery : also know as stereobate, the immediate foundation of a row of classical columns.

Stoa Photo gallery : a long, columned building used as a meeting place and shelter in ancient Greece that was usually in an agora.

: a small restaurant serving traditional Greek food that is generally less expensive and more authentic than a restaurant.

Telchines: according to mythology, Telchines were born of the sea and were the first ones to inhabit Rhodes. They are particularly known as metallurgists and inventive craftsmen. It is said that they were the first ones to finely work iron and bronze and made many wonderful works such as Cronus' sickle and Poseidon's trident.

Tetrastyle temple: having a portico of four columns at either end.

Tholos Photo gallery : beehive tombs developed from Mycenaean shaft tombs, which first appeared around 1600 BC. After about 1500 BC, beehive tombs became more widespread. They were built as corbelled arches, layers of stone and dirt placed closer together as the arch tapers toward the top of the tomb. This style is probably an influence from Minoan tombs. Each tomb usually contains more than one person, in various places in the tomb, and with various grave goods. After a burial, the beehive tomb was covered with dirt, leaving a small mound with most of the tomb underground. They were connected to the surface by a long tunnel, leading to a door consisting of a set of monoliths. Because there are hundreds of such tombs, with more than one associated with each Mycenaean settlement, they were probably not burial places for the aristocracy alone, although the larger tombs, ranging from about 10 meters to about 15 meters in diameter, were likely used for royal burials. The larger tombs presumably contained aristocratic grave goods, but the tombs were pillaged in ancient times.

Triglyph Photo gallery : a decorative element of the Doric frieze that alternates with the metopes and is formed by three grooves, or glyphs.

Vault Photo gallery : an arched structure, usually of masonry or concrete, serving to cover a space.

War of Independence: On 25 March 1821, the Greeks began their War of Independence from the Venetians, Russians, and primarily from the Ottomans. They proclaimed independence in 1822 but spent several years in a civil war and eventually reached peace in 1827. Greece's first elected president, Ioannis Kapodistrias, was assassinated and in the ensuing power vacuum Britain, France, and Russia stepped in and declared the new country a monarchy and placed 17 year old Price Otto of Bavaria on the throne. In modern Greece, the War of Independence is still fresh in the collective mind and serves as the base for several national holidays

: a shop that sells sweets, desserts, chocolate, and cakes. A bakery is not an accurate description as they do not sell things like croissants or bread. Some have seating areas where you can buy drinks and eat your desserts. Top


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