“Charitin” at Dion (and me too!)

By on March 26th    /    Culture, Macedonia, Photos, Tops Culture    /    0 Comments   /   show comments


Well, i thought it was a good idea to pay an early morning visit in an archaeological site in the summer. Just to avoid the crowds.

Well I was right. My entire morning walk to the archaeological park of Dion at the foot of mountain Olympus, was enjoyable and very cool. I decided to visit the museum too.

I went to the old hamlet once called Malathrias – which was built by roving shepherds from Kokkinopilos village – today is called Dion. The museum, under the shadows of the pines, seemed quiet. In the courtyard I heard nothing but silence.

Quiet eh?

But of course, as it was empty! What a rare pleasure for the traveller (who does not regret the early morning awakening). I spent a wonderful hour there. Yes, the Museum of Dion is one of my favorites.

Not one of the biggest, not even the most famous. But … it has something small but highly magnetic and unique which attracts me like a compass, whenever I come near the neighborhood.


Μουσείο Δίον, Μακεδονία


The sculptures downstairs have always seemed very appealing to me. Especially after the 2008 renovation the main hall is really glowing. I adore the sculptures found at the Temple of Isis. I stare for hours at the statue of Aphrodite Ypolympidias and especially the tucking on the dress … “I can feel” the Olympus mountain breeze shaking the garment on the eternally desirable body of the Goddess.

I have spent even more time on a new room with the findings of the Temple of Zeus Almighty, (which was revealed in 2006, among the temples of Demeter and Isis). Here was discovered – almost intact – the full-length statue of Zeus surrounded by marble eagles. I look with awe at the original sculptures (the ones at the archaeological site are true replicas). The robust body of a sovereign God stands at a slightly carefree attitude and to its side stand still the marble eagles. What an image …


Μουσείο Δίον, Μακεδονία


I wonder how many people have voiced their prayers to all this? How many centuries ago? How many entreaties were erected in front of this sacred marble torso? How many tears, how many sacrifices have scattered their smoke in front of Him?

I walked in absolute silence in the other rooms with ceramics and mosaics. But on the first floor I will remain standing for a while… Furthermore, there is a unique finding.

It is a hydraulis, a pneumatic – percussionist – hydraulic musical instrument, the only one of its kind found in Greece and the oldest ever found in the world. Take a look at the picture.


Μουσείο Δίον, Μακεδονία


It is odd, isn’t; Hydraulis operated as follows: the air is compressed in a cylindrical container, the “pyxis”, which moves in an inverted hemisphere, the “pnigeas”, located inside a container with water and then the air is driven into the box where the pipes are located. There with the help of the keys air enters into the tubes and produces melodies!

The pipes have been made of copper and have silver rings to look like reeds. From the decoration of the rest of the body survived a colorful glass, strapped with silver bands made with the millefiori technique, with which glassware was decorated during the first AD century.

The inventor of Hydraulis was Ktisivios from Alexandria. The sound of it must have been wonderful and in fact “sweet and delightful,” as assures us the Athenian author “Dipnosofistis.”


Μουσείο Δίον, Μακεδονία


But you might be tired of all these info. It’s time to tell you why the museum Dion is one of my favorites. My little secret lies in its garden.

There, among the scattered marbles, there are the so-called Macedonian altars. They were placed on the tombs in the 2nd and 3rd AD century. At the top they have a marble cone symbolizing that the seed of new life continues. The pine trees around the altars smell deliciously and they are always full of birds.

In one of these altars once I found the legend of a woman named “Charitin.” It was the altar of her beloved boyfriend. And what “Charitin”sewed there? It reads:
Φιλώ, εφίλησα, πεφίληκα, φιλούντα η Κύπρις οίδε μόνη ” i.e.(from the translation of the famous Professor Dimitris Pantermalis): “I love him, loved him, I have loved him. Only Venus knew if he loved me … “.

The eternal suspense and emotion of a woman in love … Blessed is the soul of her mate…

I left the place seriously skeptical, and very alone too. No… I did not take any photos of the altar …



Μουσείο Δίον, Μακεδονία


Where am I?
Dion and the archaeological site are almost beside the town of Litohoro at the foot of Mount Olympus and just a few kilometers from the highway AthensThessaloniki.




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