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F + 25 : The Divine Triangle

The last day of our trip started with a flock of birds welcoming the sun with their chirping. Paros is stacked with sail boats which are on the way back to the port of Piraeus. Tomorrow is handover day – rental boats have to be returned by Saturday morning 11 am. Also applies to us. We will take our time though and use the last day for visiting the smaller Saronic islands, swimming, paddling, kayaking and relaxing.

Another cheesy Sunrise Shot - at 6.55 am most people still sleep - the Ferry is busy though

First stop is the small island of Agistri, just north of the Methana peninsula. Only hot springs remind us that this was once an old volcano. Agistri has a couple of restaurants for visiting boats, a farm houses and holiday homes and a couple of small orthodox chapels. But it has some of the finest bays for anchoring - only two hours to the west of Athens!

There are lots of Restrictions on the Use of Drones in Greece - but in Agistri we could!

But it is too far from Athens. We picked the Port of Agia Marina for staying for the night. It is only a good hour west of Piraeus. This makes it an easy ride tomorrow morning.

The Queen of Datca in the Bay of Agia Marina

On the ridge above Agia Marina, there is the Temple of Aphaia, a Goddess most people have never heard of. Her Doric Temple is well preserved and once formed a divine triangle with Athene’s Pantheon on the Acropolis and Poseidon’s Temple in Sounion. Aphaia is said to be closely associated with Artemis, the goddess of hunt, nature, animals and fertility. Makes kind of sense to link Athene, representing Zeus, Poseidon and Mother Earth. Some scholars connect her with a Minoan Goddess from Crete. The site of her temple is a cult site since the Bronze Age (14th century BC). I wonder whether she represents a ancient local fertility goddess which was later adopted into the Zeus family but existed for far longer.

Aphaia's very well preserved doric temple was used until the 2nd century BC

Had this thought before when comparing the areas of competence of Zeus and Hera with Apollo’s and Artemis’. They are close and overlapping. Maybe these two divine couples, the first one married, the second one siblings, have separate origins and merged under Ionian culture in the 9th century BC. Zeus and Hera came from the Greek side, Apollo and Artemis from central Anatolia. Both Greeks and Lowian-Hittite were Indo-Europeans and shared the cultural heritage of Ze-us Pater, the sky father, and his companion, Mother Earth.

The Temple of Aphaia was excavated in the early 19th Century. Its frontal friezes were brought to Munich in 1828 and are now exhibited in the Glyptothek

Am not going to solve this question on my last day but it makes me curious about the origins of Greek and Hittite mythology. Am sure there are research papers on the subject.

Athens, our final destination, is already visible from Aphaia's Temple

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