“The Collection 2013 consists of eight haute couture dresses. Eight was the favorite number of Queen Arsinoe II, indicating the authenticity of infinity.
The fabrics of the dresses are of the finest quality worldwide and were exclusively made for the Collection 2013 of “AdT”.
The colors of the dresses refer to the elements of the Samothracian land: the blue of the ocean, the white of the clouds that protect the island, the red of the fire that burnt in Arsinoe’s Palace, the green of the forests and the purple of the amethyst stones.
The eight “AdT” dresses are pieces of art and a precious ticket to the mystic world of the Kabeiroi Mysteries of Samothrace.
The dresses will be available by November 8th 2013. You can own an “AdT” dress only by contacting the company through its website www.arsinoedethrace.com. This way you can be informed about the procedure of the purchase that can only be done by a personal appointment. In that way, the dress will be sewn according to your exact measures by hand, so as to match the perfection for each woman. That way you will find out more about the mystic world of Queen Arsinoe and the Kabeiroi Mysteries of Samothrace.
Taking for example Queen Arsinoe who contributed to the foundation of the Ancient Library of Alexandria, a certain amount from each sale will be donated to the foundation of the Bank of Greece for the construction of the first European School in Alexandroupolis. The proper education starts from a school which can provide to the students perspective and potential without any prejudice.
For further information please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
“SIRENS They’ve vanished in a moment! To Samothrace they’re bent, Gone, with a favourable breeze. What is it they think they’ll see, In the realm of the noble Cabiri? They’re gods! But wondrously strange, Always causing their forms to change, Never knowing what they might be.” - Act II, Scene V.
Extract from the work of Goethe «Faust»
Their numbers as well as their names are indistinct, so that confusion surrounds their personality and grows over the centuries. The polymorphism and the identification of the Cabiri with most of the gods of Greece, bears the freedom to worship under the name of the great gods, the god who expresses one the most. Through the mysteries of Samothrace the general and impersonal theory of divinity expresses itself. It is the same theory that exists in the Orphic mysteries which addressed God as "Great Spirit"! The core of the religious corporation is formed by Orphic priests, i.e. Bacchic. The mysteries are rooted in Thrace, as the word religion (the greek word for religion is ‘thriscia’) and the religion of the Greeks have their origin in it. It is said that Orpheus, the Thracian, initiates the Greek mysteries. Apollodorus says: ' Orpheus initiated also the Dionysian mysteries, elsewhere he handed down the mysteries of the Gods. Therefore this mystery is called thriscia, for it has its origin in Orpheus, the Thracian. " That is the linguistic proof of thrax or thracos being related to the greek word thriscia, i.e. religion. There is no exact clarification of what actually happened during the ceremonies, as the mystic cult was kept secret by the initiates. Plutarch writes: "What was done during the mysteries, that were devoted to mother Rea, will remain in silence and I ask forgiveness for that for I am not allowed to reveal the ordination.” Yet, we know something very important and perhaps the most important. We know that the mysteries of Samothrace were of an universal nature! And that's admirable: It is this progressive trend, this universality, this unlimited admission within the religion for all who approach it, without exception. The teaching, that is held regarding no exception or discrimination. It is known that in the Eleusinian mysteries, the participation was racially restricted. They adressed exclusively Greek society and only free citizens. The Cabirian mysteries allowed participation to diverse persons regardless of ethnicity, age, gender and social scale and this is the distinguishing characteristic of this mysteries. The unification of races and classes at a time when women were considered inferior beings and slaves imperfect beings, this universal character of the mysteries of Samothrace, offers an assessment of attitudes of openness and universality of ideas and authorities and may be regarded as the forerunner of Christianity. Men, women, children, slaves, foreigners, dissenters, blacks were admitted to the religion. The fundamental purpose of these mysteries was moralization of mankind. Yet, there did exist a principal, this inescapeable rule, before allowing the attendance of the mysteries. It was the Confession! The basic and essential preparatory stage of the initiation was the spiritual cleansing of the man who asked to be initiated, the so called catharsis! A special priest called “Kois” served this purpose. After the confession and the approval of the “Koi” the candidate attended the ceremony of initiation. The initiation took place at night with the light of oil lamps and torches of the initiated who attended the ceremony.
Queen of Thrace II, Asia Minor and Macedonia as wife of king Lysimachus and later co-ruler of Egypt Arsinoe de Thrace played an important and successfully role in public affairs: received envoys, obtained commissions for hew two husbands, she supported mercenary armies, built the famous Arsinoe Temple in Samothrace initiated in the Cabeiroi Mysteries and Olympic gold medalist in horse riding. Praised by the poet Callimachus; Beautiful, intelligent, great administrator; a murderer for political advantages.Read Dr. Demetra Koukouzika’s article about Arsinoe of Thrace.
Arsinoe is the most fascinating female figure of ancient Thrace: wife of three kings, mother to three heirs to the throne, two of them brutally murdered, and powerful queen of two kingdoms, Thrace and Egypt, she looms dominantly over the post-Alexander Hellenistic era (roughly the three centuries after his death). This is a period of constant conflict between the Successors of Alexander and then between their own successors over the division of the vast new Empire (Alexander’s blood relatives had all been assassinated by 295 B.C.). Three major royal dynasties and three great kingdoms emerge in the Hellenic world after Alexander’s death: in mainland Greece the Antigonid dynasty of Macedon, the Ptolemies in Egypt and the Seleucids in Syria. Next to them stand smaller kingdoms in Thrace, Hepirus, Bithynia, Pontus, Parthia and Pergamos in Asia Minor. The formal division of the empire did not put an end to the conflict of the Successors: the antagonism between the new dynasties is the basic characteristic of this historical period, accompanied by an unprecedented political involvement of royal women.
The three most crucial female figures in the political power struggles of this era are Olympias, the fascinatingly complex mother of Alexander, Arsinoe (born c.316 B.C.) and finally Cleopatra VII, the last queen of Egypt. Despite her charisma, Olympias is mostly remembered for her tempestuous character (Her husband and father of Alexander considered her polemikotate, ‘extremely bellicose’), while Cleopatra is usually portrayed as an ambitious, uninhibited seductress. Arsinoe, lacking these unfortunate traits, but not tragedy in her own life, pursued a successful career in the male-dominated realm of 3rd century politics, a period of intense intrigue, constant plotting and backstabbing and some tumultuous marriages- one could easily draw analogies with modern politics.
Her father, Ptolemy, was a childhood friend and classmate of Alexander’s under the tutorship of the great philosopher Aristotle and later became one of the most successful Macedonian generals who accompanied Alexander on his expedition. Alexander appointed him governor of the province of Egypt and after his death Ptolemy declared himself king of Egypt and became the founder (adopting the name Ptolemy I Soter=Saviour) of the Ptolemaic dynasty which lasted until the death of Cleopatra VII and the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. While married to his first wife, Eurydice, Ptolemy fell in love with Berenice, a beautiful Macedonian girl, who, however, could not offer any important political alliance, as was the ‘rule’ for men of power. In an unusual display of romantic passion he married Berenice and had three children by her, Arsinoe, Philotera and Ptolemy. The royal qualities of Arsinoe’s mother are praised by the historian Plutarch: ‘among all the wives of Ptolemy (three in toto) she was the most powerful and the most respected one for her virtue and kindness’. Ptolemy’s first wife, however, did not share Plutarch’s enthusiasm: the antagonism between the first and second wife was transmitted to their children and reached its zenith after Ptolemy named the son of Berenice, also called Ptolemy, his heir to the throne, bypassing his oldest son by his first wife, another Ptolemy surnamed Keraunos,‘Thunder’ (we should note here that all the kings of this dynasty were called Ptolemies and the queens either Arsinoe or Berenice or Cleopatra, since the repetition of names offered a sense of continuity and stability of the royal oikos).
Arsinoe, like her mother was a charismatic figure: beautiful, demure and well-educated, ‘as lovely as Helen’ in the verses of her contemporary poet Theocritus. Excessive praise of kings and queens is not of course unusual but coin and sculpture portraits also show a graceful yet austere figure. In the next few years Arsinoe will indeed prove that she was more than just a pretty face.
When she came of marriageable age (16 at the time) her father, following the usual ‘marriage diplomacy’, arranged a union with the 60-year-old King of Thrace, Lysimachos, another general of Alexander’s. Her years as Queen of Thrace became formative for her future. The young queen committed fully to her new role and her new home: her love for Thracian culture and religion especially Samothrace and the Cabeirian Mysteries continued throughout her life: Arsinoeion, the rotunda south of the palace on the archaeological site of the island was a dedication by her: it is the largest surviving round building of ancient Greek architecture. We can still read the name ‘ΑΡΣΙΝΟΗ’ on the inscription that stood above its entrance. Lysimachos and Arsinoe lived happily as King and Queen of Thrace for many years and had three sons together. So happy was the King with his new Queen that he renamed the city of Ephesos to Arsinoe to honour her and offered her two prosperous cities of the Black Sea and Cassandreia in Chalkidike to have under her protection. This blissful period however was disturbed when their first son came of age. Lysimachos had an older son from his previous marriage, Agathocles. Agathocles married Arsinoe’s half-sister from her father’s first marriage, Lysandra. The two girls had no sisterly feelings for each other and Lysandra’s appearance at the Thracian court was the beginning of a series of terrible events.
Situation deteriorated when Lysandra’s brother (and Arsinoe’s half brother) Ptolemy Keraunos who had lost the Egyptian throne to Arsinoe’s full brother, Ptolemy II, decided to migrate to the Thracian court. Arsinoe became increasingly worried that the new court dynamics might pose a serious threat to her and her children, especially if Agathocles, her husband’s oldest son, became king. She accused him of treason against his father. We cannot be certain if that was a fictitious accusation in order to get rid of someone she considered the most serious threat to her children or if there actually was a plot against the aged Lysimachos to hurry Agathocles’ ascension to the throne. Her protection plan originally proved effective: Agathocles was executed at his father’s orders and his wife and children fled to seek protection in the kingdom of Syria, ruled by another one of Alexander’s generals, Seleucos. This was the perfect excuse for Seleucos to start a war against the kingdom of Thrace. The final battle between the two former generals of Alexander, Lysimachos and Seleucos, took place at Kouropedion in February of 281 BC. Lysimachos lost the battle and his life. It was now Arsinoe’s turn to flee with her children. Accompanied by her own army of mercenaries she intrenched herself in her adopted city of Cassandreia in Chalkidike. The victor Seleucos decided, in a lapse of good judgement, to trust Ptolemy Keraunos, which led to his savage murder in front of his army. Keraunos had his own agenda and having lost the Egyptian throne to Arsinoe’s brother declared himself king with the help of Seleucos’ army and was now the ruler of Macedonia and Thrace. The only remaining obstacle to absolute power in the region was Arsinoe and her sons, the legal heirs to the throne. Keraunos’ idea to resolve the situation was to marry Arsinoe and adopt her children, who would inherit the throne from him. Arsinoe accepted on the condition that Keraunos would seal this agreement with an oath witnessed by both their armies. Arsinoe’s army of mercenaries however was not difficult to be bought off: at the wedding party Keraunos murdered without qualms the two children who were in Cassandreia with their mother. Their brutal killing in the arms of Arsinoe, who was trying to shield their bodies with her own, is described very movingly by Justin (XXIV, 2 and 3). The oldest son, Ptolemy, had luckily abandoned the city earlier, opposing his mother’s marriage plans. The tragic queen was forced to abandon the city and sought refuge in Samothrace. After a period of solitude and mourning on the island, the tragic Thracian queen will return to Egypt and become one of its most capable and popular leaders. Samothrace and the Cabeiria remained her sanctuary for the rest of her life as witnessed by her various dedications there and also by the introduction of the Mysteries to her new kingdom.
After her return to Alexandria she married, following the Egyptian tradition of Royal Sibling Marriage, her brother and King of Egypt, Ptolemy II. We should try to understand that this marriage was above all a political union sealed with a ‘holy wedding’, following the model of their Egyptian predecessors and Alexander’s ‘cultural diffusion’ policy, the ‘marriage’ of Hellenic and local cultures. Poems of their time draw analogies between Ptolemy and Arsinoe and the divine sibling couple of Isis and Osiris and the Egyptian pharaoh couples, but also between the royal couple and Zeus and Hera, also brother and sister, born to Kronos and Rea who were siblings as well. Greek Mythology provided another parallel for the royal couple: Alkinoos and Arete, the Phaeacian royal couple who offered hospitality to Odysseus. Ptolemy and Arsinoe received the title ‘Philadelphoi’, those who love their siblings, and acquired divine status and the name ‘Theoi Adelphoi’ following again the Egyptian religious tradition of divinization of kings (Alexander was proclaimed son of Ammon-Zeus). Arsinoe’s intelligence, political insight and confidence inspired by her husband turned her into the most valuable counsel of the King and finally his co-ruler (as denoted by their depiction side by side on surviving coins), ‘the first woman pharaoh’. And a hard-working pharaoh she was: her achievements in domestic and foreign affairs secured a period of peace and prosperity for the kingdom and the gratitude of her people who continued to worship her posthumously.
The Museum (‘shrine to the Muses’) and the Library of Alexandria were planned by her father and then completed and ‘adopted’ by the new Kings to become the largest cultural and scientific centres of the world: since their founding, the mathematician Euclid (c.300 BC), Herophilos (325-255 BC), the father of anatomy, the geographer Eratosthenes (c.276-195 BC) who calculated the circumference of the earth, Archimedes (c.287-212 BC) another mathematical genius, Callimachus (c.310-240 BC), chief librarian, poet and scholar and Theocritus (c.300-260 BC), the pastoral poet were some of the great men that flourished in these institutions.
The religious festivals organized by Arsinoe for her people intensified her image as the Queen-Mother who cares for the well-being of her people. The festivals also created a sense of security in this multi-cultural population by uniting elements from Egyptian and Greek religion: the two populations could co-exist in harmony and enjoy the peace and prosperity offered to them by their caring kings.
In the domains of warfare and high diplomacy Arsinoe also participated actively: she traveled to the Egyptian border with Syria to inspect the troops herself during the First Syrian War and is considered the mastermind behind its successful outcome. With her support Egypt developed a strong navy and became the most powerful maritime power of the times.
Among her contributions to the prestige of her kingdom we should also note her victorious mission to the 127th Olympics in the summer of 272 in the footsteps of her mother, Berenice who had also won a chariot race in Olympia. Arsinoe’s horses won all three events for harnessed horses and she was named an Olympic winner.
At the age of 45 she passed away due to unknown causes. Ptolemy continued to include her name in all the royal decrees and also awarded her the pharaoh title “King of Upper and Lower Egypt’. Endowed with intelligence, beauty and admirable leadership skills and courage, Arsinoe played a major political and cultural role in the courts of Thrace and Alexandria and paved the way for the powerful Ptolemaic queens who ruled Egypt in the next two centuries.
An Indo-European people of the ancient world. Mentioned several times in the Iliad of Homer and up to now in a close but not undisputed relationship with the Athenians. The king of Thrace was Orpheus, born about 3000 years ago in the Rhodope Mountains near Komotini. His Father Apollo, God of music, gave him a lyre, and since then he was seen as the best singer and musician of the Western world. However, because of his pure impatience and unrestraint enthusiasm in his love to the sickly and clumsy Muse Euridice, he suffered from a miserable and unworthy life.
Why all that? The reason was the death of the foolish nymph Euridice after a sting of a snake. Orpheus followed her foolishly in the underworld and wanted to save her life. Persephone, the cunning goddess of the underworld, was initially a bit troubled because of so much ill-considered love, but at the same time fascinated about the courageous and guileless man and allowed him to take Euridice away under the condition not to turn round, for instance with the intention to make sure if Euridice really follows him! Persephone really knew what would happen if he turned round; she was unable to count the many deaths in her empire caused by love. Nevertheless, every loving person is impatient, of course, he turned round, and of course, Persephone had to retain Euridice in her underworld.
Orpheus lost his senses, probably not the greatest, and then hated all women. He provoked their husbands not to fulfil their duties, and finally the Maenads, tough Thracian women, made short work of him. His head with his inquiring eyes and disappointed smile was cut from the body, sent to the cold eternity, and is said to err until today in the river Evros. His body, without its head, is said to play still the lyre under the Thracian trees.
Thrace is a personal tip for the real and honest tourist, who does not ask for the next golf course, Thracians would only shake their heads.
As one of the most ancient cultural landscape of Europe Thrace once was renowned for its philosophers and the presence of gladiators. One of them was Spartacus, the famous leader of them as well as of the slaves.
The Byzantine culture shaped Thrace. Its women were very sought-after as princess, Amazons, Maenads or slaves, they were extraordinary beauties. Tall and slim, pale, not easy to tame, not obsequious, much more advanced compared to the Athenians.
Aspasia, the second wife of Pericles the Great, was a Thracian. With Socrates at her side, she refined Pericles’ wisdom and supported him through the construction of the Acropolis, the symbol of Western freedom.
Samothrace, with its mist-covered mountain, which reaches its peak at 1,800 meters above the ground, rises suddenly and eruptly into the Aegean Sea in the North Aegean. The island ows its importance to the great gods and the secret cult that manifests itself in the worship of them. Homer refers to this cult with the adjective "zathei", i.e. venerable, holy. Samothrace,where gods ceremonies are causing shivering awe. The ceremonies are secret and forbidden to ordinary mortals. The ceremonies, the sacraments and the celebrations that took place in Samothrace, were to honor the gods ‘Cabiri’
We bring the peaceful Cabiri To lead in your festivity, Since in their holy presence, Neptune’s always pleasant.
Granted us in mercy, But not yet completely. These, the incomparable, Ever wider yearning, Hungering, are longing For the unattainable.
Act II, Scene V.
Extract from the work of Goethes «Faust» The initiate was sitting on a throne, therefore the ceremony was called "thronismos", i.e. enthronement. It seems according to Plutarch, that at this stage the already Enthroned danced around the Initiated. After the enthronement, the priest lead the initiate to the inaccessible sanctuary and there the new member watched, i.e. had a de facto supervision of a sacred simulation, that most likely represented the creation of the world. This simulation expressed the mystic genealogy of the cosmic genesis. Through this the initiated reached the degree of a supervisor. In front of the sanctuary was a sacrosanct inscription uncovered by archaeologists that simply but explicitly forbade the entrance to the uninitiated. "The entrance to the uninitiated is prohibited". This entry marks the end of our knowledge of the mysteries, everything from here remains secret.
Greece is a country of eminent thinkers, the cradle of civilisation and dialogue. Manners and customs also contributed in making Greek culture one of the greatest civilisations the earth has seen. Consequently, it has influenced every other nation that has risen to power since then. The ideas, philosophies and writings left by the Greeks and the resultant archaeological findings from old ruins created great sources of Greek history and customs. Pictorial evidence has led us to have a clear idea of ancient greek dresses. The fashion history of ancient Greece has been carefully illustrated on vases, pots and statue forms. Grecian clothes were in fact artfully arranged pieces of cloth, pinned and tucked into position as shown here. Their elegance is derived from the arrangement of folds and complex girdles, strapping and belts. Simple borders fell into interesting patterns when arranged as long chiton robes. Embroidered patterns such as checks and florals were used to embellish the fabric edges to create border effects.
1.The simple doric chiton made of wool Cloths were so valuable that they were not cut in earlier eras. However, in later times the chiton was constructed from two pieces of cloth. The earlier Greek Doric Chiton above was made of wool and simply folded around the body.
2. The Ionic luxury chiton made of linen or silk The advantage of using linen to make the Ionic chiton was that it was much more flexible and as a result it hung in fine pleats of diaphanous crepon. Delicate muslin was also used. With better materials they became more sophisticated and longer for the Greek fashion elite of that time,for example sleeves were created. Additionally,the Ionic style used more materials and introduced fibulae on on the shoulders. According to a custom of fashion history, which is repeating itself, the fine pleated look of the ionic chiton was revived by the Edwardian fashion designer.
We present to you the best quality Silk Fine Hemp fibre (1) worlwide from Soufli, Greece. Since Justinian the Byzantine Emperor 527-565 an important luxury product was and continues to be silk. It was imported and then processed in the Empire. In order to protect the manufacture of silk products, Justinian granted a monopoly to the imperial factories in 541.(1) Fine Hemp fibre Absolutely dreamy for spinning. As a spinner you will immediately fall in love with this fiber. It contains almost no course fibers, and has a beautiful soft luster. Because of this luster it looks beautiful in natural and also dyes rich colors.
Cultivated Bompyx Mori Silk Cocoons are very clean, white and yellow cocoons with excellent size and density.
Mulberry Trees and Seeds
Soufli seedlings were and are of the variety Morus alba, tatarica. They are a very hardly strain of white mulberry. Leaf form varies from large and heart shaped to "cut leaf" lace. All are best good -silkworm food. This variety has separate male and female plants.
Why Soufli Silk?
Because of Soufli’s mulberry trees enjoy full sun and partial shade.
Before we start with the great story about Soufli Silk here is the Silk Road. From Beijing - Guangzhou - Chang´an- Karakorum Dunhuang - Agra – Delhi- Chotan - Kashigar -Taxila - Kabul - Kash - Samarkand - Burkhara- Marv- Urgerich - Ormuz - -Isfahan - Basra - Baghdad- Tabriz- Jerusalem- Damascus-Allepo to Constantinople. Silk can be woven into heavy brocade or light, gauzy fabric. Its versatility and beauty make it perennially popular. The Byzantines traded it, using the Parthians as intermediaries, for centuries, but under emperor Justinian they found the way to produce silk in Soufli for themselves. The old testament indicates that Ezekiel knew about silk. "I dothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk" King James Ezekiel 16.10 The Byzantine historian Procopius tells the story of how the Roman Empire acquired its own source of silk in book 8.17.1-8 of Procopius history of the wars. Although Justinian may have wanted to save the cost of importing the expensive fabric, the passage from Procopius first mentions not cost, but the desire to avoid trade with the enemy, the Persians. The story Procopius tells is that some monks from Sogdiana, who knew Justinian, emperor of Byzantium didn´t want to buy silk from the Persians, told him that they could arrange it so that he would no longer have to buy from any nation. They said it was impossible to bring the silkworms themselves from Serinda, an area north of India next to China, but it was possible to take their offspring, cocoons, buried in dung. After Justinian promised to reward the monks well, they did as they had described, and brought the Chinese silkworms to the Byzantines where the newly-hatched worms fed on mulberry leaves.
The history of silk is lost in the mists of time. We know from archeological evidence that silk was being cultivated in China as long ago as the 4th millennium BC and that the silkworms used were of the species Bombyx mori, the same species we use today.
According to Chinese tradition, the history of silk begins in the 27th century BC,when a silk worm’s cocoon fell into the tea cup of the empress Leizu. Wishing to extract it from her drink, the young girl of fourteen began to unroll the thread of the cocoon. She then had the idea to weave it. Having observed the life of the silk worm on the recommendation of her husband, the Yellow Emperor, she began to instruct her entourage the art of raising silk worms, sericulture. From this point on, the girl became the goddess of silk in Chinese Mythology.
An article on In Style about AdT's past, present and future.
Excavations have brought to light fragments of a statue of a female figure.The Victory of Samothrace had just been found and since reassembled, it will start the long voyage to the homeland of the head of the archaeological mission, Charles Champoiseau, France.
There the famous statue will receive special care and after several interventions and adds of segments that gradually were arriving from the island-will regain its winged form as it has today, dominating the top of a staircase in the Louvre.
150 years later, a Greek company by the name “Arsinoe de Thrace”, will see beyond the folds that carved the sculptor of the famous statue and will envisage a collection of dresses inspired by Victory’s dress.
Raw material, could not be other than the traditional and famous since antiquity Greek Silk, which was worked by local seamstresses and weaving techniques that have passed down from generation to generation over the years, while in charge of the final editing of the production was Katerina Saakidou from Alexandroupoli.
“In ancient Greece, the body was the physical perfection, regardless of its shape and size. The purpose of clothing was the celebration of this perfection. Bold colors and rich aspects reinforced the proportions and showed the best elements to the human body “says Katja Heidrich, leading member of the Academy of Fashion and Design in Munich, who designed the collection.
TRANSMITTER OF CULTURE
“The goal is to promote the ancient Greek aesthetics that since nowadays is a source of inspiration and creativity for artists around the world,” notes the founder of “Arsinoe de Thrace”, Katerina Karajanni.
High quality, modern design and ancient inspirations, characterize the pieces of the collection that cover a wide color range.
All dresses are made by hand, so each piece is unique.
The collection could only be presented in a place that connects mentally with the past, in the shadow of Mount “Saos” in Samothrace, within walking distance from the hill where once stood the statue of Victory, and welcomed the visitors, predisposing them for the splendor of the island.
OZON magazine captures the AdT's spirit with photographs from our new Collection.
Original article here: http://el.ozonweb.com/events/adt-arsinoe-de-thrace
An interview of Arsinoe's founder Katerina Karajanni at Savoir Ville website.
Read the interview here: http://www.savoirville.gr/arsinoe-de-thrace/
An Indo-European people of the ancient world. Mentioned several times in the Iliad of Homer and up to now in a close but not undisputed relationship with the Athenians. The king of Thrace was Orpheus, born about 3000 years ago in the Rhodope Mountains near Komotini. His Father Apollo, God of music, gave him a lyre, and since then he was seen as the best singer and musician of the Western world. However, because of his pure impatience and unrestraint enthusiasm in his love to the sickly and clumsy Muse Euridice, he suffered from a miserable and unworthy life. Why all that? The reason was the death of the foolish nymph Euridice after a sting of a snake. Orpheus followed her foolishly in the underworld and wanted to save her life. Persephone, the cunning goddess of the underworld, was initially a bit troubled because of so much ill-considered love, but at the same time fascinated about the courageous and guileless man and allowed him to take Euridice away under the condition not to turn round, for instance with the intention to make sure if Euridice really follows him! Persephone really knew what would happen if he turned round; she was unable to count the many deaths in her empire caused by love. Nevertheless, every loving person is impatient, of course, he turned round, and of course, Persephone had to retain Euridice in her underworld. Orpheus lost his senses, probably not the greatest, and then hated all women. He provoked their husbands not to fulfil their duties, and finally the Maenads, tough Thracian women, made short work of him. His head with his inquiring eyes and disappointed smile was cut from the body, sent to the cold eternity, and is said to err until today in the river Evros. His body, without its head, is said to play still the lyre under the Thracian trees. Thrace is a personal tip for the real and honest tourist, who does not ask for the next golf course, Thracians would only shake their heads. As one of the most ancient cultural landscape of Europe Thrace once was renowned for its philosophers and the presence of gladiators. One of them was Spartacus, the famous leader of them as well as of the slaves. The Byzantine culture shaped Thrace. Its women were very sought-after as princess, Amazons, Maenads or slaves, they were extraordinary beauties. Tall and slim, pale, not easy to tame, not obsequious, much more advanced compared to the Athenians. Aspasia, the second wife of Pericles the Great, was a Thracian. With Socrates at her side, she refined Pericles’ wisdom and supported him through the construction of the Acropolis, the symbol of Western freedom.
When you are asked in the Greek capital where you com from, and when you then answer “from Thrace”, you will receive a pitiful smile in the best case, and you are told somebody has to guard the frontier between Greece and Turkey. But if an Athenian is especially aware of his Attic origin, he will tell you about a proverb - every Thracian is a fool. Well, already the ancient Thracians knew this kind of derision.
When you are welcomed, you will be kissed, you will be hugged, you will be overwhelmed. A fight against would be useless. Kisses and hugs can degenerate ad infinitum. If you are received with great admiration, then the Thracians might spit a bit on your shoulders – don’t worry, just a little bit – accompanied by the words: “God, the Mother of God, the Holy Nikolaos, the Holy Euthymia should shelter you from the hell and the evil eyes!” If you are for instance invited to a Thracian belt dance, you have to stand up and make eight steps in front and four backwards. This dance was allegedly invented by Dionysos, the God of wine, and his entourage in order to gain body contact to the female dancers. For this purpose you need more than the eight steps in front and backwards, you also should have enjoyed some more glasses of wine than usual in order to survive the wildness of this dance physically as well as psychologically. Greeks and especially the Thracians prefer the wild and rough way of Dionysos for celebrations, in spite of their sensitive, civilized and first singing king Orpheus. Celebrations on honour of Dionysos take place every August in Samothrace and Alexandroupolis as well as in the rest of Greece. No Thracian has any respect for Orpheus, he was not able to tame a single and not very wise women, and no Greek will accept any excuses for that. However, before any resurrection of Dionysos you have to eat, and that is really majestic! Spices and different herbs promote the meal to an unforgettable pleasure. This unique cuisine is a combination of Asia Minor and Southern Europe. Here you do not get a complete meal like “gyros with Greek salad”. The locals would asses that as bad habit and offer that only to strangers who in any case have no idea about cooking. So you order all the meals; in the beginning a variety of starts is served; anybody combines them in his way. The sight of an eggplant salad can be ambiguous, as well as an octopus drying in the sun or a lamb roasting on the spit, sometimes with its head. Nevertheless, it is really recommended to taste these specialities. Do not miss the opportunity to become acquainted with the true culinary Thrace! Afterwards you are really in the mood to dance with the other guests at the table. If you then advance by eight or nine steps, nobody will care about.
Democritus, born in the year 460 before Christ, the father of the (ancient) atomic theory. The laughing philosopher. He already hypothesized that all matter is composed of tiny indestructible units, called atoms. His theory about the nature of things had as a consequence a cheerful and indifferent happiness. This theory had a great influence on Aristoteles. The following quotation characterises him especially well: “Courage is the beginning of an action, but chance is the master of the end.”
Thukydidis, born also in the year 460 before Christ, a general, the first and most important historian of the ancient world. He described the Peloponnese war, creating the science of history description.
Antisthenes, born in the year 445 before Christ, pupil of Socrates, founder of the cynicism school and critic of the radical democracy in Athens. He provoked the Athenians with his suggestion to declare by plebiscite the promotion of all donkeys to horses. As the Athenians shook their heads about this proposal, he replied:” But in the same way you promote unskilled men to commanders, just by raising your hands!” When the Athenians ridiculed about that, he answered: “It is the fate of the kings to do the good and hear the bad.” Anaxarch, born in the year 360 before Christ, pupil of Democritus, founder of the Eudemonia School (happiness and resolution), teacher and friend of Alexander the Great.
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