Saturday May 9th
Sites Visited: Ioannina Museum, Dodona (Epirote oracle)
Where did we stay tonight?: Kalambaka
Leaders: Kate Ginsberg and Alex Maceda
Today started off with a nice morning stroll through the streets of Ioannina to the Archeological Museum. We were immediately posed with the question “Who ate the rhinoceros?” Yes, the one and only rhinoceros in Prehistoric Greece. Continuing the theme of thought-provoking questions, the group was amused by the display of lead tablets recording questions posed to the oracle of Zeus Naios at Dodona. These questions included “Where is my lost kylix?” and “Given that I dedicated my cup, why did the horse from Actium beat Diodones’s horse in Elea?” Questions not as momentous as put to the oracle at Delphi…
The museum also housed lithics galore and an informative video on their production. By 10:00 AM we were off and running to Dodona, site of one of the most famous oracles of the ancient Greek world. As Professor Christesen lectured, the group listened carefully for the quiet rustling of oak leaves or the clash of acorns on bronze tripods—the voice of Zeus Naios from the roots of the ancient sacred tree. While some of us admired (admired?) the sandstone columns of the temples to Dione, the others seriously considered living in the style of a priest of Zeus Naois: no shoes, sleeping on the ground, and no bathing. We admired the many reptiles who call the site home, including snakes and bright green lizards. On our way to lunch, we passed the theater, which was one of the largest such buildings in ancient Greece. After lunch, we settled in a shady spot to discuss Books 2-5 of the Iliad before boarding the bus for a scenic drive through the Pindus mountains and an interminable array of tunnels to Kalambaka, where we’re staying for the night.
Day 49 Photo Gallery: