Samothraki, the Land of Kavirians...

Athens News

Traveling, searching and creation have always been the great joys in Man's life. Wandering here and there on earth and seeing- looking with a penetrating, insatiable and ravenous eye for new experiences, new people and seas and places, and seeing everything as if for the first time.

With a long, persistent and erotic glance, and then closing your eyes, feeling the wealth of the impressions settling down inside you quietly or in turmoil, depending on the heart's alchemy.

I have taken innumerable trips- mental leaps, outbursts of a restless, pirate heart, a greediness of the eye, rushing and longing to see as much of water, soil and color as it can, before it darkens and dies out.

But one of them has deeply marked my mind and thoughts. The trip to Samothraki, the island of the Kavirians.

Two different deities have marked this island from ancient times. The kindling rough sight of the Kavirian Gods on one side, and the sweet deity of Techni (Art) on the other side, which created the winged Niki (Victory), a symbol of freedom of the human mind.

And the sorceress Nature, not wanting to spoil either god's, claiming this land., whim, made the land of Samothraki equally two-faced.

Bare, fair, uninhabited the hill-ranges of the island. A blend of Attika charm and arabitic desert.

Once a medieval castle, remnants of a long gone era, projecting on the top of the highest hill, with the half-crumbled piers and the open castle-gates, like a tooth­less mouth laughing sarcastically to the everyday concerns of human beings and its last enemy, the hungry ivy, its final besieger.

Nowhere a shade. Nowhere a cool place. Everywhere a hard vertical light.

And on the other side of the island, an orgasm of nature. The erotic blending of water and fertile soil. And from this union, the birth of the plane-tree and fern, hiding the earth and sky from you! And there is nothing else for you to do but listen to the babbling sound of the creek, running
unseen under the thick vegetation, trying hard to pass through the greenery's close embrace.

A breath, irrespective of human volition, stirs the crowds in every era, and creates, using man as a tool, what we call civilization, or eliminates the old spirit, its works and ideas.

So, with this alchemy, at the end of the Copper Period, the island was inhabited by the Thracians, who enforced the use of their language and the worshipping if the Great Gods until the dying of the hellinistic ages, and the coming of the Greek Aeolians in 700 b.C., emigrants from Lesvos and N.E. area of Asia Minor, who founded the city of Samothraki near the old temple, where today one can see the remains of the old city.

In this manner, the opposite characteristics of each race were blended together at this Metropolis: hardness, bravery, the male expression of life. And next to that, Art, philosophy, femininity. The same soul, exactly the same flame, taking a different name according to the needs of every era and the specific characteristics of each race.

Only a few steps divide the two civilizations. But today's visitor of Samothraki with an experienced eye, taking those few steps, from one pole to the other, covers his thirsty soul.

And so, below the shade of the two civilizations, I entered the Old City. This greedy lady-lover, to whom great kings and men of the world remained true to their death.

Deeply moved the glance embraces the impressive 6th century wall, which starts from the sea and climbs the steep hillsides of Ai Giorgi.

And the mind reconstructs the whole tempestuous life of man, who was able to give a solid frame to the soul of his race and thus save it from compromises and destruction.

With these thoughts, useful to bringing the blood to boil, I entered the remains of the temple of the Great Gods.

It was noon when I passed the frightful threshold. My eyes, still dazzled by the gay colors of nature, were terrified. Here you walk into the house of different gods.

Thousands of years have passed, and still the secret shivering of man towards the metaphysical has not died. I wandered around the area covered by the Cave of the Great Gods, about twelve and a half acres.

I walked, like an ant, around each column and every building and again and again stood there, a speechless worshipper to the wonder of the winged NIKI. Art, again, cannot be contained within the body. She is looking for a line, a movement. To express all that that matter cannot, except only the restless eye of the soul. A breath, irrespective of human volition, hovers in this place and entrances you. I walk hesitantly in this fort of the Gods, feeling as if I were an intruder, as if I got in to discover their horrible secrets. The entrance to the temple, where the initiating ceremonies took place during in the night, in the light of firebrands and oil lamps, put wings to my mind. Great figures of classical Greece, like Herodotos and the king of Sparta Lyssandros- initiated in the Kavirian Mysteries- passed in front of me: to give their place to the great event, the meeting of worldwide importance. which changed the fate of the whole world in front of this temple. I try hard to recreate in my mind that great moment for human kind, the meeting of Phillip the II the Macedonian with princess OIymbiada from Hipiros, during the ceremonies.

Ever since that night- far from every human power- fate moves its own strings, spinning the yarns that it will use to weave history.

(Posting date 14 November 2006)

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