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Amphibology   \am-fuh-BAH-luh-jee\ A sentence or phrase that can be interpreted in more than one way. From Greek amphibolos (via Late Latin and Latin). Amphibolos, from amphi- ("both") and ballein ("to throw"), literally means "encompassing" or "hitting at both ends"; figuratively it means "ambiguous." Amphibology is an equivocator's friend.


Polidoro da Caravaggio - Saturnus-thumb.jpg

Saturnine  (SAT-uhr-nyn)  Sluggish. Gloomy. Cold. From Latin Saturninus (of Saturn). From the ancient belief in astrology that those born under the planet Saturn’s supposed influence had its characteristics. Since Saturn was the farthest known planet at the time, it was believed to be the slowest and coldest. The planet received its name after the Roman god of agriculture. Earliest documented use: 1433. 

Greece condemns British Museum's refusal to allow mediation over ancient Parthenon sculptures

Greece has condemned the British Museum's decision to reject a UNESCO offer to help resolve a decades-old dispute over returning ancient Parthenon sculptures to Athens.
The sculptures are part of the collection popularly known as the Elgin Marbles which were acquired by Lord Elgin in the early 1800s when he was ambassador to the Ottoman court.
The British parliament purchased the art treasures in 1816 and gave them to the museum.
For the past 30 years, Athens has been demanding the return of the sculptures which had decorated the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis in Athens from ancient times.
"We deplore the categorical refusal by the British of UNESCO's invitation to launch a mediation process over the Parthenon sculptures housed in the British Museum," Greek culture minister Nikos Xydakis said.
"The British negativism is overwhelming, along with its lack of respect for the role of mediators."
We believe that the more constructive way forward, on which we have already embarked, is to collaborate directly with other museums and cultural institutions
Sir Richard Lambert
The UN cultural agency had offered to mediate between Greece and Britain over the ancient artworks during a meeting in October 2014.
But Sir Richard Lambert, the director of the British Museum, said in a letter to Athens this week that the trustees "decided respectfully to decline this request".
He said UNESCO's role was to pursue and safeguard endangered cultural heritage and that "the surviving Parthenon sculptures, carefully preserved in a number of European museums, clearly do not fall into this category".
"We believe that the more constructive way forward, on which we have already embarked, is to collaborate directly with other museums and cultural institutions, not just in Greece but across the world."
Sir Richard said the British Museum wanted to continue exploring collaborative ventures directly with Greek institutions - "not on a government-to-government basis".
For his part, the Greek minister criticised Britain for viewing the dispute as just an issue between museums and not between states.
"We call on Great Britain to reconsider its position," Mr Xydakis said.

Greek Mythology’s Presence In Israel: 2,000-Year-Old Bronze Mask Of Greek God Pan Found

Historically and culturally, Israel is known as the “Land Flowing with Milk and Honey” promised to the Jews by God. Ergo, the archaeological discoveries of Pentateuch proportions are always found. However, there are many discoveries of a pagan nature found in Israel too.
The Inquisitr previously reported on such finds, including an 8,000-year-old stone works set for pagan fertility worship. There are even discoveries of ancient versions of sin indulgence, in particular, 4,000-year-old porn.
Now a recent archaeological discovery in Israel shows the presence of Greek mythology in the Holy Land. A 2,000-year-old mask of the Greek god Pan has been unearthed.
According to an article by YNet Travel, a large, bronze mask of Pan, a Greek god of hunting with the lower half of a goat and the upper half of a man with goat horns, was found in an archaeological dig in the Hippos-Sussita excavation site. Since Pan is a figure closely associated with folly and sexuality, the mask was used for pagan ceremonies involving copious drinking, overindulgent eating, and promiscuous sex. This is confirmed by Dr. Michael Eisenberg from the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, who heads the site.
“The place was a scene for rites honoring the cave and field gods, and included ceremonies involving drinking, sacrificing and even ecstatic trances involving nudity and sexual relations.”
One of the researchers poses with the bronze mask of Pan.
From the details provided about the Pan mask, it is a rarity. It is a size that is unique because masks bigger than the human head are very rare. Also, most do not depict Pan or other mythological Greek and Roman mythological figures. Summarized, this may be the only mask of its kind.
More information about the Pan mask was reported at Ancient Origins. University of Haifa archaeologists — the group credited with finding the Pan mask in the first place — speculate its creation happened during the Pax Romana, a time of peace during the reign of the Roman Empire. Yet, the biggest surprise for them was where the Pan mask was found, a place they thought a catapult armory was located. The archaeologists believe the armory, used to store ballistae projectiles, was converted into a temple dedicated to Pan when hostilities ended.
Dr. Michael Eisenberg provided a statement on what he and his archaeological team thought when they found the Pan mask while looking for catapults and other weapons.
“The first thought that crossed my mind was, ‘Why here, beyond the city limits?’ After all, the mask is so heavy it could not have just rolled away. The mask was found nearby the remains of a basalt structure with thick walls and very solid masonry work, which suggested a large structure from the Roman period.”

Dr. Michael Eisenberg has reached out to the world’s greatest museums to curate the Pan mask. Even they are unfamiliar with the type of bronze mask that was found at the Hippos-Sussita excavation site.

How the Greeks invented the modern idea of us as human beings

On TV, in museums, on the stage – Hellenic culture is all the rage because it still speaks to us, says Boyd Tonkin. And far from being exclusive or historical, it lies at the heart of modern Western values, showing to us 'our best selves'

Boyd Tonkin 

A few weeks ago, the poet and playwright Tony Harrison received the David Cohen Prize, given for a lifetime's achievement in literature. Harrison – a working-class lad from Beeston – explained in an inspirational acceptance speech how, as a schoolboy, he would go off to see his favourite northern comics at the Leeds Empire. In his pocket nestled his grammar-school homework of classic Greek plays.
He would use the demotic words he heard on stage "to unlock the tragic texts I had to study". Much later, he had a dream that those comics had turned up to join the chorus of his masked version of the Oresteia of Aeschylus, in Peter Hall's renowned production for the National Theatre. That wise-cracking legion of ghosts had come to help him to liberate "the gravitas of Aeschylus, using the so-called 'low' art to unlock the so-called 'high'".
In 1821, Percy Bysshe Shelley argued – in the preface to his play Hellas – that "we are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their root in Greece." Ever since, scholars have quibbled about who "we" are and who indeed those "Greeks" may have been. Yet Harrison's testimony, by no means unique, shows how a culture that peaked 2,400 years ago can still shake and shape the lives of people from outside any narrow elite.
Refreshed by translators as bold as Harrison himself, the drama of classical Athens still packs theatres across the world. In around 441BC, the playwright Sophocles won acclaim for his Antigone, in which the heroine flouts the dictates of the Theban tyrant Creon in order to honour her dead brother Polynices with a decent burial. With Juliette Binoche as its star, Ivo van Hove's production closes in London this week after a sell-out run and then tours around Europe. If you missed it, in the poet Anne Carson's striking version, don't worry. BBC4 has filmed it for a Greek-themed series entitled The Age of Heroes. Other highlights will include an investigation into the life and poetry of Sappho by Margaret Mountford, formerly of The Apprentice, who has a PhD in papyrology.
Tomorrow, the British Museum joins the Greek spring chorus with a new exhibition, Defining Beauty, devoted to the body in ancient Greek art. "I hope I don't come across as a blind Hellenist," says Dr Ian Jenkins, the senior curator of the museum's Greek collections, as we sit in the pre-opening hush surrounded by the moulded and chiselled heroes, athletes, gods and monsters of two millennia and more ago. He points out that the exhibition, in common with so much recent research, acknowledges Greek culture's links with the Near East, Egypt, Persia, even India. Nonetheless, Jenkins is still "not beyond saying that the Greeks invented us. They invented the modern idea of us as human beings with a material and spiritual presence in the world that was individual and unique." Socrates, the subversive questioner put to a hemlock-speeded death by an Athenian court in 399BC, had first insisted on a "personal moral responsibility for your own soul". For Jenkins, "democracy lies behind that. And democracy breeds humanism, which breeds increasing realism in art."
The "universality" so often claimed for ancient Greece need not mean a cold and lofty eminence to which lesser breeds can but aspire. For Jenkins, "I think of the Greeks not as exclusive but as inclusive – as our own best selves". He stresses that "we humans are at the centre of the Greek universe. They are an anthropocentric tradition in the way that the great religions are not." Their gods may be formidable, such as the little pocket-rocket of a bronze Zeus from Hungary that Jenkins especially adores; they may be hauntingly, mysteriously lovely, such as the stunning Aphrodite – "Lely's Venus" – which greets visitors to Defining Beauty. But the Greeks imagined their gods "in the image of mankind", not as fearsome, nebulous abstractions.
Our best selves. As we grasp in finer detail how the rivalrous seafaring states of Greece negotiated with societies to their east and south, no longer do these divinely gorgeous beings sit snobbily atop what Jenkins calls "some invidious and outrageous pile of cultures". Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, puts it pithily in the exhibition catalogue. "Greece did not so much go down" – since the Victorian heyday of Hellenic supremacism – "as everything else came up."
When German nationalism was taking root in the 19th century, the philosopher Hegel treated the play as the epitome of a tragic collision not between right and wrong, but between right and right. In February 1944, German-occupied Paris saw the curtain rise on Jean Anouilh's version of Antigone. Why had the Nazis licensed it, when their accomplices also refused burial to slain Resistance fighters? Because Anouilh's Creon speaks up for authority and its duties against the luxury of individual protest. His tough measures have steadied the ship of state. No posturing dissident has the right to sink it. "It is easy to say no. To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves, and plunge both hands into life."
If the 20th century saw Antigone as a paradigmatic clash between order and freedom, then the 21st might view it through another lens. Ruth Padel, the poet and classicist, thinks that the core idea of "pollution" in classical tragedy now resonates with renewed force. In Antigone, unburied Polynices will taint the city both physically and spiritually. Sophocles' Oedipus the King begins "with a plague and a pollution". No longer do such beliefs belong solely in the domain of anthropology. On our ravaged planet, says Padel, "we've got such a strong sense of that we have befouled our ecosystem… that it's our fault, and that nemesis will follow". Paul Cartledge, though "not myself a Gaia person", agrees that an ecologically steered reading of the play could chime with a modern "view of the world as regulated by something above human needs and actions".
For Padel, the Greek vision of unity, balance and proportion – in the body, the mind, and in society – may still console us too. "The Greeks are about harmony; about fitting together. And we're now in a time when so much of life seems catastrophic and frightening." There's nothing new in this: over the centuries since the Renaissance, and above all since the Enlightenment, the West has gone Greek to understand itself. "As soon as we're conscious that our age is different," says Padel, "then we look to the Greeks. They are the first mirror."
Not everyone has found themselves reflected in that mirror. Post-war scholarship has shone a belated spotlight on the bodies, minds and groups excluded from the ideal realm of those exquisitely fashioned, godlike statues. Paul Cartledge refuses to gloss over the "sexism and ethnocentrism – a polite word for racism" of ancient Greece. "Aristotle on women," for example, "is very difficult indeed to read… His views are extremely reactionary." Meanwhile, those beautiful bodies in the British Museum remind us of the Greek cult of flawless youth. To Cartledge, "the ancients have some responsibility" for the time-defying neuroses of the contemporary catwalk, the fashion shoot or the gym. "Old age really was abhorred: physical decay was not something the ancients were keen on – they were the 'forever young' fanatics."
So scholars began to correct the biases of classical tradition. Madness and unreason claimed a central place on the Greek scene, in the wake of ER Dodds's influential study of The Greeks and the Irrational. Ian Jenkins, however, thinks that the cliché of cool Athenian reason never had much validity anyway: "What do you mean by rational? What is so rational about slaughtering a hundred cattle as a sacrifice to the gods? Why set up this straw man?"
Historians also sought to uncover the experience of the slaves whose thankless toil supported civic democracy in Athens and military might in Sparta. Women, silent in politics but resoundingly audible in drama (as anyone who remembers the sex-strike in the Lysistrata by Aristophanes will know), at last claimed a place at the top table of classical scholarship. We now know more about the female sphere in which, for instance, Sappho lived, beyond the erotic shards of her verse that strike like thunderbolts across two and a half millennia. Thus, as she looks at a beloved woman talking to a man, "tongue breaks and thin fire is racing under skin, and in eyes no sight and drumming fills ears… and cold sweat holds me and shaking grips me all, greener than grass I am and dead – or almost I seem to me" (Fragment 31, translated by Anne Carson).
Elsewhere, in his ultra-controversial Black Athena project, Martin Bernal argued that European classicism had obscured the African roots of much Greek achievement (the British Museum show has some fascinating ceramic depictions of sub-Saharan Africans). And Greek homosexuality, a topic often overshadowed by an Olympic-sized mountain of myth, has come into clearer focus. Ian Jenkins emphasises that the beautiful youths of Greek sculpture served as types of virtue more than as objects of desire; they were not meant to arouse. Near where we talk stands the so-called "Westmacott Youth", a marble model of the kind of unselfconscious grace that Socrates praised in Plato's dialogue Charmides.
"This is not a sexual image," Jenkins insists. "He is not provoking any of the attention he receives." He is, however, proudly nude. "That is in some way the most important message of the exhibition." Unlike neighbouring societies, such as Persia or Assyria, for whom the naked body signified defeat and abjection, "the Greeks took nudity as a sign of heroic status or circumstance. Nudity was the uniform of the righteous. It is the aesthetics of 'kalos kai agathos' – like the youth there, fair of face and sound of heart."
For Ruth Padel, the younger generation of classicists has grown up immersed in these debates about class and gender, ethnicity and sexuality, and "now takes all that for granted". In her recent book Introducing the Ancient Greeks, Edith Hall – a professor of classics at King's College London – rebuts the sceptics who deploy revisionist research to brand enthusiasm for the Greeks as a mere ancestor-cult of the "Oldest Dead White European Males". For her, a "constant engagement with the ancient Greeks… has made me more, rather than less, convinced that they evinced a cluster of brilliant qualities that are difficult to identify in combination and in such concentration elsewhere". To Hall, you hardly need to be a snob or a colonialist to register this special radiance of a people who took up "the human baton of intellectual progress for several hundred years".
Paul Cartledge declines to sanitise the routine prejudices and inequalities that much Greek culture shared with its ancient counterparts. Still, what inspires him is that "there are always some who are willing to put forward very progressive, non-traditional views" – such as his hero, the endlessly curious, open-minded historian Herodotus. Indeed, the principle of critical debate itself – free, open, competitive and, as Cartledge says, "hopefully backed by logic"– endures as the chief intellectual legacy of Athens above all.
Anyone tempted to turn off and abstain in May's general election should consult Pericles' famed funeral oration from 431BC. However much breached in Athenian practice, it still reads as a peerless manifesto for a free society. To Pericles, mourning the dead after a bad first year of war against the Spartans, "our constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people… We are free and tolerant in our private lives; but in public affairs we keep to the law." Above all: "This is a peculiarity of ours: we do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all." At the very least, go Greek and vote on 7 May.
'Defining Beauty: the body in ancient Greek art' is at the British Museum, London WC1, from 26 March to 5 July. 'The Age of Heroes' will screen on BBC4 later in the spring. Edith Hall's 'Introducing the Ancient Greeks' is published by Bodley Head


Autochthon (o-TOK-thun)  1. A native; aborigine. 2. Something, as a rock, formed or originating in the place where found. From Greek autochthon (of the land itself), from auto- (self) + chthon (earth, land). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dhghem- (earth), which also sprouted human, homicide, humble, homage, chamomile, exhume, inhume, chthonic, disinter, chameleonic, and Persian zamindar (landholder)

Autochthons are reported in mythology of the following regions: In Attica: Amphictyon, Cecrops I, Cranaus, Erichthonius, Periphas. In Boeotia: Ogyges, Alalcomenes, Spartoi. In the Peloponese: Pelasgus of Arcadia, Lelex of Laconia and Aras of Phliasia. Finally, in Atlantis, Evenor.
The practice in ancient Greece of describing legendary heroes and men of ancient lineage as "earthborn" greatly strengthened the doctrine of autochthony. In Thebes, the race of Sparti were believed to have sprung from a field sown with dragons' teeth. The Phrygian Corybantes had been forced out of the hill-side like trees by Rhea, the great mother, and hence were called δενδροφυεῖς. It is clear from the Ancient Greek play, Prometheus Bound, commonly attributed to Aeschylus, that primitive men were supposed to have at first lived like animals in caves and woods, till by the help of the gods and heroes they were raised to a stage of civilization


Zephyr   \ZEFF-er\ a breeze from the west, a gentle breeze, any of various lightweight fabrics and articles of clothing

 For centuries, poets have eulogized Zephyrus, the Greek god of the west wind, and his "swete breeth" (in the words of Geoffrey Chaucer). Zephyrus, the personified west wind, eventually evolved into zephyr, a word for a breeze that is westerly or gentle, or both. Breezy zephyr may have blown into English with the help of William Shakespeare, who used the word in his 1611 play Cymbeline: "Thou divine Nature, thou thyself thou blazon'st / In these two princely boys! They are as gentle / As zephyrs blowing below the violet." Today, zephyr is also the sobriquet of a lightweight fabric and the clothing that is made from it.


 The word “oxymoron” is an oxymoron itself. In Greek, it translates to “sharp dull”.

Mystery Deepens Over Ancient Greek Tomb

By COSTAS KANTOURIS Associated Press

A geologist who took part in the excavation of the ancient burial mound in Amphipolis in northern Greece says the ancient tomb found together with a series of vaulted rooms wasn't built at the same time, but somewhat later than the rooms themselves.
Geologist Evangelos Kambouroglou also said Saturday that the mound inside which the rooms and the tomb were found is not man-made, as archaeologists had assumed, but a natural hill.
He also said that the Lion of Amphipolis, a huge sculpture of a lion on a pedestal , which is more than 25 feet (7.5 meters) tall, was too heavy to have stood at the top of the tomb, as archaeologists had claimed.
"The walls (of the tomb structure) can barely withstand half a ton, not 1,500 tons that the Lion sculpture is estimated to weigh," Kambouroglou said.
As for the box-like tomb that contained the remnants of five bodies, possibly more, "it is posterior to the main burial monument ... the main tomb has been destroyed by looters, who left nothing," said Kambouroglou. "The marble doors (of the monument) contain signs of heavy use, which means many visitors came and went."
The vaulted rooms had been dated to between 325 B.C. — two years before the death of ancient Greek warrior-king Alexander the Great — and 300 B.C., although some archaeologists had claimed a later date.
Katerina Peristeri, the chief archaeologist in the recent excavation, had advanced the theory that a member of Alexander's family, or one of his generals, could be buried in the tomb. But the discovery of the boxy grave and the five bodies cast doubt on that theory and Kambouroglou's announcement appears to disprove it entirely. Some archaeologists present during Saturday's announcement criticized Peristeri's absence and her methods.
Alexander, who built an empire stretching from modern Greece to India, died in Babylon and was buried in the city of Alexandria, which he founded. The precise location of his tomb is one of the biggest mysteries of archaeology.
His generals fought over the empire for years, during wars in which Alexander's mother, widow, son and half-brother were all murdered — most near Amphipolis.

Here’s what the Islamic State is Bulldozing

Paul Collins
Within days of the Islamic State (IS) releasing a video showing their destruction of sculptures in the Mosul museum and the ancient city of Nineveh, reliable reports emerged that the obliteration of Iraq’s past had expanded to include the architectural treasures of Nimrud and, most recently, Hatra.
Lying to the south of the modern city of Mosul, these two archaeological sites were among the best preserved in Iraq. There was only a slim chance that these impressive archaeological remains would be overlooked by IS since an attack on them would guarantee world attention. These acts are not only an attack on the people of Iraq but also on the roots of our modern, urbanised world. So what exactly are we losing?
The first cities
Iraq occupies the territories described by Greek geographers of the early centuries BC as Mesopotamia, the land between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. It was here that the world’s first cities, such as Uruk and Ur, emerged around 3500 BC on the fertile plains at the head of the Persian Gulf, along with the invention of writing and the codification of laws.
In north Mesopotamia, the kingdom of Assyria developed as a powerful state. Between 900 and 620 BC it established itself as the world’s first extensive empire, unifying a region reaching from the Persian Gulf to Egypt. Nimrud was the empire’s first great capital city.
Although an immensely ancient town dating back to 5500 BC, Nimrud was developed into an imperial centre by King Ashurnasirpal II from about 880 BC. The result was a walled city covering some 3.5 sq km, with a prominent “citadel” mound on which were erected enormous administrative and religious buildings. These structures included the palaces of several Assyrian kings as well as temples, including that of Nabu, the god of writing.
Indeed, it was scribal administration as much as military might that held the Assyrian empire together. These buildings were centres of learning, gathering knowledge into libraries. Information was written on clay tablets in the cuneiform script of Mesopotamia and thousands of such texts were discovered by archaeologists at the later Assyrian capital of Nineveh. Such was its importance and splendour that the city, known to the Assyrians as Kalhu, that it appears in the Old Testament as Calah.
Astonishing carvings
The greatest of the buildings at Nimrud was undoubtedly the Palace of Ashurnasirpal. This was a huge mud brick structure with many rooms ranged around open courtyards. The walls of the most significant rooms were lined with huge slabs of gypsum carved in relief with images of the king hunting dangerous wild animals, defeating hostile people, and undertaking religious rituals. These were some of the earliest visual representations of historical narratives, carved with astonishing attention to detail.
Archaeologists call this building the North-West Palace. It was first excavated by the British explorer Austen Henry Layard between 1845 and 1851. Layard’s work was supported by the British government and the majority of his finds, including many examples of the carved stone panels and sculpted gate colossi, were transported to the British Museum. While examples of relief slabs were also sent to museums and institutions around the world, many were left where they were found and reburied.
Further excavations at Nimrud took place in the 1950s and 1960s by Max Mallowan, husband of the crime writer Agatha Christie. This work reconstructed the complex plans of the palace, and other buildings on the citadel.
Large parts of Ashurnasirpal’s palace were then investigated by Iraqi archaeologists during the 1970s and 1980s, and their work included the re-installation and repair of fallen stone reliefs, many with traces of the original paint that covered them. The winged bull statues that guard the entrances to the most important rooms and courtyards were also re-erected.
This restoration project also revealed several tombs of Assyrian queens that lay below the floors in one area of the palace. The finds, which are now securely stored in Baghdad, were truly astonishing and included gold jewellery and crowns, bronze and gold bowls, and ivory vessels. The technical skill and aesthetic sense of the artisans responsible are unrivalled in the ancient world.
 The reconstruction of the palace also allowed visitors, including regular parties of school children, to experience the buildings’ scale and beauty, as well as bringing scholars closer to understanding its role in the lives of the ancient Assyrians.
The merchant city
While Nimrud represents the glories of empire, Hatra reflects mercantile enterprise. The city flourished in the first two centuries AD as part of an extensive trade network that connected it with Palmyra and Petra. It was the centre of one of the region’s first Arab kingdoms and its massive walls withstood attacks by the armies of the Roman emperors Trajan and Septimius Severus. Behind the enclosing walls of the city were constructed architectural gems, including a number of spectacular temples erected on a massive platform. The compelling fusion of Greek and Mesopotamian art and architecture made it an especially beautiful place. Its importance was recognised in 1985 when Hatra was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Iraqis are justifiably proud of this ancient heritage and its innovations and impact on the world. The intellectual and cultural achievements of Mesopotamia were shared with ancient Greece and then expanded by the scholars of Baghdad during the 8th to 13th centuries in a golden age of Islamic art and learning.
We are witnessing the destruction of this priceless legacy – and these stories mean that Libyan are now also fearing for their own rich heritage. The international community must act to support the government of Iraq in stopping further terrible violence against such unique and irreplaceable heritage that holds so much meaning for us all.

This article was originally posted in The Conversation.

2,000-year-old artefacts looted by ISIS from ancient sites in Iraq and Syria are being sold on EBAY

•           ISIS have raided countless historical heritage sites since rising to power
•           Recent images of jihadis destroying ancient statues caused global outrage
•           Now antiquities plundered by group are appearing on trading websites
•           Coins from Syria, dating back to Ancient Greece, have turned up on eBay
•           It is thought ISIS smuggle artefacts in cargo to criminal gangs in neighbouring countries

By Jack Crone for MailOnline

2,000-year-old artefacts looted from ancient sites in Iraq and Syria by ISIS are being sold on eBay as jihadis cash in on relics dating back millennia.
Jewellery, ceramics and coins plundered from museums within ISIS territory are known to pass between criminal gangs before turning up in Gulf States and later appearing on trading websites.
Two coins from Apamea, in western Syria, which date back to Ancient Greece have appeared on eBay with price tags of £57 and £90.
As well as looting ancient artefacts, ISIS is known to levy a 'tax on valuable and historical items found in its territory to ensure the group's central administration benefits financially from raids on museums.
The number of artefacts flowing from the war zone is so great that their market price has actually fallen.
 It is believed that ISIS takes orders from dealers in neighbouring countries, with small items such as coins easy to smuggle across borders due to the number of people being displaced.
Using smuggling routes and links to criminal gangs in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, the ancient treasures can be packed in with cargoes of oil, drugs and weapons as they move across borders.
eBay insist that they pay attention to the authorities.
A spokesman for the company told The Times: 'We remove items from sale based on their advice, support law enforcement investigations and are always prepared to investigate listings causing concern.'
Axel Plathe, director of Unesco's Iraq office, told The Times: 'We are seeing a more systematic approach to looting under ISIS, linked to generating revenue.
This coin, which came from the ancient city of Apamea in western Syria, sold for $135 on eBay - the equivalent of around £91
'Excavations at the sites have increased and we believe trafficking is on the rise but without access to the sites we still don't know the true scale.'
It is thought that increased pressure from the Iraqi army is encouraging jihadis to loot anything of value in the territory while they can.
They have also desecrated countless Assyrian treasures treasures at Mosul, Nimrud and Dur-Sharrukin.
In Nimrud, northern Iraq, militants even smashed up 3,000 year-old winged statues that are placed at the gates of the Palace of Ashurnasirpal.
The attack came just days after extremists targeted a museum in Mosul by using power drills and sledgehammers to destroy artefacts, sparking global outrage.
A statement last week from Iraq's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities didn't elaborate on the extent of the damage.
However, they added that ISIS 'continues to defy the will of the world and the feelings of humanity.'
The ancient city of Nimrud was the second capital of Assyria, an ancient kingdom that began in 900BC, partially in present day Iraq, and became a great regional power.

The city, which was destroyed in 612 BC, is located on the Tigris River, just south of Mosul, which was captured by ISIS last June.


Nike (/ˈnaɪki/; Greek: Νίκη, "Victory", pronounced [nǐːkɛː]), in ancient Greek religion, was a goddess who personified victory, also known as the Winged Goddess of Victory. The Roman equivalent was Victoria. Depending upon the time of various myths, she was described as the daughter of the Titan Pallas and the goddess Styx, and the sister of Kratos (Strength), Bia (Force), and Zelus (Zeal).[1]
Nike and her siblings were close companions of Zeus, the dominant deity of the Greek pantheon. According to classical (later) myth, Styx brought them to Zeus when the god was assembling allies for the Titan War against the older deities. Nike assumed the role of the divine charioteer, a role in which she often is portrayed in Classical Greek art. Nike flew around battlefields rewarding the victors with glory and fame, symbolized by a wreath of Laurel leaves (Bay leaves, see the illustration at right.)

Rare Greek and Roman coins found

A US university has discovered a collection of ancient coins from ancient Greece and Rome dating as far back as the fifth century BC.
A priceless cache of ancient Greek and Roman coins that had become a kind of buried treasure has been "rediscovered" at the University at Buffalo.
The university had paid little attention to the coins since they were donated in 1935.
The collection of 55 gold and silver coins date as far back as the fifth century BC.
Among them are a dozen gold coins from Rome - one each from the eras of Julius Caesar and the 11 emperors who followed him.
Assistant professor Philip Kiernan, who arrived at UB in 2010 from a German coin museum, had heard from an alumnus that UB held ancient coins. But even after tracking them down, he had his doubts.
"I saw these trays and thought, oh this is some kind of reproductive set from the early 20th century, some kind of copies," Kiernan said on Wednesday.
"However, when we opened up the trays and pulled out the coins - nope, they're perfectly good ancient coins."
There were three wood-framed glass trays, one holding the 12 gold Roman coins and the other two holding 40 silver Greek coins.
A small leather pouch contained an additional three gold Greek coins. The newest of the lot is from the first century A.D.
"I was flabbergasted," Kiernan said.
"I couldn't believe that an institution like UB had a collection of this quality in its special collections, as of yet unstudied, unpublished ... coins that were issued by the most powerful and most important city-states of the Classical and Hellenistic worlds."


Rhadamanthine   \rad-uh-MAN-thun\  (often capitalized) rigorously strict or just

In Greek mythology, there were three judges of the underworld: Minos, Aeacus, and Rhadamanthus. Minos, a son of Zeus and Europa, had been the king of Crete before becoming supreme judge in the underworld after his death. Aeacus, another son of Zeus, was king of Aegina before joining the underworld triumvirate. Rhadamanthus, brother of Minos and king of the Cyclades Islands, was especially known for being inflexible when administering his judgment—hence, the meaning of rhadamanthine as "rigorously strict or just."


Eolian   \ee-OH-lee-un\ borne, deposited, produced, or eroded by the wind

 Aeolus  was the Greek god of the winds and the king of the floating island of Aeolia. In The Odyssey, Homer claims Aeolus helped Odysseus by giving him a favorable wind. Aeolus also gave English speakers a few terms based on his name, including today's adjective eolian (also spelled aeolian), which is often used for wind-sculpted geological features such as caves and dunes, and aeolian harp, an instrument that makes music when the wind blows across its strings.