HYDNA OF SCIONE - 135 x 205 cm

Hydna of Scione was well-known in Greece for her swimming skills, having been trained by her father, a professional swim instructor. She was known for her ability to swim long distances and dive deep into the ocean. In 480 BCE the Persians invaded Greece and after defeating Athens, planned to destroy the rest of the Greek force in the naval battle at Salamis. Persian King Xerxes moored his ships off the coast of Mount Pelion, to await for a storm to pass. In the darkness of night, Hydna and her father swam approximately ten miles through rough waters up to the ships and dove beneath the Persian ships, cutting their moorings with knives and dragging the submerged anchors away. This caused the enemy ships to drift in the stormy water, run aground and damage their other vessels as they crashed into each other. The damage was considerable and a few vessels even sank. This allowed the Greek navy more time to prepare and led to a victory for Greek forces at Salamis. Hydna of Scione’s story comes from the Greek historian Pausanius in his Description of Greece, 10.19.1. where he also mentions that statues of both daughter and father were erected at Delphi for their heroism.

DIOTIMA of MANTINEA - 140 x 165 cm

Diotima of Mantinea was an ancient Greek prophetess and philosopher, thought to have lived circa 440 B.C.E. In Plato’s Symposium, her ideas play an important role, laying the foundations for the concept of Platonic Love. In a dialogue that Socrates recounts at the symposium, Diotima argues that Socrates has confused the idea of love with the idea of the beloved. Love, she states, is neither fully beautiful nor good, as the earlier speakers in the dialogue had argued. In her view, love drives the individual to seek beauty, first earthly beauty, or beautiful bodies. Then as a lover grows in wisdom, the beauty that is sought is spiritual, or beautiful souls. For Diotima, the most correct use of love of other human beings is to direct one’s mind to love of wisdom, or philosophy. The beautiful beloved inspires the mind and the soul and directs one’s attention to spiritual things. One proceeds from recognition of another’s beauty, to appreciation of Beauty apart from any individual, to consideration of Divinity, the source of Beauty, to love of Divinity.

AEON - 140 x 145 cm

The word aeon originally meant “life”, “vital force” or “being”, “generation” or “a period of time”, though it tended to be translated as “age” in the sense of “ages”, “forever”, “timeless” or even “for eternity”. In Homer, it typically refers to life or lifespan. Plato used the word aeon to denote the eternal world of ideas, which he conceived was “behind” the perceived world, as demonstrated in his famous allegory of the cave. Although the term aeon may be used in reference to a period of a billion years (especially in geology, cosmology or astronomy) its more common usage is for any long, indefinite, period.

ODYSSEY - 140 x 162 cm

The Odyssey symbolises an intellectual or spiritual quest. It is a Greek epic poem written by Homer (believed to be composed near the end of the 8th century BC). The poem tells about the long journey of Odysseus, after the fall of Troy as he struggles to return home and reestablish himself as king of Ithaca. The Odyssey is not just about heroism, but more importantly about the underlying themes from the Greek culture: spiritual growth, loyalty, perseverance, and hospitality. Spiritual growth is brought on by rough times, temptations, long travels, and even good times. Homer’s main idea is that the spirit with the most growth and strength is the one that is tested and weakened through the process. The weakening in turn allows a person to grow stronger.

ZENO OF ELEA - 130 x 175 cm

Zeno of Elea ( 490 BC - 430 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher who devoted his time to elucidating the many puzzles and paradoxes of motion and plurality when most philosophers in that period were using reason and knowledge to interpret nature. Zeno of Elea expanded and defended the philosophical ideologies established by Parmenides and proposed multiple paradoxes himself, which were debated among later generations of philosophers. The majority of arguments on his paradoxes were on the infinite division of time and space, such as the notion that if there is a distance, by default there is also half that distance and so on. Zeno of Elea was the first in philosophical history to show that the concept of infinity existed.

CHARISMATA - 100 x 165 cm

Charismata is the plural for Charisma, from the Greek χάρισμα (khárisma), which means “favor freely given” or “gift of grace”. The term derives from χάρις (charis), which means “grace”. Some derivatives from that root have similar meanings to the modern sense of personality charisma, such as “filled with attractiveness or charm”, “kindness”, “to bestow a favor or service”, or “to be favored or blessed”. Moreover, in Ancient Greece, this term was applied for personality charisma to their gods; for example, attributing charm, beauty, nature, human creativity or fertility to goddesses they called Charites (Χάριτες). The meaning of charisma has become greatly diffused from its original divinely conferred meaning, and even from the personality charisma meaning in modern English dictionaries, which reduces to a mixture of charm and status. John Potts, who has extensively analyzed the term’s history, sums up meanings beneath this diffused common usage: “Contemporary charisma maintains, however, the irreducible character ascribed to it by Weber: it retains a mysterious, elusive quality. The enigmatic character of charisma also suggests a connection – at least to some degree – to the earliest manifestations of charisma as a spiritual gift.

APOLLO - 140 x 155 cm

God of the Sun, the Light, the Music and Prophecy. Apollo was one of the most complex and important gods, and was the god of many things, including: music, poetry, art, oracles, archery, medicine, sun, light and knowledge. He was the son of Zeus and the Titan Leto, and was born in the Greek island of Delos, along with his older twin sister Artemis - goddess of the hunt. Apollo was the ideal of the “kouros”, which means he had an athletic and youthful appearance. He was also an oracular god as a patron of Delphi and could predict prophecy through the Delphic Oracle Pythia.

TELESILLA OF ARGOS - 170 x 190 cm

Telesilla was an ancient Greek poet (5th century BCE), native of Argos. Antipater of Thessalonica included her in his canon of nine female poets. She was a distinguished woman who was especially renowned for her poetry and for her leadership of Argos through a political and military crisis.

When Clemens, King of Sparta, invaded the land of the Argives in 510 BC, he defeated and killed all the hoplites (citizen-soldiers) of Argos in the Battle of Sepeia, and massacred the survivors. Thus when Clemens led his troops to Argos there were no warriors left to defend it. Telesilla took down the ornamental arms from temples in the city, raided the armory for whatever was left, and equipped a force of the city’s women with arms and armor. She organized the city for defense and marched out to meet the Spartans, inflicting heavy losses. Clemens was faced with a dilemma; if he defeated Telesilla, he would have no honor in slaughtering women, while if they defeated him, Sparta would have been beaten by an army of women. So he prudently withdrew his army and Argos was saved.