Turkish harem in the Acropolis?It’s probably Greek mythology

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The Acropolis of Athens is the world The best architectural and artistic monuments.. Visitors will admire the marble buildings that prove the glory of ancient Greece over 2,000 years ago. Usually little attention is paid to the rich medieval and Ottoman history of this site. However, one of the few stories commonly told about this period is about six iconic maiden sculptures, the so-called Caryatid temples.

The ancient Athenians built a temple with Caryatid as the most sacred Athena Shrine, Goddess of wisdom. It was used as a church in the Middle Ages. However, its fate seems to have changed dramatically after the Ottoman conquest of Athens in the 15th century. The The story goes the Islamic turkey Not interested in maintaining the sacrifice of the temple, instead converted it to something radically different: Harem..This was said to be the residence of Wife of the keeper of the Turkish castle And sometimes it was considered as a place of temptation.

But my New research Indicates that this information may need to be corrected. As part of this study, I analyzed all relevant historical material on the Ottoman Acropolis. The idea of ​​the Turkish harem here began in the 17th century when two visitors from France and England visited.They published Popular books In it they claimed that the building was a harem. However, these visitors did not even enter the building and provided inconsistent, perhaps speculative information.

Whether fantasy or not, the concept of harem has long fascinated the Western audience, who have enjoyed these exotic stories of the Orient. Later authors simply repeated the information. This was true even after the building collapsed and collapsed. 1687 Venetian bombardment..

My research also included some under-researched Turkish sources. None of these mention anything like the harem of the Caryatid Temple. However, they seem to say that it was used as a kind of palace. Overall, there is little suggestion that the temple has turned into an erotic meeting place.

Turkish harem in the Acropolis?It's probably Greek mythology

Acropolis, Athens, Greek Cariated Pouch.Nikolay Antonov / Shutterstock

Harlem and temple

The story of the Caryatid temple harem already existed in the ancient Greek era centuries before the arrival of the Turks. The striking Caryatid itself looks like a petrified female in front of the building. They probably played a role in creating such a story. Over and over again, visitors to the Acropolis have given meaning to the mysterious buildings based on these sculptures.

Anthropological research Impressive statues like Caryatid show that they can stir the imagination and encourage wild stories that can be mistaken for the history of “facts.” For casual spectators, Caryatid can serve as evidence of a harem.

But the idea of ​​harem also has serious problems as it lasts a long time. Western stereotype Of the Turks as violent and sacrificial barbarians.This stereotype comes from many people Centuries of war Between Christian European countries and the Ottoman Empire of Islam. Later, the popular fantasy that the Turkish harem was a mysterious and erotic place of isolation also developed.

The idea that the temple of Caryatid became a decadent harem fits perfectly with this negative Western sentiment towards the Turks.That sentiment had dire consequences: shortly after the young Greek state conquered Athens in the 19th century, it led to perfection. The annihilation of the Turkish town It stood in the Acropolis.The same attitude Sir ElginRemoved many Acropolis sculptures in the early 19th century, including one of the British aristocrats, Caryatid.

Turkish harem in the Acropolis?It's probably Greek mythology

Theodor Chasseriau, Harlem (oil on panel, 1851–1852). Such paintings capture Harlem’s Western fantasy as an erotic place.Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Imprisoned sister

These sculptures are still in the British Museum in London. To the disappointment of many Those who want to see them return to Athens (in Greece and elsewhere).Caryatid is still imaginative, but local legends Marble girl remaining in Athens I can hear my sister imprisoned in London mourning and screaming at night.

The Turkish concept of Harlem is an important archaeological site and is associated with the current meaning of the Acropolis as a symbol of Greek and Western civilization.But this symbol has a dark side: the story of the anti-east. Continue to be told At the expense of the Turks.

The Turks are usually portrayed as villains of the Acropolis, but according to my research, this is a rough interpretation of Turkey’s existence over three centuries. And that doesn’t justify their actual attitude. Historical materials Show that the Turks are not always violent barbarians. Rather, they were as fascinated by ancient times as modern tourists are today.

A lightning strike on the Greek Acropolis injured four people, leaving the site unharmed

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Turkish harem in the Acropolis?It’s probably Greek mythology

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