Stories in Stone at Olympia
Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
148Trip End Dec 09, 2008
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On the west pediment, the sculptures depict a Greek wedding. Centaur men had been invited to the wedding, but they got drunk and decided to carry off the Greek women. The Greek men had to battle the Centaurs to save the women. If this story sounds familiar, it is the same myth told in the frieze surrounding the Temple of Haphastus we saw in the Greek Agora a month ago.
The east pediment featured a king who promised the hand of his daughter and the rule of the kingdom to any man who could defeat the king in a chariot race
Young Pelops decided he would challenge, but he was wiser. He promised the first night with the princess to the chariot maker if the chariot maker would switch the king's axles with wax axles. The race commenced and as the chariot warmed up and the king was just about to spear Pelops through the back, his chariot fell apart and the king was killed.
Pelops, the princess, and the chariot maker drove off. But then the chariot maker tried to collect his prize, and Pelops decided the chariot maker had to be killed too.
Pelops became the king, and that's why we call this land the Peloponnesian. But his offspring founded the House of Atreus that was cursed for Pelops' bad behavior. Meneleaus, Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Iphigenia, Orestes, Aegisthus... they all came to violent ends.
It was an amazing experience to watch the sculptures in the museum come to "life" as Indy narrated their stories.