Sunday, February 16, 2014

Spring trips are beginning!

Tomorrow I begin my first of four planned Spring bike trips tracing Roman military routes in Greece between 198 BC and 167 BC.

The first trip will begin with the route Flamininus took in Phokis at the end of the campaign season in 198 BC. Livy (32.18) lists 5 cities that Flamininus took before he attacked, defeated, and made a headquarters out of Elateia. Rather than just 6 random places, these 6 cities are all incredibly important and strategic for both holding Phokis and for controlling movement through Boiotia and between and north and south Greece.

From here I will travel the route from Phokis into Thessaly that Flamininus took to begin the campaign season in 197 BC. Part of this involves a 'surprise' route cross country that I am quite looking forward to traveling!

Here's my route:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Trip Number Two!

I am in Volos and will set out west for the beginning of trip number two as soon as I finish this post and my breakfast. The plan for this trip is to follow Titus Quinctus Flamininus' route home to Italy out of Greece in 194 bc. His full route involved starting from his base in Elateia in Phokis and visiting each of the three 'fetters' of Greece (Akrokorinth, Khalkis, and Demetrias) and removing the garrison from each and then heading back west to the port at Oricum in modern day Albania and sailing back to Brundisium.

On this bike trip I am only going to do the section from Demetrias to Ioannina, which is just over the mountain pass between Thessaly and Epirus. The other sections I will complete later this year.

This trip is interesting for many reasons, not least of which is that this is what I think is the fastest route east to west across Greece and not the route Paullus took and that I biked in Trip I.

I spent a great day here in Volos yesterday. The museum here is just amazing - and even better, there was a dress rehearsal for a junior high production of Agamemnon on the museum steps! It was so cute and awesome. Food here is amazing (fried fresh tiny squids were a highlight) and every business seems to sell their own (delicious) home made tsipouro. Also, there is a full size reproduction of the Argo in the harbor!

So I am now off to first photograph Demetrias then cycle half way across the Thessalian plain and investigate the different areas where scholars think that the battle of Cynoscephelae was fought, and then bike the rest of the Thessalian plain and end in Karditsa. I am so excited to see Cynoscephelae! Yes, the battle was in 197 bc and not on the 194 route, but it is on the same path so I figured that I would investigate while I am here!

What happened to trip I?

Hello! I write this from Volos and the beginning of my second bike tour in Greece.

Trip I was a great success: 13 days out, 520 miles biked from Igoumenitsa to Delphi to just north of Katerini, much learned, beautiful sights (and sites!) seen, passes crossed, amazing people met, etc!

However, internet was scarce and I did not post to this blog even once. Trip II will be a different story! As the campgrounds in Greece appear the have closed for the season, this trip will have no camping which means more internet access which means blog posts.

 "But what about trip I?" You ask? No worries, when I get back from trip II I will be back in Athens for 3-4 weeks and will daily go through my notes and photos from trip I and post a daily account of that trip then. But for now,  on to trip II!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Trip Number one!

This blog will follow my bike trips along routes taken by Roman generals through Greece in the 2nd century BC - as well as other travels in Greece!

I set out on my first trip tomorrow, following the route of Lucius Aemilius Paullus in 168 BC from his landing in Greece until his victory at the Battle of Pydna 15 days later.

Here is the route of my first trip where A is Paullus' landing at Igoumenitsa, B is Delphi, C is Pella, and D is Amphipolis. Pydna is just north of Katerini on the map.

I will do my best to update this daily from the road and hope you enjoy reading it!