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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Founding Fathers?

Plato's writings about an ancient advanced civilization may not be altogether fantasy. New scientific research is raising some tantalizing new considerations. Was there indeed a great founding culture and people that gave rise to the well-known civilizations that ringed and navigated the Mediterranean and laid foundations for the emergence of European societies? Read more about this at Popular Archaeology.

Exploring the Early Years of Alexander the Great

In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great: from Boy to King

For more than 2,000 years Alexander the Great has excited the imagination of people around the globe. A tour in Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia offers a unique opportunity to retrace his early footsteps from his birth through to the beginning of his extraordinary 22,000 mile journey of conquest.

Traveling back through time, participants will explore the world in which Alexander grew up, from the palace in which he was born to the rural idyll where he and his companions were educated by Aristotle. They will learn about Alexander’s personality and the lives of the people who inhabited his tumultuous world. They will follow in his footsteps from young prince to king and trace these action-packed years as he took on the mantle of warrior and leader and embarked on his campaign of conquest of the Persian Empire.

Alexander’s formative years were dominated by the rapid expansion of the Macedonian kingdom, as his father Philip II carved out vast new provinces. Participants will learn about this expanded realm from East to West and North to South, following routes that Alexander took as regent to his father, the king, while familiarising himself with the land that he was born to rule. They will explore the lakes and forests of Western Macedonia, the new cities of Herakleia Lynkestis and Philippi that his father founded to secure his realm, and the rich and fertile heartland of the kingdom itself: Pella, Vergina and Edessa. They will visit the sites of some of the most famous sieges and battles that accompanied this rapid expansion, from the cities of Methone, Olynthos and Stageira to the battlefield of Chaironeia.

Having explored the epicenter of Alexander’s kingdom, and stood in the magnificent tomb where his father was laid to rest, the group will head south into the heartland of ancient Greece. Here they will investigate the cities and sanctuaries that played a key role in the development of Macedonia, from Delphi to Corinth, Olympia to Athens, some of the most significant sites in the ancient world.

The adventure finishes in the most important sanctuary of the Macedonians, Dion, where Alexander feasted with his men and prepared them for the battles and marches to come on their epic journey east.

For more detailed information about this escorted tour, see Peter Sommer Travels.

Photo courtesy Heinrich Hall/Peter Sommer travels.

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