Paros - Parikia and its immediatly vicinity - Archilochus


Archilochus is the other side of the Greek literary me dallion from Homer. He lived in the mid 7th century bc and was therefore writing more than one hun dred years after Homer. His subjects are not heroic but human; his metre not monumental, but flexible and profoundly mimetic of speech; his stance not el evated but involved, witty, passionate, bitter, erotic, funny and self-ironic by turns. In the metaphor that he himself coined—‘the fox knows many things; the hedgehog knows one great thing’—he was the arche typal, multi-facetted fox. He presents for the reader his own constantly changing moods and experiences of living. He writes the earliest love-lyric lines in Greek, is often seen as the father of satire, and had a profound formal influence on Horace. Reading him today still gives unexpected pleasure.
   Like some Renaissance condottiere, Archilochus was both poet and professional soldier. He was pos sibly the bastard son of an aristocratic Parian family, and accompanied his father, Telesikles, on the crucial mission from Paros to colonise the island of Thasos . He lived there unhappily for a while—perhaps to get away from his native island where he had been bitterly disappointed: a certain Lycambes who had promised his daughter, Neobule, to Archilochus in marriage, later withdrew his consent, drawing the sharpest satire of early literature upon his head and that of his offspring. Its effect was said ultimately to have destroyed them. But Archilochus is certainly not all bitterness or anger: his honesty and his self awareness are always life-enhancing. Though an effective soldier, in one battle against a Thracian tribe he threw away his shield and fled the battle-field: in no way ashamed of his action, he commemorates its realism instead and comments wryly that he could easily get himself another shield anyway. He relates the incident with ironic humour in a way that heralds the coming of age of a new Greek humanism. His verse celebrates a pugnacious freedom and in dividualism. He was killed around 652 bc, in a battle against Naxian forces, by a certain Calondas, called ‘Corax’, ‘the crow’. The oracle of Apollo at Delphi cursed Calondas for having slain a favourite both of Apollo and of the Muses.
   The sensitivity and nervous energy of his writings (which have come down to us in only fragmentary form) are inseparable from the formal metre in which they are written. The invention of short flexible units of iambic trimeters and trochaic tetrameters, and the loose arrangement of the epode as a structure, gave his verse the agility to change mood as quickly as the weather. Archilochus’s greatness was never in doubt throughout Antiquity, and it is revealing of the Greek temperament that he was revered almost as much as Homer was; hence the elaborate heroon here on Paros, where the poet’s cult could be perpetuated. The monument was said to be the haunt of hornets and wasps.

Travel Guide to Paros & Greece


Paros Island, the Cyclades.
By air: Olympic Air operates two 35-minute flights between Athens and Paros daily. The airport is 10.5km from Parikiá.
By boat: There are generally two daily car-ferry connections (4hrs 30mins) to Paros from Piraeus (most regularly with Blue Star Ferries) in the summer, with frequency drop ping in the winter. This is augmented in the summer months (late June– late Sept), by up to four high-speed services daily (minimum 3hrs journey), divided equally between the ports of Piraeus and Rafina for Athens. These services provide an average of three onward connections daily to Naxos , Ios and Santorini.
Paros Travel Guide


Paros Island, the Cyclades.
Paros, -Levantis, on Agora Street in Parikiá, is one of the best places to eat in the Cyclades, for food that is refined and yet still Greek: the setting is simple and unpretentious, the cuisine sophisticated and delicious, and the service attentive and pleasant. More expensive and with a refined menu which offers nonetheless some excellent dishes, is Daphne in Gravari Street. Amongst the myriad eateries around the three harbours of Náousa, the easternmost taverna on the north shore, Glafkos, has excellent seafood and welcoming service. Le Sud is also good for more var ied and sophisticated cuisine. In Léfkes, "I Pezoula tis Lichoudias", is tiny, and undoubtedly a little artificial, but some of the home-made Greek dishes are nonetheless traditional and of local inspiration.
Paros Travel Guide

further reading

Paros Island, the Cyclades.
Thomas Hope’s Anastasius, or Memoirs of a Greek, first published in 1819, is partly based on Nicholas Mavrogenis (see p. 34–35) of Paros and his world and times. The book caused a sensation when it was first published in London; Byron privately admitted that he wished he had been its author. A paperback edition was reissued in 2001, by Elibron Classics. Paros: History, Monuments etc. by Yannos Kourayos (Athens 2004) is an exemplary guide to the island’s antiquities—clear, authoritative and to the point. For the remarkable figure of the Marquis de Nointel and his Christmas mass in the Cave of Antiparos, see: Henri Omont, Relation de la visite du Marquis de Nointel à la grotte d’Antiparos (1673), Bulletin de géographie historique et descriptive, 1892 (4), pp. 4–33, and Albert Vandal, L’Odyssée d’un ambassadeur. Les voyages du Marquis deNointel (1670–1680), Paris, 1900. Theodore Bent, The Cyclades, or Life among the Insular Greeks (1885), reis sued 2002 by Archaeopress, Oxford in the ‘3rd Guides’ series, contains his descriptions of making the earliest excavations of prehistoric Cycladic remains on Antiparos.

Paros Travel Guide


Paros Island, the Cyclades.
Paros has no shortage of smart places to say: but for simplicity and unpretentious comfort, the following can be recommended. The intimate, family-run Hotel Dina in the heart of Parikiá, could not be more central, and is inexpensive, comfortable and quiet (T. 22840 21325, fax 23525, On the edge of Náousa, Yades Studios provide tasteful accommodation with help ful management (T./fax 22840 51072, www.yades. gr). Beautifully appointed, and with full facilities, is the excellent Hotel Petres (T. 22840 52467, fax 52759,; open Easter– mid-Oct). The hotel is set back in the hinterland to the south of Náousa, but with beautiful views north over Plastiras Bay.
Paros Travel Guide

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