in the Malibu Times.
Why had I resisted visiting Cape Sounio on repeated visits to Athens? Is not its iconic 5th century BC Temple of Poseidon, with 15 of the 36 original Doric columns still standing some 200 feet above the Aegean Sea, a must on any traveler’s checklist?
The German philosopher Heidegger visited the Temple of Poseidon in 1962 and wrote, “These few standing columns were the strings of an invisible lyre, the song of which the far-seeing Delian god let resonate over the Cycladic world of islands ... this single gesture of the land suggests the invisible nearness of the divine.”
This is wrong on several levels. In that quote from Sojourns
, Martin's talking about the temple of Zeus in Nemea, a valley where athletic games were held on years that didn't have an Olympiad.
other place of the Greek athletic games, present as
well in the Victory Odes of Pindar.
The wide floor of the valley, where the lone
village of Nemea is nestled, is surrounded by terraced
slopes; flocks of sheep stroll leisurely through
its pastures. The entire region itself appears as a single
Stadium that invites festive games. Only three columns are left standing that still speak of the temple of
Zeus that once was: in the breadth of the landscape
they are like three strings of an invisible lyre on which
perhaps the winds play songs of mourning, inaudible
to mortals-echoes of the flight of the gods.
Martin's "Temple of Poseidon", the one in OWA
, is in Paestum, up the coast from Elea, above the Tyrrhenian Sea. Maybe there's another.