Poiseidon's own temple, of a stadium in length and half a stadium in width, and of a proportionate height, having a sort of barbaric splendor. All the outside of the temple, with the exception of the pinnacles, they covered with silver, and the pinnacles with gold. In the interior of the temple the roof was of ivory, adorned everywhere with gold and silver and orichalcum; all the other parts of the walls and pillars and floor they lined with orichalcum. In the temple they placed statues of gold: there was the god himself standing in a chariot--the charioteer of six [sea] horses--and of such a size that he touched the roof of the building with his head; around him there were a hundred Nereids riding on dolphins, for such was thought to be the number of them in that day. There were also in the interior of the temple other images which had been dedicated by private individuals. And around the temple on the outside were placed statues of gold of all the ten kings and of their wives; and there were many other great offerings, both of kings and of private individuals, coming both from the city itself and the foreign cities over which they held sway. ("Plato's Dialogues," Critias. )My idea is that the capital city of Atlantis in Plato's description was butilt in the caldera of an extinct volcano and that many of the features of the description are volcanic in origin.The "Poseidon' temple is the pyramidal volcanic neck, an erosional feature that stood out like a conical mound some hundreds of feet in diameter and possibly some hundreds of feet high on the outside. there was a tunnel bored through this aligned East and West, to allow the sunlight in at the beginning and the end of the day for certain rituals. "Potei Dan" was the "Potent Lord", originally a fertility deity but evidently changed into a solar deity in the days of the Atlantean empire. The temple was dedicated to a divine pair, the Earth mother and her son the Sun.The god had many similarities to the Indian Shiva and he was identified as the Bull (Bison) God.
The parallel Egyptian texts speak of the god in the form of a pillar (Obelisk) and it seems that in the 'Poseidon' temple the pillar which ran from floor to ceiling was actually the shaft of the volcanic vent originally, now hardened into hardened rock and harder than the surrounding rock. The surrounding rock had been excavated away to create a central conical chamber with smaller rooms coming off of it: and the area of the interconnected artificial caves was about 300 feet across. The tunnel which went East and West was about 600 feet long. it was partially coincidental that the Atlanteans used a unit of measure of 600 feet, which coincided with the Greek Stadium, but there are good reasons why this should be and we have stated them on this blog before.
|In Megalithic Europe a "statue" was a standing stone with a facemask on it|
The later Greek variation on this was called a Herm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herma
Since the god was in the form of a pillar, it seems to me that the statue of 'Poseidon in his chariot' was actually a lingam-yoni paired structure such as you see commonly in the orient
The Shiva Lingam and Yoni is a statue that symbolizes the balance of male and female, the power of creative energy and fertility in the Hindu culture. The lingam represents the god Shiva or male sex organ and is the appearance in which he is most commonly depicted that virtually always rests on a stylized yoni, or female sex organ.
The area surrounding the central Lingam-Yoni statue had a hundred statues of mermaid goddesses, each one associated with a dolphin,each statue covered over with gold. I have chosen to represent these Goddesses with a Neolithic Egyptian "Mermaid" goddess design. Since there are two-fifties of these goddesses, there may be a calendrical significance to them (the count of them as "a hundred" is probably inexact)
The temple was evidently created to celebrate the divine marriage of the goddess and the god and the religion had something of a Tantric component
n the Ancient Near East along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers there were many shrines and temples or "houses of heaven" dedicated to various deities. According to the 5th-century BC historian Herodotus, the rites performed at these temples included sexual intercourse, or what would now be called sacred prostitution:The foulest Babylonian custom is that which compels every woman of the land to sit in the temple ofAphrodite and have intercourse with some stranger once in her life. Many women who are rich and proud and disdain to mingle with the rest, drive to the temple in covered carriages drawn by teams, and stand there with a great retinue of attendants. But most sit down in the sacred plot of Aphrodite, with crowns of cord on their heads; there is a great multitude of women coming and going; passages marked by line run every way through the crowd, by which the men pass and make their choice. Once a woman has taken her place there, she does not go away to her home before some stranger has cast money into her lap, and had intercourse with her outside the temple; but while he casts the money, he must say, “I invite you in the name of Mylitta” (that is the Assyrian name for Aphrodite). It does not matter what sum the money is; the woman will never refuse, for that would be a sin, the money being by this act made sacred. So she follows the first man who casts it and rejects no one. After their intercourse, having discharged her sacred duty to the goddess, she goes away to her home; and thereafter there is no bribe however great that will get her. So then the women that are fair and tall are soon free to depart, but the uncomely have long to wait because they cannot fulfil the law; for some of them remain for three years, or four. There is a custom like this in some parts of Cyprus.Herodotus's account is corroborated by a number of other ancient authors, by whose testimony it appears that not only in Babylonia and Cyprus, but throughout the Near East, ancient societies encouraged the practise of sacred prostitution. The British anthropologistJames Frazer accumulated citations to prove this, in a chapter of his magnum opus The Golden Bough (1890-1915), and this has served as a starting point for several generations of scholars.
Two major forms of sacred prostitution were traditionally distinguished: temporary prostitution of unwed girls (with variants such as dowry-prostitution, or public defloration of a bride), and life-long prostitution.
According to the noted Assyriologist Samuel Noah Kramer, kings in the ancient Near Eastern region of Sumer established their legitimacy by taking part in a ritual sexual act in the temple of the fertility goddess Ishtar, every year on the tenth day of the New Year festival Akitu
The practice of sacred prostitution has not been substantiated regarding any Ancient Near Eastern cultures, despite many popular descriptions of the habit. It is a general belief among scholars that a form of "sacred marriage" ritual or hieros gamos was staged between the king of a Sumerian city-state and the High Priestess of Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare, but to date there is no certain evidence that sexual intercourse was included. Along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers there were many shrines and temples dedicated to Inanna. The temple of Eanna, meaning "house of heaven" in Uruk was the greatest of these.
The temple housed priestesses of the goddess, but there is no evidence whatsoever that any kind of sexual services were performed by them or other women included in any cult.
- Stephanie Budin, The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity (Cambridge University Press, 2009); see also the book review by Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, April 28, 2009.
- Herodotus, The Histories 1.199, tr A.D. Godley (1920)
- J.G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, abridged edition (1922),Chapter 31: Adonis in Cyprus; see also the more extensive treatment in the 3rd edition of The Golden Bough, volumes 5 and 6 (published 1914). Frazer's argument and citations are reproduced in slightly clearer fashion by Fernando Henriques,Prostitution and Society: a study (3 vols., London : MacGibbon & Kee, 1962-1968), vol. I, ch. 1.
- Herodotus and Strabo are the only sources mentioned by Frazer that were active prior to the 2nd century AD; his other sources include Athenaeus, pseudo-Lucian, Aelian, and the Christian church historians Sozomen and Socrates of Constantinople.
- Fernando Henriques, Prostitution and Society: a study (3 vols., London : MacGibbon & Kee, 1962-1968), vol. I, ch. 1.
- S.N. Kramer, The Sacred Marriage Rite: Aspects of Faith, Myth and Ritual in Ancient Sumer.
- Eusebius, Life of Constantine, 3.55 and 3.58
- James Frazer (1922), The Golden Bough, 3e, Chapter 31: Adonis in Cyprus
- é-an-na = sanctuary ('house' + 'Heaven'[='An'] + genitive) [John Halloran's Sumerian Lexicon v. 3.0 -- see link below]
- Modern-day Warka, Biblical Erech.
- Budin, Stephanie Lynn, The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity
- Assante, Julia 1998. "The kar.kid/[kh]arimtu, Prostitute or Single Woman? A Reconsideration of the Evidence," Ugarit-Forschungen; 30:5-96
- Assante, Julia 2003. "From Whores to Hierodules: the Historiographic Invention of Mesopotamian Female Sex Professionals," pp. 13-47 in Ancient Art and Its Historiography, edited A. A. Donahue and Mark D. Fullerton. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University
- Yamauchi, Edwin M. 1973. "Cultic Prostitution: a Case Study in Cultural Diffusion," pp. 213-222 in Orient and Occident: Essays Presented to Cyrus H. Gordon, edited H. Hoffner. Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany: Kevelaer
Identification with deities
Because of these traditions it seems to me that the parts of Platos story that speak of the Marriage of Cleito and Poseidon and the foundation of the Temple of Cleito and Poseidon on the Sacred Hill of Atlantis refer to a ritual of Sacred Marriage as routinely practiced in the temple by the king and high priestess for the benefit of the land. Decorations of the upper galleries of the artificial cave would have been dedication plaques of each performance of the Sacred Marriage and traditionally made of ivory, That would be what Plato referred to as the "Silver" decorations of the inside ceilings of the temple, and the carvings would have looked much like the Mithuna Loving Couple figures of Hindu Temple decorations
"The tale, which was of great length, began as follows: I have before remarked, in speaking of the allotments of the gods, that they distributed the whole earth into portions differing
in extent, and made themselves temples and sacrifices. And Poseidon, receiving for his lot the island of Atlantis, begat children by a mortal woman, and settled them in a part of the island which I will proceed to describe. On the side toward the sea, and in the centre of the whole island, there was a plain which is said to have been the fairest of all plains, and very fertile. Near the plain again, and also in the centre of the island, at a distance of about fifty stadia, there was a mountain, not very high on any side. In this mountain there dwelt one of the earth-born primeval men of that country, whose name was Evenor, and he had a wife named Leucippe, and they had an only daughter, who was named Cleito. The maiden was growing up to womanhood when her father and mother died; Poseidon fell in love with her, and had intercourse with her; and, breaking the ground, enclosed the hill in which she dwelt all round, making alternate zones of sea and land, larger and smaller, encircling one another; there were two of land and three of water, which he turned as with a lathe out of the centre of the island, equidistant every way, so that no man could get to the island, for ships and voyages were not yet heard of. He himself, as be was a god, found no difficulty in making special arrangements for the centre island, bringing two streams of water under the earth, which he caused to ascend as springs, one of warm water and the other of cold, and making every variety of food to spring up abundantly in the earth. He also begat and brought up five pairs of male children, dividing the island of Atlantis into ten portions: he gave to the first-born of the eldest pair his mother's dwelling and the surrounding allotment, which was the largest and best, and made him king over the rest; the others he made princes, and gave them rule over many men and a large territory. And he named them all: the eldest, who was king, he named Atlas, and from him the whole island and the ocean received the name of Atlantic.
The palaces in the interior of the citadel were constructed in this wise: In the centre was a holy temple dedicated to Cleito and Poseidon, which remained inaccessible, and was surrounded by an enclosure of gold; this was the spot in which they originally begat the race of the ten princes, and thither they annually brought the fruits of the earth in their season from all the ten portions, and performed sacrifices to each of them. Here, too, was Poiseidon's own temple..It does seem that the place where Poseidon and Cleito made love and produced the ten princes was given as the reason to put the temple there, and that Sacred Marriages were performed in the temple from that point on thereafter.This was also the location for the ceremonial Bull or Bison sacrifice which seems to be tied to both Sun worship and the duties of Kingship.