The Greek key design symbolizes infinity or the eternal flow of life. It can also represent waves, the four compass points, the four seasons and snakes. The design was named "meander" after the twisting and turning of the Meander river in present-day Turkey. It was the most important symbol utilized in Ancient Greece.
The shape of the symbol — both angled and rounded — has been used as a decorative motif in architecture, in mosaic tiles and to encircle stone columns. Temples were widely decorated using the meander design, and it is common in Greek and Roman art. Furniture craftsmen often incorporate the meander into their wood carvings. Jewelry designers see the Greek key as representing the eternal bonds of friendship and love. Tattoo artists use it to signify a journey that has no particular destination planned.
Some historians believe that the Greek key symbol originated in the myth of the labyrinth, a garden maze formed by rectilinear paths separated by tall hedge-like vegetation. It has most notably been associated with the legend of Jason, a seafarer who led a band of adventurous heroes known as "the Argonauts." The Greek culture had many connections to the sea, and meandering water permeated their daily life and thoughts.Learn More
Ancient Grecian culture lasted through numerous governmental periods and changed drastically from one to the next, according to the website Ancient Greece. However, certain elements of Greek culture remained the same, such as the division between free man and slave, two primary social classes and a thriving public life.Full Answer >
The most common type of money that was used in Greece was called the drachma and was the official currency of Athens. Although it was Athens currency, it could be used in most of the cities of Greece because Athens had strong trade relations with the rest of the cities.Full Answer >
None of the original Greek masks have survived time to be studied, but records indicate that the masks were made from organic materials like stiffened linen, bark, wood or leaves. The masks that exist today are made of terracotta and were not worn by actors. The terracotta versions were put outside the theaters for decorations or were put on temples as offerings to the gods.Full Answer >
Thespis was reputedly the first actor to perform in Greek theater as an individual character instead of as part of a chorus. He introduced the style of theater known as tragedy and was also the first actor to travel from city to city on theatrical tours.Full Answer >