Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Design Diary 5: Ancient Greece


To create an Authentic Atlantean Culture I needed to research Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Greek, and Ancient Indian culture to some degree. Like I said before, Clio the Muse of History is a stern mistress. Art imitates life and often than not, life imitates art.

I figured to create an Atlantis Campaign Setting that is based on Greek Culture initially, but has some strong influence from Egyptian, Indian, and ancient Israeli culture as well. A hodg-podge? Not really. This is Atlantis 600 B.C. Set in North America, around the area of the Finger Lakes (I'll explain that one in a moment.)

In my research, Khan Amore's website on Hypatia (Hi-pasha, I believe is how it's pronounced) was the most illuminating next to the text found in the book Greek Society (Fifth Edition) by Frank J. Frost. To put it to a tee, creating an Ancient Civilization for Fantasy Roleplaying based on the Greeks needs to include their ancient wisdom and knowledge. Which was surprisingly quite vast compared to our knowledge base. In fact, with our advanced physical science breaking the barrier into Zero Point Energy theory -- and it's potential of uniting Relativity with Quantum Mechanics -- we have surpassed what the Greeks bequeathed to us through Hypatia.

Who was Hypatia?

Hypatia of Alexandria was perhaps one of the greatest women in history. Hypatia had a mission to preserve what was in the Museum (what was left of the Great Library of Alexandria) for future generations. Hypatia preserved what the generation of the Danse Macbre would discover and provoke the Rennaissance. She wasn't a mother, but a Natural Philosopher and Teacher who was killed by so called "Christians" in a most grusome way: she was stripped buck naked and dismembered on an Alexandrian church altar. The "Christians" responsible for her death were not true Christians at all as they wanted to suppress scientific and mathematical progress . . . something they managed to do for at least one thousand and one hundred years.

But her preservation of Greek Wisdom and Science were seeds that would blossom after the terrible Bubonic Plague and the mighty and not so godly Crusades as the Roman Catholic Church sought to reclaim the Levant for all of Christendom. However, it is interesting to note that Hypatia's seeds of knowledge would not bloom until after the Bible was translated into other languages; and Martin Luther noticed some inconsistencies with the teachings of the Bible and how the Catholic Church operated.

Since Atlantis is a product of Greek Wisdom, as it flowed from Plato, it's best to think of Atlantis' core cultural root as Greek. Although there will be strong influence from the other three, Greek Culture -- such as the Olympics, Philosophy, and Art will come to dominate my version of Atlantis.

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