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Spain's own Acropolis and its Nicole Kidman link
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 @ 3:46 PM

ANCIENT civilisations and their impact on modern life are always a source of fascination. Romans and their legacy are everywhere in Europe, Spain especially, and Greek philosophers have influenced centuries of government and political science all over the continent.

The Greeks were, in fact, the Moors' go-to thinkers when it came to medicine, an area in which Spain's Mediaeval Arab inhabitants were pioneers – they scorned the Latin texts hitherto used in healthcare techniques and turned, instead, to those from Ancient Greece and India.

Acropolis now: The Parthenon of Cantabria (photo: Rodelar/Wikimedia Commons)

Turns out they were onto something – it was the Moors who discovered the circulatory system, and they were the first to use anaesthetics for operations. None of that biting a bit of wood when they sawed your leg off, like in northern Europe; the Muslims who spent 700 years in Spain gave their patients narcotics to numb the pain and make them sleepy.

Thank goodness for the Moors, then.

Both Roman and Greek architecture is everywhere in modern Europe, and beyond – basically, anything that involves, loosely, a column-and-arch structure was these people's idea.

And if you ever thought Ancient Greece sounded a bit dull and the writings to come out of it boring and heavy, that's because you haven't read the likes of Aristophanes. This prolific, and downright hilarious, playwright will prove to you how naughty words and raunchy ideas were not invented by your own generation.

In fact, the Spanish film version of his cheeky, feminist Lysistrata is so funny that even viewers who can't understand the language find themselves howling with mirth. 

Of course, to get a real feel for Ancient Greece, the place to be is Athens, the all-round perfect city in Plato's view and whose political and societal virtues were extolled in his Republic, and home to the majestic, splendid Acropolis with its stunning Parthenon structure overlooking the entire metropolis.

Or you could save yourself the air fare and go see the Parthenon in Cantabria instead.

Whilst there, you could take a stroll around the grounds of Nicole Kidman's haunted house – the one where she and her children were spooked by bumps in the night during World War II when her husband was away fighting.




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