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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 71

Tales from Crete | 71

What's the meaning of life?

It is something that man has asked himself throughout the ages. Why are we here and what is the purpose? When does it end, when did it start, and what happens after death?

All these questions belong together with the meaning of life. Man is obsessed with always having to have a meaning to everything, because if there is no meaning - then what? There doesn't always have to be a meaning to something, but it doesn't matter, because humans are extremely skilled at creating meanings that don't actually exist.

From a Greek philosophical perspective, the idea is that man must constantly develop to his full potential. But admittedly….it is a very philosophical consideration. However, it is also a consideration with a certain content, because the Greeks have, historically speaking, managed to develop their own potential, which has been expressed in, among other things, some of the inventions and forms of government that we still place our trust in to this day and which is absolutely fundamental to our society.

Did you know that it was the Greeks who invented the shower as we know it today. A system of aqueducts transported water into large, public baths, where rich and poor washed and bathed. The changing rooms were reminiscent of today's sports halls - even with hangers for clothes - and the Greeks developed systems to divert the waste water away again. The Romans took over and refined the bathing tradition, but after the collapse of the Roman Empire, the noble tradition of washing one's body was more or less forgotten until the 19th century.

It was also the Greeks who had a great influence on mathematics. Way back in Babylon and ancient Egypt - back to 3,000 before the birth of Christ, mathematics was known. Arithmetic, algebra ("letter arithmetic") and geometry were used in business, in building and construction, and in astronomy, but not until the Greeks took hold in Antiquity (600-300 BC) did a systematic development of mathematics begin. Since then, millions of schoolchildren have struggled with the Pythagorean triangle, trigonometry and "the golden ratio".

The Greeks "invented" or at least also introduced the Jury around 500 BC. Everyone had the right to take an opponent to court, and a judge decided - after hearing the parties - whether the case could be framed. The jury could consist of up to 500 people to avoid the possibility of bribery. No one could afford to bribe so many, and the jurors had to swear that they would give equal weight to the testimony of both parties. Does it sound contemporary..?

Perhaps even more contemporary is the Pizza that we either buy at the local Pizzaria, make ourselves or buy a frozen one from the supermarket's frozen counter. In ancient Greece, people liked to cover their bread with cheese, oil and spices. The Greeks called it Pita and it is reasonable to assume that over the centuries it has become the well-known pizza. Personally, I am now probably most inclined to believe that pizza, as we know it today, comes from Naples. But it's not something I say out loud when I occasionally get a pizza with my Greek friends, because then I'll probably have it read and signed.

Well, you get really hungry after sitting and scrutinizing the origin of the pizza, so maybe it should be on the table tonight. My own favorites are definitely the ones we make ourselves in our pizza oven on the terrace in the summer, but it's still a little too cold to stand outside and cook, but luckily we're moving towards warmer times now.

And to end at the beginning of this little food talk, it has also always been an open question whether you eat to live or live to eat. - You decide that yourself.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Tales from Crete | Elena's - The taste of Greece

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