Text and photos by Glenn Maffia
I was recently fortunate enough to be invited into the Temple precinct by one of the archaeologists after the area was closed to the public. Deep into the reaches of night the entire ambience was transformed into a hauntingly beautiful spectacle. No sound from the lively nightlife of the surrounding cafés penetrated into precinct and my imagination took flight.
I have postulated that many of the religious ceremonies conducted here during the Greco-Roman period could have been performed during this added gravity of darkness; perhaps illuminated merely by a number of oil lamps. Secrecy and mystery entwining to create the required awe in the attendees, in much the same way religions continue to be performances today. We have very little by way of archaeological evidence, but with a known penchant for ‘theatre’ I am sure that the ancient Greeks and Romans would have manipulated this manifestation to great advantage.