Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World IV in Second Life: The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.

Edmund Spenser

          This is the fourth story in my Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in Second Life (SL) series.   My last trip to find Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was, let me say it, a flop. 
          This time, I’m back in the saddle again!  I went looking for the Statue of Zeus at Olympia and found it!  OK, I had to go to the Spartan Empire but that’s a minor detail.  After all, the original’s location is not known definitely. 
For the late arrivals, my rationale for this series about the Wonders of the Ancient World is that I’ve been blogging about a variety of topics in Second Life (SL) lately.  Fashion, steampunk, sex, pirates, and friendship to name but a few.  (I’m nothing if not eclectic.)  However, I feel I’ve gotten away from my roots.  My original intention was to travel across the grid to see new places and meet new people.  I think I’m doing pretty well with the latter but the former maybe not so much. 
A group of places that I’ve always wanted to visit in Real Life (RL) and have been frustrated mostly by time and to a certain extent by distance is the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.   Given that only one of them still stands and that unfortunately seems to be surrounded by a swirl of political turmoil which looks like it won’t be ending any time soon, SL seems to be a pretty good bet to go looking for them.  (Significant Other also likes the idea of me not clocking up any more frequent flyer miles in RL.) This is the fourth in what will be a series of seven stories. 
The ancient world has always had a certain fascination for me.  Maybe because I grew up in a country where we seem to have more people who are over one hundred years old than we have buildings and monuments has something to do with it. 
Working from Wikipedia’s list of the Seven Wonders, I was able to locate all seven within SL.  This was a good sign and I have my marching orders.  I’m going to visit all of them for my own sake and to bring the places and stories back to my readers. 
I arrive in the Spartan Empire.  The landing zone overlooks the harbor and ships of the Spartan navy can be seen in the distance. I begin to walk towards the Temple of Zeus.  (On an earlier visit to locate the site, King Jaen of Sparta had been kind enough to guide me there.) 
I walk towards an impressive looking classic Greek temple that’s maybe three stories tall.  Upon entering the building I see an impressive statue of Zeus at the far end of the sanctuary.  The builders have done a very good job of giving the statue a blinding effect from the reflected light. 
All is quiet.  RL temples and churches should be this quiet. 
The surrounding neighborhood contains a collection of buildings in the ancient Greek style.  (One has to look past the Christmas decorations though at this time of the year for the full effect!)  Shops offer period merchandise and posters announce events and recruitment for the Spartan army.  (I have enough trouble with RL politics without getting mixed up with inworld wars.)
Like my three previous trips, I didn’t have any interaction with anyone.  I can see people in the distance but that’s all.  This brings me back to that idea that’s been forming in my mind since I began this journey that maybe some places in SL are just meant to be viewed and not occupied.  This may also explain the low readership I’m having with this series.  (OK, maybe it’s my writing but I’m working on that!)  I’ll explore this idea in future stories and with other residents. 
My first visit had left me worried about whether or not I was wasting my time with this series of stories.  My second visit reaffirmed my original enthusiasm for the project.  This trip was not a success but I’ll go on.  The third was a disappointment because I couldn’t find my goal.  This time I was successful.  I hope that the remaining three Ancient Wonders meet or exceed my expectations.  (Assuming that I can find them.) 
As I wrote earlier, my travels across SL have brought me to many different places.  Admittedly, many of these journeys were random.  Now, I’m moving along on a journey with a purpose.  (Maybe I’m growing up?  Significant Other may have another opinion here.)  Searching for the famous sites from antiquity seems like a worthwhile thing to do. 
My reasons for this journey still stand.  First, how much of the ancient world can I find inworld?  Second, how well has the ancient world been reconstructed?  My travels to date have brought me in contact with many residents who are either building worlds in SL or are living their virtual lives there. 
The Great Pyramid, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis, and the Statue of Zeus are just the first stops on this journey and I have three left. Anyone who would still like to join me for part or all of it, please reach out to me and we’ll work out the calendars.  I’d be glad for the company! 
I’ve included links to several pictures I took of the sim I visited.  But check the sitesout for yourselves.  Pictures, especially when I’m the photographer, are never as good as being there. 
The dress code is ancient but free costumes are available and I encourage everyone who visits to respect the role playing environment. 
As always, I’m grateful to all for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

     If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.

Photo No. 1 Statue of Zeus
Photo No. 2 Temple Interior

Photo No. 3 Temple Exterior
Photo No. 4 Sparta Dress Code

Photo No. 6 Spartan Empire Harbor

Photo No. 8 Spartan Empire Local Accommodations


Anonymous said...

Not enough info on obtaining costumes (When in Rome, dress as the Romans?)

webspelunker said...

I'll include sources for period costumes in future blogs.

Thanks for reading!