Ancient History History

The Sacred Triangle of Greece

On my last trip to Greece a few weeks ago, I went to the temple of Aphaia on Aegina. Being there reminded me a little of my visit to the temple of Poseidon at Sounion, where you are also greeted with a stunning view. When I posted some pictures online, someone sent me a very interesting message.

The temple of Poseidon at Sounion
The temple of Hephaestus on the Agora

An iscocEles triangle

So apparently, the temple of Aphaia in Aegina, the temple of Poseidon in Sounion and either the temple of Hephaestus on the Agora on the Acropolis from an isosceles triangle. In geometry this is a triangle which has two or at least two equal sides. So I decided to put all of the temples into a map on Google Maps and connected the dots. Lo and behold, one such triangle appears. 

Interestingly, these four temples were also built within a few years of one another. This poses the question: were these temples purposely positioned according to a greater design and if so what was the purpose of this? There are several theories, but one of the most interesting one is that these religious sites were chosen according to astronomy or mythology, an idea also called ‘sacred geography’.  The idea that the Greeks choose to built and align their temples in accordance with a grander scheme is interesting, especially as the Parthenon, the temple of Apollo in Delphi and the temple of Aphaia apparently make up another isosceles triangle. However, due to the lack of written evidence to support a theory such as this, I’m afraid we will never truly know if the placing of these temples in such a triangle was done with a higher purpose in mind or if this is just a coincidence. It remains an interesting fact to share with you however!

What do you think? Do these temples form a triangle on purpose or is it just a coincidence? Let us know in the comments!

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