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Greek Tholos in Tamil

Greek   Tholos in Tamil

                            The word   tholos is the corrupted   word for   thoppul   of the Tamil language.  Thoppul   had  been  modified   in to  toplou   and  toplou was  then corrupted  to   tholou  and later to tholos  in the language  that existed  in ancient  pre Hellenic period .   Thus tholos   is nothing but   the umbilicus.  Alternatively  tholos  could  also   be related  to ”  thulai  “ which means  hole  in  Tamil.[Refer: mathala] .The Thulai  is  the entry point in to the abdomen  or  to the uterus  though the umbilical cord.

                        The Delphi Tholos

            Tholos is a generic name signifying a round stone chamber.


                                Archaeologically we know but little about the early beginnings of Delphi. Excavations have revealed the site was a Mycenaean village from 1500 to 1100 BCE, during which time the primary religious emphasis was on an oracular cult of the Earth Goddess. Around 1000 BCE the worship of Apollo became dominant when this new god was brought to the region by either Dorian from Crete or northern tribes from Thessaly. The oracular use of the site continued during Apollo's occupation and Delphi achieved Pan-Hellenic fame as a major oracle shrine by the 7th century BCE.


                                   Located roughly one-half mile from the main concentration of buildings at Delphi, Athena Pronaia was the gateway to Delphi. The site, having been occupied since the Neolithic Period (5000-3000 BCE) and later by the Mycenaeans, may actually predate Delphi as a sacred place. Originally dedicated to the worship of an Earth Goddess, the shrine was eventually occupied by Olympian deities, Athena in particular. Athena's shrine stood near the entrance to Apollo's; hence the epithet 'of the fore-shrine', which is confirmed by inscriptions. Athena Pronaia, 'Athena before the Temple', was also called, by a sort of pun, Athena Pronoia, 'Athena of forethought.'



The tholos at the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia at Delphi was built sometime between 400-375 BCE and was probably designed by Theodorus of Phocaea, who is said to have written a treatise devoted to the temple structure (Lawrence 1957, 184).    

                 The circular shape of the tholos at Delphi is not unusual in Greek architecture, and in this case its shape, coupled with the leaf-adorned capitals of the Corinthian columns of the cella's interior, are said to be representative of the sacred forests of the Earth Goddess Religion. Vincent Scully (1979) states, “The omphalos, or navel, which was supposed to mark the center of the world, was kept in the sanctuary of Apollo's temple itself (in the center of nearby Delphi), but the tholos of Athena's sanctuary more clearly seems to evoke the navel of the earth than does the other building there.”

                        The use of tholos, as all the circular buildings in Greek actuaries, remains still dark even it is supposed that is related with chthonian cults.   Perhaps the most photographed building from the Greek world, the tholos at Delphi continues to puzzle and perplex.   Greek temples are built to a very regular, rectangular design, like the Parthenon. So why is this building round? Is it a temple at all?

                           The Tholos at the sanctuary of  Athena   Pronaia is a circular building that 20 Doric     columns arranged with an exterior diameter of 14.76 meters, with 10  Corinthian  columns in the interior.



                              ……..  26 columns standing for 26 thousand years ( the sun

required 25,796 solar years to return to its starting point at 0 degrees of Aries on the vernal equinox) comprise  the exterior Doric colonnade. The inner colonnade consisted of 14 columns of the Corinthian order and represents the Moon's monthly cycle. Hence, the circular building of the Tholos was a complete astronomical monument.

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                       From the above said  ideas   it is  understood  that  the  meaning  for the  round  structure  of  tholos  is not known. The rounded tholos is nothing but the protruded umbilicus   of the new born baby. [Ref; Vincent scully]The  tholos  or  the protruded  umbilicus  was  the  earliest  form of   fertility  worship  of pre- Hellenic people.   The protruded umbilicus   surrounded by   a dimple   was later worshipped as -Lingam -yoni   during latter period in India.   If it is truly a   lingam in its origin the glans penis should be within the yoni and should not be pointing   upwards.  In between, in the history of humanity. The same tholos was worshipped as the obelisk --Sun god/fire worship.  Tholos   signify the image of fire, When the ancient man made fire by spurning a stick [hand drill] in a small cup like wooden base/holder filled with dry leaves [fire making by Friction method].  There is dispute regarding the number of columns in the tholos.  Generally  it  is  said  that  the  total number  of  columns  are  20 +10.   If  we  take  26  +14  columns [] as the  real number,  the  26  outer columns  represents  the  beginning of  the  day  of menstrual  bleed [-cycle of  28 days]  and  the  14  internal columns  represents  the  14 th    day,  the time for   of ovulation.  The total 40 columns signify the total number of weeks of gestation .i.e.  Pregnancy   period.

Fire making.




                         Friction fire making   (fire plough) .     


              Fire can be created through    friction  created by rapidly grinding pieces of wood   against each other or a hard surface. Any type of wood can be used, though softer woods are easier.

The hand drill  is  debated to be the oldest method of fire by friction, characterized by the use of a thin, straightened wooden shaft or reed to be spun with the  hands , grinding within a notch against the soft wooden base of a fire board (a wooden board with a carved notch in which to catch heated wood fibers created by friction). This repetitive spinning and downward pressure causes black dust to form in the notch of the fireboard, eventually creating a hot, glowing   coal . The coal is then carefully placed onto suitable tinder and fanned gently until flame is produced.

The bow drill     uses the same principle as the hand drill (friction by rotation of wood on wood), but the spindle is shorter, wider (about the size of a human's thumb) and driven by a bow, which allows longer strokes. With a well-built bow drill and enough practice, fire can be easily created even in wet conditions.

Another simple fire making tool using friction is a   fire plough . It consists of a stick cut to a dull point, and a long piece of wood with a groove cut down its length. The point of the first piece is rubbed against the groove of the second piece   in a   "plowing" motion, rapidly, to produce hot dust that then becomes a coal. A split is often made down the length of the grooved piece, so that oxygen can flow freely to the coal/ember. Once hot enough, the coal is introduced to the tinder, more oxygen is added by blowing and the result is ignition.

    St. Peter's cathedral--     Square---     Roma.     The    Obelisk    or    the    tholos in the center    of    the     Tholoe pai    or    the Delphi.


The glans of the lingam is pointing upwards   instead of contained within the yoni.

          The lingam has the glans pointing upwards rather than within the yoni .  

Fire making.

Islamic tholos.


                        Blue Mosque with the tholos at the top.







           Buddist's  stupa---  Buddist's  tholos.


            Florence  cathedral with the tholos  at  the top.
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