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Postcard from... Athens

By Frida Bowman

Hi All!

Today we’re writing from a place called Poseidonia. Just joking. There is no such place... although there almost was. Let me tell you the story. 

We’re really writing from Athens. But why is this place not called “Poseidonia”? 

Once there was a King, who was half-man, half snake. His name was King Cecrops. He made the city strong and powerful and beautiful. All the gods wanted to protect his city. Two gods in particular loved the city. 

Those two gods were Athena and the mighty, mighty Poseidon, Zeus’s brother. 

Zeus said, “Maybe you two should compete against one another for who gets to name the city.”

They competed by giving gifts to the people. It was up to King Cecrops to decide which present was best. 

First Poseidon smashed his trident on the land and an amazing spring of saltwater came up. This represented sailing across the world. Poseidon offered them the gift of traveling over the seas. 

Another citizen walked over and took a sip of the water and immediately spat it out. “Too salty!” he said. “We refuse this gift.”

Next, it was Athena’s turn. She flicked her fingers and an olive tree grew up from the ground. One man walked over, picked an olive and ate it. 

“Yum!” he shouted. “This thing (the olive) is great!”


It was also very hot outside. Another man sat under the olive tree and fell asleep, it was so cool and lovely. His friend tried to wake him up, but he fell asleep too. Then, a little boy walked over, squeezed the olive and said, “this will make fantastic oil, especially for my toy chariot.”

Cecrops said, “Well, in honor of Athena, I am going to name this city Athens.”

I LOVE Olives!!

That is why, on the top of the hills in Athens, there are olive trees everywhere, still growing to this day. 

Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go and stuff my face with delicious, yummy olives. 

Owly said she almost heard Athena whisper to herself, “Something, something, something... we win!” 

Write to you next week, after you’ve had some olives too. Just make sure to spit out the seed!


Frida Bowman

P.S. The school Owly mentioned in the video is Elliniki Agogi. You can find out more about the school here:

If you haven’t join our Classical Wisdom Kids Club yet, now is the time! We just released our super fun ancient inventions - which you can make at home. Learn how here.

Postcard Replies

And now for some reader questions...

Hi Frida & Owly,

Where did you guys buy the portable clock? I want one! 

-Box (Age 9) 

Frida says: I bought it in a museum in Rhodes. It was a museum of ancient inventions. If you want to know more about it, you can watch the video we made of Owly playing with it. 


Hi Frida, 

I missed you!! I think all the machines are cool. 

-Carsen (Age 8) 

Frida: Me too! I want to be an inventor when I grow up... but I still want to do my postcards. 


Hi Frida & Owly, 

I think we should make robots like they did in Ancient Greece. But also, how many things did you find in the museum? What was your favorite thing in the museum? Can you make longer videos? So we could learn more about Ancient Greece. 

P.S. I can give you something Owly can have as a friend. 

-Athena (Age 8) 

Frida says: Hi Athena, there were fifty or more inventions in the museum. My favorite was the portable clock. Thanks for the offer of Owly’s friend! We’re moving around a lot now, but maybe when we get home Owly can do some Zoom calls. 


Have you done an explosion using soda and candy? 

- Cheea (Age 6)

Frida says: No, have you? It sounds... messy. 


Hi Frida! 

My favorite invention is an electric plane that is half pirate and half Navy…and it has missiles on its wings. Are there any tanks in the country where you are at? Because I’m obsessed with them. 

-Candy (Age 7) 

Frida says: Hmm... I don’t know if there are any tanks here. Probably??


Hi Frida & Owly, 

I have a question…Like how does it copy pictures?!

-Sparkles (Age 6) 

Frida says: I think it might work like how you trace something on one sheet of paper and a pencil attached to a bigger circle draws it on the other piece. You can even adjust the size of the copy. 


Hi Frida & Owly, 

You know how Owly liked the Owl? I’m going to take a picture of my wooden owl and send it to you so Owly has a friend. 

-Gold (Age 6) 

Frida says: Ooh, I think Owly would love that! Thank you!!

Owly says: Ooh, is it a she or a he? And what’s its name? 

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