centaur at the acropolis

How the Acropolis Museum Relates to Harry Potter

A visit to the Acropolis Museum is a must if you are visiting Athens.  It contains treasures which have been salvaged from the Acropolis itself. But how do you interest children with visiting a museum of priceless treasures that are in assorted stages of ruin?  I was wondering about this issue when I was going through the museum on my kid-free trip to Athens.

Acropolis Museum
Image: Visit Greece

acropolis museum

I had a light bulb moment while listening to a Greek tour guide explaining about Nike, the goddess of victory whose characteristics sound very similar to something in the wizarding game of Quidditch.

Not only do the Greek myths spin a good yarn but you can make  them current by comparing them with the beloved Harry Potter series.  Just about every kid (and adult) I know loves Harry Potter and has read the books (or at least seen the movies).

Greek Mythology and the Harry Potter universe

Did you know these 3 bits of trivia that overlap ancient myths with JK Rowling’s fantasy world?

  • A tour guide at the Acropolis Museum mentioned that the Ancient Greeks portrayed Nike, the goddess of victory, with wings because victory was hard to obtain and even harder to keep.  I immediately thought of Harry Potter playing the game of Quidditch.  The team that catches the snitch is the automatic winner.  The snitch though is a winged ball which is difficult to catch and slippery to hold.

victory

  • In another example, the goddess Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and war.  In Roman mythology, Athena was named Minerva which is also the first name of Professor McGonagall, the steadfast and wise Assistant Headmistress at Hogwarts.  Professor McGonagall became the Headmistress when Hogwarts was under siege in the war between the Deatheaters and Harry’s gang.

athena statue in acropolis

  • Other Greek mythology/Harry Potter mythology parallels are not so obscure.  This depiction of a centaur which is a half-human, half-horse being in Greek mythology?  In the Harry Potter universe, Harry Potter has a divination teacher, Firenze, who is a centaur.

centaur at the acropolis

There are many more parallels between the Greek myths and the world that JK Rowling created.  The connection between Greek mythology and the Harry Potter universe is pretty well known even if I hadn’t clocked all the connections.  Check out this quick quiz created specifically for children.  I personally have found that visiting museums with children is more fun if they are engaged in what they are seeing.  For example, at the Louvre we went through all the different and gory ways people could die (as depicted in famous paintings).

Visiting the Acropolis Museum:

The Acropolis Museum is open daily all year round except for certain public holidays.  Admission to the Acropolis Museum is a different fee from that to the Acropolis itself.  Children under the age of 5 years old from non-EU countries and people under the age of 18 years old from EU countries go free.  Otherwise, admission is 5 Euros.  Backpacks with activities for children to do as they tour the museum are available for families.

Published by

Shobha

I am an American expat based in London with my travel-loving family. I write at Just Go Places Blog about luxury, cultural and family travel.

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