Tomb Raider Art Encyclopendia Wiki

Lara enters the Greek level. It is called St. Francis’ Folly. It could be two meanings: the madness of St. Francis or the building of St. Francis, a folly. St. Francis might be the St. Francis of Assisi.

He later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and it became customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October. He is often remembered as the patron saint of animals. (from wikipedia)

So.. the madness of St. Francis of Assisi would be a description of a level packed with animals, we encounter: gorillas, lions, crocodiles and bats. 05.01 - The Omega symbol

Lara looking at a block that can be pushed on of two omega symbols. Omega is a Greek symbol which is logic for this level.  It has several meanings.

  • It is the last letter of the Greek Alphabet, also the number of 800.
  • Where Alpha is the beginning , then there is Omega, the end. A symbol of Christianity.
  • A symbol for death (as in the last letter, the end of everything). So beware to push the block… If Lara continues to the room with the switches she will encounter three Gorillaz and later Pierre DuPont. Isn’t that dangerous?
  • The Omega is also called a horseshoe, a reference of the two half man half horse guards (Centaur) in the tomb of Tihocan?

05.02 - Dragon

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It looks like a supporter for a coat of arms. First I thought of a griffin or a basilisk, but it is a dragon, a winged snake. I couldn't find it on the internet.

05.03 - Wrestling men

The original can be found here.

Funerary relief (510–500 BC) depicting wrestlers. Base of a funerary kouros found in Athens, built into the Themistokleian wall. Three sides are decorated in relief: wrestlers are on the front side, an unspecified athletic game (known as “Ball Players”) on the left side, a cat and dog fight scene on the right side.

05.04 - Blocks. 

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Couldn’t find it but it looks pretty. Overall the colors in TR1 are quite nice.

05.05 - Roof

The roof reminds me of the Pantheon in Rome. Lots of interesting things can be say about the former pagan building, now a church. Dome of the Pantheon on the second picture, from here.

05.06 - Symbols

On the roof of the temple there are some Greek symbols. This is a popular Greek symbol and can be often found on Greek buildings. It represents the sun also called a Swastika. Before you think.. ew.. “Swastika” it has something to do with the Nazi’s in Germany (1933-1945). You are wrong.

The swastika is a very very ancient symbol used by many cultures around the world, from asia to america, from Europe to Africa. It represents to sun, luck, the north-pole and many more.

05.07 - Neptune sign

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First of all Neptune is the god of the sea. A roman god. His Greek equivalent is Poseidon. One of his symbols is the dolphin (see next picture). So this mini level has everything to do with water.

05.08 - Dolphins.

The dolphins can also be seen in the Midas level. The scenery comes from the Minoans. They ruled from 2700 - 1100 BC. They share trade with the ancient Egyptians, with Cyprus, Canaan, Levatine coast and Anatolia.

Minoan cultural influence indicates an orbit extending through the Cyclades to Egypt and Cyprus. Fifteenth-century BC paintings in Thebes, Egypt depict Minoan-appearing individuals bearing gifts. Inscriptions describing them as coming from keftiu (“islands in the middle of the sea”) may refer to gift-bringing merchants or officials from Crete.[43]

And now the picture, it comes from the Knossos, a large city dug up by Arthur Evans in march 1900 . He did great work for his time. Isn’t it a beautify? Including the blue circles. And you know what? In TRIV this image has been reused in the Library level.

05.09 -  Stele

Found it on the website of wikimedia commons about the Collection of the British Museum. Found on the internet.

This is a marble votive relief dedicated to the goddess Artemis Bendis. The cult of the Thracian goddess Bendis (similar to the Greek Artemis) was introduced to Athens around 430 BCE along with other foreign cults. Here, the goddess is shown on a larger scale than her mortal worshippers. She wears her distinctive Phrygian cap, short tunic, high boots, and an animal skin over her left shoulder. The men may be athletes who participated in the torch relay race in honor of the goddess. c. 400-375 BCE. From Piraeus, Athens. (The British Museum, London).. (source)

05.10 - Atlas sign

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The Atlas room is very short and consist of a ball rolling down.. Atlas is a Greek god who holds the world on his shoulders. Thus: it would be the world that rolling down the slope. Sadly no interesting textures in this room.

05.11 - Thor room

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The Thor room was the only tricky room for me in the game. Thor is not an Greek deity but a Norse Deity of thunder and storm. His Greek equal would be Zeus but he throws lightning with his hands and Thor uses a hammer.

05.12 - Lightning bold

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This was very tricky for me to get pass. But the lightning is an symbol of Thor.

05.13 - Thor’s hammer called Mjölnir.

Old Norse Mjǫllnir /ˈmjɔlːnir/ regularly becomes Mjøllnir /ˈmjœlːnir/ in Old Icelandic by the 13th century.[2] The modern Icelandic form is Mjölnir, Norwegian and Danish  Mjølner, Swedish Mjölner.

The name is derived from a Proto-Germanic form *meldunjaz, from the Germanic root of *malanan “to grind” (*melwan, Old Icelandic meldr, mjǫll, mjǫl “meal, flour”),[6] yielding an interpretation of “the grinder; crusher”.

Additionally, there is a suggestion that the mythological

“thunder weapon” being named after the word for “grindstone” is of considerable, Proto-Indo-European (if not Indo-Hittite) age;

according to this suggestion, the divine thunder weapon (identified with lightning) of the storm god was imagined as a grindstone (Russian molot and possibly Hittite malatt- “sledgehammer, bludgeon”), reflected in Russian  молния (molniya) and Welsh  mellt “lightning” (possibly cognate with Old Norse mjuln “fire”).[7] (From wikipedia)

05.14 - The room of Damocles.

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The first thing came to mind is the story of “The Sword of Damocles”, it reminds me of a saying in Dutch: “The Sword of Damocles is hanging from his/her head” which means in times for fortune there is a threatening and danger of life, uncontrollable and inevitable (I hope I translated it well).

Here you can read the full page about the sword of damocles.

05.15 - Greek adornment.

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This motive can be seen on columns. First I thought it was Minoan art but it is classical Greek art.

05.16 - Swords.

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The swords of Damocles. Watch out Lara!

05.17 - Entrance to the next level.

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I think the colours of the swords has a reference to a switch.. There is also a figure on the Greco-Roman styled top of the door (don’t know the name), but that is something for the next level(s).

Tomb Raider 1
Levels: Lara's Home - Caves - City of Vilcabamba - Lost Valley - Tomb of Qualopec - St. Francis' Folly - Colosseum - Palace Midas - The Cistern - Tomb of Tihocan - City of Khamoon - Obelisk of Khamoon - Sanctuary of the Scion - Natla's Mines - Atlantis - The Great Pyramid
Tomb Raider Gold levels: Return to Egypt - Temple of the Cat - Atlanteon Stronghold - The Hive
Other: TR1 anagrams - Tomb Raider 1 Easter Eggs