~ Alexander Exhibition
In last weekend's Explorator we mentioned an exhibition at the Onassis Cultural Center entitled Alexander the Great: Treasures from an Epic Era of Hellenism ... today the Poughkeepsie Journal gives us an idea what's on display, inter alia:
The artifacts include images of Alexander in marble heads, bronze statuettes, medallions and ancient coins. Sections are devoted to the role of symposia, or wine-fueled social gatherings, and the influential role of women in ancient Macedonia, as shown by exquisitely crafted jewelry worn by aristocrats.
It includes the first public showing of the astonishing gold ornaments from the burial costume of a queen buried around 500 B.C. in Aigai, Macedonia, artifacts painstakingly excavated over a decade by archaeologist Angeliki Kottaridi.
Of the Alexander relics, the most famous is a marble portrait head, dating from 340-330 B.C., believed to be the work of sculptor Leohares, unearthed near the Erectheion on the Acropolis in Athens.
Once part of a full-length statue, the life-size head, marred only by a chipped nose, depicts the youthful king with a full mane of thick hair and deep-set eyes emphasizing his intense expression. Traces of coloring on the head suggest his hair was depicted in the natural blond color.
''These characteristics combined to emphasize the leonine appearance of Alexander, frequently referred to in ancient texts,'' the catalog notes.
Another marble head of Alexander, in similar pose but slightly more eroded, dates from the third century B.C. It was found near Pella, the capital of ancient Macedonia and Alexander's birthplace. A bronze statuette depicts Alexander on his famed horse, Bucephalus, delivering a blow with a sword. Found near ancient Herculaneum, it is believed to be a first century B.C. copy of a work by Lysippos, reputedly Alexander's favorite artist.
Alexander was the first leader to immortalize himself on coins, setting a precedent for rulers who followed him. Before, the faces of coins were reserved for gods. Some 30 gold and silver coins and medallions are shown.
The show explains why Alexander's war machine was so efficient. The catalog notes that men began an exercise and practice warfare regimen at a young age, and trained and hunted every day.
Weapons include iron swords and javelin points, bronze greaves or leg armor and a shield, lead sling shells, and an iron sarissa, ''the terrible Macedonian pike whose invention had a decisive effect on the art of warfare'' when wielded by the closed ranks of Alexander's phalanx formations.
There's some nice photos with descriptions bouncing around Yahoo's photo archives as well. They include the expected portrait head of Alexander ... there there's some interesting gold jewellery from a Macedonian queen's burial (pre-Hellenistic, though, it seems), and some more gold jewellery.
::Thursday, December 16, 2004 5:01:51 AM::
~ JOB: Generalist @ Hofstra (one year)
The Department of Comparative Literature and Languages of Hofstra University invites applications for a one-year full-time position in Classics and Comparative Literature. A successful candidate must be able to teach Latin and Greek languages at all levels as well as courses in classical civilization. Teaching will include a first year multi-disciplinary survey of ancient and medieval cultures and their artistic expressions. Candidates should have their Ph.D. in hand by June 2005, and show evidence of excellence in teaching. Please send cover letter, curriculum vitae and three recent letters of recommendation to Ilaria Marchesi, Dept. of Comparative Literature and Languages, 304 Calkins Hall, 107 Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, 11549. Reading of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Preliminary interviews will be conducted at the APA/AIA meeting in Boston in January, 2005. EOE
... seen in the Classics list archives
::Thursday, December 16, 2004 4:55:26 AM::
~ Father Foster
Again, I haven't had a chance to listen to Father Foster this week, so here's the 'official' description:
Do you think the Romans would have been hooked on the art of photography? Clearly there is no answer to that question but what’s certain is that - they who gave us the word for camera...
::Thursday, December 16, 2004 4:47:09 AM::
~ Roman Remains in Suffolk
From the East Anglian Daily Times:
THE remains of a “waterfront” settlement dating from Roman times have been discovered in a Suffolk village.
Archaeologists have found pottery, brooches, coins and other items on a site at Stoke Ash, beside a tributary of the River Dove and close to the A140 road, itself Roman in origin.
Information gleaned from the site and from the adjacent Thornham Estate is adding to the academic understanding of the Roman occupation of Britain.
It also suggests the area has been a hive of human activity for many thousands of years, with evidence of early agriculture, industry and buildings.
However, the recent discovery of the waterfront settlement at Stoke Ash - sparked by the finding of a toggle made from a stone called jet – is considered the “icing on the cake”.
“You never think in a lifetime you'll get anything like this – it is very exciting and fulfilling,” said Mike Hardy, an independent archaeologist who has been working in the Waveney Valley for the past 35 years.
Finds from the riverside and the whole area may be displayed in a museum which is being planned for the Thornham Estate.
Mr Hardy, 65, said the waterfront settlement had probably been made up of workshops and the homes of people who operated the river trade.
“Grain would have been exported and olive oil, fish oil, crushed fruit and wine imported during Roman times.
“It is also clear that a large number of animals were butchered here, including cattle, sheep, pigs and dogs,” he added.
Among the fragments of imported pottery found is one carrying the manufacturing name of Marcelli, a name that had also cropped up on pottery found at nearby Scole and at Hadrian's Wall.
“From the evidence we have found, including the coinage and artefacts, local people did very well out of the Romans,” Mr Hardy added.
His fellow archaeologist, John Fairclough, 62, former education officer at Ipswich Museum, said the area between Stoke Ash and Scole could have possibly been the estate of the Villa Faustinus, a grand house mentioned in documents from the Roman period.
“The Romans built the road between their garrisons at Colchester and Caister, near Norwich, and they also brought with them higher demand for trade,” he said.
Mr Hardy was first given the opportunity to carry out field walking and excavations on the Henniker family's 2,000-acre Thornham Estate ten years ago when Lady Henniker was a student on one of his University of East Anglia courses.
Since then he and his team of volunteers - from the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology's field group - have found evidence of human activity dating back to Neolithic times, including prehistoric pottery, sharpened flints, metal workings and fragments of weapons such as the axe and rapier.
Mr Hardy estimates that between 400 and 500 people were living in the area in the Neolithic period and the population had grown to about 1,000 in Roman times.
“Very little was known about the archaeology of this area. It was an absolute backwater for us and Lord Henniker opened it up.
“There was a major expansion of human activity during the Bronze Age and the Iceni had a vast settlement in the area – we have found some of their coins,” Mr Hardy said. [more]
::Thursday, December 16, 2004 4:45:21 AM::
~ AWOTV: On TV Today
4.00 a.m. |HISTC| The Conquests of Alexander This series examines the great conquerors of the world and provides new insights into their most compelling military achievements. Each episode combines graphics with recreations to analyze every facet of their famous battles and conquests. Some of the conquerors profiled include Genghis Khan, Hannibal, Ramses, Alexander, Cortez, the Spartans and the Romans.
4.00 p.m. |DISCC| Seven Wonders of Ancient Greece The ancient Greeks built the first theatres, staged the first sports events and worshipped in some of the most spectacular temples ever built; from prehistoric places to bold symbols of victory, explore the wonders of this ancient civilization.
5.00 p.m. |DISCC| Real Jason and the Argonauts Groundbreaking new discoveries reveal that the myth of the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts may be based on real events.
7.00 p.m. |HINT| The Rise of Christianity: Part 4. On January 1, 800 AD, Pope Gregory crowned Frankish King Charlemagne, declaring him the new Holy Roman Emperor. A new Christian Europe emerges from the Dark Ages. In the East, there's a renewed effort to convert the world. Though by 1000 AD, all of Europe seems united in Christianity, new wars with Islam loom ahead.
8.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Lost Treasures of the Ancient World: Jerusalem
9.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Conquerors: Alexander the Great
::Thursday, December 16, 2004 4:43:27 AM::