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Judith McKenzie, Gordon Campbell, R. R. R. Smith, Wiktor A. Daszewski, A. H. Enklaar, Dominic Montserrat, C. Walters and Wladyslaw B. Kubiak

Reviser: Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Egyptian city situated on the Mediterranean coast west of the delta of the River Nile, capital of Egypt from c. 320 bc to ad 642, seaport and centre of ancient Greek culture.

Alexandria was founded in 331 bc by Alexander, on the site of the small Egyptian settlement of Rhakotis. Its location, with access by canal to the River Nile, enabled it to become an important and highly prosperous trading centre, and by ...

Article

C. Hobey-Hamsher

Greek painter. Born in Egypt, Antiphilos was a pupil of Ktesidemos. Although none of his works survives, he painted both large and small pictures and was famous for the facility of his technique (Quintilian: Principles of Oratory XII.x.6). Pliny (Natural History XXXV.114, 138) listed many of his pictures, which included portraits (...

Article

Cyrene  

F. B. Sear and Susan Kane

City in Libya, 8 km from the coast and 620 m above sea-level on a plateau of the al-Jabal al-Akh?ar (Green Mountain). The Greek city flourished from its founding as a Dorian colony c. 630 bc to Hellenistic times, and its Greek culture was maintained during the long period of Roman rule, when its fortunes declined somewhat....

Article

R. A. Tomlinson

[Gr. ‘underground’]. The term was used by Herodotus, for example, to refer to the underground tomb chambers of Egypt as well as the sapping tunnels of Persian siege craft. As a specifically architectural term, it can be used for the underground rooms or cellars of buildings, such as the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni (...

Article

C. Hobey-Hamsher

Greek painter of unknown date. According to Pliny (XXXV.16), it was either Kleanthes or the otherwise unknown Philokles of Egypt who invented outline drawing. Athenagoras (xvii) gave credit to the otherwise unknown Saurios of Samos for the invention of this technique, but included Kleanthes in his list of the earliest artists (those who worked before the gods were depicted), incorrectly assuming that secular subjects were depicted before divine ones. Indeed, deities were shown in at least two of the three paintings by Kleanthes held in the ...

Article

R. J. A. Wilson

Source of a group of late 2nd-century bc Greek works of art. In 1907 an ancient shipwreck was located by sponge-divers in the waters off Mahdia on the east coast of Tunisia. The subsequent careful exploration of the ship and the lifting of its extensive cargo, carried out between ...

Article

Fragment of pottery or, less frequently, limestone, bearing a drawing or inscription. In ancient Greece such potsherds were used to cast votes in favour of the banishment or ‘ostracism’ of certain individuals from society.

Article

F. B. Sear

Hellenistic and Roman city in Cyrenaica, Libya, the only natural harbour between Eusperides-Berenice (now Benghazi) and Apollonia (now Susa). It was probably founded in the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes (246–221 bc), although the site had been used as the port of nearby Barca since the ...

Article

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages....

Article

Martin Robertson

Ancient Greek mosaicist active in Egypt. His work is known from a signed floor at Tell Timai in the Nile Delta (now Alexandria, Gr.–Rom. Mus.), in which sophilos epoiei (Gk: ‘Sophilos made’) is set in two lines in black tesserae on a white floor. It appears to date to ...