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(b Pella, Macedonia, 356 bc; reg 336–323 bc; d Babylon, June 10, 323 bc).

Macedonian monarch and patron. Having inherited the kingdom from his assassinated father, Philip of Macedon (reg 359–336 bc), he invaded Asia in 334 bc and twice defeated the Persians. After invading Egypt, he founded Alexandria in 331 bc and was hailed by the oracle of Amun at Siwah as ‘Son of Zeus’. He then moved into Persia, crushed the main Persian army at Gaugamela, occupied Persepolis, Susa and Pasargadae and declared himself Great King. Advancing via Afghanistan into India, he founded en route several other Alexandrias. However, after his defeat of the Indian king Porus in 326 bc, his army mutinied, compelling his return to Babylon. Increasingly alcoholic and devastated by the death of his lover Hephaistion but still planning further conquests, he died of a fever in 323 bc. Alexander’s patronage of major artists and his conquest of the Near East were major catalysts for change in Greek art, so that within a generation of his death the parochial artistic styles of the Classical city states had given way to the cosmopolitan art of the Hellenistic world....

Article

Margaret Lyttleton

(reg 377–352 bc). Ancient Greek ruler. He was the Satrap (i.e. vassal of the King of Persia) of Caria in Asia Minor, now western Turkey, and a member of the Hekatomnid dynasty. Although Carian by birth, Mausolos greatly admired Greek culture and art. He was famous for having moved his capital from Mylassa to the coastal site of Halikarnassos, where there was a good harbour. He laid out the new capital in the natural hollow by the harbour, as described by Vitruvius (On Architecture II. 811ff), with his tomb, the Mausoleum, at the centre. He employed the most famous Greek architects and sculptors of his time to build and decorate this, but he died before it was completed. The Mausoleum was finished by his wife and half-sister, Artemisia, who reigned after him. A fine portrait statue from the Mausoleum (London, BM, 1001) has been thought to represent Mausolos, though there is no proof of this....

Article

Peter Der Manuelian

(fl mid-7th century bc; d before 647 bc). Egyptian priest, administrator and patron. First documented in Thebes under the Kushite king Taharqa, Mentuemhet survived the subsequent Assyrian invasion and sack of Thebes, and he continued to control most of Upper Egypt even after the reunification of the country in 656 bc under the 26th (Saite) Dynasty. He is mentioned in an oracle papyrus dated to 651 bc.

During the 26th Dynasty, numerous aspects of ancient Egyptian culture were revived, including artistic, religious and linguistic traditions; motifs and styles of earlier periods were deliberately copied, creating a consciously archaic style. This is somewhat misleadingly called the ‘Saite Renaissance’.

Mentuemhet possessed the status and wealth to wield a powerful influence on his age both politically and artistically. Over a dozen statues reflect a wide range of earlier tastes and styles (e.g. Cairo, Egyp. Mus., CG 42236, see fig., and London, BM, ...

Article

C. D. Fortenberry

(d Athens, 527 bc).

Greek tyrant and patron of the arts. His policies and those of his sons, Hippias and Hipparchos, produced an increase in trade that made Attic Black-figure pottery (see Greece, ancient §V 5.) the most widely used vessels in the Greek world and Attic coinage one of the foremost currencies. The Peisistratid building programme at Athens included the rebuilding of the Temple of Athena (identified as the Hekatompedon or ‘Hundred-footer’) on the Acropolis; the Enneakrounos (‘nine-headed’) fountain-house by the Ilissos river, south of the Acropolis; the foundation of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, finally completed by the Roman emperor Hadrian (reg ad 117–38; see Athens §II 4.); and a temple to Dionysos at the foot of the Acropolis (for general discussion see also Athens §I 2.). He also enlarged the Panathenaic festival to Athena and established the Greater Dionysia, from the choral performances of which developed Classical Greek drama....

Article

Margaret Lyttleton

[Perikles]

(b c. 495 bc; d Athens, 429 bc).

Athenian statesman. He was the son of Xanthippos and Agariste, niece of Kimon, and was the leading political figure of his generation. Though an aristocrat by birth, he appears to have courted the people in the Assembly. He is credited with persuading the Athenians to move the Treasury of the Delian League to Athens and convincing the people that this money should be used for lavish rebuilding of the temples on the Acropolis destroyed by the Persians. It was apparently said that he advocated ‘tarting up the city with thousand-talent temples’ (Plutarch: Pericles xii); his friend Pheidias, who had worked on the cult statue of Athena for the most celebrated and ambitious of these, the Parthenon, was subsequently exiled. Pericles’ lasting attachment to the courtesan Aspasia also attracted considerable criticism. He was reputed to have had an onion shaped head and was thus usually shown wearing a helmet, as in a Roman bust (London, BM), possibly a copy of a portrait statue by ...

Article

(b 382 bc; reg 359–336 bc; d Aigai [Vergina], 336 bc).

Greek monarch. The son of Amyntas III, King of Macedon (reg c. 393 bc), of the Argead family, he learnt the art of war as a hostage at Thebes. Subsequently he brought the whole of Greece under his control in a series of military campaigns culminating in the Battle of Chaironeia (338 bc), thereby laying the foundation on which his son, Alexander (Alexander III; reg 336–323 bc) was able to embark on the rapid conquest of Persia. Philip was murdered by a disaffected noble during a festival at Aigai (Vergina). A vaulted tomb there, sumptuously provided with armour and weapons, vessels of gold and silver, jewellery and other items (Thessaloniki, Archaeol. Mus.), discovered by Manolis Andronicos in 1977, is now generally accepted to be Philip’s tomb (see Vergina). The partly cremated bones in a solid gold casket include a skull with an injury to the right eye socket, surely the result of the arrow wound Philip sustained at the siege of Methone (...

Article

H. V. Trivedi

[Śiśunāga]

Two dynasties that ruled Magadha in northern India from the 6th to the 4th century bc. Of all the principalities that flourished in the region at the time, Magadha was the most important. Its first ruler, Bimbisara, was succeeded by Ajatashatru (reg c. 491–c. 459 bc), whose successor, Udayi, moved the capital of Magadha from Rajagriha (now Rajgir) to Pataliputra (now Patna). Udayi was followed by three kings in succession, all parricides. Taking matters into their own hands, the subjects called upon the minister Saisunaga to occupy the throne, which he did c. 430 bc. Saisunaga made his state the most important in the north, destroying the Pradyotas of Avanti, who were hostile to Magadha. Saisunaga was succeeded by his son Kalashoka, also called Kakavarni, during whose reign the second Great Buddhist Council was held (see Buddhism §III 1., (i)). Kalashoka met a tragic death according to Bana’s ...

Article

Taharqa  

Edna R. Russmann

[Bibl. Tirhakah]

(reg 690–664 bc).

Third king of the Egyptian 25th Dynasty (c. 750–c 656 bc), a line of Egyptianized foreigners from Kush (see Nubia, §IV). Biblical references, Assyrian records and his own numerous monuments have made Taharqa’s name synonymous with Kushite rule in Egypt. His sculptural and architectural styles epitomize 25th Dynasty art (see Egypt, ancient, §IX, 1). His representations are strongly archaizing, with broad shoulders, slim hips and muscular legs emulating royal sculpture of the Old Kingdom (c. 2575–c. 2150 bc). The bodies of Taharqa’s finest statues (e.g. two torsos of standing figures found at North Karnak; Cairo, Egyp. Mus., JE 39403–4) combine elegance and strength in a manner seldom seen in Egyptian royal sculpture after the Middle Kingdom (c. 2008–c. 1630 bc).

Some of his regalia was uniquely Kushite. Though he was portrayed wearing all the major Egyptian crowns, except the helmet-like Blue Crown, most frequently he was shown with a broad fillet, tied over a headdress that closely followed the shape of the skull and hairline. Opinions differ as to whether it represents close-cropped hair or a tight-fitting cap. Even more distinctive were a ram’s-head amulet and, at the front of the headdress, a double-uraeus cobra (instead of the single uraeus worn by Egyptian kings since the 1st Dynasty (...

Article

Carol Michaelson

[Chou]

Chinese dynasty dating to c. 1050–256 bc that succeeded the Shang dynasty. The Zhou established suzerainty as far south as the coastal districts on the eastern and northern edge of the Yangzi River basin and as far north as modern Beijing. The empire encompassed areas bordering on Central Asian and Mongol deserts to the west and north and the state of Chu in the south. However, for much of the period Zhou rule was not direct, but limited, devolved and often challenged. Chronologically, the Zhou is divided into the Western Zhou (c. 1050–771 bc ) and the Eastern Zhou (771–256 bc ). The Eastern Zhou period is further divided into a Spring and Autumn period (722–481 bc ), named after the chronology for the state of Lu, the Chunqiu (‘Spring and Autumn Annals’), and the Warring States period (403–221 bc ), a time of severe fragmentation. The exact dating of these periods is a matter of debate, however: many scholars date the Spring and Autumn period to ...