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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

Thorsten Opper

Source of a group of Roman and Greek works of art, in particular a group of Greek bronze sculptures and statuettes. In 1900 sponge-divers discovered the remains of an ancient shipwreck in the sea off the Greek island of Antikythera. In one of the first operations of this kind, they salvaged some its cargo. A new investigation of the wreck site took place in 1976 and succeeded in recovering many further objects, as well as (still unpublished) remains of the hull. All the finds are now in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The ship, which must have foundered in the second quarter of the 1st century bc, carried a mixed cargo of ‘antique’ and contemporary bronze and marble statuary, as well as luxury products such as bronze furniture attachments, rare and expensive types of glass, gold ingots etc. It also contained the so-called Antikythera Mechanism, an elaborate type of astrolabe....

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

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

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 (...