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Gordon Campbell

[Gr.: ‘high stone’]

Ancient Greek statue with a wooden body and the head and limbs made of stone (usually marble, sometimes limestone). This technique seems to have come into use in Greece at the end of the 6th century bc or the beginning of the 5th, and was predominantly, but not exclusively, employed for cult statues. The wooden bodies of acrolithic statues were covered in sheets of precious metal or draped with textiles regularly renewed in cult ceremonies. In ancient Greece the term acrolith (usually agalma akrolithos or xoanon akrolithos) was used relatively rarely, and is first attested in temple inventories of the 2nd century bc; Vitruvius uses it in Latin as a synonym for colossal statues. It was then reintroduced as a technical term by 18th-century antiquarians.

While the wooden bodies of ancient acroliths are not preserved, their stone extremities have occasionally survived and can be identified through specific characteristics of their technical manufacture (acrolithic heads, for example, have flat undersides, whereas heads fashioned for insertion into stone bodies were made with convex tenons). In the Hellenistic and Roman periods, the extent of stone elements can increase, so that for example the head and naked parts of the chest are made of one marble segment. The appearance of acroliths could be similar to chryselephantine (gold-ivory) statues, to which they may have offered a more cost-effective alternative, although it seems that other considerations, such as their role within the cult ritual, may have been of greater significance. Examples of surviving stone fragments from acroliths are a colossal head in the Ludovisi collection in Rome and an ...

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Thorsten Opper

Elaborate monument erected by Octavian (later Augustus) in 29–27 bc on the Preveza Peninsula in Western Greece, north of the present-day town of Preveza, overlooking Cape Actium, to commemorate his naval victory over Mark Antony at Actium in 31 bc. The nearby city of Nikopolis (Gr.: ‘city of victory’) was founded for the same purpose at about the same time.

According to the historian Dio Cassius (Roman History LI.i.3), after his victory Octavian laid a foundation of square stones on the spot where he had pitched his tent, which he then adorned with the captured ships’ rams. On this foundation, according to Dio, Octavian established an open-air shrine dedicated to Apollo. Suetonius (Augustus xviii.2) and Strabo (Geography VII.vii.6) corroborate this evidence, although the trophy itself (with the ships’ rams) was, according to Suetonius, dedicated to Poseidon and Mars, presumably for their help during the battle. The hill itself was, according to Strabo, sacred to Apollo, and therefore the shrine was dedicated to him....

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(b Berlin, Oct 15, 1827; d Berlin, Sept 15, 1908).

German architect, archaeologist and writer. He was one of the leading figures of Berlin’s architectural establishment in the latter half of the 19th century. On completion of his studies in 1852, he was given the prestigious post of Bauleiter at the Neues Museum in Berlin, designed by Friedrich August Stüler. He subsequently became a lecturer and in 1861 a professor of architectural history at the Bauakademie in Berlin. Many of his church buildings used medieval motifs and elements, for example the Christuskirche (1862–8) in Berlin and the Elisabethkirche (1869–72) in Wilhelmshafen. He followed Karl Bötticher in his attempts to merge medieval and classical elements, best illustrated in his design for the Thomaskirche (competition 1862; built 1865–70), Berlin. There, Adler used Gothic structural devices embellished with rich Renaissance detail, a tendency that was also present in many of the entries for the Berlin Cathedral competition (...

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Adyton  

[Gr. ‘not to be entered’; Lat. adytum]

Most sacred inner part of a temple, accessible only to the priests (see Greece, ancient, fig. g).

S. K. Thalman: The Adyton in the Greek Temples of South Italy and Sicily (diss., U. California, Berkeley, 1976) M. B. Hollinshead: ‘"Adyton", "Opisthodomos", and the Inner Room of the Greek Temple’, Hesperia: Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 68/2 (April–June 1999), pp. 189–218...

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Aetion  

C. Hobey-Hamsher

(fl late 4th century bc).

Greek painter. Pliny (Natural History, XXXV.78) placed Aetion in the 107th Olympiad (352–349 bc) and (XXXV.50) included him in a list of painters who used a palette restricted to four colours: white, yellow, red and black. Cicero (Brutus xviii.70), however, listed him among those painters who used a wider palette. It is likely that the four-colour palette was a restriction adopted occasionally by many artists who, in other works, used more than four colours. None of Aetion’s work survives, but Pliny ascribed to him pictures of Dionysos, Tragedy and Comedy, Semiramis Rising from Slavery to Royal Power and an Old Woman Carrying Lamps and Attending a Bride, whose modesty was apparent. His most famous painting depicted the Wedding of Alexander the Great and Roxane, and it was perhaps painted to celebrate it (327 bc). It was described by Lucian of Samosata (Aetion iv–vi), who saw it in Italy. Lucian added that when the painting was shown at Olympia, Proxenides, one of the chief judges of the games, was so impressed by it that he gave his daughter to Aetion in marriage. Alexander the Great stood best man. The painting included erotes playing with Alexander’s armour, a motif repeated in several Roman wall paintings with reference to Mars and Hercules. Another Aetion, also assigned to the 107th Olympiad, appears in a list of bronze sculptors drawn up by Pliny (XXXIV.50); this is probably an interpolation from XXXV.78....

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C. Hobey-Hamsher

(fl late 5th century bc).

Greek painter. He was the son of Eudemos and came originally from Samos, but worked in Athens; none of his work survives. He was said to be self-taught. Vitruvius (On Architecture VII.praef.11) claimed that Agatharchos was the first artist to paint a stage set on wooden panels. This was for a tragedy by Aeschylus (525/4–456 bc), although it may have been a revival presented later in the 5th century bc. Vitruvius added that he wrote a commentary discussing the theoretical basis of his painted scenery and that the philosophers Demokritos (late 5th century bc) and Anaxagoras (c. 500–428 bc) followed him in exploring theories of perspective. It is unlikely that Agatharchos organized his compositions around a single vanishing point. More probably, individual objects and buildings or groups of buildings were depicted receding towards separate vanishing points. If Agatharchos’ experiments in perspective were confined to stage scenery, they would have been limited to architectural backgrounds, before which the actor moved. Aristotle (...

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Charles M. Edwards

[Hageladas]

(fl c. 520–c. 450 bc).

Greek sculptor. Said to be the teacher of Polykleitos, Myron and Pheidias, he was a bronze sculptor from Argos, active in the Late Archaic and Early Classical periods. His early works were statues at Olympia for victors of 520 bc, 516 bc and 507 bc. His monument at Delphi depicting captive Massapian women and horses may belong to the second quarter of the 5th century bc. The Zeus Ithomatas for the Messenians at Naupaktos was probably made in the 450s bc. A problem is posed by the date of his Herakles Alexikakos in Athens, said to be a dedication after the plague in the 420s bc. That has led to speculation on the existence of a second Ageladas. The dates of his Zeus Pais and Youthful Herakles at Aigion are unknown. The statues for the Messenians and at Aigion seem to have been under life-size since they were easily transportable. A sense of their appearance is given by coins that show statues with stances like that of the ...

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Agora  

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A. Delivorrias

(b Paros, fl c. 450–c. 420 bc).

Greek sculptor. He was a prominent member of the group of artists led by Pheidias that executed the Periclean building programme on the Athenian Acropolis. Ancient literary sources provide little information on his career, and even this takes the form of later anecdotes, such as the story of his rivalry with Alkamenes in a competition to produce a statue of Aphrodite (Pliny: Natural History, XXXVI.iv.17), or has been distorted by the legends surrounding Pheidias, to whom two of his works were wrongly attributed: his statue of the Enthroned Mother of the Gods in the metroon in the Athenian Agora (Pausanias: Guide to Greece, I.iii.5) and his cult statue of Nemesis (c. 420 bc; Pausanias: I.xxxiii.3) for the temple at Rhamnous. The Nemesis was allegedly carved out of a colossal block of Parian marble brought to Marathon in 490 bc by the Persians, who intended to use it for a trophy after defeating the Athenians (Pausanias: I.xxxiii.2). Agorakritos was also credited with bronze statues of ...

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Aigina  

Margaret Lyttleton, Stefan Hiller, R. A. Tomlinson, Reinhard Stupperich and Melita Emmanuel

[Aegina]

Greek island in the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, mid-way between Athens to the north and Argos to the west. It is almost triangular, occupying c. 85 sq. km. The interior is mountainous, rising to a peak of 531 m, and the soil is largely infertile. Aigina is conspicuously visible from the Athenian port of Peiraeus, although Pericles’ description of it as ‘the eyesore of the Peiraeus’ (Plutarch: Pericles, viii) stemmed from political rivalry rather than its actual appearance. The main modern settlement (Aegina) is in the north-west of the island, occupying part of the site of the ancient town of Aigina, which it has entirely obliterated, apart from the remains of some tombs. Outside the town there are two important sanctuaries, that of Zeus and that of Aphaia, a local goddess. The city-state of Aigina was important in the 7th and 6th centuries bc, when it took part in many Greek trading ventures and developed the largest navy in Greece. Aigina was for a long time a rival of Athens and was finally defeated in a naval battle in ...

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Akragas  

Erik Østby

[Lat. Agrigentum; now Agrigento]

Greek colony on the southern coast of Sicily. Believed to have been founded c. 580 bc from Gela, a city further down the coast, it flourished as an independent state until 406 bc, when it was sacked by the Carthaginians. It maintained some degree of independence until the Roman conquest of Sicily in 210 bc. The extensive town, lying some 2 km from the sea, was enclosed by walls following natural precipices and includes a steep acropolis now occupied by the modern settlement. Only a small part of the residential area has been excavated, dating to the Hellenistic and Roman periods; it was organized in regular, rectangular blocks after the Hippodamian system (see Hippodamos).

An early column capital, probably made immediately after the foundation of Akragas, is the only remaining example of Doric architecture from the site before c. 500 bc. Small temple buildings without columns were constructed in several locations later occupied by monumental temples. A cluster of such buildings of different shapes, some of them probably unroofed, occupied a sanctuary to the fertility gods in the south-west corner of the town, with round and rectangular monumental altars. Near the east gate, on the edge of the acropolis, a small fountain sanctuary with sacred caves precedes and is associated with a large Temple of Demeter (...

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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....

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A. Delivorrias

(fl second half of the 5th century bc).

Greek sculptor. His date of birth and origins are uncertain; later sources mention both Athens and Lemnos as his birthplace. After the departure of Pheidias to Olympia, Alkamenes became the most eminent exponent of Athenian art. Sources that regard him as a student of Pheidias are not reliable, and the workshop in which he trained and developed his stylistic idiom is unknown. The number of his works in Athenian public buildings and the fact that Thrasybulus entrusted him with the production of a commemorative monument for his Theban allies after the fall of the Tyranny in 403 bc implies that Alkamenes was a supporter of the democratic party.

This monument, the form of which is difficult to visualize, is Alkamenes’ last attested work. His earliest work remains unknown, despite increasing acceptance of the assertion by Pausanias (V.x.8) that Alkamenes helped to execute the architectural sculptures of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. Two ‘archaistic’ works for the Athenian Acropolis indicate that he must already have been active before the mid-...

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Amorgos  

R. L. N. Barber

Greek island at the south-east extremity of the Aegean Cyclades. Survey work in the 1980s increased the number of known sites of all periods on the island. Most of the Bronze Age finds date from the Early Cycladic (ec) period (c. 3500/3000–c. 2000 bc) and come from cemeteries, although a settlement at Markiani is being excavated; there is also some Middle Cycladic (mc) and Late Cycladic (lc) pottery from graves at Arkesine, and Mycenaean vases were found at Xilokeratidi. The primary investigations were mainly the work of C. Tsountas, and the more recent of L. Marangou and others, although Dümmler published important material from Amorgos in the 1880s. The small but attractive museum on the island (in Chora) has good prehistoric pottery and (mostly fragmentary) marble objects.

The Dokathismata cemetery on Amorgos has given its name to an important category of Cycladic folded-arm stone ...