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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investigation of the wreck site took place in 1976 and succeeded in recovering many further objects, as well as (still unpublished) remains of the hull.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

S. J. Vernoit

(b Kilmarnock, Aug 18, 1835; d Edinburgh, July 3, 1900).

Scottish soldier, archaeologist, diplomat and collector of Iranian art. He was educated at Glasgow University, and in 1855 he obtained a commission in the Royal Engineers. The following year he joined the expedition of Charles Newton to Halikarnassos, which resulted in the discovery of the Mausoleum and the acquisition of its sculptures for the British Museum. In 1860 with E. A. Porcher, Murdoch Smith formed at his own expense an expedition to Cyrene in Libya. From this expedition he returned with Greek sculptures and inscriptions (London, BM). In 1863 he was selected for service on the Iranian section of a proposed telegraph line from Britain to India, and in 1865 he became its director in Tehran, holding that post for the next 20 years. He initiated his collecting activities for the South Kensington (later Victoria and Albert) Museum in 1873 when he offered his services as an agent. From 1873 to 1885...

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

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.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...

Article

Andrew F. Stewart

Name given to the Macedonian kings of Syria and their territories between 311 and 64 bc, whose empire dominated the Ancient Near East from the end of the 4th century bc until the 2nd. Seleukos I Nikator (reg 305–281 bc), one of Alexander the Great’s generals, founded the empire in Babylon in 311 bc; in 300 bc he moved its capital to Antioch, and by his death he controlled most of the region now occupied by Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey (about two-thirds of Alexander’s conquests). Continuous warfare on all fronts considerably eroded this vast territory during the 3rd century bc. Antiochos III (reg 223–187 bc) succeeded in reversing the situation by the 190s bc and even added Israel to the empire, but his unsuccessful invasion of Greece in 191 bc and subsequent defeat by Pergamon and Rome in 188 bc deprived him of most of Asia Minor and saddled the empire with a huge indemnity. A single Roman envoy prevented the ablest of his successors, the eccentric ...