medusas gaze the extraordinary journey of the tazza farnese

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Medusa S Gaze

Author : Marina Belozerskaya
ISBN : 9780199739318
Genre : Art
File Size : 80. 53 MB
Format : PDF
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The long and intricate history of the beautifully carved Hellenistic style Egyptian bowl, from the days of Cleopatra to Constantinople, the French Revolution, and to near destruction by a deranged museum guard in 1925.

Medusa S Gaze

Author : Marina Belozerskaya
ISBN : 9780199910823
Genre : Art
File Size : 82. 1 MB
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The Tazza Farnese is one of the most admired objects from classical antiquity. A libation bowl carved from banded agate, it features Medusa's head on its outside and, inside, an assembly of Egyptian gods. For more than two millennia, these radiant figures have mesmerized emperors and artists, popes and thieves, merchants and museum goers. In this, the first book-length account of this renowned masterpiece, Marina Belozerskaya traces its fascinating journey through history. That it has survived at all is a miracle. The Tazza's origins date back to Ptolemaic Egypt where it likely enhanced the power and prestige of Cleopatra. After her defeat by Emperor Augustus, the bowl began an amazing itinerary along many flashpoints in world history. It likely traveled from Rome to Constantinople. After that city's sack by crusaders in 1204, it returned west to inspire the classical revival at the court of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II at Palermo. The Tazza next graced Tamerlane's court at Samarqand, before becoming an obsession of Renaissance popes and princes. It witnessed the rediscovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the turbulent aftermath of the French Revolution, and the birth of the modern Italian state. Throughout its journey, the Tazza aroused the lust of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Mongol rulers, consoled a heart-broken duchess, inspired artists including Botticelli and Raphael, tempted spies and thieves, and drew the ire of a deranged museum guard who nearly destroyed it. More than a biography of the world's most cherished bowl, Medusa's Gaze is a vivid and delightful voyage through history.

After Thermopylae

Author : Paul Cartledge
ISBN : 9780199911554
Genre : History
File Size : 76. 43 MB
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The Battle of Plataea in 479 BCE is one of world history's unjustly neglected events. It decisively ended the threat of a Persian conquest of Greece. It involved tens of thousands of combatants, including the largest number of Greeks ever brought together in a common cause. For the Spartans, the driving force behind the Greek victory, the battle was sweet vengeance for their defeat at Thermopylae the year before. Why has this pivotal battle been so overlooked? In After Thermopylae, Paul Cartledge masterfully reopens one of the great puzzles of ancient Greece to discover, as much as possible, what happened on the field of battle and, just as important, what happened to its memory. Part of the answer to these questions, Cartledge argues, can be found in a little-known oath reputedly sworn by the leaders of Athens, Sparta, and several other Greek city-states prior to the battle-the Oath of Plataea. Through an analysis of this oath, Cartledge provides a wealth of insight into ancient Greek culture. He shows, for example, that when the Athenians and Spartans were not fighting the Persians they were fighting themselves, including a propaganda war for control of the memory of Greece's defeat of the Persians. This helps explain why today we readily remember the Athenian-led victories at Marathon and Salamis but not Sparta's victory at Plataea. Indeed, the Oath illuminates Greek anxieties over historical memory and over the Athens-Sparta rivalry, which would erupt fifty years after Plataea in the Peloponnesian War. In addition, because the Oath was ultimately a religious document, Cartledge also uses it to highlight the profound role of religion and myth in ancient Greek life. With compelling and eye-opening detective work, After Thermopylae provides a long-overdue history of the Battle of Plataea and a rich portrait of the Greek ethos during one of the most critical periods in ancient history.

Shaky Ground

Author : Elizabeth Marlowe
ISBN : 9781472502094
Genre : History
File Size : 88. 60 MB
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The recent crisis in the world of antiquities collecting has prompted scholars and the general public to pay more attention than ever before to the archaeological findspots and collecting histories of ancient artworks. This new scrutiny is applied to works currently on the market as well as to those acquired since (and despite) the 1970 UNESCO Convention, which aimed to prevent the trafficking in cultural property. When it comes to famous works that have been in major museums for many generations, however, the matter of their origins is rarely considered. Canonical pieces like the Barberini Togatus or the Fonseca bust of a Flavian lady appear in many scholarly studies and virtually every textbook on Roman art. But we have no more certainty about these works' archaeological contexts than we do about those that surface on the market today. This book argues that the current legal and ethical debates over looting, ownership and cultural property have distracted us from the epistemological problems inherent in all (ostensibly) ancient artworks lacking a known findspot, problems that should be of great concern to those who seek to understand the past through its material remains.

Mysteries Of The Snake Goddess

Author : Kenneth D. S. Lapatin
ISBN : 0306813289
Genre : Art
File Size : 69. 91 MB
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Illuminating the many ways in which the past is recreated to suit the needs of the present, a riveting archaeological detective story investigates one of the most famous pieces of ancient Greek art, a gold and ivory statuette of the Snake Goddess, exposing this piece as an invention of the early twentieth century and exploring the reasons behind this brilliant forgery. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.

The War Of The Three Gods

Author : Peter Crawford
ISBN : 9781473829510
Genre : History
File Size : 46. 73 MB
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War of the Three Gods is a military history of the first half of seventh century, with heavy focus on the reign of the Eastern Roman Emperor Heraclius (AD 610-641). This was a pivotal time in world history as well as a dramatic one. The Eastern Roman Empire was brought to the very brink of extinction by the Sassanid Persians, before Heraclius managed to inflict a crushing defeat on the Sassanids with a desperate, final gambit. His conquests were short-lived, however, for the newly-converted adherents of Islam burst upon the region, administering the coup de grace to Sassanid power and laying siege to Constantinople itself to usher in a new era. ??Peter Crawford skilfully narrates the three-way struggle between the Christian Byzantine, Sassanid Persian and Islamic empires, a period peopled with fascinating characters, including Heraclius, Khusro II and the Prophet Muhammad himself. Many of the epic battles and sieges are described in as much detail as possible including Nineveh, Yarmouk, Qadisiyyah and Nihawand, Jerusalem and Constantinople. The strategies and tactics of these very different armies are discussed and analysed, while maps allow the reader to place the events and follow the varying fortunes of the contending empires. This is an exciting and important study of a conflict that reshaped the map of the world.

The Gladiator

Author : Alan Baker
ISBN : 9781446408605
Genre : History
File Size : 80. 47 MB
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Alan Baker weaves an extraordinary, vivid picture of Roman life as his compelling and evocative history tells the story of Rome's most notable gladiators. They were condemned and feared by emperors, slaughtered and adored by the masses and worshipped by their female fans, yet their lives were invariably violently short. Whether their enemy was a starved tiger or a battle-hardened criminal, their numbered days were dark and bloody. Yet men gave up their wealth and freedom to become gladiators and noble-women gave up their positions to be with them. The Gladiator illuminates the extraordinary lives of Spartacus, Commodus, Eppia and others - bringing the same energy and passion to the page that Ridley Scott's cinematic triumph bough to the screen.

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