Naxos, with an area of 430 km², is the largest island in the Cyclades archipelago. The island enjoyed its most prosperous periods in the early Bronze Age and again in the Archaic and Classical periods. Naxos in Mythology In certain versions of Greek mythology, no less a figure than Zeus himself was brought up on the island and he was worshipped... [continue reading]
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The Cyclades are a group of islands in the southern Aegean situated between Greece and Turkey. The name was coined in the Archaic period as the islands form an approximate circle (kyklos) around the central and most sacred island (at that time) of Delos. The islands had a distinctive culture in the early and middle Bronze Age and regained regional importance... [continue reading]
Mary Harrsch (Photographed at the Getty Villa, Malibu)
published on 07 October 2012
A marble figurine from the Cycladic islands, c. 2400 BCE. The posture and incised details are typical of Cycladic sculpture and the swollen belly may suggest pregnancy. The function of the statues is unknown but they may represent a fertility deity. (J.Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, USA).
Marble figurines from Naxos in the Cyclades. The significance of the statues is not known for certain only that they were once painted and are generally found in a burial context across the Cyclades group. These examples date to between 2800 and 2300 BCE. (Archaeological Museum, Naxos).
The Cycladic islands of the Aegean were first inhabited by voyagers from Asia Minor around 3000 BCE and a certain prosperity was achieved thanks to the wealth of natural resources on the islands such as gold, silver, copper, obsidian and marble. This prosperity allowed for a flourishing of the arts and the uniqueness of Cycladic art is perhaps best illustrated... [continue reading]
Delos is a Greek island in the Cyclades archipelago which was both an influential political force and, with its sanctuary to the god Apollo, an important religious centre in the Archaic and Classical periods. The island was also a major commercial and trading centre in the 2nd and 1st centuries CE. Delos in Mythology Delos, measuring a mere 3 km²... [continue reading]
Introduction Genocide is often viewed as a particular feature of our own current age. This perception largely stems from the terrible events which took place during World War Two in the 20th century CE in the parts of Europe occupied by the Nazis. However, there are certain occasions in the ancient world which could also be possibly considered... [continue reading]
The marble lions of Delos. Originally there were as many as nine lions which lined the avenue leading from the sanctuary to the harbour of Skardanas. They were donated by the citizens of Naxos in the 7th century BCE.
The Sphinx dedicated to the oracle of Delphi by the state of Naxos, c. 560 BCE. Originally, it was placed atop a 10 m tall Ionic column. (Delphi Archaeological Museum).
Silver tetradrachm from Naxos, Sicily, c. 460 BCE. O: Head of Dionysus. R: Ithyphallic Silenos holding a cantharus.
Paros is an island in the Cyclades group in the central Aegean. It is the third largest island of the Cyclades and its position on important sea routes between mainland Greece and the coast of Asia Minor made it an important centre from the early Bronze Age through to Roman times. The island was also famous for the high quality of its marble which became... [continue reading]