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The Dexileos Stele assesses the way that Athenian political thought penetrated all levels of society, showing the conflict that the aristocratic classes were faced with in trying to find their place within the Athenian Democracy. As a visual document it presents an image that would have been seen and understood to those who passed it; despite being... [continue reading]
Article
Overview Sculpture as visual Media to promote kingly qualities. Kings could place statues in prominent places. Disembodied originals, or Roman copies? The portrait bust was a later Roman invention, therefore statuettes and the few surviving bronzes help to show what the full figure may have looked like, or the ideal that they were hoping... [continue reading]
Article
To call Polybius our best guide to Hellenistic history might be misleading for a few reasons. Firstly, Polybius’ Histories are by no means perfect; for a start, as they have come down to us they are incomplete. To term it ‘the best’ implies all sorts of qualities, which his Histories might not necessarily possess, such as being the... [continue reading]
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Dexileos Stele

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published on 12 November 2013
Dexileos Stele replica in situ, Dipylon Cemetery, Athens. (Original in the Kerameikos Museum, P 1130, c. 394 BCE)
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Dexileos Stele (detail)

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published on 12 November 2013
Detail of the Dexileos Stele. Visible are the holes where metal attachments would have been placed. On his leg a sword; in his right hand a spear; in his left hand the horse's reigns; and on his head, most likely a wide-brimmed hat, the petasos. His ephebic chamlys billows out behind him. Kerameikos Museum, Athens, P 1130, c.394 BCE.
Article
The 2nd and 1st centuries BCE offer a timeline in which contact with Greece had a noticeably important effect on the cultural development of Rome; directly, and as an indirect spur to differentiate a Roman, and not Greek, Mediterranean ‘culture’. This topic is utterly vast in its scope, and as such this article acts as an introduction to... [continue reading]
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Scene from a Symposium

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published on 28 January 2013
Attic red-figure calyx krater. Depicted here is a symposium scene, the male guests are reclining whilst the female aulos-player serenades them. By the Uppsala Painter. 11559, National Archaeological Museum, Athens
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Symposiast and Hetaira

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published on 28 January 2013
Red-figure chous. This symposium scene depicts a youthful symposiast reclining on a coach whilst a hetaira plays the harp. In was found in the Theatre of Dionysus, and is painted by the Eretria Painter, 425- 420 BCE. National Archaeological Museum, Athens, 15308
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Bronze Aulos Player Figurine

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published on 14 January 2013
The man wears a long tunic and mantle. From his left shoulder hangs an instrument case. The straps for the instrument can also be seen, tied around the mouth and cheeks. From a Corinthian workshop, 500- 490 BC Delphi Museum
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Aulos Players and Dancers

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published on 14 January 2013
Fragment of a black-figure pyxis or skyphos. Depicted are dancing women accompanied by aulos players. Brauron Museum
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The Brauron Aulos

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published on 14 January 2013
no. 57 shows the Brauron aulos, found at excavations at the temple site of Brauron in a holy pond. It is made of bone and dated to the end of the 6th C. - 5th C. No.s 55 + 56 are fragments of an aulos No.s 53 + 54 show two aulos players on fragments of pottery. Brauron Museum
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Aulos Player

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published on 14 January 2013
This fragment of an Attic red-figure plate depicts an aulos player, and clearly shows the strap which was worn to aid the playing of the instruments. The inscription says, "Hermocrates did this" National Archaeological Museum, Athens, 15176
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An Aulos Player and Dancing Girl

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published on 14 January 2013
This Attic red-figure vase depicts an aulos player accompanying a female dancer. There is a kithara suspended in between them. National Archaeological Museum 1187
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Dendra: Chamber Tomb 12

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published on 19 December 2012
Chamber Tomb 12 at the site of Dendra, is most famous as being the tomb from where the Dendra Panoply came from, and like that panoply, dates to around the end of the 15th century BC. Unlike the rest of the chamber tombs at Dendra, this one is unique in not having a 'dromos' (a long narrow passage way) leading to the tomb proper, instead it had an entrance... [continue reading]
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This is an amazing example of one of the earliest examples of Greek writing, dating to the 8th C. BC. It is written "boustrophedon", which means, rather than being read as English is, from left to right, every other line is flipped over, both in the way in which the letters face, and the direction in which it should be read. This, along with the early nature... [continue reading]
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The Artemision Bronze

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published on 18 July 2012
The Artemision Bronze is a slighter larger than life sized statue recovered from the sea off Cape Artemision that represents either Zeus or Posiedon; the right hand either originally held a thunderbolt or a trident. The statue's creation dates to c. 460 BCE before the development of the classical style in the later half of that century, however, the context... [continue reading]
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Dendra Panoply

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published on 16 April 2012
The Dendra Panoply dates from LHIII3a, and was found at Dendra, in the Argolid, and is currently housed in the Archaeological Museum of Nafplion. Its main importance is that of being possibly the earliest complete set of Greek plate armour
Encyclopedia Definition

Homer

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published on 19 June 2013
Homer (c. 750 BCE) is perhaps the greatest of all epic poets and his legendary status was well established by the time of Classical Athens. He composed (not wrote, since the poems were created and transmitted orally, they were not written down until much later) two major works, the Iliad and the Odyssey; other works were attributed to Homer, but even in antiquity... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Archaic Period

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published on 08 August 2012
The Greek Archaic Period (c. 800- 479 BCE) started from what can only be termed uncertainty, and ended with the Persians being ejected from Greece for good after the battles of Plataea and Mykale in 479 BCE. The Archaic Period is preceded by the Greek Dark Age (c.1200- 800 BCE), a period about which little is known for sure, and followed by the Classical... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Pompey

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published on 27 January 2013
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a military leader and politician during the fall of the Roman Republic. He was born in 106 BCE and died on 28th September 48 BCE. His father was Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo.  Pompey’s life can be easily split into four phases: his early career (106- 71 BCE), his consulship until ... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Hesiod

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published on 21 July 2012
Hesiod (c.700BC) in conjunction with Homer, is one of those almost legendary early Greek Epic poets. His works are not of comparable length to Homer's. Hesiod's poems are not epic because of their length, but because of their language. Hesoid has composed two complete works that have come down to us, the Theogony, and the Works and Days, both composed... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Thucydides

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published on 19 April 2012
Thucydides (c. 460/455 - 399/398 BCE) was an Athenian general who wrote the contemporary History of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, which lasted from 431 BCE to 404 BCE. However, Thucydides' History was never finished, and as such, ends mid-sentence in the winter of 411 BCE. The History was divided into 13 separate books by later scholars... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Polybius

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published on 11 July 2012
Polybius was, whilst a Greek historian, a Roman historian, in that his work dealt with explaining how Rome came to be so great. Like the three Classical Greek Historians, Polybius himself had personal experiences and inquiries into what he was studying at a level that included and went beyond reading scrolls and memoirs stored in a library... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Cicero

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published on 15 January 2013
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman orator, statesman and writer. He was born on the 6th January 106 BCE at either Arpinum or Sora, 70 miles south-east of Rome, in the Volscian mountains. His father was an affluent eques and the family was distantly related to Gaius Marius. He is not to be confused with his son (of the same name) or Quintus Tullius Cicero (his... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Legio II Augusta

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published on 19 March 2013
It is not too clear where this legion had its origins, but it probably took the name ‘augusta’ from a reorganisation or victory under Augustus. The earliest that we know of the legion for certain is 26 BCE, when it was one of seven or more legions that Augustus led against the Cantabrians, a people of Spain, as part of the Cantabrian... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Roman Army

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published on 30 April 2013
The Roman army, famed for its discipline, organistion, and innovation in both weapons and tactics, allowed Rome to build and defend a huge empire which for centuries would dominate the Mediterranean world and beyond. Overview The Roman army, arguably one of the longest surviving and most effective fighting forces in military history, has a rather... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Lasus of Hermione

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published on 31 August 2013
Lasus of Hermione was a celebrated 6th century BCE Greek lyric poet and musician credited with making significant innovations in Greek music. The Suda (a large Byzantine record from the 10th century CE) dates his birth to the 58th Olympiad (548-44 BCE). Lasus was based in Athens under the patronage of the tyrant Hipparchus, making him a contemporary... [continue reading]
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Apollo and Marsyas

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published on 18 June 2014
National Archaeological Museum, Athens, 215. 330-20 BCE. This relief slab is one of four that made up the revetment of a pedestal (only three survive), and was found at Mantineia, Arcadia. The pedestal either acted as a base for a statue group of the Delian trinity (Leto, Apollo, and Artemis) or as an altar. On this relief the musical agon between Apollo... [continue reading]
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Detail of Apollo from NAM, Athens, 215. He is seated on a tree stump, wearing chlamys and chiton, and sandals. In his left hand he rests his seven string lyre (the stings would have been painted; the number of tuning pegs gives their frequency.)
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Detail of Marsyas from NAM, Athens, 215. The bearded satyr can be seen in a state of movement as he plays his auloi, the spread of his fingers is preserved by the left hand, and presumably corresponds to the finger-holes of the instrument
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NAM, Athens, 1130. Late 6th century BCE. This lekythos (perfume vessel) depicts the story of Odyssey, 12, where Odysseus is tied to his ship's mast in order to hear the music of the sirens, but to be restrained from straying into their danger. Odysseus wears a petasos, a typical traveling hat, and his short chiton is depicted in white. The bindings around Odysseus'... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Marsyas

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published on 27 June 2014
Marsyas the satyr, or silen, was seen as a mythological founder of aulos playing or a divine judge of it by the ancient Greeks. The way in which his aulos playing enraptured his audience was likened to the way in which Socrates mesmerised his audience with his philosophising words, and the fact that the two were both quite ugly is also picked... [continue reading]
Review

The Complete Roman Legions

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published on 17 March 2013
This book is a brilliant addition to Thames and Hudson’s series on the Ancient World. This volume, co-authored by Nigel Pollard and Joanne Berry, lecturers of Roman History and archaeology at Swansea University, is a great general account of the Roman Legions. Beautifully illustrated, clearly laid out, and well-written, it is primarily for a general audience... [continue reading]
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