Ancient History & Civilisation

Illustrations

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1. A pentathlete doing the long jump with hand-held weights. Amphora of the Tyrrhenian group, c. 540 BC.

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2. A slave-girl entertains male symposiasts with music: red-figure krater, or mixing-bowl, fourth century BC.

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3. Hunter, wearing the typical petasos-hat, with his spears and hound, c. 510–500 bc, Edinburgh painter, Athens.

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4. A sexually aroused older male fondles a young, probably prepubic, boy in a gym or wrestlingspace (palaestra). Brygos painter, Athens, c. 480 BC.

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5. Bronze figurine of a Spartan girl, from the rim of a bronze vessel. Her robe, cut away off the shoulder, suggests she is dancing. Late SIXTH century BC.

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6. Marble statue of a god or hero, found on the Spartan acropolis. The sides of the helmet are decorated with male rams. Late fifth century BC.

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7. Footguards of the Persian king, with pointed hats of Scythian style. From Persepolis, fourth century BC.

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8. Painting on the inner surface of the coffin-lid of the ‘Tomb of the Diver’, found in 1968 about a mile south of Paestum. Four other paintings of scenes from a symposium decorated the inner sides: the young boy dives, holding his head awkwardly, from a plinth of uncertain significance. Like the symposium scenes, the scene surely refers to worldly life, perhaps to something in the dead man’s earlier life, rather than symbolizing his dive out into the ‘unknown’ space of the underworld, a favoured but fanciful interpretation. Painting on white stucco surface.

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9. Small terracotta plaque from Locri, in the Greek West. A young woman handles a folded cloth at a decorated chest, beneath a mirror, a wool-basket, a flask and cup. c. 470–450 BC.

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10. ‘Riace Bronze’ statue, Warrior A, evidently a hero, who held a shield. Fine classical work, arguably Athenian, c. 460 BC. Shipwrecked, and thus preserved, off southern Italy.

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11. Marble relief of Athenian cavalryman, his gaze fixed on his fallen enemy. Possibly a reference to the first cavalry battle in the Peloponnesian War, c. 431–430 BC. If so, Pericles’ Funeral Speech was spoken over the dead, including this warrior.

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12. A rare Athenian representation of a slave, ugly, chained at the ankles and collecting stones. Attic black-figure, c. 490–480 BC.

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13. A wreathed young boy, perhaps not a slave, fills his party-cup, or kylix, with watered wine from the mixing-bowl. Attic red-figure cup, Cage painter c. 490 BC.

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14. White-ground oil-flask, showing a female, playing as a Muse, captioned with the word ‘Helicon’, signifying the muses’ mountain. Achilles painter, c. 440–430 BC.

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15. A pensive goddess Athena contemplates what is probably a grave monument; perhaps inscribed with names of Athenian casualties in war. Fine classical marble relief, Athens Acropolis, c. 460 BC.

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16. Gravestone of Sosias and Kephisodorus: two citizen-hoplites shake hands; a man in a priestly tunic at left. Athens, c. 410 BC.

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17. A baby learns to crawl as its parents, surely, look on. Athenian red-figure jug, pelike, c. 430–420 BC.

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18. Copy of the marble statue by Polyeuctus to honour the democratic orator Demosthenes in 280 bc at Athens, fortytwo years after his death.

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19. Legendary Alexander at the Last Judgement with Indian Porus, Cyrus the Persian and Nebuchadnezzar the Babylonian, two hundred years his senior. From Kastoria, in his home Macedonia. Late Byzantine wall painting, fourteenth c. ad.

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20. Grave monument of husband and wife, Thraseas and Euandria, watched by a young slave girl. Attica, c. 350–340 BC.

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21. Reconstruction of a painting of a Macedonian lion- and boar-hunt, set in Asia. Alexander rides in to rescue what may be Lysimachus, a future Successor. Perhaps first painted in c. 332/1 bc, and copied later in mosaic.

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22. Silver tetradrachm, c. 310–305 bc, showing Alexander, struck for Ptolemy I, his friend, historian and commander.

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23. Indo-Greek silver tetradrachm, c. 170–145 bc, with bust of King Eucratides the Great, ruler and conqueror in Bactria, Sogdia and north-west India long after Alexander.

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24. Indo-Greek silver tetradrachm, c. 150–135 bc, with bust of Menander, a truly great conqueror from Bactria through India to the river Ganges: he was remembered in Buddhist tradition.

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25. Silver tetradrachm from Sardis, c. 213–190 bc, with head of the Seleucid King Antiochus III, defeated by Rome in 188 BC.

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26. Portrait bust of Seleucus I, Alexander’s commander of the Royal Shield-bearers and eventual Successor in Asia. Cast of Roman replica, Herculaneum.

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27. Big column-capitals, removed from Ai Khanum in Afghanistan, site of the Greek city, by origin (probably) an Alexandria on the river Oxus. Reused since 1980 in this nearby tea-house.

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28. Portrait bust of Demetrius the Besieger, the most flamboyant of Alexander’s successors, showing small bull’s horns, attributes of the god Dionysus. Cast of Roman replica, Herculaneum.

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29. South façade of the court of Tomb I in the Moustapha Pasha necropolis, Alexandria. The painting showed Macedonian cavalrymen and standing ladies. c. 280–260 BC.

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30. The most distant known Ionic Greek column-capital: from the big temple at Takht-i-Sangin on the further bank of the Oxus, in Tadjikistan. c. 300–280 BC.

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31. Foot of a colossal Greek statue, surely of a god, from the Greek city at Ai Khanum, Afghanistan, c. 250–150 BC.

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32. Portrait head of Pompey, an imperial Roman copy, combining the realism of small eyes and expression with a hairstyle recalling the great Alexander’s.

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33. Portrait head of Julius Caesar, probably posthumous, c. 40–30 BC.

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34. Marble portrait, also posthumous, believed to represent Cicero, c. 40–30 BC.

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35. The Portland Vase, (blue and white cameo-glass), probably depicting mythological Peleus and Thetis (left) and maybe Aeneas and unhappy Dido (right). Reference to Antony and Cleopatra (left) and Octavian and rejected Octavia (right) has been suggested. Perhaps c. 35 BC.

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36. Lavish amphitheatre mosaic, showing named hunters in the arena killing named leopards (‘The Roman’; ‘Luxurious’). Floor-mosaic from house of Magerius, near Thysdrus, Tunisia. Perhaps c. AD 260–80.

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37. Colour reconstruction of the so-called ‘Peplos Kore’ from Athens, a ‘Maiden in a Robe’. Most Greek marble statues were painted brightly. Original c. 530 BC.

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38. Colour reconstruction of the grave-stele of Aristion by Aristocles. Original c. 510 bc, found at Marathon in Attica. Aristion was possibly the famous sculptor from Paros.

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39. The ‘Lady in Blue’, one of five painted terracotta ‘Tanagra’ figurines from a tomb just north of Tanagra, central Greece. The lady with her fan, robe and covered head is perhaps a courtesan. c. 330–300 BC.

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40. Silver plate with gilding: a goddess, perhaps Cybele, drawn by lions to an altar. From the Greek city at Ai Khanum, Afghanistan, c. 300 BC.

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41. Aerial view of the most remote Greek city, at Ai Khanum, Afghanistan, by the rivers Oxus and Kokcha, probably an Alexandria by origin. The lower city area has been devastated by plundering during the recent wars.

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42. Wall painting from the earliest tomb excavated under the Great Mound at Vergina (Aigai), the Macedonian dynastic centre: the god Pluto abducts Persephone to the underworld. c. 340 BC.

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43. From the hunt-painting on the façade of the double royal tomb at Vergina, correctly ascribed to King Philip II. Details of rider identified as young Alexander.

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44. Detail of the older King Philip, matching his own coin-portraits, as he attacks a lion with the young Royal Pages whom he instituted.

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45. Reconstruction of a section of the hunt painting on the tomb: young Alexander, after killing a boar, rides to the lion being attacked by King Philip and the Pages. Similar in style, perhaps the same artist, as Plate

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46. Tomb painting at Agios Athanasios (probably Chalastra) near Thessalonica, showing Macedonian males processing with torches and drinking vessels; dining, and standing as infantrymen. Arguably c. 340–335 BC.

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47. Painting of drunken Silenus, with a similar big ‘griffin’ drinking horn to the one in figure 46. From a marble tomb-bed found in Potidaea, south-west Macedonia, late fourth century BC.

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48. Wall-painting of Terentius Neo, holding a book-scroll, and his wife, holding a stylus-pen and a folded writing-tablet. Pompeii, c. AD 60.

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49. Venus in a seashell, pushed and pulled by cherubs, in a trompe l’æil painting of the sea which thus seems to lie out beyond the adjoining garden paintings. Her hairdo was fashionable in Nero’s reign. Pompeii, 60s ad.

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50. Woman–man sex scene, House of the Centenary, room 43, wall painting in small bedroom of household overseer. Pompeii, AD 40–70.

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51. Man–woman sex scene. Uncertain location. Wall painting from Pompeii, now in Naples Museum.

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52. Portrait of a boy, with surrounding mummy-wrappings. Fayyum, Egypt. Reign of Trajan, AD 98–117.

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53. Portrait of a woman, with fine pearl and red-stone earrings: mummy portrait from Hadrian’s new foundation of Antinoopolis, AD 130s.

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54. Silver denarius, Rome, showing a scene of voting. 113 or 112 BC.

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55. Silver denarius, Rome: Sulla triumphing in a four-horse chariot. 82 BC.

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56. Silver denarius, Rome: portrait of Julius Caesar (obverse) and his supposed ancestress Venus (reverse). 44 bc, his final year.

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57. Gold aureus, Rome, showing Nero and his mother Agrippina, a unique double portrait of an emperor and an imperial woman, but she was a unique ‘queen’ mother. AD 54.

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58. Relief frieze from the shrine of the emperors, or Sebasteion, at Aphrodisias in Turkey, showing Augustus with representations of land and sea, symbolizing his power over the world, c. AD 60.

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59. Relief frieze from the same site, showing the Emperor Claudius conquering Britannia, as his army partly did.

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60. Gold aureus struck in Judaea under Titus, AD 70. Obverse, Emperor Vespasian. The reverse shows the earliest-known figure of Justice, the Romans’ verdict on their sack of Jerusalem and the Temple.

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61. Brass sestertius from Rome, ad 96. Obverse, portrait of Nerva, the ‘good’ emperor.

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62. Gold aureus from Rome AD 134–8, with Hadrian (obverse) and a personified Egypt (reverse), one of his types of the provinces.

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63. Reconstruction of Trajan’s Library in Rome where the historian Tacitus may have worked (reconstruction by G. Gorski).

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64. The Roman aqueduct at Segovia in Spain, reaching almost one hundred feet at its highest point. Built in the first century or early second century ad.

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65. A reconstruction of Pliny’s Villa at Laurentum, one of many, based on Pliny’s own Letter. By L.P. Haudebourt, in 1838, after visiting the area in 1815–16.

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66. Roman theatre, built at Emerita Augusta (Merida, Spain), probably with the backing of Augustus’ general Agrippa. 16/5 BC.

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67. Scenes from Trajan’s Column at Rome, dedicated in AD 113 to commemorate Trajan’s Dacian Wars (in modern Romania).a) Dacian prisoners before Trajan outside a Roman camp.

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b) Roman soldiers lock shields in the ‘tortoise’-testudo formation against a Dacian fort.

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c) The Dacians’ leader Decebalus kills himself by a tree as Roman cavalry attack him.

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d) Victory inscribes a shield with Trajan’s successes for posterity.

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68. Tondo originally from a Hadrianic hunting-monument, Rome. Hadrian (second left) and possibly Antinous (left) with the lion they killed in West Egypt, in September AD 130.

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69. Replica statue of a beardless warrior, probably a Greek hero, not a war god, by the ‘Canopus’ canal, Hadrian’s villa at Tivoli, c. AD 135.

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70. Bronze portrait head of Hadrian, second quarter of the second century ad.

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71. Relief of Hadrian’s beloved Antinous, deified, from near Lanuvium in Italy.

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