The Louvre Castle was a castle built by King Philip II of France to reinforce the walls he had built around Paris and further protect the city. It was demolished in stages to make way for the Louvre Palace, its main location was on the right bank of the Seine river. Before his departure for the Third Crusade in 1190, King Philip II wanted to protect Paris, the capital of his Kingdom, against invasions. In particular, he wanted to defend Paris against English soldiers based in Normandy. Additionally and more King Phillip II wanted to build a place to keep his treasure and his archives safe; these archives were sacred to the King because they were lost during the Battle of Fréteval in 1194 against Richard the Lionheart, but he had since reconstructed and didn't want to lose again. He built the enclosure, which bears his name, around Paris between 1190 and 1209 for the right bank portion and between 1200 and 1215 for the left bank, less exposed; the Louvre castle stands west, the most exposed side, as English soldiers were occupying Normandy less than 100 km away.
This decision was motivated by a previous Norman invasion in 845 that captured the city. The castle itself is composed of a squared fortress, surrounded by a 10 m wide moat fed by the water of the nearby Seine river; the wall on the west side, which overlooks the countryside, is thicker and doorless when compared to the other walls, as it was appraised to be the most exposed side, therefor the most vulnerable for an attack. The perimeter is reinforced by ten defensive towers, with extra emphasis on the corners of the castle; the space between towers never exceeds 25 m, the distance corresponding to the effective range of a bow. They are pierced with arrowslits to defend the ramparts; the castle has two entrances with the main one facing south and the Seine, while a secondary smaller one faces east and the city. These doors are framed between two twin towers. Two additional buildings housing the garrisons and the arsenals are located outside of the surrounding wall, to the west and south of the central courtyard, respectively.
The set of curtains and walls are at a slight downward angle to hamper sapping attempts and to facilitate the rebound of projectiles thrown from the top against attacking soldiers. A dungeon named, it is a circular dungeon with a diameter of 15.6 m and is enclosed by a 30 m tall wall, 4.25 m thick at its base. It is surrounded by a 9 m wide ditch, 6 m deep; this ditch is dry and paved with large irregular stones. It is crossed by a drawbridge; the interior arch was built in stone to limit the risk of fire. The dungeon has a conical roof slate over the machicolation, it features a large tank for supporting long sieges, as well as a chapel. Philippe Auguste chose a round dungeon, instead of a squared or rectangular one, for military reasons; the reason being, enemy pioneers could more sap the wall at the angles of squared towers compared to circular towers, a smart tactic on the part of Auguste. The dungeon had a military function as the refuge of the king. However, it housed the royal treasure and archives, at least until Philippe le Bel.
It was used as a prison until the 14th century. Notable prisoners included Ferdinand, Count of Flanders, defeated and captured at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214 and spent thirteen years imprisoned in this dungeon; this castle is a typical example of the philipian architecture. Under the orders of King Louis IX of France, the castle was enlarged and new rooms were built without any real defensive purpose, an example would be the Salle Saint-Louis in 1230-1240. At the time of the King Charles V of France, who reigned from 1364AD to 1380AD, Paris extended beyond the walls of Philippe-Auguste; the king built a new enclosure, which encompassed these new quarters, as well as the Louvre castle other wise known as: The Wall of Charles V. King Charles decided to sacrifice some military devices to make the Castle more habitable as a safe, enjoyable royal residence, he was worried about the safety of himself and his family after the riot of February 22, 1358 led by Étienne Marcel, the merchants' provost, that threatened the King inside the Palais de la Cité.
This gradual change meant that the castle lost much of its original military purpose to the importance a safe royal residence. His architect Raymond du Temple added turrets and habitable surfaces, created many gardens and pierced wider openings. King Charles V repurposed the northwest tower into the First Royal Library which contained nine hundred manuscripts; the miniature illustrations of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry show the Louvre castle during that time. They give a general idea of the layout of the fortress, although at that time aesthetic or comfort adjustments were made to the detriment of military concerns. During the Hundred Years' War, English soldiers commanded by Henry V of England allied to the Burgundian, who controlled Paris, entered the city. On December 1, in 1420AD the English occupied the Louvre castle without a fight. There they found the city ruined by civil war and scarcity and stayed there until 1436. In 1525, King Francis I of France was held prisoner in Pavia.
During his captivity, the Court interfered with the King decisions using its droit de remontrance. In addition, the faculty of theology and the Parliament of Paris started to showed some independence; the king held a lit de justice on July
Hurrian foundation pegs
The Hurrian foundation pegs known as the Urkish lions, are twin copper foundation pegs each in the shape of a lion that came from the ancient city of Urkesh in Syria. The pegs were placed at the foundation of the temple of Nergal in the city of Urkesh as mentioned in the cuneiform inscriptions on them; the inscription on the two pegs and the associated stone tablet is the oldest known text in the Hurrian language. One of the lions is now housed, along with its limestone tablet, in the Musée du Louvre in Paris; the second lion is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The foundation pegs are dated to the Akkadian period c. 2300 – c. 2159 BCE. They were placed in the foundation of the temple of Nergal, the god of the underworld, during its construction; the pegs were deposited to protect and preserve the temple and the Hurrian prince of Urkesh, Tish-atal, who dedicated it. The upper part of the figurines depict a snarling lion with the forelegs stretched forward, while the lower part ends in a thick peg.
The lion places its paws on a copper plaque with cuneiform inscriptions. The copper plate and the lion pegs were made separately and attached together; the use of such lion figures for protection was commonplace in Ancient Mesopotamia, but the Urkish lions are unique in their use as foundation pegs. The Louvre lion measures 12.2 by 8.5 centimetres. The inscription on the copper plaque is erased but the legible parts confirm that it is a copy of the cuneiform inscription found on the stone tablet; the white limestone tablet, which fits under the copper plate and measures 10 by 9 centimetres, bears the following inscription: "Tishatal, king of Urkesh, has built a temple for the god Nergal. May the god Nubadag protect this temple. May Nubadag destroy. May the Lady of Nagar and the god of the storm." The inscription is the earliest known text written in the Hurrian language. The stone tablet was buried along with the metal peg as evidenced by the imprints of the copper oxide on the tablet, the reverse imprints of the tablet in the oxide of the copper plate.
The Met lion measures 11.7 by 7.9 centimetres and while it was made from a different mold to that of the Louvre, it is considered stylistically the same. The copper tablet still has legible traces of the cuneiform inscriptions; the inscriptions spanned fourteen lines. Lines 1–12 were incised vertically between the edge of the plate and the lion's left foreleg. Lines 13 and 14 were incised horizontally between the two stretched forelegs of the lion; the legible traces seem to confirm that the inscribed text is a copy of the full inscription found on the Louvre stone tablet. Neither artefact has an archaeological record for its acquisition, thus their original setting can not be confirmed; the Louvre lion and accompanying stone tablet were acquired in 1948 from a Parisian antiquities dealer. The Met lion was purchased in 1948 from a New York antiquities dealer with funds from the Joseph Pulitzer bequest. Art of Mesopotamia Hurrian language
Amarna letter EA 362
Amarna letter EA 362, titled: "A Commissioner Murdered," is a finely-inscribed clay tablet letter from Rib-Haddi, the mayor/'man' of the city of Byblos. Byblos, being a large coastal seaport Mediterranean city, was a city, aligned with Egypt, housed an Egyptian community. Rib-Haddi, as the city-state leader wrote the largest number of letters to the Pharaoh, in a sub-corpus of the 1350 BC Amarna letters. Near the end of his rule, Rib-Haddi penned two large diplomatic letters summarizing conditions of his hostilities with peoples like the Hapiru, but other city-state rulers, vying for regional ascendency. Letter EA 362 relates the hostilities, but talks of disease, upon his land; the letter ends addressing the fate of Egypt's commissioner Pawura. The Amarna letters, about 300, numbered up to EA 382, are a mid 14th century BC, about 1350 BC and 20–25 years correspondence; the initial corpus of letters were found at Akhenaten's city Akhetaten, in the floor of the Bureau of Correspondence of Pharaoh.
Letter EA 362 is numbered AO 7093, from the Louvre, in France. EA 362, a letter by Rib-Haddi to Pharaoh, 1 of 70 letters in the Rib-Haddi sub-corpus of the Amarna letters. Obverse: Photo, see here: --Rib-Haddi. Say to the king, my lord: I fall beneath the feet of my lord 7 times and 7 times.1 --I have indeed heard the words of the king, my lord, my heart is overjoyed. May my lord hasten the sending of the archers with all speed. If the king, my lord, does not send archers we ourselves must die and --Gubla2 will be taken, he was distraught recently: he is distraught now.3 Recently they were saying, "There will be no archers," but I wrote with the result that archers came out and took their father.. --Now indeed they are saying, "Let him not write or we will be taken."4 They seek to capture Gubla, they say, "If we capture Gubla, we will be strong. Reverse: Should I move to the territory the men will desert in order to take territory for themselves,7 and there will be no men to guard Gubla, the city of the king, my lord.
--So may my lord hasten the archers or we must die. Because my lord has written to me, they know indeed that they are going to die, so they seek to commit a crime.8 As to his having said9 before the king, "There is a pestilence in the lands," the king, my lord, should not listen to the words of other men. There is no pestilence in the lands, it has been over for a long tme.10 --My lord knows that I do not write lies to my lord. All the mayors are not in favor of the archers' coming out. I am the one. --May the king, my lord, come out, for I have distress. Look, the day you come out, all the lands will be joined to my lord. Who will resist the troops of the king? Side: --May the king, my lord, not leave this year free for the sons of Abdi-Aširta, for you know all their acts of hatred11 against the lands of the king. Who are they that they have committed a crime and killed the commissioner: sú-ki-na, -Pewure?-- The Akkadian language text: Note. But comparison with the Moran, French, modern times translation, will show the variety, stressing of different translations.
Akkadian: Tablet Obverse: see here: Note: - / / / - represents, a segue, or change in topic. – -Rib-Haddi qabû–.– –ana Šarru bēlu-ia–.–.–.–.– –ana šupalu šēpu bēlu-ia–.–.–.– –7 ta u 7 maqātu–.–.–.–.–.–.– –enūma šemû amatu–.–.– –šarru, bēlu-ia ù hadû libbu–.– --magal hamātu bēli-- –uššuru ṣābu pí-ṭá-ti7–.–.–.– –ar-hi-iš šumma Šarru bēlu-ia–.– –lā uššuru ṣābu pí-ṭá-ta5–.– –ù nīnu nimūt–.–.–.–.– –ù ālu Gubli–.–.– –leqû agami–.– –tumāl šālšami–.– –magāgu inanna–.–.– –tumāl šālšami–.– –qabû jānu–.–.–.– –ṣābu pí-ṭá-ta5 ù šapāru–.– –ù aṣu ṣābu pí-ṭá-tu–.–.–.– –ù leqû 1.-A-Ba-Šu-Nu–.– –anūma inanna qabû–.–.–.–.– –lā šapāru ù–.–.–.–.–.– –leqû ù anūma–.–.–.–.–.–.–.–.– –ba"û ṣabātu alāni Gubli–.– –ù qabû ṣabātu–.–.– –nīnu alāni–.–.–.–.– –ù danānu amāru–.–.–.–.–.– –ṣabātu šunu alāni–.–(they seized towns Byblos(Gubli
Bronze Sphinx of Thutmose III
The Bronze Sphinx of Thutmose III is a statuette of a sphinx made during the 18th Dynasty of Egypt under the reight of Thutmose III, who ruled from c. 1479 to 1425 BCE. Adorned with multiple symbols of royal power, it might have been a lock, it was purchased by the Louvre in 1826, is part of the permanent collections — display case 4 in Room 637, Sully Wing, first floor. The statuette is adorned with gold inlays highlighting symbols of royal power; the sphinx depicts Pharaoh reclining on the Nine Bows, which represent the traditional enemies of Egypt brought to submission. The front of the statuette uses the lapwing Rekhyt bird to spell: "all the people give praise", using the basket hieroglyph V30 for "all". Djed pillars of "Dominion" adorn on the side of the statuette. Sphinx de Thoutmosis III, www.louvre.fr
The Louvre Pyramid is a large glass and metal pyramid designed by Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei, surrounded by three smaller pyramids, in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace in Paris; the large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Completed in 1989, it has become a landmark of the city of Paris. Commissioned by the President of France, François Mitterrand, in 1984, it was designed by the architect I. M. Pei; the structure, constructed with glass segments and metal poles, reaches a height of 21.6 metres. Its square base has a base surface area of 1,000 square metres, it consists of 70 triangular glass segments. The pyramid structure was engineered by Nicolet Chartrand Knoll Ltd. of Montreal and Rice Francis Ritchie of Paris. The pyramid and the underground lobby beneath it were created because of a series of problems with the Louvre's original main entrance, which could no longer handle the enormous number of visitors on an everyday basis. Visitors entering through the pyramid descend into the spacious lobby ascend into the main Louvre buildings.
For design historian Mark Pimlott, "I. M. Pei’s plan distributes people from the central concourse to myriad destinations within its vast subterranean network... the architectonic framework evokes, at gigantic scale, an ancient atrium of a Pompeiian villa. The Dolphin Centre, featuring a similar pyramid, was opened in April 1982, by Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester; the construction work on the pyramid base and underground lobby was carried out by the Vinci construction company. In 1839, according to one newspaper account, in ceremonies commemorating the "glorious revolution" of 1830, "The tombs of the Louvre were covered with black hangings and adorned with tricolored flags. In front and in the middle was erected an expiatory monument of a pyramidical shape, surmounted by a funeral vase." The construction of the pyramid triggered many years of strong and lively aesthetic and political debate. Criticisms tended to fall into four areas: the modernist style of the edifice being inconsistent with the classic French Renaissance style and history of the Louvre.
M. Pei being insufficiently French to be entrusted with the task of updating the treasured Parisian landmark; those criticizing the aesthetics said it was "sacrilegious" to tamper with the Louvre's majestic old French Renaissance architecture, called the pyramid an anachronistic intrusion of an Egyptian death symbol in the middle of Paris. Meanwhile, political critics referred to the structure as Pharaoh Francois' Pyramid. Many still continue to feel. During the design phase, there was a proposal that the design include a spire on the pyramid to simplify window washing. Pei objected and this proposal was eliminated, it has been claimed by some that the glass panes in the Louvre Pyramid number 666, "the number of the beast" associated with Satan. Dominique Stezepfandt's book François Mitterrand, Grand Architecte de l'Univers declares that "the pyramid is dedicated to a power described as the Beast in the Book of Revelation The entire structure is based on the number 6." The story of the 666 panes originated in the 1980s, when the official brochure published during construction did indeed cite this number.
The number 666 was mentioned in various newspapers. The Louvre museum, states that the finished pyramid contains 673 glass panes. A higher figure was obtained by David A. Shugarts, who reports that the pyramid contains 689 pieces of glass. Shugarts obtained the figure from the Pei's offices. Elementary arithmetic allows for easy counting of the panes: each of the three sides of the pyramid without an entrance has 18 triangular panes and 17 rows of rhombic ones arranged in a triangle, thus giving 17 ⋅ 2 = 153 rhombic panes; the side with the entrance has 11 panes fewer, so the whole pyramid consists of 4 ⋅ 153 − 9 = 603 rhombi and 4 ⋅ 18 − 2 = 70 triangles, 673 panes total. The myth resurfaced in 2003, when Dan Brown incorporated it in his best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, in which the protagonist reflects that "this pyramid, at President Mitterrand's explicit demand, had been constructed of 666 panes of glass — a bizarre request that had always been a hot topic among conspiracy buffs who claimed 666 was the number of Satan."
However, David A. Shugarts reports that according to a spokeswoman of the offices of Pei, the French President never speci
A mosaic is a piece of art or image made from the assembling of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It is used in decorative art or as interior decoration. Most mosaics are made of small, flat square, pieces of stone or glass of different colors, known as tesserae; some floor mosaics, are made of small rounded pieces of stone, called "pebble mosaics". Mosaics have a long history, starting in Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium BC. Pebble mosaics were made in Tiryns in Mycenean Greece. Early Christian basilicas from the 4th century onwards were decorated with ceiling mosaics. Mosaic art flourished in the Byzantine Empire from the 6th to the 15th centuries. Mosaic fell out of fashion in the Renaissance, though artists like Raphael continued to practise the old technique. Roman and Byzantine influence led Jewish artists to decorate 5th and 6th century synagogues in the Middle East with floor mosaics. Mosaic was used on religious buildings and palaces in early Islamic art, including Islam's first great religious building, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.
Mosaic went out of fashion in the Islamic world after the 8th century. Modern mosaics are made by professional artists, street artists, as a popular craft. Many materials other than traditional stone and ceramic tesserae may be employed, including shells and beads; the earliest known examples of mosaics made of different materials were found at a temple building in Abra and are dated to the second half of 3rd millennium BC. They consist of pieces of colored stones and ivory. Excavations at Susa and Chogha Zanbil show evidence of the first glazed tiles, dating from around 1500 BC. However, mosaic patterns were not used until the times of Roman influence. Bronze age pebble mosaics have been found at Tiryns. Mythological subjects, or scenes of hunting or other pursuits of the wealthy, were popular as the centrepieces of a larger geometric design, with emphasized borders. Pliny the Elder mentions the artist Sosus of Pergamon by name, describing his mosaics of the food left on a floor after a feast and of a group of doves drinking from a bowl.
Both of these themes were copied. Greek figural mosaics could have been copied or adapted paintings, a far more prestigious artform, the style was enthusiastically adopted by the Romans so that large floor mosaics enriched the floors of Hellenistic villas and Roman dwellings from Britain to Dura-Europos. Most recorded names of Roman mosaic workers are Greek, suggesting they dominated high quality work across the empire. Splendid mosaic floors are found in Roman villas across North Africa, in places such as Carthage, can still be seen in the extensive collection in Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia. There were two main techniques in Greco-Roman mosaic: opus vermiculatum used tiny tesserae cubes of 4 millimeters or less, was produced in workshops in small panels which were transported to the site glued to some temporary support; the tiny tesserae allowed fine detail, an approach to the illusionism of painting. Small panels called emblemata were inserted into walls or as the highlights of larger floor-mosaics in coarser work.
The normal technique was opus tessellatum, using larger tesserae, laid on site. There was a distinct native Italian style using black on a white background, no doubt cheaper than coloured work. In Rome and his architects used mosaics to cover some surfaces of walls and ceilings in the Domus Aurea, built 64 AD, wall mosaics are found at Pompeii and neighbouring sites; however it seems that it was not until the Christian era that figural wall mosaics became a major form of artistic expression. The Roman church of Santa Costanza, which served as a mausoleum for one or more of the Imperial family, has both religious mosaic and decorative secular ceiling mosaics on a round vault, which represent the style of contemporary palace decoration; the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale near Piazza Armerina in Sicily are the largest collection of late Roman mosaics in situ in the world, are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The large villa rustica, owned by Emperor Maximian, was built in the early 4th century.
The mosaics were covered and protected for 700 years by a landslide that occurred in the 12th Century. The most important pieces are the Circus Scene, the 64m long Great Hunting Scene, the Little Hunt, the Labours of Hercules and the famous Bikini Girls, showing women undertaking a range of sporting activities in garments that resemble 20th Century bikinis; the peristyle, the imperial apartments and the thermae were decorated with ornamental and mythological mosaics. Other important examples of Roman mosaic art in Sicily were unearthed on the Piazza Vittoria in Palermo where two houses were discovered; the most important scenes there depicted are an Orpheus mosaic, Alexander the Great's Hunt and the Four Seasons. In 1913 the Zliten mosaic, a Roman mosaic famous for its many scenes from gladiatorial contests and everyday life, was discovered in the Libyan town of Zliten. In 2000 archaeologists working
Stele of the Vultures
The Stele of the Vultures is a monument from the Early Dynastic III period in Mesopotamia celebrating a victory of the city-state of Lagash over its neighbour Umma. It shows various battle and religious scenes and is named after the vultures that can be seen in one of these scenes; the stele was carved out of a single slab of limestone, but only seven fragments are known today. The fragments were found at Tello in southern Iraq in the late 19th century and are now on display in the Louvre; the stele was erected as a monument to the victory of king Eannatum of Lagash over Enakalle of Umma. The stele is not complete; the first three fragments were found during excavations in the early 1880s by the French archaeologist Ernest de Sarzec at the archaeological site of Tello, ancient Girsu, in what is today southern Iraq. Another three fragments came to light during the excavations of 1888–1889. A seventh fragment, determined to be part of the Stele of the Vultures and thought to have come from Tello, was acquired on the antiquities market by the British Museum in 1898.
While two initial requests to hand this fragment over to the Louvre were denied by the British Museum, it was given to them in 1932 so that it could be incorporated in the reconstructed stele together with the other fragments. The complete monument, as reconstructed and now in display in the Louvre, would have been 1.80 metres high, 1.30 metres wide and 0.11 metres thick and had a rounded top. It was made out of a single slab of limestone with carved reliefs on both sides; the stele can be placed in a tradition of mid- to late-third millennium BC southern Mesopotamia in which military victories are celebrated on stone monuments. A similar monument is the Victory Stele of Naram-Sin, created during the Akkadian period that followed on the Early Dynastic III period; the two sides of the stele show distinctly different scenes and have therefore been interpreted as a mythological side and a historical side. The mythological side is divided into two registers; the upper, larger register shows a large male figure holding a mace in his right hand and an anzu or lion-headed eagle in his left hand.
The anzu identifies the figure as the god Ningirsu. Below the anzu is a large net filled with the bodies of naked men. Behind Ningirsu stands a smaller female figure wearing a horned headband and with maces protruding from her shoulders; these characteristics allow the figure to be identified as the goddess Ninhursag. The lower, smaller register is badly preserved but, based on comparisons with contemporary depictions, it has been suggested that it depicted the god Ningirsu standing on a chariot drawn by mythological animals; the historical side is divided into four horizontal registers. The upper register shows Eannatum, the ensi or ruler of Lagash, leading a phalanx of soldiers into battle, with their defeated enemies trampled below their feet. Flying above them are the vultures after which the stele is named, with the severed heads of the enemies of Lagash in their beaks; the second register shows soldiers marching with shouldered spears behind the king, riding a chariot and holding a spear.
In the third register, a small part of a seated figure can be seen. In front of him, a cow is tethered to a pole while a naked priest standing on a pile of dead animal bodies performs a libation ritual on two plants spouting from vases. Left of these scenes is a pile of naked bodies surrounded by skirted workers with baskets on their head. Only a small part of the fourth register has been preserved, showing a hand holding a spear that touches the head of an enemy; some Sumerologists have proposed reconstructing a caption near the enemy as "Kalbum, King of Kish". The inscriptions on the stele are badly preserved, they run continuously from one side to the other. The text is written in Sumerian cuneiform script. From these inscriptions, it is known that the stele was commissioned by Eannatum, an ensi or ruler of Lagash around 2460 BC. On it, he describes a conflict with Umma over Gu-Edin, a tract of agricultural land located between the two city-states; the conflict ends in a battle in which Eannatum, described as the beloved of the god Ningirsu, triumphs over Umma.
After the battle, the leader of Umma swears that he will not transgress into the territory of Lagash again upon penalty of divine punishment. The Stele of the Vultures in the Louvre