Hellenistic art

Hellenistic art is the art of the Hellenistic period taken to begin with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and end with the conquest of the Greek world by the Romans, a process well underway by 146 BCE, when the Greek mainland was taken, ending in 30 BCE with the conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt following the Battle of Actium. A number of the best-known works of Greek sculpture belong to this period, including Laocoön and His Sons, Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, it follows the period of Classical Greek art, while the succeeding Greco-Roman art was largely a continuation of Hellenistic trends. The term Hellenistic refers to the expansion of Greek influence and dissemination of its ideas following the death of Alexander – the "Hellenizing" of the world, with Koine Greek as a common language; the term is a modern invention. In artistic terms this means that there is huge variety, put under the heading of "Hellenistic Art" for convenience. One of the defining characteristics of the Hellenistic period was the division of Alexander's empire into smaller dynastic empires founded by the diadochi: the Ptolemies in Egypt, the Seleucids in Mesopotamia and Syria, the Attalids in Pergamon, etc.

Each of these dynasties practiced a royal patronage. In Alexander's entourage were three artists: Lysippus the sculptor, Apelles the painter, Pyrgoteles the gem cutter and engraver; the period after his death was one of great prosperity and considerable extravagance for much of the Greek world, at least for the wealthy. Royalty became important patrons of art. Sculpture and architecture thrived, but vase-painting ceased to be of great significance. Metalwork and a wide variety of luxury arts produced much fine art; some types of popular art were sophisticated. There has been a trend in writing history to depict Hellenistic art as a decadent style, following the Golden Age of Classical Greece; the 18th century terms Baroque and Rococo have sometimes been applied to the art of this complex and individual period. A renewed interest in historiography as well as some recent discoveries, such as the tombs of Vergina, may allow a better appreciation of the period. In the architectural field, the dynasties following Hector resulted in vast urban plans and large complexes which had disappeared from city-states by the 5th century BC.

The Doric Temple was abandoned. This city planning was quite innovative for the Greek world. One notes the appearance of many places of amusement and leisure, notably the multiplication of theatres and parks; the Hellenistic monarchies were advantaged in this regard in that they had vast spaces where they could build large cities: such as Antioch and Seleucia on the Tigris. It was the time of gigantism: thus it was for the second temple of Apollo at Didyma, situated twenty kilometers from Miletus in Ionia, it was designed by Daphnis of Miletus and Paionios of Ephesus at the end of the fourth century BC, but the construction, never completed, was carried out up until the 2nd century AD. The sanctuary is one of the largest constructed in the Mediterranean region: inside a vast court, the cella is surrounded by a double colonnade of 108 Ionic columns nearly 20 metres tall, with richly sculpted bases and capitals; the Corinthian order was used for the first time on a full-scale building at the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

The ancient city of Olynthus was one of the architectural and artistic keystones in establishing a connection between the Classical and Hellenistic worlds. Over 100 homes were found at the Olynthus city site. Interestingly, the homes and other architecture were well preserved; this allows us to better understand the activities that took place in the homes and how space inside the homes was organized and utilized. Homes in Olynthus were squarer in shape; the desired home was not large or extravagant, but rather comfortable and practical. This was a mark of civilization, prominent in Greek culture during the Hellenistic period and beyond. Living a civilized life involved maintaining a sturdy living space, thus many brick-like materials were used in the construction of the homes. Stone, wood and other materials were used to build these dwellings. Another element, popular during the Hellenistic period was the addition of a courtyard to the home. Courtyards served as a light source for the home as Greek houses were closed off from the outside to maintain a level of privacy.

There have been windows found at some home sites, but they are high off the ground and small. Because of the issue of privacy, many individuals were forced to compromise on light in the home. Well-lit spaces were used for entertaining or more public activity while the private sectors of the home were dark and closed off which complicated housework. Courtyards were the focus of the home as they provided a space for entertaining and a source of light from the interior of the home, they were paved with cobblestones or pebbles most but there have been discoveries of mosaicked courtyards. Mosaics were a wonderful way for the family to express their interests and beliefs as well as a way to add décor to the home and make it more visually appealing; this artistic touch to homes at Olynthus introduces another element of civilized

Lanciano Cathedral

Lanciano Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary as Santa Maria del Ponte is the duomo of Lanciano in Chieti and the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Lanciano-Ortona. In February 1909 Pope Pius X raised it to the status of minor basilica; the unique characteristic of this church, reflected in its name, lies in the fact that it is built on top of three arches of a Roman bridge, built by Diocletian. The citizens of Lanciano decided to erect a church in honour of the Madonna in 1389, it was called Oratorio di Maria Santissima del Ponte and was renamed to Santa Maria delle Grazie. In 1088, during reconstruction work on the bridge after an earthquake, a statue of the Madonna and Child was discovered and named the Madonna of the bridge; the statue was in fact an 8th-century Byzantine icon hidden in an arch of the bridge during the iconoclasm. The church was built in the 14th century. At the beginning of the 17th century the campanile was built by Tommaso Sotardo of Milan. In 1785, some work was done to enrich the interior.

It was rebuilt in the 18th century, under the direction of the engineer Eugenio Micchitelli, who demolished the pre-existing church. The facade of the new church was begun in 1819; the church received further renovation work between 1942 and 1943. Inside, there is a single nave. There are pilasters along all the walls with Corinthian capitals. There are Neoclassical altars along the side walls, with paintings. Three of these have niches with statues of saints. In a niche at the base of the chancel is the polychrome terracotta statue of the Madonna del Ponte; the facade has a projecting portion formed by the portico, capped by the balustrade. The exterior walls are made of brick; the campanile has three levels. On the right side of the nave is the chapel of the Holy Sacrament; the frescoes of its vaults are the work of the Neapolitan painter Giacinto Diano. Recent restorations, following an earthquake in 1985, have adapted the chancel to fit the norms prescribed by Vatican II, with the new altar consecrated in 1996 and the construction of an ambon in 1997, together with a baptismal font in 1999, near the chancel.

The campanile of the basilica has a small cannon on the summit, fired at noon every day to signal the hour. There is a bell which rings in a burst every morning at 8:00 and at 12:00, called Squillina; the Squillina, which rings with the daily firing of the cannon at noon sounds in the evening on 23 December, the day of the Lanciano prawn festival, a pre-Christmas tradition in which the children are shut in their family houses, kiss their fathers' hands as a sign of respect and receive gifts. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lanciano-Ortona

Mario Brkljańća

Mario Brkljača is a retired Croatian footballer who played as a midfielder. Born in Zagreb, Brkljača began his senior career with hometown side Zagreb. During the winter transfer window of 2008–09, Brkljača joined Hajduk Split. After a successful short spell at Hajduk, he signed for Italian club side Cagliari Calcio on 8 August 2009 on loan. After an unsuccessful loan spell at the Italian club, he returned to Hajduk. On 16 January 2015, Brkljača signed a one-and-a-half-year contract with CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria, he left the team after the conclusion of the second half of the 2014/2015 season. Mario Brkljača at Soccerway Mario Brkljača at the Croatian Football Federation