The Kroisos Kouros is a marble kouros from Anavyssos in Attica which functioned as a grave marker for a fallen young warrior named Kroîsos. The free-standing sculpture strides forward with the archaic smile playing slightly on his face, the sculpture is dated to c. 540–515 BC and stands 1.95 meters high and it is now situated in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. The inscription on the base of the reads, στε̑θι ∶ καὶ οἴκτιρον ∶ Κροίσο παρὰ σε̑μα θανόντος ∶ / ℎόν ποτ’ ἐνὶ προμάχοις ∶ ὄλεσε θο̑ρος ∶ Ἄρες. Stop and show pity beside the marker of Kroisos, whom, nikolaos Kaltsas, Sculpture in the National Archaeological Museum, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles 2002, ISBN 0-89236-686-9, p. 58–59. Media related to Kroisos Kouros at Wikimedia Commons Anavyssos Kouros
The Sounion Kouros is an early archaic Greek statue of a naked young man or kouros. Larger than life size, the statue was carved in marble from Naxos in around 600BC and it has similarities with Egyptian statues but the kouros is naked with no skirt. The head is large and square, with an archaic smile, some red colouring remains in the strands of braided hair, which are held by a ribbon tied by in a Heracles knot, and with curls on the forehead. Anatomical features are suggested by surface marks, including eight compartments to the abdomen, some details are abstracted, it has large volute earlobes, over large almond-shaped eyes, and the proportions are elongated. Restored to a height of 3.05 metres, it is now held by the National Archaeological Museum of Athens
The Ninnion Tablet, dated to approximately 370 BC, is a red clay tablet depicting the ancient Greek Eleusinian Mysteries. It was rediscovered in Eleusis, Attica in 1895, and is kept in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the tablet depicts Iacchus leading a procession of initiates into the Mysteries. Receiving this group are the deities Demeter and Persephone, above the artifacts main scene are multiple representations of the moon. The Ninnion Tablet is the only known representation of the Mysteries initiation rites. Chapter 22, The Mysteries of Demeter and Kore, blackwell Companions to the Ancient World. Eleusis, Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter, volume 4 of Archetypal Images in Greek Religion
Grave Circle A, Mycenae
Grave Circle A in Mycenae is a 16th-century BC royal cemetery situated to the south of the Lion Gate, the main entrance of the Bronze Age citadel of Mycenae, southern Greece. Grave Circle A and Grave Circle B, the latter found outside the walls of Mycenae, the circle has a diameter of 27.5 m and contains six shaft graves, where a total of nineteen bodies were buried. It has been suggested that a mound was constructed over each grave, among the objects found were a series of gold death masks, additionally beside the deceased were full sets of weapons, ornate staffs as well as gold and silver cups. The site was excavated by the archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1876, following the descriptions of Homer, one of the gold masks he unearthed became known as the The Death Mask of Agamemnon, ruler of Mycenae according to Greek mythology. However, it has proved that the burials date circa three centuries earlier, before Agamemnon is supposed to have lived. The valuable objects found in the graves suggest that powerful rulers were buried in this site, although Agamemnon was supposed to have lived centuries later, these graves might have belonged to the former ruling dynasty of Mycenae – according to Greek mythology, the Perseides.
These Bronze Age people were equipped with horses, surrounded themselves with luxury goods, the Shaft Graves found in Mycenae signified the elevation of a new Greek-speaking royal dynasty whose economic power depended on long-distance sea trade. Grave Circles A and B, the latter found outside the walls of Mycenae, the Grave Circle A site was part of a larger funeral place from the Middle Helladic period. At the time it was built, during the Late Helladic I, there was probably a small unfortified palace on Mycenae, there is no evidence of a circular wall around the site during the period of the burials. The last interment took place circa 1500 BC, immediately after the last interment, the local rulers abandoned the shaft graves in favour of a new and more imposing form of tomb already developing in Messenia, south Peloponessus, the tholos. Around 1250 BC, when the fortifications of Mycenae were extended, a double ring peribolos wall was built around the area. It appears that the site became a temenos, while a circular construction, the burial site had been replanned as a monument, an attempt by the 13th century BC Mycenean rulers to appropriate the possible heroic past of the older ruling dynasty.
Under this context, the surface was built up to make a level precinct for ceremonies. A new entrance, the Lion Gate, was constructed near the site, Grave Circle A, with a diameter of 27.5 m, is situated on the acropolis of Mycenae southeast of the Lion Gate. The site is surrounded by two rows of slabs, while the space between the rows was filled with earth and roofed with slabs. The Grave Circle contains six shaft graves, the smallest of which is measured at 3.0 m by 3.5 m, over each grave a mound was constructed and stelae were erected. These stelae had been erected in memory of the Mycenaean rulers buried there. A total of nineteen bodies – eight men, nine women, among the findings, boars tusks were found in Grave IV, as well as five golden masks in Graves IV and V
Mythical legends make him the king of Mycenae or Argos, thought to be different names for the same area. When Helen, the wife of Menelaus, was taken to Troy by Paris, upon Agamemnons return from Troy, he was murdered by Aegisthus, the lover of his wife, Clytemnestra. In some versions Clytemnestra herself does the killing, or they act together as accomplices, Agamemnons father, murdered the children of his twin brother Thyestes and fed them to Thyestes after discovering Thyestes adultery with his wife Aerope. Thyestes fathered Aegisthus with his own daughter and this son vowed gruesome revenge on Atreus children, Aegisthus successfully murdered Atreus and restored his father to the throne. Aegisthus took possession of the throne of Mycenae and jointly ruled with Thyestes, during this period Agamemnon and his brother, took refuge with Tyndareus, King of Sparta. There they respectively married Tyndareus daughters Clytemnestra and Helen and Clytemnestra had four children, one son and three daughters, Iphigenia and Chrysothemis.
Menelaus succeeded Tyndareus in Sparta, while Agamemnon, with his brothers assistance, drove out Aegisthus and he extended his dominion by conquest and became the most powerful prince in Greece. Thus misfortune hounded successive generations of the House of Atreus, until atoned by Orestes in a court of justice held jointly by humans, Agamemnon gathered the reluctant Greek forces to sail for Troy. Preparing to depart from Aulis, which was a port in Boeotia, including a plague and a lack of wind, prevented the army from sailing. Finally, the prophet Calchas announced that the wrath of the goddess could only be propitiated by the sacrifice of Agamemnons daughter Iphigenia and her death appeased Artemis, and the Greek army set out for Troy. Several alternatives to the human sacrifice have been presented in Greek mythology, hesiod said she became the goddess Hecate. Agamemnon was the commander-in-chief of the Greeks during the Trojan War, during the fighting, Agamemnon killed Antiphus and fifteen other Trojan soldiers.
The Iliad tells the story about the quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles in the year of the war. Following one of the Achaean Armys raids, daughter of Chryses, Chryses pleaded with Agamemnon to free his daughter but was met with little success. Chryses prayed to Apollo for the return of his daughter. After learning from the Prophet Calchas that the plague could be dispelled by returning Chryseis to her father, Agamemnon reluctantly agreed, however, as compensation for his lost prize, Agamemnon demanded a new prize. As a result, Agamemnon stole an attractive slave called Briseis, one of the spoils of war, the greatest warrior of the age, withdrew from battle in response to Agamemnons supposedly evil deed and allegedly put the Greek armies at risk of losing the war. Although not the equal of Achilles in bravery, Agamemnon was a representative of kingly authority, as commander-in-chief, he summoned the princes to the council and led the army in battle
Feuds begin because one party perceives itself to have been attacked, insulted or wronged by another. Intense feelings of resentment trigger the initial retribution, which causes the party to feel equally aggrieved. The dispute is subsequently fuelled by a cycle of retaliatory violence. This continual cycle of provocation and retaliation makes it difficult to end the feud peacefully. Feuds frequently involve the original family members and/or associates, can last for generations. They can be interpreted as an outgrowth of social relations based in family honor. Until the early period, feuds were considered legitimate legal instruments and were regulated to some degree. For example, Serb culture calls this krvna osveta, meaning blood revenge, in the English-speaking world, vendetta is sometimes extended to mean any other long-standing feud, not necessarily involving bloodshed. Sometimes, it is not mutual, but rather refers to a series of hostile acts waged by one person against another without reciprocation.
Blood feuds were common in societies with a rule of law. An entire family is considered responsible for any one of them has done. Sometimes two separate branches of the family have even come to blows, or worse, over some dispute. The practice has mostly disappeared with more centralized societies where law enforcement, in Homeric ancient Greece, the practice of personal vengeance against wrongdoers was considered natural and customary, Embedded in the Greek morality of retaliation is the right of vengeance. Feud is a war, just as war is a series of revenges. In the ancient Hebraic context, it was considered the duty of the individual, the executor of the law of blood-revenge who personally put the initial killer to death was given a special designation, goel haddam, the blood-avenger or blood-redeemer. Six Cities of Refuge were established to provide protection and due process for any unintentional manslayers, the avenger was forbidden from harming the unintentional killer if the killer took refuge in one of these cities.
According to historian Marc Bloch, The Middle Ages, from beginning to end, the onus, of course, lay above all on the wronged individual, vengeance was imposed on him as the most sacred of duties. The solitary individual, could do but little, moreover, it was most commonly a death that had to be avenged
Mycenaean Greece was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece. It represents the first advanced civilization in mainland Greece, with its states, urban organization, works of art. Among the centers of power emerged, the most notable were those of Pylos, Midea in the Peloponnese, Thebes, Athens in Central Greece. The most prominent site was Mycenae, in Argolid, to which the culture of this era owes its name. Mycenaean and Mycenaean-influenced settlements appeared in Epirus, Macedonia, on islands in the Aegean Sea, on the coast of Asia Minor, the Levant and Italy. Their syllabic script, the Linear B, offers the first written records of the Greek language, Mycenaean Greece was dominated by a warrior elite society and consisted of a network of palace states that developed rigid hierarchical, political and economic systems. At the head of society was the king, known as wanax. Various theories have proposed for the end of this civilization. Additional theories such as natural disasters and climatic changes have suggested.
The Mycenaean period became the setting of much ancient Greek literature and mythology. The Bronze Age in mainland Greece is generally termed as the Helladic period by modern archaeologists, after Hellas, the Greek name for Greece. This period is divided into three subperiods, The Early Helladic period was a time of prosperity with the use of metals, the Middle Helladic period faced a slower pace of development, as well as the evolution of megaron-type dwellings and cist grave burials. Finally, the Late Helladic period roughly coincides with Mycenaean Greece, the transition period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age in Greece is known as Sub-Mycenaean. Moreover, it revealed that the bearers of Mycenaean culture were ethnically connected with the populations that resided in the Greek peninsula after the end of this cultural period. Various collective terms for the inhabitants of Mycenaean Greece were used by Homer in his 8th century BC epic, the Iliad, in reference to the Trojan War. The latter was supposed to have happened in the late 13th – early 12th century BC, Homer used the ethnonyms Achaeans and Argives, to refer to the besiegers.
These names appear to have passed down from the time they were in use to the time when Homer applied them as terms in his Iliad. There is an reference to a-ka-wi-ja-de in the Linear B records in Knossos, Crete dated to c.1400 BC
A rhyton is a roughly conical container from which fluids were intended to be drunk or to be poured in some ceremony such as libation, or merely at table. They are typically formed in the shape of an animals head, the English word rhyton originates in the ancient Greek word ῥυτόν. The conical rhyton form has been known in the Aegean region since the Bronze Age, however, it was by no means confined to that region. Similar in form to, and perhaps originating from, the drinking horn and Scott give a standard derivation from Greek rhein, to flow, according to Julius Pokorny, is from Indo-European *sreu-, flow. As rhutos is stream, the neuter, would be sort of object associated with pouring. Many vessels considered rhytons featured a mouth at the top. Smith points out that use is testified in classical paintings and accepts Athenaeuss etymology that it was named ἀπὸ τῆς ῥύσεως. Smith categorized the name as having been a recent form of a vessel called the keras, horn. The word rhyton is not present in what is known about Mycenaean Greek, the bulls head rhyton, of which many examples survive, is mentioned as ke-ra-a on tablet KN K872, an inventory of vessels at Knossos, it is shown with the bull ideogram.
Ventris and Chadwick restored the word as the adjective *keraa, with a Mycenaean intervocalic h, rhyta shaped after bulls are filled through the large opening and emptied through the secondary, smaller one. This means that two hands are required, one to close the opening and one to fill the rhyton. This has led scholars to believe that rhytons were typically filled with the help of two people or with the help of a chain or a rope that would be passed through a handle. Rhytons modeled after animals were designed to make it look like the animal was drinking when the vessel was being filled, a bull rhyton weighed about three kilograms when empty and up to six kilograms when full. Other rhytons with animal themes were modeled after boars, some shapes, such as lioness rhyta, could be filled through simple submersion, thanks to the vessel’s shape and buoyancy. Horizontally designed rhyta, like those modeled after lionesses, could be filled by being lowered into a fluid, vertically designed rhyta, like those modeled after boars, required another hand to cover the primary opening and to prevent the liquid from spilling as the vessel was filled.
Rhyta were often used to strain liquids such as wine, some rhyta were used in blood rituals and animal sacrifice. In these cases, the blood may have been thinned with wine, some vessels were modeled after the animal with which they were intended to be used during ritual, but this was not always the case. It cannot be supposed that every drinking horn or libation vessel was pierced at the bottom, the scoop function would have come first
The Pitsa panels or Pitsa tablets are a group of painted wooden tablets found near Pitsa, Corinthia. They are the earliest surviving examples of Greek panel painting, the four panels, two of them highly fragmentary, were discovered during the 1930s in a cave near the village of Pitsa, in the vicinity of Sicyon. They can be dated to circa 540–530 BC, i. e. to the Archaic period of Greek art. The tablets are thin wooden boards or panels, covered with stucco and their bright colours are surprisingly well preserved. Only eight colours are used, with no shading or gradation of any sort, the black contour outlines were drawn first and filled in with colours. The tablets depict religious scenes connected with the cult of the nymphs, one of the two near-complete examples shows a sacrifice to the nymphs. Three or more females, dressed in chiton and peplos, are approaching an altar to the right and they are accompanied by musicians playing the lyra and aulos. The person nearest the altar appears to be pouring a libation from a jug, a small figure behind her, perhaps a slave, is leading a lamb, the sacrificial victim.
An inscription in the Corinthian alphabet names two woman dedicators and Eucholis and states that the tablet, or the offering, is dedicated to the nymphs. The second well-preserved tablet has a dedication to the nymphs. The tablets are votive offerings, connected with the cult of the nymphs. Stylistically and technically, they represent rather low quality panel paintings of their time. Most ancient paintings that survived are either frescoes or vase paintings and it is known that panel paintings were held in much higher regard, but very few of them have survived. The best known examples of ancient panel painting, the Fayum mummy portraits, the Pitsa panels, probably preserved due to the unusual climatic conditions inside the cave, are by far the earliest examples of this technique to survive. As the only pre-Roman specimens, they represent virtually all the evidence for a style of art. Incidentally, the ancient Greeks believed that painting was invented in Sicyon. Panel painting Archaic Greece Art in ancient Greece Ancient Greek religion Larson, J.
Greek Nymphs — Myth, oxford University Press,2001, pp. 232–233. Page about Pitsa on a dedicated to ancient Sicyon Pitsa panels on Foundation for the Hellenic World website
The Phrasikleia Kore is an Archaic Greek statue by the artist Aristion of Paros created between 550 and 540 B. C. It was found on a tomb in the ancient city of Myrrhinus in Attica, due to its exceptional state of preservation, it is one of the most important works of Archaic art. Michel Fourmont, who visited Greece in the years 1729–1730, described a block of marble with an inscription that was found in the church of Panagia of Merenda, the inscription had been rendered illegible before being used in the church, but it was able to be reconstructed. In 1968, the block was removed and placed in the Epigraphical Museum of Athens, four years later, the archaeologist Efthymios Mastrokostas discovered two marble statues in the tombs at Myrrhinus, a kouros and a kore, which obviously belonged with the same inscription. They immediately remembered the base with the inscription that had found by itself 200 metres away. In the lower part of the statues were found pieces of lead that had once attached them to their base, based on this mass of lead, which exactly fit the marble block with the inscription, the fact that they belonged together was clearly demonstrated.
Although the name of Aristion had been known from being mentioned in inscriptions, the inscription may be the earliest known example of stoichedon, in which evenly spaced letters are aligned both horizontally and vertically. The statue is now in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and is displayed in Room 11, the statue, of Parian marble, is 211 centimetres high and rises on a pedestal 26 centimetres high. As the inscription suggests, it depicts a woman who died unmarried. She is standing erect and wearing a peplos, decorated with flowers and meanders. Around her waist she wears a girdle, the foreparts of her feet and sandals are visible. Her right arm hangs down and firmly holds onto her peplos and her left arm is bent in front of her body and holds a still-unopened lotus flower. On her head she wears a garland of flowers, round about her neck a necklace and it is possible to see traces of the original polychrome. In the Gods in Color exhibit, a reconstruction of the coloring is presented, Phrasikleia, an anthropology of reading in ancient Greece.
Cornell University Press, Ithaca 1993, ISBN 0-8014-9752-3, vinzenz Brinkmann, Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann, Heinrich Piening. The Funerary Monument to Phrasikleia, in, the Polychromy of Antique and Mediaeval Sculpture, Akten des Kolloquium Liebieghaus Frankfurt 2008,2010, p. 188-217
The legends about Daedalus recognize him both as a man and as a mythical embodiment. He was the inventor of agalmata, statues of the gods which had open eyes and moveable limbs. These statues were so lifelike that Plato remarked upon their amazing and disconcerting mobility, the writer Pausanias thought that wooden images were referred to as daidala even before Daedalus’s time. Daidala were the implements of early society, defensive works, furniture, Daedalic sculpture reveals Eastern influences, known as Orientalizing Period in Greek art. The female body is rather flatly geometric, with high waist, early sculpture exhibiting these attributes is known as Daedalic, it was used for figurines, on clay plaques, and in relief decorations on vases. It seems to have had an influence in the Peloponnese, Dorian Crete. Its style is based on a formula which remained dominant, though with evolutionary modifications. Sarah P. Morris and the Origins of Greek Art, Princeton,1992
National Archaeological Museum, Athens
The National Archaeological Museum in Athens houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from prehistory to late antiquity. It is considered one of the greatest museums in the world, the first national archaeological museum in Greece was established by prime minister of Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias in Aigina in 1829. The initial name for the museum was The Central Museum and it was renamed to its current name in 1881 by Prime Minister of Greece Charilaos Trikoupis. In 1887 the important archaeologist Valerios Stais became the museums curator, during World War II the museum was closed and the antiquities were sealed in special protective boxes and buried, in order to avoid their destruction and looting. In 1945 exhibits were displayed under the direction of Christos Karouzos. The south wing of the houses the Epigraphic Museum with the richest collection of inscriptions in the world. The inscriptions museum expanded between 1953 and 1960 with the designs of Patroklos Karantinos.
The museum has an imposing neo-classical design which was popular in Europe at the time and is in accordance with the classical style artifacts that it houses. The initial plan was conceived by the architect Ludwig Lange and it was modified by Panagis Kalkos who was the main architect, Armodios Vlachos. At the front of the museum there is a large neo-classic design garden which is decorated with sculptures, the building has undergone many expansions. These expansions were necessary to accommodate the growing collection of artifacts. The most recent refurbishment of the museum more than 1.5 years to complete. The Minoan frescoes rooms opened to the public in 2005, on May 2008 the Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis inaugurated the much anticipated collection of Egyptian antiquities and the collection of Eleni and Antonis Stathatos. Today, there is a discussion regarding the need to further expand the museum to adjacent areas. A new plan has made for a subterranean expansion at the front of the museum.
The museums collections are organised in sections, The prehistoric collection displays objects from the Neolithic era and Mid-Bronze age, objects classified as Cycladic and Mycenaean art. There are ceramic finds from various important Neolithic sites such as Dimini and Sesclo from middle Helladic ceramics from Boeotia, some objects from Heinrich Schliemann excavations in Troy are on display. Cycladic collection features the famous marble figurines from the Aegean islands of Delos and Keros including the Lutist, of great interest are the two golden cups from Vafeio showing a scene of the capture of a bull