arthistorycq:

byzantio:

A “themata” map of around the 950s. The themata was the byzantine response to the rapid islamic expansion of the previous 2 centuries. Every thema had a commander with military and civilian duties and also permanent army in order to defend the area in case of an invasion while the armies of the Capital could take weeks to arrive. No doubt, this innovation led to the Macedonian expansion of the next century.

I’m not a Byzantium expert so this is quite interesting and helpful!

arthistorycq:

byzantio:

A “themata” map of around the 950s. The themata was the byzantine response to the rapid islamic expansion of the previous 2 centuries. Every thema had a commander with military and civilian duties and also permanent army in order to defend the area in case of an invasion while the armies of the Capital could take weeks to arrive. No doubt, this innovation led to the Macedonian expansion of the next century.

I’m not a Byzantium expert so this is quite interesting and helpful!

ancientart:

Thetis gives her son Achilles his weapons newly forged by Hephaestus, detail of an Attic black-figure hydria, Ancient Greek, ca. 575 BC–550 BC.
Photo taken by Jastrow at the Louvre, France.

ancientart:

Thetis gives her son Achilles his weapons newly forged by Hephaestus, detail of an Attic black-figure hydria, Ancient Greek, ca. 575 BC–550 BC.

Photo taken by Jastrow at the Louvre, France.

ancientart:

Ancient Etruscan fresco Hunting and fishing, 6th century BC.
Wall painting from burial chamber called Tomb of the Hunting and Fishing at the Etruscan necropolis of Tarquinia in Lazio, Italy.

ancientart:

Ancient Etruscan fresco Hunting and fishing, 6th century BC.

Wall painting from burial chamber called Tomb of the Hunting and Fishing at the Etruscan necropolis of Tarquinia in Lazio, Italy.

Portrait head of the Emperor Augustus, ca. 14–37; Julio-ClaudianRomanMarble
In 30 B.C., Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus became ruler of the empire that Rome had amassed over the previous three centuries. During the next forty-four years, he introduced institutions and an ideology that combined the traditions of Republican Rome with the realities of kingship. In 27 B.C., the Senate conferred on Octavian the honorific title of Augustus, an adjective with connotations of dignity and stateliness, and around this same time, an official imperial portrait was created that embodied the qualities that Augustus wished to project.
Hundreds of versions of this portrait on coins, gems, busts, monumental reliefs, and statues were disseminated throughout the empire during his reign and thereafter. This particular over-lifesize head may have been part of one such statue of the emperor made during the reign of his successor Tiberius. This kind of imperial image represented a new conception in ruler portraiture—certain features are somewhat individualized, such as the broad forehead with a distinctive arrangement of locks and prominent ears, but the overall effect is one of elevated dignity that recalls Greek Classical statues of the fifth century B.C.

Portrait head of the Emperor Augustus, ca. 14–37; Julio-Claudian
Roman
Marble

In 30 B.C., Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus became ruler of the empire that Rome had amassed over the previous three centuries. During the next forty-four years, he introduced institutions and an ideology that combined the traditions of Republican Rome with the realities of kingship. In 27 B.C., the Senate conferred on Octavian the honorific title of Augustus, an adjective with connotations of dignity and stateliness, and around this same time, an official imperial portrait was created that embodied the qualities that Augustus wished to project.

Hundreds of versions of this portrait on coins, gems, busts, monumental reliefs, and statues were disseminated throughout the empire during his reign and thereafter. This particular over-lifesize head may have been part of one such statue of the emperor made during the reign of his successor Tiberius. This kind of imperial image represented a new conception in ruler portraiture—certain features are somewhat individualized, such as the broad forehead with a distinctive arrangement of locks and prominent ears, but the overall effect is one of elevated dignity that recalls Greek Classical statues of the fifth century B.C.

Sir Arthur Evans, the British archaeologist, characterized the Bronze Age culture of Crete as Minoan, after the legendary King Minos. From the material he excavated at Knossos, Evans devised a chronological scheme consisting of nine periods for Minoan civilization on Crete. His Early, Middle, and Late Minoan periods, each with three subdivisions, roughly followed the tripartite division of Egyptian history in the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. Our knowledge of Early Minoan Crete comes primarily from burials and a number of excavated settlement sites. Artistic works of this period indicate that advances were made in gem engraving, stoneworking (especially vases), metalworking, and pottery. Terracotta bowls on high pedestals appeared and burnishing tools were used for decoration.
Around 1900 B.C., during the Middle Minoan period, Minoan civilization on Crete reached its apogee with the establishment of centers, called palaces, that concentrated political and economic power, as well as artistic activity, and may have served as centers for the redistribution of agricultural commodities. Major palaces were built at Knossos and Mallia in the northern part of Crete, at Phaistos in the south, and at Zakros in the east. These palaces are distinguished by their arrangement around a paved central court and sophisticated masonry. In general, there were no defensive walls, although a network of watchtowers punctuating key roads on the island has been identified. The walls and floors of the palaces were often painted and colorful frescoes depicted rituals or scenes of nature. There were sanitary facilities as well as provisions for adequate lighting and ventilation. Living quarters of the palaces, like the better Minoan houses, were spacious. With the palaces came the development of writing, probably as a result of the new record-keeping demands of the palace economy. The Minoans on Crete employed two types of scripts, a hieroglyphic script whose source of inspiration was probably Egypt, and a linear script, Linear A, perhaps inspired by the cuneiform of the eastern Mediterranean. The scripts are found on sun-dried clay tablets that are mostly administrative records; on ritual objects such as miniature double axes and stone libation tables; and on pottery and rings. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Minoan palaces also functioned as centers for ritual, although major religious activities also occurred at cult sites in the country such as caves, springs, and peak sanctuaries. Much of the first half of the second millennium B.C. was a time of widespread prosperity for Minoan Crete and a period of active trade with other civilizations around the Mediterranean basin. Cretan exports consisted of timber, foodstuffs, cloth, and, most likely, olive oil, as well as finely crafted luxury goods. In exchange, the Minoans imported tin, copper, gold, silver, emery, fine stones, ivory, and some manufactured objects. For their basic needs, however, the Minoans on Crete were self-sufficient. During this period, great strides were made in metalworking and pottery—exquisite filigree, granulated jewelry, and carved seal stones reveal an extraordinary sensitivity to materials and dynamic forms. These characteristics are equally apparent in a variety of media, including clay, gold, stone, ivory, and bronze. From 1500 B.C., there was increasing influence from the Mycenaean culture on the Greek mainland, and there is clear archaeological evidence for widespread destruction on the island around 1450 B.C. If the Mycenaeans were not responsible for this destruction, they certainly took advantage of the events—administrative records from this period are written in Linear B, the script of Mycenaean Greeks. Contemporary pottery shows a blend of Minoan and Mycenaean stylistic traits. Eventually, by the beginning of the eleventh century B.C., the Minoan culture on Crete was in decline.

Sir Arthur Evans, the British archaeologist, characterized the Bronze Age culture of Crete as Minoan, after the legendary King Minos. From the material he excavated at Knossos, Evans devised a chronological scheme consisting of nine periods for Minoan civilization on Crete. His Early, Middle, and Late Minoan periods, each with three subdivisions, roughly followed the tripartite division of Egyptian history in the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. Our knowledge of Early Minoan Crete comes primarily from burials and a number of excavated settlement sites. Artistic works of this period indicate that advances were made in gem engraving, stoneworking (especially vases), metalworking, and pottery. Terracotta bowls on high pedestals appeared and burnishing tools were used for decoration.

Around 1900 B.C., during the Middle Minoan period, Minoan civilization on Crete reached its apogee with the establishment of centers, called palaces, that concentrated political and economic power, as well as artistic activity, and may have served as centers for the redistribution of agricultural commodities. Major palaces were built at Knossos and Mallia in the northern part of Crete, at Phaistos in the south, and at Zakros in the east. These palaces are distinguished by their arrangement around a paved central court and sophisticated masonry. In general, there were no defensive walls, although a network of watchtowers punctuating key roads on the island has been identified. The walls and floors of the palaces were often painted and colorful frescoes depicted rituals or scenes of nature. There were sanitary facilities as well as provisions for adequate lighting and ventilation. Living quarters of the palaces, like the better Minoan houses, were spacious. 

With the palaces came the development of writing, probably as a result of the new record-keeping demands of the palace economy. The Minoans on Crete employed two types of scripts, a hieroglyphic script whose source of inspiration was probably Egypt, and a linear script, Linear A, perhaps inspired by the cuneiform of the eastern Mediterranean. The scripts are found on sun-dried clay tablets that are mostly administrative records; on ritual objects such as miniature double axes and stone libation tables; and on pottery and rings. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Minoan palaces also functioned as centers for ritual, although major religious activities also occurred at cult sites in the country such as caves, springs, and peak sanctuaries. 

Much of the first half of the second millennium B.C. was a time of widespread prosperity for Minoan Crete and a period of active trade with other civilizations around the Mediterranean basin. Cretan exports consisted of timber, foodstuffs, cloth, and, most likely, olive oil, as well as finely crafted luxury goods. In exchange, the Minoans imported tin, copper, gold, silver, emery, fine stones, ivory, and some manufactured objects. For their basic needs, however, the Minoans on Crete were self-sufficient. During this period, great strides were made in metalworking and pottery—exquisite filigree, granulated jewelry, and carved seal stones reveal an extraordinary sensitivity to materials and dynamic forms. These characteristics are equally apparent in a variety of media, including clay, gold, stone, ivory, and bronze. 

From 1500 B.C., there was increasing influence from the Mycenaean culture on the Greek mainland, and there is clear archaeological evidence for widespread destruction on the island around 1450 B.C. If the Mycenaeans were not responsible for this destruction, they certainly took advantage of the events—administrative records from this period are written in Linear B, the script of Mycenaean Greeks. Contemporary pottery shows a blend of Minoan and Mycenaean stylistic traits. Eventually, by the beginning of the eleventh century B.C., the Minoan culture on Crete was in decline.

ancientart:

Chiron instructs young Achilles, Ancient Roman fresco from the National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Italy.

ancientart:

Chiron instructs young Achilles, Ancient Roman fresco from the National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Italy.

archaeologicalnews:

A giant poolside mosaic featuring intricate geometric patterns has been unearthed in southern Turkey, revealing the far-reaching influence of the Roman Empire at its peak.

The mosaic, which once decorated the floor of a bath complex, abuts a 25-foot (7-meter)-long pool, which would have been…

ancientart:

Ancient Roman Bust of Alexander the Great, 2nd century, marble, Walters Art Museum, USA.

Starting from his base in Macedon in northern Greece, Alexander conquered the Persian Empire in 331 BC and went on to forge an empire that ultimately stretched to India. He founded the city of Alexandria in that same year. His charismatic personality, his premature death at the age of 33, and his idealistic vision of a world unified through Greek culture led him to be associated with heroic figures such as Heracles, men who through their deeds were believed to have become gods.
For centuries afterward, Alexander was honored as a god and as the ideal monarch. Portraits of Alexander the Great emphasize his heroic character. The classically youthful face, the anastole (an arrangement of hair upswept from the brow), the long wavy locks, and the hole in the crown for the insertion of a star (a symbol of his deification) identify this work as a portrait of the ruler. The Roman date is indicated by the deep grooves in the hair and the artist’s rendering of the folds of the mantle as drilled channels.

ancientart:

Ancient Roman Bust of Alexander the Great, 2nd century, marble, Walters Art Museum, USA.

Starting from his base in Macedon in northern Greece, Alexander conquered the Persian Empire in 331 BC and went on to forge an empire that ultimately stretched to India. He founded the city of Alexandria in that same year. His charismatic personality, his premature death at the age of 33, and his idealistic vision of a world unified through Greek culture led him to be associated with heroic figures such as Heracles, men who through their deeds were believed to have become gods.

For centuries afterward, Alexander was honored as a god and as the ideal monarch. Portraits of Alexander the Great emphasize his heroic character. The classically youthful face, the anastole (an arrangement of hair upswept from the brow), the long wavy locks, and the hole in the crown for the insertion of a star (a symbol of his deification) identify this work as a portrait of the ruler. The Roman date is indicated by the deep grooves in the hair and the artist’s rendering of the folds of the mantle as drilled channels.

historicity-was-already-taken:

I’ve received a significant enough number of questions about what to expect from graduate school, and requests for general graduate school advice that I decided to just throw it all into a post. This post will be geared specifically to those pursuing an advanced degree in history, but a lot of…

I’m sure I’m not the only one who needed this. 

ancientart:

Sarcophagus with Dionysus and Ariadne, Roman Imperial (190-200), made of Proconnesian marble.
Currently located at the Walters Art Museum, USA.

ancientart:

Sarcophagus with Dionysus and Ariadne, Roman Imperial (190-200), made of Proconnesian marble.

Currently located at the Walters Art Museum, USA.