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Alexander Mosaic from Pompeii
#16
Avete omnes,

in a book of Bernard Andreae "Das Alexandermosaik" the author represents the theory that the Pompeii mosaic was only a copy of an original painting that may-be has been distributed in many examples all over the Hellenistic and/or Roman world. I can highly recommend that book, allone for the quality of the plates that show nearly all details of the mosaic, but also for the text although regrettably for most of You, it is written only in German.

Other copies of the mosaic still wait to be uncovered, but nevertheless there are two artifacts that display the main event shown on the mosaic.

1. A relief cup from the workshop of one C. Popilius that shows Alexander surrounded by his companions in close combat with the poor Persian whom he perforates with his lance and Darius escaping on his chariot:

[url:2i6f0n4i]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/uwe-bahr/Alexandermosaik-ReliefbecherdesGaiu.jpg[/url]

2. An Etruscan urn showing only Alexander and the same Persian surrounded by only a few combatants and without Darius and his chariot:

[url:2i6f0n4i]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/uwe-bahr/Alexandermosaik-EtruskischeAschenur.jpg[/url]

Both scenes obviously derive from the same source. Interesting is that the Persian is exactly in the same pose as on the mosaic. His horse is broken down, he holds his left arm above of his head and with his right arm he tries to repel the lance impact. At the Etruscan urn he even succeeds to break the lance! That means both artists knew the original painting or one of its copies.

On the relief cup Darius holds his right arm with the same gesture as on the mosaic and between him and his defender is a further Persian on a rising horse, at the same position and with the same attitude as on the mosaic.

My question is, since there have been about 35 to 40 years gone after the edition of the book above, does anybody here in this forum know about other ancient reproductions of the event that is shown on the mosaic? This might help to get an idea of what was shown where the mosaic is damaged. For example at the relief cup there is on the left side of Alexander a rider stabbing with his lance downwards, a scene that might fit with the remnants on the left rim of the relief.

Greets - Uwe
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#17
Salvete Comerus and others,

thank You for the site with the vase paintings - obviously they refer to the same event during one battle between Alexander and Darius. BTW, Bernard Andreae lets the question unanswered which battle is shown on the mosaic: Issos or Gaugamela. There seem to be reasons for both to be represented.

But IMHO the key is the scene with the noble Persian that defends his king (and brother?). I found the following part of a report about the battle of Issos on this excellent site:

[url:2r0q58fg]http://www.livius.org/aj-al/alexander/alexander_t51.html[/url]

Quote:The translation of section 17.34 of the World history was made by C. Bradford Welles.

The Persian Oxyathres was the brother of Darius and a man highly praised for his fighting qualities. When he saw Alexander riding at Darius and feared that he would not be checked, he was seized by the desire to share his brother's fate. Ordering the best of the horsemen in his company to follow him, he threw himself with them against Alexander, thinking that this demonstration of brotherly love would bring him high renown among the Persians. He took up the fight directly in front of Darius' chariot and there, engaging the enemy skillfully and with a stout heart slew many of them. The fighting qualities of Alexander's group were superior, however, and quickly many bodies lay piled high about the chariot. No Macedonian had any other thought than to strike the king, and in their intense rivalry to reach him took no thought for their own lives.

This Oxyathres was a younger brother of Darius and that makes Darius' frightening and despair on the mosaic plausible. He is not to confound with Oxyathres, father of Alexander's later wife Roxanne. Elsewhere I read that Oxyathres survived Alexander's attack. And this might explain why he and/or the Noble Persian is shown breaking the lance on the Etruscan ash urn and on the relief cup of C. Popilius, may-be an artistic reference that the man perforated by Alexander survived the attack.

About the infantryman on the left close to Alexander. Thank You for Your advise. I knew the theory that he should wear a kausia. But I confused this with the white rein that is close over his head and denied it up to now. But after Your last comment I examined the detail again - and I think You are right, there are traces of some red or purple color behind this man's forehead:

[url:2r0q58fg]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/uwe-bahr/Tafel05.jpg[/url]

Thanks and greets - Uwe
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#18
Hi Comerus,

there are obviously different prices. At www.amazon.com You can find very expensive examples:

[url:1cwjslqb]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/offer-listing/3764702974/ref=dp_olp_2/002-3940968-6965640?%5Fencoding=UTF8[/url]

At www.amazon.de You can receive very cheap examples:

[url:1cwjslqb]http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/tg/detail/offer-listing/-/B0000BFT94/all/ref=ufu_lmi_/028-6697020-1867753[/url]

The problem is, there seem to exist different editions by different publishers and I can't judge whether they all have the large colored plates with the very detailed photos of the mosaic that You desire.

BTW, thanks for posting the painting of Peter Connolly, which book is it from?

Greets - Uwe
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#19
Greetings,
just about to check out all those links and references.
I like that last photo....it resembles the Lysippos or Azara Herm style sculptures in the facial features or the 'older Alex'.
Doing some reading yesterday, some of which was about the mosaic. It seems that Alex's hair was probably a tawny brown colour, which would have lightened in the sun. On the moisaic there is red and light brown mixed in with the dark colour.
If he was in the sun a lot, which he was, unless he wore a sun lotion his skin would either be very red and sunburnt or he would be tanned, probably a dark honey colour.
I also thought of an explanation for the tilt of the head. When younger I used to do that a lot, still do occasionally. I had what was called a 'weak eye', actually a lifelong mild cataract it now seems.
It is also reported that Alex had eyes of two different colours or maybe one larger pupil that letting light in, would have certainly given blurred vision and caused headaches. (think of the drops you get at the opticians)
If you look at the eyes in the sculptures, some give the impression of an misalignment of the iris. Possibly the left eye?
regards
Arthes
Cristina
The Hoplite Association
[url:n2diviuq]http://www.hoplites.org[/url]
The enemy is less likely to get wind of an advance of cavalry, if the orders for march were passed from mouth to mouth rather than announced by voice of herald, or public notice. Xenophon
-
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#20
Quote:1. A relief cup from the workshop of one C. Popilius that shows Alexander surrounded by his companions in close combat with the poor Persian whom he perforates with his lance and Darius escaping on his chariot:
[url:1f2uzc6o]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/uwe-bahr/Alexandermosaik-ReliefbecherdesGaiu.jpg[/url]
2. An Etruscan urn showing only Alexander and the same Persian surrounded by only a few combatants and without Darius and his chariot:
[url:1f2uzc6o]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/uwe-bahr/Alexandermosaik-EtruskischeAschenur.jpg[/url]
Greets - Uwe
I couldn't help thinking of this, when looking at the drawing of the Persian with the upright arm.....called 'wounded Amazon'[url:1f2uzc6o]http://harpy.uccs.edu/greek/SCULPT/amazon2.jpg[/url]
Incidentially on the Etruscan urn, have you noticed that only the Persian has his head and face on, and the same with the horses?
Thats looks like possible vandalism...
Incidentially, the Alexander Sarcophagus, I just noticed...has the same scene with the Persian......
[url:1f2uzc6o]http://members.ozemail.com.au/~ancientpersia/images/battle.gif[/url]
regards
Arthes
Cristina
The Hoplite Association
[url:n2diviuq]http://www.hoplites.org[/url]
The enemy is less likely to get wind of an advance of cavalry, if the orders for march were passed from mouth to mouth rather than announced by voice of herald, or public notice. Xenophon
-
Reply
#21
Hi Christina,

Quote:I couldn't help thinking of this, when looking at the drawing of the Persian with the upright arm.....called 'wounded Amazon 'http://harpy.uccs.edu/greek/SCULPT/amazon2.jpg

Incidentally on the Etruscan urn, have you noticed that only the Persian has his head and face on, and the same with the horses?
That looks like possible vandalism...
Incidentally, the Alexander Sarcophagus, I just noticed...has the same scene with the Persian......

very good points!!! Big Grin So the gesture with the raised right arm might be a symbol for the wounded condition of the illustrated Persian and/or Amazon? Also, the Persian is always shown with his left leg climbing over his broken horse.

It seems that the incident when Oxyathres sacrificed himself for the rescue of his brother Darius was so famous even in details and admired in the whole ancient world that it was repeatedly illustrated. He was captured and eventually healed and it is reported that he lived later at Alexander's court and that the murderer of his brother, Bessus, became handed over to him for condemnation:

[url:2se43nbv]http://www.iranica.com/articles/sup/Oxyathres.html[/url]

And although I knew the 'Alexander Sarcophagus' I oversaw that this very scene was even repeated there. Thank You for that reference.

In my eyes all this is a further indication that the Pompeii mosaic is dedicated to the battle of Issos (and not Gaugamela), what do You think?

Greets - Uwe
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#22
Greetings Uwe,
Quote:Hi Christina,
Quote:I couldn't help thinking of this, when looking at the drawing of the Persian with the upright arm.....called 'wounded Amazon 'http://harpy.uccs.edu/greek/SCULPT/amazon2.jpg
Incidentally on the Etruscan urn, have you noticed that only the Persian has his head and face on, and the same with the horses?
That looks like possible vandalism...
Incidentally, the Alexander Sarcophagus, I just noticed...has the same scene with the Persian......
very good points!!! Big Grin So the gesture with the raised right arm might be a symbol for the wounded condition of the illustrated Persian and/or Amazon? Also, the Persian is always shown with his left leg climbing over his broken horse.
It seems that the incident when Oxyathres sacrificed himself for the rescue of his brother Darius was so famous even in details and admired in the whole ancient world that it was repeatedly illustrated. He was captured and eventually healed and it is reported that he lived later at Alexander's court and that the murderer of his brother, Bessus, became handed over to him for condemnation:
[url:pefnnhbl]http://www.iranica.com/articles/sup/Oxyathres.html[/url]
And although I knew the 'Alexander Sarcophagus' I oversaw that this very scene was even repeated there. Thank You for that reference.
In my eyes all this is a further indication that the Pompeii mosaic is dedicated to the battle of Issus (and not Gaugamela), what do You think?
Greets - Uwe
There is a general opinion that the mosaic does represent Issus, although the source story of Oxyathres was written down a few hundred years after his lifetime.
I wonder if the tree could be a clue....? If it is a species that only grows in one of the areas, or simply an idealised one that the artist could see?
It looks dead or at least cut back and has no leaves..What time of year were the two battles?
regards
Cristina
Cristina
The Hoplite Association
[url:n2diviuq]http://www.hoplites.org[/url]
The enemy is less likely to get wind of an advance of cavalry, if the orders for march were passed from mouth to mouth rather than announced by voice of herald, or public notice. Xenophon
-
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#23
Hi Arthes, Comerus and all others,

yesterday - just after my last comment - I received a message by my public library, that the following book had arrived for me from another public library:

Paolo Moreno: "Apelles - The Alexander mosaic"

[Image: 8881188643.jpg]

[url:pxcl2kno]http://www.textbookx.com/product_detail.php?detail_isbn=8881188643[/url]

The problem is, that I cannot take it with me back home, as it is only allowed to be studied inside the public library; so I could only overfly it during my midday break. But I found out the following theses of the author:

1. the depicted battle was not at Issos but the final one at Gaugamela
(in short) Moreno refers to landscape that fits better to Gaugamela than Issos. And – Arthes, watch out – he especially mentions the ‘Dead tree’. After his words was the theater of the battle at Gaugamela yet more than 1000 years later well-known by the native inhabitants of that area and the Venetian traveler Marco Polo would have been shown an old dead tree there that was called to be at the place of the battle. This dead old tree would have been the only one in that area … Remember, Marco Polo started his first expedition in 1271 and the mosaic with the depiction of the tree at Pompeii was yet uncovered for several hundred years, the inhabitants of that area could not know yet about the tree in the mosaic, but they told Marco Polo that ‘their’ old tree was from the great Alexander battle.

Regrettably Moreno has no modern photos of the landscape of Gaugamela and in the short time I could not find any reference whether this tree yet exists, but I think that would be very improbably;

2. Moreno refers to the standard that is – rather damaged – shown on the mosaic. Bernard Andreae (“Das Alexander mosaicâ€ÂÂ
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#24
... and I forgot to mention, that book is written in English, so it fits better for most of You. Besides, there exists - naturally - an Italian version, as I think, Moreno comes from that region.

Greets - Uwe
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#25
"Gioi, Philip died before Alex go to Asia so this helmet is not related to Alex."

Assuming, that is that the tomb IS the tomb of Philip II. Many scholars consider it more likely to be the tomb of Philip III, who stood as regent for Alexander while he was off conquering the world.

The argument Manolis Andronikos used to argue that the tomb was that of Philip II is a very circular one. He notes that Philip was blind in one eye thanks to having been shot in the eye with an arrow. He observed that that a chip had broken away from one eye recess on the remains of the skull and declared that this must be the evidence of the arrow (depite the well known fact that bone chips naturally during cremation. He then selected one of a number of small sculpted heads which were found in the tomb which he considered was 'obviously' blind in one eye and took this as evidence that it was an image of Philip II. This was not obvious to me when I look at pictures of some of the other sculpted heads, nor to my lecturer in Hellenistic art at university.
Having decided that this particular head was that of Philip II, he then said that that proved the body was that of Philip II because it was present in the same tomb.
To summarize, the body was identifed as Philip II on the basis of an ambiguous bone chip and a small head said to depict a man blind in one eye. The head must be Philip's as it is blind in one eye. It must be blind in one eye because it is Philip (circular argument). The body must be Philip II because he was blind in one eye and the is a small head said to have a blind eye in the tomb, supposedly proving it.

I would say the jury is still out on whose tomb the helmet and armour were found in. I don't think the helmets is likely to have been Alexander's, but I don't see why he should not have owned one.

Crispvs
Who is called \'\'Paul\'\' by no-one other than his wife, parents and brothers. :!: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_exclaim.gif" alt=":!:" title="Exclamation" />:!:

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.romanarmy.net">www.romanarmy.net
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#26
I respect Crispus reservations, I too have many for various events.
The identification of Philip was aided by the Scotland Yard Labs.
The nature of the wound in the damaged eye agrees with what historians say about it.
There were later burrials arround the graves. Who was there was determined by the messy politics of the time. Please see my post on the Greek History forum. I partly agree with of your comments.

The Corinthian helmet depicted would most likely be a revered relic.
By that time even the Corinthian helmets had aquired ear openings.
Examples exist in Olympia and in Larissa.
The helmets of the time were not only the Pilos, Beotian and the Thracian but also Chalcidic and "later" Corinthian with ear openings.
I just consider it unlikely that cavalry would use the old version.
Kind regards
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#27
Greetings Uwe,
Uwe Bahr\\n[quote]Hi Arthes, Comerus and all others,
yesterday - just after my last comment - I received a message by my public library, that the following book had arrived for me from another public library:
Paolo Moreno: "Apelles - The Alexander mosaic"
[Image: 8881188643.jpg]
[url:enur6pea]http://www.textbookx.com/product_detail.php?detail_isbn=8881188643[/url]
The problem is, that I cannot take it with me back home, as it is only allowed to be studied inside the public library; so I could only overfly it during my midday break. But I found out the following theses of the author:
1. the depicted battle was not at Issos but the final one at Gaugamela
(in short) Moreno refers to landscape that fits better to Gaugamela than Issos. And – Arthes, watch out – he especially mentions the ‘Dead tree’. After his words was the theater of the battle at Gaugamela yet more than 1000 years later well-known by the native inhabitants of that area and the Venetian traveler Marco Polo would have been shown an old dead tree there that was called to be at the place of the battle. This dead old tree would have been the only one in that area … Remember, Marco Polo started his first expedition in 1271 and the mosaic with the depiction of the tree at Pompeii was yet uncovered for several hundred years, the inhabitants of that area could not know yet about the tree in the mosaic, but they told Marco Polo that ‘their’ old tree was from the great Alexander battle.
Regrettably Moreno has no modern photos of the landscape of Gaugamela and in the short time I could not find any reference whether this tree yet exists, but I think that would be very improbably;
2. Moreno refers to the standard that is – rather damaged – shown on the mosaic. Bernard Andreae (“Das Alexander mosaicâ€ÂÂ
Cristina
The Hoplite Association
[url:n2diviuq]http://www.hoplites.org[/url]
The enemy is less likely to get wind of an advance of cavalry, if the orders for march were passed from mouth to mouth rather than announced by voice of herald, or public notice. Xenophon
-
Reply
#28
Very bright......I like those purple pattened leggings....Big Grin
It's really good that we are discovering more and more, that the ancients did not wear such drab colours.
regards
Arthes
Cristina
The Hoplite Association
[url:n2diviuq]http://www.hoplites.org[/url]
The enemy is less likely to get wind of an advance of cavalry, if the orders for march were passed from mouth to mouth rather than announced by voice of herald, or public notice. Xenophon
-
Reply
#29
Cavalrymen were nobility. Sure they could afford better cloth than the rest. City states on trade roots and maritime powers must have quite well dressed troops.
Kind regards
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#30
It was a mark of senior senior officers Gioi.
Alexander was capable of impetuous action but he was not brainless.
He would take the necessary steps to protect his life.
Kind regards
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