Sarcophagus with Scenes from the Life of Achilles

Unknown,Roman, Athens, A.D. 180 - 220, Marble
Unknown,Roman, Athens, A.D. 180 – 220, Marble

Four separate episodes from the life of the Greek hero Achilles decorate the sides of this Roman sarcophagus. The front shows Achilles desecrating the corpse of the fallen Trojan hero Hektor by dragging it behind his chariot. One short end shows Achilles putting on his armor, and the other shows Odysseus discovering Achilles hiding among the daughters of King Lykomedes on Skyros. The unfinished back of the sarcophagus shows a battle of Greeks and centaurs. This scene probably also refers to the life of Achilles, since he was educated by the centaur Chiron. The life of Achilles was a popular subject for the decoration of Roman sarcophagi.

On the lid, a man and a woman recline on an upholstered couch. As was the common practice, the heads of the figures were left unfinished so they could be carved as portraits of the deceased when the sarcophagus was purchased. In this instance, however, the portraits were never completed; the reason is unknown.

Burial in a sarcophagus was a popular custom during the period from about 150 to 250 A.D. Sarcophagi were mass produced in a few centers, one of which was Athens. Athenian sarcophagi were carved on all four sides and often surmounted with reclining figures.

Detail.
Detail.

Source: The J. Paul Getty Museum

Dedication By Alexander The Great To Athena Polias

k63220_lGreek, around 330 BC, From Priene, Asia Minor

In 336 BC Alexander the Great embarked on a programme of territorial expansion, which would eventually extend the boundaries of the Greek world to Egypt in the south and to India in the East. In 334 BC Alexander crossed the Hellespont, the narrow strait separating Europe and Asia, and went first to Troy. There he dedicated his armour to Athena and laid a wreath at the tomb of Achilles, the legendary hero and champion of the Greeks in the Trojan War. This act prefigured Alexander’s role as a new Achilles liberating the Greek cities of Asia Minor from Asiatic rule.

That same summer of 334 BC, a successful engagement with the Persian army at the river Granicus, east of Troy, opened the gates of Asia Minor, and Alexander proceeded to tour the Greek cities of the west coast, expelling their Persian garrisons.

On reaching Priene, he made a further dedication to Athena. There the townspeople were laying out their new city and building a temple to its patron goddess. Alexander offered funds to complete the temple, and the inscription on this wall block, cut into a block of marble, records his gift. The inscription was found in the nineteenth century by the architect-archaeologist Richard Pullan leading an expedition on behalf of the Society of Dilettanti. It reads: ‘King Alexander dedicated the Temple to Athena Polias’.

Source: British Museum

Statue of the Emperor Octavian Augustus

b14b44e1df669a1d511955ae3811e48bStatue of the Emperor Octavian Augustus

Rome

First quarter of the 1st century

H 185 cm

This statue was created after the death of Octavian (reigned 31st BC-14 th AD), during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius. The worship of the emperor began even during the lifetime of Octavian (in 27 BC the Senate awarded him the title Augustus: the Holy, divine Son, father of the native land, descendant of Venus and Aeneas), and under his successors this became an official cult. Here the emperor is represented as Jupiter, the supreme God of the Roman pantheon, and this statue is a typical example of Roman sculpture from the time of the Empire. The composition was adapted from the celebrated sculpture of Zeus by Phidias, which allowed the placing of the appropriate attributes in Augustus’s hands: a Nike and a sceptre. The sculptor preserved the emperor’s portrait features, but idealized them to create a formal cult statue.

The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Judaism in Rome and Ephesus

judaism-in-ephesus

When St Paul visited Ephesus around 53 AD, there was a Jewish community at Ephesus for over three hundred years.

At 1st century AD, Jews had spread from their homeland to the Mediterranean and some other places. The oldest Jewish community in Europe is the one in Rome. They were practicing very different religion than their neighbors and as a result of this, Jews were mostly close-knit to protect their faiths and themselves. In Rome, Augustus and Julius Cesar supported Jews to help them to worship as they like and Julius Cesar allowed them to settle anywhere in the Roman Empire. Although they were generally treated with respect, trouble did occur and during the reign of Claudius, Jews had been exiled from Rome two times but than they were allowed to return and continue their independent existence. Each Jewish community worshipped at its own synagogue but the center of their worship is in Jerusalem.

It is known that there have been a substantial Jewish community in Asia Minor since at least the 5th century BC and when St Paul visited Ephesus around 53 AD there was a Jewish community at Ephesus for over three hundred years, but the exact date of the establishment of Jewish community in Ephesus is not known.

Unfortunately there is a little inscriptional evidence for the Jewish community in the ancient city but Ephesus is mentioned as having a synagogue in Acts 19:1 of New Testament. Synagogue hasn’t been found in and around Ephesus but there is a menorah carving on the step of Celsus library.

Source : Ephesus – History, information and pictures of Ephesus Ancient city

Marble Road


It is the road starting form the great theatre to the Celsus Library, which is the portion of the sacred way that leads past Panayirdagi to the Temple of Artemis. The construction of the marble road dates to the 1st century A.D, and it was rebuilt in the 5th century. The western side of the road is enclosed by the agora wall, and on the wall is a higher platform, which was constructed during the reign of Nero. It was built over the wall, for pedestrians.

On the marble road, there are some drawings believed to be an advertisement of the Brothel. This advertisement is known as the first advertisement in history. There is a footprint on the advertisement, one finger showing the library, and other showing the brothel. The known explanation of this sign is that the footprint shows that one should turn at that point; the woman’s head symbolizes the women waiting in the Brothel and the heart shows that the women are eager for love. The busts and statues of the important people were erected along the road, and the letters from emperors were carved into the marble blocks to let people read.

http://www.ephesus.us