Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence


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The possible expression, however, of Iranian ideas and concepts of rule through such Greek elements remains a crucial subject for exploration cf. Wolski ; Invernizzi ; Olbrycht So does the occurrence of names and forms of Greek deities and mythological figures beyond the Seleucid period. Are these testimony to the survival of Greek communities or possible instances of syncretism of Greek and Iranian religious concepts and ritual e. Or could they also include Greek-speaking Iranians? What was the impact of the Iranian revival after the collapse of the Greek-Macedonian rule on phenomena of Greek-Iranian acculturation that began under the Seleucid state?

Equally importantly, what was the role of Greeks living under the Parthian and Sasanian regimes in the ongoing, parallel transmission of Iranian cultural elements to the West? The foregoing instances do not exhaust the range of ambiguities, questions, and gaps in our knowledge concerning the meeting of the ancient Greek and Iranian cultures and polities in Iranian territory — or the amount of scholarly discussion that these have generated. They do reflect, however, key limitations that have framed research on the subject. To a significant extent, difficulties stem from an inadequate attention of the classical sources —the most voluminous and accessible body of information about Greek encounters with and within Iran— to the circumstances of the co-existence locally of Greek and Iranian elements.

One is largely confronted with the statements of authors, who focus on the events and logistics of military campaigns. Cast, as a rule, in the form of sporadic remarks, Greek and Latin testimony about the Iranian cultural landscape offers just as little useful information concerning the extent to which co-existence in an Iranian environment may have served to transform Greek and Iranian practices and culture.

Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence

At the same time, though clearly significant, the potential of archaeology to supply insights, which are not otherwise attested in the philological tradition and the few extant epigraphic texts , has been barely exploited in Iran, and not merely for lack of clues to informative contexts. Subject in general to the accident of survival of material remains and discovery, the archaeological contribution to the discussion was also long impaired by patterns of archaeological exploration for which see in general Stronach Beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century, archaeological research opened up new horizons for investigation in all periods of the Iranian past.

However, up until , when the pace of excavations was slowed down by local developments, information from controlled contexts about Greek-Iranian urban encounters mainly derived from sites explored owing to their importance for native Iranian history.

Individual finds of Greek inscriptions and Greek or Greek-inspired sculptures, edifices, and rock reliefs were promptly recorded by travelers and archaeological expeditions e. Seleucid settlements, however, the focal points of Greek presence, whose investigation could substantially advance, or perhaps dramatically transform our perspective on the circumstances of the Greek presence in and interaction with the native milieu, do not appear to have formed, in their own right, a main priority on the agendas of the various local and foreign archaeological teams working in the country.

Corrections of chronology are an ongoing effort. These inherent inadequacies in the classical sources and in the traditional priorities of archaeological exploration in Iran pose serious obstacles in the way of scholarly efforts to elucidate the history of Greek-Iranian interactions in this region. Subject to these limitations, however, the understanding of Greek-Iranian phenomena in Iranian territory is also seriously impaired by the patterns of scholarly research and publication.

Knowledge of Greek-Iranian encounters in Iran in all periods addressed in this project can benefit today from a large number of individual and collective specialized studies. There is, for instance, notable progress in the study of epigraphic documents. The Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum now complements the earlier published instances of Greek inscriptions from Iran e.

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Together with corpora of seals, they constitute a useful pool of evidence concerning the interactions of Greek-Iranian elements in the economic, administrative, technical, iconographic, and ideological domains. In addition to published reports on the results of excavations at individual sites, strands of archaeological evidence related to the Greek presence and to Greek-Iranian interactions in Iran may also begin to be derived from surveys and studies of different archaeological horizons e.

The last four decades have also witnessed significant efforts for synthetic studies of ancient Iranian history. In addition to earlier classic works e. At the same time, the Iranian space has been placed into a still closer focus owing to recent endeavors concerned with the geography and cartography of Iran e. Knowledge of the different historical and cultural horizons within which Greek-Iranian encounters in Iran are attested has also been further promoted by archaeological discoveries outside Iran e.

Valuable though all the earlier contributions may be, there has been as yet no concerted effort for a comprehensive mining and assessment of the surviving evidence for ancient Greek-Iranian interactions in Iran. The relevant documentation is largely dispersed in publications that are mainly weighted toward particular categories of source material, sites, or historical periods, reflecting traditional research and educational curricula.

This lack of an overall, in-depth informative account of the extant materials is especially prominent in the case of the archaeological testimony — a corpus of evidence whose typological range, contexts, and geographical and chronological distribution, once fully charted, could be potentially especially useful in promoting the decipherment of the dialogue between Greek and Iranian institutions and ways of life and the modulations of that dialogue in different periods, in tracking locations of Iranian-Greek symbiosis in Iran that currently defy identification on the ground, for further elucidating the various paths for contacts and exchanges between the Greek and Iranian worlds, between East and West.

Research on the millennium-long, momentous intercourse between the ancient Iranian and Greek civilizations and its impact on both Eastern and Western culture and thought stands to benefit substantially from an effort to expose the full range and volume of the relevant archaeological, epigraphic and numismatic evidence from Iran and the insights that the integration of such evidence may bring to bear on the subject — a task that is very much within the scope of the present project.

Achaemenid History I. Achaemenid History II. Achaemenid History III.

Achaemenid History IV. Achaemenid History V. Achaemenid History VI. Achaemenid History VII. Alram, M. Nomina propria Iranica in nummis.

Cite this entry:

Iranisches Personennamenbuch IV. Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum.

Amiet, P. Aperghis, G. The Seleukid Royal Economy. Arrian Arr. Flavii Arriani Anabasis Alexandri. Askari Chaverdi, A. An Archaeological Bibliography of Fars. Studies on the Region of Fars Azarnoush, M. Monografie di Mesopotamia III. Bernard, P.


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Boardman, J. Persia and the West. New York. Bosworth, A. Boucharlat, R. Greek art and architecture in Iran. XI: Persika 6. Paris: - Paris: Boyce, M. A History of Zoroastrianism , vol. II: Under the Achaemenians. Leiden and Cologne. Briant, P. Histoire de l' empire perse. Alexandre le Grand. Brown, S. VIII: Callieri, P. Persika Cambon, P. Jarrige, avec le concours scientifique de P. Bernard et V. Canali De Rossi, F. Iscrizioni dello estremo oriente greco. Un repertorio. Cohen, G. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London. Also see Davies, , p.

However, as Osborne points out, this passage refers to the re-location of a settlement, and not the establishment of a new one p. Contact could resuit in peaceful relations, or dangers including warfare, the death of settlers, or even the destruction of sites. However, as De Polignac notes, dedications of weapons are not always associated with the warrior nature of a deity, but may indicate protection wanted from a particular deity during times of warfare, or they may be a thank-offering for a deity's protection p.

Demeter's connection with agriculture and fertility is seen by the dedication of terracotta votives of female figures75 holding piglets, including the numerous examples from Syracuse, Gela, and Katane Hinz, , pp. Production of offspring was indispensable for the survival of the settlement. When settlers came into contact with native populations and married, they came under the care of Hera Parisi Presicce, , p. Hera and Demeter's connection to fertility, both of the land and of the settlers, made worship of their cuits essential for the colonial Greeks.

The importance of Demeter to the Western Greek settlers can be illustrated by the worship of the goddess in the earliest stages of settlements de Polignac, , p. In addition, Demeter was worshipped everywhere agricultural practices took place, and her sanctuaries were placed both within the city's limits and in the chora Cole, , p.

Prolegomena to the study of Cypriote sculpture - Persée

Hera was widely worshipped in southern Italy and Sicily Parisi Presicce, , p. Athena was known as a protector of the city, especially in a colonial context de Polignac, , p. Her sanctuaries were often located on or close to the city's acropolis or at the heart of the polis Schachter, , p. Dedications to Athena could include real arms and miniature armour, such as those dedicated at the Athenaion at Ialysos on Rhodes Martelli Cristofani, , p.

Statuettes of an armed Athena are commonly 58 found at her sanctuaries, including Himera,76 Poseidonia,77 and Medma78 Pedley, , p. Also from Medma, and likely related to the cuit of Athena, are three miniature terracotta shields,79 and three miniature Korinthian helmets80 in terracotta Paoletti, , pp. As a goddess concerned with the military, Hera often received votive offerings of weapons and armour, both miniature and life-sized.

Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence
Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence
Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence
Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence
Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence
Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence
Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence Collaboration in Greek sculpture: The literary and epigraphical evidence

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