CAESAREA NATIONAL PARK

Rare mosaic from the Roman period comes to light in Caesarea National Park, Israel.

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A rare and beautiful Roman mosaic from the 2nd-3rd centuries CE, bearing an inscription in ancient Greek, is being uncovered at the Caesarea National Park.

The dig uncovered part of a large, opulent building dating back 1,500 years to the Byzantine period. Scholars believe the building was part of an agora – large public area for commerce and socializing – a kind of ancient version of Tel Aviv’s shopping complexes. To the archaeologists’ surprise, under the imposing Byzantine-era structure they found a spectacular mosaic from an even earlier building dating back about 1,800 years.

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The figures, all males, wear togas and apparently belonged to the upper class. The central figure is frontal and the two other face him on either side. Who are they? That depends on what the building was used for, which is not yet clear. If the mosaic was part of a mansion, the figures may have been the owners. If this was a public building, they might have represented the donors of the mosaic or members of the city council.”

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View full article HERE.

Another mosaic at the photos below.

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JERASH

Jerash is the site of the ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, also referred to as Antioch on the Golden River. Ancient Greek inscriptions from the city as well as literary sources from both Iamblichus and the Etymologicum Magnum support that the city was founded by Alexander the Great or his general Perdiccas, who settled aged Macedonian soldiers there. This took place during the spring of 331 BC, when Alexander left Egypt, crossed Syria and then went to Mesopotamia.

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THE CZARTORYSKI FAMILY ART COLLECTION

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A significant private art collection that includes a rare painting by Leonardo da Vinci, as well as works by Rembrandt and Renoir, will be owned by the Polish government under an agreement signed Thursday with the family foundation that has administered the collection since its inception.

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The Czartoryski collection has been one of Europe’s most important private art collections. It contains 250,000 historic manuscripts and documents, some of which used to belong to Polish kings. It also has 86,000 museum artifacts that include 593 precious artworks, most notably Leonardo’s “Lady With an Ermine” (1489-1490); Rembrandt’s “Landscape With the Good Samaritan” (1638); and sketches by Rembrandt, Auguste Renoir and Albrecht Dürer.

The decision changes only the status of the collection, which was set up more than 200 years ago by Princess Izabela Czartoryska. The artworks will remain where they are today.

View full article HERE.

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A Gallery of Greeks & Romans

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Talking with a friend about ancient Greece the other day reminded me of being in Athens back in 2007, and taking two days to wander through its National Archaeological Museum. The best part was all the faces, whether reliefs from numerous funeral stele, or the later busts of Roman emperors or other higher-ups. Nearly all of these are below if you want to skip to them, but looking over these faces I also had these thoughts:

Amid an American election where the choice is between two mostly reprehensible human beings, it is easy to feel the world is going under, or to look back to Athens—when we talk about “ancient Greece”what we almost always mean is ancient Athens—for some wistful perfection of cultural and political life. But it’s worth remembering a few things:

The “golden age” of ancient Athens lasted less than a century, and could be…

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APOXYOMENOS

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Apoxyomenos by Lysippos

Apoxyomenos (the “Scraper”) is one of the conventional subjects of ancient Greek votive sculpture; it represents an athlete, caught in the familiar act of scraping sweat and dust from his body with the small curved instrument that the Romans called a strigil.

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Apoxyomenos by Lysippos

Croatian Apoxiomenos, IV B.C4

The Croatian Apoxyomenos

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The Croatian Apoxyomenos

THE FARNESE HERCULES

The Farnese Hercules is an ancient statue of Hercules, probably an enlarged copy made in the early third century AD and signed by Glykon, who is otherwise unknown; the name is Greek but he may have worked in Rome. Like much Ancient Roman sculpture it is a copy or version of a much older Greek original that was well-known, in this case an original by Lysippos (or one of his circle) that would have been made in the fourth century BC.

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