Hellenistic Art: From Alexander the Great to Augustus
The Hellenistic period is traditionally defined as beginning with the death in 323 BC of Alexander the Great of Macedon, whose brief but dramatic career changed the political and cultural complexion of the ancient Greek world. Drawing on the rich collections of the British Museum and on sources worldwide, Lucilla Burn gives a lively and illuminating portrayal of how the Hellenistic world really looked, against a wider political and historical backdrop. She traces the emergence of a distinctive 'Hellenistic' cultural character back to fourth-century BC Macedon, and explains how the ambitions of successive Hellenistic rulers both influenced and were reflected in representationsof royal and private individuals. She gives a colourful account of developments in the design, furnishing and appearance of cities, sanctuaries, houses and tombs,and looks at some of the more intriguing and characteristic themes of Hellenistic iconography. The lives and achievements of the artists themselves and their patrons are also discussed. The Hellenistic period conventionally ends at the battle of Actium in 31 BC, but Lucilla Burn goes on to discuss the relationship between Hellenistic art and the rise of Rome, and shows that Hellenistic traditions continued to shape the art and material culture of the Mediterranean world for many years after.
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Macedon and the fourth century BC
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