Hellenistic Gold Eros Jewellery: Technique, Style and Chronology

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Archaeopress, 2006 - Crafts & Hobbies - 240 pages
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This work presents systematic and objective examination of the large corpus of Hellenistic gold Eros jewellery. By focusing on the question of the interconnections between the major centres of production - Egypt, South Italy and South Russia, Western Asia Minor, Greece and Syria a number of regional schools and new jewellery groups are identified. The keys to the discussion are the well documented find contexts from Northern Greece, South Italy and Tel Atrib (Egypt) that make it possible to arrive at a relative chronology for a particular type of Eros, found throughout the Hellenistic world. The morphological, stylistic, iconographic and technical continuities between Hellenistic jewellery and in particular the Eros motif ensure the successful use of this methodology. Evidence from Koroni in Attica and from several South Italian tomb groups has been examined in detail and dated, according to the methodology described above to ca. 240 BC. The study includes a discussion of the significance of Eros in the Hellenistic period. The study has shown the value of Eros jewellery as an indicator of the cultural life of the Hellenistic world - its values, literature and basic lore about nature and the arts. The Eros motif and its morphological lineage are traced through related depictions in contemporaneous decorative arts. The catalogue has brought together as much material as possible to establish a typology and chronology of Eros jewellery in the hope that it will provide the maximum amount of information for future studies. 32 plates, including 12 in colour, illustrate the work.

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Dietrich Willers, in M. Billerbeck, T. Gelzer, A. Giovannini (eds.), MUSEUM HELVETICUM,Schweizerische Zeitschrift für klassische Altertumswissenschaft. Revue suisse pour l'étude de l'antiquité classique. Rivista svizzera di filologia classica, Vol. 64, Fac. 3 (Sept, 2007)Schwabe Verlag Basel, p. 172.
Der Titel lässt eine hochspezialisierte und spezialistische Studie erwarten. Sie ist dies auch, aber wie bei fast jeder erfolgreichen Einzeluntersuchung gewinnen die Ergebnisse auch hier generelle und übergreifende Bedeutung. Voraussetzung für eine derart erfolgreiche Durchführung ist der allgemeine Reichtum an Körperschmuck seit der 2. Hälfte des 4.Jh. und gleichermassen die wachsende Beliebtheit von Eros und Eroten in der Hellenistic Bilderwelt. Letzteres hat zwar auch banal vordergründige Aspekte, doch es blieb offensichtlich auch das Wissen von der beseligenden und schlimmen Macht des Eros, die alle Lebensbereiche durchdringt, erhalten (das 5. Kapitel widmet sich Fragen des <<Sinngehalts>>). Das primäre Erkenntnisinteresse gilt dem Schmuck aus dokumentierten Fundkomplexen – aus Nordgriechenland, Süditalien, dem nördlichen Schwarzmeergebiet, Westkleinasien und Unterägypten. Man wird nicht ohne Überraschung gewahr, dass eine solche Gesamtschau auf breitestmöglicher Materialbasis bisher nicht geleistet war. Die vergleichende Analyse ermöglicht es, regionale Werkstattzentren genauer als bisher zu erkennen, und damit auch, Schmuckgruppen deutlicher zu identifizieren, Die ganzheitliche Aufarbeitung der Fundkontexte ergibt ferner erfreulich konkrete Ergebnisse zur relativen und absoluten Chronologie (in frühhellenistischer Zeit wurde bisher zumeist zu früh datiert). Die Studie verdiente es, zum Referenzwerk zu werden. Sie hätte vollends das Zeug dazu, wenn der Tafelteil an Bildqualität und damit an Informationswert der Untersuchung und dem Katalog gleichwertig wäre. Das Ohrringpaar Kat. 10 D 4 gehört der Archäologischen Sammlung der Universität Bern: D. Willers/L..Raselli-Nydegger (Hgg.), Im Glanz der Götter und Heroen, Mainz 2003. 114f. Nr.96.
TRANSLATION (ENGLISH):
The title indicates a highly skilled and specialized study. This is accomplished, but in accordance with almost all effective independent research, the conclusions are comprehensive and of widespread significance. The prerequisite for such a successful study is the rich heritage of personal jewellery from the second half of 4th Century BC, and equally the growing popularity of Eros and Erotes images in the Hellenistic world. Indeed, while the superficial aspects of the latter were obvious, what was also preserved was an understanding of the good and evil power of Eros which penetrates all areas of human life (Chapter 5 is devoted to questions of "meaning"). Of fundamental importance is the information gained from the research into jewellery from documented find complexes – Northern Greece, South Italy, the northern Black Sea area, western Asia Minor and Lower Egypt. It is not surprising to find that until now no one has published this most extensive corpus of material. Comparative analysis enables regional workshop centres to be recognized more precisely than previously, as well as the identification of associated jewellery groups. The comprehensive processing of find contexts provides further gratifyingly convincing results with regard to relative and absolute chronology (up until now the Early Hellenistic period was - for the most part - dated too early). This study deserves to become the authoritative work. Finally, it would have completed everything if the quality of the catalogue images had matched the value of the research and information contained therein.
The pair of earrings Catalogue 10 D, 4 belongs to the archaeological collection at the University of Berne.
 

Contents

HELLENISTIC JEWELLERY SUMMARY OF THE HISTORY OF RESEARCH
3
Conclusion
16
The Palmette Group Style Iconography and Technique
23
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Monica Jackson is the award-winning author of numerous novels and short stories. Her first novel, "Midnight Blue, " was produced as a BET television movie of the week. She lives in Topeka, Kansas. Visit her website at www.monicajackson.com.

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