Amphipolis: The Tumulus, Delphi and the dynasty of the Temenids

The scholar Antonio Corso speaks at "There are important findings that hasn't seen anyone except the excavators ' – ' Forms in painted epistylia referring to the victory of Alexander the great over the Persians, but Delphi»

The Italian scholar Antonio Corso, archaeologist and art historian, considered the world authority on ancient Greek sculpture, deposits in an original and completely documented interpretation disputed funerary monument of Amphipolis.

The main points of the interview, highlights:

– Yet, There is a relationship of the Mound of Amphipolis with the royal dynasty of Macedonia, the Timenides and the cycle of Alexander the great
– The same statues of Sphinxes and Karyatidwn exclude any other dating outside of the end of the 4th BC. century.
– Forms in painted epistylia referring to the victory of Alexander the great over the Persians, but in Delphi.
– The Tumulus erected ' blanketing ' a pre-existing sanctuary, dedicated to the local goddess Fyllis.

– What is your own interpretation summarized for the Tumulus of Amphipolis;

Very briefly, I think the tumulus of Amphipolis is clearly Macedonian, dates on the 330-320 e.g.. and build, probably by architect Deinokrati, in honor of some illustrious Warrior. This is documented, not only on the basis of those findings have been made public so far, but some who, as I am sure, It is to be revealed in the future. I firmly believe that there are very significant findings, confirming the date and identity of the monument, but that one, Besides the excavators, has not seen up to now.

I am convinced that Leo was on top of the Mound and, like all other sculptures (the Sphinxes, the daughters or ' Caryatids ' etc.) executed by Thasioys artists who, whether they were all in the same workshop, either they were partakers of the same notion of sculpture. The Caryatids, with their hands stretching toward the inside of the gate, should they held wreath, prospectively over the head of a statue, probably in a sitting posture, that was in the center of the first Chamber. He must have been the dead, in honor of which created the Tumulus, overwrapping and encircle the enclosure a gilofo who previously, as an epigram of Antipatroy of Thessalonikews, It was already a place of worship, dedicated to the local goddess Fyllis.

Particularly important finding for the interpretation of the monument I painted epistylia: The performances are divided into those, IE Win, the tripod, the bull, the Palm tree etc.. indicate a direct correlation with Delphi. In my view, This symbolic link with the sacred for the ancient Greek site of Delphi, leads to the conclusion that the Tumulus of Amphipolis is a monument dedicated to the war triumph of Alexander the great over the Persians. The Athenian general Kimon devoted among other things and a Palm tree in the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi after his victory over the Persians on the Eurymedon River (469-466 e.g.). Inspired by this, the paraggeliodotes of the Mound in Amphipolis reiterated symbolic consecration in the great victory of the Macedonian army, that can only have helped the dead.
The whole monument is extremely important, because it testifies to the Hellenistic kosmoantilipsis turn into oversize, something that combined immediately with the totalitarian power.

The head of the excavation, Mrs Katerina Peristeri, recently downplayed the importance of skeleton aneyrethentwn. You agree with this view;

It seems reasonable that, as excavators, the dead found they had bowled at that point ataktws, so I guess it wasn't those people which made the Tomb. Of Course, I don't know the original dead of Mound and I would imagine that no one can know when or if he will never know his identity. However, the reasons why build the monument, in order to render values in someone or some, It is evident from the painted architrave, with the Phoenix and other representations. In my opinion, the artistic and historical view of the Mound of Amphipolis have much greater importance. Because the Tomb is a shining monument, dedicated to Asian Macedonian campaign-and the Palm this clearly shows-, something that is far more important than the identity of the dead. At least I think I, as a historian of ancient art.

– You probably, though, that the Tumulus is linked to the dynasty of the Temenids or, whether or not, with the circle of generals on Alexander;

I believe that someone very high-ranking warrior was buried there and I agree with the excavation team architect, Mr. Michael Lefantzi, who has said something similar in his TV interview. Furthermore I believe that the Tomb had relation to the circle of Alexander the great, but not with the Olympiad as had been assumed, This is extremely unlikely. I see no reason why the Olympics is buried in Amphipolis, I don't see its connection with the victory over the Persians or someone strong bond of the Olympiad with Delphi. I don't want to go in vain nomenclature, for if it could be the Ifaistiwn or any other. What I think I, is that the Tomb was created in Amphipolis first of all because the tumuli, who was anyway a typical element of Greek cities, for the Macedonians became, somehow, the most important point of the urban landscape. While, as we know, in the classic "were" the most important center was the temple, the sanctuary.

– There is always the question "why in Amphipolis;»

Amphipolis was chosen, because it was the starting point of the expedition of Alexander the great. The Aigai and Pella were both important parts for the Macedonians, but they were not so closely connected with the campaign of Alexander the great. Extra, my own theory says that it wanted to put an illustrious dead at one point that was already sacred. If this was the heroon of Fyllidos (something that seems very likely because an was covered with green and trees, especially almonds, element characteristic of the worship of the people of the region for Fyllis), the space was already strong and kathosiwmenos’ the importance of this judgment for the.

– There is political symbolism in the enormity of the Mound;

In the period for which we discuss, i.e. the last quarter of the 4th BC. century, There is one innovation – love for larger dimensions, something that had already begun with the Mayswlo. The Latin term is magniloquentia, the maximalismos, which eventually leads to the Baroque. Is the idea of visualizing someone huge monuments, While the classical art doesn't likes to something, prefers the symmetry, the proportions, the «measure», est modus in rebus, or ne quid nimis, the ' Agan ' zero. On The Contrary, Macedonians tends toward the large and majestic oikdomimata, something that depends on totalitarian force. Shows the Gigantism because lots of things have changed in the ancient Greek conception of the world. A monument to the logic of Gigantism is in perfect harmony with the spirit of the season.

The monument and only with the dimensions of, It showed how important were the kings who built. I think someone from the wider Royal family were buried there and I wonder if the Antipater the Thessalonikeys, who lived in the time of Augustus, in an epigram that, If I remember correctly is the No.. 705 the 7th book, Describes the Amphipolis, from which at that time had left only ruins. There the poet mentions a temple of Fyllidas that, probably is the current Tomb Kasta.

– In your own visa ignore completely the skeletal material and focus on sculptures and even in epistylia, in which there was ever given particular attention by the public, Despite the intense interest in the monument and its significance. How do you explain this;

Apparently, because I believe that the information can enlighten us and to solve our questions lie ahead. The statues and the paintings we talk-and performances, in my opinion, they say too many. For example, the dating of the Mound on which became so great debate, cannot be moved from the last quarter of the 4th BC. century-and this requires the format have the daughters (the "Karyatidai" is a conventional name prevail, essentially when the wrong). For various reasons it is not scientifically serious chronologoyme to the Tumulus of Amphipolis in the 1st b.c.. century, in Roman times, etc.. First of’ all, well, the "Korai" bear a kind of shingles underneath their breasts, which is very fashionable in sculpture around 340 e.g., as we know from the Attic Reliefs (Attic Document Reliefs or Urkundenreliefs).

Their sandals, also, are identical with those of a group of statues of this period, including e.g. the Hermes of Olympia, Artemis of Gabii, a typology of statues of Artemis which is usually attributed to Praxiteles-so it may not be very far from this dating- and later was copied ad nauseam by Romans sculptors, Apollo Belvedere, the "Artemis of Versailles ' etc..
Therefore, This whole network of comparisons rests firmly her daughters Amphipolis around 330 e.g., just based on the typology of their sandals. But we can analyze and Zig-Zag at the finish of the tunic of statues, which constitutes another Ionic model that was particularly popular among sculptors of the Artemision of Ephesus-and I am referring to the post-classic stage, about in 330-320 e.g..

Prokrinw the specific dating, especially based on the columna caelata, which is attributed to the great sculptor Skopas and bring these folds in zigzag order, Type "zig-zag". This is a pattern that occurs often in ionic workshops this period. The post-classic period is a phase of intense Ionian revival and so, the Ionic style is becoming very fashionable, both in architecture and sculpture.

– In your opinion, the Sphinxes and Caryatids were designed by the same artist;

The heads of the statues saved, of Karyatidas and the Sphinx, closely resemble the head of Dionysus from Thassos, as with the heads of Aetidwn, from the ysteroklassiko Temple of Apollo in Delphi.

Dionysus of Thassos is a marble head, which has been found in Thassos, kept in the Museum and dated in there 330-320 e.g.. This, as to the artistic and technical characteristics are extremely close to the head of the Sphinx was found in the tomb of Amphipolis. The aesthetic and technical comparison is revealing and, in my opinion, justifies the conclusion that, not only the marble as a raw material, but also the laboratory undertook to painted Tomb sculptures came from Thassos. Also, There is another head, female, which was found in the Temple of Hercules in Thassos, that looks extremely, This time not with the head of the Sphinx, but with her head Karyatidas.

Judging from photos, as I have not seen in person the monument, I would say that the Sphinxes and Caryatids are manufactured by two different thasitikoy marble veins, but both come from the same quarry.

In what,What is symbolism, in my opinion, one could say the following: First of all, There is a close link with Apollo and the sanctuary of Delphi, in which the sovereign God was Apollo, though, Once he left for the country of Yperboreiwn, Dionysus replaced. This mixing Apollo and Dionysus, refers to a single point of Greek territory of that era: Delphi. Why I believe this is the following: (a)) The overall silhouette of Karyatidwn closely resemble the Sifnian treasure trove of Daughters in Delphi. (b)) The Sphinxes were sacred forms dedicated to Apollo, something that cannot be disputed.

– You give great emphasis on epistylia. What is your theory about’ These;

I think the item that gives us evidence for the connection of the monument of Amphipolis with Delphi are the painted epistylia. It is critical that bonanza because there is a tripod and a genus Arecaceae, as it was dedicated by kimon in Delphi after the victory over the Persians in the Eurymedon (469-466 e.g.). So, We re-use of foinikodentroy in the painted architrave, as this symbol of the victory of the Greeks over the Persians in Asia minor, the pattern was for art genikotera. This is due, of course, the Macedonians to victory over the Persians in Asia. I'm sure you'll find other elements that will confirm that this monument was created in honor of a victory of the Macedonian army and speak for the Tumulus total.

Also in an engraved architrave, the impeller shape beyond doubt, It seems that is a victory. At my disposal I only have the photos published by the MINISTRY of CULTURE, I imagine though that what you've seen, like anyone else, It is not the only part of an epistyle is an engraved, There should be more.

As for the bull, He, of course, represents Dionysus, It can't be something else, because it dominates with its size in the composition. Already at the Evripides Bachkes refers to Dionysos as a creature with the features of Taurus and we must not forget that the Bacchae of Euripides were presented for the first time in Macedonia, in the courtyard of Pella. Thanks to the tragedy of Euripides, There is a strong bond of Taurus with Dionysus.

In epistylia we see that both styles tend toward the bull, who is at the center of this show. These all, in my opinion, talk about a Dionysian representation and can relate to the era in which it was constructed the monument, If it is known that Apollo was returning from the land of Yperboreiwn in the middle of summer, as we know from the poet Alcaeus. Therefore, Maybe it has something to do with the period that Dionysus was the ruler of Delphi and anyhow, There are reports from several other famous sculptures, the so-called opera nobilia.

Dionysus had very great importance for Alexander the great. I would say that the period during which build the Tumulus is a time when the spirit of change. The gloom was abandoned and this excitement, the exapsei that causes Dionysus is considered typical of totalitarian power. So Dionysus becomes the most important God for the Macedonians.

We also know that Alexander the great was a drinker, We would say "a very robust glass" and is transported back cueing techniques in crowd representations concerning him. Is the period that the Greek spirit abandons the cold rationality of the classical period and everything tend to dionysiasmo, the abuses and the baroque conception of the world-these are all about the specific attitude to life, which are characteristic and important.

– See other symbolism in Memorial;

The Caryatids are closely connected with death. Even on the Acropolis of Athens, the Korai are considered sentinels of the tomb of between Evmolpos. The Sphinxes, for example, It wasn't as much butt they think. One had her head turned inwards and outwards. And in it there was, of course, symbolism: One look to the outside world, of live and the other towards the inner workings, in the world of the dead. The Sphinxes stand on the boundary, between the Kingdom of the living and the dead. But the whole sequence of cubicles that leads to the deepest point of the Mound gives emphasis to this route from life to death. Therefore, constitutes a religious or even psy-agwgiki experience. There are other examples of such complex of monuments, for example, Pausanias mentions the Heroon of Trofoniou in Livadia. The Trophonius was one of the two architects of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Then became a hero and even with therapeutic properties, for’ This divination and became the subject of worship. All these are related to the heroic beliefs, which had acquired great importance during that period. The therapeutic qualities of heroes and deities, a characteristic element of this period, the Salvation, emerges in principal mental need for people. Therefore, the Tumulus of Amphipolis answers to spiritual needs.

– So, Besides burial, the monument of Amphipolis was extra and devotional;

I think all the elements compose a clear reference: Apollo was the God who gave the victory to the Macedonians. Apollo is associated with Delphi, as Dionysus, who during the specific period is equally important with Apollo. In the Temple of Delphi, in the Eastern gable apeikonizontan Apollo with Muses and on Western Dionysus among the Thyiades (Maenads). Therefore, the monument of Amphipolis distinguish all elements of spirituality, that is the end of the 4th century BC.

* O Antonio Corso is an Italian archaeologist and art historian, skilled in the architecture and the ancient Greek sculpture. Author 11 books and more from 100 Special articles, Mr. Corso is regarded worldwide as a pundit on Praxiteles to whom he has dedicated the largest part of the project's scientific. Antonio Corso studies constitute a point of reference for the scientific community in the industry. By the 1980s the Greece is the basis of Mr. Corso, Although successive scholarships and his collaborations with leading research centers around the world to compel him occasionally migrates in countries like Britain, the Germany, the Hungary, the Sweden, the Russia etc.. However, deeply convinced that Greece is the land of plenty for the scholar of ancient Greek civilization, Antonio Corso always returns to Athens.

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