Item UL_1734_04_0018 - [Alexander Sarcophagus]

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[Alexander Sarcophagus]

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RBSC-ARC-1804-UL_1734_04-UL_1734_04_0018

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  • [between 1920 and 1930?] (Creation)
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    [Unknown] (Authorized heading)

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1 photograph : black and white

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Typed caption in album reads, "The Sarcophagus alleged to be Alexander's.--This sarcophagus was discovered at Saida in 1887 by Hamdi Bey, and is of Pentelic marble; it is 10 feet 8 inches long, 5 feet 7 inches broad, and broken off in excavation, but some of the fragments have been recovered and put together, and the monument is now partially restored; a head, however, and some other fragments are still mission. the repairs to the horse's hoof and to the arm of one of the hunters are ancient. The colouring has faded very much since the monument was unearthed. It is generally called Alexander's sarcophagus, but it has no been possible as yet to decide whose remains it contained. Some aver that it enclosed the corpse of a Persian satrap, who after fighting hard for his country, at last deserted and went over to the Macedonian conqueror, who admitted him to his intimacy. One thing, however, is certain namely, that this, which is one of the most important remaining monuments of Greek antiquity is the work of an artist contemporary with Lysippus, who flourished towards the end of the fourth century B.C. This sarcophagus, which is unique both as regards style and preservation, is modelled to represent an elongated Greek temple, with its friezes, pediments, etc. South side.---The sculptures on this side represent a cavalry engagement between the Greeks and Persians at the battle of Issus, or Arbela. The Greeks are either nude, save for a light chlamys, or else are clad in armour, and wear variously the helmet and the Macedonian cap; while the Persians are dressed in trunk-hose and tunics with a short tight-sleeved cloak hung from the beck down t heir backs. the Greek horses are ridden barebacked with only a bit and bridle, and an occasional breastband; the Persian charges, on the other hand, are richly caparisoned. The figures, at first sight, appear somewhat confusedly arranged, but a closer inspection reveals five distinct and symmetrical groups. The central one is formed of four figures--a Greek horseman; a barbarian kneeling and holding his arms up as if asking quarter; a barbarian archer likewise on his knees; and another towards the left, standing. The two other groups, one on each side of the central one, are each composed of two figures; that on the right represents a hand-to-hand encounter between...".

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