The Louvre Presents In the kingdom of Alexander the Great Ancient Macedonia

The The Louvre Presents In the kingdom of Alexander the Great – Ancient Macedonia an exhibition on view through 01-16-2012.

© Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism / Archaeological Receipts Fund / Orestis Kourakis

Nearly five hundred pieces, most of which are presented for the first time in France, retrace the history of ancient Macedonia from the fifteenth century BC until Imperial Roman times.

The exhibition charts, in particular, the rise of the kingdom of Macedonia against the Greek city-states, thanks to the political acumen of its rulers, the most famous of whom being Alexander the Great.

It was not until 1977 and the discovery of several royal burial sites in Vergina, including the intact tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, that the exceptional archeological potential of northern Greece was truly recognized. These excavations and those of several other Macedonian necropolises revealed the splendor of a class of notables and an elite close to the kings, as well as the development of a particularly sophisticated form of court art. They attest to the intense trade relations between Macedonia and other parts of the Greek world.

While complete ensemble of grave goods illustrate the chronological timeline, thematic approaches allow us to address various aspects of Macedonian civilization: artistic production, the way the kingdom was organized, education, daily life of men and women, religion and death, not to mention the genesis of the legend of Alexander in classical antiquity.

Spectacular works—sculptures, vases, ceramics, jewelry, and two gold warrior wreaths in particular—reveal the richness and extraordinary virtuosity of ancient Macedonian production. –

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