Traditional Chinese Hanfu in “Spring morning in the Han Palace” 《漢宫春晓图》(1494–1552) by Qiu Ying 仇英
“Spring Morning in the Han Palace” depicts a variety of activities on a spring morning in the imperial palace of Han Dynasty (202 BC – AD 220). There are altogether 115 figures, including court ladies, maids, eunuchs, painters and children.
Hermes (or Hephaestus) and Pallas Athena altar from Corfu 100 BCE to 100 CE
"Preserving two figures (plus a faint foot) striding across a curving surface, this fragment constitutes approximately 1/6th of a large circular altar or statue base. Its full circumference accommodated 12 figures—likely the Olympian deities. Athena—with spear, helmet, and stylized aegis, or breastplate—is with either the smith God Hephaistos, holding a hammer, or the messenger God Hermes, with his staff. Now lost are Zeus, Poseidon, Demeter, and others. The eclectic carving style includes stylized drapery with zigzag and swallowtail folds, recalling the Archaic period (600–480 BC), on tall and slender figures characteristic of later times."
Pluto, Persephone, Demeter, and worshippers from Tegea - Late 4th-early 3rd c. BCE
"Tegea (Ancient Greek: Τεγέα; Ionic Greek: Τεγέη) was one of the most ancient and powerful towns of ancient Arcadia, situated in the southeast of the country. Its territory, called Tegeatis (Τεγεᾶτις), was bounded by Cynuria and Argolis on the east, from which it was separated by Mount Parthenium, by Laconia on the south, by the Arcadian district of Maenalia on the west, and by the territory of Mantineia on the north. The Tegeatae are said to have derived their name from Tegeates, a son of Lycaon, and to have dwelt originally in eight, afterwards nine, demoi or townships. In the Archaic period the nine demoi that underlie Tegea banded together in a synoecism to form one city; the inhabitants of the demoi were incorporated, by Aleus in the city of Tegea, of which this hero was the reputed founder. The names of these nine townships, which are preserved by Pausanias, are: Gareatae (Γαρεᾶται), Phylaceis (Φυλακεῖς), Caryatae (Καρυᾶται), Corytheis (Κορυθεῖς), Potachidae (Πωταχίδαι), Oeatae (Οἰᾶται), Manthyreis (Μανθυρεῖς), Echeuetheis (Εχευήθεἱς), to which Apheidantes (Ἀφείδαντες) was added as the ninth in the reign of king Apheidas. The Tegeatae were early divided into 4 tribes (phylai) (φυλαί), called respectively Clareotis (Κλαρεῶτις, in inscriptions Κραριῶτις), Hippothoitis (Ἱπποθοῖτις), Apolloneatis (Ἀπολλωνεᾶτις), and Athoneatis (Ἀθανεᾶτις), to each of which belonged a certain number of metoeci (μέτοικοι) or resident aliens.
Tegea is mentioned by Homer in the Catalogue of Ships in the Iliad, and was probably the most celebrated of all the Arcadian towns in the earliest times. This appears from its heroic renown, since its king Echemus is said to have slain Hyllus, the son of Heracles, in single combat. The Tegeatae offered a long-continued and successful resistance to the Spartans, when the latter attempted to extend their dominion over Arcadia. In one of the wars between the two peoples, Chariläus or Charillus, king of Sparta, deceived by an oracle which appeared to promise victory to the Spartans, invaded Tegeatis, and was not only defeated, but was taken prisoner with all his men who had survived the battle. More than two centuries afterwards, in the reign of Leon and Agesicles, the Spartans again fought unsuccessfully against the Tegeatae; but in the following generation, in the time of their king Anaxandridas II, the Spartans, having obtained possession of the bones of Orestes in accordance with an oracle, defeated the Tegeatae and compelled them to acknowledge the supremacy of Sparta, about 560 BC. Thus, Tegea's struggle against Spartan hegemony in Arcadia came to an end, and it was forced into some form of collaboration, maybe as one of the earliest members of what would become the Sparta-centered Peloponnesian League.
Tegea, however, still retained its independence, though its military force was at the disposal of Sparta; and in the Greco-Persian Wars it appears as the second military power in the Peloponnesus, having the place of honour on the left wing of the allied army. Five hundred of the Tegeatae fought at the Battle of Thermopylae, and 3000 at the Battle of Plataea, half of their force consisting of hoplites and half of light-armed troops. As it was not usual to send the whole force of a state upon a distant march, William Smith and Henry Fynes Clinton estimate the force of the Tegeatae on this occasion as not more than three-fourths of their whole number. This would give 4000 for the military population of Tegea, and about 17,400 for the whole free population.
Soon after the Battle of Plataea, the Tegeatae were again at war with the Spartans, of the causes of which, however, we have no information. We only know that the Tegeatae fought twice against the Spartans between 479 and 464 BCE, and were each time defeated; first in conjunction with the Argives, and a second time together with the other Arcadians, except the Mantineians at Dipaea, in the Maenalian district. About this time, and also at a subsequent period, Tegea, and especially the temple of Athena Alea in the city, was a frequent place of refuge for persons who had rendered themselves obnoxious to the Spartan government. Hither fled the seer Hegesistratus and the kings Leotychides, and Pausanias of Sparta, son of Pleistoanax.
In the Peloponnesian War the Tegeatae were the firm allies of the Spartans, to whom they remained faithful both on account of their possessing an aristocratical constitution, and from their jealousy of the neighbouring democratical city of Mantineia, with which they were frequently at war. Thus the Tegeatae not only refused to join the Argives in the alliance formed against Sparta in 421 BCE, but they accompanied the Lacedaemonians in their expedition against Argos in 418 BCE. They also fought on the side of the Spartans in the Corinthian War, 394 BCE. The Temple of Athena Alea burned in 394 BCE and was magnificently rebuilt, to designs by Scopas of Paros, with reliefs of the Calydonian boar hunt in the main pediment. After the Battle of Leuctra (371 BCE), however, the Spartan party in Tegea was expelled, and the city joined the other Arcadian towns in the foundation of Megalopolis and in the formation of the Arcadian League. When Mantineia a few years afterwards quarrelled with the supreme Arcadian government, and formed an alliance with its old enemy Sparta, Tegea remained faithful to the new confederacy, and fought under Epaminondas against the Spartans at the great Battle of Mantineia, 362 BCE.
Tegea at a later period joined the Aetolian League, but soon after the accession of Cleomenes III to the Spartan throne it formed an alliance with Sparta, together with Mantineia and Orchomenus. It thus became involved in hostilities with the Achaeans, and in the war which followed, called the Cleomenic War, it was taken by Antigonus Doson, the ally of the Achaeans, and annexed to the Achaean League, 222 BCE. In 218 BCE, Tegea was attacked by Spartan king Lycurgus, who obtained possession of the whole city with the exception of the acropolis. It subsequently fell into the hands of Machanidas, the tyrant of Sparta, but was recovered by the Achaeans after the defeat of Machanidas, who was slain in battle by Philopoemen. In the time of Strabo Tegea was the only one of the Arcadian towns which continued to be inhabited, and it was still a place of importance in the time of Pausanias, who has given us a minute account of its public buildings. The "tombs" he saw there were shrines to the chthonic founding daemones: "There are also tombs of Tegeates, the son of Lycaon, and of Maira (or Maera), his wife." Maira was a daughter of Atlas, and Homer makes mention of her in the passage where Odysseus tells to Alkinous his journey to Hades, and of those whose ghosts he beheld there."
Ancient Tegea was an important religious center of ancient Greece, containing the Temple of Athena Alea. The temenos was founded by Aleus, Pausanias was informed. Votive bronzes at the site from the Geometric and Archaic periods take the forms of horses and deer; there are sealstones and fibulae.
The city retained civic life under the Roman Empire; Tegea survived being sacked by the Goths in AD 395–396. The Roman poets use the adjective Tegĕēus or Tegeaeus as equivalent to Arcadian: thus it is given as an epithet to Pan (Verg. G. 1.18), Callisto, daughter of Lycaon (Ov. Ar. Am. 2.55, Fast. 2.167), Atalanta (Ov. Met. 8.317, 380), Carmenta (Ov. Fast. 1.627), and Mercury (Stat. Silv. 1.54)."
"The Pinakes was a bibliographic work written by Callimachus (305–240 BC). It was a listing of the holdings in the great Library of Alexandria. It was probably the world's first library catalogue, yea, even before the internet and Google, back when people read books and even scrolls. The collection at the Library of Alexandria contained nearly 500,000 scrolls grouped by subject matter and stored in bins. Each bin carried a label with painted tablets hung above the stored papyri. The tablets described the contents of the bin by title, author, etc. The tablets were called pinakes. (Modern Italian retains the hard Greek 'k' and the Greek pronunciation of PIN-a-kays. In English, the common plural is 'pinaces', giving us the pronunciation of PIN-a-seas. That's ok. If you're not sure, just point. The singular was pinax. Ah, getting closer!
A pinax, in ancient Greece, was the general word for a small board that might be painted on and serve as a devotional or votive tablet. It could also be used to refer to a terracotta, marble or bronze tablet engraved with devotional figures from Greek mythology and deposited in a sanctuary or in a burial chamber."
"Such doubts existed because up to then, on the basis of the artefacts unearthed in the territory of the ancient polis and on the accounts of ancient and modern travelers, had been proposed several areas that could be assumed as identifiable with the famous Sanctuary of the antiquity (among them the ruins of Casa Marafioti and the Sanctuary area of Marasà).
All of this was due to the fact that the idea of discovering the precise location of the ancient Persephoneion fascinated for centuries all of those that approached the history of the ancient Locri (because of their profession, as a subject of study or, simply, for passion). And the reason is that the Sanctuary was described by the ancient historians as known and revered throughout the ancient world and, precisely thanks to such a situation, it could count on a vast richness that throughout history were often the object of the appetites of foreign sovereigns or common criminals (see Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, XXIX 8, 9 and XXXI 12, 1-4, passages quoted in History - Greek Age, Chapter VI e Roman Age, Chapter IV), or even, as in the case of Pleminius (see History - Roman Age, Chapter III), of regents pro tempore of the city.
Therefore the identification made by Paolo Orsi marked the final word on the centuries-old search for the Sanctuary of Persephone.
From the excavations carried on, the archaeologist from Rovereto brought to light some impressive retaining walls made out of a sandstone known as ammollis (term derived from the vulgarization of the Byzantine Greek word ammolithos, that literally means "stone made of sand": ammos = sand and lithos = stone), a stone typical of this area; walls that, very likely, also marked the boundaries of the Sanctuary area consecrated to the deity (temenos).
Within these boundaries Orsi found a structure, located immediately at the base of the hill, built with limestone blocks of excellent quality and not with ammollis; a precise choice made, probably, to emphasize the importance of the monumental structure built with such a valuable stone. The structure was built around a square pit that, although nowadays devoted of the monumental structures that in the antiquity stood above it, was interpreted by the archaeologist as a thesauros of the Sanctuary.
The exploration of the area has led to the conclusion that the Sanctuary was not characterized by the presence of a temple (which, moreover, is not the key element of Greek sanctuaries), but its monumental shape was ensured by the impressive retaining walls that also had the function to define, in the limited space provided by the natural gorge formed by the two hills of Mannella and Abbadessa, a narrow and dimly lit path of access to the consecrated area; path that, combined with the peculiar characteristics of the place, doubtless provided the ancient visitor a real feeling of being in an otherworldly place ruled by Persephone, Goddess of the underworld."
Do you ever just get overwhelmed thinking about why we value art so deeply? Do you ever just think about the very first people who saw the potential in mineral pigments for their ability to help illustrate a story? The first painters, who tried to capture a moment in a still image, to preserve and cherish. Do you ever think about the first people who made art their goal and decided, this is what I want to do; I want to give people this, forever; this will be what I will be remembered for. And now we take those paintings, those studies in life and form and existence and emotion, and we hang them in buildings whose sole purpose is to preserve and cherish who we are and how far we have come and how we have changed and yet also how we have stayed the same. We ascribe monetary value to these artefacts as a purely subjective measure of aesthetics and taste. We do not say of art, “Do you know how much that costs?” because it does not cost us anything to enjoy, to look, to feel. Do you know how much art is worth? Everything. It is worth everything.
Head (painted sandstone) from a statue of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep I. Artist unknown; ca. 1525-1504 BCE. From the forecourt of the temple of Mentuhotep II at Deir el-Bahri, Thebes; now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.