Saturday, 7 December 2019

THE BIRTH OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT ~ GREEK MOSAIC FROM LEBANON


The Birth of Alexander the Great.Mosaic, 4th century BCE. From Baalbek,Lebanon. National Museum of Beirut.

This mosaic shows the newborn Alexander the Great being bathed in a circular fluted basin by a female figure labelled as Νύμφη (Nymphe), while his mother Olympias is resting on a bed watched by an attendant. All the figures in the mosaic have name-labels, a common characteristic of mosaics of the Greek East of the 3rd to 5th centuries.


In the case of this mosaic, the name-labels seem to serve an obvious and important purpose: how else can the viewer recognize the scene as the birth of Alexander rather than the birth of  Achilles or Dionysos? At the same time, the borrowing of the iconographic schema hints at analogies between Alexander, Achilles and Dionysos.

Source https://historyofmacedonia.wordpress.com/

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