Roman Bust Of Alcibiades

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rocktupac
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Roman Bust Of Alcibiades

Post by rocktupac »

Has anyone ever seen this bust of Alcibiades. I came across it while randomly searching on Wikipedia and couldn't help but notice the striking resemblance of an idealized Alexander. I realize it's a Roman copy of an original Greek bust, and the Roman sculptor (I can only suspect) created it with a hint of Alexander in mind, I still found it interesting.

It has the wavy hair, eyes gazing upward, head tilting to the side, and full lips. All the typical features of a bust of Alexander.

Here's the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Bust ... MC1160.jpg
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Post by Paralus »

If this is a copy of a Greek original, we would dearly love to know something of the "provenance" of that original. The date of the original work would help immensely. That, of course, is irretrievable one suspects.

The fact that the face is clean shaven is interesting: the classic Greek statesmen – even one as hubristic, self-interested and capricious as Alkibiades – was bearded. We are, though, speaking of Alkibiades.

I do not, though, think the sculptor was in any way “channelling” Alexander. You see, Alexander was hardly the first to adopt (or to have) a “tilted head” nor “gazing upward” eyes. The hair too is not out of the ordinary – especially when one takes into account the “Jack the lad” that was Alkibiades.
Euripides’ saying that even the autumn of beauty possesses a loveliness of its own is not universally true. But if it applies to few others, it was certainly true of Alcibiades on account of his natural gifts and his physical perfection. Even his lisp is said to have suited his voice well and to have made his talk persuasive and full of charm…

And Archippus, when he makes fun of Alkibiades’ son, says, “He goes mincing along, trailing his long robe behind him, trying to look the image of his father”, and again, “He tilts his head to one side and overdoes his lisp”. (Plutarch, Alkibiades, 1.3-4)
There is precious little new under a Greek sun.
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Post by smittysmitty »

My understanding is that Alcibiades was always portrayed wearing a helmet in attempt to cover up his rather elongated head.

I believe he was known affectionately as 'egg head' to his mates at the time.


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Post by Paralus »

Not quite Smitty. That would be his guardian or "foster dad" the eminent Perikles.

Always with his helemt on. It is said he addressed the assembly in similar attire.

Alkibiades was made a ward of Perikles after his father, Kleinias, died in the battle of Koroneia in 446. It marked the end of Athens' central Greece "land empire" as well as the adoption of detente with Sparta by - an until then belligerent - Perikles.

It was a fairly "aggressive" detente all the same.
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Post by smittysmitty »

My apologies Paralus,

your absolutely right. Got ahead of my self a little. Don't know what I was thinking. I've been racking my brain over a paper on the Greco-Persian Wars. I'm supposed to explain why the Persians failed to take Greece. Problem is, I reckon they did. Gunna stir the pot a bit, not too much - gotta keep some of the tradition alive.


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Post by Paralus »

A paper indeed.

What're you reading as background?
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Post by smittysmitty »

Sorry bout the delayed reponse, had to run out of the office for a tic.

Mainly primary sources, Herodotus, Thucydides, most significant characters of Plutacrchs lives, bit of Diodorus and Justin. Usual stuff.
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Post by Paralus »

There have certainly not been many great expeditions, either Hellenic of foreign, which have been successful when sent far from home. They cannot come in greater numbers than the inhabitants of the country and their neighbours, all of whom will unite together through fear; and if things go wrong with them because of lack of supplies in a foriegn country, even though they thenselves are chiefly responsible for their failure, they nevertheless leave the honours of war to those against whom their plots were made. This was just what happened to those very Athenians, who, after the defeat of the Persians, which was very much a matter of accident, won a great name simply because it was against the Athenians that that the Persians set out.
So much for Persian numbers. Seems also that they may well have fought at Plataea due to the very reason Alexander I gives: lack of supplies.

The quote from?
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Post by smittysmitty »

Sounds like Thucydides to me. But I reckon he's only partly right - some major questions go unanswered I reckon.
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Post by smittysmitty »

Gotta go mate, just about to knock off work. Night!
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Post by Paralus »

Indeed. the words he puts into Hermocrates' mouth during the debate in Syracuse as the Athenian forces assmbled in Magna Graecia.

This, evidently, is Thucydides' opinion of what happened. It should, one thinks, give some pause to think. Earlier (at 1.69) he has the Corinthians declare that "In fact you know that the chief reason for the failure of the Persian invasion was the mistakes of the Persians themselves".

The claim - by implication - that the Persians did not outnumber the Greeks puts Thucydides' out in virgin territory for Greek historians. He is likely correct. There is a snowflake's chance in hell of some 300,000 Persians at Plataea.
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Post by Semiramis »

Maybe Greek sculptors just had this "ideal youth" look? So Alexander ended up with it, as did Alcibiades... Perhaps if they did a likeness of you rocktopuc, it'd look pretty similar to Alexander and Alcibiades?
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Post by marcus »

smittysmitty wrote:your absolutely right. Got ahead of my self a little. Don't know what I was thinking. I've been racking my brain over a paper on the Greco-Persian Wars. I'm supposed to explain why the Persians failed to take Greece. Problem is, I reckon they did.
Well, they did - all the way to the Isthmus, anyway. It's just that they then got kicked out again. :D

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