The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

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Zebedee
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Zebedee »

Xenophon wrote: It does have an architectural facade, which is plain and undecorated ( which may be why I can't find an image of it).
The first picture you posted there is the inscription above the (double) door leading into the burial chamber, isn't it?
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Xenophon »

Yes, I believe so....see my previous post.

"The burial chamber was entered from the south through a double door. The ante-chamber has a flat ceiling and its walls have painted representations of a sprinkler and an altar. Over the door leading into the burial chamber are the names of the first two deceased, Lyson and Kallikles sons of Aristophanes."

The point I am making is that even though towards the end of the era, one or two Macedonian monumental tombs had undecorated facades, or even no facade, at the time the Kasta tomb was built, ALL Macedonian monumental tombs had decorated elaborate facades, and Kasta does not......
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Zebedee »

And every Macedonian tomb in the late third century has a highly decorated ornamental facade. Apart from the ones which don't. :D

Amphipolis is just unique in so many ways. We have caryatids where you wonder whether we're looking to Athens or, say, Lycia (Tomb of Perikles) for some sort of reference. They're very obviously not the female figures of Sveshtari, which have more in common with depictions of a nature goddess. The sphinxes and monumental lion are also things we look towards places like Athens to understand, with Thracian tombs occasionally having carved lions (in relief rather than monumental!) believed to also reflect that Greek influence (eg Zhaba Mogila). Amphipolis has few things in common with a tomb like Mal Tepe (c.280 BC for initial form, based on the vases found), so it's a struggle to push towards those which are being diagnostic of much of anything. Especially when one is pushing against cultural transmission being seen as from Macedonia to Thrace (eg use of klinai as funeral beds in many Hellenistic period Thracian tombs).

Agree absolutely that looking to function behind the form is important. But cults for the dead, even multi-generational ones, are in no way restricted to Thrace. So something more is needed to try and establish a stronger link. If it can be reasonably established beyond the generic expectations. You'd expect 'Thracian' ritual to be seen in the decoration of the tomb - but I'm not sure whether that case can be even made (yet - I think it could come up eventually*)? Arguments from silence are rather rubbish, I know, but Amphipolis is mute on Rhesos in many ways so far. But then it also laughs at many other hypotheses, and certainly pokes fun at a couple which have been loudly touted too. :lol:

edit: * - Sabazios (oriental clothing and phrygian cap) makes an appearance on the kline from the Prince's Tomb at Vergina. He's clearly linked to Dionysian rite and ritual from the other ivories found from that couch. If Amphipolis reflects that portrayal somewhere then things get interesting on Thracian cultural links.
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Xenophon »

Zebedee wrote:
Amphipolis is just unique in so many ways.
.....as is every tomb find!
We have caryatids where you wonder whether we're looking to Athens or, say, Lycia (Tomb of Perikles) for some sort of reference. They're very obviously not the female figures of Sveshtari, which have more in common with depictions of a nature goddess.
A caryatid [ Greek: Καρυάτις, plural: Καρυάτιδες] is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting a building etc and became a common architectural feature right through the middle eastern and Mediterranean worlds. They originate in the Peloponnese, according to Greek lore, but are also found in Phoenicia, and the term karyatides literally means "maidens of Karyai", which had a famous temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis in her aspect of Artemis Karyatis: "As Karyatis she rejoiced in the dances of the nut-tree village of Karyai, ( one of the six villages originally making up Sparta) those Karyatides, who in their ecstatic round-dance carried on their heads baskets of live reeds, as if they were dancing plants". [Kerenyi: Gods of the Greeks]

Some of the earliest known examples were found dating to around the 6th century BC at Delphi, but their use as supports in the form of women can be traced back even earlier, to ritual basins, ivory mirror handles from Phoenicia, and on tripods and draped figures from archaic Greece.
In a tomb context, they served the same function as either real or figurative supports of the 'canopy'/ceiling above. At the time Amphipolis was constructed, they are seen in tombs all over the 'Oikomene', even as far west as Etruria, (e.g. the tomb of Typhon, which has winged ‘vegetal’ type caryatids, and caryatids are common enough too in Thracian tombs. Interestingly, they are not generally found in Macedonian tombs, and the only Macedonian example I know of is a small caryatid which decorates the throne found in the ‘Tomb of Eurydike’ at Vergina. It is perhaps a little unfair to compare the Kasta examples with those of Sveshtari, a tomb likely built in this era for a King of the Getai, Dromichartes. The idea is the same, but Sveshtari is in the far North East of Thrace, just 30 km from the Danube and over 400 km north of Amphipolis as the crow flies. Naturally, despite its Greek origins, the Caryatids here on the fringe of the ‘Oikomene’ are subject to local influences.

It is hardly surprising either that those at Kasta should be in an Athenian style, given that in 437 BC Hagnon with several thousand Athenian colonists had founded Amphipolis, and that the population had a majority of mixed Athenian/Thracian race [Thuc IV.106].
If more of the city had survived I have no doubt that we would find 'Athenian' art and sculpture everywhere.
This blending of culture is what makes Kasta unique as a tomb - this particular combination of cultural influences could only occur at Amphipolis.
The sphinxes and monumental lion are also things we look towards places like Athens to understand, with Thracian tombs occasionally having carved lions (in relief rather than monumental!) believed to also reflect that Greek influence (eg Zhaba Mogila). Amphipolis has few things in common with a tomb like Mal Tepe (c.280 BC for initial form, based on the vases found), so it's a struggle to push towards those which are being diagnostic of much of anything. Especially when one is pushing against cultural transmission being seen as from Macedonia to Thrace (eg use of klinai as funeral beds in many Hellenistic period Thracian tombs).
I don’t think it is either fair or correct to suggest that cultural transmission is ‘one way’, and so agree with you e.g. the use of ‘klinai’ beds/banquet couches was originally a Middle Eastern custom, and reclined dining spread to Greece via Anatolia, and again throughout the ‘Oikomene’.
Tombs like Zhaba Mogila and Mal Tepe simply illustrate the variety in tomb building, and again that each tomb is unique, with unique local factors.... there is not going to be a parallel or ‘prototype’ for a tomb like Kasta, merely a variety of influences, and at Kasta it is Thracian rituals etc which govern the architecture and use of the Heroon/tomb, even if the decoration is in Greek/Athenian style, and likely carried out by Athenian, or Athenian influenced artisans. This combination of factors is what makes Kasta unique.
Agree absolutely that looking to function behind the form is important. But cults for the dead, even multi-generational ones, are in no way restricted to Thrace. So something more is needed to try and establish a stronger link. If it can be reasonably established beyond the generic expectations. You'd expect 'Thracian' ritual to be seen in the decoration of the tomb - but I'm not sure whether that case can be even made (yet - I think it could come up eventually*)? Arguments from silence are rather rubbish, I know, but Amphipolis is mute on Rhesos in many ways so far. But then it also laughs at many other hypotheses, and certainly pokes fun at a couple which have been loudly touted too. :lol:
Yes, Thrace is not unique in having cults for the dead – they are world wide even to this day. But the Thracian form, with the deceased ancestor transformed into a God, becoming an anthropodaimon, and being worshipped in the tomb/heroon for years or generations after, until ultimate sealing, fits the known data about Kasta like a glove, even if there are several unanswerable mysteries attached to it ( such as who the original occupant was for certain ). Nor is ‘Athenian’ with a touch of ‘Macedonian’ decoration, rather than Thracian, surprising in the slightest (see above).
And like you I don’t think the idea of a prominent Macedonian noble being deliberately buried in an ancient Thracian cemetery amongst barbarian ghosts, far away from friends and family in Macedon is terribly credible. ( different of course for those who died thousands of miles from Home, and who of necessity had to be buried locally).......
On the other hand we know that Rhesos, a Homeric mythological character, honoured as the ultimate 'anthropodaimon' ancestor of Amphipolis was worshipped as divine founder in that city by Athenians and Thracians alike - a unifying factor. ( An oracle told Hagnon : "Do you desire to found anew the place trodden by many feet, O youth of Athens? It will be difficult for you without the gods. It is not allowed, until  you seek and bring from Troy the remains of Rhesus and piously conceal them in your territory. Then might you obtain renown". (The presumed bones were originally buried on the Thracian side of the Strymon river) And see also e.g. Euripides play 'Rhesos' probably written some time after the planting of the colony had been successful.)

Whilst we will likely never know for certain, the city of Amphipolis is far more likely to honour its divine founder, using its wealth to create an undoubtedly expensive tomb dug into the Kasta mound, and subsequently carry out cult rituals there, than for any Macedonian...... at all events this seems much more plausible to me, or else some important local unknown to history. Consider the tomb of the Spartan General Brasidas [422 BC], honoured as a 'founder' of the city, having liberated it from Athenian control and made Amphipolis independent, and given the highly unusual honour of a burial within the precincts of the city, near its 'agora'/market, another example of 'local connections'.
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Silver urn and gold crown probably that of Brasidas from agora at Amphipolis.JPG
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Zebedee »

Just a few thoughts. As you know, there's much we agree on, there's little point me quoting chunks of stuff I've said in the past, and I'm just poking the same holes I poke in my own ideas. :)

Xenophon wrote: and caryatids are common enough too in Thracian tombs.
That's the sort of evidence which needs to be marshaled if it's available. Rhesos as an 'occupant' doesn't require Thracian. So if you can pull together strong evidence that the decoration of the tomb reflects Thrace then it gets interesting. How's your Bulgarian? ;)
It is perhaps a little unfair to compare the Kasta examples with those of Sveshtari, a tomb likely built in this era for a King of the Getai, Dromichartes. The idea is the same, but Sveshtari is in the far North East of Thrace, just 30 km from the Danube and over 400 km north of Amphipolis as the crow flies. Naturally, despite its Greek origins, the Caryatids here on the fringe of the ‘Oikomene’ are subject to local influences.
Can compare to Macedonian art if it's preferable.

Image

(Mosaic at Vergina)

Saying that they aren't the same is very fair really.

Just on caryatids generally, one idea which is interesting to kick about is that the form seen here, at Amphipolis, on tombs was connected to kingship. Won't push on that too hard though.
If more of the city had survived I have no doubt that we would find 'Athenian' art and sculpture everywhere.
If we go that route, then the understanding of any cult site for Rhesos will be seen primarily through an Athenian prism. As was his purported mother's site? So huge mound because Homer etc., with the expectation that the original occupant was cremated?

and at Kasta it is Thracian rituals etc which govern the architecture and use of the Heroon/tomb, even if the decoration is in Greek/Athenian style, and likely carried out by Athenian, or Athenian influenced artisans. This combination of factors is what makes Kasta unique.
I think the obvious criticism of your logic here is that you're taking one unique thing out of a group of unique things and then saying *this* one is unique because of X reason. Why is a different tomb not unique for Y reason? It's possible, of course it is, but it's a very thin reed to lean on when it's not reflected elsewhere on (or in) the site. Multi-chambered tombs are not unique to Thrace. Greek heroons take on a multiplicity of forms (and are in a variety of odd places).

Whilst we will likely never know for certain, the city of Amphipolis is far more likely to honour its divine founder, using its wealth to create an undoubtedly expensive tomb dug into the Kasta mound, and subsequently carry out cult rituals there, than for any Macedonian...... at all events this seems much more plausible to me, or else some important local unknown to history. Consider the tomb of the Spartan General Brasidas [422 BC], honoured as a 'founder' of the city, having liberated it from Athenian control and made Amphipolis independent, and given the highly unusual honour of a burial within the precincts of the city, near its 'agora'/market, another example of 'local connections'.
But then we have the cult of Philip, which began in his lifetime. So drawing that line seems difficult.
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Xenophon »

Zebedee wrote:
Xenophon wrote: and caryatids are common enough too in Thracian tombs.
That's the sort of evidence which needs to be marshaled if it's available. Rhesos as an 'occupant' doesn't require Thracian. So if you can pull together strong evidence that the decoration of the tomb reflects Thrace then it gets interesting. How's your Bulgarian? ;)
Non existent! Fortunately there are a number of translation programs on the internet that go a long way toward remedying that....
I think we are talking past one another again. Your selective quote is misleading. My point was that caryatids were very common throughout the 'oikomene' from the Middle East to Italy, including in tombs - indeed they are quite common to this day in modern architecture, if you look..... Not that they were particularly Thracian.
It is perhaps a little unfair to compare the Kasta examples with those of Sveshtari, a tomb likely built in this era for a King of the Getai, Dromichartes. The idea is the same, but Sveshtari is in the far North East of Thrace, just 30 km from the Danube and over 400 km north of Amphipolis as the crow flies. Naturally, despite its Greek origins, the Caryatids here on the fringe of the ‘Oikomene’ are subject to local influences.
Can compare to Macedonian art if it's preferable.

Image

(Mosaic at Vergina)

Saying that they aren't the same is very fair really.
You beat me to it, posting this particular mosaic! I was going to use it as an illustration of a 'vegetal' caryatid, and to contrast the style, which is clearly 'Greek', to the plainer, less sophisticated style of the provincial Sveshtari examples ( see below). I too was saying that the art styles weren't the same, and hence trying to compare the Sveshtari caryatids to the Amphipolis ones is an 'apples and pears' comparison, hence unfair ( and invalid).
The 'local influences' here are that Greek, or Greek trained artisans decorated Amphipolis, but local Thracian provincial artisans decorated Sveshtari.

If more of the city had survived I have no doubt that we would find 'Athenian' art and sculpture everywhere.
If we go that route, then the understanding of any cult site for Rhesos will be seen primarily through an Athenian prism. As was his purported mother's site? So huge mound because Homer etc., with the expectation that the original occupant was cremated?
I don't really understand what you are saying here. Amphipolis, because of its Athenian cultural background employed Athenian-style art and sculpture, but in a way which served 'Amphipolitan' themes and needs ( such as possibly a Rhesos cult, which we know existed)

and at Kasta it is Thracian rituals etc which govern the architecture and use of the Heroon/tomb, even if the decoration is in Greek/Athenian style, and likely carried out by Athenian, or Athenian influenced artisans. This combination of factors is what makes Kasta unique.
I think the obvious criticism of your logic here is that you're taking one unique thing out of a group of unique things and then saying *this* one is unique because of X reason. Why is a different tomb not unique for Y reason? It's possible, of course it is, but it's a very thin reed to lean on when it's not reflected elsewhere on (or in) the site. Multi-chambered tombs are not unique to Thrace. Greek heroons take on a multiplicity of forms (and are in a variety of odd places).
Not at all. I don't see the logic of your comments. I have been at pains right from my first post to point out that all tombs are individual and unique. Nor is it I who am "taking one unique thing out of a group..." - it is you by selectively quoting out of context. Your last two comments are logical 'non sequiturs', stating the obvious, but then no point is made.

At various times I have pointed to Thracian, Athenian and Macedonian influences in the Kasta Tomb ( and there are possibly others), and it is the combination of these which are uniquely 'Amphipolitan'. If we're going to classify the Kasta Tomb in some way, let us call it a monumental 'Amphipolitan style' tomb. Are there other 'Amphipolitan style' tombs out there? Possibly, but I doubt it......
I rather think we agree on this?

Whilst we will likely never know for certain, the city of Amphipolis is far more likely to honour its divine founder, using its wealth to create an undoubtedly expensive tomb dug into the Kasta mound, and subsequently carry out cult rituals there, than for any Macedonian...... at all events this seems much more plausible to me, or else some important local unknown to history. Consider the tomb of the Spartan General Brasidas [422 BC], honoured as a 'founder' of the city, having liberated it from Athenian control and made Amphipolis independent, and given the highly unusual honour of a burial within the precincts of the city, near its 'agora'/market, another example of 'local connections'.
But then we have the cult of Philip, which began in his lifetime. So drawing that line seems difficult.
I forgot to add that it seems that Brasidas' tomb was within an open enclosure, and that as a Hero/Anthropodaimon there were various games, rituals and festivals held in his honour - a good precedent for the purpose and function of the Kasta tomb, albeit thanks to growing wealth, the latter was grander.....

If Philip aspired to Deification, he did not achieve it. What inspired his ambition to be so, hinted at by the Philipeion in the Altis/sacred enclosure at Olympia, which consisted of a group of statues of Philip's family, and which was probably completed by Alexander, and also by the "13th" statue of himself along with the 12 Olympians at his final appearance, we cannot be sure. It could be earlier Greek examples, Thracian anthropodaimones, or both that inspired him. We have the words of Isocrates, and Alexander himself that he did not achieve Deification. I don't think we can say the cult of Philip began in his lifetime, save the usual sorts of thing among the conquered subject peoples....
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Note simpler style compared to Kasta or Macedonian caryatids
Note simpler style compared to Kasta or Macedonian caryatids
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Zebedee »

Xenophon wrote: Non existent! Fortunately there are a number of translation programs on the internet that go a long way toward remedying that....
I think we are talking past one another again. Your selective quote is misleading. My point was that caryatids were very common throughout the 'oikomene' from the Middle East to Italy, including in tombs - indeed they are quite common to this day in modern architecture, if you look..... Not that they were particularly Thracian.
I'm only aware of comparable caryatids at Sveshtari when looking for Thracian examples. So not sure what you're suggesting now? I'm not sure I'd agree with the characterisation of common. Not unknown, absolutely. But we're looking at a relative few examples and they are often associated with heroons and cult activity it would seem.
You beat me to it, posting this particular mosaic! I was going to use it as an illustration of a 'vegetal' caryatid, and to contrast the style, which is clearly 'Greek', to the plainer, less sophisticated style of the provincial Sveshtari examples ( see below). I too was saying that the art styles weren't the same, and hence trying to compare the Sveshtari caryatids to the Amphipolis ones is an 'apples and pears' comparison, hence unfair ( and invalid).
The 'local influences' here are that Greek, or Greek trained artisans decorated Amphipolis, but local Thracian provincial artisans decorated Sveshtari.
No, the difference isn't unfair - it's the point. You can argue for provincial in terms of quality. But in what they're portraying? No, can't buy that. Our one example of this form of figure in a Thracian tomb is of a 'nature' goddess. This figure is known across a wide area, including Macedonia. Amphipolis' figures are not those of Thrace but that of those seen elsewhere (earlier and later) throughout the Hellenistic world. This isn't a case of a bunch of yokels messing it up. They portray different things - and one must also ask why the ones in Sveshtari are wearing Greek clothes too!

I don't really understand what you are saying here. Amphipolis, because of its Athenian cultural background employed Athenian-style art and sculpture, but in a way which served 'Amphipolitan' themes and needs ( such as possibly a Rhesos cult, which we know existed)
But there's no evidence of an 'Amphipolitan' theme at any point. Everything can be explained by looking to Macedonia, or Athens. Assuming this is Rhesos' cult site, then it's an upsized Athenian founder cult. Which means we look to (pseudo) Euripides for potential answers because this is seen through the lens of Homer as understood by Athenians. If this is later than the Athenian period in origin (re-burial from original site or whatever), then we can pull in the Macedonian too.
Not at all. I don't see the logic of your comments. I have been at pains right from my first post to point out that all tombs are individual and unique. Nor is it I who am "taking one unique thing out of a group..." - it is you by selectively quoting out of context. Your last two comments are logical 'non sequiturs', stating the obvious, but then no point is made.
You're not typing anything new so there's little point quoting things covered in a very long thread in this forum, I prefer brevity - apologies if it's inconvenient for you. 'Form reflects function therefore Thrace' is a horribly flawed argument for anyone who gives it five minutes thought.
At various times I have pointed to Thracian, Athenian and Macedonian influences in the Kasta Tomb ( and there are possibly others), and it is the combination of these which are uniquely 'Amphipolitan'. If we're going to classify the Kasta Tomb in some way, let us call it a monumental 'Amphipolitan style' tomb. Are there other 'Amphipolitan style' tombs out there? Possibly, but I doubt it......
I rather think we agree on this?
There is no Thracian evident. What you're suggesting is someone sat there and said, "We're going to do a Thracian floorplan, fill it with very Greek sculpture and art, and top it off with a huge monumental lion". That's not how it works. The blending would be seen elsewhere. Even the foundation for the argument that the tomb shape and style is Thracian is very weak - why Thracian rather than Greek conceptions of a tomb for a Homeric hero? It needs more evidence for a blending of styles (Thracian horseman, Sabazios etc) and even those would only point to much broader blending as they're seen in Macedonia generally too.
I don't think we can say the cult of Philip began in his lifetime, save the usual sorts of thing among the conquered subject peoples....
We can, unless we choose to dismiss Aelius Aristides talking about sacrifices offered in his lifetime "as to a god". Manuela Mari wrote an essay on The Ruler Cult in Macedonia covering this and other oddities. Think you'll find links using forum search, I have on pdf if you can't find a copy.
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Zebedee »

Just a couple of links:

Vayos Liapis has some interesting ideas on the cult of Rhesos at Amphipolis and how it reflects Athenian rather than Thracian norms:

https://kernos.revues.org/1938?lang=en

A decade and more ago, he also suggested the idea that the play may in fact be aimed at the Macedonian court of Philip II or Alexander III. This paper roughly covers the reasoning:

https://www.academia.edu/7739920/Cookin ... _Consumers

Manuela Mari's essay on the Ruler Cult in Macedonia, which touches on Amphipolis:

https://www.academia.edu/3403174/The_Ru ... _Macedonia
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by system1988 »

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2016/10 ... ts-unfold/

The only article i could find in english. Its recent news.
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Zebedee »

Siphnian treasury vibe to the picture. Thanks system.

edit: should add, because it's an obvious one and comparisons to other things Mausolos have been made in the past.

Image

Carian sanctuary of Zeus Labrandeus, Labraunda. c.360 BC.
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by system1988 »

20161030_122633.jpg
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Very recently Lefantzis gave a lecture to a health sciences conference in which bringing devices that copy material (cameras) were prohibited. After that lecture, the above depiction of Kasta he made was published. It show how the entrance to the tomb was like. Lefantzis himself believes that he has located many parts of the entrance structure (which was the only visible part of the tomb with the exception of the lion on top). These parts are scattered in greek and foreign museums while others were found inside the tomb. Again, I want to stress that all this is according to Lefantzis.
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Xenophon »

I have remarked in this thread that I regard many of Lefantzis' pronouncements with outright skepticism, and take some of those of his partner Peristeri with a grain of salt too......

This reconstruction of a possible building above the entrance leads me to a number of misgivings. Bearing in mind that the peribolos wall is over 3 m high, that makes the entrance door the same height, and the building overall 7.5 m wide and high! Shouldn't there be foundations for such a huge structure? Even if the foundation stones were 'robbed out' there should be traces.......( see photo below - no trace of foundations to right of where side wall joins peribolos)

Moreover ( see below) the side walls either side of the actual entrance are just 4m or so apart. Are we to accept that this is some sort of Russian doll structure?

And all this is apparently conjured up from just 11 stones or part blocks scattered all over the world? ( or do the reference to 11 refer to statues and pieces thereof? Museums don't usually store just plain blocks. This story makes no sense as it stands. Clearly Lefantzis hasn't been globe-trotting to examine all these stones/statues in these austere times in Greece?)

Hopefully more information will emerge, before this latest pronouncement can be accepted.......
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Kasta tomb entrance showing connection to peribolos wall note no trace of foundations to right.JPG
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Xenophon »

Zebedee wrote:
Xenophon wrote:Non existent! Fortunately there are a number of translation programs on the internet that go a long way toward remedying that....
I think we are talking past one another again. Your selective quote is misleading. My point was that caryatids were very common throughout the 'oikomene' from the Middle East to Italy, including in tombs - indeed they are quite common to this day in modern architecture, if you look..... Not that they were particularly Thracian.
I'm only aware of comparable caryatids at Sveshtari when looking for Thracian examples. So not sure what you're suggesting now? I'm not sure I'd agree with the characterisation of common. Not unknown, absolutely. But we're looking at a relative few examples and they are often associated with heroons and cult activity it would seem.
Just exactly what the quotation says.....From the mid-6 c onward caryatids became common in the Greek/Hellenistic ‘oikomene’ – even as far as Scythia! What I am saying is that one shouldn’t look to Sveshtari for a comparison with the Kasta caryatids – to do so is incorrect and unfair. One cannot point to the latter and suggest that they are somehow a ‘Thracian’ influence - not least because they are later - they are clearly not. I believe we agree on this?



I don't really understand what you are saying here. Amphipolis, because of its Athenian cultural background employed Athenian-style art and sculpture, but in a way which served 'Amphipolitan' themes and needs ( such as possibly a Rhesos cult, which we know existed)
But there's no evidence of an 'Amphipolitan' theme at any point. Everything can be explained by looking to Macedonia, or Athens. Assuming this is Rhesos' cult site, then it's an upsized Athenian founder cult. Which means we look to (pseudo) Euripides for potential answers because this is seen through the lens of Homer as understood by Athenians. If this is later than the Athenian period in origin (re-burial from original site or whatever), then we can pull in the Macedonian too.
I disagree. You can ‘salami slice’ each decorative feature, and point to Athenian, Macedonian influences etc, but if we look at the whole tomb holistically, we have a building which reflects Thracian tomb architecture, probably designed for Thracian type religious practises, but decorated largely in Athenian style and motifs, with some Macedonian ( and perhaps others). Given that Amphipolis is just such a mix of peoples/cultures, isn’t this exactly what we would expect ? Perfectly logical therefore to label this mix ‘Amphipolitan’. No need to try and shoehorn it into a ‘Macedonian’ context which clearly doesn’t fit ( unless you are a patriotic Greek into all sorts of political machinations, externally with FYROM, and internal too!)

Not at all. I don't see the logic of your comments. I have been at pains right from my first post to point out that all tombs are individual and unique. Nor is it I who am "taking one unique thing out of a group..." - it is you by selectively quoting out of context. Your last two comments are logical 'non sequiturs', stating the obvious, but then no point is made.
You're not typing anything new so there's little point quoting things covered in a very long thread in this forum, I prefer brevity - apologies if it's inconvenient for you. 'Form reflects function therefore Thrace' is a horribly flawed argument for anyone who gives it five minutes thought.
It’s not so much the brevity as the lack of clarity in what you post, which tends to be enigmatic and therefore hard to engage with – I assume English is not your native language, since you seem to have trouble understanding what I say also?
As to your last sentence, once again you take something out of context and allegedly for ‘brevity’s sake’ twist it into something I never said – I don’t talk in such absolute terms.
What I said is that the architectural design is clearly not Macedonian, nor does it comply with Graeco-Macedonian religious beliefs ( the tomb being open and accessible, the large chambers suitable for people to worship and perform rituals etc), but rather it better fits known Thracian religious beliefs and practises.

I note that despite your proposed ‘devil’s advocate’ position, other than nitpicking what I write, which is all too easy when nothing is certain, you haven’t so far advocated anything....

At various times I have pointed to Thracian, Athenian and Macedonian influences in the Kasta Tomb ( and there are possibly others), and it is the combination of these which are uniquely 'Amphipolitan'. If we're going to classify the Kasta Tomb in some way, let us call it a monumental 'Amphipolitan style' tomb. Are there other 'Amphipolitan style' tombs out there? Possibly, but I doubt it......
I rather think we agree on this?

There is no Thracian evident.


When you say this, I assume you are referring to decorative elements only ? Otherwise that statement is simply untrue.
What you're suggesting is someone sat there and said, "We're going to do a Thracian floorplan, fill it with very Greek sculpture and art, and top it off with a huge monumental lion". That's not how it works. The blending would be seen elsewhere.
Not at all. Once again I never said anything like this. What you are doing is setting up a “Straw Man” argument. The arguer invents a caricature of the position advocated – a ‘straw man’ –that is easily refuted, but is not the position actually put forward. It is a logical fallacy you repeatedly use.
Even the foundation for the argument that the tomb shape and style is Thracian is very weak - why Thracian rather than Greek conceptions of a tomb for a Homeric hero? It needs more evidence for a blending of styles (Thracian horseman, Sabazios etc) and even those would only point to much broader blending as they're seen in Macedonia generally too.
There’s no ‘blending’ as such. What we have is a tomb/Heroon/ Structure which reflects the cultural influences of its builders, hence predominantly Thracian, Athenian and Macedonian elements brought together for a local purpose by Amphipolitans with a Thracian, Athenian and Macedonian background –and something therefore likely unique to Amphipolis.

You’ll have to point me to a Greek ‘Homeric’ tomb, or Macedonian example that fits all the characteristics of the Kasta tomb. I can’t think of any off-hand.

I don't think we can say the cult of Philip began in his lifetime, save the usual sorts of thing among the conquered subject peoples....
We can, unless we choose to dismiss Aelius Aristides talking about sacrifices offered in his lifetime "as to a god". Manuela Mari wrote an essay on The Ruler Cult in Macedonia covering this and other oddities. Think you'll find links using forum search, I have on pdf if you can't find a copy.
I covered this already previously, that as was customary, conquered or subject cities/peoples offered sacrifices etc to their conqueror or benefactor. That doesn’t even approach a “Ruler Cult”. Macedonians did not worship their King.
As to a God" is not the same as “to a God”, it just means in similar fashion. I’d recommend Manuela Mari’s paper as a useful guide. For instance she distinguishes several varieties of so-called cults:-
1. the cult of the dead kings instituted and managed by the royal administration staff;
2. the cult of the living king, and possibly of other members of his family, promoted by himself;
3. the cult paid to the dead or living kings by the cities, in order to win their (or their successors’) concrete favour or to show gratitude after gaining it.”

This latter is hardly a cult in the true sense of the word.
In fact Mari goes on to say:
“Literary sources mention a cult to a living Macedonian king in only two Macedonian cities: Amphipolis and Pydna. According to Aelius Aristeides, both cities offered or actually paid divine honours to kings – Pydna to Amyntas III, Amphipolis to Philip II [“as to a God”] – even before becoming a part of their kingdom (Symm.a, xxxviii.14, p. 715 D: ns. 12 and 1 respectively).”

By performing this flattery both Pydna and Amphipolis preserved their autonomy for a considerable time......but we digress too far. Read Mari’s paper, thanks to Zebedee’s posted links.
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Xenophon
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Xenophon »

Zebedee wrote:
Siphnian treasury vibe to the picture.
(see below - Siphnian Treasury reconstruction)
This enigmatic statement means what? As your edit illustrates, there are many temple fronts of similar type, reflected in Macedonian tomb facades....

In addition, the Siphnian Treasury is actually a temple to to Apollo, where votive offerings were placed. Over time these sacred offerings would add up to quite a treasure. All, or almost all, Greek Temples were also 'treasuries', the most famous being those at Delphi, so infamously robbed to pay for mercenaries by the Phokians......

Are you suggesting that the Kasta Tomb was a Treasury? Come to think of it, since we know it was used for a considerable time, no doubt votive offerings did accumulate, and were perhaps stored in the chamber beyond the caryatids ( by analogy with the Siphnian Treasury? A possibility at least.........)
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Re: The Kasta tomb Amphipolis - not a "Macedonian" tomb?

Post by Efstathios »

The team knew of the inscription referring to Hephaestion before this whole thing hit the media. That is why they were talking of a Macedonian general all along. I wouldn't go as far as to to say it's propaganda. And i am not sure if Lefantzis and Peristeri would be talking about a Macedonian tomb so early on, putting their reputations at stake, only to be proven wrong later on. Maybe i am mistaken, but i just don't see it.

I think that Zebedee put it nicely
why Thracian rather than Greek conceptions of a tomb for a Homeric hero?
The tomb shares elements from all over. And it fits better to Alexander's globalized concept, rather than being purely Macedonian. Alexander's tomb in Alexandria could have had all these elements as well. Point being, if Alexander gave the coin for this structure, then he must have asked for it to be built according to his panhellenic ideas, and view of Hephaestion as his homeric hero.
"Hence we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks."
Sir Winston Churchill, 1941.
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