The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipolis

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Paralus
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Paralus »

But why Amphipolis Stathi? I don't quite get Amphipolis and Alexander. Who ordered it built? The corpse was going to Egypt until Perdikkas decided it would be his in summer 321. Although Perdikkas' intentions were,by 321, far from unclear, ordering such constructed placed thos ambitions on the front page of the ancient New York Times. In the end it went to Egypt and so did Perdikkas who died there. Of the remaining Diadochi, who would build this for Alexander's remains?

Hephaestion?? You better run, you better take cover....
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Efstathios »

Perdikkas who was allegedly given the ring of sucession, and possibly wanted for Alexander to be buried at Macedonia. It is said that officer Arrhidaeus constructed the carriage for Alexander's body in 2 years, thus they started heading for Macedonia at 321, but maybe it took 2 years for the tomb to be prepared. Then Ptolemy intercepted the carriage enroute. It is unclear if Perdikkas was there. A lot of details about the burial of Alexander are unclear in the sources. But the point is that in those 2 years the tomb at Amphipolis may have been built, or at least a part of it. Why in Amphipolis, that may has to do with the reasons we talked about before. But these are all speculations. You are way more knowledgeable about the diadochi wars and details than i am.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Xenophon »

Paralus wrote:
Stathi, I see that Dorothy King seems certain that this was built for Alexander but never used for him:
Maybe not....the link takes you to a page "that no longer exists". Similarly there is an internal link from her Home page, which produces the same result.......
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Efstathios »

http://www.phdiva.blogspot.gr/2014/10/i ... polis.html

She has stopped posting about Amphipolis and deleted all related posts, you can read all about it here.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Efstathios »

Today Thursday at 1 pm gmt +2 there will be an official press release from the ministry on the recent findings. Meanwhile, someone noted that George Mouroutis, a close associate of the Prime Minister Samaras, not long after the mosaic was revealed to the media posted on his facebok page an image with Alexander on his horse at the battle of Issus accompanied by a text from Plutarch. Later on he removed it due to a lot of comments speculating if he knows something more e.t.c. Let's see if today they release something more other than the complete mosaic.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Zebedee »

amyntoros wrote: All of the above just my thoughts. Am not claiming it IS Hephaistion's Heroon, just throwing out the possibility while we wait impatiently for full disclosure. :)

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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Paralus »

Efstathios wrote:Perdikkas who was allegedly given the ring of sucession, and possibly wanted for Alexander to be buried at Macedonia. It is said that officer Arrhidaeus constructed the carriage for Alexander's body in 2 years, thus they started heading for Macedonia at 321, but maybe it took 2 years for the tomb to be prepared.
The decision at Babylon was that Alexander's remains would to go to Egypt. Perdikkas had other purported plans quashed (including a tomb for Philip). It is most unlikely that if Perdikkas had altered the destination of the corpse that it was not noted (the weakest part of Anson's argument). It is also extremely unlikely that had Perdikkas, at Babylon, decided to build a 'gargantuan' tomb for Alexander that this also escaped notice. The extremely ornate carriage took to years to build and it was going to Egypt with the corpse. The decision to alter that came during 321 when Perdikkas decided to roll the dice for the lot. He lost and Ptolemy kept the body. I cannot see Perdikkas as the person behind this if it is a tomb for Alexander.
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Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Zebedee »

The rest of the mosaic. 'Tis Persephone. Does one then look to the sides and see Kore and Demeter waving their arms? No news on the missing arms yet?

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(Edit: changed picture host)
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Taphoi »

Of course it is Persephone, abducted by Hades and preceded into the Underworld by Hermes. But I will suggest that it is also Olympias and Philip II and Alexander the Great (depicted at self-consistent ages) and that Olympias continues to be a very likely occupant of this tomb. Note that Olympias is believed to have had red hair and that there is some resemblance between Hermes and Persephone, such that they could easily be mother and son. Note that many have already remarked on the resemblance between Hades and Philip II.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by agesilaos »

Any source for this claim of red-hair? In any case Hades is red -haired here too Philip is usually given black hair, but both Persephone and Hades in Tomb I at Verghia have red hair and probably just as much like Philip and Olympias as this mosaic, only neither was adult when it was probably painted. Persphone also seems to have red-hair on the throne from the tomb of Eurydike, so that seems to be a convention. It was a good spot, the arm with the bracelet but you heading to the lunatic fringe if you hoestly think mosaic is a sensitive enough medium to preserve familial resemblences, especially conjured from memory or copied from other artworks, more likely that was the artists stock face from memory. Are my eyes decieving me or do Persephone's fingers escape the border?
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Zebedee »

Taphoi wrote:Of course it is Persephone, abducted by Hades and preceded into the Underworld by Hermes. But I will suggest that it is also Olympias and Philip II and Alexander the Great (depicted at self-consistent ages) and that Olympias continues to be a very likely occupant of this tomb. Note that Olympias is believed to have had red hair and that there is some resemblance between Hermes and Persephone, such that they could easily be mother and son. Note that many have already remarked on the resemblance between Hades and Philip II.
Best wishes,
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Even on the Philip idea, I'd be on the 'cigar is just a cigar' side of things. We have two female figures seeming to extend their arms next to a mosaic portraying a stereotypically Orphic story and all in front of the door to the underworld. Interpreting faces in this mosaic leads me towards topical satire of the family portrayed rather than reverence - you'd think the cult of Philip at Amphipolis would be less than impressed.
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Nikas »

Zebedee wrote:The rest of the mosaic. 'Tis Persephone. Does one then look to the sides and see Kore and Demeter waving their arms? No news on the missing arms yet?

Image

Image

Greek Ministry of Culture announcement

(Edit: changed picture host)
I am going off memory here, but wasn't Persephone physically abducted? If I recall correctly, Hades splits the ground asunder with his horse and chariot to abduct her out of nowhere and plunges right back after? If so, this leads me to the question of why is Hermes depicted here if his role of guiding the soul when not required, let alone Hades himself not needing directions to the underworld? I believe Hermes was sent later by Zeus to retrieve Persephone from the underworld after the suffering of Demeter and it's impact in the world forced Zeus to command Hades to give her up, except for the time she was required to stay due to his pomegranate trick?

I mean the mosaic seems to clearly be Persephone, arm waving and facing the other way trying desperately to escape, but as others have alluded to, is it possible that the artist is striving for something more?

After all, Hermes is not required if that is Hades himself and, going off memory yet again, is Hermes not absent at the Vergina depiction as well?
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Zebedee »

Vergina I gets cropped a lot. This is it in full.

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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by Nikas »

Zebedee wrote:Vergina I gets cropped a lot. This is it in full.

Image

Image
Ahh, thank you! The dangers of posting off ones phone while walking to work haha!

I still do not understand why Hermes is there in the context of Hades abduction of Persephone?
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Re: The Sphinxes Guarding the Lion Tomb Entrance at Amphipol

Post by agesilaos »

If you are right and Hermes is associated with Persephone's return then this is 'narrative compression' with the Rape and Return depicted simultaneously, I don't think I have ever read the original story but your version sounds right.
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