The Archer of Stonehenge
Near Stone Hedge the grave of the Amesbury Archer was discovered in 2002, the grave was different as this one was not Roman but much earlier, dating back to when the first sarsen stones were erected there. What made him interesting were the gold hair tresses, which are the oldest dated cast gold in Britain, and the fact that he was a foreigner from the region that is now Germany or Switzerland. Art for personal embellishment, like hair clasps, raised him above his peers. Darius of Persepolis
As time progressed, art became a political tool. As kingdoms grew bigger, the kings had to overcome lack of communication. Darius the Great of Persia ruled over 20 nations from Persepolis. Communication was a problem, Darius had stone reliefs created that combined styles from all over the empire, and the carvings showed each nation bring tributes to their king. This showed a sign of respect and the carvings communicated that Darius admired and respected his people. Darius created a symbol for himself, that of the archer, figurative to Persians as leadership. Darius embossed this symbol on gold coins, which became the currency to trade within the kingdom. Alexander of Macedonia
Darius’ conqueror, Alexander the Great, took this concept further. Discovered in his father’s tomb, an Ivory head of Alexander’s was found, showing that his image had been made for him in advance of him becoming king. In Pompeii, a copy of an original Macedonian painting, shows Alexander the great, shown fearless, fixated on his enemy and leading from the front. He is in the midst of battle with king Darius, shown fearful and panicking. Where Darius had used a symbol to communicate his power, Alexander used his face. Alexander melted down all their coins replacing them with coins bearing his head. Augustus of Rome
This artistic power can be used for sinister purposes, to persuade us to see things a certain way or even deceive us. In 40bc Rome was in crisis, the...
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