Carthago-Delenda-Est

Faience Head of a Ptolemaic Queen
When?: 3rd Century BC
What?: This beautifully modelled head has large eyes, a long, aquiline nose and prominent Venus rings around the neck. The hair is arranged in a melon coiffure, over which is worn a floral wreath, pendants and earrings.
Who?: This has been tentatively identified as Arsinoe II (reigned 278-270 BC). She had an INCREDIBLY complex life, which involved poisoning a lot of people for power/to promote her own children, which didn’t always work out for her - the reason she ended up as Queen of Egypt is that after marrying her HALF-brother and conspiring with her sons against him, he killed two of her sons (the third ran away to the Kingdom of the Dardanians and was thereafter eventually a client-king for his uncle-stepfather-adopted father MY GOD these relationships are complex, stop marrying your siblings guys), and she fled to Egypt and married her FULL brother. In short, she was the Cersei Lannister of her day. 
Where?: The British Museum! Although the original context is uncertain, it may well have been a cult figure, and has been in the collection since 1888. View Larger

Faience Head of a Ptolemaic Queen

When?: 3rd Century BC

What?: This beautifully modelled head has large eyes, a long, aquiline nose and prominent Venus rings around the neck. The hair is arranged in a melon coiffure, over which is worn a floral wreath, pendants and earrings.

Who?: This has been tentatively identified as Arsinoe II (reigned 278-270 BC). She had an INCREDIBLY complex life, which involved poisoning a lot of people for power/to promote her own children, which didn’t always work out for her - the reason she ended up as Queen of Egypt is that after marrying her HALF-brother and conspiring with her sons against him, he killed two of her sons (the third ran away to the Kingdom of the Dardanians and was thereafter eventually a client-king for his uncle-stepfather-adopted father MY GOD these relationships are complex, stop marrying your siblings guys), and she fled to Egypt and married her FULL brother. In short, she was the Cersei Lannister of her day. 

Where?: The British Museum! Although the original context is uncertain, it may well have been a cult figure, and has been in the collection since 1888.


ancientart:

Knowing my research interests, and that I run this blog, I often have family and friends finding and passing on to me photos of ancient architecture and art. Here is a set of photos from my grandparents (taken in the early 80s judging from the fashion) of examples of classical architecture.

The first image is of the Parthenon in Athens, dedicated to the goddess Athena. Arguably the most significant building remaining from Classical Greece, the Parthenon, the zenith of the Doric order, was constructed from 447 BCE.

The remaining four photos are taken at Ephesus in Turkey, which was a highly important Roman province of Asia Minor. A magnificent road, lined with columns, ran through the city to the harbour -its remains are visible in the second and fourth photos. The harbour of Ephesus severed as a natural landing-point from Rome, and also as a great export centre. Due to the silting process which has been at work for centuries, the sea is now 10 km away from the site.


That One Time Julius Caesar was Kidnapped By Pirates

First, when the pirates demanded a ransom of twenty talents, Caesar burst out laughing. They did not know, he said, who it was that they had captured, and he volunteered to pay fifty. Then, when he had sent his followers to the various cities in order to raise the money and was left with one friend and two servants among these Cilicians, about the most bloodthirsty people in the world, he treated them so highhandedly that, whenever he wanted to sleep, he would send to them and tell them to stop talking.

For thirty-eight days, with the greatest unconcern, he joined in all their games and exercises, just as if he was their leader instead of their prisoner. He also wrote poems and speeches which he read aloud to them, and if they failed to admire his work, he would call them to their faces illiterate savages, and would often laughingly threaten to have them all hanged. They were much taken with this and attributed his freedom of speech to a kind of simplicity in his character or boyish playfulness.

However, the ransom arrived from Miletus and, as soon as he had paid it and been set free, he immediately manned some ships and set sail from the harbour of Miletus against the pirates. He found them still there, lying at anchor off the island, and he captured nearly all of them. He took their property as spoils of war and put the men themselves into the prison at Pergamon. He then went in person to [Marcus] Junius, the governor of Asia, thinking it proper that he, as praetor in charge of the province, should see to the punishment of the prisoners. Junius, however, cast longing eyes at the money, which came to a considerable sum, and kept saying that he needed time to look into the case.

Caesar paid no further attention to him. He went to Pergamon, took the pirates out of prison and crucified the lot of them, just as he had often told them he would do when he was on the island and they imagined that he was joking.

Oh that Julius. Such a joker. 

(Plutarch’s Lives, 46-c.120, trans. Robin Seager)