The Emperors Needles

Author : Susan Sorek
ISBN : 1904675301
Genre : History
File Size : 27.90 MB
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Obelisks—the ubiquitous, four-sided monuments with pyramid tops that dotted the landscapes of ancient Egypt—reached their heyday between 2000 and 1500 BC, when they transformed from emblems of the sun cult to everyday objects proclaiming the splendor of the pharaohs. Today, only twenty-seven Egyptian obelisks remain standing, long ago dispersed to various locales throughout the world; Rome, with thirteen—each of which is in a different corner of the Eternal City—possesses more than anywhere else, including Egypt. This fascinating volume is a comprehensive guide to these remarkable objects, as well as the history of their construction and transmission. Aimed both at the scholar and culturally interested traveler, The Emperors’ Needles links two of our greatest ancient civilizations, for the first time, through an in-depth account of their standing monuments. Tracing the interest of Roman emperors in the obelisk as an object of prestige and power, as well as discussing each monument in detail, the individual histories and remarkable accounts presented in this highly illustrated volume are not to be missed by any enthusiast of Roman or Egyptian culture.
Category: History

Cleopatra S Needles

Author : Bob Brier
ISBN : 9781474242943
Genre : History
File Size : 44.24 MB
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In the half-century between 1831 and 1881 three massive obelisks left Egypt for new lands. Prior to these journeys, the last large obelisk moved was the Vatican obelisk in 1586 – one of the great engineering achievements of the Renaissance. Roman emperors moved more than a dozen, but left no records of how they did it. The nineteenth-century engineers entrusted with transporting the obelisks across oceans had to invent new methods, and they were far from certain that they would work. As the three obelisks, bound for Paris, London and New York, sailed towards their new homes, the world held its breath. Newspapers reported the obelisks' daily progress, complete with dramatic illustrations of the heroic deeds of the engineers and crews struggling under nearly impossible conditions. When the obelisks finally arrived safely in their new homes, bands played Cleopatra's Needle Waltz and silver obelisk pencils dangled from fashionable ladies' necks. This turbulent era, caught up in obelisk mania, is recreated by Bob Brier in all its glory. Amid astounding tales of engineering dexterity and naval endurance, the individuals involved in transporting the obelisks and receiving them in their future homes are brought to life through their letters and diaries, newspaper articles and illustrations. Written by a renowned Egyptologist and author, this compelling book will fascinate all those interested in Egypt, its iconic monuments and the history of great endeavour.
Category: History

Washington S Monument

Author : John Steele Gordon
ISBN : 9781620406526
Genre : Architecture
File Size : 36.91 MB
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The colorful story behind one of America's greatest monuments and of the ancient obelisks of Egypt, now scattered around the world. Conceived soon after the American Revolution ended, the great monument to George Washington was not finally completed until almost a century later; the great obelisk was finished in 1884, and remains the tallest stone structure in the world at 555 feet. The story behind its construction is a largely untold and intriguing piece of American history, which acclaimed historian John Steele Gordon relates with verve, connecting it to the colorful saga of the ancient obelisks of Egypt. Nobody knows how many obelisks were crafted in ancient Egypt, or even exactly how they were created and erected since they are made out of hard granite and few known tools of the time were strong enough to work granite. Generally placed in pairs at the entrances to temples, they have in modern times been ingeniously transported around the world to Istanbul, Paris, London, New York, and many other locations. Their stories illuminate that of the Washington Monument, once again open to the public following earthquake damage, and offer a new appreciation for perhaps the most iconic memorial in the country.
Category: Architecture

Materialising Roman Histories

Author : Astrid Van Oyen
ISBN : 9781785706776
Genre : History
File Size : 86.79 MB
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The Roman period witnessed massive changes in the human-material environment, from monumentalised cityscapes to standardised low-value artefacts like pottery. This book explores new perspectives to understand this Roman ‘object boom’ and its impact on Roman history. In particular, the book’s international contributors question the traditional dominance of ‘representation’ in Roman archaeology, whereby objects have come to stand for social phenomena such as status, facets of group identity, or notions like Romanisation and economic growth. Drawing upon the recent material turn in anthropology and related disciplines, the essays in this volume examine what it means to materialise Roman history, focusing on the question of what objects do in history, rather than what they represent. In challenging the dominance of representation, and exploring themes such as the impact of standardisation and the role of material agency, Materialising Roman History is essential reading for anyone studying material culture from the Roman world (and beyond).
Category: History

Egypt

Author : Christina Riggs
ISBN : 9781780237749
Genre : History
File Size : 57.49 MB
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From Roman villas to Hollywood films, ancient Egypt has been a source of fascination and inspiration in many other cultures. But why, exactly, has this been the case? In this book, Christina Riggs examines the history, art, and religion of ancient Egypt to illuminate why it has been so influential throughout the centuries. In doing so, she shows how the ancient past has always been used to serve contemporary purposes. Often characterized as a lost civilization that was discovered by adventurers and archeologists, Egypt has meant many things to many different people. Ancient Greek and Roman writers admired ancient Egyptian philosophy, and this admiration would influence ideas about Egypt in Renaissance Europe as well as the Arabic-speaking world. By the eighteenth century, secret societies like the Freemasons looked to ancient Egypt as a source of wisdom, but as modern Egypt became the focus of Western military strategy and economic exploitation in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, its ancient remains came to be seen as exotic, primitive, or even dangerous, tangled in the politics of racial science and archaeology. The curse of the pharaohs or the seductiveness of Cleopatra were myths that took on new meanings in the colonial era, while ancient Egypt also inspired modernist, anti-colonial movements in the arts, such as in the Harlem Renaissance and Egyptian Pharaonism. Today, ancient Egypt—whether through actual relics or through cultural homage—can be found from museum galleries to tattoo parlors. Riggs helps us understand why this “lost civilization” continues to be a touchpoint for defining—and debating—who we are today.
Category: History

Republicanism During The Early Roman Empire

Author : Sam Wilkinson
ISBN : 9781441143419
Genre : History
File Size : 90.51 MB
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Exploring the political ideology of Republicanism under the Roman emperors of the first century AD, Sam Wilkinson puts forward the hypothesis that there was indeed opposition to the political structure and ideology of the rulers on the grounds of Republicanism. While some Romans wanted a return to the Republic, others wanted the emperor to ensure his reign was as close to Republican moral and political ideology as possible. Analysing the discourse of the period, the book charts how the view of law, morality and behaviour changed under the various Imperial regimes of the first century AD. Uniquely, this book explores how emperors could choose to set their regime in a more Republican or more Imperial manner, thus demonstrating it was possible for both the opposition and an emperor to be Republican. The book concludes by providing evidence of Republicanism in the first century AD which not only created opposition to the emperors, but also became part of the political debate in this period.
Category: History

Egypt In Italy

Author : Molly Swetnam-Burland
ISBN : 9781316239988
Genre : Art
File Size : 45.98 MB
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This book examines the appetite for Egyptian and Egyptian-looking artwork in Italy during the century following Rome's annexation of Aegyptus as a province. In the early imperial period, Roman interest in Egyptian culture was widespread, as evidenced by works ranging from the monumental obelisks, brought to the capital over the Mediterranean Sea by the emperors, to locally made emulations of Egyptian artifacts found in private homes and in temples to Egyptian gods. Although the foreign appearance of these artworks was central to their appeal, this book situates them within their social, political, and artistic contexts in Roman Italy. Swetnam-Burland focuses on what these works meant to their owners and their viewers in their new settings, by exploring evidence for the artists who produced them and by examining their relationship to the contemporary literature that informed Roman perceptions of Egyptian history, customs, and myths.
Category: Art

The Religious Aspects Of War In The Ancient Near East Greece And Rome

Author : Krzysztof Ulanowski
ISBN : 9789004324763
Genre : History
File Size : 39.45 MB
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This book, in minute detail, presents a polyphony of voices, perspectives and opinions, from which emerges a diverse but coherent representation of the complex relationship between religion and war in the Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome.
Category: History

Memory And Urban Religion In The Ancient World

Author : Martin Bommas
ISBN : 9781441130143
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 21.81 MB
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Memory and Urban Religion in the Ancient World brings together scholars and researchers working on memory and religion in ancient urban environments. Chapters explore topics relating to religious traditions and memory, and the multifunctional roles of architectural and geographical sites, mythical figures and events, literary works and artefacts. Pagan religions were often less static and more open to new influences than previously understood. One of the factors that shape religion is how fundamental elements are remembered as valuable and therefore preservable for future generations. Memory, therefore, plays a pivotal role when - as seen in ancient Rome during late antiquity - a shift of religions takes place within communities. The significance of memory in ancient societies and how it was promoted, prompted, contested and even destroyed is discussed in detail. This volume, the first of its kind, not only addresses the main cultures of the ancient world - Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome - but also look at urban religious culture and funerary belief, and how concepts of ethnic religion were adapted in new religious environments.
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit