3rd century ce

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The Legacy of Ancient Palmyra

The intentional destruction of Palmyra’s best-preserved monuments by ISIS in 2015 and 2017 was an attempt to erase its illustrious history and deprive current, and future, generations access to these remarkable vestiges of a past civilization.

The devastation unleashed in Syria today forces a renewed interpretation of the early prints and photographs presented in an new online-only exhibition about the Legacy of Ancient Palmyra.

They gain more significance as examples of cultural documents that can encourage a deeper investment in understanding humanity’s past achievements relevant to all historic sites. Understanding Palmyra through these invaluable accounts preserves its memory and connects us with its grandeur and enduring legacy.


Lady Zhurong is a fictional character in the 14th century narrative of Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong. It explores the decline of the Han dynasty in the 2nd and 3rd century CE and is the oldest novel and the first example of historical fiction in China. Lady Zhurong is described as being a descendant of the fire deity Zhurong and the wife of the ‘Nan Man’ Chief Meng Huo. Nan Man was used as a derogatory term for all non-Han tribes in southern China. When Chief Meng Huo rebelled against the Shu Kingdom, Lady Zhurong supported him from the sidelines of the battlefields with her throwing knives before he was ultimately defeated. In retaliation, Lady Zhurong led an army of 50,000 towards the Shu General’s and captured both Zhang Ni and Ma Zheng whom she returned to her husband. She was kidnapped by General Zhuge Liang who ransomed her back to Meng Huo in exchange for the two captured Shu Generals. After ongoing battles, the Shu kingdom eventually withdrew their army and accepted the reign of Chief Meng Huo over southern China.

Lady Zhurong was a skilled knife wielding warrior who not only assisted in the campaigns of her husband, but also led several successful campaigns herself. Her character is interesting as it shows a woman being depicted as the central military character in ongoing battles between rulers of areas of China.

anonymous asked:

I saw you tweeting about it, I always thought Apollo and Artemis were gods of the Sun/Moon not just music and the hunt. Is that not the case?

Classically speaking, for the most part, no. While Hellenists (Greek and Greek-ish peoples of the post-Alexander era ca 3rd century CE) often conflated Apollo and Artemis with the sun and moon, this didn’t become the standard belief until about the third century CE.

Homer and Hesiod and Ovid and Vergil would not identify Apollo as the sun, for example.

Classically speaking, the sun and moon were the Titans Helios and Selene, whose names mean, well, sun and moon.

Apollo was the god of plenty of other things: music, prophecy, healing, poetry, light, the arts, truth, etc. Basically the things that were super important to the Greek cultural identity, which is why I often refer to Apollo as the god of being Greek. It’s for this reason that his name is just Apollo in Latin: he didn’t have a pre-existing Latin god that he could be pasted onto, so he was just borrowed whole hog.

(I should probably note, since some people may not know this: the Greek/Roman god situation was not one where the Romans were like, “Oh, we like these Greek gods, let’s borrow them and then change their names for some reason.” A major element of Greco-Roman religion and culture [which helped them in their pursuit of empire] was syncretism, which is basically the ability to say, “Hey, you thing is like my thing, they’re probably the same thing.” [This is also part of the reason why Judaism and Christianity did not jibe well with the generally religiously permissive Roman culture: it’s very easy to go to Egypt and say, “Oh, Zeus and Ammon are the same,” or else, “Oh, you have another god we don’t have? Add him to the pokedex.” With monotheism, it’s a littler harder to reconcile.] Anyway: as the Romans conquered Greece, they said, “Oh, the Greeks are way better than we are at everything except fighting, let’s try to be classy like them.” This included looking at their body of myth and looking at a way to make it their own, by pasting it on top of their already existing pantheon. “You’ve got a sky father? We’ve got a sky father. So Zeus and Jupiter must be the same dude.” Some fits weren’t that easy: Mars was originally an agricultural god, for example. But he was the closest fit to Ares. Also: the bellicose Romans felt WAY different about Mars than the Greeks did about Ares.)

Artemis was goddess of the hunt, wild animals and wilderness, young women, virginity, and, ironically, childbirth.

It’s not hard to see why Apollo and Artemis ultimately get conflated with Helios and Selene, though: they’re twins, Apollo is god of light, Artemis is goddess of childbirth (which was greatly associated with the moon), Apollo is gold, Artemis is silver.

The conflation seems inevitable in retrospect, but it would have been completely foreign to, say, Pericles.

Hecate

Hecate or Hekate (Greek Ἑκάτη) is a goddess in Greek religion and mythology, most often shown holding two torches or a key and in later periods depicted in triple form.

She is associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, dogs, light, the Moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, necromancy, and sorcery.

She is a pre-Olympian chthonic goddess and appears in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and in Hesiod’s Theogony, where she is promoted strongly as a great goddess.

In the post-Christian writings of the Chaldean Oracles (2nd-3rd century CE) she was regarded with (some) rulership over earth, sea and sky, as well as a more universal role as Saviour (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul.

She was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family.

Her lips are not afraid to whisper to the dead and decaying things.

She is Magick and Witchcraft.

The maker of potions that grant power to those that use them.

A necromancer able to control and raise the dead, speaking with the spirits of those long gone from this world into the next.

She is summoned by Witches
Cauldron flames licking the ethers of otherworldly planes

Singing incantations Of her menacing name Hecate, come
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The Roman Road in Cilicia is the remains of an ancient road located near the city of Tarsus in Southern Turkey. It is believed to be part of the major road which connected the regions of Cilicia and Cappadocia in antiquity. The road is believed to have begun in the city of Tyanna (present-day Bahçeli) in southern Cappadocia and ended in Tarsus, the capital city of Cilicia. The total distance of the ancient road is unknown. However, the modern highway distance between Tarsus and Tyanna is approximately 148 kilometers (92 miles). Only about 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) of the road have been unearthed.

Near the southern end of the road there is a stone gate (pictured above) which is believed to have served as a border checkpoint. The gate was originally built during the reign of Caracalla in the 3rd century CE but was demolished and replaced with the present gate sometime in the medieval era.

The current remains were constructed by the Romans in the 1st century CE, but it is known that a road connecting Cilicia and Capadoccia has existed since the Bronze Age. Some scholars believe that a passage has existed as early as the Neolithic era due to reports of Neolithic petroglyphs near the location of the road. Today, the Roman road is a popular spot for local pastoralists.

Roman, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. A breathtaking cameo with a high-relief bust of a young Alexander wearing a Herakles knotted lion skin tied at the neck

Courtesy of Artemis Gallery

Detail of a mosaic from Roman Spain on the labors of Heracles/Hercules, showing him retrieving the Apples of the Hesperides (the Eleventh Labor).  Artist unknown; 3rd century CE.  Found at Lliria, Valencia, Spain; now in the National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Madrid. Photo credit: Carole Raddato.

Hecate or Hekate (/ˈhɛkətiː, ˈhɛkɪt/; Greek Ἑκάτη, Hekátē) is a goddess in Greek religion and mythology, most often shown holding two torches or a key and in later periods depicted in triple form. She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, dogs, light, the moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, necromancy, and sorcery. In the post-Christian writings of the Chaldean Oracles (2nd-3rd century CE) she was regarded with (some) rulership over earth, sea and sky, as well as a more universal role as Saviour (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul.She was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family.” (x)

Photo: “Hekate” by Glemt Grav

Santa Cecilia in Trastevere

A 9th-century apse mosaic depicting Christ’s second coming. Cecilia was a Roman upper-class woman who owned a house in Trastevere in which site she founded a “church”. She was martyred in the 3rd century CE and according to legend the current church is built on the site of her home. Be that as it may there actually is a Roman domus under the building and excavations can be visited. Pope Paschalis under whose reign  the church was built is portrayed far left. Rectangular halo means that he was actually alive when the building was finished. Cecilia and her husband Valerian can be seen on the other end of the row.

Rome, July 2015