“The Battle of Algiers is still one of the only works of war cinema that thoroughly understands the architectural character of a city in combat, at once meticulously structured (through checkpoints, barriers, and routine patrols) and conspicuously impromptu (through the increased presence of bombed-out structures, burning cars, and rubble piles). The familiar layout of Algiers, with its automobile-lined boulevards, neoclassical structures, and wide open spaces, begins to readjust before our very eyes into an arena of chaos, debris, and collateral casualties. Watching the film now, after so many other popular films and latter-day television series have faithfully duplicated its look and feel, it is all too easy to take for granted just how revolutionary a filmmaking document Pontecorvo had created, a visual groundbreaker made all the more monumental for the atypical coherence of its storytelling.”
Demareteion (silver dekadrachm) issued by Gelon, tyrant of Syracuse (r. 485-478 BCE) to celebrate his victory over the Carthaginians at the Battle of Himera (480 BCE). The nymph Arethusa, bearing the features of Gelon’s queen Demarete, is surrounded by dolphins, with the retrograde inscription
ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΟΝ (”Of the Syracusans”). Now in the Bode-Museum, Berlin. Photo credit: Carlomorino/Wikimedia Commons.