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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Classical Masterpieces : Hellenistic Marble Head of Alexander The Great
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Hellenistic Marble Head of Alexander The Great - PF.6135
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 3 rd Century BC to 2 nd Century BC
Dimensions: 6" (15.2cm) high
Collection: Classical
Style: Hellenistic Period
Medium: Marble


Location: UAE
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Description
You shall not make a carved image nor any likeness of that which is in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the water beneath the earth. Shemot 20:4

This gorgeous sculpture of a Youth head is but a fragment of a large, full-figure sculpture that most likely decorated an ancient Greek temple or shrine in the Holy Land. Under Greek occupation, the Jews of Israel and their religious beliefs were vehemently suppressed. Following the Bar Kochba uprising of 132-135 A.D., the city of Jerusalem was almost entirely rebuilt, including a temple dedicated to Jupiter on the site of the Temple Mount, and renamed Aelia Capitolina. This bust of a Youth, representing Alexander, the King of Kings, may have been a sculptural ornament decorating such a temple. While the Jews formally revolted as a community against Roman occupation on several occasions, individuals often issued their own objections in less formal, more discreet manners. The broken nose on the gorgeous face of this sculpture may be one such objection, voiced centuries ago, whose cry for justice still rings true. The artistic depiction of the human form by the Greeks clearly contradicted the tenants of the Torah. However, instead of revolting against Greek and Roman rule and inciting their wrath, an ancient protestor may have defaced this sculpture in accordance with the second commandment. Thus, this sculpture is not merely a beautiful work of Classical art, but also may be an important cultural relic documenting the struggles of the Jewish people under Roman occupation.
- (PF.6135)

 

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