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Troy comes to Colosseum September 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Europe.

Heroes and gods shown in paintings, sculptures, vases

The Trojan War has come to the Colosseum with a major new show on Homer’s legendary account of the conflict .

Achilles, Ulysses, Hector, Paris, Agamemnon and Priam are just some of the figures depicted in mosaics, frescos, sculptures and vases showing scenes from the Iliad, brought to the Roman amphitheatre from Italy’s leading museums.

The poet Homer, now believed to be a mythical composite of Ancient Greek bards, is shown in three marble heads, a IV century AD portrait and a two later Hellenistic paintings.

Verses from the epic poem are posted around the monument under the figures they refer to, including the gods who took Greece’s side, Mars and Minerva, and those protecting Troy, Venus and Apollo.

Among the gems included in the show is a wall painting from Pompeii showing The Rape of Iphigenia, the daughter of Greek leader Agamemnon who was sacrificed to appease the gods.

Another is what curator Mario Torelli of Perugia University called “an extraordinary micro-sculpture”, the Tabula Iliaca, a bas-relief from Rome’s Capitoline Museums which shows the most dramatic events in the war.

“For other cultures, war was normal. Only Ancient Greece produced such a momentous account of its drama, destruction and sorrows,” Torelli added.

The exhibit, the latest in a series at the Colosseum including a sell-out show on gladiators, has been geared to the general public and not the specialist, co-curator Angelo Bottini of Rome’s archaeological superintendency said .

“We aimed to show the importance of the Homeric epic in ancient times, how it ran through various civilisations and still has lessons for us today,” he said.

The show runs till February 18.

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