Writing, Art, Creativity

Read articles about the ancient past: history, mythology, music and art, biographies and sagas of ancient champions and individuals both real and imagined, thoughts and theories about ancient spirituality and philosophy, unsolved mysteries, architectural wonders of the prehistoric and classical world, as well as art and creativity forever inspiring the archeophile

The following series of images were photographed then edited together by Felipe Beltran, which were further impressed upon the side of an image of a Grecian Vase by Eliza Bashirah to represent a story of an ancient epic duel between two rival Amazon queens. Both roles were convincingly portrayed by Natalia Perlaza who came up with the genius idea. 

An ancient Greek or Roman noble might commission artists to create a set of vases, wine kraters or urns with images depicting events from a particular epyllion, which is what I wished to imitate in photography while at the studio. Thus the vase image at top is the 'standoff' followed by aspects of the fierce combat, resulting in the 'kill' in which the death blow is dealt. The final image at the bottom portrays the victor and the vanquished. 

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India's Own Homer

Did you know that India has her own father of literature similar to the personage of Homer? Vyasa was a rishi or sage credited with compiling the great epic The Mahabharata. It was believed that he lived in a forest near where the great battles recounted in the book took place, Vyasa being an up close eyewitness to the conflicts. Vyasa is also credited with dividing the lengthy religious texts known as the Vedas into four books, causing them to be less overwhelming and so people could better understand the meaning in the scriptures. Vyasa's name stems from this act of dividing and organizing the scriptures. 

As India is a land of the spirit it is only natural that otherworldly connections be part of this story, as Vyasa was said to have been assisted and inspired by the beautiful apsara Adrika who helped him to record and document the events which would become India's great epic saga. Apsaras are similar to the ancient Greek muses and inspire artists, musicians, dancers and poets. While Apsaras are usually portrayed in a dancing pose, Adrika is depicted in this sculpture as a studious woman engrossed in her studies. Just as the Iliad and the Odyssey were considered so important to the Greeks that it is said they purposely developed their alphabet to preserve the epics of Homer, so did Indian civilization create a narrative about Vyasa, the father of their ancient literature, connected in mythical proportions to be inspired and assisted by celestial beings from the heavens. 

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Land Of Magic And War

Ancient Thrace was a nation located just to the north of Greece and featured prominently in ancient mythology, a magical and mysterious land where Orpheus performed regularly for an audience of birds and the animals of the forest, where priestesses invoked the nymphs of the woods, mountains and skies and the people adored Ares, the god of war- the Thracians were said to be a people addicted to warfare and held Hephaistos in high esteem, that maker of weapons and armor, honoring him with gold creations of sheer beauty. 

According to Herodotus, the Thracians were the most numerous nation in all the world aside from the inhabitants of Indostan. Connections between ancient, far flung cultures is a fascinating study. It was Diodoris of Sicily who wrote of an unstoppable Libyan warrior queen named Myrina who built an empire and eventually was stopped trying to invade Thrace. This story will be echoed many centuries later when the mighty Persian empire is checked at Marathon and Thermopylae while invading Greece. Thus the old tales of warriors and champions, all ancient history for the ancients themselves, inspire the future to deeds of bravery and glory. 

The writing of such sages as Plato and Diodoris reveal those nations and peoples from prehistory and the connections between what was considered old Europe and the continent of Africa, reminding us that the world was far more connected than we sometimes care to believe. 

Click on the link to read my article, from my blog...

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Background, Coin from Albania depicting Illyrian queen Teuta