Imagining the divine Alexander
Thursday, 14 March 2013 from 6:30 PM to 8:15 PM (AEDT)
About the talk:
There is no evidence that Alexander the Great ever portrayed himself as divine in any officially commissioned works of art. This did not stop contemporary artists from suggesting the divine qualities of the Conqueror in works that could be purchased privately (notably the painter Apelles who famously depicted Alexander holding a thunderbolt). But after the death of Alexander in 323 BC a whole series of official portraits appeared in which the divinity of the king was frankly recognized. The most notable examples were commissioned by Ptolemy Soter, then satrap of Egypt, and included a numismatic portrait of the divine Alexander. In this lecture we will examine how an iconography of divinity was constructed for the dead king and how this iconography was influenced by the struggle for power which preoccupied Alexander's Successors.
About the speaker:
Dr Kenneth Sheedy was appointed the founding director of the Australian Centre for Ancient Numismatic Studies in 2000. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Ancient History and member of the Ancient Cultures Research Centre. He received his doctorate in Classical Archaeology from the University of Sydney in 1987. Between 1988 and 1991 he was a curator at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. He was appointed deputy director of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens in 1991. In 1997 he obtained the position of curator for the Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Project at the British Museum, London. His fields of research and teaching are Greek numismatics, and the art and archaeology of Greece with emphasis on the archaic period. He has a special interest in the archaeology and history of the Cycladic Islands. In addition to his on-going studies in the coinage of the Cyclades, South Italy and Athens, he is interested in Geometric pottery, Protoattic pottery, archaic sculpture and the early history of Delos.
Date: Thursday 14 March 2013
Time: 6.30pm cheese and wine followed by a 1 hour lecture at 7pm.
Please note that the exhibition will not be open during the evening.