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Alexander the Great$
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John Boardman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691181752

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691181752.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 18 October 2019

The Alexander Portraits in Antiquity

The Alexander Portraits in Antiquity

Chapter:
(p.38) III The Alexander Portraits in Antiquity
Source:
Alexander the Great
Author(s):

John Boardman

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691181752.003.0004

This chapter explores how Alexander's life and experiences, real and imagined, were always ready subjects for illustration. As time passed, conventions for showing him and his deeds developed from the probably real, of his lifetime, to the imaginary but based on exaggeration of the “real,” to the totally fanciful. Lifelike portraiture had appeared first in Greek art in the later part of the fifth century BC—possibly first among the Greeks of Asia Minor, to judge from coinage. In an Asia Minor ruled by Persians the idea of a royal or ruler portrait was more acceptable, and might be used on coins of Greek type being made for Persian governors. Alexander was royal and non-Greek, and so a safe subject.

Keywords:   Alexander, illustration, lifelike portraiture, Greek art, Asia Minor, coinage

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