Ancient World

The world of ancient Greece and Rome, with the occasional field trip to lands beyond

Also posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

What Did Byzantine Food Taste Like?

Spoons with Inscriptions / Byzantine
Image courtesy of and © Benaki Museum, Athens, 2013

In the kitchen with the Byzantines. More»

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Also posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations

A Trip through Byzantine Greece

Kastoria
Photo courtesy of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports

Three stunning sites in Greece are home to remarkable Byzantine art and architecture. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

The Christian Empire that Grew from Classical Roots

Head of Aphrodite, A.D. 1–100, Roman, made in Athens, Greece. Marble, 15 3/4 in. high. National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Image courtesy of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens
National Archaeological Museum, Athens

Why is this marble head of Aphrodite incised with a Christian cross? More»

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Also posted in Antiquities

Beware the Ides of March

Beware the Ides of March / Julius Caesar
Consult a good soothsayer before heading out this weekend. Artwork: Portrait of Julius Caesar (detail) from the Forum of Trajan, Rome. National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Inv. 6038. Photo: S. Sosnovskiy, 2008

If the sacrificial liver looks bad, stay home…and other soothsaying wisdom from ancient Rome. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

If Statues Could Talk…

Statue of Tiberius in the Men's gallery at the Getty Villa / Roman
Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro

There’s a new emperor in town—an 8-foot-tall bronze Tiberius, to be exact. More»

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Also posted in Getty Villa

The Ancient Wisdom of Aphrodisiacs

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Tickle your tongue with this seductive cocktail based on ancient aphrodisiacs. More»

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Also posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

New Audio Tour Celebrates the Getty Villa’s 40th Anniversary

Doorway to the Outer Peristyle of the Getty Villa / reception area

Did you know Romans kept eels as pets and bought them…jewelry? Come stroll the grounds of this 40-year-young institution to hear that story and a few others besides. More»

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Also posted in Art, Education, Getty Villa

Proclamations in Clay

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Make your own regal proclamation in rolled clay with these tips from artist Anna Mayer. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations

In Search of One of the World’s Oldest Religions

Plaque with a Priest from the Oxus Treasure / Achaemenid
The British Museum

One of the world’s oldest surviving religions, Zoroastrianism played an important role in the history of ancient Persia. More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

The Cyrus Cylinder as Design Object

The Cyrus Cylinder / Achaemenid
The British Museum

Why explains the Cyrus Cylinder’s shape? More»

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      From you have I been absent in the spring,
      When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
      Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
      That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
      Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
      Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
      Could make me any summer’s story tell,
      Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
      Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
      Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
      They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
      Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
      Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
      As with your shadow I with these did play.

      —William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564

      Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      04/23/14

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