Monday, 24 June 2013


These are the two oldest images of death I could find.

Note that the idea of winged death predates Christianity and that Death is shown as being male.

Heracles fighting death for the life of alkestis from a vase painting possibly depicting the scene from Euripides' play about this legend ?

part of a relief from the temple of ephesus thought to depict death note that he has a sword rather than a scythe

 please note the spelling THANATOS

Thanos in Marvel comics is an alien from Titan with an obsession with Death.

No connection with the Titans of Greek Myth !

Thanatos according to Hesiod (Theogony 212)  is the child of Night who is the daughter of Chaos (Theogony 123)

Friday, 7 June 2013

The Pella Mosaics

The Pella Mosaics

found in Macedonia are a valuable reminder that while the best known ancient mosaics are from the ROMAN era the technique developed elsewhere.

The earliest known use of tiles of clay stone or glass come from Mesopotamia and while the Greeks seem to have preferred frescoes they were also notable mosaic workers .

This image is of a legendary griffin attacking a deer a motif probably taken from Central Asian art via Persia. But notice the Greek touches the delicate shading and the tonal contrasts between the background and foreground.