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PublishersRow > eBookShuk > Books > Art > Books


eBook Art in Ancient Palestine
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Art in Ancient Palestine

Author:  M. Avi-Yonah
Publisher:  Varda Books
Published:  2009
Language:  English
Pages:   480


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About the Book -- Art in Ancient Palestine

The articles in this volume chosen from late Professor Michael Avi–Yonah's more than 400 publications deal with various aspects of art in ancient Palestine, a subject with the problems that occupied a central place in his studies: the effect of the meeting of occidental and oriental cultures after the conquest of the East by Hellenism. Others articles deal with specific objects (e.g., the Leda sarcophagus) or present the whole range of artistic expression in one medium, as recovered from the past through archaeology (e.g; mosaic pavements.) Also included are three articles (in French) on certain problems concerning mosaic pavements, in particular those of synagogues; up to now it has been difficult to obtain these, as they are based on lectures given at international congresses. A number of illustrations which will appeal to the reader has been added to the plates of photographs published with the original articles and a general index appended.

About the Book

About the Author -- Art in Ancient Palestine

M. Avi-Yonah ---

Prof. Michael Avi-Yonah (1904-1974) was considered to be one of the leading authorities on the archaeology and art history of ancient Palestine during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods.



 

Contents -- Art in Ancient Palestine

Foreword vii

Oriental Elements in the Art of Palestine in the Roman and Byzantine Periods 1 1-22

Oriental Art in Roman Palestine 119 23-30

Three Lead Coffins from Palestine 213 31

Lead Coffins from Palestine 227 32-37

The Leda Sarcophagus from Beth She'arim 257 38-40

Ancient Synagogues 271 41-43

Mosaic Pavements in Palestine 283 44-52

La Mosai'que juive dans ses relations avec la mosaique classique 383 53-55

Une Ecole de mosaique ä Gaza au sixieme siecle 389 56-59

Le Symbolisme du Zodiaque dans l'art Judeo-Byzantin 396 60-61

Sources of papers and books collected in this volume 399

Acknowledgements 400

Index 401


An Excerpt from the Book -- Art in Ancient Palestine

THE conquests of Alexander and the Moslem invasion stand out as the two principal landmarks in the cultural evolution of the Near East. Since time immemorial the ancient civilizations of the Orient had exercised an almost undisputed sway over the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. It was the crowning achievement of Alexander and his successors to have eclipsed Eastern culture for nearly a millennium (333 B.C. to A.D. 640). In a few decisive years they changed the orientation of civilized life in the whole Near East; Syria and Palestine especially continued for centuries to receive their main cultural impulses from across the sea and not, as hitherto, across the desert. Not till the Mohammedan conquest was the rule of an Asiatic civilization re-established over practically the whole of the lost area.

Till 333 B.C. the contacts of Palestine with the Western world had been sporadic; they came from fragments of the disintegrating maritime civilization of Knossos or isolated ventures of Greek traders or mercenaries. As long as the political control of the littoral remained in the hands of the Eastern monarchies, Western culture was unable to penetrate beyond the sea-plain. Once, however, the power of Persia had been broken the Greek cultural invasion rapidly spread to the Euphrates and beyond, submerging as it went the older civilizations.

The rapid progress of Hellenism was greatly facilitated by the weakness of its opponents. At the time of Alexander the old and once mighty Oriental art and culture had been decaying for centuries. In art and literature its creative power had waned; what remained was a tradition, powerful but mostly formal. Confronted  with its still vigorous Western rival the Oriental civilization could not hold its own; certainly not on the surface. The little that was kept alive by the Parthian revival stayed beyond the Euphrates; and even there the conquering Greek spirit had left its mark. There followed a period of fluctuation which ended when the Romans ensured the survival of Greek civilization in the Near East as far as the Euphrates and the desert. For the next 600 years East and West continued to face each other across this line.


An Excerpt from the Book

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