Sunday, October 26, 2008

Something different and old

The world changes and supposedly evolves for the better, or so we are told.

Today has been dedicated to the revision of Greek sculpture for my Classic Civilisation class. While studying one sculpture in particular the Ludovisi Gaul Killing Himself and His Wife I remembered what my sculpture lecturer told us about the history of this sculpture and how the Greek’s treated their enemies. He told us that the sculpture is of a Gaul (a Continental Celtic people, who tried to invade Pergamon). It was commissioned by Attalus I to commemorate their victory over the Gauls. Now I know what you must be thinking because I was thinking the same thing when I first heard that. “Why on earth would he commemorate their victory with a sculpture of a Gaul slaying his wife and himself?” Well the answer is that in those days you would make your enemy out to be great, hence the Gauls are portrayed here as being noble. He has killed his wife so that she is not captured or becomes a victim of warfare and is killing himself as he knows that he has been defeated by his GREATER enemy. They wanted people to look at the sculpture and see the compassion and nobility, but on seeing this they would then feel the greatness of their victory over these noble Gauls.

Very different to the way the world works today hey? As people push each other down in order to look better. We just have to look in a newspaper or turn on the news to see how politicians prey on the weaknesses and mistakes of their opponents to make themselves look stronger. Is this the best way? Who knows maybe the Greeks were onto something?

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