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Bowl with the Ascension of Alexander the Great
Byzantine, 12th century. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, W-72

The scenes on the bowl from the former collection of A. P. Bazilevsky (fig. 83-103) are probably also inspired by the epic of Diginis Akritas. The combat between a mounted Greek spearman and a mounted Muslim archer, the duel of two unmounted warriors (perhaps a clash with robbers), two scenes of fighting lions (in the poem, Akritas fought lions on three occasions), representations of musicians and a dancing girl, the scene of hunting with trained snow leopards—all this is organically linked with the poem. Linked with it are two other compositions showing the ascension of Alexander the Great (in one case, in a basket drawn by gryphons; in another, astride a huge bird). In the poem, the great emir who was the hero’s father, is likened to “Alexander of Macedon”; the exploits of that “discoverer” of Asia were depicted in mosaic in Akritas’ palace.
Source: Plate 84, p.61, Darkevich, Svetskoe iskusstvo Vizantii: X-XIII veka, (Moscow 1975). [990MB]
Secular Art of Byzantium: X-XIII centuries.
Back to the images of this Byzantine bowl with the Ascension of Alexander the Great, Byzantine, 12th century. State Hermitage Museum, W-72

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