عربي Français
Collection Highlights

Head of Alexander the Great

Head of Alexander the Great
© BA Antiquities Museum/C. Gerigk

Registration Number(s)
BAAM Serial Bibliotheca Alexandrina Antiquities Museum Number 0223

Inv.Inventory
 (Greco-Roman Museum) 4397

where to find


Greco-Roman Antiquities

Head of Alexander the Great

Category:
Sculpture in the round, heads / masks
Date:
Graeco-Roman Period, Roman Period (31 BCE-395 CE)
Provenance:
Lower Egypt, Alexandria, Kom El-Dekka (Excavations of the Polish Center of Mediterranean archeology of the University of Warsaw (PCMA))
Material(s):
Rock, marble
Height:
17 cm;
Width:
10 cm
Hall:
Greco-Roman Antiquities


Description

A Roman replica of a marble head of Alexander the Great. It was found in Kom El Dekka in Alexandria by the Polish expedition.
The head bears the traditional features of the portraits of Alexander the Great which were mooraged by the sculptor Lysippos. The head is inclined to the right, the eyes are gazing meditatively into the distant horizon.

Alexander The Great

Alexander the Great (20 July 356 - 10 June 323 BCE), who would become the Conqueror of the Ancient World, was born in Pella, Macedonia. His father was King Phillip II, and his mother was Olympias. Plutarch narrates that both Philip and Olympias dreamt of their son's birth. Philip dreamt that he sealed Olympias' womb with a seal that bore a lion. Alarmed by this, he consulted the seer Aristander of Telmessus, who affirmed that his wife was pregnant and that the child would have the character of a lion. Another odd coincidence is that the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus was set afire on the night of his birth. Plutarch's explanation is that the gods were too busy watching over Alexander to care for the temple.

When he was 13, Alexander became a student to the great Greek philosopher Aristotle. Under Aristotle he gained an interest in philosophy, medicine and science. However, Aristotle's concept of small city-state government would not have suited the young prince who wanted to dominate the world. However, Aristotle did develop Alexander’s interest in reading and learning.

Following the unification of the multiple city-states of ancient Greece under the rule of his father, Philip II of Macedon, Alexander conquered the Persian Empire. during 332/331 BCE,  Alexander the Great conquered Egypt from the Persians, and annexed it to the Greek Empire.

Alexander was welcomed in Egypt as a liberator and was identified as a pharaoh and son of Amun at the Oracle temple of the god Amun at the Siwa Oasis.

Following the mysterious death of Alexander in 323 BCE, his huge empire was divided among his Generals, and Egypt was given to Ptolemy.


The information given here is subject to modification/update as a result of ongoing research.

Bibliography
  • Bevan, Edwyn. A History of Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty. Vol. IV. London: Methuen, 1927.
  • Lane Fox, Rhobin. Alexander the Great. London: New York: Penguin Books Ltd. 1986.
  • Stoneman, Richard. Alexander the Great. London; New York: Routledge, 1997.

 

Discover The Museum Collections