Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Macedonian « kausia »

No, I’m not starting a lesson in Greek, but certain words simply cannot be translated. The kausia is a typical flat Macedonian hat that was particularly popular during the Hellenistic period, perhaps even before the days of Alexander the Great. For myself I can easily picture Alexander wearing this pancake hat, certainly after seeing this small terracotta statue of a young boy at the British Museum in London. But this is, of course, my personal opinion.

According to certain studies, the so-called lion hunt mosaic from Pella shows Alexander wearing such a kausia, but this appears to be a much flatter hat, maybe even made of straw. This form is more closely related to what the Bactrian Kings have been wearing during the centuries following Alexander’s conquest of their land as shown on their coins. Personally I like to refer to that headdress as a colonial sun helmet.

Anyway, I can tell you that the best story comes from Afghanistan! The men there still take pride in wearing a kind of wide woolen beret entirely inspired on the Macedonian kausia, which they call pakul, the traditional national headdress. In fact it is worn by specific tribes in a much wider area reaching all the way to Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan as well.

Yet another piece of Alexander’s heritage. He'll never stop amazing me!

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