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 Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 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)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Troy, a unique exhibition

Troy once one of the most magic cities in the world and it definitely was for Alexander, even if there may not have been much left for him to see. But at least we are sure that the Temple of Apollo still stood there since he exchanged his armor and especially his shield against that of his much admired example, Achilles. Besides, Alexander and his life-long friend Hephaistion visited the nearby Tomb of Achilles and Patroclus, stripping off their clothes and running around the tumulus. 

So yes, Troy is very much interwoven with Alexander and his hero, Achilles. This is reason enough to put the current exhibition “Troy. City, Homer and Turkey” high on my list. It is held at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam and is part of the conclusion to the celebration marking 400 years of diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Netherlands.

On display are more than 300 artifacts collected from different places in the Netherlands and abroad - a rare opportunity to see so many archeological items together in one place.

What we know about Troy is mainly the story of the 12-year war between Greeks and Trojans that inspired Homer to write his famous “Iliad”, and the sensational discoveries made by Heinrich Schliemann at the late 19th century. Myth and history are very much intertwined, as they were for eons past. Excavations at Troy have revealed 5,000 years of settlements in which so many people, countries and cultures have left their imprint. Various aspects of Troy are being presented at this exhibition, using its many myths as a thread running through time. The results of old and recent excavations are on display with original pieces and copies of the famous Treasure of Priam (the cache of gold and jewelry found by Schliemann). The most striking item is a large marble head of Zeus, generously contributed by the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul.

Perception of Troy’s history in the 19th and 20th century in Turkey and abroad forms a major part of this exhibition, including items dating from the Ottoman Empire, like Schliemann’s permit for the digging and pictures of Ataturk’s visit to Troy.

Troy. City, Homer and Turkey” will run till 5 May 2013, so there still is time to take a look at this uniquely assembled collection.

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