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Monumental Tombs of the Hellenistic Age

Monumental Tombs of the Hellenistic Age: A Study of Selected Tombs from the Pre-Classical to the Early Imperial Era

Copyright Date: 1990
Pages: 500
  • Book Info
    Monumental Tombs of the Hellenistic Age
    Book Description:

    Most of the grandiose and often ostentatious Hellenistic monumental tombs were power- fully expressive and symbolic structures, built to glorify and display the wealth and power of kings, queens, nobles, and other persons of influence or to serve as shrines for the worship of the heroized dead. They were inventive in design and form, created to demonstrate the achievements of the dead in a public architecture of permanence and durability.

    This lavishly illustrated monograph brings together previously scattered information about Hellenistic funerary monuments and Janos Fedak's own research on the exterior architecture of these impressive structures in the Mediterranean region. The author first establishes a typology of main tomb forms and then considers some of the predecessors of the Hellenistic tombs. He explores the variations of form that resulted from differences in climate, building materials, and social and religious customs. Adherence to strong local traditional practice in building is visible in each region, but new ideas and novel funerary architecture were welcomed everywhere in the Hellenistic world. Fedak's wide-ranging approach makes the work of interest not only to specialists in Greek architecture and archaeologists but also to students of classical studies and historians of art and religion.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7734-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
    (pp. xi-2)
    Janos Fedak
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-6)

    Monumental tombs occupy a special place in the history of Greek architecture because they show more freedom of design, and greater variety of form, than other types of building; in fact there are no two large tombs that are exactly alike. The classification of the tombs, both individually and as groups showing typological affinities, poses a number of problems. Many of the monuments have been previously described in publications, but often not accurately enough or not in detail. Others have been noted only briefly, or not at all, whether on account of their poor state of preservation or for some...

  5. MAPS
    (pp. 7-14)
  6. 1 Types of Monumental Tombs and Terminology
    (pp. 15-28)

    The number of recorded monumental tombs in the Mediterranean basin for any given period in the first mellennium BC down to Roman imperial times is substantial.

    When political stability and economic prosperity coincided, this type of building activity usually increased. Dynasts and persons of authority were eager to erect large-scale tombs as permanent memorials to their own glory; and these tombs display a greater variety of form than is found in any other clearly definable category of building. Other types of building (e.g. of fountain houses, theatres, and bouleuteria) all tend to follow a single general pattern of design and...

  7. 2 Monumental Tombs prior to the Fourth Century
    (pp. 29-64)

    In the following discussion selected examples of the main groups of funerary structures will be treated under separate headings. In section IA of built tombs a special emphasis is given to structures incorporating a pyramid in their design, a feature that in Hellenistic times frequently appeared in tomb architecture. In section IB other types of selected built tombs are discussed.

    In the formation of Hellenistic monumental tombs, Greece proper played little direct role.¹ Even prior to the fifth century the role of the Greek mainland in the architectural developments of Asia Minor was rather passive. The activity of Attic artists...

  8. 3 The Development of Tomb Structures in Asia Minor from the Nereid Monument Onwards
    (pp. 65-101)

    As indicated in the previous chapter, there were many divergent tendencies in large-scale funerary architecture prior to the fourth century. Initially, the dominant type seems to have been the huge tumulus tomb. With the Phrygians and Persian there developed a new interest in rock-cut tomb architecture. Attempts were also made to erect monumental built tombs of cut stone; however, no really successful type of built funerary monument appeared before the end of the fifth century. At this time a special combination of circumstances helped to produce in western Asia Minor a type of built tomb that soon became very popular...

  9. 4 The Development of Hellenistic Monumental Tombs outside Asia Minor
    (pp. 102-159)

    It is well known that, as a result of Alexander the Great’s campaigns, Greek language and culture spread over a very large area. The use of a single language greatly encouraged the exchange of ideas between the different regions of the Mediterranean. Before the rise of the Macedonians, contacts and trade connections between the Greek and non-Greek populations of the Mediterranean had generally been on a more restricted scale. The Macedonian dynasties acted as a unifying influence by establishing many new colonies in non-Greek regions, such as Alexandria in Egypt. The Graeco-Macedonian settlers brought with them fresh ideas that certainly...

  10. Conclusions
    (pp. 160-164)

    It is difficult to draw detailed conclusions concerning the relationship of Hellenistic monumental tombs to their predecessors, because in all periods these structures were likely to be highly individualistic creations. In contrast to other types of building designs, tomb designs emphasized variety; we need only recall the large number of tombs and tomb designs surveyed to appreciate multiplicity of sources behind the various types. Nevertheless, within the limits of specific periods or geographical locations, it is possible to distinguish certain major trends and ‘fashionable’ forms.

    The appearance and subsequent popularity of the ‘temple tombs’ on podia during the fourth century...

  11. APPENDIX 1: Technical Aspects of Some of the Roof Constructions of Tumulus Tombs
    (pp. 165-172)
  12. APPENDIX 2: The Relationship of Monumental Sarcophagi, Tholoi, and Other Buildings to Monumental Tombs
    (pp. 173-182)
  13. NOTES
    (pp. 183-238)
    (pp. 239-248)
  15. Illustrations
    (pp. 249-482)
    (pp. 483-498)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 499-500)