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3 - The Image of Alexander in Ancient Art

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 January 2022

Richard Stoneman
Affiliation:
University of Exeter
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Summary

The iconography of Alexander the Great (356–323 BC) in ancient art evolved as his legend grew and he came to symbolise different things to diverse social groups through the centuries. None of his lifetime portraits has survived but we have literary records and Roman copies. In the Hellenistic period (323–30 BC) his image provided a source of legitimacy for his Successors, who placed his portrait on their coins, erected his posthumous statues in their kingdoms and generally sought to imitate him. These coin portraits and several Hellenistic statues have come down to us, enabling us to assess his image through the filter of later interpretations.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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