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CAMEOS 100.00%

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and The Gonzaga Cameo. See GEMS
 
GEMS 100.00%
The art of cutting precious stones was early learned by the Greeks from the Egyptians and Orientals, who had practised it from remote antiquity. The cuttings were originally only concave, and the gems set in rings and used as seals. Cameos, or stones carved in relief, first came into use, it would seem, in the time of Alexander the Great, and were used for ornament. For cameos precious stones of various colours were used, especially the onyx. The layers of the stone were so treated, that the figures stood out bright on a dark ground. Muesarchus of Samos, the father of the philosopher Pythagoras (about 600 B.C.) is the oldest Greek jeweller whose name has come down to us. In the 4th century B.C. the most celebrated master was Pyrgoteles, the only artist whom Alexander the Great would allow to cut his likeness. In the age of Augustus we hear of Dioscorides, who cut the emperor's likeness on a stone which was used as a seal by the succeeding Caesars. The Etruscans and Romans took up the art very early, but never attained the same perfection as the Greeks. The fancy for making collections of beautiful gems arose as early as the 1st century B.C. The intaglios, or cut stones, have come down to us in greater numbers than any Of the monuments of ancient art. Those which belonged to the advanced periods of style present examples of the most beautiful workmanship, the most original composition, and the most interesting subjects, the latter being mainly taken from mythology. Among the remaining Greek cameos an important place, both for size and beauty, must be given to the Gonzaga Cameo in St. Petersburg. This, it has been conjectured, represents the bust of Ptolemy Philadelphus and Arsinoe, his sister and wife; [but it more probably commemorates Nero and Agrippina, fig. 7.] The largest and most splendid of the cameos which have come down from the Roman period are those at Vienna (fig. 8) and Paris, representing, in groups and figures, the family of Augustus. Whole vessels were sometimes made of single stones, and adorned with reliefs An instance is the Mantuan vase now at Brunswick, 6 1/3 inches high, 2 1/3 inches thick, consisting of a single onyx. The lid, handle and base are of gold. Two parallel lines of gold divide the surface into three parts, the midmost of which has twelve figures, representing the festival of the Thesmophoria, in three groups; while the highest and lowest are adorned with leaves, flowers, ears of corn, fruits, bulls' heads, and other objects connected with the worship of Demeter. Works of this kind are sometimes made of coloured glasses. The most celebrated instance of this sort is the Portland Vase now in the British Museum. Its height is about 10 inches. The material is a dark blue transparent glass, with beautiful reliefs in white opaque enamel (fig. 9). [See Catalogue of Engraved Gems in the British Museum, 1888, pp. 225-8; and (on the subject in general) Introduction, pp. 1-38.]
 
ART 83.68%

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See ARCHITECTURE, ARCHITECTURE (ORDERS OF), PAINTING, and SCULPTURE; and comp. COINAGE and GEMS.
 
SCOPAS 17.05%
 
EPIGRAM 16.42%

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Properly = an inscription, such as was often written upon a tomb, a votive offering, a present, a work of art, and the like, to describe its character. Inscriptions of this sort were from early times put into metrical form, and the writer generally tried to put good sense and spirit into them. They were generally, though not always, written in the elegiac metre. The greatest master of epigram was Simonides of Ceos, the author of almost all the sepulchral inscriptions on the warriors who fell in the Persian wars. His lines are remarkable for repose, clearness, and force, both of thought and expression. Fictitious inscriptions were often written, containing brief criticisms on celebrated men, as poets, philosophers, artists and their productions. The form of the epigram was also used to embody in concise and pointed language the clever ideas, or the passing moods of the writer, often with a tinge of wit or satire. The occasional epigram was a very favourite form of composition with the Alexandrian poets, and remained so down to the latest. times. Some writers, indeed, devoted themselves entirely to it. Many of the choicest gems of Greek literature are to be found in the epigrams. The epigrammatists used other metres besides the elegiac, especially the iambic. In later times more complex and almost lyrical measures were employed. The Greek Anthology has preserved 4,500 epigrams, of the greatest variety in contents, and from the hand of more than 300 poets. (See ANTHOLOGY). Among these are found some of the most celebrated names of ancient and of later times. A great number, too, are found in inscriptions. Of all the Greek varieties of lyric poetry, the epigram was earliest welcomed at Rome. It lived on in an uninterrupted existence from Ennius till the latest times, being employed sometimes for inscriptions, sometimes for other and miscellaneous purposes. In the second half of the 1st century A.D. Martial handled it in various forms and with the power of a master. We also have a collection of epigrams by Luxorius (6th century A.D.). Many of such poems are preserved on inscriptions, besides a great quantity in manuscript, which in modern times have been collected into a Latin Anthology.
 
PLINY 13.75%
The elder, Gaius Plinius Secundus. A Roman representative of encyclopaedic learning, born 23 A.D., at Novum Comum (Como), in Upper Italy. Although throughout his life he was almost uninterruptedly occupied in the service of the State, yet at the same time he carried on the most widely extended scientific studies. To these he most laboriously devoted all his leisure hours, and thus gained for himself the reputation of the most learned man of his age. Under Claudius he served as commander of a troop of cavalry (praefectus alae) in Germany; under Vespasian, with whom he was in the highest favour, he held several times the office of imperial governor in the provinces, and superintended the imperial finances in Italy. Finally, under Titus, he was in command of the fleet stationed at Misenum, when in 79, at the celebrated eruption of Vesuvius, his zeal for research led him to his death. For a detailed account of this event, as well as of his literary labours, we have to thank his nephew, the younger Pliny [Ep. iii 5 vi 16]. Besides writings upon military, grammatical, rhetorical, and biographical subjects, he composed two greater historical works: a history of the Germanic wars in twenty books, and a history of his own time in thirty-one books. His last work was the Natural History (Nataralis Historia), in thirty-seven books, which has been preserved to us. This was dedicated to Titus, and was published in 77; but he was indefatigably engaged in amplifying it up to the time of his death. This Encyclopaedia is compiled from 20,000 notices, which he had extracted from about 2,000 writings by 474 authors. Book i gives a list of contents and the names of the authors used. ii is on astronomy and physics. iii-vi, a general sketch of geography and ethnography, mainly a list of names. vii-xix, natural history proper (vii, anthropology; viii-xi, zoology of land and water animals, birds, and insects; xii-xix, botany). xx-xxxii, the pharmacology of the vegetable, kingdom (xx-xxvii) and of the animal kingdom (xxviii-xxxii). xxxiii-xxxvii, mineralogy and the use of minerals in medicine and in painting, sculpture, and the engraving of gems, besides valuable notices upon the history of art. A kind of comparative geography forms the conclusion. Considering the extent and varied character of the undertaking, the haste with which the work was done, the defective technical knowledge and small critical ability of the author, it cannot be surprising that it includes a large number of mistakes and misunderstandings, and that its contents are of very unequal value, details that are strange and wonderful, rather than really important, having often unduly attracted the writer's attention. Nevertheless, the work is a mine of inestimable value in the information it gives us respecting the science and art of the ancient world; and it is also a splendid monument of human industry. Even the unevenness of the style is explained by the mosaic-like character of the work. At one time it is dry and bald in expression; at another, rhetorically coloured and impassioned, especially in the carefully elaborated introductions to the several books. On account of its bulk, the work was in early times epitomized for more convenient use. An epitome of the geographical part of Pliny's Encyclopaedia, belonging to the time of Hadrian, and enlarged by additions from Pomponius Mela, and other authors, forms the foundation of the works of Solinus and Martianus Capella. Similarly the Medicina Plinii is an epitome prepared in the 4th century for the use of travellers.
 
GLASS 11.33%

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Glass was for a long time procured by the Greeks and Romans from Phoenicia and Egypt, where its manufacture had been carried on since very ancient times, and the art had reached an uncommon degree of perfection. The ancients produced glass-work of great beauty, both in form and colours. In later times it was the manufacturers of Alexandria whose reputation stood the highest. The manufacturers carried on, down to the times of the later Empire, a considerable export trade in coloured blown-glass and mosaics. It is uncertain whether the Greeks manufactured their own glass in more ancient times. It was certainly a very costly article down to the time of the Peloponnesian War, and only came into general use at a late period. In Italy the manufacture of glass began at the commencement of the imperial period, first in Campania and afterwards in Rome, where they were ambitious of surpassing the art of Alexandria. From Italy it spread to Gaul and Spain and the more distant provinces, and before long, glass cups, saucers, and bottles became an ordinary part of household furniture. The remains discovered at Herculaneum and Pompeii show that glass windows were not unknown in the imperial age. The ancients were familiar with the manufacture of pure, white, transparent, crystal glass, which was much in request, as well as with the art of colouring glass in every tint. They could imitate every kind of stone, produce varying prismatic tints, and spread layers of different colours upon each other. The art of cutting and polishing glass was very advanced. From bits of glass, cut and polished, were made great numbers of mock pearls, or mock precious stones, and pastes, which were worn, instead of real stones, in rings, tut in intaglio or relief. The most important productions of art were: (1) the vasa diatreta. In these cups the outer side was made of filigree work, cut out of the hard mass. The outer network was of a different colour from the ground, with which it was connected by nothing but slender glass talks. (2) The vessels which exhibit reliefs of white opaque glass on a dark and transparent ground, like the celebrated Portland Vase (See GEMS). Glass tablets, intended for mural decoration, were sometimes ornamented with reliefs of this kind.
 
VESSELS 7.47%

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An immense number of vessels for different purposes is mentioned by the ancients. It is impossible within the present limits to speak of more than a certain number of the most important. In ordinary life much use was made of pottery, which was sometimes ornamented with paintings. (See POTTERY and VASES.) Next to clay, bronze was the favourite material. The precious metals, marble, and other stones, such as porphyry, travertine, alabaster, and onyx, were also used, and the vessels made of these and of bronze were often adorned with carved work. On the employment of glass for this purpose, see GLASS. (Cp. also MURRINA.) It can hardly be said that wood was much in use. Vessels intended to hold wine, oil, salt meat, salt fish, olives, corn, and the like, were generally of clay. The largest of them was the pithos (Gr.) or dolium (Lat.), a butt in the form of a gourd, used for storing oil and wine. This vessel, which was lined with pitch, was often so large that a man could easily get inside it. It was one of these butts in which Diogenes made his abode. They were generally let into the floor of the cellar, and counted as immovable furniture. The Greek bikos and the Roman seria were smaller vats of the same kind, used for storing salt-meats, figs, corn, etc. For purposes of sale and of use, the wine and oil were passed from the dolium into the amphora (Gr. amphoreus), and the cadus (Gr. kados). These were vessels with two handles, and a slim body pointed at the foot. They were either buried up to the middle in the ground, or set up slanting against the wall (fig. 1, nos. 20-23; fig. 2 a, b). The cadi were specially used by the Romans for the storage of Greek wines. Wine and oil were also, especially in the country, put into leather bags (Gr. askos; Lat. uter), as is the case now in the East and in the south of Europe. The bag was made by sewing a number of skins together, and was tapped by untying one of the legs. For drawing and holding water they used the hydria, or kalpis (Lat. urna), carried on the head or shoulders. This was a vessel, with a short neck and large body, often with three handles, two smaller ones for carrying, and one behind for drawing and pouring out (fig. 1, nos. 16, 17). The lagynos (Lat. lagona or lagoena) was a wine-jar. It had a narrow neck, rather a wide mouth, and a handle (fig. 1, no. 34). It was hung up as a sign in front of wine shops, and was put before the guests at table. The lekythos or ampulla was used for oil (fig. 1, no. 33); the alabastron or alabaston (fig. 1, no. 35) for fragrant ointments. This vessel was named from the material of which it was usually made. Both the lekythos and alabastron had narrow necks, so that the liquid ran out in drops. The alabastron was round at the foot, and therefore required a stand to support it. The general term krater (Lat. cratera or creterra) was used to denote the vessels in which wine was mixed with water at mealtimes (fig. 1, no. 25; cp. HILDESHEIM, THE TREASURE OF). They were moderately large, with wide necks and bodies, and two handles. Sometimes they had a pedestal, sometimes they were pointed or round beneath, in which case they required a support (hypokraterion). For ladling and pouring out the wine, spoons were used (trua, trulla, fig. 3), as well as various sorts of cups (cyathus, fig. 1, nos. 10, 13-15). These resembled our tea and coffee cups, but had a much higher handle, rising far above the rim, and contained a definite measure. Drinking-vessels were made in the form of bowls, beakers, and horns. To the first class belonged the flat phiale, or saucer without handle or base, corresponding to the Roman patera generally used in sacrifices (fig. 1, nos. 1, 2); the kymbion, a long deep vessel without handles, so called from its likeness to a boat; and the kylix (Lat. calix) with handle and base (fig. 1, nos. 3 and 8). Among the beakers may be mentioned the skyphos (Lat. scyphus) attributed to Heracles (fig. 1, nos. 4-7). This was a large cup originally of wood, and used by shepherds, sometimes with a round, sometimes with a flat bottom. Another was the kantharos (cantharus) peculiar to Dionysus (fig. 1, no. 12), with a high base and projecting handles. The karchesion (carchesium, fig. 1, no. 11) was tall, slightly contracted at its sides, and with slender handles reaching from the rim to the foot [Macrobius, Saturnalia v 21]: the kiborion (ciborium) resembled the husks of the Egyptian bean. The class of drinking horns included the rhyton (fig. 4), with its mouth shaped like the head of an animal. As may be seen from the names, the Romans borrowed most of their drinking vessels from the Greeks. They were generally fitted with silver; and, during the imperial times often ornamented with finely cut gems. It is unnecessary to enumerate the various vessels used for washing, cooking, and eating, the characteristics of which were not strikingly different from our own. But we may observe that for domestic purposes of all kinds the ancients used basket work of canes, rushes, straw, and leaves, especially palm leaves. The kalathos, made in the form of a lily (fig.5, a and b), was used for holding the wool used in weaving and embroidery: the low kaneon, or basket of round or oval shape (fig. 5, c), for bread and fruit. The Athenian maidens carried kanea on their heads at the Panathenaic procession. (See CANEPHORI.) For baskets of other shapes, see fig. 5, d, e, f.
 
SCULPTURE 3.28%
 
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