“The Greeks” are here!!!

These Greeks that is

Richard Armitage isn’t the only thing that can make me go, “Squee!!”  The presence of 500 plus Greek artifacts only 150 miles away works too!  Bestie and I have set a date (dangerously close to the “close of special exhibit” crowd issue, but so be it) to go, so naturally, I set to trawling around the interwebs to get a preview of the exhibit and came across a photo array from the Chicago Tribune.  One piece in particular caught my eye because I’d seen him before on a visit to the old museum at Sparta years ago.

The photo caption reads, “Statue of Hoplite, known as Leonidas (Acropolis of Sparta 480-470 BCE) at the Field Museum exhibit The Greeks: Agamemnon to Alexander the Great.”

It’s quite doubtful that this is meant to be understood as any sort of portrait of Leonidas, but it could well have been erected on the Spartan acropolis as a dedicatory monument to him.  Leonidas is arguably the most well known of the the Spartan warrior kings due to the Thermopylae episode…you know the one…where he, leading a detachment of 300 Spartan hoplites held the entire invading Persian army of Xerxes at bay long enough for the rest of the Greek coalition forces to retreat and regroup.  Leonidas and his men enjoyed the pinnacle of a Spartan military career – that is, every last one of them ultimately died in battle at the hands of Xerxes, but their actions enabled the rest of the Greek army to escape to fight another day (and to go on to defeat Xerxes against almost astronomical odds!).

Compared to what Athenian sculptors of the same period were producing, this particular piece isn’t particularly remarkable, but I remember it being a standout item in the comparatively tiny Sparta Archaeological Museum.  Worthy of a sculpture geeky “squee” for sure!

Now if only I could figure out a way to work my other main source of “squee” in here somehow…

ra leonidas yelling 1

Yep – that’s the stuff!


13 comments on ““The Greeks” are here!!!

  1. Servetus says:

    I admit I might be disturbed if I started discovering sculptures of Armitage in the great museums of Europe. Then again, now that we know that gravitational waves actually exist …

  2. Guylty says:

    Oh, the excitement when you hear that an exhibition you are interested in, is opening… I know it well, RA or not. Hope your trip happens soon!

    • obscura says:

      I’ve known about this exhibit for a year now, but coordinating an actual date has been tricky. Let’s hope the April Fools day date doesn’t live up to it’s name!! (Although that date comes with the added bonus of the terra cotta warriors from the tomb of Shi Huang Di) archaeology nerds say “SQUEE”!!!!

      • Guylty says:

        Has it been running that long? You better make a dash for it before it is over!! Although, a combined visit to the terracotta warriors sounds particularly good!
        BTW, I am looking forward to a visit to the Pergamon museum in Berlin in August. Probably will have to confer with you before that and hear whether you have recommendations.

        • obscura says:

          It opened in November, but I try to stay away the first while because the crowds are so big. Then it was the holidays and Winter session. As it turns out, I have to go down toward Chicago for work, so can fit in in. The Chinese warriors are a definite bonus to offset the tail end crowd hassle!

          Ohhh…Pergamon and all it’s Hellenistic glory!!!

  3. linnetmoss says:

    Fabulous! You get to see “Leonidas”! I do love the Field Museum 🙂

  4. Hariclea says:

    How exciting!!! Glad you manage to go and i know managing dates with busy exhibitions is difficult 🙂 I actually love the look of that sculpture, the slightly forward slanting pose, it is filled with energy and action and the strong features, impressive!
    Looking forward to hearing all about it after you’ve been 🙂

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