Friday, June 15, 2012

Pictures of the Archaeological Site of Pergamon, Turkey

Pictures of Pergamon Archaeological Site, Turkey.

Pictures, images and photos of Pergamon ( Bergama ), archaeological site, Turkey.

The Kingdom of Pergamon was ruled by Eumenes II in 197-159 B.C who expanded the Library of Pergamon. The copying of ancient manuscripts was a lucrative business in the ancient world and the Library Alexandria had the monopoly of the great books and the Egyptian papyrus that they were copied onto. When the Library of Pergamon to began to rival that in Alexandria and the Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt banned the export of papyrus to Pergamon. Not to be defeated the Library at Pergamon invented a substitute, Parchment, which is made from animal skin and could be cut into squares and bound into the first books known as codex. In 133 B.C Attalus III of Pergamon died without an heir and left the Kingdom of Pergamon to the Roman Empire. Under the rule of Mark Anthony, Cleopatra took the opportunity to persuade him that the books of the Library of Pergamon would be better housed in the Library of Alexandria, so Pergamon lost is great library and slowly declined.

The archaeological site of Pergamon is one of the most dramatic sites of antiquity. The white Corinthian columns of the Temple of Trajan are visible from miles away. Started by Emperor Trajan the construction of the Temple was finished by Hadrian (117 AD).

From the Acropolis one of the steepest amphitheatres of the ancient world descends down the hillside. Capable of holding an audience of 10,000 the theatre was constructed in the 3rd cent. B.C. Under the rule of Emperor Caracalla (211-217 AD) the theatre was given a Roman makeover.

The Upper Acropolis Great Altar of Pergamon constructed by Eumenes II in the first half of the 2nd cent. B.C was excavated in 1878 by German engineer Carl Humann. The thousands of fragments of the freeze were reconstructed by Italian restorers in Berlin. The Pergamon Museum was built to house the great altar.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pictures of The Medieval Tuscan City of San Gimignano

Pictures, Images & Photos of San Gimignano, Tuscany. The Medieval Manhattan.

Pictures, photo & images of San Gimignano, Tuscany, Scilly. Ever wondered what Manhattan would have looked like if it was built 800 years ago. Well a look at the curious towers of San Gimignano will give some idea of what a medieval Manhattan would have looked like. On close inspection it can be seen that the simple square towers of San Gimignano have little or no practical purpose. It was certainly possible to stand at the top of the towers and shout abuse at the neighbouring feuding family, but the towers have little other purpose. The towers have no rooms, no architectural finesse and are simply bombastic expressions of power. The ruling Council of San Gimignano put a height barrier on the towers banning any taller than the tower of the town hall. Frustrated one family built 2 towers next to each other to show their prowess. Many of the towers of San Gimignano and other Tuscan towns were not structurally sound and tumbled to the ground. Other towers had to be taken down before they fell but there are still enough towers left to turn the skyline of San Gimignano into a very strange and unique sight.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pictures of the Historic Ottoman Architecture of Safronbolu, Turkey

Pictures, Images & Photos of the Ottoman Architecture of Safronbolu, Turkey.

Pictures & images of the Ottoman Turkish architecture of Safranbolu, Turkey. Safranbolu derives its name from the Saffron the city traded had 3 caravanserais, overnight stopping places for camel caravan trains. Conquered during the Turkish expansion into Anatolia in the 11th century, the town still has many Ottoman Turkish style buildings. The town is one of the most complete from this era possibly due to the continuing importance of the Saffron trade in the area. The half timbered Ottoman style houses sit high on windowless stables rooms. Each mansion had a male and female (harem) area and were well insulated. They are characterised by their overhanging eves and rooms that jut out from the building supported by wooden braces. The caravan trade of the Silk Route reached its peak in the 16th century before its eventual demise to shipping.

The importance of the architecture of Safranbolu has been recognised and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Images of The Roman Emperor Diocletian's Palace at Split, Croatia

Pictures, Images & Photos of the Romen Emperor Diocletian's Palace at Split, Croatia.

Pictures, Images & photos of Split and Roman Emperor Diocletian's palace founded by Emperor Diocletian between the late 3rd and the early 4th centuries AD.

Diocletian became emperor after long periods of civil war in the Roman Empire. He started a reform program that would eventually lead to a split in the Roman Empire. Diolcetian was a great organiser and brought in new tax legislation and reforms that were well over due but he is best known for 2 acts. Realising that the Roman Empire had become too big to rule by one Emperor, he divided the Empire in two creating an Eastern and Western Empire to be ruled by 2 co-emperors or Augusti. Diolcetian ruledthe Eastern Empire, he appointed the general Maximian as the emperor of the west. The Empire had been devastated by accession wars on the death of an Emperor so Diocletian decided in 285 to appoint successors to follow himself and Maximian and these were titled Caesars ( junior emperors). In 305 Diocletian abdicated and forcing Maximian to do the same, allowing Constantius and Galerius to be elevated in rank to Augusti and in turn appointed Caesars to follow them. Diocletian retired to his Palace in Split to famously "grew cabbages" and enjoyed his retirement. His master plan failed though and the new Augusti and Caesars were soon at war with each other and Diocletian was called out of retirement to sort the mess out. Diocletian did not live to see the eventual outcome of the dispute which ended in Constantine taking sole charge of the Empire and moving the capital of the Empire to Constantinople.

Diocletian is also remembered for his purges against the Christians. Diocletian was a conservative who looked back to the Pagan heyday of Rome believing that the Ancient Gods who would bring ill to those that did not sacrifice to them. It seems that Diocletian believed that the chaos that reigned in the Roman Empire was a sign of the displeasure of the Gods due to the Christians worship of just one God. Diocletian ruled that if Christians did not sacrifice to the Pagan Gods then they should die by "exposure to Animals". The numbers of Christian who did die during these purges has been over dramatised as most of the Empire could see no sense in killing Christians who were no sport in the arena as they knelt and accepted death gratefully as a gift of martyrdom and a passage straight to heaven. Diocletian and his Caesar Galerius did apply the rules harshly in the Eastern Empire until Diocletian's death. Diocletian was buried in a mausoleum in his Palace which still stands today as an octagonal building. When Constantine became Emperor he made Christianity a legal religion of the Empire and pagan temples, including Diocletian's Mausoleum were turned into churches. In Christians revenge for Diocletian's cruelty towards them removed distorted his remains.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pictures of the Archaeological Site of Mount Nemrut, Turkey

Pictures, Images & Photos of The Mauseleum on Mount Nemrut, Turkey.

Pictures of the arhcelogical site of Nemrut Dagi, Unesco World Heritage Site, Turkey. Photos & images of the ancient tomb ruins of Antiochus 1. Also by as stock photos or photo art prints. Nemrut Dag comprises the Hellenistic mausoleum of Antiochus. In the first century BC, the Roman-Persian king Antiochus I of Commagene (a kingdom north of Syria and the Euphrates) ordered to build a grave and temples on this site. On two sides of the mountaintop terraces were set up for meters high statues of the gods and himself. The statues represent a.o. Apollo, Fortuna, Heracles and Zeus.