The Met museum has an amazing Pergamon exhibit on view. If you hurry you can catch it before July 17. How can you get your children excited about it? We can help with our kids-friendly exhibit summary and scavenger hunt game.
Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms
Ancient Greece influenced the arts for more than two thousand years. The Greek sculpture, mosaic and beautiful objects inspired artists across time and vast territories. We have a chance to get close to the best examples of ancient Greek art at the Met Pergamon exhibit, ending on July 17th. Here is a little history background to put things in perspective.
How did Ancient Greek culture permeate the world?
Alexander the Great transformed the ancient world through his military conquests. He spread Greek culture across Europe and Asia bringing his court artisans everywhere he traveled and established new cities. When he died his empire was divided into three kingdoms and the new rulers followed his example. This period was called Hellenistic period- three centuries between Alexander’s death and the establishment of Roman Empire.
Alexander the Great was a son of a king. Like most children in Ancient Greece he learned mathematics, reading, writing, and how to play the lyre. He was also taught to fight and to rule. The great philosopher Aristotle became Alexander’s teacher when the future king was 13 and helped shape his view of ethics and politics. At school Alexander met many of his future generals who helped him build a strong empire. He has accomplished so much in his short life that he is considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. Alexander used art to project a powerful image of himself to his people and was worshipped as a god by his subjects.
Fun Facts about Alexander
-Legend says he was related to the Greek heroes Hercules from his father’s side and Achilles from his mother’s side.
– When Alexander was 16, his father left to war and left him in charge, he became a de facto king at such a young age
– When he was a boy he tamed a wild horse named Bucephalus which was his main horse until it died of old age. Alexander named a city in India after his
– Most experts agree he never lost a single battle.
When Alexander the Great died, his empire was split between his generals who followed his example and continued spreading the Greek civilization and art across the region. This was called Hellenistic period- three centuries between Alexander’s death and the establishment of Roman empire.
Pergamon was a Greek city built in what is now the territory of Turkey during the time. The wealth and power of the Greeks gave a chance for the arts to grow. Today we can see marble, bronze, terracotta sculptures, gold jewelry, vessels of glass and engraved gems that were found at the site of the city.