Scenes from the Trojan War Pottery a perfect visualization of antique events and heroes

Enveloped in many myths, legends, and not a few artifacts, the Trojan War is one of the epic historical events in the ancient world. Troy in ancient times has been a thriving city, located near important trade roads. There were legends about the untold riches of the city and Priam's famed treasure. For the Hellenistic kings, Troy was a long-established goal to be conquered, it's was only need a suitable occasion to start war against Troy. And an occasion was found, as is well known from the legends. This fate, according to the legends, was assigned to the most wonderful woman in an ancient Ellada, the Beautiful Helen. But no one can ever confirm for sure where the legend extends, and where begins the truth of the Trojan War, lasted more than a decade. The Trojan War was held somewhere between 1,300-1,200 before the New Age. During the war, Priam was the ruler and last king of Troy. His original name was Podarces, the son of Laomedon who was the second king of Troy. Various stories and moments of this war have been recreated in poems by ancient poets, and some of them have come to our day. The famous epic poems Iliad and Odyssey is attributed to ancient Greek Homer. Is considered, that they were written around the 8th - 7th centuries BC. The Iliad recreates the last 50 days of the 10-year war against ancient Ilion (Troy). It contains 24 songs with a total of 15,703 verses in hexameters (a verse's size where the poems consist of six steps with a complex structure; this metric system was largely utilized in the ancient Greek and Latin poetry). As an epochal event in the Greek mythology, the Trojan War was also reflected in later writings by a number of ancient poets, even outside the Hellenistic world. Some of the events during the war against Troy were recreated by the Roman poet Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro, 70-19 BC) in his poem The Aeneid, written between 29-19 BC. This poem is specially dedicated to the legend of Aeneas, a Trojan who along with the few survivors Trojans has taken a long journey to the remote lands of Italy to seek a new place for his people after the fall of Troy. According to this legend, Aeneas became the founder of the Romans.

The dramatic events during the Battle of Troy have been marked by the halo of never fading glory of the heroes involved. Through nearly 33 centuries after these events have been carried over the names of the main characters: achaeans Achilles and Ajax, Patroclus, Odysseus; Sparta's king Menelaus, husband of beautiful Helen and brother of Agamemnon; The King of the Trojans Priam and his wife Hecuba; the Trojan princes Hector and Paris; Hector's wife Andromaha, Aeneas and many others ... And already for several millennia, the participants in these epic acts are not forgotten, the legends and history, they remember this heroism.

The emblematic names of heroes and scenes from this war have given rise to numerous written works by ancient authors as well as many historical researchers in the centuries that have passed since then, even to our days. Archaeological artifacts reveal the re-creation of scenes from these historical events as applied art, expressing in storylines and images the great moments of the Trojan War, just as the ancient world has kept a memory of them according to the legends. The result of all these were the wonderful antique ceramic vessels with scenes from the Trojan War - magnificent examples of the ancient pottery mastery produced mainly in Ellada. Many contemporary museums around the world have in their collections a number of such masterpieces of the ancient applied art. Enjoying their everlasting value, their astonishing beauty awakens a true admiration, and also the ancient people's vividly expressed necessity of this beauty, and their enthusiasm towards the heroic events reflected even in the objects of their everyday life. The scenes from the Trojan War pottery, in essence, can be seen as a perfect visualization of the antique historical events and heroes.

Approximately, around BC 530 the Red-figured pottery was appeared. For nearly two centuries, to the end of the IVth BC, this ancient Greek decoration technique of ceramic vessels (pots, vases, cups, amphoras and other) dominates over the Black-figured pottery, applied until then. Ancient Athena became the center of some of the most famous pottery ateliers at that time. The Red-figure vase painting technique gained a rapid bloom, as the red figures depicted on the black background impart more expressiveness and splendor of the images on the ceramic vessels. They spread throughout all of Ellada, southern Italy and some areas around the Mediterranean Sea. It is even a matter of prestige that the rich ancient Greek and Roman families  own different shapes decorated vessels  (amphoras, vases, cups, plates, etc.), especially those produced in the workshops of the most famous craftsmen of the figural Greek vase painting - Euphronius, Euphimidus and Fintius, around the middle and end of VIth BC.

Nearly 32 centuries, the events of the Trojan War were considered to be legends and stories from the ancient Greek mythology. Until to the 1871, when the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann (Johann Ludwig Heinrich Julius Schliemann, 1822-1890) organizes excavations and manages to find the ruins of the ancient Ilion (Troy). In fact, Schliemann was a wealthy merchant and polyglot with diverse interests, and archeology was not his primary occupation. However, a Iliad's illustrated copy, which Schliemann receives as a Christmas present in his childhood, captured his curiosity, and years later his first-finder spirit provokes him to study in details the texts of the ancient Homer's Iliad, looking for descriptions and similarities with real geographical areas. He was convinced that in the Homer's work was about real historical facts and began the search for the ancient city. And between 1871 and 1890, in the lands of present-day northwest Turkey, in the area of Hisarlik mentioned in Iliad, 7 km. from the Dardanelles Strait, Heinrich Schliemann discovers the remains of several vertical cultural strata. These are the ruins of ancient settlements, and he also discovers a great treasure that he called Priam's Treasure. This colossal pioneering work cost to Schliemann a huge organization overcoming a number of administrative obstacles and significant finances, but his conviction that he is on the place of ancient Troy did not leaves him. After all, years later, the official archaeological science assumes that in the one of the revealed layers are the ruins of ancient Troy.

Until nowadays, some 40,000 copies and fragments of the Red-figured pottery, most of which have been created in famous Athenian pottery workshops, and around 20,000 produced in southern Italy, have reached.

The Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden) in Leiden owns a wonderful collection of the Hellenic Epoch, widely depicting different periods of the cultural and historical presence of the ancient Greek civilization.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On the photos: Scenes from the Trojan War pottery:
Ceramics; made in Athens, found at Vulci (Etruria); 530-470 BC.

Source of information: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (RMO), Leiden.
Address: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Rapenburg 28, 2311 EW Leiden, Netherlands.
Photos - own archive.

Related images

Scenes from the Trojan War pottery, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Scenes from the Trojan War pottery, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Scenes from the Trojan War pottery, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Scenes from the Trojan War pottery, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Scenes from the Trojan War pottery, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Scenes from the Trojan War pottery, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Scenes from the Trojan War pottery, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Scenes from the Trojan War pottery, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Related links

http://www.hellenic-art.com/black-figure-pottery.html

https://www.ancient.eu/Greek_Pottery/

https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/usergallery/7AJSdUGKPyAlIA

http://www.historynet.com/gallery-scenes-from-the-trojan-war.htm