The Beauty of Palmyra Relief

The Beauty of Palmyra Relief


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Atargatis

Atargatis / ə ˈ t ɑːr ɡ ə t ɪ s / or Ataratheh ( / ə ˈ t ær ə θ ə / Aramaic: 'Atar'atheh or Tar'atheh) was the chief goddess of northern Syria in Classical antiquity. [1] [2] Ctesias also used the name Derketo (Ancient Greek: Δερκετὼ ) for her, [3] and the Romans called her Dea Syria, or in one word Deasura. [4] Primarily she was a goddess of fertility, but, as the baalat ("mistress") of her city and people she was also responsible for their protection and well-being. Her chief sanctuary was at Hierapolis, modern Manbij, [5] northeast of Aleppo, Syria.

Michael Rostovtzeff called her "the great mistress of the North Syrian lands". [2] Her consort is usually Hadad. As Ataratheh, doves and fish were considered sacred to her: doves as an emblem of the Love-Goddess, and fish as symbolic of the fertility and life of the waters. [6]

According to a third-century Syriac source, "In Syria and in Urhâi [Edessa] the men used to castrate themselves in honor of Taratha. But when King Abgar became a believer, he commanded that anyone who emasculated himself should have a hand cut off. And from that day to the present no one in Urhâi emasculates himself anymore." [7]

She is sometimes described as a mermaid-goddess, due to identification of her with a fish-bodied goddess at Ascalon. However, there is no evidence that Atargatis was worshipped at Ascalon, and all iconographic evidence shows her as anthropomorphic. [8]


Our History

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The Tomb of the Three Brothers in Palmyra, Syria in March, 2006.

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Limestone bust of Aqmat, daughter of Hagago, Palmyra, Syria, c100-c150.

Your Easy-access (EZA) account allows those in your organization to download content for the following uses:

  • Tests
  • Samples
  • Composites
  • Layouts
  • Rough cuts
  • Preliminary edits

It overrides the standard online composite license for still images and video on the Getty Images website. The EZA account is not a license. In order to finalize your project with the material you downloaded from your EZA account, you need to secure a license. Without a license, no further use can be made, such as:

  • focus group presentations
  • external presentations
  • final materials distributed inside your organization
  • any materials distributed outside your organization
  • any materials distributed to the public (such as advertising, marketing)

Because collections are continually updated, Getty Images cannot guarantee that any particular item will be available until time of licensing. Please carefully review any restrictions accompanying the Licensed Material on the Getty Images website, and contact your Getty Images representative if you have a question about them. Your EZA account will remain in place for a year. Your Getty Images representative will discuss a renewal with you.

By clicking the Download button, you accept the responsibility for using unreleased content (including obtaining any clearances required for your use) and agree to abide by any restrictions.


Preserving the Manuscripts

Authors often discarded manuscripts after their texts were published, but Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery retained both the original and printer’s manuscripts for some time. In 1841, Joseph placed the original manuscript in the hollowed-out cornerstone of the Nauvoo House. Over time, most of this manuscript disintegrated due to water that seeped into the cornerstone deposit. The surviving pages—about 28 percent of the manuscript—are housed in the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. The printer’s manuscript was preserved by the Cowdery and Whitmer families and survived intact. Now held at the Church History Library, the printer’s manuscript gives unique insight into the translation and production of the Book of Mormon.

“Revelation, circa Summer 1829 [D&C 19],” Historical Introduction, josephsmithpapers.org.

“Revelation, circa Early 1830,” Historical Introduction, josephsmithpapers.org.

Royal Skousen and Robin Scott Jensen, eds., Revelations and Translations, Volume 3, Parts 1–2: Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon, facsimile ed., vol. 3 of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers , ed. Ronald K. Esplin and Matthew J. Grow (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2015).

The following publication provides further information about this topic. By referring or linking you to this resource, we do not endorse or guarantee the content or the views of the author.

Michael Hubbard MacKay and Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2015).


People

The Moors constitute more than two-thirds of the population. About three-fifths of the Moorish population has Sudanic African origins and is collectively known as Ḥarāṭīn (singular Ḥarṭānī sometimes referred to by the outside world as “Black Moors”). About two-fifths of the Moorish population self-identifies as Bīḍān (singular Bīḍānī, translated literally as “white” “White Moors”), which indicates individuals of Arab and Amazigh (Berber) descent. The Ḥarāṭīn speak the same language as the Bīḍān and, in the past, were part of the nomadic economy. They served as domestic help and labourers for the nomadic camps, and, although some remain, they were the first to depart for urban settlements with the collapse of the nomadic economy in the 1980s. While there is a general correlation based on skin colour, what determines status is a credible lineage that can document noble origins. Thus, one might encounter a Black “white,” and some Ḥarāṭīn might pass for Bīḍān if their name or lineage is unknown.

Roughly one-third of the population is made up of mainly four other ethnic groups: Tukulor, who live in the Sénégal River valley Fulani, who are dispersed throughout the south Soninke, who inhabit the extreme south and Wolof, who live in the vicinity of Rosso in coastal southwestern Mauritania.

The Moors, Tukulor, and Soninke share a broadly similar social structure, in as much as these groups were historically divided into a hierarchy of social classes. At the head of these socioeconomic layers were nobles who had dependents and tributaries, and these “well-born” populations were frequently supported by servants and slaves.

In Moorish society the nobles consisted of two types of lineages: ʿarabs, or warriors, descendants of the Banū Ḥassān and known as the Ḥassānīs, and murābiṭ—called marabouts by the French and known in their own language as zawāyā after the name of a place of religious study (see zāwiyah)—who were holy men and scholars of religious texts. The warriors generally claimed Arab descent, and many of the zawāyā traced their origins to Amazigh lineages. The greatest part of the Bīḍān population consisted of vassals who received protection from the warriors or zawāyā to whom they paid tribute. At the bottom of the social hierarchy were two artisan classes—the blacksmiths and the griots (troubadour-praise singers). Servant classes were subdivided into slaves and freedmen, the Ḥarāṭīn, although their personal autonomy was severely limited in the nomadic economy.

Slavery was abolished by the French in colonial times and has been banned a number of times since independence. The practice persisted, however, and it was not until 2007 that a bill was passed that made slavery a criminal offense. Slavery (and its definition) remains a very sensitive issue for the Mauritanian government, which has long disputed its continued existence in spite of reports to the contrary by international groups. For servants in the rural economy who are dependent upon their masters and who lack the skills necessary to join the urban economy, the line between servitude and freedom is very ambiguous. So long as there is a dependence upon such labour to maintain the Bīḍānī lifestyle, there remain both expectations by the servant classes that their well-being is the responsibility of the well-born and the long-standing cultural assumption among the Bīḍān that Black Africans belong in a servile role. As the old nomadic economy withers away, however, so too this relationship has been gradually disappearing. Since independence there have been sporadic efforts to find common political ground between the Ḥarāṭīn and the other Black populations in the country. Such a coalition would constitute a clear majority of the population, but, to date, political pressure on the Ḥarāṭīn and their cultural and linguistic roots in Bīḍān society have deflected any political configuration based simply on race.


Italy

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Italy, country of south-central Europe, occupying a peninsula that juts deep into the Mediterranean Sea. Italy comprises some of the most varied and scenic landscapes on Earth and is often described as a country shaped like a boot. At its broad top stand the Alps, which are among the world’s most rugged mountains. Italy’s highest points are along Monte Rosa, which peaks in Switzerland, and along Mont Blanc, which peaks in France. The western Alps overlook a landscape of Alpine lakes and glacier-carved valleys that stretch down to the Po River and the Piedmont. Tuscany, to the south of the cisalpine region, is perhaps the country’s best-known region. From the central Alps, running down the length of the country, radiates the tall Apennine Range, which widens near Rome to cover nearly the entire width of the Italian peninsula. South of Rome the Apennines narrow and are flanked by two wide coastal plains, one facing the Tyrrhenian Sea and the other the Adriatic Sea. Much of the lower Apennine chain is near-wilderness, hosting a wide range of species rarely seen elsewhere in western Europe, such as wild boars, wolves, asps, and bears. The southern Apennines are also tectonically unstable, with several active volcanoes, including Vesuvius, which from time to time belches ash and steam into the air above Naples and its island-strewn bay. At the bottom of the country, in the Mediterranean Sea, lie the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

Italy’s political geography has been conditioned by this rugged landscape. With few direct roads between them, and with passage from one point to another traditionally difficult, Italy’s towns and cities have a history of self-sufficiency, independence, and mutual mistrust. Visitors today remark on how unlike one town is from the next, on the marked differences in cuisine and dialect, and on the many subtle divergences that make Italy seem less a single nation than a collection of culturally related points in an uncommonly pleasing setting.

Across a span of more than 3,000 years, Italian history has been marked by episodes of temporary unification and long separation, of intercommunal strife and failed empires. At peace for more than half a century now, Italy’s inhabitants enjoy a high standard of living and a highly developed culture.

Though its archaeological record stretches back tens of thousands of years, Italian history begins with the Etruscans, an ancient civilization that rose between the Arno and Tiber rivers. The Etruscans were supplanted in the 3rd century bce by the Romans, who soon became the chief power in the Mediterranean world and whose empire stretched from India to Scotland by the 2nd century ce . That empire was rarely secure, not only because of the unwillingness of conquered peoples to stay conquered but also because of power struggles between competing Roman political factions, military leaders, families, ethnic groups, and religions. The Roman Empire fell in the 5th century ce after a succession of barbarian invasions through which Huns, Lombards, Ostrogoths, and Franks—mostly previous subjects of Rome—seized portions of Italy. Rule devolved to the level of the city-state, although the Normans succeeded in establishing a modest empire in southern Italy and Sicily in the 11th century. Many of those city-states flourished during the Renaissance era, a time marked by significant intellectual, artistic, and technological advances but also by savage warfare between states loyal to the pope and those loyal to the Holy Roman Empire.

Italian unification came in the 19th century, when a liberal revolution installed Victor Emmanuel II as king. In World War I, Italy fought on the side of the Allies, but, under the rule of the fascist leader Benito Mussolini, it waged war against the Allied powers in World War II. From the end of World War II to the early 1990s, Italy had a multiparty system dominated by two large parties: the Christian Democratic Party (Partito della Democrazia Cristiana DC) and the Italian Communist Party (Partito Comunista Italiano PCI). In the early 1990s the Italian party system underwent a radical transformation, and the political centre collapsed, leaving a right-left polarization of the party spectrum that threw the north-south divide into sharper contrast and gave rise to such political leaders as media magnate Silvio Berlusconi.

The whole country is relatively prosperous, certainly as compared with the early years of the 20th century, when the economy was predominantly agricultural. Much of that prosperity has to do with tourism, for in good years nearly as many visitors as citizens can be found in the country. Italy is part of the European Union and the Council of Europe, and, with its strategic geographic position on the southern flank of Europe, it has played a fairly important role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The capital is Rome, one of the oldest of the world’s great cities and a favourite of visitors, who go there to see its great monuments and works of art as well as to enjoy the city’s famed dolce vita, or "sweet life." Other major cities include the industrial and fashion centre of Milan Genoa, a handsome port on the Ligurian Gulf the sprawling southern metropolis of Naples and Venice, one of the world’s oldest tourist destinations. Surrounded by Rome is an independent state, Vatican City, which is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church and the spiritual home of Italy’s overwhelmingly Catholic population. Each of those cities, and countless smaller cities and towns, has retained its differences against the leveling effect of the mass media and standardized education. Thus, many Italians, particularly older ones, are inclined to think of themselves as belonging to families, then neighbourhoods, then towns or cities, then regions, and then, last, as members of a nation.

The intellectual and moral faculties of humankind have found a welcome home in Italy, one of the world’s most important centres of religion, visual arts, literature, music, philosophy, culinary arts, and sciences. Michelangelo, the painter and sculptor, believed that his work was to free an already existing image Giuseppe Verdi heard the voices of the ancients and of angels in music that came to him in his dreams Dante forged a new language with his incomparable poems of heaven, hell, and the world between. Those and many other Italian artists, writers, designers, musicians, chefs, actors, and filmmakers have brought extraordinary gifts to the world.

This article treats the physical and human geography and history of Italy. For discussion of Classical history, see the articles ancient Italic people and ancient Rome.


The Beauty of Palmyra Relief - History

Funerary Bust of a Woman and a Man from the Same Tomb in Palmyra.

Roman Imperial period, 3rd century AD

Inventory # 56603 and 56604

Text from the Vatican Museum label.

Federico Zeri's Palmyrene Relief Sculptures

Since June 2000 the Vatican Museums have displayed a group of funerary relief sculptures, which were donated by Federico Zeri, in a special arrangement resembling the niches of the family tombs in Palmyra. The ten Palmyrene sculptures of the Zeri legacy were added to the three already belonging to the Vatican collection, thus creating a group which illustrate the most common carved types of Palmyrene art.

Three sculptures illustrate the most genuine and unique aspects of art in Palmyra. They belong to the first phase of development of funerary sculpture in the city of the desert (beginnings of the 2nd century AD), when Palmyra was not yet under the direct influence of Rome. The absorbed and solemn look of the characters represented on the first sculptures (Inv. N. 56595) testifies to its oriental inspiration, which Palmyrene art would hand down to later Roman art. In particular, the religious meaning of the frontal representation referring to the experience of the ecstatic vision or to the participation in the afterlife becomes more important within the context of the funerary relief.

On the contrary, a slightly later woman's head (Inv. N. 56597) shows the effects of classical naturalism on an otherwise linear and hieratic art. This work can be dated back to the beginning of the 3rd century AD, by analogy with the splendid "Dama intera" (Inv. N. 56602). This is a veiled bust of a lady with inscription, which is characterised by the accurate representation of the embroidered clothes and jewels, some of which have still the original gilding. The "Dama" is turned three-quarter and wears a mantel and a tunic with an elegant hem decorated with acanthus. Oak leaves adorn the hem of the sleeves. The rounded head-dress which the "Dama" wears is decorated with pearls and rosettes apparently sewn on it. The jewels consist of two necklaces and of composite earrings. They are rich, but not exaggerated. The naturalistic effect of the face features and the balance among the parts make of this "Dama" one of the best examples of Palmyrene funerary portraiture.

The priest's head (Inv. N. 56599), which is characterised by a high modius, may be compared with another priest portrait kept in the Vatican (Inv. N. 1600). It shows a category of Palmyrene art probably portraying the important religious caste of the priests from Bêl , whose temple played a central role in the story of the caravan city also at an economic and political level. The head must have belonged to a sarcophagus or to a relief representing the funerary banquette, with the priests lying with their wives and sometimes with their children and brothers. These strong family ties are typical of the Palmyrene society and are also testified by the inscriptions visible on the same sculptures.


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Watch the video: Battle for #Palmyra: #Syrian Army Victory over #ISIS