Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Minor Correction

In the exhibit "Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections", now at the Getty, there is a relief showing Alexander the Great borne up to heaven by a pair of griffins. I took this to be an apotheosis when I saw the exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, but find that I am wrong.

The anthology I picked up last week has excerpts from Eckhart of Aura's universal history, both of them concerning Alexander the Great. According to the second, the flight with griffins was a matter of aerial exploration. So far from his being received on Olympus, they and he eventually returned to earth ten days walk from his army, to which he returned safely. But I still wish that I had a postcard of the relief.

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