Alexander the Great as Achilles
1st century BCE — 1st century CE.
Inv. Nos. 129432 / 158837.Naples, National Archaeological MuseumPhoto by Luciano Pedicini

Alexander the Great as Achilles.

1st century BCE — 1st century CE.
Inv. Nos. 129432 / 158837.

Naples, National Archaeological Museum
(Napoli, Museo archeologico nazionale).

From Pompeii.
The theme of Alexander the Great who, represented as Achilles, contemplates the latter’s weapons, is the subject of a famous gem, presently in the Naples Museum and formerly probably in the Orsini collection (inv. 26092), signed by the celebrated Dioskourides, an Alexandrine artist who accompanied Caesar to Rome and became Augustus favourite gemmarius. The presence of two glaze intagli with the same subject from Pompeii show how rapidly the iconographies adopted by court artists became diffused in Roman society. The presence of workshops of gemmarii in Pompeii is well documented. One of them, Pinarius Cerialis, lived in house III, 4, b, where, in one of the cubicula, his tool chest was found. It contained some burins and 114 precious stones, 28 of which had been worked, while 79 were unworked or merely polished.
© 1996. Photo, text: Stefano De Caro. The National Archaeological Museum of Naples. Soprintendenza Archeologica di Napoli e Caserta. Electa, Napoli, 2001. P. 285.
© 1996. Photo: Luciano Pedicini.
Keywords: gemma glyptics gem gems glittica gliptica gemme glyptik glyptique ελληνική φιγούρα greek figures greeks figura greca figure greche greco greci griechische figur figuren grieche griechen grecque grecques grec grecs ελληνική μυθολογία mythologia graeca mythology mitologia mythologie roman romana romano romani römische römischer romain romaine engraved intaglios intaglio intagli intaille ἀχιλλεύς αχιλλέας achilleus achilles hero eroe achille heros achill héros ἀλέξανδρος ὁ μέγας αλέξανδρος ο γ΄ μακεδών rex alexander magnus iskander macedonian king iii the great macedon re alessandro magno di macedonia il grande conquistatore macedone der große von makedonien könig roi alexandre le grand de macédoine απεικόνιση portrait portraiture ritratto ritrattistica porträtmalerei porträt glaze as argead dynasty ruler of akhilleus round shield spear armour armor armatura gorgoneion gorgonion head gorgon gorgons medusa inv no 129432 158837