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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,428

PostPosted: Thu 13 Dec, 2012 5:27 am    Post subject: Alexander the Great exhibit at the Australian Museum         Reply with quote

As the title implies, the Australian Museum in sydney is hosting an exhibit on the life and legacy of Alexander the Great, called 'Alexander the great - 2000 years of treasures' it is all about not just Alexanders life, and empire, and what happened to said empire, but also alexanders influence as a sort of historical celebrity. Like the fact everyone wanted to imitate him, so it doesn't just have stuff from the hellenistic era, but also stuff as far forward as the 17th and 18th centuries. There is also, right at the end, a very small exhibit showing some examples of Alexanders influence on popular culture in the modern day with a few movie posters, boxes for computer games, and the like.

http://alexandersydney.com.au/?gclid=CJfOzPqxl7QCFUdfpQodEAsA6Q

Now that the introductions are out of the way, what did I think of it? well overall I LOVED it, just being that close to stuff from that period was just amazing, there was a whole TON of jewellery and coins, as well as the ever omnipresent pottery and marble...

for me, two objects stood out, one was a sword, I think wielded by the persians , or maybe it was bactrian, I cannot remember, all I remember was that it was in the section of the exhibit, it had a gold covered hilt, bt the amazing part was it had a series of holes, shaped like a pill, in the fuller, and you could tell these wern't just from rust, because they were evenly spaced and very orderly shaped.

the OTHER, was not from Alexanders time at all but was an example of the HUGE influence the greco-roman period had on the renaissance, in particular in the shaping of the 'military revolution', the item was a peasacod breastplate which was covered with ivory scales in order to imitate the armour of alexander...

Two things however made me feel a bit WTF?! though, one was stuff on screens in the wider museum promoting the exhibit which compared Alexander to iGen and Justin beiber etc, silly stuff like that to appeal to the younger, normal kids, etc. I could see the point of it.. but comparing the achievements of Alexander the great and Justin Beiber in terms of fans, the size of their respective armies WTF?! etc ... YEAAAAH....

The other thing made me almost go ARRRGH right in the exhibit, it was a reconstructed scythian scale vest.....the card for the items label, listed it as 'chain mail'... I was genuinely dissapointed by this because you would think the Australian museum, of all things, would at least have done enough research to know the difference between chain armour, and scale armour....
Mad

but this was relatively minor, and otherwise the exhibit was amazing, and had a whole host of interactive stuff, in particular, next to the glass boxes containing the coins etc, there were small touch screens which had 3d images of the various coins where you could spin them around and look at them bigger or smaller, which, considering the fine detail on some of the coinns, was pretty useful..

the other was a large table covered in screens showing a map of the hellenistic parts of the world, where you could click on cities and stuff and read excerpts about them in terms of trade and such things and you could drag around, and manipulate these windows, making tthem bigger, smaller, rotate them etc....

The screens also had a few fun things that kept kids, (and me) entertained, like the fact that randomly, ships would move across the water, following the trade routes or birds would fly over the map and tapping the ships in certain ways would cause the ship to be either eatenn by a sea monster, or sucked into a whirlpool, and running your fingers along the desert regions caused tiny twisters to appear... this was immensely fun, bt I noted that kids spent a lot of time just sinking ship or knocking birds out of the sky, or just making desert twisters and not really that interested in the actual information..

Overall... it was worth seeing, although I should point out it has very little on the arms and armour side of things... sadly, no photographs allowed so I have no photos to show you of all the stuff on display, except for those on the museum website
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Thu 13 Dec, 2012 8:47 am    Post subject: Re: Alexander the Great exhibit at the Australian Museum         Reply with quote

William P wrote:


Two things however made me feel a bit WTF?! though, one was stuff on screens in the wider museum promoting the exhibit which compared Alexander to iGen and Justin beiber etc, silly stuff like that to appeal to the younger, normal kids, etc. I could see the point of it.. but comparing the achievements of Alexander the great and Justin Beiber in terms of fans, the size of their respective armies WTF?! etc ... YEAAAAH....



i can only see a comparison in that nobles were the celebrities of their day. but in a much different way, nobles seemed to have gained popularity as they brought wealth back to their people. but Alexander did more than bring wealth to greece (i'm no expert on his life) he spread the wealth of Greek culture into places that it may have never reached with out him. Alexandria on its own was the new york, london, paris of the ancient world and remained a cultural center of the world until the middle ages.

when you think of his achievements its hard to imagine this was one man.
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 304

PostPosted: Thu 13 Dec, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While I realise most of the exhibit's will be from periods much later than Alexanders..what would you say is the main thrust of the exhibit ? Alelexander himself and the period..or Alexander's influence on later history ??
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,428

PostPosted: Fri 14 Dec, 2012 4:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually, I would say more than half of the exhibit, and the focus overall was on Alexanders own lifetime, his empire, etc, to assist in giving info there were preprogrammed mini lectures on screens at specific points where an expert would talk about, for example, the logistical challanges of The huge Macedonian army 'the walking city' as I have heart it being called over and over.

The other half (or so) of the exhibit was dedicated to the world post Alexander, and his legacy.
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