The Glory That Was Greece

Twins, Alexander leading the god of war in triumph, Alexander mounted on Bucephalus. The only relic which may give us an idea of the treatment of such subjects in pictorial art is a very fine mosaic floor at Pompeii. It represents the conqueror charging bareheaded into the press of the Persian bodyguard at Issus, his greatest victory. You see Darius in his Oriental “mitre” anxious and terrified, just turning his chariot out of the battle. The scene is represented with great spirit, and Alexander’s face is happily preserved. The horses in particular are most faithfully rendered. As part of the mosaic depicts a Nile scene, with crocodiles, ibis, snakes, and a hippopotamus, we must infer that the original picture was made in Alexandria.

The same scene is depicted with greater brilliance on the famous sarcophagus from Sidon. On one side of it Alexander and Parmenio are fighting the Persians at Issus, and on the other side they are engaged in a lion

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