Alexander Mosaic

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Discussion of Badian Alexander Mosaic In the section A Note on the “Alexander Mosaic” Ernst Badian attempts to give his own interpretation of the Alexander Mosaic. Badian first gives Goethe’s explanation of the mosaic. Goethe believes that Alexander appears as a conqueror while Darius is in horror. Badian, in this paper, attempts to show that Darius is in the prominent position and Alexander does not appear a conqueror or a hero. Badian starts his argument by discussing the similarities of a realistic action painting, like this Mosaic, and a snapshot. This means that the artist is focusing on one moment in time, and chooses what he wants to show. Badian then start to talk about the mosaic. He shows how the movement is from right to left, or…show more content…
Darius is taller than everyone else and learns forward towards the enemy. The horror on his face is from his seeing the sacrifice his noble made for him. Alexander, however, cannot seem to be able to control his horse and his helmet has fallen off. This makes him appear as unheroic. The tree in the mosaic is another piece of Baldin’s argument. In order for Darius to use his cavalry, Darius cleared the ground of the battlefield. This means the tree in the composition was obvious added by the artists and therefore must have a meaning. One interpretation Baldin gives is that the tree signifies the destruction of Alexander’s wars. Badian ends by discussing the artist. He identifies the commissioner as Cassander, a King of Macadoia from 305 - 297 BC, and who Alexander treated poorly. Badian believes this poor treatment caused Cassander to have a bias while commissioning the mosaic. Therefore, he wanted a piece that did not glorify Alexander, even if he won every war against the persians. Finally, this explains why the mosaic show a time when the Persians are dominating the action and while Alexander looks unheroic, even though Alexander wins in the
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