Art History: Mesopotami Land Between Two Rivers

Decent Essays

Sean Franklin
Art History Final Paper
Art History

Five thousand years ago there was a place the greeks would later name Mesopotamia. Literally translated as “land between two rivers”. These two rivers were the Tigris and the Euphrates. It was also called the fertile crescent or the cradle of civilization. It is very convenient for early civilizations to have access to clean water, as they obviously could not ship it in from elsewhere until the advent of aqueducts. So this land between two rivers was one of the most prosperous and active back in the time period. At different times, it was ruled by the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, and the Persians. They lived close to the natural world, and so their depictions …show more content…

He gave the western half to his son Honorius. The eastern half was given to his son Arcadius, and this land would become known as Byzantium. The two kingdoms considered themselves roman though spoke roman in the west, and greek and the east. The western Roman empire was repeatedly attacked by barbarians, Goths, Franks, and Huns. Rome was sacked multiple times, and a lot of great art and recorded thought was lost setting humanity back hundreds of years. Under the weight of this turmoil only 81 years after the death of Theodosius, the western roman empire ceased to exist and split into several countries. The one unifying force left was the catholic church and the pope. The Byzantine empire would, however, last another thousand years. In 730 AD emperor, Leo the third initiated a movement called iconoclasm based on a strict interpretation of the ten commandments. He forbade the making and worship of divine images. The iconoclasts sought the removal and destruction paintings and sculptures. After iconoclasm ended, byzantine was limited to copying “approved” images. Back in Rome Pope Gregory rejected iconoclasm and declared it heretical. As a result, artist in the west had more creative freedom. The church was the major patron of the arts, and so most medieval art had divinely inspired themes. The Western artist was interested in creating the visionary experience, over time their art became more realistic in its portrayal of people and the natural world. Images gained depth for the first

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