30 May 2010
The so-called Tomb of Midas in Gordium
King Midas of Phrygia is best known from Greek legend: the story about the drunken Silenus, the story about “the Midas touch”, the story about the donkey ears, and several others, including a nice parallel to the Roman story about the Lacus Curtius.
Yet, the Greeks also remembered him as a real king, the first to send presents to Delphi. This Midas had fought against the Cimmerians, had been defeated, and had committed suicide. He is almost certainly identical to the Mit-ta-a of Muški mentioned in the Annals of the Assyrian king Sargon II.
I’ve made a new page, which you can find here.
29 May 2010
A man and a bul on an ivory inlay
I am still moving all kinds of pages that are in the wrong directories if I want to migrate Livius.org to a CMS, and this time, it’s Gordium‘s turn. We’ve visited the capital of Phrygia twice, in 2003 and 2008, and it remains one of the most impressive sites I know. Imagine a vast plain, with dozens of funeral mounds. The largest of these is called “tomb of Midas“.
Opposite this tumulus is a museum, where you can also see the mosaics from the Phrygian citadel and a Galatian tomb; other objects can be seen in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara – like the finds from the Tomb of Midas. I’ve put it all together on this page, and I added a note on the river Sangarius.
Only thirty pages to go…
23 April 2010
Painted decoration of the temple of Düver, Early Achaemenid Age (Rijksmuseum van oudheden, Leiden)
In 2003, we traveled from the northwest of Turkey to the southeast. It’s a long trip along an endless road, and we almost believed we were the protagonists of a road movie. I will never forget the afternoon of the first day, when we crossed the beautiful plain of Sivrihisar. It is impossible to make a photo that catches the impressive emptiness of those fields, which are the heartland of ancient Phrygia.
Today, I wrote a page about the legendary kingdom of Midas and the Achaemenid satrapies, which you can find here.