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A relief of David vs. Goliath! (Read 736 times)
Mauro Fiorentini
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A relief of David vs. Goliath!
Feb 9th, 2012 at 3:49pm
 
Hallo people!!
Last weekend I managed to visit a new museum that finally opened to the public after some years of restorations.
Well, some years.... it was bombed by the Allied in 1944 and, while the building was soon successfully restored, the stock inside was not. So it keeps 60+ years for restorers to finish their works. Oh well. The other archaeological Museum was bombed too, and more than 50% of the stuff inside has disappeared. Miracles of war!
By the way: we now have 3 archaeological museums in my town: the biggest one show stuff from the whole Region, dating from the Paleolithic (100'000 years bp) to the Roman Empire (2nd Century A.C.). The Museo della Cittą (town's museum) has stuff from the Greek phase of my town (385 b.C.) to the 50ies. And this third museum is the Museo Diocesano: it has religious stuff from the Greek phase to the early 19th Century.

There're Byzantine, Arab, Catholic relics; Jew and Orthodox ones. As a busy sea port, my town has been inhabited by people of different religions and beliefs. The Museum has also a complete shroud made in Constantinople (now Istambul, Turkey) in 1000 A.D., made of pink silk and golden wire, needless to say it's still very fashionable  Cheesy

By the way. Among other things, there's a sarcophagus that contained the bodies of Roman Emperor's legatus, who worked in my town during the 4th Century A.D. (300 - 399 A.D.).
This guy collected taxes, administred justice and did a lot of smart things to improve the town's wealth.
Obviously he was buried in a stone box so strong that not even Allied bombs were able to break.
And of course he ordered to decorate it with scenes taken from the Bible, in order to remember his benevolence toward the new religion (Catholicism became the official Roman Empire's religion in around 325 A.D.) and how hard he worked for the town.
One of these rhetorical and allegorical decorations was the relief of David fighting Goliath.
And here it is:

...

I know, David seems to wield a basket and that he's going to collect strawberries for his mom.
But he's fighting Goliath and that's a sling, as seen in the IVth Century A.D., I swear!

And this's the sarcophagus, with the fighting scene:

...

See? there's Christ, with the legatus and his wife at his feet, smaller than him.
The style and allegory of these decorations really anticipate Rennaissance's of about 1200 years!!

Greetings,
Mauro.
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kentuckythrower
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Re: A relief of David vs. Goliath!
Reply #1 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 4:47pm
 
It sure looks like a simple basket to me. I wonder why the sculptor decided to do that?
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: A relief of David vs. Goliath!
Reply #2 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 4:59pm
 
I don't really know!
To tell the truth, objects in this museum have not been studied yet. Just figure that they asked me and a friend of mine to study the piece of a fountain - and we were simple visiting the museum!
By the way, I agree to the fact that this is a representation of David vs Goliath, because the whole sarcophagus is decorated with scenes taken from the bible.
One hypotesis is that these figures are not so big (they've the size of a hand more or less), and they are secondary decorations: this, in addition to the fact that the sarcophagus is decorated in an allegoric way, makes me think that perhaps the sculptor focused more on the "battle versus a giant" concept to emphasize some virtues of the legatus, than on the proper representation of a sling.
Does David's body movement give us any clue?
By the way, the sling seems a braided one!
Greetings,
Mauro.
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kentuckythrower
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Re: A relief of David vs. Goliath!
Reply #3 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 5:06pm
 
The sling does appear to be braided, but David's stance seems to be nonchalant. Perhaps it's just artistic license at play.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: A relief of David vs. Goliath!
Reply #4 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 5:13pm
 
In fact he seems to show Goliath his new cloack. Oh well, Romans were depraved and effeminate, that's why the Empire is no more  Grin
Greetings,
Mauro.
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kentuckythrower
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Re: A relief of David vs. Goliath!
Reply #5 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 5:22pm
 
Very funny!!! Grin
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