So why are they referred to as The Elgin Marbles? Ah, the plot thickens.
|Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and 11th Earl of Kincardine by Anton Graff (around 1788).|
Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire in November of 1798. Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin was given a new responsiblilty, "Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of His Britannic Majesty to the Sublime Porte of Selim III, Sultan of Ottoman Empire"
This was a post he wanted and pursued because of his love of art and the opportunity to have sketches, paintings, and moldings of Greek art copied while he and his wife Mary were in such an advantageous situation. However, one thing led to another and instead of copying the art Elgin had workers actually begin to dismantle the sculptures and friezes of the Pathenon. One witness to this abomination was Edward Dodwell, a traveler to the area. He states, "During my first tour of Greece, I had the inexpressible mortification of being present when the Parthenon was despoiled of its finest sculptures . . . " Thus the Parthenon sculptures became known as the Elgin Marbles because he took them back to England among incredible controversy. And that's just the beginning of the story.
|Parthenon Selene Horse|
Lord Byron, the English poet who joined the Greek War of Independence fighting against the Ottoman Empire had his own perspective.
|Lord Byron in Albanian dress|
- Dull is the eye that will not weep to see Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed
- By British hands, which it had best behoved To guard those relics ne'er to be restored.
- Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved, And once again thy hapless bosom gored,
- And snatch'd thy shrinking gods to northern climes abhorred!
- My next series will revolve around these fascinating sculptures and I hope to finish my first draft of Athena's Curse during National Novel Writing Month in November. There is too much history to be revealed here in this short space but do you begin to choose a side in this ongoing battle yet? Now, two centuries later do you think the Pathenon Marbles should be returned to Greece? Here's a link to a short video with Christopher Hutchins and the modern debate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJd63IrK4KY
- I'm pleased to giveaway a copy of my favorite instrumental CD titled, Renaissance, by Mark Schultz. Just leave a comment by midnight Pacific Time on Saturday November 8th and I'll announce a winner sometime Sunday on the 9th. An early Thanksgiving appreciation for HHH fans and those who love to read Jillian Kent Books.
If you are interested in pursuing your own studies I highly recommend reading, The Elgin Affair by Theodore Vrettos and The Elgin Marbles; Should they be returned to Greece? by Christopher Hitchens with essays by Robert Browning adn Graham Binns.
- Jillian is employed as a counselor for
nursing students in Cincinnati, Ohio and possesses a masters degree in
social work. She is a member of the American Association of Christian
Counselors and passionate about mental health, wellness, and stomping
out the stigma of mental illness. She also coordinates and frequently contributes to The Well Writer within Christian Fiction Online Magazine. Learn more about Jillian and her novels at www.jilliankent.com