Hidria de Heracles y el trípode de Delfos

The Greek vase in the history of Greece


Greek vases were testimony to the history of Greece. Through them we can see the formation of the Greek city-states around the middle of the 8th century BC, the commercial and colonial expansion of the 7th and 6th centuries BC, confrontation with the Persian threat and victory over it, the triumph of democracy in Athens, the building of Athenian imperialism, defeat by Sparta and the emergence of a more cosmopolitan world in the fourth century BC when new production centres arose in the Greek colonies in the south of Italy and Sicily.

In Greek culture, their ideas of the world, Man, nature and Gods was translated into images. Vase painting became extraordinarily important because it enabled complex stories to be introduced. Through their vases, Greek images have come down to us and with them their myths, religion and ritual, and day-to-day life, a figurative and symbolic code transmitting culture.

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Urania

Roman Hispania

2nd century BC to the 5th century AD


The Roman Empire was the first of the Western world. Through military conquest and economic and political expansion, the Roman state extended its domination, influence and culture from the western end of the Mediterranean to the Middle East and from the central regions of Europe to Upper Egypt.

Around the Mare Nostrum, very varied societies and cultures, including those on the Iberian Peninsula, were subjected to the power of Rome. This process caused profound social, economic and political transformations. The Roman cultural forms, combined with some of those remaining in the dominated societies, gave rise to a common culture: Latin culture.

Rome’s power was sustained by various pillars: an ideology which gave legitimacy to the new order; a political system supported by the army and a well organised administration; a social system structured into classes; and an economic system based on the exploitation of provincial resources, large-scale slave labour and a tax system.

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