The Glyptotek celebrates the Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union

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In the Europe of Antiquity there existed an extensive common market. Now the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek presents a modest exhibition about trade in ancient Southern Europe and the links between Denmark and the Roman Empire. The exhibition opens on 1st February.

For the first half of 2012 Denmark holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The important issues are economics, responsibility, security and green energy. It is possible to see parallels with the Europe of Antiquity where trade commodities, technology and ideas were also exchanged.

Heroic Epics were the Branding of the Ancient World

Vases decorated with legends illustrate how the myths of the brave Greek and Trojan heroes spread to the west. The exchange of myths created a cultural community between indigenous populations and the incoming Greeks: a community which led to the flourishing of trade.

Via commercial voyages and colonies Greek goods and knowhow were distributed and were adopted by other cultures in the Mediterranean. Archaeological discoveries tell the story of how Greek finished goods were sought-after items which influenced developments in Southern Europe  

Roman treasures in Danish soil

The emperor Augustus’s failed attempt to expand the Roman Empire northwards through military might resulted in a new Roman Imperial foreign policy which consisted of trade and the exchange of costly goods with the chieftains and princes to the north. Occasionally these expensive Roman objects turn up during archaeological excavations in this country. In the Roman Iron Age (1st – 4th cent. AD.) such gifts were status symbols in the lives of rich chieftains and prestigious grave gifts when they died.

”The costly Roman discoveries in Denmark tell the story of the Roman Empire’s attempt to get on the right terms with the northern princes by means of precious gifts. This was an attempt at preventing attack from the Germanic territories”, explains classical archaeologist Jan Kindberg Jacobsen. Among the exhibits at the Glyptotek are the ”Byrsted Cups”, which are two superb Roman silver goblets discovered in a rich grave in Northern Jutland.

From grave gifts to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The exhibition comprises five cases displaying Roman discoveries lent by the Danish National Museum with objects from the Glyptotek’s own collection, together with a visual presentation of new finds from the Kroppedal Museum.

The exhibition runs parallel with the Glyptotek’s permanent collection of finds from the Mediterranean countries which are displayed in the Ancient Mediterranean section. On certain Sundays in the exhibition period there are guided tours of the exhibition. Read more on the Glyptotek calendar.

Title: The Common Market in Antiquity
Period: 1st February – 29th April 2012

Press kit is not available for download

Further information:
Jan Kindberg Jacobsen
Museum curator and classical archaeologist
Mobil: (+45) 27 84 12 24
Email: jaki@glyptoteket.dk

Pia Svejgaard Pedersen
Head of Communications
Mobil: (+45) 60 95 69 49
Email: psp@glyptoteket.dk
 

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