The thirst for progress, victories and conquests, desirepower to establish their dominance - all this is present in the cultures of all nations. But the Crete-Mycenaean civilization stands apart. We will not see in it any trembling before the fate, no glorification of the exploits of the conquerors, nor the deification of the despotic power.

Unlike the great creations from the ancientMesopotamia, Babylon and Egypt, the art of the island of Crete, located to the south of the Aegean Sea, reflected the pure joy of being, where life was depicted as a continuous holiday, and the perception of the world was serene, light, exultant. It is difficult to imagine a human society living in such an ideal world, but it is obvious that the people who created these cultural monuments believed in the magical power of art that reached its peak in the III and II millennium BC.

Ancient Crete became famous for its myths about the enamored gods, the legend of Icarus - the first man to fly into the sky. Here was born the patron of all gods - Zeus.

On the social structure of the ancient kingdom onThe island of Crete has very little information. But the Crete-Mycenaean civilization opens a certain veil of its secrets in the preserved monuments of architecture and art. One of the noteworthy phenomena, which testify to the special features of the Cretan building art, are the preserved palaces. The most famous of them is the Palace-labyrinth in Knossos. It is called so because of the intricate mysterious moves, the countless number of rooms.

Huge in the occupied area (twenty thousand square meters) the palace does not look heavy and bulky. This is the distinguishing feature of Cretan architecture.

the Mycenaean civilization

It must have been a daily lifecalm and comfortable among the white walls with dark columns along them, illuminated by natural sun rays, penetrating through special "light wells." In the storerooms, magnificent utensils have remained: gold and silver dishes, huge clay pithos for storing wine and olive oil.

But, perhaps, the most important value of Knossos Palace is wall painting.

Mycenaean civilization

One of the most remarkable fragments of painting -profile of a young woman. The eye, as was customary in the Egyptian canons, is in the front. But in this image is a completely different spirit - he is in a lively face, slightly upturned nose, swirling curls of dark hair. A vivacious, seductive image, which for no reason enshrined the name "Parisian".

The Crete-Mycenaean civilization found itscontinuation and further flourishing in Mycenae, where art flourished after the fall of Crete. Being strongly influenced by the culture of the latter, the Mycenaean civilization, nevertheless, had its own style features. This is evident, first of all, in the principles of urban planning, monumental sculpture and architecture.

Mycenaean constructions surround huge walls,made of natural stone. Other in style are the famous Lion's Gate. The relief depicting two lionesses is filled with an expression of strength and belligerence that were not characteristic of Cretan art.

Ancient Crete

The pathos of strength, the thirst for victory, sound in the hunting scenes depicted on gold-encrusted daggers.

Like other ancient cultures, the Crete-Mycenaeancivilization has sunk into oblivion. But thanks to the invaluable preserved cultural monuments, we can feel the departed world as it was at the dawn of its existence.

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