|Publication Date||December 1, 2004|
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Excerpt from the prologue written by the author MANOLIS ANDRONICOS, "It has been necessary to try to produce a text which will serve the needs of the specialist without ignoring those of the general reader. Such attempts are far from easy in execution and not infrequently succeed only in sacrificing academic integrity without providing adequate information for the non-specialist. It is not for me to say if I have achieved what I set out to do. Nevertheless, in addition to the text, there are the illustrations to the book which I believe contribute to the success of its purpose as I have defined it. A picture is always the best means - after the objects themselves - for every reader, specialist or not, to gain a closer idea of archaeological finds. Once I had decided to write the book I considered it essential not to limit myself to the recent impressive finds from the royal tombs, but to set before the reader a synoptic but solid account of all the archaeological finds in the area. In this way its considerable interest becomes comprehensible - an area which has yielded graves containing hand-made prehistoric pottery and bronze jewellery, a magnificent architectural complex dating to the last years of the fourth century, the theatre of a city, a small temple and a series of monumental Macedonian tombs with unique painted compositions of the classical period, masterpieces of jewellery made by Greek goldsmiths, of miniature sculpture and the most magnificent products of Greek metalworking. The brilliance of the latter sheds new light on the older finds so that these acquire their proper perspective. In addition to all this, the finds from Vergina provide new information about Macedonian Hellenism, our knowledge of which so far is based almost exclusively on literary sources emanating from Athens. It is natural that that city, the only serious political rival to Macedonia, should frequently distort its enemy's true face and denigrate its historical contribution to the development of Hellenism, at least before the meteoric rise of Alexander the Great."