Enter Alexander: The Battle of Chaeronea at the Museum of Cycladic Art

Some 240 antiquities and historical items from 27 museums in Greece and abroad and 4 private collections are included in the new exhibition titled “Chaeronea, 2 August 338 BC: A day that changed the world” that opens at the Museum of Cycladic Art (MCA) in Athens on Thursday.

The exhibition highlights the importance the Battle of Chaeronea had in ancient times, at the transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic period. “The latter became an era in which Greek civilization was dominant for centuries and laid the foundations of what we call the Western world,” the MCA notes. “The theme is the battle that opposed the Macedonian army of Philip II against that of the allied Greek cities of southern Greece – and in particular the Sacred Band of Thebes and the army of Athens – a conflict that for the first time brought the eighteen-year-old Alexander to the front line of history: Alexander who was soon to conquer the world with his great campaigns in Asia.”

Several of the objects are on public view for the first time, with archaeological evidence originating in excavations of the Polyandrion of the Thebans and the Tumulus of the Macedonians, both sites of multiple burials. Some have not been fully published, while several were studied in detail during preparations for the exhibition.

One of the outstanding exhibitions is that of the tomb of the warrior from Igoumenitsa wearing unique battle gear, the historical Macedonian shield inscribed with the name of King Alexander, golden staters (coins) issued by Philip, Alexander, and his successors, and the bones of the Sacred Band of Thebes soldiers.