Joy of Museums

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Myrtle Wreath

Hellenic Museum, Melbourne - Joy of Museums - Myrtle Wreath

This “Myrtle Wreath” is a gold wreath imitating natural myrtle and have been found in the royal tombs of Macedonia, Asia Minor and southern Italy. Wreaths of Myrtle were associated with the Goddesses Aphrodite, Demeter and Persephone. The crowning of the dead with a wreath signified that they were worthy of being rewarded with eternal life after death. Most of the Myrtle Wreaths that survive today from antiquity were found in graves.

Greeks wore wreaths for special events and received them as athletic and artistic prizes and honours. The myrtle leaves and blossoms on the myrtle wreath were cut from thin sheets of thin gold, stamped and incised details and then wired onto the stems.

Other historical antiquities at the Hellenic Museum, Melbourne include:

Essential Facts:

  • Name:                 Myrtle Wreath
  • Date:                    4th – 3rd Century BCE
  • Period:                Cypro-Archaic II
  • Material:            Gold
  • Museum:            Hellenic Museum, Melbourne

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“Honour is priceless and glad be he who has it.” Greek Proverb

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Photo Credit: By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons