Images of Medieval African Kingship, Real and Imagined

A brief introduction to famous African rulers and their impact on medieval and Renaissance European culture. By Dr. Bryan C. Keene Adjunct Professor of Art History Pepperdine University Introduction The exhibition Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art (on view at the Getty Center until February 16, 2020) examines the figure of the[…]

The Immortals: Ancient Persia’s Elite Fighting Force

Introduction The Ten Thousand Immortals were the elite force of the Persian army of the Achaemenid Empire (c. 550-330 BCE). They formed the king’s personal bodyguard and were also considered the shock troops of the infantry in Persian warfare. Their name comes from the policy of always keeping their number at exactly 10,000; if one[…]