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| Thesis|Thinking on Space Art|Glossary

Glossary for Thinking on Space Art 10

 

Written and translated by Taketoshi Murayama

Original translation is rewritten by Michiko Takahashi Christofis

 


    Brahmanism

 

The Brahman is folk religion in ancient India that has Scriptures of Veda and other sacred books. It means approximately same as the religion of ancient Veda. With a variety of Indian folk religions and popular beliefs being added, Brahmanism was gradually reorganized into Hinduism.

Brahma
Brahma

The priestly class is endowed with special power, and is respected as existence near gods. The priestly class is called Brahmin or Brahman, and deemed as equal to Brahma, the godhood ( the personal god ) of the fundamental principle of the universe.

The supreme god is not definite. Each god worshiped in each ritual is placed in the position of the supreme god. There is the caste as a class system. With the priestly class, or Brahman (Brahmin), at the highest rank, the caste are composed of the royalty ( the Kshatriya ), the people ( the Vaishya ) and the slave ( the Shudras ). Neither replacement of the caste nor marriage across the castes is possible.

Around the 13th century B.C., the Aryans invaded India; Brahmanism was formed in the process of their dominating aborigines the Dravidians, who were thought to have made the Indus civilization.

Around the 10th century B.C., as the Aryans started to mix with the Dravidians, their religions started to fuse accordingly. Around the 5th century B.C., Brahmanism was settled into shape as religion with the establishment of four main Vedas in present form and style. At the same period, in opposition to the Brahmanismfs claiming on the supremacy of the Brahmin class, Buddhism and Jainism as the beginning, a lot of new religions and thoughts were born. Since Buddhism, specifically, denied the superiority of the caste and the Brahman, it acquired support from the

Siva
Siva
Vishnu
Vishnu

kshatriya, the royalty, who was not pleased with Brahmanfs dominance. The status of Siva and Vishnu rose, in or about the 1st century A.D., in the form of taking in indigenous folk religions and popular beliefs. Sometime around the 1st century, the influence of Brahmanism was on the decline. It was not before the 4th century A.D. that Brahmanism incorporated other Indian folk religions to be reorganized, developed and acceded into Hinduism.

 

(Written and translated by Taketoshi Murayama. Original translation is rewritten by Michiko Takahashi Christofis)



   The pyramid in Egypt

 

The stone building which was extensively made from the time of the Third to the Fifth Dynasty in the old kingdom of ancient Egypt. Generally, it is assumed that it was made for kingfs tomb, but there is another opinion that it might have been public utilities at the farmersf leisure season. Its etymology is puramis in Greek; in ancient Egyptian language, it was called g Mr h. It was a huge stones piled in the shape of a square base with all sides meeting at a top, housing passages and rooms inside it; this structure was thought to function as stair or slope for kingfs ascending to heaven, with its slanting outward form imitating the sunlight.

The pyramid was not completed singularly, and thus it should be thought as a complex with accompanying funeral temple and so on. In the typical example of big pyramid, basically there is an entrance on the northern surface at the main unit of the pyramid. There are also unsolved devices such as a path to the possible coffin chamber, a mysterious mechanism called " relieving chambers " and so on.

The Step Ryramid
The Step Pyramid
The collapse Pyramid
The collapse pyramid
The Bent Pyramid
The Bent Pyramid
The Red Pyramid
The Red Pyramid
Pyramids of Giza
Three big pyramids of Giza

The Step Pyramid was the prototype of so-called pyramid, and the first of this kind was the one which king Djoser built in Saqqara during the Third Dynasty. It was originally constructed as square mastabas which depended on sun-dried bricks, but later it turned into a huge stepped stone building with piled bricks.

During the Fourth Dynasty period, king Sneferu made various types of pyramid based on existing one through trial and error. The first one with 51 degrees gradient made in Meidum was collapsed because of its too steep inclination. (It is called gthe collapse pyramidh or gthe false pyramidh.) Next, as an improvement of the previous one, king Sneferu built the one called the Bent Pyramid which loosened a gradient halfway. (The inclination was changed from approx. 54 degrees to 43 degrees at the spot of 49 meters above ground. The height is approx. 101 meters. ) Incidentally, there is a different opinion about the reason for curving an inclination.

Since the Bent Pyramid did not have an aesthetic outward appearance, king Sneferu built the Red Pyramid whose sides are isosceles triangles with approx. 43 degrees inclination in Dahshur. The third one completed the outward form of so-called authentic pyramid. As stated above, the fact that Sneferu built three pyramids in his generation is said to provide grounds for the opinion that pyramid is not a kingfs tomb.

King Khufu, the next king after Sneferu, made the worldfs biggest pyramid in Giza. The inclination is 51 degrees and 52 minutes. Each side of the bottom reaches 230 meters, and 144 meters in height. The pyramid of the second king Khafre is equal to this in size; 215 meters of bottoms and 143.5 meters in height. The king Menkaurefs pyramid adjacent to these two has 108 meters of bottoms, 66.5 meters in height on account of reducing the scale.

These three are called three big pyramids of Giza. Polished stone casings were put on the surface of them but, taken off to use for the pavement in Cairo city, at present, only a little portion remains around the apex of the pyramid of king Khafre and on the foundation of each pyramid.

With the big pyramid of king Khufu as vertex, production scale was reduced from then onward, and architectural interest shifted to the fullness of funeral temples, reflecting the change of Egyptian's sense of values and view of religion. Incidentally, the recent yearfs archaeological discovery made it clear that laborers engaged in the pyramid construction were given vacations and salaries, therefore, they were not slaves.

(Written and translated by Taketoshi Murayama. Original translation is rewritten by Michiko Takahashi Christofis)



  Shi-huang-di

 

(B.C. 258 - B.C. 210)     First Chinese emperor

 

The monocrat who was the first to built up the full centralization system of administrative power with the use of force in China. Before unification by him, China had a long period of warring feudal states, as there were only feudalistic kings reigning over big powerful families, or rulers of local states. Regions which inherited the advanced farming bronze culture, the Huang River civilization, were limited to a few: the south of the Huang He River, the north of the Yangtze River and the east of present Sichuan province; and their environs belonged to another cultural area. Nevertheless, political unification of these narrow regions hardly happened. The fabled unifier kings called " the Three August Ones and the Five Emperors " or reign by a man of virtue as Confucianism preaches were assumed but nothing beyond. 

Shi-huang-di was born as a prince of the Qin Dynasty and ascended to the throne, nominally, in his childhood. As a rumor that he was a child between his mother and her ex-husband circulated, real power was seized by his mother and prime minister, who is thought of as his real father. In such a situation, he seemed to have been implanted a strong distrust sense to the human being from his infancy. He trusted only power, and was attracted to inborn evil opinion, a heterodoxy of Confucianism. As a result, the exceptional political culture in China, dynasty of coercive centralism and severe domination by decree, was created. However, whether orthodox or heterodoxy of Confucianism made no great difference in regard to correction of Chinesef adoration for power and the tendency of deviation from law, also, made no change to the fact that the history of China develops centering on tug-of-war over power.

In his times, seven kingdoms battled for hegemony in China, and he took complete control of the other six states by force. Since Qin Dynasty was situated at the westernmost part of China, also the east entrance of the Silk Road, there is a probability that the import of latest arm technology from the west contributed to Qin Dynasty's military predominance.

After the conquest of whole China by force, he unified characters and standardized from the measuring unit of weight, length, volume to the width of road. He was a genius in terms of appointment of the talented in politics and military affairs, on the other hand, he was not in very good health, so fooled by suspicious persons who recommend medicines for eternal youth and longevity. Further, by imposing an enormous amount of war expenditure on his people, for confrontation against the Huns in the north and for substantial territory expansion to the south of the Yangtze River, as well as by abusing them for the construction of huge palace and tomb, he completely lost the popular mind. And thus, his empire collapsed immediately after his death.

The Han Dynasty replaced his empire and, while remaining in power for some 400 years, it laid the foundations of Chinese culture. The rule of Han Dynasty could not have realized without political inheritance from Shi-huang-di.

Mao Tse-tung
Mao Tse-tung

Incidentally, present Chinese Communist Party tries to use his achievements to justify its coercive suppression system. But the imprudent use of his name may be conductive to apotheosis of Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976 Chinese monocrat), whose image strongly overlaps with Shi-huang-di, andalso may have a danger of bringing about reevaluation of the Great Cultural Revolution, the value of which has been rejected by the Party. Therefore, the Party is also using orthodox Confucianism as an implement of taming people.

(Written and translated by Taketoshi Murayama. Original translation is rewritten by Michiko Takahashi Christofis)



    Michelangelo Buonarroti

 

(1475-1564)  Italian space artist

 

Michelangelo solely left masterpieces for coming ages showing genius in all the three categories of space art, that is, architecture, sculpture and painting, at the time of Italian Renaissance. He was the first and probably the last godsent child of space art. It is possible to say that his existence exemplifies that fine art is space art.

Donatello
Donatello

In Florence, his fatherfs birthplace, he was protected by the Lord Medici family; while studying ancient sculptures which the family was collecting, he acquired cultures about classical literatures and the Holy Bible. And he derived much inspiration from sculptures of Donatello (sDonato di Niccolotc.1386-1466 Italian sculptor) and paintings of Masaccio (sTommaso di Giovanni di Simone Guidit1401-1428 Italian painter) as well. Playing an active part primarily in Florence and Rome, he left a large number of art works commissioned by the Medici and the Pope. In spite of being at the mercy of their capriciousness and political anticipation, and of encountering a lot of tribulation, he tided over them with ardor to creation and superhuman mental power. He fulfilled a natural span of life and opened art style of the following times.

Baroque art is placed on the extension of his style. However, in this Vatican-led and Hapsburg-promoted style under the concept of the Counter-Reformation, works of Michelangelo, who was often antagonistic to the Pope and was supporting republic Florence, were not necessarily welcomed. The person who obtained the best art mind like him has his own political world as accompaniment of creation, and thus there was no room for him to accept the sovereign of any human beings, except God.

Vasari
Giorgio Vasari
Raffaello
Raffaello Sanzio
Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp

His adherent Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574 Italian painter, architect, biographer) tried to make a cue from Michelangelofs creations by instituting " Accademia del Disegno " in Florence. However, in Italy, where there were many small independencies, the academy which had strong regulatory power was never constructed. The academism later moved to France, and Michelangelo became exemplar of sculpture. However, because works of ancient Greece were regarded as the best authority, and additionally, painting gained ascendancy since the baroque times, Raffaello Sanzio (1483-1520 Italian painter) was accredited with more influential exemplar. The academy in the United Kingdom had deep understanding of architecture but, having succeeded to Gothic tradition, was cool toward Michelangelo who was a master of Renaissance architecture.

For those reasons, in spite of being suitable to play a central role of the academism, his works were always placed out of its frame. His works could not help remaining aloof like his actual life.

In this way, his achievements were given the status as the best level of space art but, being placed in the isolated height from this reason, they had no room for epigones to be born. Since his works were the embodiment of Renaissance mind itself, upon the end of the period, his works became a historic existence at once. Thus, a possible his true successor should embody all art minds of his time, but it is unlikely that such a person emerges. And in the actual history, it took very long time until the next space artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968 French-born acting in US) appears.

(Written and translated by Taketoshi Murayama. Original translation is rewritten by Michiko Takahashi Christofis)


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