Greco-Roman Redux

Mid-Century Modern "Greco-Roman" Cocktail Service (LEO Design)

The Greco-Roman World was vast and influential.  It spanned over 12 centuries and covered a vast part of the world—from Spain (in the West) to the Russian Caucasus (in the East), from the top of Britain (in the North) to the top of Africa (in the South).  Its beginning (and ending) is difficult to clearly define; rather, the government (and its culture) built-up and expanded with time.  Nevertheless, historians (roughly) mark the “traditional” beginning of the Empire in the 8th or 7th Century BC, concurrent with the life of Homer and the establishment of the first Ancient Olympic Games (776 BC).  The end of the empire is even more difficult to “date stamp.”  Some historians say 476 AD (with the deposing of the Western Roman Emperor) while others say 529 (with the closing of the Platonic Academy). In any case, by the 7th and 8th Centuries AD, Muslim forces were already beginning to exert influence over much of the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Eastern Europe, bringing “The Classical Period” to an end.

But the Greco-Roman World was more than just territory and political dominance.  It was a way of thought, a series of new, Western ideals, and systems of education, discourse and political organization.  As the Empire spread, so did the Greek and Latin languages—especially within elite, urban circles.  Aesthetically, the Greco-Roman Empire represented a flowering of the arts and architecture—with much of this design aiming to elevate the human mind and spirit.  1,000 years later, after the dark ages of the Medieval Period, Classical Antiquity proved a fertile source for artistic re-birth, namely The Renaissance.

The six-piece cocktail service, pictured above, marks another (small) revival of the Greco-Roman heyday.  Made in the 1960’s or 1970’s, it is decorated with icons of the Classical period—chariots, amphorae, coins, laurel crowns and Spartan helmets—set into a Mod Cubist arrangement of black and 22 karat gold.  Please come into the shop to see it in-person or call us for further information.


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