How Art Made the World episode 3 Darius Invents the
Political Logo

Alexander's Face

The First
Political Lie


Andrew Fitzpatrick:
Gold at Stonehenge
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Alexander's Face

Alexander the Great went one step further than Darius in developing the political logo. A brilliant military strategist, Alexander set his sights on capturing the Persian empire around 330 BC, and within a few short years defeated the Persian armies and captured Persepolis. As a foreign invader, Alexander knew he had to win the hearts and minds of his new subjects, and he clearly understood the power of the logo art technique used by Darius. But Alexander had to come up with his own image unique -- and he did, he minted his own face on a coin. He instinctively understood that the human face was a powerful tool, and that people were influenced by what they saw in it.

Alexander knew he had to win the hearts and minds of his new subjects

But Alexander's political portrait - something entirely revolutionary at the time - wasn't thought up over night. On the contrary, from a small ivory head of Alexander's found in his father's tomb, it became clear to archeologist that Alexander's image had been designed for him long before he ever went to war with the Persians.

Studying too much art history
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