Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hellenic Armorer

Given that my interests range from Mycenae to the Middle Byzantine and most things in between I was pleasantly surprised when I got to see the Hellenic Armor’s website.  While the site is mainly  in Greek you can switch on Google translator to help you out.

Many armourers come from a purely technical background. They rely on the research work of others and while their technical skills are excellent their research lets them down. Or they use tools and techniques that weren’t around during the period. Hellenic Armors are all hand forged (without machine hammers) in Greece by their creator Dimitris Katsikis.

Three reconstructed Byzantine "klibanos" natural size from the private collection of Dimitris Katsikis hosted as exhibits in the hall of the Museum Dumbarton Oaks Museum and Research Library in Washington DC. The transport of exhibits held under international symposium titled "Warfare in the Byzantine World, Military Men in Byzantium, Emperors, Saints, and Soldiers at Arms" which took place between April 30 - May 2, 2010 at the premises of the Research Centre in the organization of Byzantine history professor John Ialdon (Princeton University) and Gudrun Buehl (Curator of Dumbarton Oaks Museum). A Kataphrakt panoply is on its way...

As part of the Programme of Cultural Events "Science - Society-E Circle" on "The War in the time of Byzantium" held between 01 - 29/03/2011 at the National Research Foundation under the organization of the Institute of Byzantine Research (IBR ), attendees had the opportunity to see Byzantine armor reconstructions based on archaeological and artistic monuments of the era (10th-13th century). Creator of the exhibits is Dimitris Katsikis who after a successful report to the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (Trustees for Harvard University) in Washington DC launched the first part of the works of the Greek public. The circle opened talks with the speech of the Director of the Institute of Byzantine Research Professor Commander G. Kollias.

Dimitris  is frank and admits that the “linothorax question” is far from settled and that the literary and archaeological evidence is insufficient to make hard and fast pronouncements. However, he has examined the research material available, archaeological finds and the variety of armour typologies represented in the iconography of vases and sculpture to inform his construction techniques. In each of the examples he has on his web site he cites the inspiration for his work.

Dimitris has four linothorakes on his website and admits these are experimental reconstructions. In each case he explains the sources he has relied upon to inform his construction decisions. His approach is refreshingly honest and avoids the exaggeration made by some suppliers only interested in making a dollar from the public. To date Dimitris has invested a lot of time in research at the same time as continuing his busy professional life.  What I like about his stuff is that it doesn’t look like a flimsy Halloween costume.

He has made Sasanian armour based on the Dura-Europos drawing, has had his ancient Greek armour exhibited in Korea and in May - August 2010 his replicas of Byzantine armour were displayed during the exhibition Military Men in Byzantium: Emperors, Saints, and Soldiers at Arms at Dumbarton Oaks. His works were also exhibited at " War in the time of Byzantium " event held between 1st – 29th May, 2011 at the National Research Foundation under the auspices of the Institute of Byzantine Research (IBR) in Greece.

Below is the experimental klibanion based on the 11th C fresco of St Nestor in Kastoria Greece. You are too late to buy this one it has a new home but I am sure Dimitris can make you one!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Its all Greek to me...

Christopher Marchetti of Tadora press says "Learning the language of the ancient Greeks is the best way we can vividly experience their unparalleled contribution to our culture and civilization." Many would agree. This language has been around for a long time, it spills over into song and drama. It was used to keep Mycenaean accounts, to capture the epics of Homer, it is a gateway to the historians, playwrights and philosophers during the Athenian Golden Age, and to the New Testament. Byzantine military manuals and a vast array of medical, mathematical, atronomical and early scientific works are preserved by it.

It has made a large contribution to the vocabularies of modern languages and was a standard subject of study in Western educational institutions from the Renaissance to the early 20th century. Even some volumes of Asterix have been written in Attic Greek and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has been translated into Ancient Greek as well. The 2010 science fiction television series Caprica,  set in the universe of Battlestar Galactica but  years before the events seen in Battlestar Galactica, uses Ancient Greek as a basis for the Tauron language.

In a previous blog I introduced you to the Elpinor site as a Port of Call. They are not the only people teaching the Ancient Greek language. You can kick off by reading these pages:

The Intelligent Person’s Guide To Greek by William Harris Prof. Em. Middlebury College

So You Want to Learn Ancient Greek on Your Own? by Stephen M. Trzaskoma

You should enjoy these sites as well:

Greek Grammar on the Web is perhaps one of the best single source for information about online resources for students of ancient Greek by Prof. Marc Huys. Dr. Huys has divided the sites into easy to use categories . Having visited each of the sites and evaluated their content, he has given them individual ratings as well as provided short summaries. This site was designed to make our lives easy.

Ancient Greek Tutorials, by Donald J. Mastronarde with the assistance of the Berkeley Language Center of the University of California, Berkeley. There is a Unicode and GreekKeys version. This site is made available to all users by the courtesy of the University of California Press. Although much of it is based on a specific textbook for ancient Greek , the tutorials should be helpful to anyone learning ancient Greek from any textbook.

Greek Language and Linguistics - Their primary objective is to foster the application of research methods from the field of Linguistics to the study of Hellenic and Hellenistic Greek. In addition to tools to support learning Ancient Greek, we provide resources to encourage the study of various forms of Linguistics and their application to Ancient Greek. You can select options for Online and Print Resources for beginning Greek, Intermediate Greek and Advanced Studies. Links to blogs and other great resources can be found here as well.

Ancient Greek Online - The author Richard Welland Crowell says the site was designed to be a learning environment for students as well as a reading room for scholars. The large print Greek is easy on the eyes. The Internet has returned us to the scrolling method of reading texts, which lends itself particularly well to the project at hand. I like his polemical tone:”This is a time of crisis for the Humanities. In colleges and universities across the country, Classics departments are being dismantled or simply left to die of attrition as professors retire without being replaced. We are once again entering upon a Dark Age when classical learning is regarded as irrelevant to the poorly understood needs of an increasingly violent and irrational world. Like the Irish monks of the 8th and 9th centuries, we must go quietly about the task of preserving and disseminating the keystones of classical civilization before they are lost from consciousness.”

Textkit  -This is an all free language education website. Our core content is our library of freely downloadable Greek language books and our Greek Forums.Textkit was created to help people learn Greek and Latin. They are a free online learning resource that provides downloadable Greek and Latin grammars and readers. They also provide an extensive and ever growing collection of classical e-books in English, Greek and Latin. Wonderful stuff...

World Wide Ancient Greek - Learning Ancient Greek is the interactive, online complement to Cecelia Luschnig's An Introduction to Ancient Greek: A Literary Approach. This is a traditional beginner's text, written in a conversational tone, as though between equals of good will and common purpose. You can find Callias’ Alphabet song on this site. Oops sorry, forgot we are all learners here, Callias was an Athenian comic poet of the 5th c. This song by the chorus may have come from his comedy called the Alphabet Tragedy.

The Linguistic Research Centre at the University of Texas has on offer the seies Classical Greek Online by Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum. This set of lessons is for systems/browsers with Unicode® support, including full Greek script (with polytonic letters). Lessons rendered in alternate character sets are available via links (Romanized and Unicode 2). No faffing about they get into it from the start.

Learn How to Write Ancient Greek Online - A no frills introduction. Over the course of the lesson, You are shown the various forms of writing Greek, andlearn how to write them yourself. You'll also learn how to write and pronounce words and phrases once you've mastered the basics of the alphabet. Then comes the link so you can learn and practice the Greek alphabet even more with their: Learn to Write Ancient Greek work book. Nevertheless, this website has videos, exercises and explanations about Greek writing. It's divided into the following sections:The Early Greek Alphabet (how to write uppercase Greek), The Later Uncial Script, The Greek Minuscule Script (how to write lowercase Greek), The Byzantine Minuscule Script, Harder Bits of Greek Pronunciation and an FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about Ancient Greek Writing. A great resource for calligraphers.

The Greek Language A good introduction to resources with some of Stephen M. Trzaskoma's own rsources. Some links are broken but this is a valuable site.

Systematische Grammatik der griechischen Sprache - in German but it is bristling with many paradigm charts in Unicode.

Ἑλληνιστί (Hellenisti) - a website dedicated to the Koine Greek language. Koine Greek was the common language of the Mediterranean world from the time of Alexander the Great. Also, Koine Greek is the language of the New Testament. Not a bad site as I am sure many of you will be interested in Koine

Bibliotheca Graeca is an alphabetical and chronological listing of Greek texts by Ulrich Harsch  - part of the Bibliotheca Augustana. What spun me out was that the navigation is in Latin! Nevertheless you will find translations into a number of modern languages when you find the text you are looking for.

Society for the Oral Reading of Greek and Latin Literature (SORGLL)  It is the aim of SORGLL to encourage students and teachers to listen to and to reproduce the sounds of Greek and Latin literature, thereby enriching the whole study process of these languages. Fortunately, linguistic and metrical research of the last century now permits us to acquire a close approximation of the pronunciation of classical Greek and Latin, a result which they call the "restored pronunciation" .

Ports of call:
Hollow-Lakedaimon - The Online Phitidion - One of my favourite blogs. For all things Spartan, Paul Bardunias' blog is a breath of fresh air. He has a nice gallery to browse but best of all he is enaging with re-enactors to assist groups in generating quantitative data on various aspects of hoplite combat. This would be hard data, numbers that you could crunch to provide a true comparison between individuals and between hoplite reenactment groups. Not the dreaded scientific method! I wont spoil any of this for you. Have a read.

Aoidoi -  is classical Greek for "bards," like Homer, or just "poets." by William S. Annis. This site is dedicated to the study of ancient Greek poetry from the Epics to Anacreontics. Most of the work is directed at producing versions of Greek poems with vocabulary, grammar and dialect notes for beginners. William Annis is a professional computer geek who has been interested in classical languages his entire life. He has a wonderful introduction to Greek Meter, Greek Dialects and an interesting observation on The Error of Caragounis, a summary of some problems with C. Caragounis' notion that Ancient and Modern Greek are pronounced identically. My favourite is on how to compose Haiku in Greek.

Network for the Study of Archaic and Classical Greek Song - This network was founded in the Spring of 2007 at the initiative of Ewen Bowie (University of Oxford) and André Lardinois (Radboud University Nijmegen). Its main purpose is to share information and exchange ideas between scholars interested in the study of archaic and classical lyric, elegiac and iambic poetry. The website is hosted by the Department of Classics at the Radboud University Nijmegen. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, NWO, has kindly provided funds both for the setting up of this website and for meetings of the network in the first three years.

The Woodhouse English-Greek Dictionary - A Vocabulary of the Attic Language by S. C. WOODHOUSE, M.A. Late Scholar of Christ Church, Oxford London George Routledge & Sons, Limited Broadway House, Ludgate Hill, E.C. 1910 . A wonderfully useful relic
The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names (LGPN) was established in 1972 as a Major Research Project of the British Academy, at the suggestion of Peter Marshall Fraser, Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford and a Fellow of the Academy. On acceptance of the proposal, Fraser was appointed Director of the project and Chairman of a supervisory committee. From the start, LGPN involved international collaboration, scholars from many countries being invited to contribute material and advice; but the Editors and central staff have always worked in Oxford. In October 1996, the project became part of Oxford University, under the aegis of the Faculty of Literae Humaniores, now the Faculty of Classics. It is a member of the group of Oxford Classics Research Projects. It draws  on the full range of written sources from the 8th century B.C. down to the late Roman Empire. Excellent.

Tadora Press currently has one book available, "Elementary Ancient Greek Unit 1" by Christopher Marchetti. This book was written to introduce basic patterns of Greek grammar without exceptions in the initial chapters. For example, to facilitate learning the rules of accentuation, only oxytone nouns are introduced in the first five chapters. The treatment of verbs is similarly simplified. The book is designed to provide maximum practice with the basic grammatical structures of an inflected language. Unit 1 has 15 chapters but Unit 2 is incomplete. A hard copy is available.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Prolific Tim Spalding - Oracles, Divination, Astrology and much more...

Tim Spalding’s The Oracle of Delphi and Ancient Oracles website is an organized, annotated list of more than 160 links on Greek and Roman oracles, including Delphi, Dodona, Didyma and others. It includes everything from serious academic articles and books to material pitched to grade-school kids.This site is actually a spin off of his other popular site Ancient Divination and Astrology on the Web. Tim has over 85 images of oracles and wants more. He will list anything relevant. Email him at

Ancient Divination and Astrology on the Web has over 215 links to original sources rather than flakey misrepresentations. He is not a believer in astrology or any other form of divination himself,. he is interested in ancient culture, of which astrology and divination are important aspects. His strict policy to include anything remotely useful, but his comments strive to identify the most reliable material. Not all this material is  "academic," but all of it has a scholar's attention to evidence and personal detachment.

Alexander the Great on the web - You must visit Tim's top site on Alexander the Great, so comprehensive it had to be split into two sites:

Site 1: Alexander the Great on the Web - This site contains 1,000 resources about Alexander the Great from history to the Hollywood movie—sorted, described and rated. He spent five years searching the web for this stuff, so you don't have to. Start with Alexander in Brieffor biographies long and short. Army and Battles covers Alexander the military commander.Alexander's Character explores Alexander the individual, including sub-sections on Alexander's sexuality, his religious feelings (chiefly, did he think himself a god?), and so forth. His death and (lost) tomb get their own sections. The rich but troublesome Greek and Latin sources get three sections: about the sources,texts on the web, printed translations

Site 2: Alexander in Images - This site catalogues some 400 images of Alexander from ancient statues to medieval illuminations to the recent movie.

Just when you thought he didn't have anymore time on his hands he has also given us  Cleopatra on the Web. Cleopatra on the Web is a comprehensive guide to Cleopatra VII in history and the western imagination. Includes over 580 resources and 168 images.

Ports of call:

The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook is an oldie but a goodie. Paul Halsall has done a sterling job.
Elpenor is a bilingual anthology of all periods of Greek literature,including Homer, the Lyric poets, Presoccratic philosophers, lessons in Classical Greek and much much more. They feature a Forum and Help pages. Wonderful stuff

Centre for Hellenic Studies is a  research institute located in Washington D.C.that is affiliated with Harvard University. It was founded in 1962 by means of an endowment made "exclusively for the establishment of an educational center in the field of Hellenic Studies designed to re-discover the humanism of the Hellenic Greeks." This humanistic vision remains the driving force of The Center for Hellenic Studies.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review publishes timely reviews of current scholarly work in the field of classical studies (including archaeology). This site is the authoritative archive of BMCR's publication, from 1990 to the present. Reviews from August 2008 on are also posted on their blog.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Antikythera Mechanism

In 1901 divers working off the isle of Antikythera found the remains of a clocklike mechanism 2,000 years old. The mechanism now appears to have been a device for calculating the motions of stars and planets. The three main fragments of the Antikythera Mechanism are on display at the Bronze Collection of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The Mechanism has been kept within the Museum collections since its discovery in 1901. Other bronze artefacts from the Antikythera wreck are also on display within the same room, while statues and other objects from the wreck (like magnificent glassware) can be admired in other rooms and the atrium.

Professor Michael Edmunds of Cardiff University who led a recent study of the mechanism said: "This device is just extraordinary, the only thing of its kind. The design is beautiful, the astronomy is exactly right. The way the mechanics are designed just makes your jaw drop. Whoever has done this has done it extremely terms of historic and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa."

As one of the world's oldest known geared devices, it has puzzled and intrigued historians of science and technology since its discovery. A number of individuals and groups have been instrumental in advancing the knowledge and understanding of the mechanism including: Derek J. de Solla Price (with Charalampos Karakalos); Allan George Bromley (with Frank Percival, Michael Wright and Bernard Gardner); Michael Wright and The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project (AMRP).

The magic of the web brings the mechanism into our homes. For those who are numerate The American Mathematical Society has some interesting notes if you are so inclined.

Those of a high tech and practical frame of mind can visit Bob Warfield's site for CNC machinists and have a go at making one themselves Notes on Constructing an Orrery / Antikythera Mechanism

The fun doesnt stop there. Oh no, just search YouTube for The Antikythera Mechanism and you will see animations and working models galore...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How to make a Xiphos

myArmoury is a superb forum dedicated to the variety of sources of information which have been created for the practitioner and in particular the collector of modern reproductions. This includes both off the shelf and bespoke antique arms and armour. It is their goal to help educate the collector and enthusiast regarding the various aspects and particulars of the modern replica.

In years past many have wasted their hard earned money through a trial and error process of self-education. The myArmoury team hope that the information presented will help create more knowledgeable practitioners and collectors by helping us all make better informed purchasing decisions. They have sections on Features, Reviews, Collections, Albums, Books and a Forum. One of the best threads of the Forum is the Makers and Manufacturers thread. My favourite!

Finally Shane Allee, who is a self confessed admirer of build threads, has captured his own making of a xiphos. Superb work and the blade is not over engineered like some of the off the shelf and bespoke offerings for sale.. See the Forum Index > Makers and Manufacturers Talk > Greek Xiphos.

Shane's own site Iron Age Armory is following the build as well - but don't forget to look at his site - great inspiration!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New friends from over the hills and far away...

I'd like to introduce you to my new friends from far away - well far away from Australia:
                                                      Anabasis -
First we have Andrew ( Andrey Lovchikov ) from "Anabasis" a new club in St Petersburg. They have just started a new Live Journal page . Their focus is the Bosporan Greek Kingdoms. From a practical perspective costume and arms will suit their weather pattern. So adaption of Scythian clothing will not go astray. Their difficulty will be to document what they are doing. They have access to their museums and archaeological reports and numismatics but as the literary record is pretty sparse they would love to hear from you if you have new information. The page is in Russian but they are going to add English translations of Russian articles. (I use the Google translator myself.) You can contact Anabasis by leaving a comment on their Live Journal page or by emailing Andrew:
                                                    Sardinian Warrior -
Talk about exotic and eclectic! Sardinian Warrior  is the creation of Alessandro Lessa. You’ll need to switch on your Italian translator – especially if you want to wander off and explore his other blogs and links. The first settlers on Sardinia were the enigmatic Nurag people of the Bronze Age, famous for their beehive live structures that are very like tholos tombs. Not much is known about the Nuraghi except that they did achieve a level of sophistication that included sea trade. Both the Nurag people and the short lived Greek colonies on Sardinia's coast were annexed by Carthage in 537 BC. Lessa is putting together his hoplite kit as we speak but a visit to his blog will take you on a journey through the byways of Sardinia’s extraordinary history.
Ports of Call
Herodotus on the Web is a site by Tim Spalding. It is a guide and web directory to Herodotus of Halicarnassus, the famous Greek historian. On this site you will find over 200 links to resources about Herodotus and his age. These includes texts and translations, books about Herodotus, essays and articles, and so forth. He has attempted (sucessfully in my opinion) to organize these resources well, describe their contents and evaluate their readability and value as scholarship.

Diotima serves as an interdisciplinary resource for anyone interested in patterns of gender around the ancient Mediterranean and as a forum for collaboration among instructors who teach courses about women and gender in the ancient world. This site includes course materials, the beginnings of a systematic and searchable bibliography, and links to many on-line resources, including articles, book reviews, databases, and images. Ross Scaife and Suzanne Bonefas launched this project in early 1995; since that time it has been developed with help and contributions from many quarters.

Perseus Digital Library Project Since planning began in 1985, the Perseus Digital Library Project has explored what happens when libraries move online. Two decades later, as new forms of publication emerge and millions of books become digital, this question is more pressing than ever. Perseus is a practical experiment in which explores possibilities and challenges of digital collections in a networked world. Perseus maintains a web site that showcases collections and services developed as a part of our research efforts over the years. The code for the digital library system and many of the collections that we have developed are now available.

The virtual Museum of Ancient Inventions is a minor subject of the History of Science and Technology at Smith College, a project begun by the students in the course Ancient Inventions, which was offered for the first time in the spring semester of 1997. More inventions will be acquired by the museum each year that the course is offered. Not all are from ancient Hellas but many are.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How to make the oft debated Tube and Yoke / Linothorax / Spolas / Thingy...

Was it made of linen? Was it glued or quilted? Perhaps it was really leather. What sort of scales were attached - if any. The debate has not been settled yet. There is probably nowhere near enough evidence to make a case either way. However some great new literary and visual material has been unearthed and discussed ad-infinitum on the Roman Army Talk Forum threads - and elsewhere. Just type the word linothorax into their search fields.

As Jason Hoffman, on RAT, has noted there are at least 5 'variations' on Greek Tube-and-Yoke corselets, not counting those of other nations/cultures. There may be more depending on how you wish to classify them – that doesn’t include single or double layers of pteurges nor those with or without scales...

The majority are very like the interpretation of the Tube-and-Yoke pattern on the red figure Achilles amphora in Vatican Museum and shown on the right. These are single-breasted. This can be best be seen in the pattern provided on p.38 of Connolly's "Greek Armies" or p.57 of his "Greece and Rome at War".

A close examination of the vase art will convince you of the great variety utilised. Yes, there are both bespoke and off the shelf suppliers who can provide you with one. Check out the pages of the clubs I have already listed and read as much as you can before you spend your hard earned cash. Whatever your personal theory on construction materials and methods, there is more than enough "how to " instruction for you to actually experiment yourself. Before I show you the places to go for that kind of information have a look at this double breasted version below seen on the vase in the British Museum labelled E60.

How to make the oft debated Tube -and-Yoke / Linothorax / Spolas / Thingy in Linen:

How to make the oft debated Tube -and- Yoke / Linothorax / Spolas / Thingy in Leather:
Also a leather core with linen skin is suggested here
And here is the addition of ultra blingy scales
Its construction has become a legitimate subject of academic study. See Prof. Gregory Aldrete of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay reconstruct a linothorax

The Tube -and- Yoke on You Tube no less:
Linothorax reconstruction by Prof. Gregory Aldrete
The Linothorax: Recreated at UWGB
Some points about the hoplite cuirass
Another quick point about the hoplite cuirass

The Tube -and- Yoke elsewhere:
The Achaemenids, Italic peoples, Assyrians, Skythians, Phoenicians, Iberians and others all had some variation it seems.  A rather chunky Anatolian Achaemenid version is to be found on a sarcophagous in the Cannakale Archeology Museum.  African troops in Achaemenid service also wore the Tube -and- Yoke and were portrayed in Greek art. A series of vases called the Negro Alabastrons can be found in museums across the world.One appears in Dr. NIck Sekunda's book, The Persian Army, Osprey Publishing, 1992, p.16-17. I have provided a tiny collage below but search the Beazley Archive youself and you will be pleasantly surprised. These figures are armed with spears, axes, Achaemenid  style bows and bow cases. One carries a pelta with shield apron. Each is a gem and there are scores!

Just when you thought you knew more than the other person about the Tube and Yoke / Linothorax / Spolas / Thingy along comes some more data to analyse:
Keltic tube and yoke cuirass
Kelticos forum
Archeoart forum
The paper by Andre Rapin, on which this material is based, L'ARMEMENT CELTIQUE EN EUROPE: CHRONOLOGIE DE SON EVOLUTION TECHNOLOGIQUE DU vEA U lERS. AV. J.-C. is available in PDF format here:

The Tube -and- Yoke as art:
Over at the forum Peter Ellis has made an awesome tooled leather version. You’ll have to register to see the photos but it is a thing of beauty:
Over at the Gallic Chariot blog you can see an example of a Keltic linothorax in all its glory
A couple of snaps of how they made it
Better still see a bundle at the "Gates of History" website

Ports of call:
To find out what the original looked like you will need to review images from the period. The Beazley Archive is one of the best places to start. The original archive of Sir John Beazley, Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art from 1925 until 1956 at Oxford University, was purchased for the Faculty of Classics in 1965. On his death in 1970 it was brought to the Cast Gallery Ashmolean Museum. Within a few years the personal archive of material relating to the study of classical archaeology and art was transformed into a research resource for students and scholars. It consisted of photographs, notes, drawings, books and impressions from engraved gems. The photographs of Athenian vases are the largest archive of this class in the world and were the basis of Beazley's life's work.  Since 1970 the entire collection has been enlarged and enhanced through gift and purchase.

A the other end of the resource spectrum is Christie's. They auction ancient art from the dawn of civilization to the Dark Ages, ranging from Western Europe to the Caspian Sea. Much of it from Hellenic realms.  Sales are held four times a year, twice in New York and twice in London. So a  wealth of unique images, many unpublished can be found in their old and new catalogues.