Alexander the Great

Bas-Relief of Alexander the Great, Basilica San Marco, Venice
The north side of the Basilica San Marco is embedded with a number of bas-reliefs, some of which are Byzantine in origin. 

I have always been intrigued by one in particular. It depicts Alexander the Great seated in a chariot drawn by two griffins. He seems to be driving forward the griffins with two sticks. On closer inspection the sticks turn out to be skewers with piglets fixed to the end of them (which is why the two griffins turn their heads)! 

The story goes that after conquering much of the known world, Alexander decided to try and conquer heaven. 


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