Prius Dominatus

A project honoring the ancient Greek contributions to modern democratic-style civilisation.

athena study
Study of Athena (Karley) from photo by Erik Oginski.
Athena Parthenos Altemps Inv8622 by English: Antiochos (signed), copy of Phidias - Marie-Lan Nguyen (September 2006). Licensed under Public Domain via Commons
Athena Parthenos Altemps
NASA Cassini Jupiter

Before Domination

In Latin, "Prius Dominatus" is "Before Domination". This project is a study of tyranny, defined literally as "the rule by fear", and the contrasting leadership styles of matriarchy and patriarchy. Set in a fictional classical period setting of a time in Hellenistic Greece just prior to the conquering by Rome.

LA Photographer Signs on to Project

photographer erik oginski
Photographer Erik Oginski

"Erik Oginski is a Los Angeles-based photographer whose work currently focuses mainly on editorial, events and street photography. Erik has a background in journalism and spent 13 years working in broadcast news before transitioning into marketing. Photography has played a significant role throughout his career and his work has been featured in international publications and media."

LA Model as Athena

karley blake as athena 4130
Model Karley Blake
(Makeup artist/Hair Stylist Brenna of Brenna Bones Artistry)

"Model (Athena)
Karley Blake
Karley Blake is a model and actress from Los Angeles, CA. Her main focus is on art projects, but her portfolio also encompasses fashion, commercial, and editorial modeling. In her spare time, she volunteers and advocates for animal welfare."


athena study
Oil Study of Karley Blake as Celtic Athena from photo by Erik Oginski

Celtic Athena

In this version of Athena, one must concede that Greek civilisation discovered an increasing tolerance for violence through the Roman period, and may have been the cause for eventual Roman conquest. For this variation, Athena clings more to her legacy of wisdom than of war, holds the torch of freedom, and is companioned by an owl of wisdom. She remains un-armored, having no Gorgon shield bearing the decapitated head of snake-haired Medusa; leaning on no spear, and she holds the torch of freedom instead. The torch is referenced directly from the French Neoclassical Statue of Liberty. Not visible in this study, these new accoutrement, along with the traditional semi-transparent fabric of her tunic, and her high-wound sandals, combine to form a "Celtic Athena".

Celtic Athena represents a theory that before Gods were Gods, they were signposts to unite and welcome a global trade network of vastly differing and specific nationalities. As in ancient Rome, a sign for the Fishmonger, was simply a painted fish. This enabled muli-linguistic commerce directly, with no diplomat, translator, or intermediary faction present. The story of Athena, as springing from her father Zeus' forehead, may be cartographic prose, describing relative global positioning and location. It could be a detailed desciption of an important trading partner, easily remembered and transferrable through time and generations. In a similar light, Athena's owl companion is a symbol of wisdom, but it is also a regionally specific identifier honoring the great Norse shipbuilders.

The Tawny owl found in the southern region of Sweden, Norway, and Finland, in the great bay of the Baltic Sea, where ships, built on commission, and launched to sail around the globe in every nation's fleet, along the pre-ancient trade routes. In this day, not built for war, but for trade. The Tawny owl is perched upon the carved bow of a later-era Norse warship to further reinforce this regional connection. So in this version, Athena is a welcoming beacon of trade for Celtic peoples, and the Parthenon is a foreign embassy.

tawny owl
Tawny Owl

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