Phrygian Funerary Stele

Phrygian Funerary Stele


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3D Image

Funerary stele decorated with a crown, early 3rd Century CE, Acmonia (Phrygia), marble. Made with Zephyr3D Lite from 3DFlow.

The decorative elements of the door leaves have been treated here rather briefly, but the door is embedded in a vault supported by two pilasters and provided with the epitaph: “Tryphon Gaïos and Onésime to (keep) their memory”. Below the inscription, a crown; above the inscription is a rosettes and acroterres shaped stylized palmettes.

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From Phrygian Capital to Rural Fort

At the age of 20, Tritus, the son of Bato, joined the Roman army as a soldier of the VII Breucorum Cohors Equitata, an auxiliary unit composed of cavalry and infantry which acted in support of a Roman legionary force. Like many members of the Roman auxilia, this young provincial was possibly drawn into a military career with the understanding that he and his family (if any) would receive Rome’s supreme reward—citizenship—upon the successful completion of a 25-year term of service (or stipendium). Sadly, after serving only 12 years, Tritus died from causes unknown on the high, arid plateau of central Turkey, far from his native Pannonia (modern Hungary). Shortly afterward, acting on Tritus’ instructions, Mersua (son of Dasius)—his heir, fellow soldier, and most likely a Pannonian countryman—commissioned and had erected a tombstone for his former comrade-in-arms.

Such was the life of an average Roman soldier, his story resurrected thanks to the fortuitous discovery in 1996 of his tombstone at Gordion. Although this particular find was accidental—a local farmer plowed up a large limestone block in his fields alongside the Sakarya River—the site of Gordion (located about 95 km southwest of modern Ankara) has been the focus of excavation and research by the Penn Museum and a number of affiliated institutions since 1950. Best known as the Iron Age (ca. 950–540 BC) capital of the Phrygians and for its connection to the semi-legendary King Midas, over the decades Gordion and its surroundings have yielded thousands of artifacts dating from the Early Bronze Age (ca. 2500–2000 BC) through the medieval period (13th–14th centuries AD).

Fibulae are decorative brooches used to pin clothing together. Often characteristic of particular regions, this inset-enameled ‘Snake’s head foot’ bow brooch was common in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD in Raetia (an alpine province within modern Austria, Germany, and Switzerland).

Inspection of the limestone block revealed that it was a funerary stele, largely intact (ca. 1.42 m tall) and belonging to the Roman Imperial period (1st–4th centuries AD), when a small settlement existed atop Gordion’s Citadel Mound. The stele was exceptionally well-preserved, with abundant traces of red paint, often applied in antiquity to the lettering of such monuments still visible in the characters of its eight-line dedicatory inscription.

The epitaph was uncommon for this region of the Roman Empire—the province of Galatia—as it was composed in Latin, a language used far less frequently than Greek in the official and private inscriptions of the Roman East. Within Galatia’s rural environs, beyond the immediate proximity of the province’s few cities, this Latin dedication would certainly have presented an odd sight to locals and passersby, the majority of whom—assuming they were literate—would probably have not understood it.

The Latin language, however, often accompanied Rome’s army in the East, and the western origin of our Pannonian soldier, Tritus, undoubtedly explains its appearance at Gordion. Hundreds of such dedicatory inscriptions about soldiers’ lives are found across the Roman world. Written in a nearly formulaic style, they convey similar factual details, such as age, unit, and birthplace. The narrative in Tritus’ epitaph proves quite typical, reflecting an obvious pride in his service to Rome despite a career that appears to have been largely undistinguished by awards of merit or advancement in rank.


Phrygian

Über die Publikationen meiner Aufsätze zur Entstehung phrygischer Bildkunst unter dem Einfluß des Neuhethitischen in Öjh LVII, 1986 Beibl. mit dem Titel “Die Entstehung der frühen Kybelebilder Phrygiens und ihre Einwirkung auf die ionische Plastik” zur Entstehung phrygischer Felsdenkmäler unter dem Einfluß des Urartäischen in AnatSt XXXVII, 1987 mit dem Titel ”Zur Entstehung phrygischer Felsdenkmäler” und zu den beiden Themen in TürkAD XXVIII, 1989 mit dem Titel “Batı Uygarlığının Kökeni. Erken Demirçağ Doğu-Batı Kültür Sanat İlişkilerinde Anadolu” sowie anschließend zur Entstehung architektonischer Terrakotten Phrygiens unter der Einwirkung bzw. Anregung der neuhethitischen Orthostatenreliefs in AnatSt XLI, 1991 mit dem Titel “Zur Entstehung der tönernen Verkleidungsplatten in Anatolien” ist eine lange Zeit vergangen. Bis heute wurde meine These über die Zugehörigkeit des phrygischen Kunstschaffens zum östlich anatolischen Kulturboden m. W. nicht widersprochen.

Nach der vor etwa 50 Jahren von E. Akurgal aufgestellten und in der Archäologie einstimmig akzeptierten Gegenthese sei das Kerngebiet des Hatti bzw. hethitischen Reiches nach der
erbarmungslosen Vernichtung um 1200 v. Chr. durch “Seevölker”, darunter auch Phryger, völlig verlassen und die Geschichte des Hochlandes habe erst nach einer rund 400 jährigen Unterbrechung mit den Phrygern ihren Fortgang genommen. Diese These impliziert, daß die Phryger keine Verbindung mit der schon längst “ausgestorbenen” Kultur hatten. Infolgedessen hätten sie sich zum ersten Mal in der
Kulturgeschichte Anatoliens nach Westen orientiert und ihre Kulturgut sowie künstlerische Schöpfungen dem Einfluß der Griechen in der Ägäis zu verdanken.

Ich versuchte diese bahnbrechende These seit 1986 nicht zuletzt durch die oben zitierten Aufsätze zur Diskussion zu stellen. Von Akurgal selbst erhielt ich mit einem einzigen Satz eine Kritik, nämlich daß “die phrygischen Kunstwerke in der Qualität hinter den ionischen stehe und daher keinen Einfluß auf die letzteren habe ausüben können” (IstMitt 42, 1992, 78). Auch meine Gegenthese über die Entstehung der bemalten Keramik Phrygiens ist nicht widersprochen worden. Diese sollte nach Akurgal ebenso “völlig von der griechischen geometrischen Kunst inspriert” gewesen sein. Das von ihm “als die gesuchten Vorbilder der phrygischen Hauptmotive in der ostgriechischen Kunst erwähntes Exemplar aus Samos” bildet aber offensichtlich das nehmende Teil der Einwirkung denn es stammt viel später als der Beginn dieser Gattung in Zentralanatolien. Dies bedeutet, daß auch in dieser Gattung eine Beeinflußung in umgekehrter Richtung, d.h. von Osten nach Westen, der Fall gewesen ist. Dies gilt auch für Darstellungen wie die Stierkampfgruppe aus Gordion, die nicht im griechischen Sinne als Kampf zwischen “Theseus und Minotauros” sondern im östlichen Sinne zwischen “Herrscher und Löwenmensch” interpretiert werden dürften. Darüber hinaus ist nicht ganz auszuschließen, daß auch die Entstehung der in derselben Silhouettentechnik durchgeführten bildlichen Darstellungen auf den Dipylon-Vasen Athens erst gegen die Mitte des 8. Jahrhunderts auf denselben anatolischen Kunstkreis zurückzuführen ist.

Meine These wurde durch weitere Ergebnisse in der Forschung unterstüzt: Felsrinnen bleiben nicht mehr “auf Urartu beschränkt”, sondern wie alle anderen Felseinrichtungen -durch Feldforschungen von T. Tüfekçi Sivas- ebenso auf dem phrygischen Land belegt. D. Salzmann erklärt die Entstehung der großartigen Kieselmosaik der Midaszeit auf dem Boden von Megaron 2 in Gordion mit dem neuhethitischen Einfluß. Nach K. De Vries steht nicht nur das Stadttor sondern auch das für Gordion bezeichnende Megaron bzw. Rechteckhaus eher in der bodenständigen einheimisch anatolischen, troianischen Tradition. Die Dauer der sog. “400 jährigen Dunkelheit” konnte von J. Börker-Klähn durch die “seit den Brüdern Körte in Vergessenheit geratenen Muşki-Belege” und von E.-M. Bossert durch weitere assyrische Texte historisch auf 250 Jahre abgekürz und “die phrygische Sprache mit dem anatolischen Stammsitzt der Muşki verknüpft” werden. Nach J. Seeher und H. Genz zeigen “nun die neuen Ergebnisse von Büyükkaya zusammen mit ähnlichen Befunden aus Gordion, Kaman und anderen Orten, daß dieses -von Akurgal entworfenes- Bild einer Revision bedarf”. Daß bei der monochromen Keramik phrygischer Zeit “nicht wenige Formen auf ältere lokale Vorläufer des 2. Jahrtausends zurückgehen, hier also eine gewisse Kontinuität greifbar ist”, hatte schon K. Bittel beobachtet.

Wenn sich also die “Dunkelheit” erhellt, muß auch der anatolische Gedanke von der Bronzezeit zur Eisenzeit hin ununterbrochen tradiert worden sein vor allem in Bezug auf den Totenkult bzw. auf die Vergöttlichung der phrygischen Herrscher. Dies ist uns zum ersten Mal aus dem hethitischen Großreich mit Gavurkale bekannt. Hier diente der Vorplatz dem Totenkult, das Grab war ein Totentempel, der Grabherr dann ein Vergöttlichter. Auch die Herrscherfamilie der neuhethitischen Fürstentümer wurde in dieser Tradition vergöttlicht, auch die der Urartäer. Mit Felsaltären, Felsschalen, Felskanälen und Felsrinnen auf seinem großflächigen Felsdach bietet das urartäische Tempelgrab von Atabindi für die religiöse Funktion des Daches von Aslantaş und des sich hinter dem Grab befindlichen Kultplatzes von Hamamkaya Phrygiens einen besonders eindruckvollen Vergleich. Auf der Front des Felsgrabes Aslantaş zeigen sich außerdem noch einen seitlich von zwei Löwen flankierten und T-förmig stark stilisierten Gestalt, das anikonische Kultmal der Kybele. Die Plazierung an dieser Stelle ist ebenso bei dem auf beiden Seiten von hochgestellten Löwen flankierten Kybelebild in der Kultnische von Aslankaya vorhanden, was eine ähnliche kultische Deutung des Bildmotivs am Grabeingang nahelegt. Ich nehme an, daß sich der Herrscher schon hier vergöttlicht hat. Und Midas wurde durch sein imposantes Grabdenkmal in Gordion verewigt, in der Art wie der Gottkönig Antiochos I. sich später in seinem Grabheiligtum auf der Spitze des Nemrud Dags vereweigt hat. Die Feststellung von S. Buluç, wonach es vor den phrygischen Tumulusgräbern in der näheren Umgebung von Ankara “wie auf dem Nemrud Dağ” Kultplätze gegeben hat, bestätigt dies.

Und “laut einer alten –von M. Waelkens durch unhaltbare Begründungen abgelehnten-Theorie von W. M. Ramsay sei es in Phrygien eine alte und verbreitete Sitte gewesen, die Toten zu vergöttlichen oder einer Gottheit anzugleichen. Jedes Grab sei also ein Heiligtum gewesen”. Ich möchte dieses an den späten griechischen Inschriften ablesbare phrygische Phänomen auf eine Tradition der Frühzeit zurückführen.

Denn die Phryger haben aus ihrem alten “balkanischen Heimatland” nichts Eigenständiges mitgebracht. Dieser merkwürdige, mit den Hethitern identische Fall kann entweder durch ihre starke Anatolisierung erklärt werden oder durch ihre anatolische Ursprünglichkeit, die nach der von C. Renfrew aufgeworfenen und von Ö. Bilgi vertretenen These über den Ursprung der indogermanischen Stämme in Anatolien gut möglich ist. Auf jeden Fall aber verdanken die Phryger ihr Kulturgut nicht dem Einfluß der Griechen in der Ägäis, sondern den blühenden östlichen Kulturen in Anatolien. Innerhalb des 7. Jahrhunderts erfüllten sie ihre kunsthistorisch sehr bedeutende Mission als ein Vermittler in der Kultur und Kunst zwischen der östlich anatolischen und westlich anatolischen Völker und hatten dadurch an der Geburt der westlichen Zivilisationen Anteil.


1. The Grave Stele Of Ancient Greece

Fragment of the marble stele (grave marker) of a hoplite (foot soldier) , 525-15 BC, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

A grave stele (plural: stelai) is defined as a thin slab of stone, positioned upright, normally with an image carved on its top or front panel. Aside from the Bronze Age tombs, the grave stele is the oldest example of funerary art in ancient Greece. The earliest stelai are limestone slabs excavated at Mycenae , which date back to the 16 th century BC.

These early stelai were mostly decorated with battle scenes or chariot hunts. However, by 600 BC, their style had developed dramatically. The later stelai were often very large, sometimes up to two meters high, and displayed painted carvings. The addition of color would have made these objects visually very different from the bare stone artifacts we have today, whose paint has long since disappeared. Some stelai became so lavish that in around 490 BC legislation was passed in Athens prohibiting excessively decorated styles.

Grave stele of Hegeso, an Athenian noblewoman , 410-00 BC, via National Archaeological Museum of Athens

The relief engravings on stelai included a range of images. Some of the stock figures were those of the warrior or athlete, designed to present an idealized version of the deceased. But some figures were given characteristics to reflect the likeness and attributes of the person being commemorated. For example, a grave stele has been found where the facial profile has a broken nose and swollen eye, perhaps to represent a boxer .

The grave stelai of 5 th -century Athens provide some captivating examples of the introduction of emotion into Greek sculpture. As sculptors developed their skills, they were able to create more sophisticated facial expressions and compositions. The stele in the image above depicts Hegeso (seated) with her slave-girl. Both figures are somber as Hegeso selects a piece of jewelry from a box. This snapshot of a moment from Hegeso’s daily life adds a clear poignancy to the monument.


A relationship between Lemnian, Etruscan, and Raetian as a Tyrsenian language family is widely accepted due to demonstrations of close connections in vocabulary and grammar. For example,

  • both Etruscan and Lemnian share two unique dative cases, type-I *-si and type-II *-ale, shown both on the Lemnos Stele (Hulaie-ši "for Hulaie", Φukiasi-ale "for the Phocaean") and in inscriptions written in Etruscan (aule-si - "To Aule" - on the Cippus Perusinus as well as the inscription mi mulu Laris-ale Velχaina-si, meaning "I was blessed for Laris Velchaina").
  • They also share the genitive in *-s and a simple past tense in *-a-i (Etruscan as in ame "was" ( as in šivai, meaning "lived").

Stelae were also used as territorial markers, as the boundary stelae of Akhenaten at Amarna, [2] or to commemorate military victories. [3] They were widely used in the Mesopotamia, Greece, Egypt, Ethiopia, and, quite independently, in China and some Buddhist cultures, and, more surely independently, by Mesoamerican civilisations, especially the Olmec [4] and Maya. [5] The huge number of stelae that survive from ancient Egypt and in Central America are one of the largest and most significant sources of information on those civilisations.

Unfinished standing stones, set up without inscriptions from Libya in North Africa to Scotland were monuments of pre-literate Megalithic cultures in the Late Stone Age.

An obelisk is a specialized kind of stele. The Celtic high crosses of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales are specialized stelae. Likewise, the totem pole of North and South America is a type of stelae. Gravestones are also kinds of stelae.

In 2004 the architect Peter Eisenman created a field of some 2,700 blank stelae, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin [6] to memory of the Holocaust.


Phrygian Funerary Stele - History

I am a lecturer in the Archaeology Department of Durham University. My research bridges art history and archaeology, involving in depth analysis of iconographies, consideration of meaning and interpretation, and wider aspects of political, geographical and social context. I have interests in the art and archaeology of Anatolia and the Mediterranean in the Iron Ages to Classical periods (first half of the first millennium BC), with a specific concentration on the non-Greek speaking zones of Central and Western Anatolia (Phrygia, Hellespontine Phrygia, Lydia and Lycia). I also have interests in the in overlaps and relations between the archaeology of the Near East and the Mediterranean, which led me to co-found a seminar series (NearEastMed) at while at Oxford.

I have published a range of articles re-examining iconography and architecture of monumental decorated tombs in Western Anatolia, which flourished especially following its incorporation into the Achaemenid Persian Empire, pointing out relationships to historical context and significant patterns in representation. My most recent work has used the appearance and patterning of monuments and imagery as important signs of regional dynamics, and moved to explore settlement and economic activity related to this. An edited book on interpretations of images of banquets employed in tomb art across the ancient world, from Etruria to Han China, is in press and I am currently working on a monograph synthesising the images used on tombs in Western Anatolia between the Persian conquest and the Persian Wars, and their significance for reconstructing identities and social dynamics during that time of flux.

Specific research interests: iconography art, connectivity and regionality in the Early Classical Period Mediterranean Achaemenid period settlement patterns in Anatolia art under the Achaemenid Empire burial customs of archaic and classical period Anatolia.
Supervisors: Prof. Sir John Boardman и Prof. Bert (R.R.R.) Smith
Address: Department of Archaeology
Durham University
Dawson Building
Science Site, South Road
DH1 3LE

Between 2003 and 2005, various remains of sculpture and fragments of an important inscription in . more Between 2003 and 2005, various remains of sculpture and fragments of an important inscription in the Old Phrygian language were unexpectedly found during excavations at the sixth century B.C. walled city on Kerkenes Mountain in the highlands of Central Turkey. These unusual finds have a significant role to play in the interpretation of the site and the interpretation of Phrygian history and culture. Large-scale sculpture in the round and small reliefs have distinctive characteristics so far unattested within territory inhabited by Phrygian speakers, while the extensive inscription names individuals so far unknown. Together, they attest to an ambitious and distinctive identity of power at this relatively remote mountaintop city, which may be equated with the strongly fortified place of Pteria mentioned in Herodotus, and which may have flourished for a brief period between the death of King Midas of Gordion and the conquering of Anatolia by the Persian King, Cyrus the Great.

This volume presents these striking new finds, all of which come from the Monumental Entrance to a sector of the city known as the Palatial Complex. An introduction to the archaeological context is followed by a detailed catalog of the sculpted fragments, associated architectural fragments, and the inscribed fragments. Within the catalog there is erudite discussion of comparanda aimed at placing the unique material in its wider cultural and historical context, as well as a tentative reconstruction of the major pieces into a single monument. Rounding off the work is a commentary on the Phrygian inscription by Prof. Claude Brixhe. The volume is profusely illustrated with line drawings and photographs of every fragment together with a set of color plates that highlight the violence done to the monuments when the city was looted and burnt in the mid-sixth century B.C.. A Turkish summary is provided.

Focusing on the interpretation of a shared, widespread and particularly perplexing iconographic t. more Focusing on the interpretation of a shared, widespread and particularly perplexing iconographic theme, this book compares explanatory frameworks in different schools of archaeology including Classical, Egyptian and Chinese, and importantly challenges a prevailing material skepticism that eschews and even invalidates religious and afterlife beliefs as a part of ancient social identities.

The papers largely concentrate on pictorial depictions of banqueting and/or food offerings and how they might be understood in such settings, although some papers consider tomb deposits and furnishings. Traditionally, three main interpretative paradigms have been employed in 'deciphering' such images: 1) they represent worldly activities, either quotidien or idealised, 2) they represent an imagined pleasant afterlife (and therefore evidence this belief) and 3) they represent funerary or mortuary rites. Such interpretations have been challenged by scholarship that refutes the validity of these strict, divisive categories, but in concentrating on social structures embedded in the images, has tended to eschew potential eschatological aspects of meaning. Collectively, the papers here reconsider this matter, making significant contributions to discussions of ambiguity, agency, interaction, performance, the role of the viewer, the issue of 'meaning', and the various ways in which images can be approached and used.

Preface
Introduction: what lies beyond? (Draycott)

1. J. Fabricius, ‘Hellenistic Funerary Banquet Reliefs – Thoughts on Problems Old and New’.
2. P. Amann, ‘“Banquet and grave”. The material basis, aims and first results of a recent research project’.
3. G. Robins, ‘Meals for the dead: the image of the deceased seated before a table of offerings in ancient Egyptian art’.
4. N. Harrington, ‘The Eighteenth Dynasty Egyptian banquet: ideals and realities’.
5. D. Bonatz, ‘Syro-Hittite funerary monuments revisited’.
6. E. Baughan, ‘Burial klinai and “Totenmahl”?’
7. C.M. Draycott, ‘Drinking to Death. The ‘Totenmahl’, drinking culture and funerary representation in late Archaic/early Achaemenid Western Anatolia’.
8. S. Lockwood, ‘Family matters: the interpretation of Lycian “funerary banquet” reliefs’.
9. A.M. Carstens, ‘Bridging the boundary: the sacrificial deposit of the Maussolleion of Halikarnassos and its symbolic language’.
10. M. Tsouli, ‘Testimonia on funerary banquets in ancient Sparta’.
11. C. Lawton, ‘The “Totenmahl” motif in votive reliefs of Classical Athens’.
12. M. Stamatopoulou, ‘Banquets in the painted stelai of Demetrias’.
13. M. Kalaitzi, ‘The theme of the banqueter on Hellenistic Macedonian tombstones’.
14. T. Mitterlechner, ‘The banquet in Etruscan funerary art and its underlying meaning’.
15. L. Audley-Miller, ‘The banquet in Palmyrene funerary contexts’.
16. A. Slawisch, ‘Reading the image? Ambiguities in the interpretation of banquet scenes on grave stelai from Roman Thrace’.
17. M. Nylan, ‘At table: reading and misreading funerary images of banquets in early China’.

Review
F. Hobden, JHS 138 (2018), 290-291

PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE AMENDMENTS IN PUBLISHED VERSION. Starting from a reassessment of a mon. more PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE AMENDMENTS IN PUBLISHED VERSION.

Starting from a reassessment of a monumental tomb, the historical importance of which has been overlooked due to its collapsed state, this paper shows how such monuments, including their artistic and architectural details, form essential data in modelling the history of places, and how attention to them can also expose gaps in research on landscape and economy that could make significant contributions to understanding the impact of the Achaemenid Persian Empire in ways not so far explored.

"In its day the collapsed, massive rock-cut tomb known as the Broken Lion Tomb, or Yılan Taş, located in the Köhnüş Valley north of Afyon, would have been one of the most impressive tomb monuments in Asia Minor. Now lying in a pile of confused blocks that sheared off the edge of the cliff face into which it was carved, its original form is hard to imagine and its past glory and status not widely appreciated. The style of its once rich relief sculptures suggests it was erected in the Achaemenid Persian Period, possibly in the first half or middle of the 5th century BC. Contemporary occupation in the Phrygian Highlands is not well understood, but settlement remains seem modest, and although there may be some elements of continuity, overall the religious status of the area seems to change through the Persian period, the main locus of Matar worship shifting at some point to Pessinus further east. This paper considers the appearance of the tomb and poses questions about its context, which can contribute to the history of the Phrygian Highlands and Achaemenid Empire more broadly."

This paper uses three case studies to show that the integration of ‘art historical’ and economic . more This paper uses three case studies to show that the integration of ‘art historical’ and economic history/landscape archaeology approaches can provide otherwise unattainable insights of importance for historical models, here specifically pertaining to the regional dynamics and impacts of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, but applicable more broadly.

"In a recent review of a book entitled Critical Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Art, Daniel T. Potts raises the question of whether, regardless of the fact that one can speak of a discipline of Ancient Near Eastern Art History, one should. He explains that he is not concerned with denying the necessity of studying art or imagery as a part of Ancient Near Eastern History, but that it is insufficient for ‘a deep understanding of the ancient Near East’. This worry picks up an ongoing tension between ‘ancient historians’ and ‘art historians’ (or archaeologists who work with imagery) that seemingly survives the pictorial turn and the use of ‘visual culture’ as a term emphasizing the whole visual sphere as historical source material, and revolves around the extent to which the ‘larger historical picture’ is sufficiently seen as an end goal. As Potts notes, dress and ornamentation, the ‘wigs, powder, perfume and silk’ of the French Revolution period, for example, can be considered epiphenomena. On the other hand, ‘Warfare, fiercely contested battles for hegemony and struggles over access to irrigation water and arable land all formed part of the crucible in which Early Dynastic society and its hyper-competitive city state system were forged.’ Serious stuff, not to mention masculine, giving one pause to consider in the context of this book how the fate and trajectory of ‘art history’ within various sub-disciplines might depend on historically gendered scholarship cultures. "

This paper concerns the interpretation of mythological images decorating two tombs dating to the . more This paper concerns the interpretation of mythological images decorating two tombs dating to the later sixth and early fifth century BC in Asia Minor and their meaning for understanding the cultural and social history of the peninsula following its incorporation into the Achaemenid Persian Empire in the 540s BC.

The contributions are threefold: a) the explicit articulation of interpretative approaches to and problems in understanding the use of myth in ancient memorial art within broader trends in theories of interpretation b) new identifications of subject matter in the case studies addressed and c) the proposal of an approach that transcends sticking points in determining contextual meanings to consider broader patterns in imagery use, with a view to contributing to an economic landscape-oriented history.

This paper revisits some unusual buildings overlooked in mainstream classical archaeology, that w. more This paper revisits some unusual buildings overlooked in mainstream classical archaeology, that were constructed at the non-Greek Mediterranean city of Xanthos in the mid-5th century BC. It points out that previous scholarship has not recognised their value as indicators of a new and particular urban identity constructed by a significant emerging power at an important juncture in Mediterranean history.

Although as the first examples of stone imitations of timber architecture these buildings are often mentioned in discussions about the origins of Lycian ‘house tombs’, and sometimes summarily discussed in terms of their function, the architectural phenomenon that these buildings represent has not received extensive consideration. Here it is argued that their genesis can be located in the building of a monumentalised skyline, potentially drawing on other cities’ acropoleis as models. In addition to this, the buildings also suggest new forms of commemoration.

It is proposed here that while there could have been changes in eschatological beliefs and/or cult practice, these three innovative structures could also be related to the broader practice of erecting monuments to honor city founders in prominent public spaces.

In this way, both the terms ‘acropolis’ and ‘heroa’ – loaded terms usually loosely applied in the literature – may have more particular meaning for the architectural projects that transformed Kuprlli’s Xanthos, and made it stand out in a Mediterranean world of increasing complexity, contemporary with the rise of the Delian League and the emergence of the early Classical style in Greek art.

Between 2003 and 2005, various remains of sculpture and fragments of an important inscription in . more Between 2003 and 2005, various remains of sculpture and fragments of an important inscription in the Old Phrygian language were unexpectedly found during excavations at the sixth century B.C. walled city on Kerkenes Mountain in the highlands of Central Turkey. These unusual finds have a significant role to play in the interpretation of the site and the interpretation of Phrygian history and culture. Large-scale sculpture in the round and small reliefs have distinctive characteristics so far unattested within territory inhabited by Phrygian speakers, while the extensive inscription names individuals so far unknown. Together, they attest to an ambitious and distinctive identity of power at this relatively remote mountaintop city, which may be equated with the strongly fortified place of Pteria mentioned in Herodotus, and which may have flourished for a brief period between the death of King Midas of Gordion and the conquering of Anatolia by the Persian King, Cyrus the Great.

This volume presents these striking new finds, all of which come from the Monumental Entrance to a sector of the city known as the Palatial Complex. An introduction to the archaeological context is followed by a detailed catalog of the sculpted fragments, associated architectural fragments, and the inscribed fragments. Within the catalog there is erudite discussion of comparanda aimed at placing the unique material in its wider cultural and historical context, as well as a tentative reconstruction of the major pieces into a single monument. Rounding off the work is a commentary on the Phrygian inscription by Prof. Claude Brixhe. The volume is profusely illustrated with line drawings and photographs of every fragment together with a set of color plates that highlight the violence done to the monuments when the city was looted and burnt in the mid-sixth century B.C.. A Turkish summary is provided.

Focusing on the interpretation of a shared, widespread and particularly perplexing iconographic t. more Focusing on the interpretation of a shared, widespread and particularly perplexing iconographic theme, this book compares explanatory frameworks in different schools of archaeology including Classical, Egyptian and Chinese, and importantly challenges a prevailing material skepticism that eschews and even invalidates religious and afterlife beliefs as a part of ancient social identities.

The papers largely concentrate on pictorial depictions of banqueting and/or food offerings and how they might be understood in such settings, although some papers consider tomb deposits and furnishings. Traditionally, three main interpretative paradigms have been employed in 'deciphering' such images: 1) they represent worldly activities, either quotidien or idealised, 2) they represent an imagined pleasant afterlife (and therefore evidence this belief) and 3) they represent funerary or mortuary rites. Such interpretations have been challenged by scholarship that refutes the validity of these strict, divisive categories, but in concentrating on social structures embedded in the images, has tended to eschew potential eschatological aspects of meaning. Collectively, the papers here reconsider this matter, making significant contributions to discussions of ambiguity, agency, interaction, performance, the role of the viewer, the issue of 'meaning', and the various ways in which images can be approached and used.

Preface
Introduction: what lies beyond? (Draycott)

1. J. Fabricius, ‘Hellenistic Funerary Banquet Reliefs – Thoughts on Problems Old and New’.
2. P. Amann, ‘“Banquet and grave”. The material basis, aims and first results of a recent research project’.
3. G. Robins, ‘Meals for the dead: the image of the deceased seated before a table of offerings in ancient Egyptian art’.
4. N. Harrington, ‘The Eighteenth Dynasty Egyptian banquet: ideals and realities’.
5. D. Bonatz, ‘Syro-Hittite funerary monuments revisited’.
6. E. Baughan, ‘Burial klinai and “Totenmahl”?’
7. C.M. Draycott, ‘Drinking to Death. The ‘Totenmahl’, drinking culture and funerary representation in late Archaic/early Achaemenid Western Anatolia’.
8. S. Lockwood, ‘Family matters: the interpretation of Lycian “funerary banquet” reliefs’.
9. A.M. Carstens, ‘Bridging the boundary: the sacrificial deposit of the Maussolleion of Halikarnassos and its symbolic language’.
10. M. Tsouli, ‘Testimonia on funerary banquets in ancient Sparta’.
11. C. Lawton, ‘The “Totenmahl” motif in votive reliefs of Classical Athens’.
12. M. Stamatopoulou, ‘Banquets in the painted stelai of Demetrias’.
13. M. Kalaitzi, ‘The theme of the banqueter on Hellenistic Macedonian tombstones’.
14. T. Mitterlechner, ‘The banquet in Etruscan funerary art and its underlying meaning’.
15. L. Audley-Miller, ‘The banquet in Palmyrene funerary contexts’.
16. A. Slawisch, ‘Reading the image? Ambiguities in the interpretation of banquet scenes on grave stelai from Roman Thrace’.
17. M. Nylan, ‘At table: reading and misreading funerary images of banquets in early China’.

Review
F. Hobden, JHS 138 (2018), 290-291

PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE AMENDMENTS IN PUBLISHED VERSION. Starting from a reassessment of a mon. more PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE AMENDMENTS IN PUBLISHED VERSION.

Starting from a reassessment of a monumental tomb, the historical importance of which has been overlooked due to its collapsed state, this paper shows how such monuments, including their artistic and architectural details, form essential data in modelling the history of places, and how attention to them can also expose gaps in research on landscape and economy that could make significant contributions to understanding the impact of the Achaemenid Persian Empire in ways not so far explored.

"In its day the collapsed, massive rock-cut tomb known as the Broken Lion Tomb, or Yılan Taş, located in the Köhnüş Valley north of Afyon, would have been one of the most impressive tomb monuments in Asia Minor. Now lying in a pile of confused blocks that sheared off the edge of the cliff face into which it was carved, its original form is hard to imagine and its past glory and status not widely appreciated. The style of its once rich relief sculptures suggests it was erected in the Achaemenid Persian Period, possibly in the first half or middle of the 5th century BC. Contemporary occupation in the Phrygian Highlands is not well understood, but settlement remains seem modest, and although there may be some elements of continuity, overall the religious status of the area seems to change through the Persian period, the main locus of Matar worship shifting at some point to Pessinus further east. This paper considers the appearance of the tomb and poses questions about its context, which can contribute to the history of the Phrygian Highlands and Achaemenid Empire more broadly."

This paper uses three case studies to show that the integration of ‘art historical’ and economic . more This paper uses three case studies to show that the integration of ‘art historical’ and economic history/landscape archaeology approaches can provide otherwise unattainable insights of importance for historical models, here specifically pertaining to the regional dynamics and impacts of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, but applicable more broadly.

"In a recent review of a book entitled Critical Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Art, Daniel T. Potts raises the question of whether, regardless of the fact that one can speak of a discipline of Ancient Near Eastern Art History, one should. He explains that he is not concerned with denying the necessity of studying art or imagery as a part of Ancient Near Eastern History, but that it is insufficient for ‘a deep understanding of the ancient Near East’. This worry picks up an ongoing tension between ‘ancient historians’ and ‘art historians’ (or archaeologists who work with imagery) that seemingly survives the pictorial turn and the use of ‘visual culture’ as a term emphasizing the whole visual sphere as historical source material, and revolves around the extent to which the ‘larger historical picture’ is sufficiently seen as an end goal. As Potts notes, dress and ornamentation, the ‘wigs, powder, perfume and silk’ of the French Revolution period, for example, can be considered epiphenomena. On the other hand, ‘Warfare, fiercely contested battles for hegemony and struggles over access to irrigation water and arable land all formed part of the crucible in which Early Dynastic society and its hyper-competitive city state system were forged.’ Serious stuff, not to mention masculine, giving one pause to consider in the context of this book how the fate and trajectory of ‘art history’ within various sub-disciplines might depend on historically gendered scholarship cultures. "

This paper concerns the interpretation of mythological images decorating two tombs dating to the . more This paper concerns the interpretation of mythological images decorating two tombs dating to the later sixth and early fifth century BC in Asia Minor and their meaning for understanding the cultural and social history of the peninsula following its incorporation into the Achaemenid Persian Empire in the 540s BC.

The contributions are threefold: a) the explicit articulation of interpretative approaches to and problems in understanding the use of myth in ancient memorial art within broader trends in theories of interpretation b) new identifications of subject matter in the case studies addressed and c) the proposal of an approach that transcends sticking points in determining contextual meanings to consider broader patterns in imagery use, with a view to contributing to an economic landscape-oriented history.

This paper revisits some unusual buildings overlooked in mainstream classical archaeology, that w. more This paper revisits some unusual buildings overlooked in mainstream classical archaeology, that were constructed at the non-Greek Mediterranean city of Xanthos in the mid-5th century BC. It points out that previous scholarship has not recognised their value as indicators of a new and particular urban identity constructed by a significant emerging power at an important juncture in Mediterranean history.

Although as the first examples of stone imitations of timber architecture these buildings are often mentioned in discussions about the origins of Lycian ‘house tombs’, and sometimes summarily discussed in terms of their function, the architectural phenomenon that these buildings represent has not received extensive consideration. Here it is argued that their genesis can be located in the building of a monumentalised skyline, potentially drawing on other cities’ acropoleis as models. In addition to this, the buildings also suggest new forms of commemoration.

It is proposed here that while there could have been changes in eschatological beliefs and/or cult practice, these three innovative structures could also be related to the broader practice of erecting monuments to honor city founders in prominent public spaces.

In this way, both the terms ‘acropolis’ and ‘heroa’ – loaded terms usually loosely applied in the literature – may have more particular meaning for the architectural projects that transformed Kuprlli’s Xanthos, and made it stand out in a Mediterranean world of increasing complexity, contemporary with the rise of the Delian League and the emergence of the early Classical style in Greek art.

Archaeology remains a profession with an overwhelmingly white workforce. Two archaeologists ask w. more Archaeology remains a profession with an overwhelmingly white workforce. Two archaeologists ask why that matters and what can be done about it.


Contents

The Front of the Stele contains the following:

Nuit frames the curved top. She is the Goddess of the Night Sky.

Hadit, the winged solar disc, with the inscription, “the great god, Lord of the sky.”

Horus, the hawk-headed solar god, sits on his throne. The inscription reads, “Ra-hoor-khuit, chief of the gods.”

Ankh-af-na-khonsu stands before Horus. His inscription reads, “The deceased, priest of Mentu, Lord of Thebes, the justified one for whom the doors of the sky are opened in Karnak, Ankh-f-n-khonsu.”

The Altar, which contains offerings, shows bread, beer, cattle and fowl.

The main body of text is a prayer to Ra-Hoor-Khuit. According to more modern interpretation, it says:

The words spoken by the Osiris (i.e. the deceased), the priest of Monthu, Lord of Thebes, the one who opens the doors of the sky in Karnak, the justified Ankh-f-n-Khonsu—

"O High One, may He be praised, the Great One of power, the spirit of great dignity, who brings fear of himself to the gods, who shines forth upon his throne—

Make open the way for my soul, my spirit, and my shadow, for I am equipped so that I might shine forth as an equipped one, make open the way for me to the place where Ra, Atum, Kheperi, and Hathor are."

The deceased, priest of Monthu, Lord of Thebes, the justified Ankh-f-n-Khonsu, the son of the man with the same titles, Bes-en-mut, and the son of the musician of Amun-Re, the mistress of the house Taneshi."


New York authorities return ancient stele to Egypt

23rd November 2020 20:32 BST

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has restituted a 2,600-year-old stele to Egypt, after the antiquity was seized by US authorities last year when it arrived at JFK from Paris, on its way to the TEFAF fair in New York. “As is typical in these cases, an investigation into one stolen piece often unspools a dark web of countless other trafficked items,” Vance said during a ceremony held at the Egyptian consulate in Manhattan on 18 November.

The DA’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit, led by Matthew Bogdanos, in cooperation with New York Homeland Security Investigations, found that the object “was stolen by the same international smuggling network” that sold a golden sarcophagus to the Metropolitan Museum. Allegedly looted during the Arab Spring in 2011, the coffin was returned to Egypt in September 2019. According to a coordinated investigation involving authorities in the US, France, Germany and the UK, the group is suspected of having sold half a dozen masterpieces to the Metropolitan and the Louvre Abu Dhabi for more than €50m.

The stele and sarcophagus, as well as several other items, have the same provenance: they all came from Simon Simonian, a former dealer in Cairo, who said the works were legally exported in the 1970s, after he purchased the stock of another local dealer. Bodganos says export licenses for the objects were forged, based on the study of “thousands of documents” seized by US authorities. Simonian died on 24 September in California, where he had retired.

The stele was purchased by Cybele Gallery for €126,700 at a 2017 auction sale in Paris. The work had been vetted by Christophe Kunicki, a prominent archeologist and dealer, who also helped arrange the sale of the golden sarcophagus to the Met. Bogdanos says that a picture of the stele, unrestored and broken in two, appeared in emails sent in 2015 between Kunicki and Simon’s brother, Serop Simonian, and his associate in Hamburg, Roben Dib. The stele was consigned to the Paris auction under Dib’s mother’s name, Nassifa El-Khoury, who is also a dealer.

Dib, who was also arrested in Germany at the end of August and released after five weeks in detention, maintains that “all the export documents were legit” and that he has evidence “that the stele had been held for a long time on deposit in German museums”. Since Cybele Gallery has filed a lawsuit in Paris to rescind the sale, Dib told The Art Newspaper that all the evidence will be presented to the court, to counter what he called “a witch hunt” led by Bogdanos.


Not The Classical Ideal: Athens and the Construction of the Other in Greek Art

In one sense Beth Cohen has no particular need to justify the theme underpinning this collection of essays. Over the last 15 years or so, the study of alterity in Classical Greek culture has been developed almost to the point of orthodoxy. 1 It has been evident from the start that the Classical Greeks’ apparent self-definition in opposition to ‘the Other’ involves, and is highly relevant to the explanation of, Greek art. Yet Not the Classical Ideal is the first thoroughgoing attempt to survey, in C.’s words, ‘a broad range of visual imagery in the Classical Greek world from a variety of scholarly perspectives’ (11).

It should be noted from the outset that these essays do little to engage with this theoretical background or challenge the premises involved. To a large extent ‘Otherness’ offers an organizational scheme for the collection rather than the subject of debate. C.’s introduction aims to explain the parameters for investigation rather than setting specific objectives. The central concept is not questioned in any depth, nor is it defended, and in acknowledging recent critiques of binary thought C. suggests (perhaps in an almost defeatist tone): ‘studies that use the category of the Other can still be valuable and illuminating’ and, ‘exploring the construction of the Other, one of many possible ways to read the imagery of Greek art, still has a complex story to tell’ (12). These are not serious objections: it is just that one wonders to what extent the arguments in the book are informed by the crystallization of previous (more self-critical) work into a rigid interpretative scheme.

Nevertheless, this book is a successful enterprise that avoids the usual weaknesses of edited volumes. Few of the authors lose sight of the underlying theme and their orientation towards a fairly simple set of assumptions about Greek thought and representation—as well as the recurrence of particular concerns such as the early growth of Athenian democracy or the impact of orientalism—gives the volume a rare coherence. Moreover, although not all of the essays are intellectually ambitious, they are without exception clear, carefully researched and presented, and thought-provoking. This is one of the most consistently interesting books of its kind. And if some of the fundamental principles of alterity are left unexamined, at least the picture is rendered fuller and more complex by many of the papers, which reveal in detail the variety of ways in which representational norms might be subverted or adapted in Classical Greek art.

Such is the case especially with Robin Osborne’s essay, which opens the book by looking at the readjustment of social-evaluative language—the language of agathoi and kakoi —towards democratic ideology in fifth-century Athens. He goes on to show how art exposes fissures in that ideology. While sculpture and sympotic vases represent the hoplite as the normative image of the Athenian warrior, the poorer light-armed peltast is marginalized and appears—when he does—on a disproportionate number of cheaper pots used by women (alabastra) and youths (‘mugs’). Some peltasts are black on these pots and after 480 BC they are assimilated to Persians. In glorifying the typical citizen as a hoplite, Athenian imagery continues to react against the reality of the peltast’s life.

There are certain problems with O.’s statistics (derived from Lissarrague). The argument relies on a relatively small—and not necessarily representative—sample of pots and (O. does not point out that) the disproportionate number of alabastra in the repertoire of peltast images is generated by pots attributed to one distinctive group. But in general terms the comments are still compelling. Particularly interesting is the implication that the image of the marginalized peltast is internalized even by those whom it degrades. With its insights into the suppressed heterogeneity of Athenian society, this essay is a gratifyingly unsettling contribution to the study of ‘internal Others’ which occupies much of the book.

The following two papers are iconological surveys. Michael Padgett’s subtle analysis takes as its starting-point the well discussed ‘Otherness’ of satyrs but builds on previous work to reveal their association with donkeys (and mules)—the horse’s Other. The inferiority and marginalization of both, which is applicable also to human stable-hands and other manual workers, is conveyed by mutual association and shared motifs in the repertoire of ceramic iconography. Timothy McNiven looks broadly at the expansive gestures of fear or supplication made by women in vase-paintings, as compared with the conspicuous self-control of men. Assuming that these motifs represent the difference between the male ideal and a female Other, he shows how the same gestures place satyrs, youths such as Orpheus and Ganymede, and old men in the same exceptional category as women (interestingly Amazons, and perhaps more awkwardly Persians, appear to show none of this fear). Finally negative representations of Eurystheus and Aegisthus are connected with anti-tyrannical sentiments in the late Archaic period: the Copenhagan Painter depicts Hipparchos himself making the mythical tyrants’ gesture of supplication as he is stabbed. McNiven in particular takes for granted the prevalence of binary opposites in Greek thought, and that assumption does determine his organization and interpretation of the material. Whatever doubts this might raise about the methodology, the discussion exposes very suggestive parallels and persuasively places them in a socio-political context.

Beth Cohen’s own essay looks at the (anti-)heroes Orpheus, Aktaion and Pentheus as they are represented in Classical vase-painting—intact, ideal youths—before their dismemberment at the hands of frenzied women or beasts (Aktaion’s hounds provoked by Artemis). She stresses not the threatening power of wild females in these similar myths, but the transgression of the victims themselves. Their transgression is apparently underscored by the fact that they are represented—inappropriately—as stereotypical Greek heroes. For instance, the kneeling pose of Pentheus and Aktaion, slaughtered like wild prey, is not a defensive position, but ironically appropriates the classic motif of the heroic hunter killing his victim. C.’s argument is rich and complex, but also problematic because in some cases the visual evidence by itself could be (and has been) used to argue the very opposite. 2 The representation of these mythical victims can only ‘invert the significance of the ideal Greek constructions of heroic youth and male nudity’ (131) if one knows, or has decided, from the outset that they are transgressive and that this is what is portrayed. One surprisingly neglected factor that complicates the depiction of such paradigmatic figures—and the whole idea of the transgressive victim’s destruction—is the (presumably) funerary final deployment of most of the objects examined.

François Lissarrague’s chapter pursues the elusive image of the fabulist Aesop (traditionally a deformed, barbarian slave and so perfectly qualified as an Other) through literature and art. His (almost) structuralist conclusion, that ‘Aesop does not exist’ (129) but is essentially a literary genre rather than an individual, may sound like an excuse for lack of evidence, but is perhaps more useful than that as an (albeit rhetorical) characterization of a diverse body of ancient material. The relatively consistent image of Homer might afford a useful contrast.

The next six chapters focus more closely on the construction of social personae and status in Classical Athenian art. Maria Pipili usefully surveys the types of headgear that distinguish lower-class individuals such as rustics and craftsmen in late Archaic or early Classical vase-painting. Hats like the rustic pilos denote the inferior status of figures that are often, but not always, unattractively portrayed. Robert Sutton concentrates on the same period, analyzing depictions of the Base and the Ugly (his capitals) in orgy scenes. These he sees as celebrations of the Self as Other—a flirtation with non-conventional behaviour that responds to the attitudes of ‘members of newly emerging social classes’ (183). Importantly, S. shows that such images are authentically obscene—in Athenian terms—and that shameless sexual displays in public could be regarded as ‘Other’ (typical of foreigners, for instance). The survey of evidence is perceptive, though not without some preconceptions about what must have appeared more or less unacceptable. It also presents a veritable alphabet of non-sexual anti-social behaviour in the context of the komos —including brawling, crepitation, defecation, urination and vomiting—as well as non-ideal and degrading representations of aging prostitutes. The repertoire of such images from later Archaic Athens is interpreted as an ironic celebration of deplorable behaviour, challenging established aristocratic values in the emerging democracy. The Base and the Ugly was eventually discarded in the evolution of an elevated High Classical style (symbolized, it is suggested, by Myron’s statue of Athena, loftily discarding the pipes that the satyr Marsyas will adopt). Sutton’s arguments are compatible with the evidence and highly appealing because of their socio-political dimension.

Jenifer Neils summarizes the iconography of hetairai on Attic red-figure pots before exploring the relationship between hetairai and maenads, sometimes juxtaposed and even assimilated (as in the case of Epiktetos’s famous tondo representing an aulos-player with a skin-clad, castanet-wielding woman). Both types of liberated female reverse ‘the normative role of women in Greek society’ (226) and their respective nocturnal entertainments were easily associated by those who painted wine-vessels. John Oakley’s chapter starts with the uncomfortable paradox that slaves, who were apparently straightforwardly ‘Other’, are often hard positively to identify in Classical iconography. He presents a critical summary of recent reassessments of the ‘mistress and maid’ scenes on Attic pots, which are better labelled as images of ‘two women’ (231), though in some cases slave-girls can be securely identified from context, attire, short hair or stature. Some slaves like the tattooed Thracians are unambigious Others. But the status of women is generally not sharply defined. O.’s examples lead to the conclusion that such images of slaves are themselves ideals—perfect slaves in the harmonious oikos —a perceptive observation that complicates the definition of the Classical ideal, or reveals further subtleties in its expression.

The chapter by Andrew Stewart and Celina Gray—’Confronting the Other’—only confronts the subject of the Other in a very general sense, but it is a fascinating study of a unique late Classical funerary stele and its implications for the portrayal of childbirth, aging and familial relationships in Athens. The stele, from the Sackler Museum, represents a seated woman and an old man clasping hands, flanked by attendant females—broadly speaking a highly conventional dexiosis scene. But scrutiny of composition and the stone show that this relief was reworked in antiquity, and originally depicted an altogether less common ‘death-in-childbirth’ scene, in which the ‘old man’ was another woman clutching the arm of the tragic, collapsing mother. Stewart and Gray highlight the uncomfortable and unusual intimacy of the short-lived ‘death-in-childbirth’ genre, which ‘breaks the rules’ of Attic funerary iconography by representing suffering and the cause of death (and which is toned down even in the original form of the Sackler stele). Surely none of this quite amounts to ‘otherness’ still, the hypothesis that such scenes had their origins in fourth-century mythological painting or even drama is instructive. This discussion finally seeks to identify the old man as the husband, not the father, of the deceased woman, and explains the restrictions placed on the sculptor in the recutting of the stone, as well as his room to manoeuvre for rhetorical effect. In the end little is said about the actual reuse of the stele, but here it is perhaps impossible to move beyond pure speculation, and this is an illuminating essay.

The last chapter to deal with ‘internal others’ is Helene Foley’s detailed, critical study of the comic body and its representation in Attic and South Italian art and literature. The rest of the book is concerned with the more obvious, foreign Others that that come more readily to mind in discussions of Greek binary opposition.

Alan Shapiro looks at Greek perceptions of the Etruscans and successfully aims at a more systematic examination of the Perizoma Group of Attic black-figure pots, the iconography of which implies a conscious awareness of an Etruscan clientele. Keith De Vries focuses on the more familiar, Hellenized non-Greeks of Phrygia and Lydia, illuminating interesting discrepancies between literary and visual representation of the former. Despoina Tsiafakis surveys a variety of depictions of the exotic Thracians on Attic pottery with useful literary comparisons, finally emphasizing the otherness of the Thracian goddess Bendis within Athens.

As a translation of a French article originally published in 1985/6 in a rather different context, 3 Claude Bérard’s chapter stands out as a sophisticated alternative perspective on the general subject of the foreign other. His proposition that Athenian images of ‘orientals’ (Persians and similar barbarians) are essentially not racist depends too much on the assumption that racism should be straightforwardly visible to us in Greek iconography (through caricature for example) but the premise is unreliable. To suggest that the exotic equipment of the oriental Other is presented with ‘an ethnographic interest that is in no way denigrating’ (394) seems unduly generous and ignores the juxtaposition with Greek features which evidentally are the ideal norm (the subject of much discussion in this book). Nor does the failure to proclaim outright Greek supremacy in art (or the occasional success of the enemy, or the fact that Amazons sometimes wear hoplite armour) suggest the absence of something like racism. It perhaps only suggests that the ‘racism’ takes a subtle form. However, what these arguments amount to is a contrast with the depiction of African (Ethiopian) mythical figures like Memnon and Andromeda who as heroic characters are decidedly not portrayed like Africans, their foreign origins indicated instead by black attendants and sometimes by Persian dress. The implication is a hierarchy of racism: ‘”Persians” are superior to the Blacks but inferior to the Whites…’ (405). Athenian iconography thus betrays ‘a mild form of cultural racism…profoundly rooted in the mental structures of Athenian society’ (409), but it remains mild because the black population in Greece was small—a remote Other — and ‘in their time and place, the Athenians could afford not to be racist’ (409). In spite of the previous evidence B. finishes by suggesting, not implausibly, that plastic vases in the form of white and black heads have an aesthetic, not a racial motivation. But are they ‘beyond ideologies’ (411)? Surely not.

Margaret Miller’s chapter explores the transformation of the Bousiris myth in vase-painting after the Persian wars, showing how the story shifts from an Egyptian to a Persian setting with the democratic Athenians’ need for reductive self-definition in opposition to the foreign Other. David Castriota provides an appropriate concluding chapter by examining Persian representations of self and Other in images and documents—sources which (not surprisingly) embody a quite different world-view from that of the Greeks.

In sum, this is an expertly edited, high-quality book which will provide an enduring source of inspiration and material to many. Just one final, general comment is due. Not the Classical Ideal is almost entirely devoted specifically to Attic vase-painting. While Cohen attempts to justify that focus with reference to the survival of pots, their rich figural and especially mythological decoration, and the insight that they afford into ‘the taste and outlook of the common people’ (12), it is important to ask how and why ‘the “official” iconography of monumental, public art’ differs. It is, after all, a truism that the mythological battle scenes of monuments like the Parthenon (perhaps no less a part of the ‘common people’s’ world) project the boldest image of the Other in Classical art.

1. For general and methodological discussion see especially P. Cartledge, The Greeks. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

2. See the references in Cohen p. 98, n. 2.

3. C. Bérard, ‘L’image de l’Autre et le héros étranger’, in Sciences et Racisme 67 (1985-6), pp. 5-22.