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Dionysos In Archaic Greek Art: A Summary

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides a summary of the analysis of images on vases of the 7th and 6th centuries BCE which show Dionysos and the characters of his world. In order to approach the meaning of Dionysos, it is necessary among other things, to become aware to what extent this god was common to the whole of Archaic Greek culture. To speak of Dionysos or his iconography means speaking of ancient culture and therefore of cultures in general: past, foreign, our own. Contrary to common opinion, which persists tenaciously in the area of iconography, Dionysos is in no sense a subordinate or secondary figure but belongs completely naturally in a cultural setting which has strong aristocratic connotations. The figurative repertoire of the decades around 600 BCE is dominated everywhere in Greece by the animal frieze, whereas subjects of a mythological nature are still the exception.

Keywords: animal frieze; Archaic Greek culture; Dionysos; iconography; vases

10.1163/ej.9789004144453.i-363.50
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