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Humanising Greek Places And Spaces: Local Personifications And Athenian Imperialism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores three categories of local personifications: the family of Okeanos; other eponymous or name giving heroines of islands and cities, of which a special group are the Asopids; and Nereids. Okeanos and Tethys were children of Ge and Ouranos. Okeanos is labelled on two early Classical vases by Syriskos, both of which show him with his family but also with other figures whose presence is surprising. Aigina and her sisters, the daughters of the river god Asopos, thus some of the grandchildren of Okeanos and Tethys, are a special group of local personifications whose popularity dramatically increased in the early to high Classical period. Scholars similarly understand maenads as 'real' women. It naturally follows that if maenads are confused or conflated with human females in Greek art and text, so are nymphs conflated with both groups.

Keywords: Aigina; Asopids; Asopos; Greek art; local personifications; maenads; Nereids; nymphs; Okeanos; Tethys



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