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Visual Personifications In Literature And Art: Aristophanes’ Eirene And Her Attendants

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Chapter Summary

There is a natural connection between Eirene and Opora, two personifications found exclusively in the circle of Dionysos on Attic vases also from the period of the Peloponnesian War. Eirene was earlier known as one of the Horai, presumably the autumn season in which everyone was freed from military duties and devoted their attentions to reaping the ripened crops. A mature Eirene receives worship as early as the fourth century yet the evidence for her fifth-century cult is inferential. Opora is Eirene's primary attendant on the late fifth century vases, as in Aristophanes' plays. She emphasises the agricultural link between Eirene and Dionysos. Theoria may refer in turn to spectacular festivals, such as those that might be supported, by Athens' theoric fund; to the act of watching such a festival/show or perhaps even to the objects associated with such embassies or festivals.

Keywords: Aristophanes; Athenian art; Dionysos; Eirene; Opora; Peloponnesian War; Theoria; visual personifications



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