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Athena and Pallas, Image, Copies, Fakes, and Doubles

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Chapter Summary

Greek literature offers many allusions to and anecdotes about a statue named "the palladion" after the goddess Athena's surname Pallas1 that played an important part in the legend of Troy and in several foundation myths of cities around the Greek and Roman ancient world. This chapter analyzes some aspects of the question of the fake and the genuine palladion in myth. One can notice the parallel with Dionysius Halicarnassensis' reference to the oracle, and the mention of Zeus throwing the statue from Olympus: the aorist with apocope and assimilation in the beginning of the verse is typically Homeric. Athena's and Pallas' history of friendship and grieving in the Bibliotheca provides an astonishing reduplication of doubles and fakes. It allows a reflection on the image as replacing a beloved absent person and on the birth of both art and religion as the sanctification of this image.

Keywords: ancient fakes; Athena; Bibliotheca; Dionysius Halicarnassensis; Greek literature; mythology; Pallas



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