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Georgia Barker & Elizabeth Stockdale

By Departmental Research Seminar

Tuesday 8 October 2019 (Week 9), 2-3.30pm

The Department of Ancient History in conjunction with the Macquarie University Ancient History Association (MAHA) offers a research seminar series, intended to bring together those within Macquarie and outside who have an interest in the languages, histories, and cultures of the ancient world. View the schedule for the research seminar.

All are welcome! Please arrive on time and join us after the seminar for coffee, tea and biscuits!

Convenor: Dr Alexandra Woods Twitter


Georgia Barker | PhD candidate, Macquarie University

Animate Decoration in the Burial Chamber: A Comparative Study of Funerary Models and Wall Scenes

The ancient Egyptians believed that objects and people depicted in funerary artistic representations would magically come into existence and provide for the tomb owner in the afterlife. The absence of animate decoration in the burial chamber, therefore, has long been understood as a means to protect the deceased from any potential harm posed by living creatures. Animate figures first appeared in the wall scenes of substructures during late Dynasty 5, but were quickly replaced by portrayals of food and drink. Towards the end of the Old Kingdom and in the First Intermediate Period, some hieroglyphic signs of humans and animals were even truncated or eliminated. Funerary models, conversely, were included in burial chambers for a more expansive time period, from late Dynasty 6 to the end of the Middle Kingdom, even though they too depicted people from everyday life. If it was believed that these statuettes would likewise come to life and serve the deceased for eternity, why would they be included in the substructure alongside the body for a considerably longer period than animate wall scenes? This paper explores the apparent contradiction by presenting the differing developments and surrounding ideology of each medium. Various proposals are suggested, with the themes represented by the artworks, the role of accompanying text, and recently discovered scenes in the burial chambers of Baqet I and Baqet II at Beni Hassan all being addressed.

Elizabeth Stockdale | PhD candidate, Macquarie University

Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter: Twitter

Iphthime: The First Female Εἴδωλον

Eἴδωλα appear in the Iliad and the Odyssey. There are two different types of εἴδωλα. The first type is used to described ‘images’ of the dead. At Il.XXIII.72, and XXIII.104 the ‘image’ of the dead Patroklos appears and speaks to Achilles. At Od.xi.83, 213, 476 and 602, and xxiv.14 εἴδωλα appear as ‘images’ of dead men in the underworld. At Od.xx.355 the word is used to describe the ‘images’ of slain men in the realm of the dead. The second type of εἴδωλα pertains to ‘images’ of living people. Il.V.449 and V.451 describe an ‘image’ of the living Aeneas, created by the god Apollo to be present on the battlefield while Aeneas had been taken elsewhere. At Od.iv.796, 824, and 835, idea that a god can create the ‘image’ of a living person to take the place of that person is taken further. The ‘image’ of the living Iphthime, the sister of Penelope, is created by the goddess Athena. Unlike the ‘image’ of Aeneas which lies on the battlefield, Iphthime moves, speaks and responds to questions from Penelope. This paper will examine the purpose and nature of the first female εἴδωλον, Iphthime, in ancient Greek literature, and how this particular εἴδωλον differs from the other εἴδωλα in Homeric epic.

References

  • Alden, M. Para-Narratives in the Odyssey: Stories in the Frame OUP, 2017:214.
  • Harris, W. Dreams and Experience in Classical Antiquity HUP: 2009.
  • Pârvulescu, A. ‘Homeric (έν) νυκτός άμολγῷ’ Glotta 63. Bd., 3./4. H. 1985: 152-159.
  • Turkeltaub, D. ‘Windy Words in Penelope’s Joking Dream: Odyssey 4.787–841’ Helios, Vol.41.1, 2014:1-24.

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Departmental Research Seminar

The Department of Ancient History in conjunction with the Macquarie University Ancient History Association (MAHA) offers a research seminar series, intended to bring together those within Macquarie and outside who have an interest in the languages, histories, and cultures of the ancient world.