Monsters and Vision in the Preclassical Mediterranean
Speaker: Dr. Nassos Papalexandrou, The University of Texas at Austin
September 24, 2015, 6:00 PM
ASU Tempe Campus, Durham Language and Literature Building, Room 2
The vision of monsters is a quintessential component of religious experience in Early Greece. One area of focus is the so-called orientalizing cauldrons, vessels equipped with oriental or orientalizing attachments in the form of human-headed birds and griffin or lion protomes. These objects have traditionally been viewed as allomorphs of the revered and symbolically charged tripod-cauldrons. This lecture, which summarizes the results of a forthcoming book, it will be argued that responses to these objects involved ambivalence, resistance, and outright rejection. They were perceived as monsters or provided models for conceptualizing physical and moral dimensions of early Greek teratology. Scholarship has traditionally labeled them as dedications, but this interpretation would account for only a small percentage of the excavated materials in sanctuaries such as Olympia, Delphi, and Acropolis of Athens.
Nassos Papalexandrou is an associate professor of art history at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University with a focus on the ritual dimensions of Early Greek figurative art, and previously taught at the at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. His first book, The Visual Poetics of Power: Warriors, Youths, and Tripods in Early Greece, was published in 2005.
For a printable PDF flyer for this lecture, click here: Papalexandrou Flyer