Virgin Sacrifice in Classical Art : Women, Agency, and the Trojan War book cover
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Virgin Sacrifice in Classical Art
Women, Agency, and the Trojan War





ISBN 9780367787189
Published March 31, 2021 by Routledge
238 Pages

 
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Book Description

The Trojan War begins and ends with the sacrifice of a virgin princess. The gruesome killing of a woman must have captivated ancient people because the myth of the sacrificial virgin resonates powerfully in the arts of ancient Greece and Rome. Most scholars agree that the Greeks and Romans did not practice human sacrifice, so why then do the myths of virgin sacrifice appear persistently in art and literature for over a millennium? Virgin Sacrifice in Classical Art: Women, Agency, and the Trojan War seeks to answer this question.
This book tells the stories of the sacrificial maidens in order to help the reader discover the meanings bound up in these myths for historical people. In exploring the representations of Iphigeneia and Polyxena in Greek, Etruscan, and Roman art, this book offers a broader cultural history that reveals what people in the ancient world were seeking in these stories. The result is an interdisciplinary study that offers new interpretations on the meaning of the sacrificial virgin as a cultural and ideological construction. This is the first book-length study of virgin sacrifice in ancient art and the first to provide an interpretive framework within which to understand its imagery.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Acknowledgements



List of Figures



List of Abbreviations



Chapter 1: Introduction: Virgin Sacrifice in Classical Art and Society



Just a Man’s World? The Patriarchal, Monolithic Male Gaze



The Public and Private ‘Lives’ of Iphigeneia and Polyxena



Organization of the Study



Chapter 2: What Makes a Virgin Sacrifice?



Towards a Definition of Virgin Sacrifice



Killing a Woman: Terminology and Relation to Animal Sacrifice



Traditions of Human Sacrifice in the Near East



Jephthah’s Daughter: Virgin Sacrifice in the Bible



Chapter 3: The Sacrifice of Iphigeneia



Iphigeneia in Greek Art



Iphigeneia in Etruscan Art



Iphigeneia in Roman Art



Chapter 4: The Sacrifice of Polyxena



Polyxena in Greek Art



Polyxena in Etruscan Art



Polyxena in Roman Art



Chapter 5: War and Womanhood: Virgin Sacrifice and the Trojan War



The Sacrificial Virgins and Helen of Troy



The Brygos Painter’s Louvre Iliupersis Cup



Iconographic Ambiguity: Who is Represented?



Between Sisters: Kassandra and Polyxena



The Sacrificial Virgin in Iliupersis Tableaux



Polyxena and Troilos



The Heroines Pyxis in London: The Art of Pairing Women



The Trojan War on Italian Soil: Resonances in the Roman World



Virgin Bodies: Framing The Trojan War



Beyond the Trojan War: The Defiant Antigone



Mythological Women, Representation, and Womanhood



Chapter 6: The Sacrificial Virgins and Female Agency



Consent, Resistance, and the Measure of a Maiden



Agency and Context in Etruscan and Roman Art



Polyxena the Aristocrat: Agency, War, and Tripods



Victims and Rebels: Recovering Ancient Women’s Resistance



Chapter 7: Conclusion: The Princess and the Knife



The "Afterlives" of Iphigeneia and Polyxena: Their Legacy



After the Sacrifice and Further Questions



Conclusion



Bibliography



Catalogue of Representations of Iphigeneia and Polyxena in Greek, Etruscan, and



Roman Art



General Index

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Author(s)

Biography

Anthony F. Mangieri is Associate Professor of Art History and Coordinator of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, USA. He holds a Ph.D. in Greek and Roman art from Emory University. Mangieri has lectured widely and published articles on Greek art.