Virgin Sacrifice in Classical Art: Women, Agency, and the Trojan War, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Virgin Sacrifice in Classical Art

Women, Agency, and the Trojan War, 1st Edition

By Anthony F. Mangieri

Routledge

222 pages | 8 Color Illus. | 66 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-10-03
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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.

Reviews

"This refreshing, multi-faceted approach to analyzing visual representations of a most intriguing topic is a powerful argument for using myth, depicted both in art and literature, as a means for understanding how women and men in the classical Mediterranean world saw themselves and each other."

- Keely Elizabeth Heuer, State University of New York at New Paltz

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

About the Author

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.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Gender and Art

Routledge Research in Gender and Art is a new series in art history and visual studies, focusing on gender, sexuality, and feminism. Proposals for monographs and edited collections on this topic are welcomed.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART015000
ART / History / General
ART015060
ART / History / Ancient & Classical
ART035000
ART / Subjects & Themes / Religious
HIS002000
HISTORY / Ancient / General
HIS002010
HISTORY / Ancient / Greece
HIS002020
HISTORY / Ancient / Rome
REL114000
RELIGION / Ancient
SOC028000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SOC032000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies