The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is pleased to announce the publication of Hesperia 88.4. Topics in this issue include the reexamination of a multifigured Protoarchaic cup from Crete, the study of the Classical-period sculpture from the friezes of the Temple of Ares in the Athenian Agora, an exploration of the political value of timber in the 5th century, and a look at the influences of 5th-century Athenian art and civic religion on the staging of Euripides’ Ion.
Subscribers can read the issue online at JSTOR, which now hosts all current issues of Hesperia as well as an archive of past volumes. The printed version will be mailed shortly.
The Iconography of a Protoarchaic Cup from Kommos: Myth and Ritual in Early Cretan Art, by Antonis Kotsonas, reexamines a 7th-century B.C. cup from the sanctuary of Kommos in Crete that presents what may be the most complex and multifigured scene on a Cretan ceramic vessel of any period. Through this study, the author offers original insights about this piece, which has long puzzled scholars, and provides detailed information on its fabric, its technique of manufacture, and especially its iconography. An identification of episodes from the Trojan War is proposed, and the relevance of this imagery to the cultural context of production and consumption is explained.
Classical Sculpture from the Athenian Agora, Part 2: The Friezes of the Temple of Ares (Temple of Athena Pallenis), by Andrew Stewart, Eric Driscoll, Seth Estrin, Natalie J. Gleason, Erin Lawrence, Rebecca Levitan, Samantha Lloyd-Knauf, and Kelsey Turbeville, discussess and catalogues 49 high-relief, half-life-size marble fragments from the Agora excavations and one from the Roman Agora. It attributes them to the pronaos and opisthodomos friezes of the Temple of Ares, originally the Temple of Athena Pallenis at Pallene. The iconography of the friezes, the temple’s sacred law, and its original orientation toward Apollo’s sacred isle of Delos prompt an identification of their subjects as the introduction of Apollo to Pallene (east) and a joint sacrifice to him and Athena (west). Dated to ca. 430–425 B.C., the remains are examined in relation to the temple’s possible genesis as a response to the great plague of 430–426.
A Game of Timber Monopoly: Atheno-Macedonian Relations on the Eve of the Peloponnesian War, by Konstantinos Karathanasis, details how, by 432 B.C., the alliance of Athens with Perdikkas’s internal enemies precipitated a deterioration in the formerly amiable Atheno-Macedonian relations. Focusing on this peculiar termination of goodwill with Perdikkas through the lens of timber commerce, the author maintains that Perdikkas effectively opposed Athenian imperialism by restricting his monopolistic supply of silver fir, since timber from this species was an unrivaled resource for shipbuilding and was available only in Macedon. As a result, the shift of allegiance (recorded by Thucydides) emerges as part of an elaborate Athenian strategy that, among other advantages, would also facilitate access to invaluable shipbuilding resources.
The Sculptural Poetics of Euripides’ Ion: Reflections of Art, Myth, and Cult from the Parthenon to the Attic Stage, by Gregory S. Jones, looks at Euripides’ Ion and offers an expanded analysis of the late-5th-century play’s associations with religious traditions and art. From this, it can be argued that its original performance cultivated a Pheidian aesthetic that made progressive allusions to sculpture and culminated in an evocation of the imperial Panathenaia. The play also quoted the Parthenon’s east frieze, including the depiction there of the peplos ritual. An analysis of related vase painting corroborates this reading and suggests that a comparable mixture of Ionian and Erechtheid mytho-religious iconography was an intentional component of the Parthenon’s visual program from its beginnings.
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