Chapter

Losing the Picture: Change and Continuity in Athenian Grave Monuments in the Fourth and Third Centuries <span class="smallCaps">bc</span>

Karen Stears

in Word And Image In Ancient Greece

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780748614066
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651054 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748614066.003.0012
Losing the Picture: Change and Continuity in Athenian Grave Monuments in the Fourth and Third Centuries bc

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Athens produced some of the finest sculpted grave monuments to be found in the ancient world, which adorned cemeteries and roadsides throughout the polis. The majority of them were decorated with painted images of the deceased, their family identified by the addition of an inscribed or painted name or epigram. This chapter investigates other aspects of the concepts of ‘text’ and ‘art’, and indeed of ‘reading’ and ‘viewing’ within the funerary context of Athens. It argues that monuments should be regarded in a ‘holistic’ manner, and also focuses on the classical era's thriving sculpture industry, with a market eager for gravestones. Moreover, the chapter considers the implications of the change in memorial form in an attempt to assess the impact of the loss of the figurative grave-markers and the intrusion of a purely inscribed monument on Athenian funerals.

Keywords: Athens; grave; monuments; cemeteries; polis; images; epigram; text; art; funerals

Chapter.  7617 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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