Gods in Apulia

Jan N. Bremmer and Andrew Erskine

in The Gods of Ancient Greece

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780748637980
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670758 | DOI:
Gods in Apulia

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The richest body of evidence for perceptions of the gods in Apulia consists of local figure decorated pottery made between about 430 and 300 BC. Though Greek in style, the vast majority of the pots on which the images appear have been found in Italic (non-Greek) tombs rather than in the tomb of Taranto, the one Greek city in Apulia. Most of the gods in these vase-paintings appear as peripheral figures, almost like spectators in a gallery. The one exception is Dionysos who is central to the scenes in which he appears. He is always shown as a beardless youth, often naked, a form that replaces the traditional bearded Dionysos on Athenian vases at about the same time it appears in Apulia. In this new form he is not the theatre god nor is he the god of wine; rather, he is a champion of the dead and a guarantor of personal afterlife.

Keywords: Apulia; Italy; Pottery; Vase-painting; Dionysos; Taranto; Afterlife

Chapter.  4877 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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