Which Dioskouroi? On some Locrian pinakes with music-themed iconography

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The paper considers an iconographic type attested to in a series of Locrian pinakes, showing twins on horseback (one of which has a lyra eptacorde, the other a kantharos) in front of a female figure (type 8/35: ASMG S. IV, III, 5, fig. 34); this is considered a variant of a more common type with the Dioscuri on horseback with shield and phiale accompanied by a woman (Elena, Aphrodite or nubenda?). Without prejudice to the identity of the pair of twins, it was found that the variant would intend to emphasize a particular aspect of the male world personified by the Spartan Dioscuroi, namely the paideutic role of music for the male party of the nuptial rituals (recently, summarized in A. Bellia, The song of Locrian virgins, Pisa-Rome 2012). The lyra, however, may not be a simple add-on element, a functional enrichment of the meaning of the image, but rather an attribute aimed to clarify the identity of the two characters, we propose here to interpret as Amphion (the mythical inventor of the citarodica) and Zeto, the “Dioscuri of Boeotia” (a variant of the best-known twin pair). The theme might well find a place within the mythographic and cultic panorama of the Greek colony, perhaps also showing interconnections with the local music and poetic tradition.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteMusicians in Ancient Coroplastic Art. Iconography, Ritual Contexts, and Functions
Numero di pagine7
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016

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