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The evolution of the Attic marble lekythoi and their relation to the problem of identifying the dead among the figures shown on the funerary reliefs

Proukakis, Avgi Maria; (1973) The evolution of the Attic marble lekythoi and their relation to the problem of identifying the dead among the figures shown on the funerary reliefs. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The marble lekythoi were products exclusively of Attica and Atheni-in territories and lasted from about the third quarter of the 5th century to the last quarter of the 4th, as some epigraphical and archaeological data and the stylistical comparison with decrees point out. Although successors of the white ground lekythoi, the marble leltythoi have no symbolic character but are primarily bearers of the figure composition, referring to certain person(s) as the grave stelae do. Their functions were double, either decorative when used in pairs flanking other grave monuments, or organic when used singly instead of a stele. This potentiality was an advantage over the stelae and enabled the lekythoi to commemorate as joined monuments more than one dead person of a family and to be more independent of the time and the occasions of the deaths. They undergo a certain evolution in shape, relief and decoration and finish up as purely decorative elements without any figure representations. Tile study of the lekythoi and the grave reliefs with epigrams in reference to the problem of the identification of the dead on the grave monuments, prove that the usual criteria based on the rendering and the expression of the figures are not applicable generally and especially to the minor reliefs. The means however which the Athenians might have used to make their dead st. nd clearly out to the passer-by must have been simple and common for all grave monuments, independently of their artistical value. This might have been the inscription of their names absent over living depicted figures. The presence of many inscriptions on the same grave relief, the indication of some epigrams and some lekythoi erected for many dead people prove that any grave relief with the usual figure compositions might similarly commemorate many dead persons.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The evolution of the Attic marble lekythoi and their relation to the problem of identifying the dead among the figures shown on the funerary reliefs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by EThOS.
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1572380
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