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The goddess Athena in the royal ideology of Ancient Thrace
The goddess Athena in the royal ideology of Ancient Thrace

Author(s): Ivan Marazov
Subject(s): History
Published by: Editura Istros - Muzeul Brailei
Keywords: Goddess Athena; Ancient Thrace; royal ideology; art; religion

Summary/Abstract: The ancient authors have left us a scanty and fragmentary picture of the Thracian Pantheon (Маразов 1992; 1994а). Nevertheless, the names of several goddesses are mentioned in it: Artemis, Kotyto, Bendis, Hera, Hestia, Aphrodite and Hekate. With the exception of the “local” female deities Kotyto and Bendis (and later Yambadule as well), the Greek names face us with the problem of deciding precisely which function of the concrete goddess the ancient author had in mind when he placed her on the Thracian firmament. Naturally, some of them can be identified in the iconographic sources as well. However, as is a frequent occurrence in Thracian historiography, there are often discrepancies between written and iconic data. The goddess Athena is an eloquent example in this respect. She is known from written sources, but until recently she was a rare occurrence in the iconography of art. Three bronze cnemides with the image of the goddess appeared recently, and they immediately changed the situation, forcing us to explain why the eponymous deity of the Athenian polis was so popular in Hellenistic Thrace. The aim of the present paper is to raise this question.

  • Issue Year: 16/2010
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 143-183
  • Page Count: 41
  • Language: English