Worshipping Athena: Panathenaia And Parthenon

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Jenifer Neils
Univ of Wisconsin Press, Dec 15, 1996 - Architecture - 249 pages
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The foremost religious festival of ancient Athens—the city dedicated to Athena, goddess of war, fertility, arts, and wisdom—was the Panathenaia. Challenging old assumptions and refuting new theories, Worshipping Athena addresses the many problems of interpretation and understanding that have swirled for years around the Panathenaia. Among the issues discussed is the recent sensational controversy over the Parthenon frieze, perhaps the best known but least understood work of Greek art. For centuries the frieze has been thought to represent the Panathenaia procession, but recently the argument has been advanced that it depicts the sacrifice of the daughters of the Athenian king Erechtheus. Worshipping Athena offers compelling evidence that the frieze does indeed depict the festal procession and also demonstrates that scenes of contemporary ritual were not unique to the Parthenon.
Editor Jenifer Neils and the contributors—eminent classicists, archaeologists, and art historians—explore the role of the Panathenaia in Athenian life and compare it with similar festivals held throughout the ancient Greek world. They discuss such topics as the Panathenaia’s mythical origins, the phenomenon of the festival’s valuable prizes (oil-filled amphoras, rather than the customary laurel wreath), and the architecture, sculpture, and painting related to the festival.
Worshipping Athena will provide valuable insights to scholars and students concerned with ancient religion, mythology, art, literature, and gender issues, as well as anyone with a keen interest in the ritual topography of the Athenian Acropolis and the iconography of the Parthenon frieze.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Theseus and Athenian Festivals
19
Athenas Shrines and Festivals
27
Women in the Panathenaic and Other Festivals
78
Group and Single Competitions at the Panathenaia
95
Panathenaic and Other Greek
106
The Other Side
137
Shield Devices and ColumnMounted Statues
163
Part HI Art and Politics
177
The Panathenaia
215
Abbreviations
229
Index of Ancient Authors
241
Copyright

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Page 233 - American Journal of Archaeology AM Mitteilungen des deutschen archaologischen Instituts; athenische Abteilung Ann.

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About the author (1996)

Jenifer Neils is professor and chair of art history at Case Western Reserve University. She organized the exhibition Goddess and Polis: The Panathenaic Festival in Ancient Athens in 1992 and edited the accompanying catalog.

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