From the age of Homer until late antiquity the culture of ancient Greece and Rome was permeated by images of Greek myths. Gods and heroes were represented as statues, on vase and wall paintings, on temples, on sarcophagi as well as in other media. This 2011 book provides a concise introduction to the interpretation of the images of Greek myths. Its main aim is to make the pictorial versions of the myths comprehensible on their own terms. Ancient artists were well aware of the potential - but also the limitations - of these 'silent' images and of the strategies that made them 'speak' to the audience/viewer. The book explains the theoretical and methodological issues at stake and discusses in detail a number of case studies. It will be useful and stimulating for all undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in classical mythology and ancient art.
Klaus Junker is Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Classical Archaeology, Mainz University. He has published extensively on ancient Greek sculpture, architecture and mythological imagery as well as on the history of classical archaeology.
1. Achilles and Patroklos in the Trojan War: an introductory case study; 2. Definitions: myth and mythological image; 3. The production of myths and of mythological images - stages in the historical development; 4. Types of monument and fields of function; 5. Methods; 6. Content and intention.