What do Greek myths mean and how was meaning created for the ancient viewer? In Art, Myth and Ritual in Classical Greece, Judith Barringer considers the use of myth on monuments at several key sites - Olympia, Athens, Delphi, Bassai, and Trysa - showing that myth was neither randomly selected nor purely decorative. The mythic scenes on these monuments had meaning, the interpretation of which depends on context. Barringer explains how the same myth can possess different meanings and how, in a monumental context, the mythological image relates to the site and often to other monuments surrounding it, which redouble, resonate, or create variation on a theme. The architectural sculpture examined here is discussed in a series of five case studies, which are chronologically arranged and offer a range of physical settings, historical and social circumstances, and interpretive problems. Providing new interpretations of familiar monuments, this volume also offers a comprehensive way of seeing and understanding Greek art and culture as an integrated whole.
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