Painting early death
Article , Content / 2018-11-08

Opuscula 11 (2018) is available for purchase at Distributed by ab Painting early death. Deceased maidens on funerary vases in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens By Katia Margariti Abstract The present paper studies the iconography of dead maidens depicted on a red-figured funerary loutrophoros and six white-ground lekythoi in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, all of them dating to the 5th century BC. The scenes painted on the vases under consideration are representative of the iconography employed by Classical Athenian vase-painters for the depiction of deceased maidens, parthenoi. Dead maidens are not frequently seen on funerary clay loutrophoroi, but mostly appear in psychopompoi, tomb visit, and prothesis scenes of white lekythoi, where their premature death before marriage is often emphasized by the fact that they are shown as brides through the use of wedding iconography elements. They are never portrayed being carried by Hypnos and Thanatos, but are only taken to Hades by Hermes and Charon. Even though the loutrophoros is generally considered to be the symbol par excellence of death before marriage, it is not indispensable to the depiction of maiden figures on white lekythoi. However, in scenes on white lekythoi showing a loutrophoros-hydria set…

Power and coinage
Article , Content / 2017-12-02

Opuscula 10 (2017) is now available for purchase at,,, and Power and coinage. The portrait tetradrachms of Eumenes II By Marie-Christine Marcellesi Abstract Among other innovations in coinage, the portrait tetradrachms of Eumenes II testify to the interest that the Attalid king showed in coinage. It is difficult to date these coins using purely numismatic criteria. The generally favoured late dating is based on the notion that this was a short-lived coinage, but it may well have been struck – possibly at intervals – over a relatively long period of Eumenes II’s reign. In this paper I defend an early dating for the starting point of this coinage, in the first half of the reign and even in the first years, before the Treaty of Apamea. The historical context of the rising power of Rome in the Eastern Mediterranean after the Second Macedonian War may explain the original features of this coinage and its iconography, which shows a will to affirm a personal power and also suggests a connection with Rome through the Pergamene cult of the Kabeiroi. Bibliographical information Marie-Christine Marcellesi, ‘Power and coinage. The portrait tetradrachms of Eumenes II’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish…

Cutting the Gordian knot
Article , Content / 2015-12-02

Opuscula 8 is now available for purchase and free download at Also available at, and Cutting the Gordian knot. The iconography of Megaron 2 at Gordion By Susanne Berndt Abstract This article examines the incised drawings of Early Phrygian Gordion, and in particular those of Megaron 2. Aspects of their iconographic and archaeological contexts are taken in to consideration, as well as literary sources and especially the story of the Gordian knot. The focus of the study is a series of incised labyrinths, which have hitherto not been recognized as such, but which are of particular interest for the analysis of this building. The myth of Theseus and the Minotaur in the labyrinth helps to throw light on both the images of Megaron 2 but also on the story of the Gordion knot, and how these are interlinked with each other. It is suggested that Ariadne’s ball of thread and the Gordian knot are two different expressions of a similar concept; both represent sovereignty provided by a Goddess. Megaron 2 seems to have been a building that was intimately connected with both the king and the Phrygian Mother Goddess. Bibliographical information Susanne Berndt, ‘Cutting the Gordian…

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