The life cycle of the archaic Greek warrior and hero.

The interplay of myth and genre in imagery
Nanna Marinatos free ebook

Introduction. Genre, narrative, motif and ideology
THE DISTINCTION between genre and narrative is not as sharp as one might think since both depend upon tradition shaped by cultural experience. The relationship of visual art and the normative background which gives shape to artistic tradition is an important topic which can take us far afield. The discussion in this paper will have to limit itself to one theme: the life cycle of the male warrior or hero.
The investigation will deal primarily with imagery on bronze Peloponnesian shields. The latter are particularly relevant to our topic because they are the carriers of male-oriented warrior ideology. Many of these shields were found in Olympia, others in Argos and Perachora, and it is agreed that they are products of an Argive school. Indeed Argos seems to be the source of the round shield. 1 It is even arguable that the epic cycle about Troy had an Argive origin. 2 At any rate, it is a fact that epic scenes on Corinthian3 and Argive pottery4 and shields5 are extensive.
Let us now turn to the decoration of the shields and some technical matters associated with the representation. Each shield was adorned on the outside with an episema, a device which the enemy would see. But also the inner bronze handle straps were decorated; they were divided into panels, and each panel contained a scene. free ebook