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'And then there were none...' - Niobe and her Children

Margari-Paschali, Dafni LU (2013) ARKM24 20131
Classical archaeology and ancient history
Abstract
How can a myth for human arrogance and slaughter have a consolatory effect?

Niobe, a proud mother of six sons and an equal number of daughters, claimed superiority over Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis. As a consequence for this insolence, she was deprived from her motherhood; the divine archers slaughtered her children one by one.

In every handbook about ancient Greek mythology, this myth of Niobe is referred to as a typical example of hubris but a study in the ancient sources and archaeological material also points to different directions. This paper constitutes an attempt to deconstruct Niobe, perceive the myth in a way close to the one the ancient contemporaries did without the modern culturally determined preconceptions.

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How can a myth for human arrogance and slaughter have a consolatory effect?

Niobe, a proud mother of six sons and an equal number of daughters, claimed superiority over Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis. As a consequence for this insolence, she was deprived from her motherhood; the divine archers slaughtered her children one by one.

In every handbook about ancient Greek mythology, this myth of Niobe is referred to as a typical example of hubris but a study in the ancient sources and archaeological material also points to different directions. This paper constitutes an attempt to deconstruct Niobe, perceive the myth in a way close to the one the ancient contemporaries did without the modern culturally determined preconceptions.

The research is text-based to its greater extent. Four carefully selected passages belonging to a variety of literary genres within the temporal limit of the Archaic and Classical Era are presented, reconstructed (when applicable) and commented. At a second stage, painted pottery is entered into the discussion. A set of eight vases, contemporary to the texts, is analyzed in terms of context, utility and choice of theme.

Through this procedure, an insight into the web of themes weaved around the core of the heroine’s audacity is given and Niobe is illustrated not only as an insolent mortal, but also as a proud queen, a crestfallen mother, an archetype of grief and an example of courage. (Less)
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author
Margari-Paschali, Dafni LU
supervisor
organization
course
ARKM24 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
tragedy, mythological example, deconstruction, hubris, Niobids, Niobe, Greek mythology, Attic black-figure pottery, Attic red-figure pottery, Italian red-figure pottery
language
English
id
3801408
date added to LUP
2013-08-29 14:39:02
date last changed
2013-08-29 14:39:02
@misc{3801408,
  abstract     = {How can a myth for human arrogance and slaughter have a consolatory effect?

Niobe, a proud mother of six sons and an equal number of daughters, claimed superiority over Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis. As a consequence for this insolence, she was deprived from her motherhood; the divine archers slaughtered her children one by one. 

In every handbook about ancient Greek mythology, this myth of Niobe is referred to as a typical example of hubris but a study in the ancient sources and archaeological material also points to different directions. This paper constitutes an attempt to deconstruct Niobe, perceive the myth in a way close to the one the ancient contemporaries did without the modern culturally determined preconceptions. 

The research is text-based to its greater extent. Four carefully selected passages belonging to a variety of literary genres within the temporal limit of the Archaic and Classical Era are presented, reconstructed (when applicable) and commented. At a second stage, painted pottery is entered into the discussion. A set of eight vases, contemporary to the texts, is analyzed in terms of context, utility and choice of theme.
 
Through this procedure, an insight into the web of themes weaved around the core of the heroine’s audacity is given and Niobe is illustrated not only as an insolent mortal, but also as a proud queen, a crestfallen mother, an archetype of grief and an example of courage.},
  author       = {Margari-Paschali, Dafni},
  keyword      = {tragedy,mythological example,deconstruction,hubris,Niobids,Niobe,Greek mythology,Attic black-figure pottery,Attic red-figure pottery,Italian red-figure pottery},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {'And then there were none...' - Niobe and her Children},
  year         = {2013},
}