COLD COMFORT: WINGEDPSYCHAION FIFTH-CENTURY BC GREEK FUNERARY LEKYTHOI

BRIDGET MARTIN
  • Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, June 2016, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.2041-5370.2016.12015.x

The depiction of the winged dead in ancient Greece

What is it about?

Some fifth-century BC Greek funerary lekythoi depict the dead as diminutive, winged figures. These often – and easily – overlooked figures are the culmination of a tradition stretching back to the winged epic dead of the sixth century, whose depiction centred on motifs of recognition, remembrance and comfort. This article argues that these motifs were adopted and adapted in the fifth century to fulfil the particular needs of the vase dedicators: the winged figures offered comfort and reassurance to the living that the dead were cared for and their own piety noted, and suggested remembrance and honour for the dead.

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Bridget E Martin