Theriomorphic Forms: Analyzing Terrestrial Animal-Human Hybrids in Ancient Greek Culture and Religion
AuthorCarter, Caroline LynnLee
AdvisorVoyatzis, Mary E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis thesis explores terrestrial theriomorphism (the ascription of animal characteristics to human figures) in ancient Greek culture and religion diachronically using literary and archaeological evidence, while focusing on the latter to supplement previous scholarship (Aston 2011). I analyze 13 consistently terrestrial theriomorphic beings (including eight deities) and iconography from the Greek historical period (Chapter 2). The unique scope of the thesis allows for a comprehensive examination, considering these hybrids’ possible origins in time and place, development through cultural interactions, geographical concentrations, iconographical representations, and overall significance (Chapter 3). The research and conclusions in this thesis offer new insights and developments towards furthering our understanding of the relationship between humans and animals in ancient Greece. Appendix A is a chart of cult sites to theriomorphic deities (which is complemented by a series of maps). It is the first of its kind to be published and reveals concentrations in both rural and urban locations across the Greek Mediterranean, but especially in Arcadia. In addition, I provide an analysis of (terrestrial) theriomorphism in the Bronze Age for the first time ever, showing that there are connections to later Greek culture and religion. This thesis sheds light on the extent to which animals were an essential aspect of Greek life as a means to express their relationship to man, nature, the landscape, and identity, especially in religious contexts. Numerous conclusions are made that challenge and supplement previous scholarships and generalized conceptions, such as theriomorphism being “primitive” and that the centaur existed in Greece continually though the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.
Degree ProgramGraduate College