The animal dimension : an investigation into the signification of animals in Homer and archaic Attic black figure vase painting.
The aim of this dissertation was to investigate the representation of specific types of animals as they occurred in Homer and archaic Attic black figure vase painting with a view to understanding bow they were most likely perceived in antiquity. This involved determining the underlying concepts around which each animal was constructed by comparing and contrasting the imagery presented in the Homeric works and archaic Attic black figure vase painting. The primary objective was to suspend modern and westernized conceptions and to attempt to approach the animal as from an ancient perspective. The Homeric works were chosen as representative of the literary evidence since these poems offer the most complete, oldest extant literature and are the result of a dynamic and continuous oral tradition. Similarly, archaic Attic black figure vase painting was considered the most suitable corpus of artistic evidence since the 6th century BC was a time when the artists actively engaged with and manipulated their themes and subject matter within an established tradition; this artistic fabric presents a parallel with the Homeric evidence. As a result of this investigation, clear and discrete concepts and images were determined for each animal.