Friday, March 22, 2019

Representations of Mothers and Infants in Funerary Commemoration

The Institute’s fifth lecture of 2019 will take place on Wednesday 27 March, starting at 7.30 pm in the in the library of the Institute (Dionysiou Aiginitou 7, ground floor, Ilisia. Metro: Megaro Moussikis). Barbara N. Scarfo (Homer and Dorothy Thompson Fellow, The Canadian Institute in Greece; Ph.D. candidate, Department of Classics, McMaster University) will give a lecture entitled, Representations of Mothers and Infants in Funerary Commemoration: A Cross-Cultural Study”.

“This paper will explore the depictions of mothers and infants on Classical Attic funerary monuments. By pairing mothers and infants, the monuments’ iconography helped to convey that the woman depicted had either achieved, or attempted to achieve, the goal that was set out for her by the Athenian polis and her oikos: she had become a mother to a legitimately recognized heir, an Athenian citizen. In certain cases, however, the absence of an inscription makes it more difficult to interpret the iconography. This paper will attempt to fill in the gaps that such ambiguities present and will discuss the social and cultural circumstances that surrounded motherhood in Classical Athens and the expectations that were placed on women within their own oikoi and by the state, chiefly marrying and reproducing at a relatively young age. The paper will also analyze these monuments alongside ones from the Roman period that feature mothers and infants, a comparison to the Attic material that can help further our understanding of these monuments.”

You are all most welcome to join us next Wednesday evening for what promises to be a most interesting presentation.

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

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