Map of the ancient Near East,
from Lynn Hunt, The Making of the West, Volume 1.
Mesopotamian goddesses
• Ashnan—goddess of grains
• Ama-arhus—goddess of fertility
• Damkina—goddess of earth mother
• Ere...
Inanna/Ishtar
Left star symbol associated with Inanna, Louvre Museum, Paris, c. 1200 BC;
right cylinder seal depicting Ina...
Ereshkigal
Relief in British Museum, London, c. 1800-1750 BC.
• Ruler of the underworld
Egyptian goddesses
• Bast—goddess of fertility, childbirth, and perfume
• Hathor—originally the vengeful eye of Ra; later ...
Bast
Left statue in the Louvre Museum, c. 650-350 BC; right statue in the British
Museum, London, c. 650-350 BC.
• Goddess...
Isis holding the infant Horus
Statue in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, c. 650-350 BC.
• Goddess of fertility,
healing, and re...
Ma’at
Left image of Isis from the tomb of Seti I, c. 1300 BC; right statue of Ma’at,
Egyptian Museum, c. 650-350 BC.
• God...
Depiction of the judgment of the deceased: Ma’at is
represented by the feather on the right side of the scale;
Isis and Ne...
Nephthys
Statue of Nepthys from the Louvre Museum, Paris.
• Goddess of death,
decay, and unseen
Nut
Image from the ceiling of the tomb of Ramses VI, Valley of the Kings, Egypt, c.
1140 BC.
• Goddess of the sky, a
symbo...
“The earth and sky were intermixed and chaotic; the universe
was formless, as if rebelling against order.”
Image from the ...
Seshat
Relief in the Brooklyn Museum, c. 1900 BC.
• Goddess of writing,
associated with
astronomy,
mathematics,
accounting...
Map of the ancient Mediterranean,
from Lynn Hunt, The Making of the West, Volume 1.
Minoan snake goddess
Figurine in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete, c. 1600 BC.
Gaia
Image from the Antikenmuseen, Berlin, Germany, 410-400 BC.
• Mother goddess,
strongly associated with
the earth and f...
Rhea
Statue in the Getty Museum, Malibu, California, c. 50 AD.
• Mother goddess and
fertility goddess
• Mother of Zeus/Jup...
Demeter
Statue in the Museo Pio-Clementino, Musei Vaticani, Vatican City.
• Goddess of agriculture,
fertility
• Mother of ...
Demeter
Left image from the Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe, Germany, 480 BC;
right image from the National Museum, Athe...
Athena
Frieze of the mourning Athena, original in the Acropolis Museum, Athens,
Greece, c. 460 BC.
• Goddess of wisdom,
wa...
Athena
Image from the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,
PA, 460-450 BC.
Artemis
Statue in the Louvre, Paris, France, c. 325 BC.
• Goddess of the hunt,
associated with
important events in
women’s...
Artemis
Left image from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 470 BC; right image
from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di ...
Hestia
Statue in Museo Torlonia, Rome, Italy, c. 470 BC.
• Goddess of the hearth
and home
• Often depicted as a
living fla...
Hera
Image from the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, New York
City, NY, c. 500-475 BC.
• Queen of the gods,
c...
Aphrodite
Statue in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, 420-410 BC.
• Goddess of love and
sexuality
– Born from ...
Judgment of Paris: l-r Hera, Athena, Aphrodite,
Hermes, and Paris
Image from the Antikenmuseen, Berlin, Germany, 440 BC.
Female cultic practices
• Cult of Athena in Athens
– Panathenaea, the Parthenon
• Eleusinian mysteries
– A chief priest an...
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Women in Ancient and Medieval Europe Lecture 1 - Osher Lifelong Learning at UNMCE

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  • Growth of agriculture in the Ancient Near East.
  • Gaia, Kylix, antikenmuseen Berlin, Germany, 410-400 BC. Poseidon (c) is battling a giant while Gaia, mother of the giants and earth goddess begs for the giant’s life. This a scene from a vase depicting the Gigantomakhia (war of the giants).
  • Rhea-Kybele. Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. “Cybele” free standing marble, 1.62 meters. Discovered in rome, ca 50 AD. Rhea was mother of the gods, here depicted with crown, holding bouquet of wheat and poppy heads, flanked by fruit-brimming cornucopia, rudder, and small lion.
  • Demeter statue. Museo Pio-Clementino Musei Vaticani , Vatican City. Free standing marble statue. Demeter (poss tykhe) with crown, plough-shaft, and cornucopia.
  • L: Demeter, Krater held in Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe, Germany, 480 BC. R: Demeter and Persephone, Lekythos attic red figure, National Museum, Athens, Greece, 450-425 BC. Demeter wears the crown, holds a sheaf of wheat. P holds an Eleusinian torch, pours libations from a cup.
  • Mourning Athena, frieze, c. 460 BC, original in Acropolis Museum, Athens.
  • Image of Athena from amphora held at University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Phil, PA, 460-450 BCE
  • Artemis statue. Musee du Louvre, paris, France. “Diana of Versailles”, free standing marble, 2.01 m. Discovered in Italy, Roman copy of Greek original attributed to Leochares ca 325 BC.
  • L: Artemis. Bell krater, museum of fine arts, Boston, Mass, 470 BC. Artemis drawing her bow. R: Artemis Potnia Theron. Volute krater, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Firenze, Florence , Italy, 570-560 BC. Artemis depicted as Potnia Theron (Lady of the Beasts) from the Francois Vase. She is winged and grasps the necks of a panther/lioness and stag.
  • Hestia statue. Original in villa Albani, Museo Torlonia, Rome, Italy. Free standing marble. Roman copy of Greek bronze ca. 470 BC. Photo is of a plaster cast of the original. Cast is in Oxford Ashmolean Museum. Mantled goddess signifies that this is Hestia. 1.93 m
  • Hera, Lekythos, attic red figure, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, NYC, 500-475 BC. Hera sits on a throne decorated with a cuckoo. Goddess holds a cup in one hand and a royal lotus-tipped scepter in the other.
  • Aphrodite “of type Venus genetrix”. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Free standing marble statue, 1.64 m. Roman copy of a Greek original by Callimachus 420-410 BC. Aphrodite raising a veil, holding an apple in her left hand.
  • Judgment of Paris. Kylix, Antikenmuseen, Berlin, Germany, 440 BC. Paris sits on the right. To the left are Hermes as messenger, Aphrodite, bearing a winged Eros and myrtle wreath. Athena is next bearing a spear and helmet, then Hera with crown, miniature lion and royal lotus-tipped staff.
  • Women in Ancient and Medieval Europe Lecture 1 - Osher Lifelong Learning at UNMCE

    1. 1. Map of the ancient Near East, from Lynn Hunt, The Making of the West, Volume 1.
    2. 2. Mesopotamian goddesses • Ashnan—goddess of grains • Ama-arhus—goddess of fertility • Damkina—goddess of earth mother • Ereshkigal—queen of the underworld • Gula—goddess of healing and medicine • Inanna/Ishtar—goddess of love, war, and fertility • Nammu—the primeval sea • Nanshe—goddess of fishing, justice, prophecy, fertility, protector of the needy • Nidaba—goddess of astrology and learning writing • Ninhursag/Ki—mother goddess, goddess of childbirth • Ninkasi—goddess of alcohol • Ninlil—goddess of the air and grains • Ninsun—goddess of dreams and cows • Sirtir—goddess of sheep • Tiamat—primordial goddess involved in the Sumerian creation myth – Enuma Elish (When on High…): Tiamat, Apsu, and Enlil/Marduk
    3. 3. Inanna/Ishtar Left star symbol associated with Inanna, Louvre Museum, Paris, c. 1200 BC; right cylinder seal depicting Inanna as the warrior, British Museum. • Goddess of love, fertility, and warfare, associated with the planet Venus • Ishtar’s descent to the underworld – Tammuz/Dummuzi
    4. 4. Ereshkigal Relief in British Museum, London, c. 1800-1750 BC. • Ruler of the underworld
    5. 5. Egyptian goddesses • Bast—goddess of fertility, childbirth, and perfume • Hathor—originally the vengeful eye of Ra; later goddess of music, dancing, joy, fertility • Hatmehit—fish goddess • Isis—goddess of fertility and healing, Hatmehit was one of her early forms • Ma’at—goddess of truth, justice, and balance • Menhit—goddess of war • Meshkent—goddess of childbirth and midwifery • Neith—goddess of the hunt, war, and weaving and domestic arts • Nephthys—goddess of death, decay, and the unseen • Nut—goddess of the sky, a symbol of resurrection and rebirth • Satet—goddess of bountiful floods • Sekmet—goddess of destruction and war, fought sickness and disease • Seshet—scribal goddess and librarian, responsible for accounting, astronomy, mathematics, and historical records • Tefnut—goddess of water and fertility
    6. 6. Bast Left statue in the Louvre Museum, c. 650-350 BC; right statue in the British Museum, London, c. 650-350 BC. • Goddess of fertility, childbirth, and perfume
    7. 7. Isis holding the infant Horus Statue in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, c. 650-350 BC. • Goddess of fertility, healing, and rebirth • Isis-Osiris rebirth myth – Seth
    8. 8. Ma’at Left image of Isis from the tomb of Seti I, c. 1300 BC; right statue of Ma’at, Egyptian Museum, c. 650-350 BC. • Goddess of truth, justice, and order
    9. 9. Depiction of the judgment of the deceased: Ma’at is represented by the feather on the right side of the scale; Isis and Nephthys stand behind Osiris on the far right. From the Book of the Dead of Hunefer, British Museum, c. 1275 BC.
    10. 10. Nephthys Statue of Nepthys from the Louvre Museum, Paris. • Goddess of death, decay, and unseen
    11. 11. Nut Image from the ceiling of the tomb of Ramses VI, Valley of the Kings, Egypt, c. 1140 BC. • Goddess of the sky, a symbol of resurrection and rebirth • Egyptian creation story – Amun-Re, Nut, and Geb
    12. 12. “The earth and sky were intermixed and chaotic; the universe was formless, as if rebelling against order.” Image from the Greenfield Papyrus, British Museum, c. 950 BC.
    13. 13. Seshat Relief in the Brooklyn Museum, c. 1900 BC. • Goddess of writing, associated with astronomy, mathematics, accounting, and historical records
    14. 14. Map of the ancient Mediterranean, from Lynn Hunt, The Making of the West, Volume 1.
    15. 15. Minoan snake goddess Figurine in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete, c. 1600 BC.
    16. 16. Gaia Image from the Antikenmuseen, Berlin, Germany, 410-400 BC. • Mother goddess, strongly associated with the earth and fertility • Consort of Uranus • Mother of Rhea and Chronus
    17. 17. Rhea Statue in the Getty Museum, Malibu, California, c. 50 AD. • Mother goddess and fertility goddess • Mother of Zeus/Jupiter, Hera/Juno, Poseidon/Neptune, Hades/Pluto, Demeter/Ceres
    18. 18. Demeter Statue in the Museo Pio-Clementino, Musei Vaticani, Vatican City. • Goddess of agriculture, fertility • Mother of Persephone (R. Prosperina) – Persephone’s abduction by Hades/Pluto • Associated with Elusinian mysteries
    19. 19. Demeter Left image from the Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe, Germany, 480 BC; right image from the National Museum, Athens, Greece, 450-425 BC. Demeter with grain Demeter (right) and Persephone (left)
    20. 20. Athena Frieze of the mourning Athena, original in the Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece, c. 460 BC. • Goddess of wisdom, warfare, and women’s handicrafts • Athena Parthenos, Athena the Virgin • Patron goddess of Athens and Sparta – Athena’s sacred snake said to inhabit the temple in Athens • Romanized as Minerva
    21. 21. Athena Image from the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 460-450 BC.
    22. 22. Artemis Statue in the Louvre, Paris, France, c. 325 BC. • Goddess of the hunt, associated with important events in women’s lives • Romanized as Diana
    23. 23. Artemis Left image from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 470 BC; right image from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Firenze, Florence, Italy, 570-560 BC.
    24. 24. Hestia Statue in Museo Torlonia, Rome, Italy, c. 470 BC. • Goddess of the hearth and home • Often depicted as a living flame • Romanized as Vesta
    25. 25. Hera Image from the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, New York City, NY, c. 500-475 BC. • Queen of the gods, consort of Zeus, goddess of fertility • Mother of Ares/Mars by Zeus; gives birth to Hephaestus/Vulcan independently
    26. 26. Aphrodite Statue in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, 420-410 BC. • Goddess of love and sexuality – Born from sea foam • Married to Hephaestus, but has affair with Ares • Romanized as Venus
    27. 27. Judgment of Paris: l-r Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, Hermes, and Paris Image from the Antikenmuseen, Berlin, Germany, 440 BC.
    28. 28. Female cultic practices • Cult of Athena in Athens – Panathenaea, the Parthenon • Eleusinian mysteries – A chief priest and two priestesses, one dedicated to Demeter and one to Persephone – The melissae (bees) • Thesmophoria—a Demeter cult for women only • Games of Hera—women’s version of the Olympic games • Fortuna – Fortuna Virginalis, Fortuna Primigenia, Fortuna Muliebri, Fortuna Virilis • Cult of Vesta, Vestal Virgins • Cult of Ceres • Cult of Bacchus/Dionysius – Bacchanalia; after 186 BC, Roman men forbidden to participate • Cult of Isis and Serapis – Hellenized version of the Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris • Cult of the Magna Mater/Cybele--imported into Rome c. 200 BC
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