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Word And Image In Ancient Greece$
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N. Keith Rutter and Brian Sparkes

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780748614066

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748614066.001.0001

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Eidôla in Epic, Tragedy and Vase-Painting

Eidôla in Epic, Tragedy and Vase-Painting

(p.140) 8 Eidôla in Epic, Tragedy and Vase-Painting
Word And Image In Ancient Greece

Ruth Bardel

Edinburgh University Press

Greece was not only the birthplace of the dramatic arts, it was also the birthplace of the stage-ghost, a much-neglected but utterly fascinating dramatic character. Ghostly etiquette demands that a ghost appear at night to one unaccompanied person, a code of behaviour which renders all ancient Greek stage-ghosts rather impertinent, appearing as they do in broad daylight. In order to avoid such complicated categorisation and its attendant problems, this chapter focuses on the word ‘eidolon’, the term that is used to designate stage-ghosts in the dramatis personae of ancient Greek tragedy. By focusing on this word, however, it soon becomes apparent that this figure not only seemed to refuse any one categorisation, but was also a provocative amalgamation of many areas normally held to be distinct; in particular, iconography.

Keywords:   Greece, stage, ghost, eidolon, tragedy, categorisation, iconography

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