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The Gods of Ancient GreeceIdentities and Transformations$
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Jan Bremmer and Andrew Erskine

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637980

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637980.001.0001

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Gods in Apulia

Gods in Apulia

(p.335) 16 Gods in Apulia
The Gods of Ancient Greece

Jan N. Bremmer

Andrew Erskine

Edinburgh University Press

The richest body of evidence for perceptions of the gods in Apulia consists of local figure decorated pottery made between about 430 and 300 BC. Though Greek in style, the vast majority of the pots on which the images appear have been found in Italic (non-Greek) tombs rather than in the tomb of Taranto, the one Greek city in Apulia. Most of the gods in these vase-paintings appear as peripheral figures, almost like spectators in a gallery. The one exception is Dionysos who is central to the scenes in which he appears. He is always shown as a beardless youth, often naked, a form that replaces the traditional bearded Dionysos on Athenian vases at about the same time it appears in Apulia. In this new form he is not the theatre god nor is he the god of wine; rather, he is a champion of the dead and a guarantor of personal afterlife.

Keywords:   Apulia, Italy, Pottery, Vase-painting, Dionysos, Taranto, Afterlife

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