Dionysus

Gallery | Masks

Traditionally, Thespis was credited with introducing masks to indicate different characters in theater, although Aristotle says: "Who introduced masks or prologues, the number of actors, and so on, is not known." In earlier periods maks were created for burials, the most famous being the so-called “Mask of Agamemnon” discovered during excavations at Mycenae. In this Gallery, we share images of masks from the classical world. Read more

The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours | Gallery: Part 6

The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours is based on a course that Professor Gregory Nagy has been teaching at Harvard University since the late 1970s. The book discusses selected readings of texts, all translated from the original Greek into English. This series of galleries attempts to illustrate each Hour with visual art. This sixth gallery covers Hours 21–24. Read more

Hair, part 1 | Male hair: descriptions

"Beautiful were the locks of hair as they waved in the breeze surrounding him." How did the ancient Greeks view hair? There are many passages in which it is mentioned or described, and this series of blog posts will explore different aspects of how it is featured in some of the texts. In this first post, we are looking at physical descriptions of men's hair. Read more

Ariadne: Abandonment and Transformation

In this passage by Nonnos, Ariadne has been deserted on Naxos by the hero Theseus. As she lies on the lonely shore sleeping, she is discovered by the god Dionysus who transfigures the human woman into the goddess that defines Ariadne. "Bacchus [=Dionysus] now leaving Ilissos’ honey-sweet watercourse [in Attica], comes in joyous procession with his reveling troop to the vine-clad island of Naxos." Read more