Be a member
Send article with e-mail
Your e-mail *
Friend e-mail *
CAPTCHA *
CAPTCHA Code *
Refresh CAPTCHA
Comment
* required fields
Send
More
- +
by Archaeology Newsroom

Suicide in the Visual Arts of Antiquity

The article focuses on the visual representations of suicide in antiquity and examines their literary background: Ajax’s suicide is thoroughly narrated in the cyclic poems, an epos that was disseminated in the entire Greek world through the popular representations of this episode, decorating in the archaic period pottery, shields and architectural sculpture. In the fifth century B.C. the tragedies of Aeschylus and particularly those of Sophocles presenting Ajax’s suicide probably inspired the celebrated painter and toreutics artist Parrausius to create a work with this subject and equally influenced the vase-painting repertoire in the decades that followed. The shift of interest towards representations of real events that occurres after Aristotle’s explains the success and popularity of a series of sculptures, ranging from the Pergamene to Roamn art, which portray the suicide of defeated barbarian leaders. Finally, suicides caused by love as well as their impact on Roman wall paintings are considered.