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Title: The sphinx in early archaic Greek art
Author: Bosana-Kourou, Panayota
ISNI:       0000 0001 3471 208X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1979
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The aim of this thesis is to study the iconography of the sphinx in Early Archaic Greek art and plot its origin and evolution. Therefore the Dark Age material is dealt with in some detail. Two types of sphinxes are attested, both radically different from the Minoan-Mycenaean sphinx. The wingless sphinx is a typically Dark Age creation attested throughout the period but without an obvious further influence in Archaic Greek art. The winged sphinx is introduced to Cretan Art in the Dark Ages from the Orient and the type preserves its vitality through successive waves of Oriental influence. The sphinx in the Geometric and Orientalizing period is more clearly traced to the Orient. In drawing up a typology I have taken as my starting point the hybrid winged feline and human character of the monster. Thus the following types emerge: a) winged female, b) winged male, c) wingless, d) with equine elements, e) with human arms, f) doublebodied, g) gorgon-sphinx, and i) sphinx protome. The iconography of each type is discussed in depth and a detailed pattern established of the interrelationship of workshops. In dealing with the imported sphinxes emphasis has been placed on discussing some classes of objects of a possibly Greek origin. Finally the evidence for the nature and the character of the motif in the Early Archaic period is discussed and the conclusion reached is that the sphinx does not enter the Boeotian myth earlier than the end of the seventh century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Art, Greek ; Sphinxes (Mythology) in art