Ethnicity and Musical Identity in the Lyric Landscape of Early Cyprus

in Greek and Roman Musical Studies
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This paper re-examines several standing assumptions about the lyre-types of early Iron Age (ia) Cyprus and how these should be correlated with historical and cultural phases on the island, specifically the pre-Greek (‘Eteocypriot’) Late Bronze Age (LBA); Aegean immigration in the twelfth and eleventh centuries; and the so-called Phoenician colony period from the ninth century. I introduce an important new piece of lba evidence connecting the island to the lyric culture of the Levant; challenge the usual ‘Aegean’ interpretation of ia round-based lyres; and reassess the evidence of the so-called Cypro-Phoenician symposium bowls, which exhibit a basic bifurcation between ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ morphologies (as traditionally interpreted). A clearer sense of Cypriot musical identity, as distinct from Aegean and Phoenician, emerges, and new methodological guidelines are developed for future investigations.

Ethnicity and Musical Identity in the Lyric Landscape of Early Cyprus

in Greek and Roman Musical Studies



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General iconographic surveys: Aign 196360-74; Karageorghis 1977 216; Hermary 1989 387-93 (Louvre sculptures); Meerschaert 1991; Karageorghis Mertens & Rose 2000 148-51 no. 227-237 239 (coroplastic Cesnola Collection); Karageorghis 2006 78-84 101-13 140-52 217-18; Fariselli 2007 (Phoenician material); Knapp 2011. Lyres: Monloup 1994 109-112 (female terracottas Salamis); Lawergren 1998 49-51; Kolotourou 2002; Paleocosta 1998 (lyre-iconography). Double-pipe and other winds: Flourentzos 1992. Framedrums/percussion: Averett 2002-2004; Kolotourou 2005; Kolotourou 2007. Dance: Lefèvre-Novaro 2007 pass.; Fariselli 2010 (Phoenician focus). General studies (use with caution): Zarmas 1975; Jager 2000.


Knapp 2008.


Smith 2008261264-74 noting that political control of Kition may not have been continuous down to the fifth century.


Smith 2008274-5.


Lawergren 199858-9.


Lawergren 199849.


Deger-Jalkotzy 1994esp. 21-2.


Maas & Snyder 19898making the point that they are the only representations from the Dark Age.


Fariselli 200713 nn. 15-16 19 23 with further analysis of dance in Fariselli 2010.


This paper supersedes Franklin 200644-5. Kinyras generally: Baurain 1980; relationship to Ugaritic Kinnāru: Ribichini 1982; Franklin in press-b. I shall treat the problem fully in Franklin forthcoming.


Lawergren 199858-9.


Sherratt 1992336 (v. infra).


Franklin 200647; Franceschetti 2008 313-15.


Dikaios 1961153-4.


Foster 197950 and n. 316. It is not clear whether she interprets our bowl as a musician or has in mind the lute-player bowls (v. infra).


See esp. Peltenburg 1986155-61 (158 for dating) noting lack of stylistic deviations which might betray Cypriot manufacture; he challenges their critical reception as ‘poor local copies of Egyptian work’ (Peltenburg 1972 p. 131); Levantine workshop(s) are considered possible but less likely (contrast Peltenburg 1968 143-51). But note that other types can be attributed to a Cypriot faience industry: Foster 1979 49-55; Karageorghis Mertens & Rose 2000 62.


Peltenburg 1972129.


Cf. Peltenburg 1968304 (bowl no. 5d): ‘To the left a female with calf-length billowing robes. She seems to hold something over a papyrus which grows from the boat but the brown designs are too fugitive here to make it out’.


Bes and music: Hickmann 196136-9 figs. 15-17; Manniche 1991 48 fig. 26 57-8 and fig. 32 110 116-19 passim with fig. 72.


Hittite: Inandik vase. Egypt: Hickmann 19612.1 32-3 fig. 9; Manniche 1991 48 fig. 26 (nineteenth dynasty Bes tattoo; bird-finial one end only); 108 fig. 64 (twenty-first or twenty-second dynasty); Schuol 2004 Taf. 18 no. 52.1 52.3-4.


Egypt: Manniche 199186 fig. 50. Hittite/Neo-Hittite: Schuol 2004 Taf. 4 no. 11 and 15 7 no. 26 9 no. 29 11 no. 35 12 no. 37-8. With lutes the question may arise whether these tassels are not rather the ends of strings. Even when their position at the end of the neck makes this possible they are sufficiently long that one must suppose that they have been worked into an adornment (cf. Schuol 2004 59). In other cases the tassels come from the middle of the neck.


Βowl: Markoe 1985Cy13 (Kourion) where the rightmost musician of a trio (probably double-piper) clearly has the cape; Culican 1982 15 and n. 6 detected one on the second (lyrist) as well and noted the Nimrud bowl (Mallowan 1966 no. 531; assignment to NS group: Barnett 1935 189).


Megiddo lyrist: Frankfort 1970270-1. Egypt: Manniche 1991 43 fig. 21 86 fig. 50 89 fig. 52 91 fig. 54 (twice); also Wegner 1950 Taf. 7a 9a-b (the dimensions of 9b being close to our lyrist). The vertical position is see in Manniche 1991 48 fig. 26 53 no. 30.


See e.g. Hickmann 19612.1 30-1 (fig. 8). For the court of Akhenaten: Green 1992.


Courtois 1971326-56 (note esp. 348 fig. 145); Karageorghis 1991-1999 II 64-5 dating late lc III/early cg ia; so too Webb 1999 112; Webb 2001 76 79.


Schaeffer 1952pl. VII.1 3-5; further references in Courtois & Webb 1987 76 n. 249 78 n. 253; in the fascinating ideological scheme of Webb 2002 these scenes exemplify obedience to authority/maintenance of political status quo. Two such seals show a figure carrying an object interpreted as a stringed instrument (Aign 1963 60 with fig. 25) but this is very doubtful. The objects not resembling each other also find no parallels among known representations of lyres and harps; are in impossible playing positions; and would have horizontal strings. First seal: Schaeffer 1952 pl. VII.4; Webb 1999 272-3 fig. 87.2. Second seal: Gjerstad et al. 1934-1972 I 474 no. 67 and pl. LXXVI no. 67 (‘From the left approaches a procession of four adorers. The first of them holds a lyre’); Karageorghis 2003 280-1 no. 320 with comments of D. Collon who more plausibly suggests that it is a fan comparing Collon 1987 no. 270.


Coldstream 1989esp. 330-1 (eleventh-century chamber-tombs with long drómoi have higher concentration of status symbols than other burial types and appear in areas of later Greek-speaking kingdoms); cf. Rupp 1985 126-7; Sherratt 1992 330.


Sherratt 1992332-3.


Iakovou 198871 (Cat. no. 15) Fig. 34; Sherratt 1992 335 (quotation).


Sherratt 1992336.


Coldstream 1989330-1; cf. Paleocosta 1998 56.


Sherratt 1992337.


Deger-Jalkotzy 199421 and 18 fig. 4.3. This figure did not necessarily carry a lyre.


Yasur-Landau 2008.


Cf. the seal in Westenholz 2007110 no. 70 (BLM Jeruasalem 2462) dating to c.2900-2350 bce.


Deger-Jalkotzy 199418 fig. 4 (cf. already Aign 1963 352). Her comparanda include Maas & Snyder 1989 16 fig. 2b (Chania) 18 fig. 3b (Tiryns).


Markoe 1988.


Li Castro & Scardina 2011.


Goldman 1935537-8; Porada 1956 204.


Lawergren 199847is appropriately agnostic on their affiliation. Li Castro & Scardina 2011 211 (with figs. 13-15) decline to address them as being too vaguely rendered.


Falsone 1988.


Barnett 1939 etc.; Winter 19766-11; Falsone 1988 80-1 with references.


Neri 20003-13; Markoe 2003; Falsone 1988 94-5.


Winter 197611-22.


Falsone 1988106; Popham 1995; Neri 2000 12; Markoe 2003 211.


Winter 197617-20.


Falsone 1988105-6; Neri 2000 4-5.


Gjerstad 1946; Markoe 19856-9; Falsone 1988 94-5.


See Gjerstad 194657 diagnosing Cypriot pottery and dress in Cy3 (Idalion his Proto-Cypriote I class which otherwise exhibits clear NS stylistic traits: Falsone 1988 96) and Cy5 (Kourion Gjerstad’s Proto-Cypriote III).


Culican 198214 (vehicles in outer band of Cy13).


Gjerstad 194612-16.


Neri 20004-5 with her table.


Markoe 198559 (but cf. Winter 1990 241); Neri 2000 4-5; Fariselli 2007 13-14. G3 however also appears to depict a male deity (Markoe 1985 204).


Fariselli 200713 (comparing cultic costumes of Cr7 and G8); Fariselli 2010 14-16.


Note the suggestion of Fariselli 201016that the offering-bearers of Cy6 are also dancing.


Neri 20003-4; Fariselli 2010 13-14.


Fariselli 200711 and n. 6 would see single-pipes on Cy5 and Cy7. But these are surely double shown in parallel (as often in Greece); this seems guaranteed by Comp7 where the pipes diverge just enough to prove their doubleness. Her final single-pipe example (Cy13 inner band) is more persuasive; but here the exceptional rustic context (played by stable-boy) only proves the rule that the more sophisticated cult-music used double-pipes.


Note esp. Mitford 196113 no. 32: ὁ ἀρχὸς τῶν Κινυραδῶν (Hellenistic). Is it significant that ‘western’ lyres are never duplicated? Or this due to the late and abbreviated nature of these particular scenes?


By catalogue numbers in Markoe 1985except for OJA = Popham 1995.


See Culican 198215.


Winter 197620.


L. R. Binford quoted by Winter 199014.


Synopsis in Neri 20003-13noting e.g. emphasis on martial themes and exclusively funerary find-contexts; Markoe 2003 213-5 (materials/media).


Smith 2008264-6 (quotation) with references.


  • View in gallery
    Map of Cyprus
  • View in gallery
    14th-century Egyptian(izing) bowl, drawn from autopsy and photographs in n. 24
  • View in gallery
    Eleventh-century kálathos from Kouklia (see n. 45), drawn from Iakovou 1988, 72, Figs. 68-7
  • View in gallery
    Eleventh-century ‘Orpheus jug’, Megiddo (see n. 54), drawn from Dothan 1982, 150-3 fig. 21.1 (pl. 61)
  • View in gallery
    Hubbard Amphora (see n. 59), drawn from Karageorghis & des Gagniers 1974, 1.8-9, 2.7-9
  • View in gallery
    Cy3, Idalion (New York 74.51.5700), drawn from photograph in Markoe 1985, 247
  • View in gallery
    Lyres of ‘eastern’ type from Cypro-Phoenician phiálai, arranged chronologically by Table 1, and including excerpt from Figure 5. G8, Cy3, U6, Cy6, Comp7 drawn from photographs in Markoe 1985; Cr11 after Ohnefalsch-Richter 1893, pl. CXXVIII:2 (public domain); OJA after drawing by Alison Wilkins in Popham 1995, 106 n.1 (with permission)
  • View in gallery
    Round-based (‘western’) lyres in Cypro-Phoenician phiálai, arranged chronologically by Table 1, and including excerpt from Figure 9. G3, Cy5, Cy13 drawn from photographs in Markoe 1985; Cy7 after Marquand 1887, pl. XXX (public domain). Both scenes from Cy5 are given. From Cy13 only the ‘orchestra’ is shown; for the other (non-lyre) scenes, see nn. 89, 92
  • View in gallery
    Limestone sculpture, sixth century (see n. 107), mma New York inv. 74.51.2509, drawn from Karageorghis 2006, 147, fig. 138
  • View in gallery
    G3, Olympia (Athens 7941), drawn from photograph in Markoe 1985


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