Dionysos in Classical Athens

An Understanding through Images


Dionysos, with his following of satyrs and women, was a major theme in a big part of the figure painted pottery in 500-300 B.C. Athens. As an original testimonial of their time, the imagery on these vases convey what this god meant to his worshippers. It becomes clear that - contrary to what is usually assumed - he was not only appropriate for wine, wine indulgence, ecstasy and theatre. Rather, he was present in both the public and private sphere on many, both happy and sad, occasions. In addition, the vase painters have emphasized different aspects of Dionysos for their customers inside and outside of Athens, depending on the political and cultural situation.
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Cornelia Isler-Kerényi (1942), doctorate in classical archaeology (Zürich), has taught at Swiss, Italian and Parisian universities. She has published her research on ancient art and its reception (among which “Dionysos in Archaic Greece”, Brill 2007) in books and many journals.
Readers who are not directly interested in the art, religions and history of Athen's heyday, but rather also the earlier periods. Those interested in the art history of vases and pottery.