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Mixanthrôpoi

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Emma Aston

Section Three : Mixanthropy and representation

Chapter VIII

Mixanthropy and masks – the iconography of Acheloos

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Introduction

1The previous chapter ended with the importance of the relationship between the fluidity of metamorphosis and the immobility of the visual image. In the current chapter this relationship continues to be scrutinised with regard to a very particular element in the iconography of mixanthropic deities: the mask. Two aspects will be considered. First I shall explore the paradoxical quality of the mask as both facilitating transformation and being itself exceptionally inanimate. Second, it will be argued that this paradox may be resolved by seeing both mask and metamorphosis as two sides of a coin: the coin of questionable presence. This will be tied into the cult persona of mask-associated mixanthropes and into the observations already made concerning their extreme tendency towards mobility and absence.

2A particularly clear example of the rôle of the mask in mixanthropic cult imagery is provided by the river-god Acheloos. Moreover, it is an aspect of his iconography which has received almost no attention in previous scholarship. Acheloos, therefore, will provide the main model for the argument, but other examples will be brought in where relevant.

  • 1 Examples are given at figs. 13 and 15-17.

3Our most copious and consistent material regarding Acheloos and the mask is in the form of votive reliefs dedicated to Acheloos and a number of other deities (most often the nymphs, Hermes and Pan), most of which came from sites in central Greece, especially Attica.1 These reliefs are numerous enough to allow analysis of the representational trends at work, some of which emerge very strongly. The god is depicted either as a human-faced bull, or as a mask looking out at the viewer from somewhere in the scene depicted (fig. 17 above p. 86). Interestingly, even when he has a body, his face tends to be mask-like: pronounced and sometimes disproportionately large. So both mask and mask-like face are possible.

4The scene shown in the reliefs tends to be the interior of a cave, and as such mirrors the typical setting, in real life, of the cult itself; the sanctuaries we are dealing with here are almost all extraurban, and many sited in caves. So – although the deities themselves are of course supernatural beings – the reliefs depict what is in effect a realistic setting, and the Acheloos-masks are part of this: such masks as objects, in the round, have been found, and appear to have been designed to rest upon cult tables or to hang from a wall. All of which must prompt one to ask whether in the reliefs the masks are a manifestation of Acheloos’ presence at all, or simply of a piece of cult ‘furniture’ which typically adorned rural shrines in actuality. However, this question is far deeper in its significance than one might think, and it will be argued below that one is not meant to be able to answer it. The masks themselves constitute a question.

  • 2 For an example of Dionysos’ cult image as a mask, see Paus. 10.19.3 on the god’s worship at Methymn (...)

5Several other mixanthropes, both cult-receiving and not, share Acheloos’ association with the mask. The sine qua non of divine mask-iconography is of course Dionysos, whose cult image in several places was a mask, and whose depiction, especially in vase-paintings, extends this association.2 However, it could be argued that satyrs – figures in the surroundings of a god rather than gods themselves – provide the closest analogy to Acheloos. And they, like Acheloos, have the following aspects of the mask-association:

    • 3 One striking form of evidence is the number of vase-paintings which show actors holding or wearing (...)
    • 4 For example, of all the mask-types represented in the finds from the sanctuary of Orthia in Sparta, (...)

    Actual satyr-masks were used in drama3 and also appear in other ritual contexts,4 though not necessarily in a form designed for wearing.

    • 5 For example, they are fairly common among the motifs on terracotta antefixes: an example may be fou (...)

    Satyr-faces without bodies are a frequent decorative motif in Greek art and architecture (see fig. 38).5

    • 6 In fact, there is often (deliberate) confusion in vase-paintings between men wearing satyr-masks an (...)
    • 7 See for example Bérard and Bron (1989), 156, fig. 215. Dionysos also is often shown on vases with t (...)

    Even when satyrs are depicted with bodies and within narrative settings, their faces often have mask-like qualities,6 for example staring eyes and – occasionally – full frontality.7

6So the satyric face with snub nose, beard and pointed ears would have been familiar as a face, and as a functional/ritual mask. The same style of face is shared also by centaurs, including Cheiron. It is the type which Acheloos also has.

  • 8 On this, see Karagiorga (1970), 8-22 for the vexed, and still unanswered, question of primacy betwe (...)

7Thus one can discern what one might term a ‘Dionysiac cluster’ with regard to the mask or mask-like face. Another type is that of the gorgon, which has very similar manifestations as either the gorgoneion, a disembodied face with a decorative function (the decorative sphere accounts for the huge majority of gorgon-faces),8 or as a mask-like face attached to a body, with the mythical identity of Medusa or one of her sisters. In this case, even more than the satyric, great emphasis is placed on the grotesque quality of the face and on its glaring eyes. The focus of the viewer is intended to rest almost entirely on this element, whereas mixanthropes like Acheloos and the satyrs have a more complex visual identity in which other anatomical parts, especially animal ones, are also of great importance.

1. Masks, costumes and transformation

  • 9 The importance in theatre of the transformational property of masks is emphasised by Lesky (1966), (...)
  • 10 An example comes from Arkadia: Pausanias tells us (8.15.3-4) that in the rites of Demeter Kidaria a (...)

8In the last chapter it emerged how consistently mixanthropic deities were associated with metamorphosis, with changes in state. In light of this, it is on one level unsurprising to find them – and Acheloos in particular – associated with masks. Masks facilitate rôle-playing in many areas of ancient ritual. In the theatre they allow an actor to take on the being of the character he plays.9 The theatre of course comes within the sphere of Dionysos, and Dionysos is both a mask-associated god and a god of transformation, both his own and others’. More widely, in religious practice, masks are important for assuming a new identity in rituals that are as much transformational as mimetic.10

  • 11 A comparable case is a haunting described by Pausanias (6.6.7-11) in which the ghost, Lykas, who ho (...)

9With regard more specifically to mixanthropes, we may see them as part of a broader connection between mixanthropy, metamorphosis and costume. There are two chief ways in which this connection is manifested. The first is more general, less specific to divinity: that costume is another (though less popular) way in which artists may choose to depict metamorphosis in a mythological scene. An example has already been mentioned above, in the previous chapter: the vase which shows Aktaion, as he transforms into a deer, not with any integral animal parts but rather as a human draped with a deer’s skin. So, like mixanthropy, a costume may be used to suggest movement between human and animal.11

  • 12 Hdt. 2.42.
  • 13 Sil. 1.415.

10Second, costume is sometimes used as a way of explaining divine mixanthropy, as when Herodotos tells us that Egyptian Zeus obtained his animal parts from an occasion in which he dressed in a ram’s skin and head for the benefit of Herakles;12 or as when Silius Italicus says that Zeus Ammon used to be a king with a horned helmet.13 Particularly with the almighty Zeus, the peculiarity of a mixanthropic form is explained using costume and accessory, and the choice of this explanation is further indication of the underlying connection which existed between coverings and mixanthropy.

  • 14 This is the modern moniker of a mysterious figure seemingly accorded worship at Enkomi on Cyprus, d (...)
  • 15 An example is to be found in Athanassopoulou ed. (2003), cat. no. 24: Louvre AO 2752.
  • 16 Smith (1988), 39-45.

11Mention of the horned helmet of Zeus Ammon raises the particular connection of horns with the realm of costume and accessories, doubly worth noting here because masks and mask-like faces, in connection with Acheloos and with satyrs, are so frequently accompanied by horns. It was pointed out in Chapter 3 that horns constitute a form of superficial, non-integral mixanthropy; in addition, however, the way in which they are depicted often deliberately casts them as an attachment rather than a body-part. The so-called Ingot God of Cyprus, for example, wears a horned helmet,14 and Near Eastern mixanthropes sometimes wear a crown of horns as a symbol of power and divinity.15 The example of the Successors of Alexander and their royal iconography shows that horns may readily be assumed, put on, to make a particular claim of state and status; sometimes, Hellenistic monarchs are shown with horns growing organically from the skull, but in other cases what we see is a helmet or head-dress which might be donned and removed along with other regalia.16 On the whole, Greek horned gods, unlike their Cypriot or Near Eastern counterparts, appear to have horns that are anatomically rooted; however, horns retain something of the detachable quality of an accessory. Removable faces are perhaps more striking than removable horns, but both fall under the same basic heading: expressions of the mixanthrope’s ability to transform, and particularly to move from one side to the other on the animal-human scale.

  • 17 Lawler’s approach is best summed up in her 1952 article. For more species-specific studies, see Law (...)
  • 18 This is in addition to their undoubted rôle in Old Comedy.

12There is another connection between metamorphosis and costume which should be noted: the (almost certain) existence of dances in which the practitioners used masks and costumes to ‘become’ certain birds and animals. Mute images themselves, such as the Lykosoura veil, can never give us reliable evidence for such rituals. But Lawler in particular, in numerous articles,17 has assembled literary references which, though themselves not unproblematic, suggest that animal dances in costume did exist.18 Given their rôle in theatrical contexts, we may be fairly certain she is right. And there is an undoubted relationship between such rituals and mixanthropy. The masked and costumed humans of comic choruses are in a sense the real-life counterpart of the mythical mixanthropes of the Dionysiac retinue, the satyrs and the Silenoi. All in all, it is no surprise that mixanthropes such as Acheloos should have this connection with masks and costume, given their abiding association with transformation, which masks and costume make possible both in the imagination and in real life.

  • 19 Isler (1970), cat. no. 170.

13So surely a mask-face, whether disembodied or with body attached, is an unproblematic item to find in the iconography of a god like Acheloos who is so consistently represented in literature as given to changes of form. After all, the function of the mask is reinforced in Acheloos’ imagery by the depiction which apparently shows him wearing a human mask over an animal face.19 What clearer expression could one have of the mask’s rôle as facilitating a change of both appearance and state? And yet, it will be argued in the next sub-chapter that there is another side to the matter.

2. The mask as inanimate object

  • 20 An example is a small metal pendant in the form of Acheloos’ head, from S. Italy and dating to c. 4 (...)

14Masks may be heavily involved in the theme of transformation, but they are themselves strikingly inanimate. Masks of Acheloos and satyrs, like gorgoneia, are extremely common ele­ments in decorative art and architecture, featuring fre­quently in jewellery and other small wares,20 as well as on the decorative members of tem­ples, for example terracotta antefixes (fig. 39). All over the Greek world, they would have been familiar in this aspect, as decoration. They were cer­tainly part of the world of objects, things, furniture. Despite their connection with metamorphosis, therefore, it is striking to find them used to depict deities whose chief qualities are fluidity and changeability.

15This relationship between static representation and dynamic metamorphosis becomes more pointed when we examine another aspect of Acheloos’ iconography. In the reliefs here discussed, even when Acheloos is depicted not as a mask but as a three-dimensional anatomical entity, a man-faced bull, he tends to be shown as preternaturally, monumentally still. This is especially clear in figs. 13 and 16. The forms around him are clearly in motion, in fig. 16 dancing; he stands fore-square. If motion and flux are the essence of the hybrid, why is Acheloos typically so motionless?

16This question becomes more interesting when we add in the fact that artists working from the Classical period onwards had a number of existing Acheloos-forms to choose from. One shows the god with a human neck as well as head (especially apparent in fig. 13); the other with bull’s neck to accord with the animal body (fig. 15). Both these types are represented in the reliefs here discussed; but the reliefs preserve and favour the human-necked type long after it has been abandoned in other contexts. Whereas the bull-necked Acheloos tends to be depicted in smaller media, on coins, seals and small ornaments, the human-necked version almost certainly had its genesis in monumental forms, huge gate-guardians of the Assyrian palaces.

  • 21 This form is used of Acheloos on a coin of Metapontum, discussed in Chapter 1.
  • 22 This posture is also typically used for the gorgon Medusa, running from Perseus, and seems to have (...)

17The artists of the reliefs could also have chosen another common river-god form, that composed of a human body, limbs and head, with animal horns and ears.21 This form could be considered more anatomically convincing; but they declined to use it. It strikes me as extremely interesting that in cult imagery, Acheloos, explicitly the god of flowing waters and a fluid form, is represented using a form associated with, if anything, the massive and the immobile. This is chosen instead of types that are far more often used in scenes of movement and activity. The bull-necked version, for example, is very often shown in the position known as Knielauf, with front leg bent to indicate running.22 There seems, however, to be a desire to keep the god as still and sculptural as pos­sible: a stark contrast is created between his widely acknowledged associations with fluidity and change, and the immobility of his form in the reliefs.

  • 23 See Paus. 9.26.2; Diod. 4.64.4. Apollodoros varies the motif by having her leap from the acropolis: (...)
  • 24 A clear example of the rigid Sphinx facing Oedipus from her column is to be found on an Attic red f (...)
  • 25 A famous example is the Sphinx dedicated at Delphi by the Naxians in c. 570-60 BC, which shows clea (...)

18Acheloos is not the only mixanthrope in whose case decorative depiction influences representation in other contexts. One of the most striking examples of this trend is the Sphinx. Several vase-paintings depict Oedipus and the Sphinx face to face, in the mythical context made famous by Sophokles. In textual sources, she is portrayed sitting on a crag, in line with the consistent monster/mountain connection; from this peak she flings herself when her riddle is solved.23 Several vase-paintings, however, place her on a column. This and her stiff posture24 show clearly that they are copying the Sphinxes of decoration, who are really quite different entities from the individual monster of that name in the Oedipus Tyrannos.25 The rigid conventions of a decorative member have invaded the depiction of mythical narrative.

19This example might almost be dismissed as a matter of artistic habit, its influences and stages of development. But in Acheloos’ case there is more going on than a simple transference of architectural styles into other media. It is the contrast between mobility and immobility which sets his case apart, and on this the mask and the Mannstier (especially the human-necked form) work in concert. Both have dominant existing associations with objects and artefacts, with decoration and with material art. Depicting the god either as mask or as human-necked Mannstier is depicting him as an object, a piece of furniture almost. Constantly in these reliefs, then, we find depictions not of a living, moving deity, but of objects, inanimate representations. The Mannstier Acheloos has bulk and majesty but not life; he is an onlooker in the scene but not a dynamic presence. It is a particularly striking way of rendering a being who was so often associated with violent movement and change – with not only animation, but hyper-animation.

  • 26 For example, a red-figure krater shows women adorning a seated statue of Dionysos; at least, we sup (...)

20The other deity who reveals this combination of the inani­mate and the hyper-animate is Dionysos, who is, as was de­scribed in Chapter 2, a metamorphosist and even, in some contexts, a shape-changer, akin to Acheloos, and who also carries intense object-associations. The mask-proper­ties of Dionysos have been noted; in addition, vase painting in particular engages in a sort of visual interrogation strikingly similar to that per­formed by the Acheloos-reliefs: that is, they question the relationship between living god and lifeless image. There are many different gradations of this theme. In its weakest form, it may be observed in a general tendency to depict Dionysos as physically still while the figures around him move more dynamically (for example in fig. 40). This tendency will be discussed in more detail in the next chapter. More extreme, however, is the frequency with which Dionysos is depicted in such a way as to make the viewer uncertain as to whether he or she is looking at a representation of the god, or at a representation of a representation of the god: that is, a painting of a statue. Depictions of the worship of Dionysos-masks make clear that an object is shown, and fig. 41 for example seems to represent a cult statue; but there are plenty of examples where such certainty is deliberately withheld and a stiffly positioned figure might be either god or image.26 The confusion is deepened by the fact that, even where a ritual scenario appears to be shown (suggesting that one might reasonably expect the god to be in statue form), the attendant figures often have an element of the mythical – for example the inclusion of satyrs – which prevents a simple reading of the image as real-life cultic activity around a statue. Thus the iconography of Dionysos on vases, like that of Acheloos in the reliefs, deliberately poses a challenge to our understanding of what we see.

  • 27 The most detailed discussion of the use of potent effigies in Greek religion is that of Faraone (19 (...)

21So we appear to have a paradox at the heart of Acheloos’ iconography. The significance of the mask as instrument of change and mobility seems to be undermined or even negated by its own status as an inanimate object, which is picked up on by other aspects of the reliefs. One could say that the very contrast is deliberate: that the highly static form works to counteract the fluidity of the being depicted. In the previous section it was shown that statues and other physical depictions of mixanthropes play an important rôle in the presence/ absence discourse. The withdrawal or disappearance of a mixanthrope is some­times expressed in terms of the loss or destruction of its cult image; likewise, bound mixanthropic statues show the importance of the image as a means of keeping the deity’s destructive powers in check. (That said, the binding also suggests that sometimes a statue by itself is not enough; a further measure is required to ensure its immobility.) The cultic use of images as a means of contain­ing, harnessing and manipulating dangerous divine forces is well-documented in the ancient material.27 No doubt the extreme immobility of images such as Ache­loos’ reflects and counters, inversely, the extreme mobility of the deity himself. The final sub-chapter, however, suggests that rather than working in opposition, mobility and immobility actually converge on an impor­tant point, one of great importance to the mixanthropic deity.

3. Acheloos as ‘not all there’

22Mixanthropic gods are given to extreme mobility. They are metamorphosists; but they are prone to spatial movement as well as – or rather as a counterpart to – movement between states; this was shown in Chapter 4. The extreme form of spatial movement is disappearance: from a cult site, from the agricultural sphere, from the realm of the living. So the mobility of mixanthropes makes them beings of uncertain presence. Shape-changers are particularly prone to escaping mortal grasp and becoming absent. But if hyper-animation can cause (potential) absence, so can a lack of animation.

23The god-as-object – as either mask or man-headed bull – questions his own presence. Are we looking at the god, among his fellow-gods, or are we looking at a thing? Is the god actually there in the scene, or just a simulacrum? We know that the mask may ask such questions because we have other material in which that appears to be its rôle. In a fragment of a satyr-play by Aischylos, the full story of which is not known, the satyrs of the chorus wonder at images of themselves, most probably masks or protomes, and the chorus-leader says of his likeness:

  • 28 P.Oxy, 2162 fr. 1a, ll. 13-16: τῆι μητρὶ τἠιμῆι πράγματ’ ἂν παρασχέθοι· | ἰδοῦσα γάρ νιν ἂν σαφῶς | (...)

It would give my mother a bad time! If she could see it, she would certainly run shrieking off, thinking it was the son she brought up, so like me is this fellow.28

  • 29 On the significance in Greek thought of the pipe-player’s full frontal face, see Vernant (1991), 12 (...)

24There is a great deal of significance in this fragment, but for our purposes here, what it chiefly reflects is the fact that a mask holds out the appearance and the promise of a living presence, but in fact is no such thing; it is just an uncanny mimesis. Likewise, the Acheloos masks in the relief are emblems of the god, but not necessarily the god himself; we have already seen that they echo actual objects known to have been involved in the worship of Acheloos, and found more widely in cult and in general artistic representation. Implicitly, the Mannstier-type in its most monumental form carries the same uncertainty. Not only does it carry associations with inanimate objects; depicted in this form, Acheloos strikingly fails to interact with the other figures in the scene. Typically, the other deities shown – most often the nymphs and Hermes – hold hands in a kind of processional dance; their participation in group activity is physical and explicit. Acheloos is more detached. Whether his neck is human or taurine, he stands like a motionless adjunct. Interestingly, something of this quality is shared by his fellow-mixanthrope Pan when the latter also features in the reliefs. On the face of it, Pan looks far more dynamic; he is sometimes playing his pipes, presumably accompanying the dance and therefore participating. But he never holds hands with the others; he tends to be shown on a smaller scale and not as one of the choreographic rank. Moreover, when playing the pipes he looks out at the viewer29 like the Acheloos-mask, and as with Acheloos this partly lifts him out of the company in the relief into the realm of the viewer whose gaze he returns.

  • 30 For the face as essential for identity, see Plat. Gorg. 505d; Tim. 69a.

25So the stillness of the god as mask or as man-headed bull in fact accords with the mixanthrope’s wider tendency towards questionable presence. There is more: another aspect of the imagery in the reliefs has the same import. When Acheloos is shown as a man-headed bull, his form is remarkably consistent, but there is one vital variable: the extent to which he intrudes into the scene. Sometimes his whole front half is within the ‘frame’; sometimes his foreparts up to and including the shoulder; sometimes he is just a huge face in profile. Never is the whole god shown. To some extent, this must depend on how much space in the scene the artist wants to allow a bulky mixanthrope, but there is something else at work. Most interesting is the disproportionate face: it is essentially a mask in profile, and shows that the full-frontal mask is just the extreme point of a graded scale of absence and presence. The face itself is required to indicate identity;30 but everything else may be made invisible, out of the picture. This allows the artist to depict the god as ‘not all there’, and for the reliefs as a group of artefacts to play with his variable presence/absence.

Mixanthropy and masks: conclusion

26Thus mobility and immobility are two sides of the coin of potential absence. This convergence sheds light, I believe, on the quite wide-ranging connection between mixanthropes and masks. The connection is probably a ‘spin-off’ of the Dionysiac sphere, since it chiefly concerns figures who operate within that milieu. In Greek art, Dionysos himself is the mask-god par excellence, being depicted on vase-paintings especially as a full frontal face, or (with a little more context) as a mask on a pillar, or as a whole figure whose face has striking mask-like qualities. As with Acheloos, the mask’s rôle in his iconography cannot be considered unrelated to the importance of metamorphosis and shape-changing in his persona, discussed above in the section on his composition.

27Dionysos is also, as has been argued above, a god of sudden appearances and disappearances, and the trends of his representation – the depiction of the god not only as mask but also as quasi-effigy – build on the viewer’s uncertainty as to whether the god is depicted as present, or simply a lifeless object. That other mixanthropic deities should take on this association reinforces a very important point: that we are right to see the absence/presence question as continuing to dominate their character and their iconography. Acheloos’ case gives us a particularly valuable view of this theme at work in the imagery of cults active, in some cases, throughout the Classical period and into the Hellenistic. The theme is not just a feature of myth and literature: it is influential in the realities of worship and its settings.

Notes

1 Examples are given at figs. 13 and 15-17.

2 For an example of Dionysos’ cult image as a mask, see Paus. 10.19.3 on the god’s worship at Methymna; the same phenomenon was known at Naxos (Athen. Deipn. 3.78c). See Otto (1965), 86-91; for the artistic treatment of Dionysos-as-mask, see Frontisi-Ducroux (1989).

3 One striking form of evidence is the number of vase-paintings which show actors holding or wearing satyr-masks. A clear example is to be found at Bérard and Bron (1989), 143, fig. 195.

4 For example, of all the mask-types represented in the finds from the sanctuary of Orthia in Sparta, a significant number are of the ‘satyric’ type, bearded and with animal ears. See Carter (1987), 355-60. Another interesting example is the masks found at Tiryns, which appear wearable rather than purely votive; on the rituals which may have included both the Spartan and the Tirynthian masks, see Jameson (1990).

5 For example, they are fairly common among the motifs on terracotta antefixes: an example may be found in Padgett ed. (2003), cat. no. 59, pp. 251-3. On the mask-like faces of satyrs, see Frontisi-Ducroux (1995), 106-12: she makes the point that in such iconography there is no distinction made between the mask and the full-frontal face; this is interesting when compared with the rôle of both in the representation of Acheloos.

6 In fact, there is often (deliberate) confusion in vase-paintings between men wearing satyr-masks and satyrs with their mask-like faces: see Bérard and Bron (1989), 143-5. Satyrs’ faces would always have been reminiscent of the masks used to impersonate them.

7 See for example Bérard and Bron (1989), 156, fig. 215. Dionysos also is often shown on vases with the intense, full frontal face, as for example on the François vase, where, as Otto remarks (1965, 90), he is distinguished from all the other figures by his direct outward gaze. On mask and face imagery in vase-paintings of Dionysos and the satyrs, see Hedreen (1992), 169-70, with discussion of the ambiguous juxtaposition between fantasy and ritual reality in such scenes.

8 On this, see Karagiorga (1970), 8-22 for the vexed, and still unanswered, question of primacy between the gorgoneion and the gorgon with body. For examples of gorgoneion-antefixes, see Padgett ed. (2003), cat. nos. 88 and 89, pp. 324-7.

9 The importance in theatre of the transformational property of masks is emphasised by Lesky (1966), 223; see also Wiles (2004). At 245-6 Wiles remarks: ‘The western and Islamic worlds are unusual in regarding the mask as a mode of concealment, not a mode of revelation and transformation.’ I think there is room for both qualities; indeed, that they are in a functional interrelationship of some sort. As Napier says (1986, 3): ‘The potential for ambiguity … remains fundamental to change despite any claims we might make about an inferred, innate or even empirically perceived identity, and disguise is, in our ontological experience, the primary way of expressing this ambiguity. The use of disguise is thus conducive both to make-believe and to changes of state that are imputed to be real.’ At the same time, it is certainly true that to regard the mask solely as a means of deception is to neglect the fact that for a Greek its effect was as much to transform as to disguise identity or state.

10 An example comes from Arkadia: Pausanias tells us (8.15.3-4) that in the rites of Demeter Kidaria at Pheneos, the priest would don a mask of the goddess and then beat with a rod ‘the hypochthonioi’. Jost argues, plausibly, that the masks allow the priest to become the goddess; she cites other examples of religious officials temporarily taking on the deity’s identity. See Jost (1985), 319-22. On the power of the mask to cause a complete change of identity, and on the relationship between masks and identity in Greek thought, see Frontisi-Ducroux (1995), 39-44.

11 A comparable case is a haunting described by Pausanias (6.6.7-11) in which the ghost, Lykas, who hovers dubiously on the animal/human divide, wears a wolf-skin as – I think – further expression of his uncertain identity. See Winkler (1980).

12 Hdt. 2.42.

13 Sil. 1.415.

14 This is the modern moniker of a mysterious figure seemingly accorded worship at Enkomi on Cyprus, depicted with a horned helmet; see Schaeffer (1965). Cyprus also provides the one unambiguous example of the depiction of horns being donned or removed: a number of clumsily-made terracottas showing humanoid figures holding horned masks before their faces. See Karageorghis (1971) figs. 1-5, pp. 265-8; id. (1996), ch. 1; Sophokleous (1985), 17; Burkert (1985), 65.

15 An example is to be found in Athanassopoulou ed. (2003), cat. no. 24: Louvre AO 2752.

16 Smith (1988), 39-45.

17 Lawler’s approach is best summed up in her 1952 article. For more species-specific studies, see Lawler (1941) and (1954).

18 This is in addition to their undoubted rôle in Old Comedy.

19 Isler (1970), cat. no. 170.

20 An example is a small metal pendant in the form of Acheloos’ head, from S. Italy and dating to c. 480 BC: LIMC s.v. ‘Acheloos’, cat. no. 136; see also Isler (1970), cat. no. 283; Paris Louvre Bj. 498.

21 This form is used of Acheloos on a coin of Metapontum, discussed in Chapter 1.

22 This posture is also typically used for the gorgon Medusa, running from Perseus, and seems to have Eastern antecedents. See Burkert (1994), 82-7.

23 See Paus. 9.26.2; Diod. 4.64.4. Apollodoros varies the motif by having her leap from the acropolis: Bibl. 3.5.8.

24 A clear example of the rigid Sphinx facing Oedipus from her column is to be found on an Attic red figure amphora attributed to the Achilles Painter, mid fifth century BC. (LIMC s.v. ‘Oidipous’, cat. no. 14; Boston MFA 06.2447.)

25 A famous example is the Sphinx dedicated at Delphi by the Naxians in c. 570-60 BC, which shows clearly the type being copied (LIMC s.v. ‘Sphinx’, cat. no. 31; Delphi Archaeological Mus.).

26 For example, a red-figure krater shows women adorning a seated statue of Dionysos; at least, we suppose it to be a statue because of their actions, but in itself it differs not at all from other depictions of the god sitting in which a statue does not seem to be meant (see Bérard and Bron [1989],183 and 201).

27 The most detailed discussion of the use of potent effigies in Greek religion is that of Faraone (1992).

28 P.Oxy, 2162 fr. 1a, ll. 13-16: τῆι μητρὶ τἠιμῆι πράγματ’ ἂν παρασχέθοι· | ἰδοῦσα γάρ νιν ἂν σαφῶς | τρέποιτ’ ἂν ἄξιαζοιτό θ’ ὡς | δοκοῦσ’ ἕμ’ εἶναι τὸν ἐξ-|έθρεψεν· For this text I use the translation by Lloyd-Jones given in Faraone (1992), 37. The fragment almost certainly comes from Aischylos’ Isthmiastai or Theoroi, and is F 78a in Krumeich, Pechstein and Seidensticker edd. (1999); discussion at pp. 131-48.

29 On the significance in Greek thought of the pipe-player’s full frontal face, see Vernant (1991), 125-9.

30 For the face as essential for identity, see Plat. Gorg. 505d; Tim. 69a.

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