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Mixanthrôpoi

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Emma Aston

Section Three : Mixanthropy and representation

Chapter X

Gods, monsters and imagery

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Introduction

1During Section Three of this book, it has been established that mixanthropic deities had a special relationship with the theme and the process of representation. Mixanthropes do not – cannot – exist in nature, and so to depict them is not just an act of mimesis but the conception of something extraordinary; it is, in a sense, a type of creation, of giving form and substance to the impossible. It is more than depiction. In addition, it has been shown that the representation of a mixanthrope was in essence the representation not just of a thing but of a process: the process of metamorphosis. So as well as showing what cannot exist, a mixanthropic image shows what cannot be shown, movement and change. It does not just depict, it also fixes, captures, holds. This is art working as hard as it can be made to work.

2It has also emerged that themes of representation played a significant rôle in the characterisation of certain mixanthropic deities, chief among them Acheloos. By highlighting their identity as objects, by using art to depict art rather than an unambiguously animate subject, the Greeks were able to find in the visual dimension an extension of a theme strongly represented in literature: the theme of questionable presence. Is that a god, or the lifeless image of a god? Is the god here? Such questions are posed by the iconography of Acheloos and, closely linked, that of Dionysos.

3Modes of representation are more than just artistic convention or convenience; the Greeks were quite capable of manipulating their own conventions for expressive purposes, and in any case conventions do not emerge from a vacuum but from a communicational need. So with the iconography of Acheloos; so also with the predominance of mixanthropic plurality and marginality discussed in Chapter 9. Time and again, the most technical aspects of representation have been shown to be in a symbolic relationship with the personae of mixanthropic deities, and would be ignored at our peril. Their thematic correspondence with the themes identified in the literary record is striking.

4And yet: it should not be overlooked that the representation of gods generally carries its own ancient discourse. It has been said that the representation of metamorphosis poses a challenge; but representing the numinous, representing divinity, is surely inherently challenging as well. Divinity is a property as subtle as the mobility of the mixanthrope; it is far more than the deathlessness which is its fundamental basis. Moreover, gods, like mixanthropes, are beings which do not appear in the daily lives of mortals on a regular basis (though their effects are of course perceived, and communication is possible), so that their depiction, like that of mixanthropes, has an element of creation in it; it certainly does not simply depict what is patent and visible to human eyes. This chapter contextualises the relationship between mixanthropy and depiction by discussing the wider ques­tions and tensions which, in ancient thought, surround the physicality of gods and their visual representation.

1. Depicting the divine

  • 1 Mylonopoulos (2010b) discusses the semantic use of attributes, and points out that their ‘readabili (...)

5In one sense, representing gods and goddesses in Greek culture is extremely straightforward. The anthropomorphic form which dominates Greek iconography presents an unambiguous convention by which the ‘base’ of any divine portrait is an idealised humanoid form which fits into one of the universal sculptural types: bearded older man, beardless youth, beautiful woman. Onto this generic template are added ‘accessories’, items of clothing or equipment, attendant objects or animals, which give the deity individual identity and also symbolise his or her particular powers and functions. This convention of the symbolically supplemented anthropomorphic form would have been quite easy to ‘read’ as well as to create.1 A Greek would be able to look at a depiction of Artemis with hound at heel, or one of Apollo crowned with laurel, and under­stand at once how these iconographic elements fitted in with the characterisation of the deity and his or her divine function. Certainly there were depictions whose symbolism was more puzzling, such as an armed Aphrodite, and such peculiarities excited comment and explanation. Still, it is not in doubt what such representations were, namely a combination of the mimetic and the symbolic. It is odd to speak of mimetic (or veristic) art in the case of beings who were not commonly seen. Art did not simply capture how the gods were, but how they were imagined to be: a kind of mimesis of the imaginary. But there was a strong convention about the gods’ appearances, reinforced in both the visual and the literary domains, a convention with, for the most part, pan-Hellenic currency. At first glance, this iconographic system seems uncomplicated, and an example of the famous rationalism which used to be attributed to the Greeks before Dodds valuably muddied the waters. The gods look like us, and act rather like us, so imagining and depicting them are unproblematic.

6There is, however, more to the matter than that. It is important to distinguish between two basic types of religious imagery. On the one hand are depictions and descriptions of the gods in the godly sphere pursuing their divine ‘lives’; examples would be gods featuring in mythical scenes on vases, or Homer’s accounts of quarrels on Olympos. On the other are depictions and descriptions which involve some contact and interaction between gods and humans. On an imaginary level, this might take the form of a mythical encounter between god and human; in real life, images of the gods were of course heavily involved in ritual. It is in these contexts where the god has to be depicted in such a way as to effect interaction with humanity that the tensions and the complications seem to reside. To depict the appearance of a god is relatively straightforward; to depict the meeting of human and god is far less so. For all the apparent simplicity of anthropomorphism, its limits are revealed once interaction is in the frame.

  • 2 On the imagery of epiphanies, see Versnel (1987).
  • 3 See e.g. Hom. Hymn 7 (to Dionysos), line 3: the god appears ‘like a young man’.
  • 4 Versnel (1987), 45.

7In Herodotos 1.60.4, the exiled tyrant Peisistratos engineers his return to Athens by making it seem that Athene favours his recall. In order to do this, he turns up with a fake Athene, a mortal woman of unusual height and beauty (she is eueides); he arrays her in the armour which the people would expect Athene to wear, and generally makes the spectacle of her appearance on the scene as impressive as possible. The success of his ploy suggests that the people of Athens have a basic idea of the goddess’s appearance which a tall and attractive mortal, suitably decked, can easily fulfil. The historicity of the episode is irrelevant here; its import is the suggestion that, apparently, epiphanies are so straightforward that they can easily be staged by a wily statesman. And yet, even a brief inspection of the genuine epiphany in literature reveals other aspects.2 The most telling is the prevalence of disguise. Some disguises involve a drastic transformation, for example into the form of an animal as in the many couplings of Zeus with mortal women. In other cases, however, the situation is subtler: the form of the deity is not unlike that which all the evidence encourages us to think of as their ‘normal’ one, and yet some word or phrase – such as eoikôs, resembling3 – suggests that once again the adoption of a temporary guise is what is being described.4 Nowhere in the ancient literary corpus – outside the atypical ranks of philosophers – is it suggested that the true form of god lies entirely outside the physical, is entirely ineffable or impossible to depict; basic physicality, normally anthropomorphic, is routinely assumed. Epiphany narratives and the prevalence of disguise suggest, rather, that some alteration or concealment of form is a prerequisite of mortal/immortal communication.

  • 5 Hom. Hymn 5.82-3.
  • 6 This is not the only case of unsuccessful divine disguise in ancient literature: a famous example o (...)
  • 7 Beauty-designating adjectives and epithets of goddesses fill, for example, the Theogony of Hesiod, (...)

8An especially telling example is the account in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (5) of how the goddess, having fallen in love with the young mortal Anchises, contrives to encounter him on Ida. Aphrodite chooses to appear ‘like a pure maiden in height and mien’ so as to avoid frightening Anchises;5 intriguingly, he is not at first taken in by this, and continues to appeal to her as to a deity, until she manages to persuade him of her humanity with cunning words; the disguise by itself was not enough to conceal the signs of divinity.6 These signs are revealed in full when, her erotic mission accomplished, Aphrodite resumes her undisguised form, which is typical in its details: unearthly beauty, superhuman stature, and a kind of radiance or luminescence.7

  • 8 Buxton (2009), 157-90.
  • 9 Apollod. Bibl. 3.4.3.

9As Buxton emphasises, when gods reveal their true form to mortals in situations like this, the response is astonishment and awe.8 There are extreme forms which suggest that undisguised divinity is not only frightening but actually dangerous; the most famous such case is the fate of Semele, burned up by a direct, unshrouded epiphany by Zeus.9 Such a contingency, however, is rare; more often the impression received is simply that for human and god to interact some mitigation or alteration of divine form is required. Contact is by no means as direct or simple as anthropomorphism might lead one to expect; a mediating mechanism is required. Sometimes, intriguingly, this takes the deity further away from the very anthropomorphic form which might at first seem such a promising and easy one for purposes of communication and interaction; the majority of Zeus’ erotic conquests are the perfect example of this. Rather than exploiting the basic compatibility of form that anthropomorphism provides, authors frequently have the god shroud his divinity in animal (or other non-anthropomorphic) form, which of course offers greater concealment but shows that we cannot take anthropomorphism as a guarantee of uncomplicated interaction, even in the mythological sphere.

10Such mechanisms for interaction remain pertinent when one turns to the visual domain and to the realm of ritual, away from the heroic territory of literature in which gods and heroes regularly interact. It has been argued in this book that the presence of mixanthropic deities was essentially unreliable, but it will now be shown that this unreliability must be viewed against the wider tensions surrounding divine presence more generally. These tensions are clearly illustrated by examining the rôle in ritual of the cult image. Did images in Greek cult allow deities to be present and involved in ritual in an unproblematic way?

  • 10 See e.g. Scheer (2000), esp. 130-43; Mylonopoulos (2010a), 3-6.

11A great deal of recent debate has focused on the precise meaning of ‘cult image’, and whether the concept is in fact sound when held up against ancient attitudes and practices. In particular, it has been argued, not without good reason, that it is mistaken to draw a clear distinction between cult images and votives, and especially to claim that only cult images could represent or facilitate divine presence.10 This argument is a sound one, and yet for the purposes of the current chapter its implications are not as vital as they might seem. The ensuing discus­sion focuses on images which are the direct recipients of ritual attention and which would traditionally be designated as cult images rather than votives, but it is not my intention to suggest that the epiphanic properties they will be shown to possess are not shared, in varying ways and degrees, by other forms of divine representation in cultic contexts.

  • 11 On this tendency in ancient literature and inscriptions, see Scheer (2000), 50-53.

12The Greeks did not think that cult images were deities in a permanent and coterminous sense. The fact that ancient authors frequently use a god’s name to refer to his image is interesting, but does not indicate a failure to recognise the difference between god and image; rather, it reflects the existence of a common verbal shorthand not unknown today.11 (If I say that I have two dogs on my mantelpiece, the reader understands that these are dogs of china, not of flesh: context is everything.) The Homeric depiction of the Olympian gods living on Mount Olympos surely reflects popular imagination down through the Classical period and beyond, and other deities dwelt elsewhere, Pan in the wooded glens of Arkadia, Thetis in the depths of the sea, and so on. They were not fixed in their sanctuaries; rather their mobility was extreme and superhuman, allowing for lighting-swift passage over land and sea, and sudden appearances in the world of men.

13And yet at times their presence and participation are essential. Ritual hinges on acts of communication, chiefly the speaking of prayers and the giving of gifts, both of which hope for some response, some return. Gods are partners in a system of reciprocity, and for this to function properly, some form of ritual interaction is required. How can this be managed, when gods are both mobile and (if they choose to be) distant?

  • 12 See Pirenne-Delforge (2008b) and (2010), esp. 126-9.
  • 13 Sacred laws, for example, provide plenty of examples of such treatment of statues. Washing is presc (...)
  • 14 For example, during a large public sacrifice at the altar outside a temple the temple’s doors were (...)

14Images do seem to provide the chief answer to this conundrum. Scholars have shown that certain symbolic acts had the purpose and function of ‘activat­ing’ a cult image so that it could be a participant in worship and allow for com­munication between humans and deity. In particular, Pirenne-Delforge has demonstrated that some form of ritual hidrysis, or setting up, tends to be involved as a way of ‘switching on’ an image; thereafter, regular ritual tendance maintains its activation.12 The forms which such tendance took could often be strongly suggestive of the identification of statue with deity: rituals of washing, feeding, dressing and even beating of statues13 are the most striking examples of such an identification, but there are more subtle manifestations, such as the frequent emphasis on the statue in a temple being allowed to see and hear ceremonial approaches.14

  • 15 Scheer (2000), 121; on cult images as vessels, see also Steiner (2001), 79-95.

15Such direct approaches and forms of tendance are one illustration of the fact that, for the Greeks, the gods were capable of being their images, not permanently, not indistinguishably, but in certain specific situations. Perhaps ‘inhabiting’ is a better word than ‘being’: Scheer has shown that the word hedos was frequently used to describe a cult statue, and that this term, meaning ‘seat’ or ‘base’, reflects how the statue was thought to function as a facilitator of divine presence: ‘Ἕδος wäre dann etwas, auf dem oder in dem die Gottheit Platz nimmt, wo sie sich gerne aufhält, ohne aber zwanghaft dort festbunden zu sein.’15 Ritual might provoke the deity into residing within an image, but the image should not be seen as the permanent embodiment of the god.

16Something of this subtlety may be seen in book 6 of Herodotos, in a story about the family of the Spartan king Ariston. Ariston’s baby daughter is ugly, and her nurse, in order to enlist divine remedy, takes the baby daily to the sanctuary of the cult-heroine Helen.

  • 16 Hdt. 6.61.3-5: ὅκως δὲ ἐνείκειε τροφός, πρός τε τὤγαλμα ἵστα καὶ ἐλίσσετο τὴν θεὸν ἀπαλλάξαι τῆς (...)

Every time the nurse carried the child there, she set her beside the image and beseeched the goddess to release the child from her ugliness. Once as she was leaving the sacred precinct, it is said that a woman appeared to her and asked her what she was carrying in her arms. The nurse said she was carrying a child and the woman bade her show it to her, but she refused, saying that the parents had forbidden her to show it to anyone. But the woman strongly bade her show it to her, and when the nurse saw how important it was to her, she showed her the child. The woman stroked the child’s head and said that she would be the most beautiful woman in all Sparta. From that day her looks changed.16

  • 17 Helen’s rôle here is somewhat similar to that of Demeter in the Homeric Hymn and her treatment of t (...)
  • 18 Greek deities visit their temples rather as a medieval baron visited his hunting-lodges: for conven (...)
  • 19 Some aspects of ritual highlight the epiphanic qualities of the cult image: see e.g. Broder (2008), (...)

17In this story, the anxious nurse uses the cult statue as if it is the divine Helen – or at least as if it contains and may channel her powers. However, when help does come, it is not directly effected by the statue, but by a mysterious woman, whom we may take to be the heroine in disguise,17 who is able to reverse the baby’s ugliness just by stroking her head (physical contact is plainly crucial here). Here, then, epiphany and statue go together, and the nurse in effect provokes the manifestation by her appeal to the statue. The statue, then, is a point of communication, a proxy for the heroine’s presence, a vessel of divine agency activated by prayer. A very similar character attaches to temples. Naos is linked to naomai, ‘I dwell’, yet permanent residence is not to be envisaged; as has been said, most of the gods were widely imagined to reside on Mount Olympos, far from their shrines and from mortal affairs. Temples could be visited by gods, temporarily inhabited,18 just as cult statues could temporarily and partially constitute the divinity’s presence in a kind of material epiphany.19

  • 20 Interestingly, several ancient authors dealt playfully with the fantasy of statue and god being one (...)

18So cult images and – crucially – the ritual surrounding them were mechanisms for achieving and regulating divine presence. Their limits in this regard (the fact that they were not permanent or total containers of the god), and indeed the very fact that such mechanisms were necessary, reveals the extent to which attaining a god’s presence is a difficult business and only ever successful in part.20 It is important to acknowledge this as a wider backdrop to the tensions and uncertainties surrounding the presence of mixanthropic deities. But what is really striking in the case of the latter is the extent to which the power of the cult statue to achieve at least limited presence and facilitate at least limited interaction actually appears to have been abnegated.

19The first aspect to note is the complete absence of a single unquestionably proven mixanthropic cult statue. In the discussion of divine representation above, I have preferred the phrase ‘cult image’ to ‘cult statue’, to allow for varieties of medium, but in fact statues appear to have been favoured, almost without exception, as components within direct acts of worship. Mixanthropes, divine and otherwise, were favoured subjects in art, but one searches in vain for a case of a mixanthropic statue unambiguously present within a ritual context, receiving ceremony in the way described above. There is an obvious problem with an argumentum ex silentio of this nature: archaeological discovery and publication are patchy, and it is possible that a mixanthropic cult statue existed which has simply not been discovered. However, the shortage of ancient literary references to such statues is telling, especially given the probability that their iconographic peculiarity would have made them worthy of mention in the eyes of ancient narrators such as Pausanias. The one mixanthropic statue of which we have detailed mention is that of Demeter Melaina, and it has been shown that this object is shrouded in legend and cannot be asserted beyond doubt ever to have existed in actuality. Moreover, it was shown that Demeter Melaina’s statue was a component within a well-developed topos of absence, and was more significant for this than for confirmed existence.

  • 21 Mylonopoulos (2010a), 11-12.

20Even more significant than the scarcity of cult statues is the prevalence of an alternative mode of representation: the relief. Reliefs account for all the known representations of Acheloos in cult sites, and the great majority of Pan’s also. They form the bulk of mixanthropic cult imagery across the board. It was demonstrated in the previous chapter that the relief accords with mixanthropes’ tendency to be depicted as part of a plurality of beings, and also that it was powerful in its ability to convey narrative, movement and change, the essence of the metamorphic mixanthrope. At this stage, we may add another strand of significance: plurality is not the only feature of the reliefs worth noting here. After all, we hear of statue-groups in the key ceremonial position. Mylonopoulos has argued that a distinguishing feature of the cult statue or statue-group was that it depicted the deity or deities without a narrative setting.21 Rather than being shown immersed in their mythological deeds, deities in cult statue form are generally simply standing or sitting. Moreover, they relate chiefly with the viewer rather than with the other dramatis personae of a mythological episode. This is vital, as it allows for the sort of direct communication between worshipper and epi­phanic cult statue that was described above.

21So, not only was the function of reliefs in which Acheloos and other appeared chiefly votive, but their very form has implications for whether we read such images as an attempt to engineer divine presence. In the reliefs, Acheloos and Pan are part of interaction between divinities, in which the human viewer is not involved but is rather a bystander or observer. So reliefs do not appear to be evocative of presence in the way that a statue in the round, without narrative framework, may be. The persistent selection of the relief medium for Acheloos and others may be read as a disinclination to exploit the potential of visual depiction as a means of ensuring and regulating and harnessing at least temporary presence. And yet: as has been observed, Acheloos often appears to divide his interaction between his divine companions and the human viewer, by presenting outwards a full frontal face, by occupying a marginal position on the edge of the dancing band, and by declining to participate fully in its actions. Pan partly follows this ambiguous tendency. Thus the mixanthropic deities in the reliefs tantalise the viewer with uncertain communication, and once again, the deity’s presence before mortals is profoundly questioned rather than in any way guaranteed: always possible, never certain.

22Acheloos and Dionysos were also argued, in Chapter 8, to be subject to another representational trend: depicting them in such a way as to suggest that they are inanimate objects rather than ‘living’ gods. In a sense, this makes play of the cult image’s potential to facilitate divine presence. Acheloos and Dionysos are depicted, sometimes, as ‘mere’ images, whose divine habitation is insecure. Is the image functioning as a hedos, is the god within it, or is it just an empty shell? Such questions seem teasingly to be posed. A cult statue itself, the real thing, may be a container for divinity, but the depiction of a cult statue, in a relief or on a painted vase, is far more ambiguous, especially when its immobility is contrasted with lively, living forms shown moving around it.

23It is interesting at this point to remind ourselves of some observations made in the Introduction to this book about the representation of monsters in ancient art. It was there asserted that in both Greek and – to an even greater extent – Near Eastern culture, depicting a monster was seen as capturing and harnessing its dangerous potential. Monstrous images are amuletic: they contain and channel the monster’s powers. Not so the image of the mixanthropic deity. To depict a mixanthropic deity is to show its fluidity in a stable form, but the limitations of representation, its inability to contain and to control, remain to the fore. Likewise, no god may be reduced to an image, or fully controlled through representation, but mixanthropic deities seem to constitute an extreme form of this basic truth. Or, to put it another way, mixanthropy is used as a way of conceiving and imagining deities who are especially resistant to confinement within the para­meters of a single physical form, and for whom such resistance is a major element of their divine character.

  • 22 Scholarly interest in such objects largely derived from their relative prominence within the work o (...)
  • 23 Gaifman (2005), 170-95.

24The discussion of non-mixanthropic divine representation above, however, is not quite complete without acknowledgment of a slightly different class of cult images which in one sense do appear to bring mixanthropic and non-mixanthropic deities somewhat closer together. These are aniconic images, ones which do not follow the ‘mimesis of the imaginary’ which generally prevailed. Traditionally, aniconic images in Greek religion have been thought by scholars to consist of such objects as unworked stones, pillars, and wooden planks,22 but the important recent study by Gaifman has established the importance also of what is termed ‘empty space aniconism’, that is cases where the deity is indicated by a pointedly framed space such as an empty niche or (most graphically) throne.23 Empty space aniconism clearly functions differently from the anthropomorphic cult image; although something like a throne can serve as a hedos for divinity as an image can, the abnegation of visualisation is striking and acknowledges far more directly the impossibility of anchoring a deity permanently within a material container.

  • 24 Vernant (1991), 151-63. It is the major achievement of Donohue (1988) to have revealed the ancient (...)

25It is also possible to see aniconic images such as unworked stones as an expression of divine absence. Vernant has explained the religious potency of non-mimetic cult images in precisely these terms. He argues for a progression in Greek religious art from aniconic and very simple cult images towards the fully mimetic, a progression which is in part a modern variant on ancient theorising by such as Pausanias.24 This evolution is not without problems; it does not really take into account Donohue’s effective deconstruction of the evolutionary development of the cult image, for one thing. But even though the teleological aspect of his approach may be open to challenge, Vernant’s remarks about what certain kinds of cult object were intended to accomplish are illuminating. His claims are made for the nebulous concept of the xoanon, and though this is a concept which does not really survive Donohue’s work with any absolute meaning intact, his observations are still pertinent here. For Vernant, the crude xoanon is not an inadequate early attempt at verism, but powerful because it does not accurately and in detail reproduce the anthropomorphic form. Its function is not to represent divinity in full, but rather to suggest what is absent, what is above and beyond:

  • 25 Vernant (1991), 153.

However the sacred power is represented, the aim is to establish a true communication, an authentic contact, with it. The ambition is to make this power present hic et nunc, to make it available to human beings in the ritually required forms. But in its attempt to construct a bridge, as it were, that will reach toward the divine, the idol must also and at the same time and in the same figure mark its distance from that domain in relation to the human world. it must also emphasize what is inaccessible and mysterious in divinity, its alien quality, its otherness.25

  • 26 Spivey (1996), 170, cites, in relation to Pheidias’ other famous creation, the chryselephantine cul (...)
  • 27 Plut. Lys. 12. Sacred stones can also refer to important mythological events, as does that reported (...)

26A work such as Pheidias’ Athene in the Parthenon uses form and material to capture presence, to be epiphanic, to give the impression that the god (huge and shining) is there in the worshippers’ midst.26 This has its own visual power which the ancients recognised and respected. But other types of divine object work to capture absence, and therefore potential. The aniconic image, and the very crude and simple anthropomorphic statue, do so through omission, omission of features and of elements of mimesis. Their transcendental quality is strongly conveyed in ancient narratives through stories of the miraculous and supernatural ways in which they arrive among their worshippers and become objects of cult. Many such accounts describe a sacred stone descending from heaven, like a meteorite; a historically significant example is that connected with the Athenian disaster at Aigospotamoi, mentioned by Plutarch. Having descended, the stone is worshipped in the Chersonese.27

  • 28 Paus. 1.26.6. As well as falling from the sky, images can emerge from the sea, e.g. in Paus. 10.19, (...)
  • 29 For full discussion of the miraculous arrival of cult images in Greek myth, see Bettinetti (2001), (...)

27The motif of the miraculous arrival has two effects: first, it endows the object with its own limited magical agency; and second, it removes altogether the element of human manufacture. The object is sometimes found, but it is never made, and this allows it to derive from the sphere of the divine, the otherworldly, with a minimum of mortal mediation. Thus the aniconic cult object in myth does far more than just looking like a god: it comes from a god, and its very unworked state is the key to and the indication of its divine origins. A worked image by contrast displays by its very mimetic artifice that it owes its existence to mortal labour rather than divine agency. It is therefore not hard to see why the non-mimetic aniconic type should have been accorded its own aura of potency in the Greek religious imagination. A similar kind of power occasionally also attaches to certain kinds of worked images. For example, Pausanias tells us that the image of Athene at Athens considered most holy was an agalma whose veneration predated the union of the demes: the legend, he says, is that it fell from heaven.28 So a simple figural image may arrive miraculously, in which case its workmanship is divine, not human, and it carries the same numinosity as the unworked object, and the same sense of extreme age.29

  • 30 For Steiner (2001, 81) they are also to be regarded as one of a range of disguises in which divinit (...)
  • 31 A famous instance is the remark by the mid-sixth-century Ionian philosopher Xenophanes that man sim (...)
  • 32 This point is argued cogently be Scheer (2000), 35-43.

28Such objects and images are potent because of, not despite, their unlifelikeness. They harness the power of the thing, and in their very inanimation manage, in ancient eyes, to be especially entheos. They are talismanic, tools for imagining the elusiveness of the divine as well as the potential for intense presence.30 There and not there: this is the special formula of the divine. The fully mimetic statue by contrast imposes limits through its artifice, and divinity must sometimes be allowed to transcend such limits, just as mixanthropic deities always seem to do. Mixanthropy and aniconism may be seen as semantic systems used to express similar things: chiefly the inadequacy of mimetic anthropomorphism for the depiction of the divine. This inadequacy only rarely finds explicit expression, in the works of philosophers31 who cannot be taken as typical of conscious thought at the time;32 however, its implicit manifestations, far subtler than an actual rejection of divine representation such as occasional philosophers undertake, are indeed there to see, under the surface.

2. Gods, monsters, manufacture

29So the unworked or simply worked cult image had a significant rôle to play in ancient reflection on the depiction of divinity. At the same time, however, it is possible to discern an antithetical yet related theme, that of craftsmanship, of the very process of manufacture, which may reveal another facet of the position held by mixanthropes within ancient attitudes towards representation. The ensuing sub-chapter will explore how both gods and monsters (mixanthropic and otherwise) are brought into significant convergence by being cast as the products of miraculous craftsmanship. Such a portrayal places emphasis once more upon their rôle as objects, a rôle which we have seen attributed to Acheloos and Dionysos in particular, but which, it will be argued, should be viewed against the wider backdrop of ancient narratives about legendary acts of manufacture. The densest cluster of such narratives surrounds the figure of the Cretan Daidalos and his various creations and inventions at the court of King Minos; other examples will be brought in for purposes of comparison to demonstrate that the theme extends more widely into ancient myth.

2.1. Daidalos and the animation of objects

  • 33 Spivey (1996), 56-9.
  • 34 Morris (1992), 238-56. Pp. 251-6 for the modern concept, on which see also Donohue (1988), 179-88.

30The Greeks knew Daidalos as the inventor and creator of various devices, structures, and creative methods, most of which discoveries took place either on Crete or on Sicily.33 In this context, however, what concerns us is his association with statues, and with statues of gods in particular. In modern art history, Daidalos has given his name to the so-called ‘Daedalic’ or ‘Daedalian’ style, terms which are used to denote the archaic sculpture of the seventh century BC. This derives from the ancient attribution to Daidalos of a certain type of sculpture.34 The modern term ‘Daedalic’ and its forms indicate above all an early and primitive type of statue, simple and relatively crude, lacking the detailed verism of Classical counterparts. Some ancient remarks foreshadow this association. For example, Pausanias comments that the statues made by Daidalos would seem foolish to modern (that is, second-century) eyes. But such comments overlay a much deeper perception of Daidalos as innovator, as creator of a sculptural form that is new and daring rather than crude and archaic. At 4.76.2-3 Diodoros says:

  • 35 κατὰ δὲ τὴν τῶν ἀγαλμάτων κατασκευὴν τοσοῦτο τῶν ἁπάντων ἀνθρώπων διήνεγκεν ὥστε τοὺς μεταγενεστέρο (...)

In the carving of statues he was so much better than all other men that later generations invented the story about him that the statues made by him were very like living beings; they could see, they said, and walk and, overall, preserved so well the appearance of the entire body that an image made by him seemed to be a being endowed with life. And since he was the first to represent the eye open, the legs separated in a stride and the arms and hands extended, he was quite naturally admired by mankind; for the craftsmen before his time had carved their statues with the eyes closed and the arms and hands hanging and attached to the sides.35

  • 36 Morris (1992), 3-35.

31Moreover, Morris demonstrates that words with the daidal- root are used in ancient texts from Homer onwards not to denote archaic simplicity but rather objects of especial elaborateness, of particular cunning of detail and design, the results of ingenious work and craftsmanship.36 We seem to have two themes which somewhat contradict each other: one sees Daidalos as articulating, elaborating, applying unheard-of technê to raw materials; the other, far less strongly represented in the sources, sees him as primitive rather than innovative (or rather innovative in a way which has come to be seen as primitive) and therefore the creator of crude, simple objects.

  • 37 Spivey (1995), 447; Steiner (2001), 143-4.

32The former portrayal is the earlier, and in fact rests upon one of the fundamental aspects of Daidalos’ art. In his creation of statues, Daidalos brings new elaboration and articulation. He gives his images differentiated limbs and open eyes. In the quotation above, Diodoros the Sensible says that this new articulation gave rise to the (credulous and mistaken) idea that the statues were endowed with life, but this is an accretion of rationalization over a deep mythical stratum in which lies the magical ability of the craftsman to animate lifeless materials and create living, moving things out of metal and stone.37 Daidalos does not just make lifelike things; he makes things that are (unexpectedly and miraculously) alive.

  • 38 Several of Hephaistos’ other automata are in animal form, significantly; a famous example is the se (...)
  • 39 On the lameness of Hephaistos and Hera’s desire to discard and conceal him, see Hom. Il. 18.395-405 (...)

33This ability finds other exponents. One is the god Hephaistos, famous as the divine smith, and also a creator of objects which move, which display all the signs of life within their hard exteriors. Automotive tripods and robotic handmaidens38 give the god a bizarre glamour in the Iliad, quite at odds with his rôle as a source of malicious laughter. When Hephaistos appears among the company of the other gods, he may be a figure of fun, with his ungainly and deformed body,39 but in his own territory he is a mighty worker of miracles.

  • 40 For example this seems to have been described in the work of Simonides and in the Daidalos of Sopho (...)
  • 41 Apollod. Bibl. 3.15.9; Morris (1992), 226-7.
  • 42 Ap. Rhod. Arg. 4.1639-93. On the prevalence of the guardian function in the characterisation of anc (...)

34Daidalos’ Cretan associations and his employment by Minos link him with Hephaistos further: Hephaistos in some accounts is designated as the creator of Talos, the animated bronze giant who guards Crete for its ruler.40 Another oblique association between Talos and Daidalos may lurk in the figure of the craftsman’s apprentice, another Talos, whose murder necessitates Daidalos’ flight to Crete from Athens, in Apollodoros’ account.41 All automata are by definition monsters in that they are unnatural in their creation, composition and nature, but Talos adds other monster features: extraordinary size and a guardian function. Like that of Kerberos at the gate of Hades, Talos’ unnatural might is harnessed for the preservation of a realm; thrice every day he stalks around the perimeter of Crete, throwing rocks at all who approach.42 The manner of his defeat is significant: according to Apollonios, when Medea arrives on Crete with Jason, she casts a spell on Talos so that he is rendered vulnerable and, scraping his ankle on a rock, suffers a wound through which the animation-giving fluid within him escapes, leaving him a drained and lifeless shell.

  • 43 On Daidalos and the creation of divine images, see Donohue (1988), 179-83; Pritchett, vol. 1 (1998) (...)

35Daidalos’ manufacture of animated objects extends into the representation of the divine.43 An example where the animated statue is explicitly that of a deity is to be found in a metaphor used by Aristotle. Describing how, according to Democritus, the movement of the body is caused by the soul within it, he compares this with a dramatic conceit:

  • 44 Aristotle, de An. 406b 9: παραπλησίως λέγων Φιλίππῳ τῷ κωμῳδοδιδασκάλῳ· φὴσι γὰρ τὸν Δαίδαλον κινου (...)

In saying this he is like Philippos the writer of comic plays. For Philippos says that Daidalos made the wooden Aphrodite move, by pouring in quicksilver.44

  • 45 See Spivey (1995), 446-7 and Morris (1992), 215-226, for the dramatic references. Morris argues tha (...)
  • 46 Plato, Meno 97d-e.

36Walking, talking statues of gods seem to have been remarkably popular in comedy and satyr plays, and Daidalos is an important figure in the scant references that have come down to us. Several fragments of comic drama reinforce the suggestion that in Athens there was a running joke about the elusive and slippery properties of Daidalos’ works.45 An excerpt from Plato’s Meno is also illuminating and proved the motif to have currency in other genres. Sokrates is gently teasing his Thessalian interlocutor for failing to understand the value of ‘true opinion’; this failure, he says, might be because, being Thessalian, Menon has never seen the statues of Daidalos, whose properties he goes on the describe, saying that ‘if they are not fastened up they play truant and run away; but, if fastened, they stay where they are.’46 In Greek religion, the process of manufacture can provide a container for transcendent divinity: we have seen above that this is how cult images functioned in much of ritual life. The statues made by Daidalos, however, turn this function on its head, by overturning our expectations of objects. Material is no longer safely immobile and lifeless; it is endowed with all the instability of the divinity it represents. Both monsters and gods take a share of this dangerous animation.

2.2. Pasiphae’s cow

37So Daidalos is able, through magical technê, to break down the boundary between the living and the lifeless, the animated and the inanimate, and in so doing to interrogate the properties and the limitations of images and image-making. There is, however, another important divide which his craftsmanship oversteps: that between human and animal. He is, in fact, intimately associated with mixanthropy, non-divine mixanthropy, the mixanthropy of the monster.

  • 47 The story of Pasiphae goes back to the Ehoiai (Hes. fr. 145 MW), and finds another early exposition (...)

38Ancient authors tell the story of Pasiphae, the wife of Minos, who becomes a channel for divine retribution when he offends Poseidon by failing to sacrifice to the god an especially fine (in some versions supernatural) bull.47 Cursed with a terrible passion for this very bull, Pasiphae commissions Daidalos to make for her an ingenious hollow cow in which she hides and so manages to mate with the animal. The offspring resulting from this unnatural conjunction is the minotaur, who provides us with a very rare example of a mixanthrope being the product of sex between human and animal.

39In this story, the rôle of Daidalos is as someone who is able to fit together animal and human, elements incompatible in nature, and allow for their combination. The first such combination is that of Pasiphae and the artificial cow; the second is that of Pasiphae and the bull she is thus able to mate with. The third combination is the result of this mating: the minotaur, bull-headed, human-bodied, a monstrous mixanthrope. Daidalos does not manufacture the minotaur; this being is produced by a travesty of the natural processes of reproduction. It is interesting to observe the varieties of animal/human juxtaposition in this sequence. Its end product is a mixanthrope, in which both ingredients are externally displayed and anatomically conjoined, but what Daidalos produces is rather different. The Pasiphae/cow confection is a case of combination in layers, cow without, woman within. This outside/inside discrepancy is reminiscent of the physical manifestation of the automaton, that combines a lifeless exterior, the shell of an object, with a core of life and animation, represented as a magical fluid like quicksilver. In the case of the minotaur and the animal/human dichotomy, mixanthropy is then the way in which the two elements are resolved, brought into simultaneous view, in the final product or consequence of the layering operation. The creation of divergent layers as a way of fusing antithetical ingredients appears to be at the heart of the theme of manufacture in ancient thought, as may be seen by examining a comparable, though very different, example.

2.3. Manufactured women

  • 48 Plut. de Daed. Plat. 6 (= Euseb. Praep. Ev. 3.1.85c – 86b); on the attendant rituals, see Burkert ( (...)

40According to Plutarch, the aition of the Boiotian festival of the Daidala was as follows:48 annoyed at Zeus’ infidelities, Hera hides from him, and Zeus determines to win her back by pretending to marry another. He undergoes a wedding ceremony with a statue carved of wood, decked in women’s garb and ornament and given the female name Daidale, a ruse which takes Hera in so that she rushes up in a jealous passion; the revelation of the trick played effects a reconciliation, and the effigy of ‘Daidale’ becomes a cult image with its own festival, named after it. This story is on the one hand one of those reflecting the persona of Daidalos as someone who can use his technê to make a mere object seem a being of flesh and blood. The decking of a female effigy, however, and its use for purposes of deception, is a theme which extends beyond Daidalos, and reveals another vital angle on ancient myth-making on the subject of images and their power.

  • 49 Attic red-figure kalyx krater by the Niobid Painter; c. 460 BC. (London BM 1856,12-13.1.) See Reede (...)

41The most famous manufactured human in ancient myth (and arguably in modern thought also) was Pandora. Occasional vase paintings depict the scene in which Pandora is constructed by the gods, and their representation of a stark, statue-like form is very striking. On a kalyx krater by the Niobid Painter,49 for example, Pandora, complete but for a wreath which Athene holds out towards her (the finishing touch), stands facing the viewer with full-frontal face and a rigid stance. We know from Hesiod’s bitter tale that, once made and animated, she was in fact all too capable of movement and independent action, though driven by the will of Zeus and the instrument of his punitive intentions: she it is who notoriously released the world’s ills from their resting-place within a jar, and thus ushered mankind through one of the stages of degradation which are so dominant within the Works and Days. So Pandora was no mere automaton (though her chief fabric was moulded by the automaton-making Hephaistos), but the process of her creation makes her part of the topos of the animated statue, and in this regard, we find once again the motif of layers, layers whose discrepancy is a source of peril.

  • 50 Hes. W&D 70-79: αὐτίκα δἐκ γαίης πλάσσεν κλυτὸς Ἀμφιγυήεις | παρθένῳ αἰδοίῃ ἴκελον Κρονίδεω διὰ β (...)

At once the glorious Lame God moulded from clay
the likeness of a modest girl, in accordance with the plans of Kronides.
Grey-eyed Athene put upon her girdle and ornaments,
and the divine Charites and lady Peitho
placed golden necklaces upon her skin, and the Horai
with the lovely hair crowned her with spring flowers.
All these things Pallas Athene attached to her skin, as ornament.
And in her breast, the Guide, Argeïphontes,
forged lies and crafty words and a deceitful nature,
according to the plans of deep-thundering Zeus.50

42Much of this passage is concerned with kosmos, adornment, the kind of adornment on which female attraction so often rests in Greek literature. Most of the elaboration of Pandora’s manufacture happens on the outside, in the painstaking creation of a pleasing exterior. Only at the end of the passage are we told about the composition of what is inside, and this is the contribution of the trickster Hermes, who, appropriately, gives her a deceitful nature and (on line 67) what is generally translated into English as a ‘shameless mind’. The Greek phrase, however, is kuneos noos, a bitch-like mind, the mind of a bitch.

  • 51 For further discussion of container-imagery in this context, see Lissarrague (1995).
  • 52 Hes. Theog. 570-89, esp. 578-84.

43Pandora is herself like the pithos of ills,51 packed with destructive potential, but in this context the animal component is especially interesting. Like Pasiphae in her cow-shell, she comprises woman and animal parts, but her composition is the reverse of her Cretan counterpart’s. Pasiphae was aiming to seduce a bull, so she concealed her humanity within the form of an animal; Pandora is designed to seduce men, so her exterior is human, and beautiful; within, however, lurks the dangerous character of the animal. Pandora’s quality as a pêma, a bane to men, hinges on the discrepancy of her layers and of the successful concealment of the animal within the human; this is the essence of her trickery. There is a tiny hint of her nature on the outside: in the subtly different account in the Theogony, Pandora is equipped with a head-dress made by Hephaistos, ornamented with many daidala (elaborate, curious, tricky designs): these daidala are depictions of ‘all the knôdala which the earth and the sea nurture’, and they are described as miraculous (thaumasia) and ‘like living creatures with voices’.52 Not only is Pandora herself a miraculously animated work of manufacture, but the beasts on her crown come close to having the same magic property. They also, perhaps, refer to beastliness within, though poor Epimetheus does not recognise the warning.

  • 53 For Helen as ambiguous sorceress, skilled in both healing and baneful herbs, see Hom. Od. 4.219-232
  • 54 E.g. at Il. 3.180 (kunôps) and 6.344 & 356 (both kuôn in the genitive, kunos).
  • 55 Animal imagery does not always occur in the form of this delicate opposition of latent and patent. (...)

44This characterisation of Pandora finds striking echoes in that of Helen. Helen, too, is a bane to men, another cause of lengthy human suffering. Once again, beauty baits the trap; once again, beauty is not to be relied on as an indicator of harmlessness.53 Bitch-imagery crops up again, significantly: repeatedly Helen calls herself both bitch-faced, kunôps, and simply kuôn, ‘bitch’.54 Though dog-imagery ties Helen in with the Pandora motif, the word kunôps is itself surprising, since literally it seems to refer to external appearance. We know that Helen’s face is not dog-like in the physical sense; she is a paradigmatic beauty. There are two ways of interpreting this peculiarity. One is that it is the dog’s notorious shamelessness that is being applied to Helen’s countenance: her beauty is brazen and wanton, inhumanly so. The other is that the bitch mind is being extruded, so to speak, onto the visible plane from the invisible, and that Helen does so to shock, by revealing what lies within her perfect form. Either way, it is a remarkable display of self-excoriation, one which actually confuses the Pandoran inside/outside dichotomy to which Helen, as snare of men, is inherently prone.55

  • 56 See Wright (2005), 83-113.
  • 57 On the ancient motif of the aggressive use of deceptive containers like Pandora, see Faraone (1992) (...)
  • 58 Schol. Hom. Il. 1.5-6; see Gantz (1993), 567-8 for analysis of this and other sources. The underlyi (...)

45Helen, too, has an element of the artificial, if one takes into account the curious story of the fabrication of a Helen-eidôlon, a story given fullest elaboration in the Helen of Euripides, though possibly discernible as early as Stesichoros.56 The motivation behind this act of manufacture is not dissimilar from that which provoked the creation of Pandora, that is, a direct desire on the part of Zeus to oppose mankind and to use a deceptively beautiful female as the means.57 In the extant summary of the Kypria we hear of Zeus and Themis plotting to engineer the Trojan War, and more detail is provided by a scholion on the Iliad which describes how the births of both Achilles and Helen are the twin mechanisms behind the catastrophic conflict.58 Once again, we have the manufactured woman, beautiful yet monstrous in her combination of human and animal, being used to trick mankind into loss and suffering.

  • 59 In Hyg. Fab. 62, the mating of Ixion and Nephele produces the Kentauroi, but most other, and earlie (...)

46Helen and Pandora are both vital instruments of the gods’ manipulation of mankind, and as such have drastic implications for the very fabric of humanity’s mythical past. One further example of the manufactured woman, another eidôlon in fact, is far less powerful in scope, but should be recognised as a telling further example of the connections between manufacture, monstrosity and mixanthropy. This character is Nephele, ‘Cloud’, the woman created in the likeness of Hera to deflect from the goddess the erotic aggression of Ixion. Ixion rapes the cloud-woman in the belief that she is Hera, and though Nephele herself has no explicit animal elements, the result (immediate or eventual) of their unnatural union is the centaurs, horse-mixanthropes.59 Most authors make Ixion and Nephele not the parents but the grandparents of the centaurs; the horse element is provided by the mares of Pelion, their mothers. This dilutes the connection between manufacture and mixanthropy significantly, but the connection is there, faintly, none the less.

2.4. Thetis

47To return to the theme of layers, and the discrepancy between outside and inside, perhaps the most notable example of this characteristic is in fact Thetis. As was shown in Chapter 1, Thetis was sometimes characterised using the imagery of the sepia, a creature that is white externally but full of black ink which it employs as a dolos, a trick (a word with Pandoran echoes). By no means coincidentally, Thetis is also strongly associated with the theme of manufacture, though she has no manufactured quality herself. It was seen above that Thetis was closely linked with Hephaistos, and that in fact technê forms the basis of their association, through the episode of Achilles’ shield, its commissioning and collection by Thetis when she visits Hephaistos in his miraculous domain, an occasion which prompts, in the Iliad, a remarkable digression on the origins of their intimacy, the help and shelter which Thetis afforded the smith-god when he had been cast out by his mother Hera. However, the Thetis/manufacture association goes further than this.

  • 60 For the commentary, see Page, PMG fr. 5, pp. 23-4; for analysis and discussion see West (1963 and 1 (...)

48In a tradition which cannot be taken as widespread in ancient belief, but which none the less finds echoes elsewhere, the seventh-century poet Alkman includes Thetis in a cosmogonic poem, of which only a summary survives today.60 From this summary it appears that the kosmos originates in a condition of formlessness; Thetis, however, exercises a demiurgic function and distinguishes matter from matter in a way which the commentator compares to the actions of a technitês manipulating metal. This is a rare rôle for the goddess, and curiously divergent from her more famous position as the mother of Achilles, and yet, as Detienne and Vernant observe, it comes to mind when one considers her Iliadic interaction with the arch-technitês Hephaistos. In the Iliad, it will be recalled, Hephaistos and Thetis enjoy a striking intimacy, and the scene in which she stands at his side in his forge while he crafts the miraculous arms of Achilles surely carries resonances with the demiurgic Thetis of Alkman, though without the cosmogonic function.

49Though not herself characterised as the result of manufacture, Thetis does share with Pandora and Helen one further significant aspect: a link, faintly causal, with the Trojan war. According to some ancient accounts, it is at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis that the conflict is made inevitable, through the action of Eris, Strife, who introduces the Apple of Discord which will set goddess against goddess in the beauty contest judged by Paris. Paris’ judgment will then lead on to the abduction of Helen, the direct and immediate cause of the war. This is not to mention the fact that Thetis’ son, Achilles, is destined to be the most famous hero involved in the conflict. In her association with the Trojan war, Thetis displays a curious mixture of potency and helplessness, which Slatkin has studied at length. Though herself a demiurgic figure of cosmic scope, in the setting of the war and its inception her power is wholly subordinated to the dual agencies of Zeus and Fate.

2.5. Manufacture and metamorphosis

  • 61 Apollod. Epit. 1.12-13.

50The wooden cow made by Daidalos for Pasiphae effects a kind of dolos which relies on concealing one nature within another, and the theme of concealment is indeed strong, being continued in the story of Daidalos’ construction of the labyrinth as a place of concealment and confinement for the monstrous minotaur, the result of his facilitation of Pasiphae’s bestial union. However, the hollow cow is also an example of the legendary craftsman’s ability to bring about changes of shape. We know that Pasiphae does not actually transform, she merely dons a disguise; and yet it was shown in Chapter 8 that the imagery of disguises, of costumes, masks and coverings, is intimately connected with that of actual metamorphosis. Others of the deeds of Daidalos too display this use of coverings of some kind to bring about a dramatic change of state, the most famous being his invention of artificial wings which allow him and his son Ikaros to fly from Crete when the circumstances of the minotaur’s conception, and Daidalos’ hand in them, have become known, arousing the murderous rage of Minos.61 In the production of the wings, Daidalos’ miraculous technê creates a way for him and his son to leave behind terrestrial identity and enter the alien element of the air, even though for Ikaros the experience is a fatal one. Thus Daidalos is, in a sense, himself a metamorphosist.

  • 62 Strab. 14.2.7.
  • 63 Diod. 5.55.2.
  • 64 Morris (1992), 88. See also pp. 164-70. She stresses the geographical dimension, seeing characters (...)
  • 65 Several ancient texts seem to have dwelt at length on the Telchines, but do not now survive, for ex (...)

51This property of the mythical craftsman may be seen very strongly in the case of the Telchines, fellow-islanders, though Rhodian rather than Cretan, and also exponents of technê. The technological inventions of the Telchines are very closely related to those of both Hephaistos and Daidalos. They make arms (the sickle of Kronos);62 they make images of the gods.63 Of course, it is important not to lump all these mythical personalities together without distinction; the Telchines are not just craftsmen but are particularly associated with the development of metalworking, belonging to a group of beings (containing also the Daktyls) whom Morris aptly calls ‘mischievous and mobile spirits of metal’.64 The range of their achievements, however, takes them out of this narrow sphere and places them firmly within the topos of the magical creator of potent and talismanic things. What is especially striking, in combination with this, is their ability to inflict the process of metamorphosis on their surroundings. This ability is described in most detail by Diodoros,65 who tells us:

  • 66 Diod. 5.55.3: λέγονται δοὗτοι καὶ γόητες γεγονέναι καὶ παράγειν ὅτε βούλοιντο νέφη τε καὶ ὄμβρους(...)

The Telchines are also said to have been wizards, and to have been able to summon clouds and rain and hail when they wished, and likewise even to bring on snow. The stories say that they did these things just as the Magoi do. They could also change their own shapes, and they were jealous [phthoneroi] about teaching their skills.66

  • 67 Cf. Strab. 14.2.7-8.

52This passage brings out a consistent trait of the Telchines in ancient narratives: their jealousy, which fits in with their frequent representation as the displaced early inhabitants of Rhodes.67 It also reflects the extent to which such legendary craftsmen, rather than being limited to transformations of beings and objects from one form to another, were believed to be able to distort the very systems and processes of nature. In such cases, metamorphosis in the ‘traditional’ sense (such as human to animal) is part of a far more general ability to manipulate the natural environment and flout its normal laws. Daidalos’ ability to transgress the boundaries of living and inanimate, human and animal, terrestrial and winged, though perhaps narrower in scope, should be viewed against the backdrop of this broader motif. The Telchines also show themselves to be metamorphic; as has so often been shown in this book, it is a quality of the metamorphosist that he is able to impose his fluctuations on the environment around him.

  • 68 Steiner (2001), 135-84.

53The connection between the transgression of the two key boundaries, animated/inanimate and animal/human, is also one with wide currency in ancient thought. Steiner argues that the contrasting relationship between immobility and mobility was one which countless ancient authors found piquant and productive.68 Statues and other images were used as expressions of the essence of immobility, but this also had the effect of making their immobility ripe for transcendance and negation, though various means. The automata of Daidalos and Hephaistos are one way in which this is achieved; the link with metamorphosis provides another; and it is highly significant that tales of non-animal metamorphosis tend to end in immobility, in the transformation of the victim from living, breathing being into rigid rock or tree. Animal metamorphosis tests the border between the human and the non-human state; object-metamorphosis suggests that animated/inanimate is another vital dichotomy in the ancient world view.

Gods, monsters and images: conclusion

54This chapter has taken in a great deal of diverse material; it is time to recap, and in particular to reassert the application of this material to the topic of this book: mixanthropic deities. First, however, the findings of the chapter may be summarised as follows.

55In the first sub-chapter, it was shown that the tense and complicated relationship between mixanthropic deities and the processes of representation should not be allowed to obscure the challenges inherent in the depiction of the divine; despite the superficially simple system of divine anthropomorphism, great inherent difficultly lay, not so much in depicting the divine, as in doing so in such a way that deity and mortal could interact, whether in the fictional setting of an epiphany or in the real-life setting of ritual. Both settings require mechanisms to effect contact and communication; yet an exploration of cult statues and the beliefs surrounding them showed that even though they, and attendant ceremonial, did function as ways of ensuring divine participation in the dialogue of worship, they did not in the least suggest permanent divine presence. It was, however, argued that mixanthropic deities represent an extreme end in the spectrum of such impermanence. By the abnegation of the mechanism of the cult statue in particular, mixanthropic deities were kept as free from material confinement as was possible within the parameters of cult. The necessity was reasserted of seeing mixanthropy as a symbolic mode chosen for the envisaging of deities with certain properties, properties not limited exclusively to those with mixanthropic representation, but found with special intensity among their ranks.

56In the second sub-chapter, the figure of Daidalos was used to show that, although the representation of gods posed special challenges in the ancient mind, this theme may once again be illuminated from outside, by considering the manifestation in Greek mythology of themes of manufacture more widely. Not only does the creation of the divine image rest within this discourse, but there it reveals significant proximity with the creation of monsters, mixanthropes among them. In myth, the creation of images of gods is the preserve of magical craftsmen such as Daidalos, Hephaistos and the Telchines, and the creation of other miraculous beings (monsters, automata) is another speciality of such figures.

  • 69 Hom. Il. 14.153-86. In fact, the adornment of Hera is strongly comparable to that of Aphrodite. Ric (...)
  • 70 Morris (1992), 4-21.

57The figure of the manufactured woman may be especially revealing when held up against the visualisation of the divine. In particular, the rôle of kosmos in the creation of Pandora is reminiscent of its rôle in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, as part of the goddess’s preparations to meet and seduce Anchises. Of course, one significance of kosmos is as a mechanism of seduction, and this is how it may work in deity/deity interaction too, most famously in Hera’s preparations for the seduction of Zeus in the Iliad, an episode in which kosmos has the element of deception that so often accompanies it.69 Ornament is the machinery of seduction, and has been shown to bear striking parallels to the male equivalent of the donning of armour.70 Another potential strand of meaning can, however, be suggested: that the adornment of a goddess gives her a faintly manufactured character. In the Homeric Hymn, Aphrodite goes through the kosmos-process in her temple; would we be wrong to suggest that this brings her into close relationship with the idea of the statue? That when she dons the material accessories that form such an important part of her ability to enchant, the process is not just one of decoration but of physical embodiment? Thus even a face-to-face epiphany may involve the deity taking on some of the properties of a statue, a (self-) manufactured object.

58Are gods and monsters born, or are they made? Born of course, in that genealogical myth-making lavished parentage and the circumstances of conception and birth on individuals of both classes. And yet the intrusion of both gods and monsters into real life was almost exclusively through objects and images, things subjected to processes of manufacture. With regard to divine images, two mythological contingencies could address this basic reality: stories of cult objects arriving mysteriously ready-made, and stories which place the process of creation in the hands of a miracle-worker such as Daidalos. Both types take the responsibility for creation out of normal mortal hands, out of banal reality, into the fantastical sphere in which monsters also dwell, beings whose birth, though possible in the imagination, cannot find a place among the biological realities of daily life. And for both gods and monsters, images were more than just means of depiction; they were powerfully talismanic.

59Perhaps the strongest uniting theme, however, is that of the relationship between outside and inside, surface and contents. With regard to images of gods, this theme hinges on an implicit question: does this image (most often a statue) contain divinity? Ritual engineers an answer in the affirmative, on a temporary basis, through the characterisation of the cult image as a container or seat in which a deity may take up brief residence. On the side of myth, Daidalos contrives a miraculous ‘yes’ through artifice, through his creation of divine images that defy the parameters of their external lifelessness, either through a magical core of fluid or through special articulation. Perhaps the bridge between real-life ritual and the unattainable world of Daidalos is the cult image to which attaches stories of miraculous arrival or miraculous agency, since such objects have their own numinosity.

60The inside/outside relationship goes further. With mythical automata the implicit question is whether something which appears to be an object is indeed an object all the way through, and the answer is in the negative. Rather, the lifeless exterior belies the truth of such beings as Talos or the handmaidens of Hephaistos, because within the manufactured shell life has miraculously been implanted. Automata can be alarming, but they, like the topos of the animated cult statue, also reveal a fantasy of sorts, about the creation of life in the most unexpected way, and about the transcension of the purely material into divinity and magic.

  • 71 Apollod. Bibl. 3.15.1; Ant. Lib. Met. 41. The condition is inflicted on Minos by the spell-casting (...)

61It is, however, with the rôle of animal ingredients in the inside/outside theme that we are perhaps most concerned, for it was shown that animal elements were powerfully placed within the discourse. The question posed by beings such as Pandora is: the outside of this creature is human, and indeed beautiful, but is this matched by what lies within? The basis of this question is a fundamental doubt as to whether external appearances can be trusted, and of course in the cases of Pandora and Helen they cannot. The animal element is used as a component of the inside condition, which belies the human exterior, though Pasiphae’s cow turns this schema on its head: since it is a bull whose tastes must be appealed to, it is a bovine form which forms the shell, with a human lurking within. Two aspects of such animal/human combinations are especially important. The first is that they are arranged in layers, one on the outside and one on the inside. The second is that the primary purpose of this configuration is deception. The concealment of animal within human (or vice versa) is part of some dolos. The untrustworthiness of the external appearance is not coincidental: it is a major element of motivation. This element of deliberate deception may be the key distinction between the motif of the manufactured woman and one closely related instance of a male figure harbouring dangerous concealed animality. In a story bizarre even by the standards of ancient mythology, it is told that Minos, king of Crete, was cursed with a condition whereby, in coitu, he would ejaculate snakes and scorpions into the body of his female partner, killing her. Thus Minos too harbours hidden and damaging animal forces; but this is not woven into an explicit narrative of duplicity.71

62Overall, animal/human combinations are an important component within the theme of the inside/outside relationship, and indeed elements of mixanthropy and metamorphosis surface, such as in the flippers of the Telchines and Daidalos’ wings, expressive of the boundary-crossing abilities of such figures. But the really striking discovery is that legendary craftsmen, though makers of monsters as well as gods, are not responsible for the direct manufacture of mixanthropes as we know them in this study, that is, animal/human combinations in which both ingredients are physically and externally apparent. Mixanthropes are not possible in nature, and it is easy to imagine figures like Daidalos and Hephaistos slotting one together, beast-part onto man-part, as part of their unnatural manipulation of nature, joining, say, an animal head to a human trunk to create a monster of a type recognised in the ancient canon of the strange. And yet, this does not happen. Instead, mythical craftsmen are far more strongly associated with the creation of layers, with the concealment of one nature within another. This fact is highly significant. The fact that ancient mythical narratives decline to show ‘true’ mixanthropes as the direct product of manufacture but do ascribe the ‘layered’ configuration to such processes is by no means meaningless, but rather, leads on to one of the concluding observations of this book. The discourse of manufactured layers is essentially a negative one, especially dominated by dysfunctional interaction between humanity and the gods, exemplified by Zeus’ use of Pandora as a weapon against men. The fact that mixanthropy does not participate fully in this discourse reflects, as will be argued, the value of mixanthropy as an alternative to other arrangements of human and animal, and its rôle as a solution to problems of communication and interaction.

Notes

1 Mylonopoulos (2010b) discusses the semantic use of attributes, and points out that their ‘readability’ in antiquity would have derived in part from their combination with other elements, such as epikleseis and setting.

2 On the imagery of epiphanies, see Versnel (1987).

3 See e.g. Hom. Hymn 7 (to Dionysos), line 3: the god appears ‘like a young man’.

4 Versnel (1987), 45.

5 Hom. Hymn 5.82-3.

6 This is not the only case of unsuccessful divine disguise in ancient literature: a famous example occurs at Hom. Od. 22.203-214. Athene chooses the guise of an established comrade of Odysseus in order to advise the hero, but interestingly Odysseus sees through her disguise, though he chooses not to make this fact obvious, ‘playing along with’ the deception. This subtle play emphasises the closeness of hero and deity; disguise facilitates contact, but does not then circumscribe it. On epiphanies in the Odyssey, see Buxton (2009), 29-48.

7 Beauty-designating adjectives and epithets of goddesses fill, for example, the Theogony of Hesiod, such as liparos, which also implies shining (see e.g. line 901 where the word is used of Themis), kallikomos and kalliparêios (e.g. lines 915 and 270 respectively), thaleros, which suggests bloom and abundance (used e.g. of Hera at line 921), and many more. On these qualities of divine physicality, see Gladigow (1990), 98-9.

8 Buxton (2009), 157-90.

9 Apollod. Bibl. 3.4.3.

10 See e.g. Scheer (2000), esp. 130-43; Mylonopoulos (2010a), 3-6.

11 On this tendency in ancient literature and inscriptions, see Scheer (2000), 50-53.

12 See Pirenne-Delforge (2008b) and (2010), esp. 126-9.

13 Sacred laws, for example, provide plenty of examples of such treatment of statues. Washing is prescribed in IG II2 659 (line 26), an early-third-century BC decree concerning the sanctuary of Aphrodite Pandemos at Athens; the robing of a statue in a peplos is to be found in IG I2 80, an inscription about the ritual rôle of the Praxiergidai at Athens (line 11). For discussion of such rites, see Gladigow (1985-6), 115-6; Scheer (2000), 57-65; Bettinetti (2001), 137-60. When it comes to the ritual mistreatment of statues, the most graphic example is the Theokritos passage discussed in an earlier chapter (Idylls 7.106-10) in which Pan is threatened with whipping and other torments if he does not provide the Arkadian hunters with game. Because of the scholion on this text we know with reasonable certainty that it is the god’s statue that would receive the whipping, but there is no mention of this in the poem (‘if you do this, dear Pan, may the boys| of Arkadia not whip you with squills’). Of course, this makes the address to the god more vivid and direct, but it goes beyond poetic effect to ritual sense: to whip Pan’s statue was in a sense to whip Pan. This is reminiscent of the ritual use and abuse of amulets which was extremely prevalent in magical practice. (Ancient ‘voodoo-dolls’ – kolossoi – and the texts connected with them are collected and discussed in Ogden [2002], 245-74.)

14 For example, during a large public sacrifice at the altar outside a temple the temple’s doors were very often opened so that the offering was within the line of ‘sight’ of the statue within, as well as the statue being visible to the worshippers outside. See Scheer (2000), 61-5.

15 Scheer (2000), 121; on cult images as vessels, see also Steiner (2001), 79-95.

16 Hdt. 6.61.3-5: ὅκως δὲ ἐνείκειε τροφός, πρός τε τὤγαλμα ἵστα καὶ ἐλίσσετο τὴν θεὸν ἀπαλλάξαι τῆς δυσμορφίης τὸ παιδίον. καὶ δή κοτε ἀπιούσῃ ἐκ τοῦ ἱροῦ τῇ τροφῷ γυναῖκα λέγεται ἐπιφανῆναι, ἐπιφανεῖσαν δὲ ἐπειρέσθαι μιν τι φέρει ἐν τῇ ἀγκάλῃ, καὶ τὴν φράσαι ὡς παιδίον φορέει, τὴν δὲ κελεῦσαί οἱ δέξαι, τὴν δὲ οὐ φάναι· ἀπειρῆσθαι γάρ οἱ ἐκ τῶν γειναμένων μηδενὶ ἐπιδεικνύναι· τὴν δὲ πάντως ἑωυτῇ κελεύειν ἐπιδέξαι. ὁρῶσαν δὲ τὴν γυναῖκα περὶ πολλοῦ ποιευμένην ἰδέσθαι, οὕτω δὴ τὴν τροφὸν δέξαι τὸ παιδίον· τὴν δὲ καταψῶσαν τοῦ παιδίου τὴν κεφαλὴν εἶπαι ὡς καλλιστεύσει πασέων τῶν ἐν Σπάρτῃ γυναικῶν. ἀπὸ μὲν δὴ ταύτης τῆς ἡμέρης μεταπεσεῖν τὸ εἶδος.

17 Helen’s rôle here is somewhat similar to that of Demeter in the Homeric Hymn and her treatment of the baby Demophon: an unrecognised goddess intervening to improve or elevate a mortal infant.

18 Greek deities visit their temples rather as a medieval baron visited his hunting-lodges: for convenience and pleasure, and to receive fealty. A picturesque example occurs – again – in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (5), in which the goddess uses her temple as a boudoir, a place to prepare herself for her seduction of Anchises. (See lines 59-64.)

19 Some aspects of ritual highlight the epiphanic qualities of the cult image: see e.g. Broder (2008), 133, on types of ‘theatre of revelation’ whereby the image is suddenly displayed to watching worshippers, a practice especially associated with Dionysos (for an example, see Paus. 2.7). As Broder here points out, Dionysos is also the deity most often associated with processions which carry the deity from one ritual space to another, a reflection of his character as ‘god of arrivals’. See also Gladigow (1985-6), 116-7.

20 Interestingly, several ancient authors dealt playfully with the fantasy of statue and god being one, by having the statue speak as if this was so: a particularly full (and funny) example is Kallimachos’ seventh Iambos in which a statue of Hermes narrates the vicissitudes which have befallen it. For discussion of the poem and of comparable examples, see Petrovic (2010).

21 Mylonopoulos (2010a), 11-12.

22 Scholarly interest in such objects largely derived from their relative prominence within the work of Pausanias, who was plainly preoccupied by them and intrigued by their deviation from the anthropomorphic norm. See Pritchett (vol. 1, 1998), 97-170.

23 Gaifman (2005), 170-95.

24 Vernant (1991), 151-63. It is the major achievement of Donohue (1988) to have revealed the ancient discourse in all its complexity, and in so doing to have rendered unsupportable all evolutionary readings of Greek religious art from aniconic to figural. On the formative rôle of the evolutionary schema within modern discussions, see also Donohue (2005), esp. 56-9. For criti­cism of the assumption that aniconism predates mimetic cult art, see also Gaifman (2005), passim but esp. 29-57.

25 Vernant (1991), 153.

26 Spivey (1996), 170, cites, in relation to Pheidias’ other famous creation, the chryselephantine cult statue of Zeus at Olympia, Livy’s awestruck comment that ‘Iovem velut praesentem intuens motus animo est,’ (Livy, Hist. 45.28), and remarks that this was exactly the response Pheidias would have wanted. On the emphasis on luminescence in Pheidias’ works and the echo between this and divine epiphanies, see Steiner (2001), 95-102.

27 Plut. Lys. 12. Sacred stones can also refer to important mythological events, as does that reported to have stood at Delphi, which was, in ancient eyes, the stone which Kronos swallowed in place of Zeus: see Paus. 10.24.6.

28 Paus. 1.26.6. As well as falling from the sky, images can emerge from the sea, e.g. in Paus. 10.19, which describes Methymnean fishermen drawing up in their nets an outlandish mask-effigy of Dionysos, whose worship at Methymna is then prescribed by the Delphic oracle.

29 For full discussion of the miraculous arrival of cult images in Greek myth, see Bettinetti (2001), 89-105.

30 For Steiner (2001, 81) they are also to be regarded as one of a range of disguises in which divinity cloaks itself, being unwilling to reveal its true or full form to the human viewer.

31 A famous instance is the remark by the mid-sixth-century Ionian philosopher Xenophanes that man simply depicts gods in his own image: ‘But if cattle or lions had hands, so as to paint with their hands and produce works of art as men do, they would paint their gods and give them bodies in form like their own – horses like horses, cattle like cattle.’ (B15 DK) Xenophanes seems to have posited a transcendental divinity beyond the reach of representation, but unfortunately the fragmentary nature of Xenophanes’ work prohibits gaining an entirely coherent picture of his views. Another example of Ionian statue-criticism is to be found in Herakleitos (B5 DK), who compares those who pray to statues to people conversing with houses, ‘not recognising what the gods or even heroes are like’. This conveys the idea that the statue does not show true divine form; rather, it is a vessel or container. This is intriguingly close to what we have argued to be the symbolic purpose of a cult image, but for Herakleitos the hedos-function is insupportable because of its complete failure to reflect or allow knowledge of actual divinity. See Steiner (2001), 79-80 and 121-4.

32 This point is argued cogently be Scheer (2000), 35-43.

33 Spivey (1996), 56-9.

34 Morris (1992), 238-56. Pp. 251-6 for the modern concept, on which see also Donohue (1988), 179-88.

35 κατὰ δὲ τὴν τῶν ἀγαλμάτων κατασκευὴν τοσοῦτο τῶν ἁπάντων ἀνθρώπων διήνεγκεν ὥστε τοὺς μεταγενεστέρους μυθολογῆσαι περὶ αὐτοῦ διότι τὰ κατασκευαζόμενα τῶν ἀγαλμάτων ὁμοιότατα τοῖς ἐμψύχοις ὑπάρχει· βλέπειν τε γὰρ αὐτὰ καὶ περιπατεῖν, καὶ καθόλου τηρεῖν τὴν τοῦ ὅλου σώματος διάθεσιν, ὥστε δοκεῖν εἶναι τὸ κατασκευασθὲν ἔμψυξον ζῷον. πρῶτος δ’ ὀμματώσας καὶ διαβεβηκότα τὰ σκέλη ποιήσας, ἔτι δὲ τὰς χεῖρας διατεταμένας ποιῶν, εἰκότως ἐθαυμάζετο παρὰ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις· οἱ γὰρ πρὸ τούτου τεχνῖται κατεσκεύαζον τὰ ἀγάλματα τοῖς μὲν ὄμμασι μεμυκότα, τὰς δὲ χεῖρας ἔχοντα καθειμένας καὶ ταῖς πλευραῖς κεκολλημένας.

36 Morris (1992), 3-35.

37 Spivey (1995), 447; Steiner (2001), 143-4.

38 Several of Hephaistos’ other automata are in animal form, significantly; a famous example is the set of animated gold and silver dogs which he makes for the Phaiakians (Hom. Od. 7.91-4). See Faraone (1992), 18-21.

39 On the lameness of Hephaistos and Hera’s desire to discard and conceal him, see Hom. Il. 18.395-405; Hom. Hymn 3.316-21. The gods on Olympos laugh at Hephaistos’ ungainly movement: Hom. Il. 1.595-600. It is possible to ask whether the anatomy of Hephaistos has mixanthropic qualities, since his twisted or hook-shaped lower limbs in vase-paintings do echo the mixanthropic features of anguipedes, but on the whole he belongs more strongly to the discourse of the de­formed, rather than being characterised by a definitely animal element. (See Ogden [1997], 35-7; Faraone [1992, 133-5] argues rather differently, that the twisted feet of Hephaistos signal the con­finement of a dangerous power.) None the less, mixanthropy can never be wholly divorced from other types of unnatural anatomy, a point raised in the Introduction to this book. On the iconography of Hephaistos, see further Delcourt (1957), 110-36; Carpenter (1986), 16-17.

40 For example this seems to have been described in the work of Simonides and in the Daidalos of Sophokles: see Simon. fr. 202a Bergk, Soph. frr. 163-4 Nauck. Apollodoros (Bibl. 1.9.26) records some fascinating variations: the version which makes Talos a bronze giant given to Minos by Hephaistos is cited, but so is another in which he is not a humanoid but a bronze bull. Finally, the author records the rare alternative, that rather than being the product of manufacture he is one of the ‘race of bronze’, primordial men.

41 Apollod. Bibl. 3.15.9; Morris (1992), 226-7.

42 Ap. Rhod. Arg. 4.1639-93. On the prevalence of the guardian function in the characterisation of ancient monsters, see Faraone (1992), 18-35.

43 On Daidalos and the creation of divine images, see Donohue (1988), 179-83; Pritchett, vol. 1 (1998), 170-204.

44 Aristotle, de An. 406b 9: παραπλησίως λέγων Φιλίππῳ τῷ κωμῳδοδιδασκάλῳ· φὴσι γὰρ τὸν Δαίδαλον κινουμένην ποιῆσαι τὴν ξυλίνην Ἀφροδίτην, ἐγχέαντἄργυρον χυτόν.

45 See Spivey (1995), 446-7 and Morris (1992), 215-226, for the dramatic references. Morris argues that Daidalos was claimed as an Attic hero in the Classical period, a process which involved the increasing characterisation of Minos as antagonist. Daidalos was in fact worshipped at Alopeke: there is a reference to a Daidaleion, a sanctuary of Daidalos, in a fourth-century inscription: SEG XII, 100.

46 Plato, Meno 97d-e.

47 The story of Pasiphae goes back to the Ehoiai (Hes. fr. 145 MW), and finds another early exposition in an Ode of Bacchylides (26). In some accounts, the bull has originally been sent from the sea by Poseidon himself (see e.g. Apollod. Bibl. 3.1.3-4), in others it is just an especially fine specimen in Minos’ herds, which he should sacrifice but which he impiously chooses to keep (e.g. Diod. 4.77.1-4). An alternative variant makes the anger that of Aphrodite, aimed against Pasiphae, who fails to honour her (e.g. Hyg. Fab. 40); however, this feels rather like a literary conflation of Pasiphae’s story with that of the transgressive love of her daughter Phaidra for Hippolytos, in which the anger of Aphrodite is the cause.

48 Plut. de Daed. Plat. 6 (= Euseb. Praep. Ev. 3.1.85c – 86b); on the attendant rituals, see Burkert (1979), 129-38.

49 Attic red-figure kalyx krater by the Niobid Painter; c. 460 BC. (London BM 1856,12-13.1.) See Reeder ed. (1995), cat. no. 80, pp. 282-4.

50 Hes. W&D 70-79: αὐτίκα δἐκ γαίης πλάσσεν κλυτὸς Ἀμφιγυήεις | παρθένῳ αἰδοίῃ ἴκελον Κρονίδεω διὰ βουλάς· | ζῶσε δὲ καὶ κόσμησε θεὰ γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη | ἀμφὶ δέ οἱ Χάριτές τε θεαὶ καὶ πότνια Πειθὼ | ὅρμους χρυσείους ἔθεσαν χροΐ· ἀμφὶ δὲ τήν γε | Ὧραι καλλίκομοι στέφον ἄνθεσιν εἰαρινοῖσιν | πάντα δέ οἱ χροῒ κόσμον εφήρμοσε Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη. | ἐν δ’ ἄρα οἱ στήθεσσι διάκτορος Ἀργεϊφόντης | ψεύδεά θ’ αἱμυλίους τε λόγους καὶ ἐπίκλοπον ἦθος | τεῦξε Διὸς βουλῇσι βαρυκτύπου

51 For further discussion of container-imagery in this context, see Lissarrague (1995).

52 Hes. Theog. 570-89, esp. 578-84.

53 For Helen as ambiguous sorceress, skilled in both healing and baneful herbs, see Hom. Od. 4.219-232.

54 E.g. at Il. 3.180 (kunôps) and 6.344 & 356 (both kuôn in the genitive, kunos).

55 Animal imagery does not always occur in the form of this delicate opposition of latent and patent. In the verse of Semonides, the outward appearance of the various female types lampooned is, like their characters and behaviour, unflatteringly compared with that of various animal species: the monkey-women has a scrawny rump, for example. (See Lloyd-Jones [1975].) However, the animal characteristics employed by Semonides in this way are indicative of ridicule and dismissal rather than deep anxiety; the latter is attached chiefly to hidden bestiality.

56 See Wright (2005), 83-113.

57 On the ancient motif of the aggressive use of deceptive containers like Pandora, see Faraone (1992), 94-112.

58 Schol. Hom. Il. 1.5-6; see Gantz (1993), 567-8 for analysis of this and other sources. The underlying divine motivation is a desire to reduce the numbers of mankind, as they weight heavy on Earth and have besides become impious. This is different from the divine agenda in Hesiod, which revolves around conflict between Zeus and Prometheus, the latter in the rôle of mankind’s chief helper. But the overall thrust, the use of the dangerous female against mankind, is the same in both cases.

59 In Hyg. Fab. 62, the mating of Ixion and Nephele produces the Kentauroi, but most other, and earlier, accounts, have an intermediate genealogical stage: for example, in Pind. Pyth. 2, the offspring is the human-formed Kentauros, who mates with the mares of Pelion to produce the Kentauroi; in the unusually elaborate account of Diod. 4.69-70, Ixion and Nephele produce the Kentauroi anthrôpophyeis, who mate with Pelian mares to produce the Hippokentauroi.

60 For the commentary, see Page, PMG fr. 5, pp. 23-4; for analysis and discussion see West (1963 and 1967), and Detienne and Vernant (1978), 133-74, in which the Alkmanic Thetis is also compared with the Orphic figure of Metis, another world-shaper.

61 Apollod. Epit. 1.12-13.

62 Strab. 14.2.7.

63 Diod. 5.55.2.

64 Morris (1992), 88. See also pp. 164-70. She stresses the geographical dimension, seeing characters like the Telchines as reflecting movements and migrations of craftsmen and their skills through the Aegean and beyond. On the metallurgical daimones as a strongly interrelated group in Greek mythology, see Blakely (2006), 13-31.

65 Several ancient texts seem to have dwelt at length on the Telchines, but do not now survive, for example Epimenides, who wrote a Telchinic History (see Blakely [2006], 15). For an early mention, see Bacchyl. 1.1-9.

66 Diod. 5.55.3: λέγονται δοὗτοι καὶ γόητες γεγονέναι καὶ παράγειν ὅτε βούλοιντο νέφη τε καὶ ὄμβρους καὶ χαλάζας, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ χιόνα ἐφέλκεσθαι· ταῦτα δὲ καθάπερ καὶ τοὺς μάγους ποιεῖν ἱστοροῦσιν. ἀλλάττεσθαι δὲ καὶ τὰς ἰδίας μορφάς, καὶ εἶναι φθονεροὺς ἐν τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ τῶν τεχνῶν.

67 Cf. Strab. 14.2.7-8.

68 Steiner (2001), 135-84.

69 Hom. Il. 14.153-86. In fact, the adornment of Hera is strongly comparable to that of Aphrodite. Rich and luminescent objects and materials are emphasised: shining hair (176), jewellery from which charis shines (183), a veil like the sun (185). The familiar motif of unearthly fragrance also appears (170-74).

70 Morris (1992), 4-21.

71 Apollod. Bibl. 3.15.1; Ant. Lib. Met. 41. The condition is inflicted on Minos by the spell-casting Pasiphae, in revenge for his adulteries, and according to Hyginus the creatures ejaculated by the king are snakes, scorpions and millipedes.

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