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The Iconography of Greek Cult in the Archaic and Classical Periods

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Robin Hägg

Herakles at Feast in Attic Art: a Mythical or Cultic Iconography?*

Annie Verbanck-Piérard

Texte intégral

  • * In addition to the customary abbreviations, the following are used: Burkert = W Burkert, Greek Rel (...)
  • 1 R. Parker, in Hägg, EGC 274.

“If you attend a cult meal in a sanctuary of Heracles, this is a cult act. But your experience is enhanced by the presence of Heracles and what you know mythologically about him. Then you go home and drink from a cup and there he is!”1

Introduction

1Once again Herakles, and once again Herakles at feast? Let us admit that the subject is appealing in many ways and still raises many questions, but there is no final consensus, on two fundamental points at least: the classification and the interpretation of the scenes. After a brief review of the first of these problems, this talk will concern itself essentially with the second topic and will try to propose new or different questions and further readings, rather than dictate illusory certainties.

1. Identification and classification of the subject

  • 2 General works: cf. already L. Stephani, Der ausruhende Herakles (Mémoires de l’Acad. de Saint Péte (...)
  • 3 In Heldensage3, the schema is not classified under a specific heading; main pages = 37 and 70, but (...)

2The imagery of Herakles at feast is very complex, very fluid.2 Contrary to other stereotyped episodes of the Heraklean myth, the identification of iconographical units and of homogeneous series is not an easy matter, and we can not ignore these obstacles at the very beginning of our survey. The schema “Herakles reclining” is used in so many different contexts – such as in the presence of gods and goddesses, of mythical kings, warriors, servants, satyrs, centaurs – and it is expressed with so many variants that we are obliged to ask as an initial question: is it a single theme?3

  • 4 ABV 726.
  • 5 In Fehr’s catalogue, there is a clear distinction between the feast “auf der Kline” and “zu ebener (...)
  • 6 J. Boardman, “Symposion Furniture,” in O. Murray, ed., Sympotica (Oxford 1990) 122-31 (about the k (...)
  • 7 For stibades and skenai, main ref.: L. Gernet, “Frairies antiques”, in Anthropologie de la Grèce a (...)
  • 8 For important bibliography on the symposion in general: Ο. Murray (supra n. 6). For problems of te (...)

3J. D. Beazley, in the mythological index of his ABV, for example, seems to consider it is not and distributes his Herakles resting into nine items, ordered according to the identity of the secondary figures.4 But when Herakles and Dionysos recline together, for example, which one is in fact the secondary figure? And there are other possible classifications. We can distinguish the feast on a kline and the feast on the ground:5 in the first case, the kline brings to mind a civic way of life6 and Athena is often present; in the second case, the feast on the ground, generally with Dionysos or satyrs, there is a truly rustic flavour and an allusion to the tradition of stibades.7 So we should admit that the ambience can differ, but how can we determine what is the best and most significant criterion for inferring a different meaning? All the nuances must be kept in mind. But, in order to avoid a “dilution” of this inquiry and for the sake of a momentary clarity, we shall concentrate here on the theme of Herakles reclining in a divine and non-narrative context and postulate its unity. Our attention will be centred mainly on Attic vases. Nevertheless, the representations of Herakles at banquet are just a part of the general iconography of the feast in Greek art and so evoke questions about eating and drinking in ancient society: what were the circumstances of a δεῖπνον? What did the συμπόσιον imply for the participants – human or Olympians? What does this image of Herakles tell to us?8

2. Interpretations or reflections?

2.1. Status quœstionis

4The iconography of Herakles reclining at feast has been diversely interpreted by scholars. We can discern three main trends.

  • 9 A. Verbanck-Piérard, “Le double culte d’Héraklès: légende ou réalité?”, Lire les polythéismes 2, 4 (...)
  • 10 Especially for the 6th cent, vases: Metzger, 209 (but cf. infra n. 20 for later vases); K. Schauen (...)
  • 11 Eg., LIMC IV s.v. Her. 820; LIMC V (1990) 686-96, s.v. Iolaos (M. Pipili) esp. 695: “terrestrial s (...)
  • 12 London Β 301: LIMC I (1981) 552-56, s.v. Alkmene (A.D. Trendall) 555, no. 17; LIMC IV s.v. Her. 81 (...)
  • 13 Munich 2301, by the Andokides and Lysippides Painters, LIMC IV s.v. Her. 817, no. 1487. From the i (...)

52.1.1. According to the current statement that Herakles is the perfect Greek hero – an idea which is in fact not really proved9 – some scholars have seen in such images the expression of a temporary rest of our Superman between two heroic labours, a short and relaxed pause in the narrative biography of Herakles.10 In that case, the scene should be located on earth. That’s why Herakles can be sometimes attended by his mortal companion, Iolaos,11 or by his mother, Alkmene,12 or even by young men, busy with the service of wine from a crater, as on the Munich bilingual amphora, which is surely the masterpiece of the series.13 Moreover, the gods who attend the scene, Athena, Dionysos, Hermes, are generally said to be unspecific to a true divine assembly: they just escort Herakles. And Zeus is not there.

  • 14 E.g., LIMC IV s.v. Her. 818, no. 1492, no. 1497 (here Fig. la-b), no. 1499.
  • 15 E.g, LIMC IV s.v. Her. 817, no. 1484; 818, no. 1495, no. 1496; 819, no. 1504.
  • 16 Paris Ε 635, LIMC IV (1988) 117-19, s.v. Eurytos I (R. Olmos) 118, no. 1. This banquet is also an (...)

6For a few vases, this general meaning could also explain the material setting of the scene, indicated either by the casual presence of animals (dogs, cattle, etc.)14 or by the representation of landscape (trees, grotto, rocks).15 Another argument in favour of this legendary interpretation is the fact that, sometimes, the other face of the vase or the banquet itself shows Herakles in a well-known mythical episode. In particular, the first appearance of Herakles at feast in Greek art is in the Palace of Eurytos, on a Corinthian crater of the mid-7th century.16

  • 17 Fehr, 82-83. Some general references: E. Buschor, Satyrtänze und frühes Drama (SBMünch 5,1943); Me (...)

7According to the same reasoning, the frequent presence of satyrs around Herakles, especially on Attic vases of the 5th century, is considered by the followers of E. Buschor as a clear allusion to drama. Thus we should have before us a kind of “stage Herakles” in a tragic, comic or satyrical context, related to literary myths.17

  • 18 Fehr and Dentzer, index s.v. Achilles; LIMC I (1981) 37-200, s.v. Achilles (A Kossatz-Deissmann) e (...)
  • 19 Dentzer, Chs. VII and VIII.

8Finally, the schema of the feast in itself is generally assumed to depict essentially either a human activity, at first reserved for aristocrats, or a heroic status. It appears for example in the iconography of Achilles and Priam18 and it will be used later to visualize the “new” heroes in many 4th century votive reliefs, which have been so well analyzed by J.-M. Dentzer who has refuted the theory of the Totenmahl.19

9All these arguments look indeed very coherent and tend to underline the heroic aspects of Herakles, with or without a deeper and more specific meaning.

  • 20 H. Knell, Die Darstellung der Götterversammlung in der attischen Kunst des VI. und V. Jahrhunderts (...)
  • 21 For Apollo and Poseidon: LIMC IV s.v. Her. 818, no. 1499. For Ploutos (?): LIMC IV s.v. Her. 819 n (...)
  • 22 New York 39.11.4 and 47.11.9, LIMC V s.v. Her. 162, no. 3313; noteworthy analysis by A.-F. Laurens (...)

102.1.2. The theme of Herakles feasting may also be considered as an expression of his apotheosis, at the end of his heroic life, when he becomes a god on Olympos.20 The setting could be the heavens or, at least, the happy Dionysiac world. This opinion is supported by the presence of gods near and around Herakles feasting: not only Athena, Dionysos and Hermes, as we have seen, but sometimes also Apollo, Poseidon or Ploutos.21 In an interesting case, the two silvered-tin phialai of New York,22 which could be Attic or influenced by Attic production, Herakles is banqueting in a true Olympian context, with Hebe reclining at his side, in the presence of other divine couples: Aphrodite and Ares, Apollo and a Muse, Dionysos and Ariadne. Moreover, this iconography of a Herakles-god, recently admitted to the family circle of the Olympians, is emphasized by the representation, in the outer row, of the quadriga driving him to heaven. These two magnificent phialai are the best expression of Herakles’ apotheosis while feasting with Hebe in Greek art; but, up to now, they seem to be isolated examples. It would be interesting to know more precisely the topographical origin and the conditions for creation of this schema, because this Assembly of gods celebrating a Festin d’immortalité will have followers in Etruscan and Italic art.

  • 23 A. Alföldi, “Die Geschichte des Throntabernakels”, NouvClio 1-2 (1949-50) 537-66; Fehr, 70-71, 99 (...)
  • 24 Very conspicuous in the Munich bilingual amphora (supra n. 13). According to Metzger, 419, the the (...)
  • 25 F. Cumont, Lux Perpetua (Paris 1949) 246, 254-56. For a funerary significance in Roman art cf. LIM (...)

11Following a thesis by A. Alföldy different scholars have suggested a “special kind” of apotheosis: Herakles at feast symbolizes der königliche Trunkenbold, a schema created in the oriental art of the 7th century.23 This interpretation stresses the power of wine, suggested by the vases in the hands of Herakles or by the many Dionysiac elements of the representation, especially the vine growing in the background.24 It also underlines the evident impression of a luxurious and ostentatious way of life. On the other hand, this interpretation may remind us too much of the learned commentary of F. Cumont on Roman sarcophagi and eschatology.25

  • 26 Schefold, 183, in his comment of an interesting Campana relief (Fig. 221), is right in asserting t (...)

12In fact, both interpretations, heroic scene or apotheosis, are attractive, but neither of them is really satisfactory, considering the entire corpus of representations.26 Furthermore, according to the date and the category of each document, it may well be necessary to postulate a relative and alterable message.

132.1.3. There is also a third possible “reading” of the images, which has been generally misunderstood up to now and which is worth developing here: taking into account the cultic background of the representations of Herakles feasting. There is no need to remind ourselves here that no Greek picture, not even the scenes of pseudo-daily life, can provide a “photographic” reality of ancient practices. The most justified approach is to seek out the plurality of echoes, especially religious ones, that we can attribute to an ancient figurative theme.

  • 27 K. Schefold (supra n. 20) 49 and n. 117; Verbanck-Piérard, 192-95; H. A. Shapiro (supra η. 2) 160- (...)
  • 28 Burkert, 211.
  • 29 Cf. supra η. 9.
  • 30 Dentzer, 513.
  • 31 Κ. Schefold (supra n. 20) 48, considers the Greek sanctuaries as “Olymp auf der Erde”.

14From time to time, some commentators have suggested that the schema of Herakles at feast could refer to his cult and in particular to the well-known banquets held for him in his sanctuaries,27 and recent studies on the worship of Herakles in Attica seem to confirm the importance of hearty meals in his cult,28 which contains all the features of a divine cult.29 This way of reading the images doesn’t contradict the two preceding interpretations.30 Rather, it transfers the discussion to another level, from myth to cult, from narration to epiphany. So, perhaps the opposition between the terrestrial and heavenly settings might be irrelevant, if we now refer to the imaginary space of a sanctuary.31

2.2. Some factual observations

15It is impossible to give a detailed account here of all the data and of all the associated questions: this brief contribution will try to present the main features of a more comprehensive investigation. Two series of facts, among others, induce us to attempt a cultic approach: first, the presence of some identifiable ritual elements or objects in the images and, secondly, the general evolution of the theme.

  • 32 Dentzer, 118-19; T. H. Carpenter (supra n. 12) Ch. VI; LIMC III (1986) 414-514, s.v. Dionysos (C. (...)
  • 33 Dentzer, 118: “Le banquet sur l’Olympe est une image littéraire classique, mais la scène n’apparaî (...)
  • 34 F. Lissarrague, Un flot d’images. Une esthétique du banquet grec (Paris 1987) esp. 23-48 (“L’espac (...)

16As a preliminary remark, it must be noticed that the figurative schema of reclining is not restricted to human or heroic status. The numerous representations of Dionysos at feast32 prove that the schema in itself is also consistent with an expression of some kind of divine way of life. Nearly all the male gods can be shown reclining, even if it is generally preferred to show them seated during their Assemblies.33 So, we may infer that the banquet figuration simply suggests a moment of quiet happiness and glory, or a situation of opulence, and generally expresses Greek good breeding and social significance.34 In the case of the divine iconography, therefore, it is interesting to wonder why it seems to have been designed specifically for Dionysos and Herakles. Could it be because their religious personalities share so many common traits?

2.2.1. Eating and drinking…

  • 35 Fragments of a black-figure hydria in the Coll. H. Cahn, Basel, attributed to the Archippe Group: (...)

172.2.1.1. On an important fragment of a hydria of the mid-6th century, just at the beginning of our Attic series,35 Herakles, reclining in the presence of Athena, Iolaos and another woman, actually points to a table laden with breads and cakes (or fruits?), garlands and pieces of meat. As Herakles seems to insist, let us try to examine briefly the role of the trapeza and of food, not only in the iconography of feast but also in the worship of Herakles.

  • 36 G. M. A. Richter, The Furniture of the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans (London 1966) s.v. “Table”. Ma (...)
  • 37 R Schmitt and A. Schnapp, “Image et société en Grèce ancienne: les représentations de la chasse et (...)
  • 38 Red-figure crater, Chiusi 1849, by the Flying-Angel Painter: LIMC IV s.v. Her. 819, under no. 1508 (...)

18The trapeza is a very common feature in the representations of Greek banquets on klinai.36 In Attic black-figure, for example on Siana, cups and in early red-figure, the table is covered with food: cakes in white colour, meat in red. Later on, in red-figure of the 5th century, the table is empty, as a rule, indicating another moment of the symposion, the δεύτεραι τράπεζαι, the time of drinking wine, listening to music, discussing and making love.37 It is interesting to note that, in the same generation, on a crater in Chiusi,38 Herakles always retains his own portions of meat and the laden trapeze: it seems so important for him, at least until the second quarter of the 5th century.

  • 39 C. Goudineau (supra n. 36) 79-80: “tables funéraires et agonistiques”, 131-32.
  • 40 M. Détienne and J.-P. Vernant, La cuisine du sacrifice en pays grec (Paris 1979); C. Bérard et al. (...)
  • 41 E.g., W. Deonna, “Le mobilier délien”, BCH 58 (1934) 1-90; S. Dow and D. Gill, “The Greek Cult Tab (...)
  • 42 IG II2, 2343 (= EM 10652), beg. of the 4th cent.; S. Dow and D. Gill (supra n. 41); H. Lind, “Neue (...)
  • 43 Or Δαιχαλῆς, dating from 427; ref.: H. Lind (supra n. 42).

19The table is, of course, also a familiar piece of furniture from the household, or even the agonistic world.39 But couldn’t we suppose that, for a Greek mind, the association of table and food, especially meat, also recalls the context of a θυσία, with the carving and the distribution of roast chunks of sacrificial animals. It is well known that, in ancient Greece, there is a deep religious link between consumption of meat, in sanctuaries or even in “private” banquet rooms, and the civic ritual of blood-sacrifice.40 The role of the trapeza during the festivals and its specific relation to the altar are attested by literary texts and inscriptions, as well as by the iconography of works of art and by archaeological remains.41 One of the best preserved examples is a stone table, now in the Epigraphical Museum of Athens, which is particularly relevant here: it has been dedicated by a priest of Herakles and his companions from Kydathenaion, who together formed a thiasos of Herakles.42 Some of them seem to have played a part in different comedies by Aristophanes, who knew very well indeed all the features of the worship of Herakles: significantly enough, one of his plays, located in a Herakleion, is entitled Δαιταλεῖς.43

  • 44 D. Gill (supra n. 41); Burkert, 68 and 96; U. Kron (supra n. 7) 147, nn. 68-69; L. Bruit, “The Mea (...)
  • 45 L. Bruit (supra n. 44) and “Les dieux aux festins des mortels: Théoxénies etxeniai”, in Lire les p (...)
  • 46 Burkert, 211; cf. also Verbanck-Piérard (supra n. 9) n. 54 for references.

20The cultic trapeza was used not only to share the roast meat for human worshippers but also to deposit some unburnt food, cakes, fruits or even portions of the sacrificial animal, to the gods.44 This remarkable practice, which exists in different forms and in different cults, informs us of another way of ritual exchange between the human and the divine worlds: in this kind of offering, parallel with the system of the thusia, the god, as a guest, seems to accept and to share the human food or even, sometimes, a whole human meal.45 This is clearly a distinctive and interesting feature of the cult of Herakles;46 but, since this is not the place to investigate such a large question, we might just allude to two traditions, which bear out the importance of the ritual meal offering for Herakles.

Fig. 1a. London, British Museum Β 446 (1864.10-7.1686). Face A: Dionysos and Herakles. Cup (type C, Preisscup); end of the 6th cent., Theseus Painter (ABV 520.32, Addenda2 130). Photo: British Museum. Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.

Fig. 1b. Idem. Face B: Hermes and Herakles.

  • 47 Ath. VI 234c-239e; RE 18 (1949) 1377-81, s.v. Παράσιτοι (L. Ziehen); Verbanck-Piérard, n. 69; A. V (...)
  • 48 For the Kynosarges (Ath. VI 234e, quoting the ψήφισμα Άλκιβιάδου) and Marathon (Ath. VI 235d, quot (...)
  • 49 E.g., D. Whitehead (supra n. 47) 193 (Marathon) and 207, n. 183 (Kynosarges).
  • 50 RE 5 (1934) 2256-57, s.v. Θεοδαίσια and Theoxenia (F. Pfister); Kleine Pauly 5 (1975) 732-33, s.v. (...)
  • 51 E.g., L. Bruit (supra n. 45) 17-19, 24 n. 54; A. Verbanck-Piérard (supra n. 9) 50, n. 54-55; D. Fl (...)
  • 52 Ar. Lys. 928 and schol.
  • 53 Eur. Alc. 509-567, 747-860. The theme of good hospitality toward gods is a “leit-motiv” of this tr (...)

21Firstly, the institution of parasitoi47 is attested for different Attic Herak-lean sanctuaries,48 obviously under State control.49 Secondly, the theme of theoxeniai50 recurs in connection with Herakles in myth as well as in cult.51 When Herakles arrives in the human world, whether real or not, his visit always takes the form, if not the name, of a theoxenia and occasions a full display of food. In Attica, the expression ‘Ηρακλῆς ξενίζεται was a favourite proverb.52 This practice could also give a clue to interpretation of his behaviour on stage in the first part of Euripides’ Alkestis, for example, when his joy in drinking and eating contrasts dramatically with the general tone of mourning.53

  • 54 GGR3 410; UMC III (1986) 567-93, s.v. Dioskouroi (A. Herniary) 576-77, 591, with previous bibliogr (...)
  • 55 ARV2 1187, 36, by the Kadmos Painter; UMC ibid, (supra n. 54) 577, no. 114; Schefold, 33.
  • 56 Two interesting black-figure cups should also be mentioned here, even if their interpretation must (...)
  • 57 Allusion to his ϰῆποι in Attica: cf. the famous inscriptions of the genos of the Salaminioi in Sou (...)

22In the iconographical repertory of Attic vases, the ritual of theoxenia is clearly attested for the Dioskouroi:54 on the Plovdiv hydria,55 an empty couch and a table provided with food and two kantharoi prove that the divine twins are expected among their worshippers. Couldn’t we imagine that, in some cases, the laden trapeza before Herakles’ kline is circumstancial evidence for a similar context? Even in the scenes of the “rural” feast of Herakles, the simple indication of food posed on the rocky ground near the cushions could also reflect the important part of ritual meal-offering for him,56 perhaps in his “sacred gardens”.57 However, what is important to emphasize is not an illusory topographical element of the ritual but the religious reminiscences inherent in such a theme.

  • 58 E.g., J.-L. Durand, “Du rituel comme instrumental”, in M. Detienne et J.-P Vernant (supra n. 40) 1 (...)
  • 59 J.-L. Durand, Sacrifice et labour… (supra n. 40) 198: “Héraklès détruit l’édifice sacrificiel”; in (...)
  • 60 The expression is borrowed from O. Murray, “The Symposion as Social Organisation”, in Hägg, GR, 19 (...)

232.2.1.2. Recently some scholars have stressed Herakles’ shocking behaviour toward alimentary consumption:58 he seems to corrupt all the dinners he joins because he is so selfish, a glutton who deliberately ignores the rules of sharing … Worse than all that, he is able to prepare his own pieces of meat alone, directly from cattle to his plate. Texts and images seem to agree. But this “literary” vision reduces the many positive aspects of Herakles’ powers to the level of a caricature. Behind Aristophanes’ jokes, for example, there is a true respect and understanding of the god’s excessive attitude: his behaviour must be exceptional because he is outside the human system of distribution of meat,59 outside the feast as social organization.60 He has to found and to demonstrate the (first?) use of sacrificial δαίς, perhaps because he grants it, perhaps because he bridges the gap between cattle and roasted meat ready for consumption, just as Dionysos bridges the gap between grape and wine.

  • 61 Supra n. 13.
  • 62 For the symbolism of the μάχαιρα see J.-L. Durand, Sacrifice et labour… (supra n. 40) 103-115 and (...)
  • 63 Cf. R. Blatter (supra n. 23) 52, n. 15.

24The comparison with Dionysos is interesting in different ways. The representation of Semele’s son drinking wine doesn’t imply he is a hero because gods drink nectar only… It looks as if the mythical or “lexical” logic doesn’t quite work for such an iconographie interpretation; the hypothesis of a religious content fits far better. Some other indications tend to support the view that, in some cases, Herakles is represented as the god who specialized in meat eating. Thus, the knife he often holds seems to be a further sign. It already appears on the red-figure side of the Munich amphora,61 prominently laid near or upon the “steaks”, and soon becomes a true attribute, referring to the preliminary θυσία62 and confirming the moment and the act of meat consumption. It is difficult to consider the μάχαιρα as a mere expression of cruelty, as sometimes stated.63

  • 64 E.g., black-figure neck-amphorae of the last third of the 6th cent.: Hamburg 1917.470, LIMC IV s.v (...)

25Moreover, on a few vases where Herakles is shown with his carving-knife, there is no drinking vessel at all: just meat.64 In that way, it’s easier to understand why his relation to food has its own norms and functions and why he has so many links with cattle capture, breeding and sacrifice. In iconography, the indication of cattle evokes not only the landscape or a specific western adventure of the hero coming back from Geryon, but also one of his essential properties.

262.2.1.3. Vases for the gods?

  • 65 Recently: T. Carpenter (supra n. 12) 117-22; H. Hoffmann, “Rhyta and Kantharoi in Greek Ritual”, i (...)
  • 66 W. Hornbostel, “Erwerbung fur die Antikenabteilung 1983”, Jahrb. des Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe (...)
  • 67 J. Boardman, The Karchesion of Herakles”, JHS 99 (1979) 149-51; F. Van Straten, “The Lebes of Hera (...)
  • 68 UMC IV s.v. Her. 779, no. 1062 (“mid 5th cent. B.C.”); Schefold, 182 (“um 430”).

27The equation Herakles/Dionysos is a mutual and reciprocal one. Dionysos doesn’t mind receiving food on a trapeza or on the ground and, on the other hand, Herakles often enjoys good wine. Perhaps this is the reason why he uses a kantharos on so many images. But the kantharos is not a common vase.65 In the banquet iconography, it is nearly never handled by human symposiasts and always implies the user is a hero or a god, whether in a mythical or ritual context. In the “archaeology of cult”, it is noticeable that this form of vase, of Boeotian origin, has been dedicated to Herakles, for example in a sanctuary located near Eleutherai.66 Did Athenian artists ignore the fact that the kantharos was sometimes related to the worship of Herakles, just like the karchesion or the lebes of the Oinisteria,67 or did they represent it also because it was consistent with religious practices? And, when Herakles is shown with a kantharos in his right hand on an important Attic relief of the Classical period, recently discovered in Rhamnous,68 we have some evidence to say it’s not – or not only – a casual fact, or a Dionysiac feature, or a general reference to symposion, or a remembrance of his heroic life and after-life, but a precise indication of ex-votos offered to him in some of his sanctuaries.

Fig. 2. Berne, Private Collection. Neck-amphora; end of the 6th cent. Photo: J. Zbinden, Seminar fur klass. Archäologie, Universität Bern. Courtesy of R. Blatter and of the University of Berne.

  • 69 P. Hartwig, Herakles mit dent Füllhorn (1883); K. Schauenburg (supra n. 10) 127, n. 104-106; LIMC (...)
  • 70 Basel Market, Emmerich 1964 (UMC TV s.v. Her. 818, no. 1498).
  • 71 For the symbolism of the ϰέρας: Fehr, 30-31; Dentzer, 143-44; D. Noël (supra n. 58) 147.

28The Rhamnous relief is also interesting for it is one of the first representations of the cornucopia as a Heraklean attribute.69 The only other known example prior to it is a late black-figure skyphos of the Theseus Painter, showing on side A Herakles holding out a filled horn with his right hand.70 This distortion in the drawing of the drinking horn71 is a noteworthy sign of the iconographical evolution, from a concrete allusion to the act of feasting and the handling of real vases to the construction of a more abstract and “votive” schema, emphasizing the sacred powers of the god of fertility and abundance.

2.2.2. Chronological problems

  • 72 Fehr, 62-82 (“Typus M 1”); some vases with Hermes: Fehr, 68-69. P. Schmitt and A. Schnapp (supra n (...)

292.2.2.1. Considering the evidence, it is clear that the iconography of Herakles at feast exhibits a sudden flourishing in Attic vase-painting from 530 to 480 B.C. onwards. Moreover, in the last quarter of the 6th century, the theme of the Banqueteur solitaire begins characterizing Herakles and Dionysos;72 it appears as an innovation, for the few representations of Herakles’ feast up to then seemed to stress the collective aspect of the banquet. The new scene is complete in itself and is not an excerpt of a fuller picture. This specific configuration of the whole image surely has deliberate meanings; one of them could be explored here, as a methodological hypothesis.

  • 73 E.g., P. Schmitt and A. Schnapp (supra n. 37); F. Lissarrague (supra n. 34).
  • 74 Cf. H. A. Shapiro (supra n. 2) 161: “Herakles’ absent companions are the mortal parasitoi who shar (...)
  • 75 A. Verbanck-Piérard (supra n. 9) 51: “à cette ubiquité topographique correspond un véritable plura (...)

30It has long been recognized that traditional collective sympotic imagery has a deep social significance.73 In the case of the solitary divine feaster, couldn’t we suppose that the schema has evolved from having a social function to having a religious one,74 just as if Herakles and Dionysos were invading aristocratic figurative privileges to generalize them on a different level? Now, in the same period, Athens is beginning to become a Πόλις and Athenians were looking for new definitions of citizenship: is it only a mere chronological coincidence? According to such a supposition, the imagery of the lone banqueter should depict paradoxically a much more open structure than the collective symposion of the upper class, because it could be perceived as familiar and accessible by many worshippers: wealthy Attic oikoi as well as humble country people, metics and nothoi?75

  • 76 Supra n. 50. Also very important in the Roman lectisternium: M. Nouilhan, “Les lectisternes républ (...)
  • 77 Herakles as paradigm for initiation rites: C. Jourdain-Annequin (supra n. 42).
  • 78 LIMC IV s.v. Her. 818, 820; UMC V (1990) 686-96, s.v. Iolaos (M. Pipili) 694, no. 56 and no. 57.
  • 79 The presence of a bearded man with weapons is puzzling in the context of a banquet, because the pa (...)

31Moreover, it is now proved that the main feature of the festivals of theoxeniai, quoted in the preceding section, is to accept a wide public: they are festivals of integration and of temporary equality, especially in regard to food.76 Herakles could be shown here as a god of reception and passage,77 of integration and hospitality, just like his father, Zeus Ξένιος. When reconsidering the whole series of representations of Herakles at feast, we are struck by the number of secondary figures that it is difficult to identify with certainty. They are generally assumed to be Iolaos, for example, or an Olympian god: Hermes, Ares,78 … with many question-marks. A tentative proposition could be formulated here: to accept the anonymity of those figures, simply characterized as shepherds, as warriors79 or merely as (ritual) banquet companions, who have been symbolically transferred to Herakles’ side and, thereby, to consider them as “attributive”. But it is, of course, quite out of the question to draw a distinct line between those human “pseudo-Iolaos” or “pseudo-Hermes” and the participants of a true divine feast. Attic painters, especially from the last quarter of the 6th century, often play with the interaction between all the potential meanings and consciously tend to exploit in their images variety in the visual impact of the components.

  • 80 London 1956.2-17.1, by the Kadmos Painter, UMC IV s.v. Her. 819, no. 1507, here Fig. 3. This prese (...)

322.2.2.2. One of the last examples of the theme appears on a fine red-figure pelike in the British Museum, from about 430 B.C., showing Dionysos reclining with Herakles on the same kline.80 The iconography of Herakles feasting tends to disappear from vase-painting in the course of the 5th and 4th centuries. How can we explain such a decline if we postulate an implicit religious meaning in the earlier representations? Two observations would help to reveal the reasons.

Fig. 3- London, British Museum 1956.2-17.1. Face A. Pelike; late 5th cent., Kadmos Painter (ARV2 1186.31). Photo: British Museum. Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.

  • 81 The problems of interpretation raised by this important schema are related to those of the reclini (...)
  • 82 E.g., black-figure cup, once Canino (unknown whereabouts), LIMC IV s.v. Her. 818, under no. 1493.
  • 83 The Theseus Painter is creative as well as coherent in his iconography of Herakles (supra n. 56). (...)
  • 84 In general: Metzger, 210-29; for the presence of Hebe in these scenes and its significance: A.-F. (...)
  • 85 Metzger, 229: “au 4e siècle, l’accent est mis désormais sur l’aspect cultuel de représentations qu (...)

33From the end of the 6th century, the schema of Herakles reclining at feast is correlated with new scenes of honour paid to the god who sits:81 this direct link is sometimes perceptible between the two faces of a same vase,82 or, at least, seems to be promoted by distinct painters or workshops.83 The new iconography, generally called “court scenes”, will be dominant in classical red-figure84 and, in this case, most of the commentaries concur readily in acknowledging the cultic values of the composition:85 perhaps these references to a ritual context have been borrowed from the traditional and old-fashioned theme of the reclining feast and now are assumed in a more explicit way?

Fig. 4. Berne, Private Collection. Fragment of skyphos (Heron Class); end of 6th cent., Theseus Painter. Photo: J. Zbinden, Seminar fur klass. Archäologie, Universität Bern. Courtesy of R. Blatter and of the University of Berne.

  • 86 E.g., LIMC ix s.v. Her. 777-79; H. Scharmer, Der gelagerte Herakles (BWPr 124, Berlin 1971).
  • 87 For the sanctuary of Hercules Cubans in Rome: Nash, 462; LIMC IV s.v. Her. 779, no. 1061.

34Let’s leave vase-painting and turn to sculpture. Indeed, Herakles at the banquet survives in votive reliefs, especially from the end of the 5th century and the motif is well attested during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, particularly in Attic art.86 In itself, this fact leads us to believe that the iconography of Herakles reclining at feast was well adapted to a cultic context.87

  • 88 Marble statue base, Athens NM 42 and 3579, about 500: LLMC IV s.v. Her. 736, no. 52; J. Boardman ( (...)
  • 89 Dentzer, 309 and 328-29.
  • 90 According to a current statement, Herakles’ feast is to be regarded as a kind of “heroic epiphany” (...)
  • 91 Dentzer, 512.
  • 92 Istanbul inv. 1034; Dentzer, cat. R 79 and Fig. 343.

35In sculpture, this schema is not really a “new” one, because it derives directly not only from black-figure vase-painting models, but also from archaic reliefs, such as the base discovered at Lamptrai.88 Here and on later examples, Herakles nearly always lies on the ground. It is easy to think that this is just an accident of incomplete documentation. But, if we refer to the whole corpus of the Banquet couché collected by J.-M. Dentzer, it is also possible to consider that the choice of this current schema is distinctive. Indeed, from the late 5th century, feasting on a kline with a laden table is the basic structure of a special kind of votive relief, the “heroic banquet”.89 This is a temporary specialization of the iconographical model of the feast and doesn’t imply that, initially, the schema has heroic connotations.90 J.-M. Dentzer wonders why Herakles, the “perfect” Greek hero, remains so clearly outside this category of representations.91 An interesting relief from Ainos in Thrace92 could give a clue: it shows, in the presence of the anonymous hero reclining on his couch, a Herakles sitting near the laden altar and the laden table, in just the same position as Athena or Hermes who attended him before. So, even if Heraklean attitudes have often been used as reference for the creation of heroic patterns, it is evident that the aura of Zeus’ beloved son can not be reduced to a heroic definition.

Conclusion

  • 93 Cf. F. H. Van Straten, “Did the Greeks kneel before their gods?” BABesch 49 (1974) 159-89, esp. 17 (...)

36As a conditional conclusion, we may take for granted that the iconography of Herakles at feast, on vases or on reliefs, reveals a few elements obviously coherent with his cultic personality. For Herakles, as well as for his worshippers, eating meat after sacrifice satisfies a capital need and is a joyful occasion when they can be together in peace and opulence.93 Perhaps the exact interpretation of his status in the image – is he a god, a hero, or both? – is not and was not the most important point. What the artists try to express here is the fact that, by feasting, Herakles does exist, very near his human fellows: he is not only the divinity who provides meat but also the god who dares participate in the human collective deipnon. His active presence, sometimes reflected on vases, creates good conditions for insuring important moments of civic and private life; it offers an interesting pretext for sharing the common beliefs of the social group and for investigating immortality – whether in a mythical or cultic form, it doesn’t matter, after all.

Acknowledgements

37I am very grateful to Professor R. Hägg for his invitation to this interesting and fruitful Seminar, and to all the participants for their advices and encouragements.

38I am indebted to the Trustees of the Fonds National Belge de la Recherche Scientifique for their generous grant and to Professor G. Donnay, Director of the Royal Museum of Mariemont, for having permitted me to attend the Seminar in Delphi.

39For the improvement of my English text, I would like to thank my friends R.-M. Morgan, D. Williams and B. Cohen: it was a real proof of friendship. Of course, I am the only responsible for the Heraklean heresies presented here.

40For sending the photographs and allowing their publication, my thanks are due to D. Williams (London), to R. Blatter (Bolligen) and to D. Willers and A. Zimmermann (Berne).

Notes

1 R. Parker, in Hägg, EGC 274.

2 General works: cf. already L. Stephani, Der ausruhende Herakles (Mémoires de l’Acad. de Saint Pétersbourg 6, 8, 1855); Roscher 1, 2 (1886) 2216-17 and 2250-51, s.v. Herakles (A. Furtwängler); P. Mingazzini, “Le rappresentazioni vascolari del mito dell’apoteosi di Herakles” (MemLinc VI, 1, 6, Rome 1925) 467-70; Metzger 209, 218-20, 224-29. More recently: Fehr, index s.v. Herakles; Dentzer, index s.v. Héraclès; Verbanck-Piérard 192-93; H. A. Shapiro, Art and Cuit under the Tyrants in Athens (Mainz 1989) 159-61. S. Wolf’s thesis, Herakles heim Gelage (Bonn 1989) is in press (non vidi).

3 In Heldensage3, the schema is not classified under a specific heading; main pages = 37 and 70, but also vases cited elsewhere. In LIMC IV s.v. Her., see 736, 777-79, 817-20; V s.v. Her., passim (e.g., 157, 159, 162, 170, 173, 180, …).

4 ABV 726.

5 In Fehr’s catalogue, there is a clear distinction between the feast “auf der Kline” and “zu ebener Erde”.

6 J. Boardman, “Symposion Furniture,” in O. Murray, ed., Sympotica (Oxford 1990) 122-31 (about the kline). I thank Mrs. O. Palagia for this reference.

7 For stibades and skenai, main ref.: L. Gernet, “Frairies antiques”, in Anthropologie de la Grèce antique (Paris 1968) 21-61 (= REG 41 [1928] 313-59); J.-M. Verpoorten, “La Stibas ou Fimage de la brousse dans la société grecque”, RHR 162 (1962) 147-60; Burkert, 107. Recently: A. Paradiso, “Le rite de passage du Ploutos d’Aristophane”, Metis 2 (1987) 249-67, esp. 261-64; U. Kron, “Kultmahle im Heraion von Samos archaischer Zeit”, in Hägg, EGC 134-48.

8 For important bibliography on the symposion in general: Ο. Murray (supra n. 6). For problems of terminology (esp. the specific meaning of δαίς, ξενία and συμπόσιον, considered as different but complementary rituals of conviviality): P. Schmitt-Pantel, “Sacrificial Meal and Symposion”, in O. Murray (supra n. 6) 14-33. In the present article, a clear distinction between the various forms and moments of commensality expressed in the representations of Herakles at feast doesn’t seem directly applicable nor necessary; in many cases, we can discern a kind of “montage” of interrelated iconographical elements.

9 A. Verbanck-Piérard, “Le double culte d’Héraklès: légende ou réalité?”, Lire les polythéismes 2, 43-65; P. Lévêque et A. Verbanck-Piérard, “Héraclès héros ou dieu?”, in C. Bonnet and C. Jourdain-Annequin eds., Héraclès d’une rive à l’autre de la Méditerranée, Actes du Colloque int., Rome, 15-16 sept. 1989 (to be published in BIHBelge).

10 Especially for the 6th cent, vases: Metzger, 209 (but cf. infra n. 20 for later vases); K. Schauenburg, “Herakles unter Göttern”, Gymnasium 70 (1963) 118; J. Boardman, “Image and Politics in 6th cent. Athens”, in H. Brijder, ed., Ancient Greek and Related Pottery, Proc. of the Int. Vase Symposium, Amsterdam, 12-15 April 1984 (Allard Pierson Series 5, Amsterdam 1984), 243-45 (with Athena): LIMC IV s.v. Her. 820.

11 Eg., LIMC IV s.v. Her. 820; LIMC V (1990) 686-96, s.v. Iolaos (M. Pipili) esp. 695: “terrestrial setting”.

12 London Β 301: LIMC I (1981) 552-56, s.v. Alkmene (A.D. Trendall) 555, no. 17; LIMC IV s.v. Her. 817, no. 1489- This famous black-figure hydria by the Alkmene Painter (Circle of the Antimenes Painter) in fact shows a unique scene, perhaps with an exceptional significance, and it is difficult to infer from it a general interpretation. See Roscher (supra n. 2) 2217: “Alkmene vergöttlicht”; Verbanck-Piérard, 192; T.H. Carpenter, Dionysian Imagery in Archaic Greek Art (Oxford 1986) 112.

13 Munich 2301, by the Andokides and Lysippides Painters, LIMC IV s.v. Her. 817, no. 1487. From the important bibliography, we can select Carpenter (supra n. 12) 98 and 112.

14 E.g., LIMC IV s.v. Her. 818, no. 1492, no. 1497 (here Fig. la-b), no. 1499.

15 E.g, LIMC IV s.v. Her. 817, no. 1484; 818, no. 1495, no. 1496; 819, no. 1504.

16 Paris Ε 635, LIMC IV (1988) 117-19, s.v. Eurytos I (R. Olmos) 118, no. 1. This banquet is also an exceptional motif: see, e.g., Fehr, 28-31; Dentzer, index s.v. Eurytios. However, “there are few mythological occasions of possible relevance” for the feast, as stated in LIMC IV s.v. Her. 817.

17 Fehr, 82-83. Some general references: E. Buschor, Satyrtänze und frühes Drama (SBMünch 5,1943); Metzger, 29-32, 394-405; Schefold, 181; R. Vollkommer, Herakles in the Art of Classical Greece (Oxford 1988) 61-78: his chapter “Herakles and Drama” tends to include all the Classical Heraklean scenes where a satyr is present; this is of course an excessive position. Contra: A.-F. Laurens et F. Lissarrague, “Le bûcher d’Héraklès”, Lire les polythéismes 2, 90-91 (about the episode of the robbery of Herakles’ weapons).

18 Fehr and Dentzer, index s.v. Achilles; LIMC I (1981) 37-200, s.v. Achilles (A Kossatz-Deissmann) esp. 147-52.

19 Dentzer, Chs. VII and VIII.

20 H. Knell, Die Darstellung der Götterversammlung in der attischen Kunst des VI. und V. Jahrhunderts v. Chr. (Freiburg 1965) 50-52: “Sinnbild der Vergöttlichung”; K. Schefold, Götter- und Heldensagen der Griechen in der spätarchaischen Kunst (Munich 1978) 44-46; H. A. Shapiro (supra n. 2) 159-60. According to K. Schauenburg (supra n. 10) and Metzger, 209-24, there is a general evolution during the 5th and 4th centuries, implying that the symbolism of the Apotheosis gradually increases and invades the images: old schema but new meaning.

21 For Apollo and Poseidon: LIMC IV s.v. Her. 818, no. 1499. For Ploutos (?): LIMC IV s.v. Her. 819 no. 1508, and V s.v. Her. 160.

22 New York 39.11.4 and 47.11.9, LIMC V s.v. Her. 162, no. 3313; noteworthy analysis by A.-F. Laurens, Hébé. Images, mythes et cultes (Diss. Univ. of Paris X-Nanterre 1985) 365-70; Schefold, 224; R. Vollkommer (supra n. 17) 35 (cat. 234-235) and 37.

23 A. Alföldi, “Die Geschichte des Throntabernakels”, NouvClio 1-2 (1949-50) 537-66; Fehr, 70-71, 99 and 130; R. Blatter, “Herakles beim Gelage”, AA 1976, 49-52.

24 Very conspicuous in the Munich bilingual amphora (supra n. 13). According to Metzger, 419, the theme of the Dionysiac bliss and immortality prevailed in the 4th cent, imagery and the banquet was one of the ways to the divine ecstasy; cf. p. 223: “L’immortalité promise à Héraclès n’est plus l’accession à l’Olympe: c’est une participation à la joie dionysiaque ou à l’abondance chthonienne”.

25 F. Cumont, Lux Perpetua (Paris 1949) 246, 254-56. For a funerary significance in Roman art cf. LIMC IV s.v. Her. 777 and 795.

26 Schefold, 183, in his comment of an interesting Campana relief (Fig. 221), is right in asserting that “irdisches und olympisches Dasein in ergreifender Spannung stehen”; Dentzer, 117-18, summarizes the previous interpretations and concludes: “on s’est interrogé, inutilement, sur le lieu où doit se situer la scène […]”; he insists on the “valeur sociale du motif […]. Le banquet a pour premier effet d’intégrer Héraclès à la société des divinités […] ou dans la société d’un prince (Eurytios). Dans toutes ces scènes, le trait anecdotique reste exceptionnel”.

27 K. Schefold (supra n. 20) 49 and n. 117; Verbanck-Piérard, 192-95; H. A. Shapiro (supra η. 2) 160-61.

28 Burkert, 211.

29 Cf. supra η. 9.

30 Dentzer, 513.

31 Κ. Schefold (supra n. 20) 48, considers the Greek sanctuaries as “Olymp auf der Erde”.

32 Dentzer, 118-19; T. H. Carpenter (supra n. 12) Ch. VI; LIMC III (1986) 414-514, s.v. Dionysos (C. Gaspard) 472.

33 Dentzer, 118: “Le banquet sur l’Olympe est une image littéraire classique, mais la scène n’apparaît jamais dans toute son ampleur, présidée par Zeus, dans le schéma du banquet couché, sur les vases actuellement connus. L’art grec a montré une certaine réticence à faire adopter la position couchée à l’ensemble des Olympiens”. Hermes doesn’t mind reclining: LIMC V s.v. Her. 166—67. He is sometimes very near Herakles for his behaviour towards thusia and meals, e.g., Anth. Pal. IX, 72 and 316; cf. recently J. Strauss-Clay, “Hermes’ Dais by the Alpheus”, Metis 2 (1987) 221-234; LIMC V (1990) 285-387, s.v. Hermes (G. Siebert) 287, 331-32, 355. Apollo, Poseidon, Ploutos (or Plouton?), Ares and Hephaistos are very rarely shown reclining: supra n. 21-22 and infra n. 78. The famous red-figure cup by the Codros Painter, London Ε 82 (ARV2 1269,3) with Plouton, Zeus, Poseidon, Dionysos and Ares reclining, is exceptional: Dentzer 121-22; K. Schefold, Die Göttersage in der klassischen und hellenistischen Kunst (Munich 1981) Figs. 303-305. On Attic votive reliefs, the schema of the feast is applied to Zeus Epiteleios Philios (Copenhagen, Ny Carlsb. 1558: Dentzer, cat. R228), to Θεός and Θεά (Athens, NM1519, from Eleusis: Dentzer, cat. R234); cf. also the Dioskouroi on Tarentine reliefs: Dentzer, 197 and LLMC III (1986) 567-93, s.v. Dioskouroi (A. Herniary) 577.

34 F. Lissarrague, Un flot d’images. Une esthétique du banquet grec (Paris 1987) esp. 23-48 (“L’espace du cratère”), 140, n. 4, with ref. to P. Schmitt-Pantel, La Cité au banquet (Diss. Univ. of Lyon 1987 – non vidi).

35 Fragments of a black-figure hydria in the Coll. H. Cahn, Basel, attributed to the Archippe Group: J. Boardman (supra n. 10) 244, Fig. 1; H. A. Shapiro (supra n. 2) 160 and PI. 72a; LLMC IV s.v. Her. 817, no. 1486.

36 G. M. A. Richter, The Furniture of the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans (London 1966) s.v. “Table”. Many references in C. Goudineau, “Ιεροὶ Τράπεζαι.”, MEFRA 79 (1967) 77-134 (esp. regarding the symbolic values of the table).

37 R Schmitt and A. Schnapp, “Image et société en Grèce ancienne: les représentations de la chasse et du banquet”, RA (1982) 57-74; dessert list of the δεύιεραι τράπεζα;.: Ath. XIV 642e (cf. Dentzer, 521).

38 Red-figure crater, Chiusi 1849, by the Flying-Angel Painter: LIMC IV s.v. Her. 819, under no. 1508 = Dionysos no. 581 (on face B, komos of men and young men around a crater). To compare with, e.g., a stamnos of similar date, Oxford 1965.127, with a human symposion: see F. Lissarrague (supra n. 34) 28-31. Let’s note on the Chiusi crater the accurate drawing of the furniture (legs of the klinai), which evokes a “real” banquet-room.

39 C. Goudineau (supra n. 36) 79-80: “tables funéraires et agonistiques”, 131-32.

40 M. Détienne and J.-P. Vernant, La cuisine du sacrifice en pays grec (Paris 1979); C. Bérard et al., eds., La Cité des images (Paris - Lausanne 1984) 49-57; J.-L. Durand, Sacrifice et labour en Grèce ancienne (Paris-Rome 1986) 116-23.

41 E.g., W. Deonna, “Le mobilier délien”, BCH 58 (1934) 1-90; S. Dow and D. Gill, “The Greek Cult Table”, AJA 69 (1965) 103-114; D. Gill, “Trapezomata: a neglected Aspect of Greek Sacrifice”, HThR 67 (1974) 117-37, esp. 119-20 for stone tables.

42 IG II2, 2343 (= EM 10652), beg. of the 4th cent.; S. Dow and D. Gill (supra n. 41); H. Lind, “Neues aus Kydathen”, MusHelv 42 (1985) 249-61, esp. 250-52 and Pl. 1. The word thiasos is also used by Diod. IV 24.6, about Herakles’ festival in Agyrion (Sicily): cf. C. Jourdain-Annequin, “Héraclès Parastatès”, Lire les polythéismes 1, 283-331, esp. 295-98 and n. 102.

43 Or Δαιχαλῆς, dating from 427; ref.: H. Lind (supra n. 42).

44 D. Gill (supra n. 41); Burkert, 68 and 96; U. Kron (supra n. 7) 147, nn. 68-69; L. Bruit, “The Meal at the Hyakinthia: Ritual Consumption and Offering”, in O. Murray (supra n. 6) 162-74, esp. 171.

45 L. Bruit (supra n. 44) and “Les dieux aux festins des mortels: Théoxénies etxeniai”, in Lire les polythéismes 2,13-25.

46 Burkert, 211; cf. also Verbanck-Piérard (supra n. 9) n. 54 for references.

47 Ath. VI 234c-239e; RE 18 (1949) 1377-81, s.v. Παράσιτοι (L. Ziehen); Verbanck-Piérard, n. 69; A. Verbanck-Piérard (supra n. 9) 53; P. Carlier, La royauté en Grèce avant Alexandre (Strasbourg 1984) 336-37; H. A. Shapiro (supra n. 2) 161. This ancient practice was probably mentioned in Solon’s Laws, already with a civic and religious meaning: D. Whitehead, The Denies of Attica, 50817-250 B.C. (Princeton 1986) 13.

48 For the Kynosarges (Ath. VI 234e, quoting the ψήφισμα Άλκιβιάδου) and Marathon (Ath. VI 235d, quoting Philochorus = FGrHist 328F73).

49 E.g., D. Whitehead (supra n. 47) 193 (Marathon) and 207, n. 183 (Kynosarges).

50 RE 5 (1934) 2256-57, s.v. Θεοδαίσια and Theoxenia (F. Pfister); Kleine Pauly 5 (1975) 732-33, s.v. Theoxenia (D. Wachsmuth); Dentzer, 515-16 (with a distinction between the Theoxeniai and the offering called ϰλίνη ϰαὶ τράπεζα); Burkert, 107; L. Bruit, “Sacrifices à Delphes”, RHR 201 (1984) 339-67 (see also supra nn. 44 and 45); D. Flückiger-Guggenheim, Göttliche Gäste (Europäische Hochschulschriften III, 237, Bern-New York 1984).

51 E.g., L. Bruit (supra n. 45) 17-19, 24 n. 54; A. Verbanck-Piérard (supra n. 9) 50, n. 54-55; D. Flückiger-Guggenheim (supra n. 50) 70-78.

52 Ar. Lys. 928 and schol.

53 Eur. Alc. 509-567, 747-860. The theme of good hospitality toward gods is a “leit-motiv” of this tragedy: Admetus is φιλόξενος (858) and his palace is a πολύξεινος οίκος (568). The “resurrection” of Alcestis is presented as a reward for this generous xenia.

54 GGR3 410; UMC III (1986) 567-93, s.v. Dioskouroi (A. Herniary) 576-77, 591, with previous bibliography; H. A. Shapiro (supra n. 2) 149-54.

55 ARV2 1187, 36, by the Kadmos Painter; UMC ibid, (supra n. 54) 577, no. 114; Schefold, 33.

56 Two interesting black-figure cups should also be mentioned here, even if their interpretation must be very cautious. First: San Francisco, Hearst Hillsborough Coll. (LIMC IV s.v. Her. 818, no. 1500), A: Dionysos reclining under a grape arbor; B: Herakles reclining (like Dion.); tondo: two women preparing a couch with pillows. Allusion to a theoxenia?; for Herakles alone or with Dionysos? Cf. I. Raubitschek, The Hearst Hillsborough Vases (Mainz 1969) 48. Secondly: Taranto 6515, by the Theseus painter (LIMC IV s.v. Her. 734, no. 15. Same type of cup as the London cup, here Pl. 1: they are listed together in ABV 520, 32-33), A and B: symposium on the ground; tondo: statue of Herakles. Is there a link between the outside and inside scenes? Already discussed in Verbanck-Piérard, η. 69.

57 Allusion to his ϰῆποι in Attica: cf. the famous inscriptions of the genos of the Salaminioi in Sounion, W.S. Ferguson, “The Salaminioi of Heptaphylai and Sounion”, Hesperia 7 (1938) 1-68, esp. 9-10, inscr. 2 (Inv. Agora I 3394) lines 34-35. For his well-known gardens in Thasos see C. Bonnet, Melqart (Studia Phoenicia VIII, Leuven-Namur 1988) 362-365.

58 E.g., J.-L. Durand, “Du rituel comme instrumental”, in M. Detienne et J.-P Vernant (supra n. 40) 180-81; idem (with F. Lissarrague), “Héros cru ou hôte cuit”, in F. Lissarrague and F. Thélamon eds., Image et céramique grecque, Actes du Colloque int., Rouen, 25-26 nov. 1982 (Rouen 1983) 153-67; D. Noël, “Du vin pour Héraklès”, ibid., 141-50; J.-L. Durand, Sacrifice et labour… (supra n. 40) 149-73. Contra- P. Lévêque et A. Verbanck-Piérard (supra n. 9), 2nd part, § 4.2. Generally, the mythical episodes of “xeniai ratées” (e.g., Herakles by Pholos, Busiris and Theiodamas) have been well studied and put forward, but extrapolated a priori for other contexts.

59 J.-L. Durand, Sacrifice et labour… (supra n. 40) 198: “Héraklès détruit l’édifice sacrificiel”; in fact, Herakles’ arrival often precedes the institution of a festival (cf. in Lindos) or destroys a perverted θυσία.

60 The expression is borrowed from O. Murray, “The Symposion as Social Organisation”, in Hägg, GR, 195-99.

61 Supra n. 13.

62 For the symbolism of the μάχαιρα see J.-L. Durand, Sacrifice et labour… (supra n. 40) 103-115 and Fig. 38. According to P. Schmitt-Pantel (supra n. 8) 19, n. 32, Herakles appears in the position of the mageiros.

63 Cf. R. Blatter (supra n. 23) 52, n. 15.

64 E.g., black-figure neck-amphorae of the last third of the 6th cent.: Hamburg 1917.470, LIMC IV s.v. Her. 817, no. 1483; Tarquinia RC 1635,LIMC IV s.v. Her. 817, no. 1488, H. A. Shapiro (supra n. 2) 160 and Pl. 72c; Berne, Private Coll., LIMC IV s.v. Her. 818, under no. 1493, R. Blatter (supra n. 23), here Fig. 2.

65 Recently: T. Carpenter (supra n. 12) 117-22; H. Hoffmann, “Rhyta and Kantharoi in Greek Ritual”, in Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum 4 (Occasional Papers on Antiquities 5, Malibu 1989) 131-66. Kantharos on Archaic stelai (Laconia and Boeotia): J. Boardman, Greek Sculpture. The Archaic Period (London 1978) 165; idem and D.C. Kurtz, Greek Burial Customs (London 1971) Fig. 47c. Kantharos as Dionysos’ weapon: F. Lissarrague, “Dionysos s’en va-t-en guerre”, in Images et Société, 111-20, esp. 113-14.

66 W. Hornbostel, “Erwerbung fur die Antikenabteilung 1983”, Jahrb. des Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg 3 (1984) 176-79 = SEG 35 (1985) no. 36, where a parallel is suggested with the publication of other sherds said to come from Eleutherai: J. Ober, “Pottery and Miscellaneous Artifacts from Fortified Sites”, Hesperia 56 (1987) 217-20. Kantharoi dedicated to Herakles in Tanagra: SEG 34 (1984) no. 367 and SEG 35 (1985) no. 411bis (ca. 500 B.C.).

67 J. Boardman, The Karchesion of Herakles”, JHS 99 (1979) 149-51; F. Van Straten, “The Lebes of Herakles”, BABesch 54 (1979) 189-91.

68 UMC IV s.v. Her. 779, no. 1062 (“mid 5th cent. B.C.”); Schefold, 182 (“um 430”).

69 P. Hartwig, Herakles mit dent Füllhorn (1883); K. Schauenburg (supra n. 10) 127, n. 104-106; LIMC IV s.v. Her. 756 (d), 776 0), 779 (k), 780 (d); V s.v. Her. 186.

70 Basel Market, Emmerich 1964 (UMC TV s.v. Her. 818, no. 1498).

71 For the symbolism of the ϰέρας: Fehr, 30-31; Dentzer, 143-44; D. Noël (supra n. 58) 147.

72 Fehr, 62-82 (“Typus M 1”); some vases with Hermes: Fehr, 68-69. P. Schmitt and A. Schnapp (supra n. 37) 69; T. H. Carpenter (supra n. 12) 115.

73 E.g., P. Schmitt and A. Schnapp (supra n. 37); F. Lissarrague (supra n. 34).

74 Cf. H. A. Shapiro (supra n. 2) 161: “Herakles’ absent companions are the mortal parasitoi who shared a meal in his name”.

75 A. Verbanck-Piérard (supra n. 9) 51: “à cette ubiquité topographique correspond un véritable pluralisme social”.

76 Supra n. 50. Also very important in the Roman lectisternium: M. Nouilhan, “Les lectisternes républicains”, in Lire les polythéismes 2, 27-41.

77 Herakles as paradigm for initiation rites: C. Jourdain-Annequin (supra n. 42).

78 LIMC IV s.v. Her. 818, 820; UMC V (1990) 686-96, s.v. Iolaos (M. Pipili) 694, no. 56 and no. 57.

79 The presence of a bearded man with weapons is puzzling in the context of a banquet, because the participants had to leave their arms for the feast, esp. at home. A detailed study of the few occurrences should help to interpret such a figure. Meanwhile, see Fehr, index s.v. Waffen; Dentzer, 85-86, 96, 450 (weapons as indication of the upper class, on the vases of the Archaic period) and 489-90 (weapons as symbols of the heroes, on the Late Classical votive reliefs), where he refers to a schol. Ar. Vesp. v. 823, quoting the Δαιταλεῖς: “είχον δὲ ϰαὶ οἱ ἥρωες πανοπλία”, and to a proverb stating that the heroes were feasting equipped with their weapons, Paroemiogr. 1.24.64. For an unusual representation of warriors ΈΠΙΔΕΛΦΙΝΟΙ on a psykter by Oltos: F. Lissarrague (supra n. 34) 112-14.

80 London 1956.2-17.1, by the Kadmos Painter, UMC IV s.v. Her. 819, no. 1507, here Fig. 3. This presentation of the divine brothers feasting had likely an “Archaic” flavour, perhaps denoting a specific intention. The general atmosphere of the scene, with music on the left and offering of a tray on the right of the kline/trapeza group, reminds us of the Plovdiv hydria, by the same painter, quoted supra n. 55, in relation with the iconography of the theoxeniai.

81 The problems of interpretation raised by this important schema are related to those of the reclining feast iconography, but the development of these points would exceed the limits of this paper. There is no recent study of the general theme of the gods and heroes sitting, alone or in assemblies, either in a mythological or cultic context; some ref. in Dentzer, 21 and 429-30. For Herakles cf. LIMC IV s.v. Her. 772-77, 801-804; V s.v. Her. 145,147-49,154-56 (passim), 162-63, 166, 169-72, 177-79, … The diffusion of the Herakles Επιτραπέζιος type in sculpture is well documented: F. De Visscher, “Héraklès Epitrapezios”, AntCl 30 (1961) 67-129 is the classical article.

82 E.g., black-figure cup, once Canino (unknown whereabouts), LIMC IV s.v. Her. 818, under no. 1493.

83 The Theseus Painter is creative as well as coherent in his iconography of Herakles (supra n. 56). He offers a lot of images of Herakles’ feast, esp. on skyphoi (here Fig. 4), and focuses the new motive of Herakles sitting alone, regaled by Athena: cf. ABV 519, 18; LIMC V s.v. Her. 149, no. 3160 and no. 3161.

84 In general: Metzger, 210-29; for the presence of Hebe in these scenes and its significance: A.-F. Laurens, “Identification d’Hèbè?”, Images et société, 59-72.

85 Metzger, 229: “au 4e siècle, l’accent est mis désormais sur l’aspect cultuel de représentations qui, jusqu’alors, n’avaient eu qu’un intérêt légendaire ou poétique”; J. Boardman, Athenian Red Figure Vases. The Classical Period (London 1989) 221: “the ‘court’ scenes, with Apollon, Dionysos or Herakles at the centre, imply at least some communion with worshipping mortals although they are often peopled with other immortal figures”. Of course, the problematic representations of the so-called “four-column Herakleion” tend to support a cultic meaning: S. Woodford, “Cults of Heracles in Attica,” in Studies presented to G. M. A. Hanfmann (Harvard Univ. Monographs in Art and Archaeology II, Mainz 1971) 211-25, esp. 213-14; F. Van Straten (supra n. 67) nn. 4-6; Metzger, 228, is right in laying stress on the fact that “tous nos documents n’ont pas la netteté du cratère d’Athènes 14902”. For R. Vollkommer however (supra n. 17) 70, it is a “stage construction”. LIMC IV s.v. Her. 801-802.

86 E.g., LIMC ix s.v. Her. 777-79; H. Scharmer, Der gelagerte Herakles (BWPr 124, Berlin 1971).

87 For the sanctuary of Hercules Cubans in Rome: Nash, 462; LIMC IV s.v. Her. 779, no. 1061.

88 Marble statue base, Athens NM 42 and 3579, about 500: LLMC IV s.v. Her. 736, no. 52; J. Boardman (supra n. 65) Fig. 261.

89 Dentzer, 309 and 328-29.

90 According to a current statement, Herakles’ feast is to be regarded as a kind of “heroic epiphany”, parallel to the later reliefs: however, this comparison is based on a misleading anachronism; cf. supra § 2.1.1.

91 Dentzer, 512.

92 Istanbul inv. 1034; Dentzer, cat. R 79 and Fig. 343.

93 Cf. F. H. Van Straten, “Did the Greeks kneel before their gods?” BABesch 49 (1974) 159-89, esp. 176: Herakles belongs to “that group of deities which […] were not too distant to meddle with the affairs of human beings”. He is Άλεξίκακος, Σωτήρ, Έπήκοος, …

Notes de fin

* In addition to the customary abbreviations, the following are used: Burkert = W Burkert, Greek Religion (transl, by J. Raffan, Oxford 1985)
Dentzer = J.-M. Dentzer, Le motif du banquet couché dans le Proche-Orient et le monde grec du viie au ive siècle av. J.-C. (BEFAR 246, Rome 1982)
Fehr = B. Fehr, Orientalische und griechische Gelage (Bonn 1971)
Hägg, EGC = R. Hägg et al., eds., Early Greek Cult Practice, Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium at the Swedish Institute at Athens, 26-29 June 1986 (ActaAth-4°, 38, Stockholm 1988)
Hägg, GR = R. Hägg, ed., The Greek Renaissance of the Eighth Century B.C., Proceedings of the Second International Symposium at the Swedish Institute in Athens, 1-5 June 1981 (ActaAth-4°, 30, Stockholm 1983)
Images et société = C. Bérard et al., eds., Images et société en Grèce ancienne, Actes du Colloque int., Lausanne, 8-11 février 1984 (Cahiers d’Archéologie romande 36, Lausanne 1987) UMC IV s.v. Her. = LIMC IV (1988) 728-838, s.v. Herakles (J· Boardman et al.) UMC V s.v. Her. = LIMC V (1990) 1-192, s.v. Herakles (J. Boardman et al.)
Lire les polythéismes 1 = P. Lévêque et al., eds., Les grandes figures religieuses, Actes du Colloque int., Besançon, 25-26 avril 1984 (Annales littéraires de l’Université de Besançon 329 = Centre de Recherches d’Histoire ancienne 68, Besançon - Paris 1986)
Lire les polythéismes 2 = A.-F. Laurens, ed., Entre hommes et dieux, Actes de l’ATP sur les Polythéismes, Montpellier, 1984-1986 (Annales littéraires de l’Université de Besançon 391 = Centre de Recherches d’Histoire ancienne 86, Besançon - Paris 1989)
Metzger = H. Metzger, Les représentations dans la céramique attique du ive siècle (BEFAR 172, Paris 1951)
Schefold = K. Schefold, Die Urkönige, Perseus, Bellerophon, Herakles und Theseus in der klassischen und hellenistischen Kunst (Munich 1988)
Verbanck-Piérard = A. Verbanck-Piérard, “Images et croyances en Grèce ancienne: représentations de l’apothéose d’Héraklès au vie siècle”, Images et société 187-99.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1a. London, British Museum Β 446 (1864.10-7.1686). Face A: Dionysos and Herakles. Cup (type C, Preisscup); end of the 6th cent., Theseus Painter (ABV 520.32, Addenda2 130). Photo: British Museum. Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pulg/docannexe/image/193/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 765k
Légende Fig. 1b. Idem. Face B: Hermes and Herakles.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pulg/docannexe/image/193/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 794k
Légende Fig. 2. Berne, Private Collection. Neck-amphora; end of the 6th cent. Photo: J. Zbinden, Seminar fur klass. Archäologie, Universität Bern. Courtesy of R. Blatter and of the University of Berne.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pulg/docannexe/image/193/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 431k
Légende Fig. 3- London, British Museum 1956.2-17.1. Face A. Pelike; late 5th cent., Kadmos Painter (ARV2 1186.31). Photo: British Museum. Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pulg/docannexe/image/193/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 453k
Légende Fig. 4. Berne, Private Collection. Fragment of skyphos (Heron Class); end of 6th cent., Theseus Painter. Photo: J. Zbinden, Seminar fur klass. Archäologie, Universität Bern. Courtesy of R. Blatter and of the University of Berne.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pulg/docannexe/image/193/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 93k

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