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Tagliare la testa al toro. Alcune riflessioni sull’iconografia di Teseo e il Minotauro

Author(s): Doria, Federica

Journal: ArcheoArte. Rivista Elettronica di Archeologia e Arte
ISSN 2039-4543

Volume: 1;
Start page: 45;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Theseus | Minotaur | Bull | Sword | Sacrifice

In the Attic iconography of Theseus fighting with the Minotaur, the liberation of Athens from the influence of Crete is projected , enacted ritually and liturgically through the used weapon – the machaira – and the way of killing – the sphagé -, which characterize the suppression as a ritual and legitimate sacrifice in an evident way. The drawing which shows Theseus grabbing the monster by its horns closely refers to the practice Cretian tauromachies, difficult initiation tests for the young people of tall rank. In the Roman age the hero’s weapon is no longer the sword, on the contrary the cudgel, or sometimes the pedum. What is missing is the symbolic projection of the Athenian power, no longer functional, while the opposition between Theseus/civilization and Minotaur/barbarity is emphasized instead.
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