Representations of animals in sanctuaries of Artemis and of other Olympian deities.
This thesis is a discussion of the representations of animals dedicated as statues or figurines (or simply as decoration) to the gods of Ancient Greece. In the thesis an attempt is made to see how far the identity of the deity influenced the dedicator's choice of animal; and to assess his motivation in offering it in terms of its possible religious significance. Apart from the Introduction and Conclusion, the thesis is divided into seventeen sections, in each of which a species of animal, or group of related species, is discussed. Birds, and some insects and reptiles, are included in the examination, and the last section deals with a group of imaginary beasts. In the earlier part of each section, literary material relevant to the links between gods and animals, in terms both of current religious practice, and of traditional legend, is considered. In the later part of the section, archaeological evidence is examined: principally animal-representations dedicated in sanctuaries, but also the decorations of buildings, and the types of animal-bones found; and any discernible distribution-patterns of animals in relation to individual deities are noted., The archaeological evidence which provides the material for discussion has been set out as precisely as possible in Appendix 8, in sections corresponding to those in the main text. Each section of this Appendix consists of a list of representations of an animal (or associated animals) found in different sanctuaries, with brief details of their material and dates. In the corresponding section of the text, this archaeological evidence is considered in relation to the customs and beliefs embodied in literature; and an assessment is made of how far dedicatory practice accords or conflicts with literary tradition, and of what light it sheds on the characters of the gods as seen by their worshippers.