Spazio marino e metafore della morte nel mondo antico

Anna Angelini


In this paper, I analyze sea imagery as a metaphor of death in ancient sources, beginning from mythical representations of certain dangerous parts of the Mediterranean Sea, such as the Straits of Messina, Cape Maleas or Tenaro, and the monstrous creatures which live in their depths, with specific attention to Charybdis. Furthermore, the names of bodies of water can provide important information about this topic, because they are frequently linked to tales of death (e.g. the Hellespontus). I will also investigate the meanings of the sea as a "place of no return" in literary contexts concerning the Greeks' daily experience, which arises from the epigrams of the Greek Anthology. The strict connection between the sea's abyss and death's kingdom allows us to include in this setting also the widespread myth of the plunge into the deep, as a test for the young hero.

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