Gesti e immagini: una forma iconografica del menadismo

Carmine Pisano


Literary and iconographic sources attest that the ancient Greeks considered images a different but not less effective form of language than poetic language. Communication through images is based on a socially shared iconographic vocabulary, in which gestures (schémata) have the same role of words and sentences in oral or written communication. In this article, we examine the function of gestures in symposiastic communication, focusing our analysis on the signs performed by Semele and Dionysos on a black-figure Athenian kylix preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Naples. A recontextualization of these gestures in the archaic tradition of the symposion permits us to interpret their meaning in the light of the functions of the symposiastic staff.

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