Sotades : Symbols of Immortality on Greek Vases

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In this book the author explores the work of the fifth-century BC Athenian vase-painter, Sotades, one of the most familiar names in vase painting. Previous scholarship has dealt mainly with questions of attribution, style, and iconographic interpretation, but Dr Hoffman concentrates on inherent meaning: what does the imagery of these decorated vases really signify? He argues that, contrary to widely held conceptions, there is an underlying unity of meaning in Greek vases and their imagery, a unity rooted in the religious beliefs and ritual practices of the society from which they spring. Each chapter discusses a specific aspect of the artist's iconology, placing it in the context of fifth-century BC Greek philosophical and religious thought.

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  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 190.5 x 248.9 x 20.3mm | 680.4g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Clarendon Press
  • OxfordUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • black and white halftone and line illustrations throughout
  • 019815061X
  • 9780198150619

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Some of the works of the potter Sotades, and of the Sotades Painter - notably the British Museum's white-ground cups - have become familiar. Others have not, and it is the great virtue of this well-illustrated book that it brings them together. K.W. Arafat, The Classical Rev. 2000. There is much food for thought in this book. Hoffmann evidently knows the relevant material as well as anyone alive, and he has chosen a splendid subject. Times Literary Supplement ...'as exceptional and remarkable as the objects with which it deals...' Apollo Magazine '...This challenging and unconventional study-published by the Oxford Univeristy Press, as were the standard volumes on Attic vase painters by Sir John Beazley - will substantially provoke and stimulate discussion of Greek, and especially Sotadean, vases, which are some of Classicl AThens' most fascinating and unclassical remains.' Rolf Michael Schneider, Apollo The big-heartedness of Hoffmann's enterprise remains impressive ... Hoffmann's enthusiasm here strikes me every bit as infectious as it was 10 years ago; and again it is cause for gratitude. Antiquity Hoffman believes that each replicated series, together with their variants, must be taken collectively, thereby representing the totality of Athenian concerns about life, strife, and death for the individual citizen and for the Athenian polity as a whole - a persuasive view, skillfully presented. R. Brilliant, CHOICE Hoffmann's approach to interpreting vases, considering all the decoration on a given vessel in relation to its shape and carefully examining each detail, is to be applauded, and his innovative interpretations are often thought-provoking Judith M. Barringer, Vassar College, Classical World, June 99 Hoffman has an impressive grasp of a formidable range of evidence related to his subject, and has built up a complex and interesting series of interpretations. The footnotes in particular testify to a readiness to include evidence from all areas of the ancient world, not solely from art and archeology ... Hoffman has some fascinating insights, and has certainly thrown open some new areas for study; the book is full of possibilities. Although one may not be convinced by all his conclusion, the process by which he reaches them is always interesting. Diana Burton, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 17/02/99

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