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Die Funktion und Bedeutung der Reiter-und Pferdeführerdarstellungen auf attischen Grab- und Weihreliefs des 5. und 4. Jhs. v. Chr.Angelos Tillios 2010 © BAR Publishing
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The present study aims to define the function and meaning of images of horsemen and horse leaders on Attic grave and votive reliefs in the religious, political and social context of Attica in the fifth and fourth century B.C. The funerary reliefs are examined within the context of the socio-political development of the image and mentality of the equestrians. Beyond their social and religious dimensions, these reliefs convey the anthropological dimension of death and illustrate positive social roles and ideals. The image of the horseman is signified semantically and generalized to represent the body of citizens collectively on the basis of the ideal of Athenian citizenship as formulated by the city-state and accepted by the Athenian citizens. The image ofthe horse is herein revealed as a special semiotic and iconographical element of Attic imagery which can be fully understood only when examined within its operational context. Therefore, it may serve to designate public space, represent democratic valuesand ideals of both the polis and of conflicting social groups, display the integration of horsemen in Athenian citizenship, or indicate particular religious beliefs of hero cult.
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