Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2010

15 November 2010

The Master of Animals in Old World Iconography

Edited by Derek B. Counts & Bettina Arnold

The Master of Animals in Old World Iconography

City: Budapest

Year: 2010

Publisher: Archaeolingua

Series: Main Series 24

Description: Paperback, 262 p., with illustrations


Old World iconography from the Upper Paleolithic to the Christian era consistently features symbolic representations of both female and male protagonists in conflict with, accompanied by or transmuted partly or completely into, animals. Adversarial relationships are made explicit through hunting and sacrifice scenes, including heraldic compositions featuring a central figure grasping beasts arrayed on either side, while more implicit expressions are manifested in zoomorphic attributes (horns, headdresses, skins, etc.) and composite or hybrid figures that blend animal and human elements into a single image. While the so-called Mistress of Animals has attracted significant scholarly attention, her male counterpart, the Master of Animals, so far has not been accorded a correspondingly comprehensive synthetic study. In an effort to fill this gap in scholarship, The Master of Animals in Old World Iconography assembles archaeological, iconographical, and literary evidence for the Master of Animals from a variety of cultural contexts and disparate chronological horizons throughout the Old World, with a particular focus on Europe and the Mediterranean basin as well as the Indus Valley and Eurasia. The volume does not seek to demonstrate relatedness between different manifestations of this figure, even though some are clearly ontologically and geographically linked, but rather to interpret the role of this iconographic construct within each cultural context. In doing so, The Master of Animals in Old World Iconography provides an important resource for scholars confronting similar symbolic paradigms across the Old World landscape that foregrounds comparative interpretation in diverse ritual and socio-political environments.


Acknowledgments [7]

Bettina Arnold-Derek & Derek B. Counts, ‘Prolegomenon: The many masks of the Master of Animals’ [9-24].

Sarah Costello, ‘The Mesopotamian “Nude Hero”: Context and interpretations’ [25-36].

Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, ‘Master of Animals and Animal Masters in the iconography of the Indus tradition’ [37-58].

Billie Jean Collins, ‘Animal mastery in Hittite art and texts’ [59-74].

Janice L. Crowley, ‘The Aegean Master of Animals: The evidence of the seals, signets and sealings’ [75-92].

Anna Simandiraki-Grimshaw, ‘Minoan animal-human hybridity’ [93-106].

Louise A. Hitchcock, ‘The big nowhere: A Master of Animals in the Throne Room at Knossos?’ [107-118].

Susan Langdon, ‘Where the wild things were: The Greek Master of Animals in ecological perspective’ [119-134].

Derek B. Counts, ‘Divine symbols and royal aspirations: The Master of Animals in Iron Age Cypriote religion’ [135-150].

Mark Garrison, ‘The Heroic encounter in the visual arts of ancient Iraq and Iran ca. 1000–500 BC’ [151-174].

Bryan K. Hanks, ‘Agency, hybridity, and transmutation: Human-animal symbolism and mastery among early Eurasian Steppe societies’ [175-192].

Bettina Arnold, ‘Beasts of the forest and beasts of the field: Animal sacrifice, hunting symbolism, and the Master of Animals in Pre-Roman Iron Age Europe’ [193-210].

Anthony Tuck, ‘Mistress and master: The politics of iconography in Pre-Roman central Italy’ [211-222].

Martin Guggisberg, ‘The Mistress of Animals, the Master of Animals: Two complementary or oppositional religious concepts in early Celtic art?’ [223-236].

Peter S. Wells, ‘Meaning in motif and ornament: The face between the creatures in mid-first-millennium AD temperate Europe’ [237-250].

Index [251]

List of Contributors [259]


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