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A Few Remarks Concerning the archaiologia of Nauportus and Emona: The Argonauts

ABSTRACT: The story of the Argonauts is summarized in order to understand how and why it could have been applied to Nauportus (modern Vrhnika) and Emona (Ljubljana), two ancient settlements situated along the Route of the Argonauts, an old commercial route linking the Black Sea area to the south-eastern Alps and the Adriatic. According to the legend transmitted by Pliny the Elder, Jason was the founder of Nauportus, from where the ship Argo was transported across the Alps. Following the decline of Nauportus, the more important town of Emona became associated with the Argonauts.

KEYWORDS: Adriatic Sea, Nauportus, Emona, Roman period, Argonauts, Jason

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Back From Troy: Diomedes and Other Heroes in the Ancient Mediterranean

ABSTRACT: The numerous Greek legends about the journeys of the Greek heroes returning from Troy to their homeland make up a rich epic heritage taking in many different regions of the Mediterranean. Although these myths were all the fruit of imagination, they influenced very concretely the perception of history, drawing various unrelated Mediterranean peoples into a net of invented kinship. The case of Diomedes is particularly emblematic. He was worshipped on both Adriatic coasts as the founder of cities and of local dynasties. The legend of Diomedes originated in the archaic age, changing over time and surviving into the Roman age. It can be interpreted in terms of changing political situations and placed within a historical framework.

KEYWORDS: Adriatic Sea, Greco-Roman period, Homeric cycle, Diomedes, colonization, iconography, mythology

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Mythologie und Grabarchitektur am Beispiel der römerzeitlichen Grabbauten in Noricum und Pannonien
[Mythology and Sepulchral Architecture on the Example of Roman Tomb Monuments in Noricum and Pannonia]

ABSTRACT: Roman funerary monuments reflect ancient society and its individuals. In particular, the figurative decoration of aediculae is a precious source in a region where written documents are scarce. In the Roman provinces of Noricum and Pannonia, as well as in Gallia and Germaniae, mythological scenes on funerary monuments are very common, in comparison with other regions of the Roman Empire. The architectural context of these reliefs, their place within the monument, the sequences of figurative representations and the repetition of certain iconographic types furnish valuable evidence for the interpretation of their meaning. Whereas the standard decoration merely reflects the Mediterranean origins of this type of monument, some narrative reliefs seem to have been chosen intentionally by the owners because of their symbolic meaning.

KEYWORDS: Noricum, Pannonia, Roman period, funerary monuments, architecture, mythology, symbolism

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The Roman Necropolis in Šempeter: The History of Research

ABSTRACT: Šempeter lies twelve kilometres west of Celje. During the Roman period members of the municipal aristocracy of Celeia owned estates in the valley and erected their tombs in Šempeter. The Roman burial ground lay along the northern side of the road Emona – AtransCeleia and it stretched for over a kilometre. The cemetery was separated from the Savinja river only by the road, and during the floods in the second half of the 3rd century (c. 267 AD) it was destroyed. The necropolis was discovered by accident in 1952, the investigations continuing up to 1956. By 1959 four reconstructed monuments had been erected. Excavations of the eastern part of the necropolis in 1964 revealed 96 graves and a Roman road. The monuments date from the end of the 1st to the first half of the 3rd century AD.

KEYWORDS: Noricum, Šempeter, Celeia, Roman period, necropolis, tombs, mythology

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The Arcade Tomb of Šempeter in Savinjska dolina, Slovenia

ABSTRACT: The paper presents the Arcade Tomb, the fifth tomb of the Šempeter cemetery so far known. The attempted reconstruction shows a tomb comprising a socle with an accentuated vertical division of relief fields and an open upper storey with a canopy covered by a gabled roof standing in its interior. In form, this is an aedicula tomb with several intercolumniations and a portico. Its estimated height is over 9,60 m. On the basis of its decoration, the tomb can be dated to the end – perhaps the very end – of the second century AD.

KEYWORDS: Noricum, Šempeter, Roman period, archaeology, funerary architecture

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The Poetics of the Argonaut Voyage: Shamanism, Sorcery and Art

ABSTRACT: The article focuses on two thematic impulses of decisive importance for the survival of the Argonaut myth in literature, music and art: the transcendent power of song personified in the character of Orpheus and the talismanic magic represented by the Golden Fleece. It is argued that Apollonius Rhodius (Argonautics) uses these two archetypal themes as symbolic vehicles for his literary dialogue with the archaic myth. Likewise, Catullus (The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis, C. 64) evokes the theme of Argonaut magic as a focal point of his intertextual dialogue with Apollonius Rhodius and as a point of departure for a literary experiment that playfully explores the phenomenon of the mental perception of image and sound in a written text.

KEYWORDS: classical litterature, Apollonius Rhodius, C. Valerius Catullus, Argonauts, Orpheus, Medea, Ariadne, ecphrasis

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Da Ipsipile a Zelmira
[From Ipsipile to Zelmira]

ABSTRACT: Taking as its starting point Metastasio’s Issipile (Vienna, 1732), the paper examines the main sources to have emphasized the virtue of this female figure appearing in two important classical legends: the Argonauts and the Seven against Thebes. The same virtue informs Metastasio’s character; the paper attempts to identify the accounts, ancient and medieval, on which the dramatist drew for his own version. In turn, Metastasio’s drama served as the model for Dormont de Belloy’s Zelmire (Paris, 1762), which influenced Leone Tottola’s libretto for Rossini’s Zelmira (Naples, 1822).

KEYWORDS: literature, Issipile, Pietro Mestastasio, classical literature, librettology, mythology, Zelmira

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Dramaturgical Setting, Representation of Characters and the Mythological Basis in Giacinto Andrea Cicognini’s and Francesco Cavalli’s Giasone

ABSTRACT: Despite its unlikely subject, Cicognini’s and Cavalli’s opera Il Giasone (1649) was a huge success. In dealing with the problems of the subject such as adhering to the unities of drama, the high number of different characters and the inappropriateness of the plot, Cicognini managed to preserve a surprising amount of the original myth by intelligent use of 17th-century stereotypes. Characters such as Giasone (Jason), Ercole (Hercules) or Medea fulfil a certain stock-type characteristic by emphasising on some of their mythologically defined features. Cicognini translates these in patterns of behaviour, language, and relationships between characters.

KEYWORDS: musicology, Venice, opera, 17th century, dramaturgy, libretto, choice of subject

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Mythology in the Service of Eulogy: The Serenata Andromeda liberata (1726)

ABSTRACT: In 1726 a society of Venetian nobles treated Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, revisiting his native city after a long exile, to a five-voice serenata, Andromeda liberata, with text by Vincenzo Cassani and music by a group of five composers, who included Vivaldi, Albinoni and Porta. The libretto uses the myth of Andromeda’s rescue and courtship by Perseus as an allegory for Venice’s reconciliation with Ottoboni and with France, whose interests he represented at the Vatican. The study analyses Cassani’s poetic style and the respective styles of the unnamed composers, who were each responsible for the arias of a single character.

KEYWORDS: musicology, Pietro Ottoboni, Antonio Vivaldi, Tomaso Albinoni, Giovanni Porta, Andromeda, serenata

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Partenope da sirena a regina: il mito musicale di Napoli
[Partenope from the Siren to the Queen: The Musical Myth of Naples]

ABSTRACT: The myth of the foundation of Naples introduces the singing Siren Partenope, one of three sisters defeated by Ulysses, who was the only mortal able to resist their singing. An opera entitled Partenope was performed there in 1699, using a libretto written by Silvio Stampiglia. However, it is not quite the Siren of this name who appears in its plot, since the protagonist is the Greek virgin queen Partenope. Stampiglia’s libretto enjoyed great success. It was set to music by a number of important composers, who included Leonardo Vinci (Venice, 1725) and George Frideric Handel (London, 1730), all paying homage to Naples and to the myth of the Siren-Queen.

KEYWORDS: musicology, Partenope, Sirens, Naples, musical myth, opera, Leonardo Vinci

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Il fregio con le storie di Giasone dipinto dai Carracci a Palazzo Fava, Bologna
[The Fresco Cycle in the Palazzo Fava, Bologna, with the Story of Jason Painted by Carracci]

ABSTRACT: This paper links the choice of the subject-matter for the Carracci frescoes in Palazzo Fava in Bologna to a contemporary episode in the lives of distant relatives of both the patron, Filippo Fava, and his wife. In addition, it identifies the visual sources for two episodes in the frescoes as two panels from a dismembered Quattrocento nuptial chest formerly in the Giustiniani collection. It also identifies a number of classical and modern statues (by Michelangelo and Jacopo Sansovino) as sources for some of the monochrome termini between the scenes and draws attention to some intriguing mistakes in the depiction of ancient musical instruments.

KEYWORDS: history of art, Carraccis, Palazzo Fava, frescoes, Jason

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Some Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Appropriations and Adaptations of the Myth of the Argonauts in Ljubljana: From Texts to Images

ABSTRACT: This chapter examines some of the early-modern thematic appropriations of the Argonautic foundation myth of Emona (the Roman colonia on the site of Ljubljana) by focusing on J. L. Schönleben’s Aemona vindicata (1674) and Carniolia antiqua et nova (1680–81), J. G. Dolničar’s Antiquitates Urbis Labacensis and J. J. Gladič’s Vetus et Nova Carnioliae Ecclesiastica memoria (c. 1714–25). Dolničar’s Curia Labacensis (1680) and J. W. Valvasor’s Die Ehre deß Hertzogthums Crain (1689) offer insights into the first attempts at pictorial representation of the fable that was also expressly evoked by the statue of Neptune (1675) adorning Ljubljana’s communal fountain. On the same site, the same foundation tale may have been reflected in the original iconographic ‘programme’ for Francesco Robba’s “Fountain of the Three Carniolan Rivers” (1743–51).

KEYWORDS: history of art, classical tradition, literary sources, iconography; Ljubljana, Emona, foundation myth, Jason, Argonauts; Ioannes Ludovicus Schönleben, Ioannes Gregorius Thalnitscher, Johann Weichard Valvasor, Ioannes Georgius Gladich; Johann Khumerstainer, “Neptune Fountain”; Francesco Robba, “Fountain of the Three Carniolan Rivers”

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Graphische Darstellungen der Geschichte Jasons im Lichte der Herausgeber- und Sammeltätigkeit Johann Weichard Valvasors
[Graphic Depictions of the Story of Jason in the Light of Johann Weichard Valvasor’s Activity as a Publisher and as a Print Collector]

ABSTRACT: This chapter discusses some graphic presentations of the story of Jason and the Argonauts. Initially, two prints are presented (The Building of Aemona in: Johann Weichard Valvasor, Die Ehre deß Hertzogthums Crain, 1689, and the Personification of Aemona in: Ioannes Gregorius Thalnitscher, Epitome Chronologica, 1714) which are directly related to the site of modern Ljubljana, whose mythological builders were the Argonauts. In addition, the paper examines two graphic cycles from the early modern era that likewise feature the story of Jason and can be linked with Valvasor both as a publisher (Metamorphoses, 1680) and as a collector of prints (Album X of the Valvasor Print Collection, containing secular narrative cycles, with book illustrations, among them Liure de la Conqueste de la Toison d’or, 1563).

KEYWORDS: history of art, graphic arts, collecting, iconography, Jason, Argonauts, Metamorphoses, Ljubljana, Emona, Johann Weichard Valvasor, Johann Koch, Andreas Trost, Alexius Sigismund Thalnitscher, Johann Gregor Thalnitscher, René Boyvin, Léonard Thiry, Jacques Gohory

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