Childhood companions: children and animal companions on attic red-figure vases

Sanders, Michelle Sharon (2019-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In ancient Greece, children and animals found themselves on the periphery of social importance, more closely grouped with slaves than with their older male citizens. This lack of importance has resulted in a lack of documentation on them, in both ancient and modern-day times. However, in recent years there has been a surge of interest in the animals and children of ancient Greece, allowing scholars the opportunity to potentially fill in certain gaps of knowledge. One of the gaps which has yet to be filled, is the relationship and interactions between children and their pets. The aim of this thesis is then to research the relationship that may have existed between children and their ‘personal animals’. Although sources on these topics can be scarce and problematic, one of the best sources we have showing these interactions are on red-figure vase paintings. Therefore, 203 red-figured vases showing children and animal interactions were selected from the Beazley Archive, catalogued and studied. Vases which contain animals such as Spitz-type lap dogs, hunting dogs, deer, goats and hares were included in this study. By studying these vases in as much detail as possible, this thesis aimed to identify which animals were consistently paired with which age category of the child, whether or not the vase paintings could be viewed as real life scenarios, whether it would be possible to read in these differing pairings of animal and child other reflections of identity and perceptions of childhood and finally how the symbolism of the image would change in accordance to the animal and the age category of the child it is paired with. To do so, this study utilised a number of primary and secondary sources to gain some insight into the lives of ancient Greek children and the above-mentioned animals to better understand not only their roles in society but also the possible meaning and symbolism linked with the various animals. It was found that certain animals are in fact consistently paired with specific age groups, while the symbolism attached to animals which are depicted with a number of age groups does appear to change, depending on the age group.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In antieke Griekeland was kinders en diere van marginale sosiale belang en is eerder met slawe as met hulle ouer manlike eweknieë gegroepeer. As gevolg van die gebrek aan belang is daar ook ʼn gebrek aan dokumentasie oor hierdie kinders en diere, in die antieke tyd sowel as vandag. Navorsing van die laaste paar jaar toon egter ʼn groot belangstelling in die diere en kinders van antieke Griekeland en bied aan akademici die geleentheid om gebrekkige kennis te probeer aanvul. Een van die gapings wat nog aangevul moet word, is dié van die verhouding en die interaksies tussen kinders en hulle troeteldiere. Die doel van hierdie tesis is daarom om navorsing oor die verhouding wat moontlik tussen kinders en hulle ‘persoonlike diere’ bestaan het, te doen. Alhoewel bronne oor hierdie onderwerpe skaars en problematies kan wees, is rooi-figuur vaas kuns een van die beste bronne wat hierdie interaksies uitbeeld; daarom is 203 rooi-figuur vase wat kinddier interaksie uitbeeld uit die Beazley Archive gekies om gekatalogiseer en bestudeer te word. Vase met dier afbeeldings van Spitz-tipe skoothonde, jaghonde, takbokke, bokke en hase is in hierdie studie ingesluit. Deur hierdie vase so volledig as moontlik te bestudeer, beoog hierdie tesis om vas te stel watter diere konstant met watter ouderdomskategorie van die kind gekombineer word, om te bepaal of hierdie afbeeldings as voorstellings van werklike situasies gesien kan word, of dit moontlik sal wees om in hierdie verskillende groeperings van diere en kinders ander denke oor identiteit en persepsies van kinderjare raak te lees, en uiteindelik om te bepaal hoe die simboliek van die afbeelding sou verander in ooreenstemming met die dier en ouderdomskategorie van die kind waarmee die dier uitgebeeld word. Om die bogenoemde te bereik het, hierdie studie van ʼn verskeidenheid primêre en sekondêre bronne gebruik gemaak om insig in die lewe van antieke Griekse kinders en in die diere wat hier bo gelys word, te verkry en hulle beter te verstaan, nie net met betrekking tot hulle rol in die samelewing nie, maar ook ten opsigte van die moontlike betekenis en simboliek wat aan die verskeie diere gekoppel word. Daar is vasgestel dat sekere diere inderdaad konstant met sekere ouderdomsgroepe verbind word, terwyl die simboliek van diere wat met 'n aantal ouderdomsgroepe uitgebeeld word, blyk te verander na gelang van die ouderdomsgroep van die kind.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106125
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