Royal ideology in Mesopotamian iconography of the third and second millennia BCE with special reference to gestures

Westhead, Jonathan Michael (2015-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis aims to examine to what extent the visual representations of ancient Mesopotamia portrayed the royal ideology that was present during the time of their intended display. The iconographic method is used in this study and this allows for a better understanding of the meaning behind the work of art. This method allows the study to better attempt to comprehend the underlying ideology of the work of art. The eight images studied date between three thousand BCE and one thousand BCE and this provides a broad base for the study. By having such a broad base it enables the study to provide a brief understanding of how the ideology adapted over two thousand years. The broad base also enables the study to examine a variety of different gestures that are portrayed on the representations. This thereby provides the reader with a better understanding of why certain gestures were used and how the underlying ideology was communicated through these movements. The study concludes that while the gestures lend a life-like appearance to the representation they do not solely portray an underlying ideological message. Rather, they enhance the already inherent ideological message.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek tot watter mate die visuele voorstellings van Ou Mesopotamië die koninklike ideologie — van die tyd toe hulle uitgestal is — uitgebeeld het. Die ikonografiese metode is in hierdie studie gebruik en maak dit moontlik om 'n beter begrip van die betekenis agter die kunswerk te verkry. Die metode stel die studie in staat om die onderliggende ideologie van die kunswerk beter te verstaan. Die agt bestudeerde beelde dateer tussen drieduisend v.C. en 'n duisend v.C. en bied 'n breë basis vir die studie. So ‘n breë basis stel die studie in staat om te verstaan hoe die ideologie oor meer as twee duisend jaar aangepas is. Die breë basis stel die studie ook in staat om 'n verskeidenheid verskillende gebare wat uitgebeeld word, te ondersoek. Hierdeur verskaf dit die leser met 'n beter begrip waarom sekere gebare gebruik is en hoe die onderliggende ideologie deur middel van hierdie bewegings gekommunikeer is. Die studie kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat terwyl die gebare 'n lewensgetroue voorkoms aan die voorstelling gee, hulle nie uitsluitlik onderliggende ideologiese boodskappe uitbeeld nie. Inteendeel, hulle versterk die reeds onderliggende ideologiese boodskap.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96899
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