Masters Degrees (Ancient Studies)

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    Truth to power: the vengeful meditations of exilic Ovid in the metamorphoses
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Dalbock, Abigail Margaret; De Villiers, Annemarie; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Ancient Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: When read in light of Ovid's banishment from Rome, much of the Metamorphoses can be interpreted as an allegory for the mercurial nature of power and revenge. Like Augustus, who had the power to exile Ovid at his discretion, the gods, as portrayed in the Metamorphoses, have absolute authority over life and death in the mortal world. This thesis will suggest that specific narratives within the Metamorphoses may reference Ovid’s censorship and exile by Augustus and his revenge against this punishment by continuing his craft and subtly manipulating the material on his mythical platform to speak truth to power.
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    A critical analysis of the lexical description of נצל and ישׁע in the Hebrew bible—with some perspectives from cognitive semantics
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03 ) Hornea, Irina Carina; Van der Merwe, C. H. J.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Ancient Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Hebrew Bible, the most frequent verbs that are used to describe salvation are the near-synonyms ישׁע and נצל . Although there exists a substantial body of literature about these two lexemes, it is still an open question whether, on the one hand, their differences and similarities, and, on the other hand, the unique senses of each have been adequately described in resources available for Bible translators. Compare, for example, the translations of these two lexemes (in bold) in Jer 15:20. וּנְתַתִִּ֜יךָ לָעָָ֣ם הַזֶֶּׁ֗ה לְחוֹמַַ֤ת נְחֹ֙שֶֹׁׁתֹ֙ בְצוּרָָ֔ה וְנִלְחֲמ֥וּ אֵלֶֶׁ֖יךָ וְלאֹ־יָ֣וּכְלוּ לָָ֑ךְ כִִּֽי־אִתְךָ֥ אֲ ני לְהוֹשִִּֽׁיעֲ ךָ וּלְהַצִילֶֶׁ֖ךָ It ranges from “to save and deliver you” (NRSV); “to deliver and save you (NJPS) and “to rescue and save you (NIV) to “to protect and rescue you” (CEB). The apex of scholarly investigation into the concept of salvation in the Hebrew Bible is the work of J.F.A. Sawyer, Semantics in Biblical Research. New Methods of Defining Hebrew words for Salvation, published in 1972. Since the findings of this seminal study, which used a sophisticated linguistic model of its day, seems to have been a dominant force in the lexical description of these lexemes in resources for exegetes and translators, the purpose of this study is to critically assess the work of Sawyer. This study plots the journey through the literature devoted to these lexemes, beginning at scholarly work produced before Sawyer’s contributions, thereafter looking at multiple works of Sawyer’s, and finally, analysing the extent of his influence in literature that has appeared since his 1972 monograph. In each case, an attempt is made to understand each of the descriptions (as far as it is possible) in the light of the linguistic frame of the study or resource that is described. This year marks the 50th year since the publication of his monograph. In these 50 years, much has changed in the realm of linguistics. New advances have been made with regards to theoretical approaches to and insights into lexical meaning. It is concluded that, although Sawyer has done some pioneering work, insights of Cognitive Linguistics, specifically Prototype Theory and Frame. Semantics, could prove useful in illuminating some of the subtle nuances between these lexemes that Sawyer failed to identify. For this reason, a new comprehensive analysis of these two lexemes from a Cognitive Semantic perspective is called for. It is hypothesized that such a study may enable translators to make better informed translation decisions of these two near-synonyms.
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    The metamorphosis of Bastet: a study of the changing iconography of the Feline Goddess Bastet
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Brand, Ilsebeth; Cornelius, Izak; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Ancient Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The feline deity Bastet is best known for her depiction as a cat, or a woman with the head of a cat. In early depictions, Bastet, however, did not appear with the head of a cat, but rather with the head of a lioness. In Bastet’s earliest depictions, she is represented as a woman with the head of a lioness, and an uraeus on her forehead, while holding a sceptre in one hand and an ankh in the other hand. This depiction of Bastet is similar to the depiction of another feline deity, Sekhmet. Around 1000 B.C.E. Bastet’s iconography changed from a lioness-headed deity to a cat-headed deity. This study aims to investigate why there was a change in the iconography of Bastet. The similarities in the iconography of Bastet in her leonine form and Sekhmet will be investigated to determine whether it is possible to identify Bastet or Sekhmet in a depiction without an accompanying inscription, and thus distinguish the two goddesses from each other. Throughout this study, Panofsky’s iconographic method as revised by Bonfiglio (2016) will be applied to all statues and amulets. The corpus of this study will consist of forty-seven statues of varying size, material, and origin, and twenty-one amulets of varying size, material, and origin, depicting either Bastet or Sekhmet. The study concludes that Bastet’s iconography changed due to her pairing with Sekhmet, and a shift in power in Dynasty 22 to Libyan pharaohs who favoured the cult of Bastet. Although her iconography changed, she did not completely lose her lioness iconography, but rather could manifest as both a lioness and a cat after her transformation.
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    The Global Village: A case study of the frescoes at Akrotiri as evidence for multiculturalism in the Bronze Age Aegean
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-03) van den Brink, Jessica Hendrika; Masters, Samantha; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Visual Arts.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Perceptions of the culture and identity at Akrotiri often suggest a ‘Minoanized’ civilization which came into being and succeeded as a product of Minoan settlement and thalassocracy. Evidence for this lies in the material remains found at Akrotiri, and in particular in the fresco fragments and compositions which have been restored at the site. That said, this Minoan reading is largely a product of confirmation bias. While the images at Akrotiri do share some resemblance to those found at Knossos and other pre-Greek settlements, they also bear resemblance to images, themes, and motifs seen in North African and West Asian imageries. This thesis investigates the extent to which the frescoes of Akrotiri are influenced by Cretan, Egyptian, and Asian material evidence, and how the iconographies from across the Bronze Age Aegean trade route are synthesised into unique compositions at the site. In order to do so, a corpus of images from Xeste 3, the West House and Sector Beta are discussed alongside comparanda from various settlements in the Aegean network of trade and diplomacy. In doing so, Akrotiri becomes a useful case study in understanding the development and maintenance of a globalised Aegean network through the study of the visual echoes seen at the site. Because of this globalised space, ideological distances are collapsed and Akrotiri becomes an example of a physical, ancient Global Village.
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    Vanth: An Iconograpical Study of an Etruscan Psychopomp
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-03) MacDonald, Bronwen Elizabeth; Masters, Samantha; Stellenbosch Unviersity. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Ancient Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Death and what happens to the soul when our bodies fail has enthralled humanity across the ages. No less so for the Etruscans. Vanth, a female daimon who acts as a psychopomp, is one of the most commonly represented chthonic figures in Etruscan funerary art. However, despite this proliferation, she is only named by inscription seven times. Complicating things further is the wide variety of her iconography amongst these seven examples. A close iconographic analysis of the seven epigraphic Vanths proved little cohesion in Vanth's iconography if only this small sample is considered. It also revealed that relying solely on the epigraphic Vanths for frequency analysis leads to unusual attributes such a nude Vanths being weighed far more heavily than they should when compared to a larger sample. In this study, a corpus of 100 Vanth samples drawn from open access online collections were compiled into a database and examined using exploratory data analysis. The results showed distinct trends in Vanth's iconography over the 5th to 2nd centuries BCE. They also showed a lack of trends along a north-south axis of the geographical locations of the seven Etruscan cities studied, implying that the expansion of the Roman Republic during the same period had little effect on changes in Vanth's iconography. There are, however, localized phenomena that occur and have been documented in this study. Examining the trends by object type revealed minor variations in her iconography and peculiarities specific to certain object types. A secondary result of this thesis was the discovery of an element of Hellenic bias, with Vanth sometimes being misidentified in online museum collections as figures such as Lasa or the Greek Erinyes. She might also be given insipid descriptive labels or simply referred to as a 'winged demon'. This incorrect or obscure attribution creates a vicious circle whereby scholars searching for Vanth cannot find her because she is inaccurately labelled in the extant metadata of these collections. The Vanth database created to facilitate this study is open access and will serve as a resource by which scholars and museum curators can secure a more reliable identification of Vanth in the future.