Ancient Greek temple
Greek temples were structures built to house deity statues within Greek sanctuaries in ancient Greek religion. The temple interiors did not serve as meeting places, since the sacrifices and rituals dedicated to the respective deity took place outside them, within the wider precinct of the sanctuary, which might be large. Temples were used to store votive offerings, they are the most widespread building type in Greek architecture. In the Hellenistic kingdoms of Southwest Asia and of North Africa, buildings erected to fulfill the functions of a temple continued to follow the local traditions. Where a Greek influence is visible, such structures are not considered as Greek temples; this applies, for example, to the Graeco-Parthian and Bactrian temples, or to the Ptolemaic examples, which follow Egyptian tradition. Most Greek temples were oriented astronomically. Between the 9th century BC and the 6th century BC, the ancient Greek temples developed from the small mudbrick structures into double porched monumental buildings with colonnade on all sides reaching more than 20 metres in height.
Stylistically, they were governed by the regionally specific architectural orders. Whereas the distinction was between the Doric and Ionic orders, a third alternative arose in late 3rd century BC with the Corinthian order. A multitude of different ground plans were developed, each of which could be combined with the superstructure in the different orders. From the 3rd century BC onwards, the construction of large temples became less common. Thereafter, only smaller structures were newly begun, while older temples continued to be renovated or brought to completion if in an unfinished state. Greek temples were designed and constructed according to set proportions determined by the lower diameter of the columns or by the dimensions of the foundation levels; the nearly mathematical strictness of the basic designs thus reached was lightened by optical refinements. In spite of the still widespread idealised image, Greek temples were painted, so that bright reds and blues contrasted with the white of the building stones or of stucco.
The more elaborate temples were equipped with rich figural decoration in the form of reliefs and pedimental sculpture. The construction of temples was organised and financed by cities or by the administrations of sanctuaries. Private individuals Hellenistic rulers, could sponsor such buildings. In the late Hellenistic period, their decreasing financial wealth, along with the progressive incorporation of the Greek world within the Roman state, whose officials and rulers took over as sponsors, led to the end of Greek temple construction. New temples now belonged to the tradition of the Roman temple, which, in spite of the strong Greek influence on it, aimed for different goals and followed different aesthetic principles; the main temple building sat within a larger precinct or temenos surrounded by a peribolos fence or wall. The Acropolis of Athens is the most famous example, though this was walled as a citadel before a temple was built there; this might include many subsidiary buildings, sacred groves or springs, animals dedicated to the deity, sometimes people who had taken sanctuary from the law, which some temples offered, for example to runaway slaves.
The earliest Greek sanctuaries lacked temple buildings, though our knowledge of these is limited, the subject is controversial. A typical early sanctuary seems to have consisted of a temenos around a sacred grove, cave or spring, defined only by marker stones at intervals, with an altar for offerings. Many rural sanctuaries stayed in this style, but the more popular were able to afford a building to house a cult image in cities; this process was under way by the 9th century, started earlier. The Mycenaean Megaron was the precursor for Archaic and Classical Greek temples, but during the Greek Dark Age the buildings became smaller and less monumental; the basic principles for the development of Greek temple architecture have their roots between the 10th century BC and the 7th century BC. In its simplest form as a naos, the temple was a simple rectangular shrine with protruding side walls, forming a small porch; until the 8th century BC, there were apsidal structures with more or less semi-circular back walls, but the rectangular type prevailed.
By adding columns to this small basic structure, the Greeks triggered the development and variety of their temple architecture. The Temple of Isthmia, built in 690 - 650 BC was the first true Archaic temple with its monumental size, sturdy colonnade and tile roof set the Isthmian temple apart from contemporary buildings The first temples were mud and marble structures on stone foundations; the columns and superstructure were wooden, door openings and antae were protected with wooden planks. The mud brick walls were reinforced by wooden posts, in a type of half-timbered technique; the elements of this simple and structured wooden architecture produced all the important design principles that were to determine the development of Greek temples for centuries. Near the end of the 7th century BC, the dimensions of these simple structures were increased considerably. Temple C at Thermos is the first of temples with a length of 100 feet. Since it was n
A fishing vessel is a boat or ship used to catch fish in the sea, or on a lake or river. Many different kinds of vessels are used in commercial and recreational fishing. According to the FAO, there are four million commercial fishing vessels. About 1.3 million of these are decked vessels with enclosed areas. Nearly all of these decked vessels are mechanised, 40,000 of them are over 100 tons. At the other extreme, two-thirds of the undecked boats are traditional craft of various types, powered only by sail and oars; these boats are used by artisan fishers. It is difficult to estimate the number of recreational fishing boats, they range in size from small dinghies to large charter cruisers, unlike commercial fishing vessels, are not dedicated just to fishing. Prior to the 1950s there was little standardisation of fishing boats. Designs could vary between boatyards. Traditionally boats were built of wood, but wood is not used now because it has higher maintenance costs and lower durability. Fibreglass is used in smaller fishing vessels up to 25 metres, while steel is used on vessels above 25 metres.
Early fishing vessels included rafts, dugout canoes, boats constructed from a frame covered with hide or tree bark, along the lines of a coracle. The oldest boats found by archaeological excavation are dugout canoes dating back to the Neolithic Period around 7,000-9,000 years ago; these canoes were cut from coniferous tree logs, using simple stone tools. A 7000-year-old seagoing boat made from reeds and tar has been found in Kuwait; these early vessels had limited capability. They were used for fishing and hunting; the development of fishing boats took place in parallel with the development of boats built for trade and war. Early navigators began to use animal skins or woven fabrics for sails. Affixed to a pole set upright in the boat, these sails gave early boats more range, allowing voyages of exploration. Around 4000 B. C. Egyptians were building long narrow boats powered by many oarsmen. Over the next 1,000 years, they made a series of remarkable advances in boat design, they developed cotton-made sails to help their boats go faster with less work.
They built boats large enough to cross the oceans. These boats had sails and oarsmen, were used for travel and trade. By 3000 BC, the Egyptians knew, they used woven straps to lash planks together, reeds or grass stuffed between the planks to seal the seams. An example of their skill is the Khufu ship, a vessel 143 feet in length entombed at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza around 2,500 BC and found intact in 1954. At about the same time, the Scandinavians were building innovative boats. People living near Kongens Lyngby in Denmark, came up with the idea of segregated hull compartments, which allowed the size of boats to be increased. A crew of some two dozen paddled the wooden Hjortspring boat across the Baltic Sea long before the rise of the Roman Empire. Scandinavians continued to develop better ships, incorporating iron and other metal into the design and developing oars for propulsion. By 1000 A. D. the Norsemen were pre-eminent on the oceans. They were skilled seamen and boat builders, with clinker-built boat designs that varied according to the type of boat.
Trading boats, such as the knarrs, were wide to allow large cargo storage. Raiding boats, such as the longship, were long and narrow and fast; the vessels they used for fishing were scaled down versions of their cargo boats. The Scandinavian innovations influenced fishing boat design long after the Viking period came to an end. For example, yoles from the Orkney island of Stroma were built in the same way as the Norse boats. In the 15th century, the Dutch developed a type of seagoing herring drifter that became a blueprint for European fishing boats; this was the Herring Buss, used by Dutch herring fishermen until the early 19th centuries. The ship type buss has a long history, it was known around 1000 AD in Scandinavia as a robust variant of the Viking longship. The first herring buss was built in Hoorn around 1415; the ship was about 20 metres long and displaced between 100 tons. It was a massive round-bilged keel ship with a bluff bow and stern, the latter high, with a gallery; the busses used long drifting gill nets to catch the herring.
The nets would be retrieved at night and the crews of eighteen to thirty men would set to gibbing and barrelling the catch on the broad deck. During the 17th century, the British developed the dogger, an early type of sailing trawler or longliner, which operated in the North Sea. Doggers were slow but sturdy. Like the herring buss, they were wide-beamed and bluff-bowed, but smaller, about 15 metres long, a maximum beam of 4.5 metres, a draught of 1.5 metres, displacing about 13 tonnes. They could carry a tonne of bait, three tonnes of salt, half a tonne each of food and firewood for the crew, return with six tonnes of fish. Decked areas forward and aft provided accommodation, storage and a cooking area. An anchor would have allowed extended periods fishing in the same spot, in waters up to 18 metres deep; the dogger would have carried a small open boat for maintaining lines and rowing ashore. A precursor to the dory type was the early French bateau type, a flat bottom boat with straight sides used as early as 1671 on the Saint Lawrence River.
The common coastal boat of the time was the wherry and the merging of the wherry design with the simplified flat bottom of the bateau resulte
A solar deity is a sky deity who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms; the Sun is sometimes referred to by its Greek name Helios. The English word sun stems from Proto-Germanic *sunnǭ; the Neolithic concept of a "solar barge" is found in the myths of ancient Egypt, with Ra and Horus. Predynasty Egyptian beliefs attribute Atum as Horus as a god of the sky and sun; as the Old Kingdom theocracy gained power, early beliefs were incorporated with the expanding popularity of Ra and the Osiris-Horus mythology. Atum became Ra-Atum, the rays of the setting sun. Osiris became the divine heir to Atum's power on Earth and passes his divine authority to his son Horus. Early Egyptian myths imply the sun is within the lioness, Sekhmet, at night and is reflected in her eyes. Mesopotamian Shamash plays an important role during the Bronze Age, "my Sun" is used as an address to royalty.
South American cultures have a tradition of Sun worship, as with the Incan Inti. Proto-Indo-European religion has the sun as traversing the sky in a chariot. In Germanic mythology this is Sol, in Vedic Surya, in Greek Helios and as Apollo. In Proto-indo-European mythology the sun appears to be a multilayered figure, manifested as a goddess but perceived as the eye of the sky father Dyeus. During the Roman Empire, a festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun was celebrated on the winter solstice—the "rebirth" of the sun—which occurred on December 25 of the Julian calendar. In late antiquity, the theological centrality of the sun in some Imperial religious systems suggest a form of a "solar monotheism"; the religious commemorations on December 25 were replaced under Christian domination of the Empire with the birthday of Christ. The Tiv people consider the Sun to be the son of the supreme being Awondo and the Moon Awondo's daughter; the Barotse tribe believes that the Sun is inhabited by the sky god Nyambi and the Moon is his wife.
Some Sara people worship the sun. Where the sun god is equated with the supreme being, in some African mythologies he or she does not have any special functions or privileges as compared to other deities; the ancient Egyptian god of creation, Amun is believed to reside inside the sun. So is the Akan creator deity and the Dogon deity of creation, Nommo. In Egypt, there was a religion that worshipped the sun directly, was among the first monotheistic religions: Atenism. Sun worship was prevalent in ancient Egyptian religion; the earliest deities associated with the sun are all goddesses: Wadjet, Hathor, Bast and Menhit. First Hathor, Isis, give birth to and nurse Horus and Ra. Hathor the horned-cow is one of the 12 daughters of Ra, is a wet-nurse to Horus. From at least the 4th Dynasty of ancient Egypt, the sun was worshipped as the deity Re, portrayed as a falcon headed god surmounted by the solar disk, surrounded by a serpent. Re gave warmth to the living body, symbolised as an ankh: a "T" shaped amulet with a looped upper half.
The ankh, it was believed, was surrendered with death, but could be preserved in the corpse with appropriate mummification and funerary rites. The supremacy of Re in the Egyptian pantheon was at its highest with the 5th Dynasty, when open air solar temples became common. In the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, Ra lost some of his preeminence to Osiris, lord of the West, judge of the dead. In the New Empire period, the sun became identified with the dung beetle, whose spherical ball of dung was identified with the sun. In the form of the sun disc Aten, the sun had a brief resurgence during the Amarna Period when it again became the preeminent, if not only, divinity for the Pharaoh Akhenaton; the Sun's movement across the sky represents a struggle between the Pharaoh's soul and an avatar of Osiris. Ra travels across the sky in his solar-boat; the "solarisation" of several local gods reaches its peak in the period of the fifth dynasty. Rituals to the god Amun who became identified with the sun god Ra were carried out on the top of temple pylons.
A Pylon mirrored the hieroglyph for'horizon' or akhet, a depiction of two hills "between which the sun rose and set", associated with recreation and rebirth. On the first Pylon of the temple of Isis at Philae, the pharaoh is shown slaying his enemies in the presence of Isis and Hathor. In the eighteenth dynasty, the earliest-known monotheistic head of state, Akhenaten changed the polytheistic religion of Egypt to a monotheistic one, Atenism of the solar-disk and is the first recorded state monotheism. All other deities were replaced by the Aten, including Amun-Ra, the reigning sun god of Akhenaten's own region. Unlike other deities, the Aten did not have multiple forms, his only image was a disk—a symbol of the sun. Soon after Akhenaten's death, worship of the traditional deities was reestablished by the religious leaders who had adopted the Aten during the reign of Akhenaten. In Aztec mythology, Tonatiuh was the sun god; the Aztec people considered him the leader of Tollan. He was known
Athena or Athene given the epithet Pallas, is an ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom and warfare, syncretized with the Roman goddess Minerva. Athena was regarded as the patron and protectress of various cities across Greece the city of Athens, from which she most received her name, she is shown in art wearing a helmet and holding a spear. Her major symbols include owls, olive trees and the Gorgoneion. From her origin as an Aegean palace goddess, Athena was associated with the city, she was known as Polias and Poliouchos, her temples were located atop the fortified Acropolis in the central part of the city. The Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis is dedicated to her, along with numerous other temples and monuments; as the patron of craft and weaving, Athena was known as Ergane. She was a warrior goddess, was believed to lead soldiers into battle as Athena Promachos, her main festival in Athens was the Panathenaia, celebrated during the month of Hekatombaion in midsummer and was the most important festival on the Athenian calendar.
In Greek mythology, Athena was believed to have been born from the head of her father Zeus. In the founding myth of Athens, Athena bested Poseidon in a competition over patronage of the city by creating the first olive tree, she was known as Athena Parthenos, but, in one archaic Attic myth, the god Hephaestus tried and failed to rape her, resulting in Gaia giving birth to Erichthonius, an important Athenian founding hero. Athena was the patron goddess of heroic endeavor. Along with Aphrodite and Hera, Athena was one of the three goddesses whose feud resulted in the beginning of the Trojan War, she plays an active role in the Iliad, in which she assists the Achaeans and, in the Odyssey, she is the divine counselor to Odysseus. In the writings of the Roman poet Ovid, Athena was said to have competed against the mortal Arachne in a weaving competition, afterwards transforming Arachne into the first spider. Since the Renaissance, Athena has become an international symbol of wisdom, the arts, classical learning.
Western artists and allegorists have used Athena as a symbol of freedom and democracy. Athena is associated with the city of Athens; the name of the city in ancient Greek is Ἀθῆναι, a plural toponym, designating the place where—according to myth—she presided over the Athenai, a sisterhood devoted to her worship. In ancient times, scholars argued whether Athena was named after Athens after Athena. Now scholars agree that the goddess takes her name from the city. Testimonies from different cities in ancient Greece attest that similar city goddesses were worshipped in other cities and, like Athena, took their names from the cities where they were worshipped. For example, in Mycenae there was a goddess called Mykene, whose sisterhood was known as Mykenai, whereas at Thebes an analogous deity was called Thebe, the city was known under the plural form Thebai; the name Athenai is of Pre-Greek origin because it contains the Pre-Greek morpheme *-ān-. In his dialogue Cratylus, the Greek philosopher Plato gives some rather imaginative etymologies of Athena's name, based on the theories of the ancient Athenians and his own etymological speculations: That is a graver matter, there, my friend, the modern interpreters of Homer may, I think, assist in explaining the view of the ancients.
For most of these in their explanations of the poet, assert that he meant by Athena "mind" and "intelligence", the maker of names appears to have had a singular notion about her. However, the name Theonoe may mean "she who knows divine things" better than others. Nor shall we be far wrong in supposing that the author of it wished to identify this Goddess with moral intelligence, therefore gave her the name Etheonoe. Thus, Plato believed that Athena's name was derived from Greek Ἀθεονόα, Atheonóa—which the Greeks rationalised as from the deity's mind; the second-century AD orator Aelius Aristides attempted to derive natural symbols from the etymological roots of Athena's names to be aether, air and moon. Athena was the Aegean goddess of the palace, who presided over household crafts and protected the king. A single Mycenaean Greek inscription a-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja /Athana potnia/ appears at Knossos in the Linear B tablets from the Late Minoan II-era "Room of the Chariot Tablets". Although Athana potnia is translated Mistress Athena, it could mean "the Potnia of Athana", or the Lady of Athens.
However, any connection to the city of Athens in the Knossos inscription is uncertain. A sign series a-ta-no-dju-wa-ja appears in the still undeciphered corpus of Linear A tablets, written in the unclassified Minoan language; this could be connected with the Linear B Mycenaean expressions a-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja and di-u-ja or di-wi-ja (Diwia, "of Zeus" or, possibly
Magic is a category in Western culture into which have been placed various beliefs and practices considered separate from both religion and science. The term had pejorative connotations, with things labelled magical perceived as being primitive and Other; the concept has been adopted by scholars in the study of religion and the social sciences, who have proposed various different—and mutually exclusive—definitions of the term. The term magic derives from the Old Persian magu, a word that applied to a form of religious functionary about which little is known. During the late sixth and early fifth centuries BCE, this term was adopted into Ancient Greek, where it was used with negative connotations, to apply to religious rites that were regarded as fraudulent and dangerous; this meaning of the term was adopted by Latin in the first century BCE. Via Latin, the concept was incorporated into Christian theology during the first century CE, where magic was associated with demons and thus defined against religion.
This concept was pervasive throughout the Middle Ages, when Christian authors categorised a diverse range of practices—such as enchantment, incantations, divination and astrology—under the label magic. In early modern Europe, Italian humanists reinterpreted the term in a positive sense to create the idea of natural magic. Both negative and positive understandings of the term were retained in Western culture over the following centuries, with the former influencing early academic usages of the word. Since the nineteenth century, academics in various disciplines have employed the term magic but have defined it in different ways and used it in reference to different things. One approach, associated with the anthropologists Edward Tylor and James G. Frazer, uses the term to describe beliefs in hidden sympathies between objects that allow one to influence the other. Defined in this way, magic is portrayed as the opposite to science. An alternative approach, associated with the sociologists Marcel Mauss and Émile Durkheim, employs the term to describe private rites and ceremonies and contrasts it with religion, which it defines as a communal and organised activity.
Many scholars of religion have rejected the utility of the term magic, arguing that it is arbitrary and ethnocentric. Throughout Western history, there have been examples of individuals who engaged in practices that their societies called magic and who sometimes referred to themselves as magicians. Within modern occultism, there are many self-described magicians and people who practice ritual activities that they term magic. In this environment, the concept of magic has again changed being defined as a technique for bringing about changes in the physical world through the force of one's will; this definition was pioneered by the influential British occultist Aleister Crowley. The historian Owen Davies stated that the word magic was "beyond simple definition"; the historian Michael D. Bailey characterised magic as "a contested category and a fraught label". Scholars have engaged in extensive debates as to how to define magic, with such debates resulting in intense dispute. Throughout such debates, the scholarly community has failed to agree on a definition of magic, in a similar manner to how they have failed to agree on a definition of religion.
Among those throughout history who have described themselves as magicians, there has been no common understanding of what magic is. Concepts of magic serve to demarcate certain practices from other, otherwise similar practices in a given society. According to Bailey: "In many cultures and across various historical periods, categories of magic define and maintain the limits of and culturally acceptable actions in respect to numinous or occult entities or forces. More they serve to delineate arenas of appropriate belief." In this, he noted that "drawing these distinctions is an exercise in power". The scholar of religion Randall Styers noted that attempting to define magic represents "an act of demarcation" by which it is juxtaposed against "other social practices and modes of knowledge" such as "religion" and "science"; the historian Karen Louise Jolly described magic as "a category of exclusion, used to define an unacceptable way of thinking as either the opposite of religion or of science".
Within Western culture, the term "magic" has been linked to ideas of the Other and primitivism. In Styers' words, it has become "a powerful marker of cultural difference", it has been presented as the archetypally non-modern phenomenon. Among Western intellectuals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, magic was seen as a defining feature of "primitive" mentalities and was attributed to marginal groups and periods; the concept and term "magic" developed in European society and thus using it when discussing non-Western cultures or pre-modern forms of Western society raises problems, as it may impose Western categories that are alien to them. While "magic" remains an emic term in the history of Western societies, it remains an etic term when applied to non-Western societies. During the twentieth century, many scholars focusing on Asian and African societies rejected the term "magic", as well as related concepts like "witchcraft", in favour of the more precise terms and concepts that existed within these specific societie
Eye-cup is the term describing a specific cup type in ancient Greek pottery, distinguished by pairs of eyes painted on the external surface. Classified as kylikes in terms of shape, they were widespread in Athens and Chalkis in the second half of the sixth century BC; the bowl of the eye-cup rests on a short squat foot. The eyeballs are painted in silhouette style often filled with white paint or painted white on black; some eyes are "female". A stylized nose is placed centrally between the eyes. While used as a drinking vessel, due to the necessary inclination of the vessel, the cup with its painted eyes, the handles looking like ears and the base of the foot like a mouth, would have resembled a mask. Many of the vases bear dionysiac imagery; the eyes are assumed to have served an apotropaic function. Eye-cups were painted by various painters in the black-figure style, but also in the red-figure technique; the earliest bilingual vases include specimens of eye-cups with a black-figure interior and a red-figure exterior.
The introduction of this type and its specific decration into Attic vase painting is attributed to Exekias. His eye-cup in Munich, dated 530–540 BC, is considered a masterpiece of the type, it depicts Dionysos. His divine nature is indicated by a vine, growing from the mast. Other well-known examples of eye-cups are by the following groups: Amasis. Lydos Group Lysippides Painter Mastos Painter Nikosthenes Oltos with bilingual eye-cups Pheidippos with bilinguals Skythes with bilinguas Group of Walters 48.42, specialising in frontal views of masks of Dionysos, of satyrs and maenads between the eyes, gorgoneia on the cup interior A special type is the Chalkidian style cup, of which further variants exist. Dating is difficult, but the majority of eye-cups were produced between 540 and 500 BC up to 480 BC, they were exported to Italy in large quantities. The majority of vases of this type were found as grave goods in Etruscan chamber tombs. Corpus vasorum antiquorum. Deutschland. Hrsg. Komm. f. d. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum b. d.
Bay. Akad. d. Wiss. /Union Académique Internationale. Bd 77: München, Antikensammlung Band 13. Attische Augenschalen. Bearb. Fellmann, Berthold. 2004. ISBN 3-406-51960-1 Friedrich Wilhelm Handorf, in: Klaus Vierneisel, Bert Kaeser, Kunst der Schale - Kultur des Trinkens, München 1990, p. 418 f. Norbert Kunisch: Die Augen der Augenschalen, in: Antike Kunst 33 1990 Kylix: eye–cup, ca. 530 b.c.. Obverse and reverse, between eyes: Theseus and the Minotaur at the Metropolitan Art Museum Athenian eyecups of the Late Archaic Period by Andrew Prentice Raimund Wünsche, „Trinken aus den Augen“ - Griechische Augenschalen, aviso 2005,/4 a clip showing how these vases were resembling to a mask
The aegis, as stated in the Iliad, is carried by Athena and Zeus, but its nature is uncertain. It had been interpreted as a shield, sometimes bearing the head of a Gorgon. There may be a connection with a deity named Aex or Aix, a daughter of Helios and a nurse of Zeus or alternatively a mistress of Zeus; the aegis of Athena is referred to in several places in the Iliad. "It produced a sound as from a myriad roaring dragons and was borne by Athena in battle... and among them went bright-eyed Athene, holding the precious aegis, ageless and immortal: a hundred tassels of pure gold hang fluttering from it, tight-woven each of them, each the worth of a hundred oxen."The modern concept of doing something "under someone's aegis" means doing something under the protection of a powerful, knowledgeable, or benevolent source. The word aegis is identified with protection by a strong force with its roots in Greek mythology and adopted by the Romans. Virgil imagines the Cyclopes in Hephaestus' forge, who "busily burnished the aegis Athena wears in her angry moods—a fearsome thing with a surface of gold like scaly snake-skin, the linked serpents and the Gorgon herself upon the goddess's breast—a severed head rolling its eyes", furnished with golden tassels and bearing the Gorgoneion in the central boss.
Some of the Attic vase-painters retained an archaic tradition that the tassels had been serpents in their representations of the aegis. When the Olympian deities overtook the older deities of Greece and she was born of Metis and "re-born" through the head of Zeus clothed, Athena wore her typical garments; when the Olympian shakes the aegis, Mount Ida is wrapped in clouds, the thunder rolls and men are struck down with fear. "Aegis-bearing Zeus", as he is in the Iliad, sometimes lends the fearsome aegis to Athena. In the Iliad when Zeus sends Apollo to revive the wounded Hector, holding the aegis, charges the Achaeans, pushing them back to their ships drawn up on the shore. According to Edith Hamilton's Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, the Aegis is the breastplate of Zeus, was "awful to behold". However, Zeus is portrayed in classical sculpture holding a thunderbolt or lightning, bearing neither a shield nor a breastplate. Classical Greece interpreted the Homeric aegis as a cover of some kind borne by Athena.
It was supposed by Euripides that the aegis borne by Athena was the skin of the slain Gorgon, yet the usual understanding is that the Gorgoneion was added to the aegis, a votive offering from a grateful Perseus. In a similar interpretation, Aex, a daughter of Helios, represented as a great fire-breathing chthonic serpent similar to the Chimera, was slain and flayed by Athena, who afterwards wore its skin, the aegis, as a cuirass, or as a chlamys; the Douris cup shows that the aegis was represented as the skin of the great serpent, with its scales delineated. John Tzetzes says that aegis was the skin of the monstrous giant Pallas whom Athena overcame and whose name she attached to her own. In a late rendering by Gaius Julius Hyginus, Zeus is said to have used the skin of a pet goat owned by his nurse Amalthea which suckled him in Crete, as a shield when he went forth to do battle against the Titans; the aegis appears in works of art sometimes as an animal's skin thrown over Athena's shoulders and arms with a border of snakes also bearing the Gorgon head, the gorgoneion.
In some pottery it appears as a tasselled cover over Athena's dress. It is sometimes represented on the statues of Roman emperors and warriors, on cameos and vases. A vestige of that appears in a portrait of Alexander the Great in a fresco from Pompeii dated to the first century BC, which shows the image of the head of a woman on his armor that resembles the Gorgon. Herodotus thought he had identified the source of the ægis in ancient Libya, always a distant territory of ancient magic for the Greeks. "Athene's garments and ægis were borrowed by the Greeks from the Libyan women, who are dressed in the same way, except that their leather garments are fringed with thongs, not serpents."Robert Graves in The Greek Myths asserts that the ægis in its Libyan sense had been a shamanic pouch containing various ritual objects, bearing the device of a monstrous serpent-haired visage with tusk-like teeth and a protruding tongue, meant to frighten away the uninitiated. In this context, Graves identifies the aegis as belonging first to Athena.
One current interpretation is that the Hittite sacral hieratic hunting bag, a rough and shaggy goatskin, established in literary texts and iconography by H. G. Güterbock, was a source of the aegis; the Greek αἰγίς aigis, has many meanings including: "violent windstorm", from the verb ἀίσσω aïssō = "I rush or move violently". Akin to καταιγίς kataigis, "thunderstorm"; the shield of a deity as described above. "goatskin coat", from treating the word as meaning "something grammatically feminine pertaining to goat": Greek αἴξ aix = "goat", + suffix -ίς -is. The original meaning may have been the first, Ζεὺς Αἰγίοχος Zeus Aigiokhos = "Zeus who holds the aegis" may have meant "Sky/Heaven, who holds the thunderstorm"; the transition to the meaning "shield" or "goatskin" may have come by folk etymology among a people familiar with draping an animal skin over the left arm a