Death of a ram, death of Patroklos
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CitationNagy, Gregory. 2020.07.31. "Death of a ram, death of Patroklos." Classical Inquiries. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:Classical_Inquiries.
AbstractA picture is worth a thousand words. That popular adage fits, to my mind, the picture I have chosen for the cover of my essay here—the word-count for which even exceeds a thousand, though not by much. The picture is a line drawing of an ancient vase-painting. The camera of the mind’s eye is zooming in—on a sheep’s head. It is the head of a ram, a dead ram. His throat has been slit, with blood flowing from the gaping wedge where the cut had been made, evidently by way of a sacrificial knife. The blood is not visible in the black-and-white line drawing, but it is clearly there in the original painting, which also shows—as we see even in the line drawing—how the left eye of the ram is looking directly into the eye of the viewer. It is the look of the dead, with eyeballs rolled up, as it were, in a death-stare. This sacrificial ram, as we will see, stands for Patroklos, who dies as a sacrificial body-double of Achilles in the Homeric Iliad.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37366758
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