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Title:Etrusco-Italic Hercle: A Study in the Formation of Image, Cult, and Regional Identity
Author(s):Martinez, Victor Manuel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Eric Hostetter
Department / Program:Art History
Discipline:Art History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Classical Studies
Abstract:My dissertation traces the Italic roots for the iconographies and roles of Herakles in central and northern Italy (i.e., Etrusco-Italic Hercle) prior to Roman hegemony (ca. 1000--300 BCE). The thesis begins with the premise that this hero-god, commonly known as Hercle, after his Greek namesake, may have had an indigenous ancestry on the Italic peninsula. I argue that, although one cannot trace a direct teleological evolution for Hercle that goes back to the beginning of anthropomorphization, earlier and more anonymous Italic hero-figures embody indigenous and deeply rooted cultural meanings that are evident in subsequent representations of Hercle. In shaping my theorization of the indigenous, Italic roots of Hercle, I draw especially on the work of Richard White and Mary Helms. White's concept of the "middle ground," which refers to both a geographic location (literally a space of interaction) and a cultural stance (the overlap or place between two differing cultures) is a compelling lens through which to understand the interaction between Greeks and Italic populations. Helms outlines a theory of how distance affects the formation of ideology among ruling elites, such that spatial and temporal distances become linked and equivalent on a cosmological scale. In applying these ideas to the study of objects, I used quantitative elements such as iconography and materiality to get at underlying socio-cultural structure and meaning at both local and regional levels.
Issue Date:2009
Description:641 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3406781
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2009

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