Roman Gold Snake Bracelet, 1st century AD
The motif of the serpent was very popular from the Hellenistic period to the beginning of the Roman Empire. The open bracelet, with one or many coils, was produced in different centers of the ancient world (Greece, southern Italy, Egypt, Syria, etc.) and was also often represented on other objects of art.
Lion Gate at Mycenae, Greece, ca. 1885
Anonymous asked: persephone/hades is not a healthy otp.. it condones rape
While I do agree that their relationship as described by some versions of the myth would not be a healthy relationship today, none of the versions condone rape. The classical mythological subject of the Rape of Persephone is not meant to be taken literally: Hades does not sexually violate her on that chariot, especially not in the early versions of the myth. Hades simply lures her in with a special flower and then carries her off - an action condoned by Zeus himself. One of the definitions of the word rape as given by the OED:1. The act of taking something by force; esp. the seizure of property by violent means; robbery, plundering. Also as a count noun: an instance of this, a robbery, a raid. Now rare (chiefly arch. and literary).
What you have to realise is that, especially in Ovid’s Roman times, a woman was owned by either her father, her brother or her husband. Taking her by force was literally a robbery, a seizure of property. Ovid describes the abduction as follows:
Here Proserpina [Persephone] was playing in a glade and picking flowers, pansies and lilies, with a child’s delight, filling her basket and her lap to gather more than the other girls, when, in a trice, Dis [Haides] saw her, loved her, carried her away—love leapt in such a hurry! Terrified, in tears, the goddess called her mother, called her comrades too, but oftenest her mother; and, as she’d torn the shoulder of her dress, the folds slipped down and out the flowers fell, and she, in innocent simplicity, grieved in her girlish heart for their loss too. Away the chariot sped; her captor urged each horse by name and shook the dark-dyed reins on mane and neck. On through deep lakes he drove, on through Palici’s sulphurous pools that boil in reeking chasms, on past Bacchiadae [Syracuse], where settlers once from Corinthus’ isthmus built between two harbours their great battlements.
A nymph later protests that Persephone “should have been wooed, not whirled away”, which again reinforces the idea of her being stolen. Once again, Hades did not have sex with her there and then. Words change. Meanings change. Heck, the entire notion that rape is a bad thing is a relatively modern one, here in the West. Thank god that changed, though.
She might have been raped later, yes. It is completely possible that the pomegranate seeds are a metaphor for sex, as the consummation of a marriage made it binding. Persephone is not without agency regardless of how you choose to explain the seeds: while Appolodorus and Homer have Hades trick her into eating the pomegranate seeds, Ovid describes her eating them on her own accord.
So Jove [Zeus] replied; but Ceres was resolved to win her daughter back. Not so fate permitted, for the girl had broken her fast and wandering, childlike, through the orchard trees from a low branch had picked a pomegranate and peeled the yellow rind and found the seeds and nibbled seven.
Would I want this relationship for myself? No. Is taking a girl violently and without her permission problematic? Yes, definitely. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t love them as literary archetypes. I love the actual Ovidian text, which I had to translate. I love how Persephone gets back her agency and becomes pretty damn badass. I mean, she became queen of the damn Underworld, man. She had one of the most powerful gods completely in her power. She had all the hidden wealth of the earth to her disposal. There are plenty of stories that depict her as just as unapologetically evil as Hades himself. Isn’t that what Tumblr seems to love so much, with the winged eye liner and the red lipstick and the weaponized femininity?
Couples don’t necessarily need to be healthy for me to enjoy them. I prefer my otp’s interesting all the way.
Greek Bronze Muscle Cuirass, c. 4th century BC
The muscle cuirass or heroic cuirass was cast to fit the wearer’s torso and styled to mimic an ideal male physique. These first appear in late Archaic Greece and became widespread throughout the 5th and 4th centuries BC.
This particular cuirass’ girth increases in the lower torso to make it possible for the man who wore this to ride a horse comfortably while still wearing his armor. Although the heavy muscle cuirass would have afforded sturdy protection, in practical terms it might have been too cumbersome, not to mention cost prohibitive, for regular use by an infantryman. The main purpose of the highly figured cuirass was to impress, and it was most likely reserved for military reviews and parades.
The cuirasses were cast in two pieces, the front and the back, then hammered. They were a development from the early Archaic bell-shaped cuirass, weighing about 25 pounds. Examples from the 5th century BC have been found in the tombs of Thracians, whose cavalrymen wore them. The earliest surviving depiction in Greek sculpture seems to be an example on a sculptural warrior’s torso found on the acropolis of Athens and dating around 470 – 460 BC. The muscle cuirass is also depicted on Attic red-figure pottery, which dates from around 530 BC and into the late 3rd century BC.