Pride, Pomp, and Circumstance
Religious rituals have existed as long as every form of art. And through this artwork we are able to understand and relate to the different types of rituals and religious ceremonies that have taken place in Greek mythology. One main example that is focused on in Chapter 8 is the Parthenon frieze. This is a pictorial representation of the processions that were focused upon to the goddess Athena. Processions can be broken down into three parts entitled pride, pomp, and circumstance.
Pride is defined as the entire group of all ages that gather together to worship a deity. Pomp in turn is the display of how people proceed into a ceremony. This could be done with musical accompaniment, elaborate attire, or even aristocratic measures of transportation. Finally, the circumstance can be otherwise looked at as the ceremony itself. This is when gifts are brought or sacrifices are made to a deity.
As stated before the Parthenon frieze is the sculpture that is the most well known but least understood piece of art in Greek history. We do understand the designer, Pheidias, presumably made this piece. This took place approximately during the course of the years 447/6 to 438/7. It was located over the porches and top of walls of the Parthenon. But even though we know where it came from it is very hard to interpret its meaning.
Many people look to other forms of artwork to understand what exactly this piece, the Parthenon frieze, may mean. Many scholars have examined other vases or preserved sculptures and have tried to break down the different scene into one complete understanding. This however, is interpreted many different ways and no set conclusion has been made. For example, the picture is broken down into one main woman, this being a deity. Also, that the people entering the ceremony may be participating in either a ritual or a sacrifice honoring the deity. A specific example is that it may be a Panathenaic procession because it was the most important religious festival of Athena in the city. Finally, we know that the Athenians went to a considerable expense to dress up for these processions because of their appreciation of Athena.
Overall, this can be related to our current course because our semester topic is "women in mythology" and the entirety of the book deals with Athena and the way people worship her. Also, we have spent time looking at various slides that contain these types of vases/artwork. This in turn will allow us to further understand what exactly the purpose of the artwork may be.
Goddesses are valued very highly and the people go to all ends to show their gratitude and their love for their specific deity. This book breaks down different ways this is done and allows the reader to begin to understand how Athena was truly worshiped by her people.