A Competition of Bronze and Marble: The Intentions and Functions Behind Treasuries and Aristocratic Dedications in Delphi in the Sixth and Fifth Centuries B.C.E.
MetadataShow full item record
After their victory at Marathon in 490 B.C.E., the Athenians constructed an elaborate treasury at Delphi, but it was built for more than just remembering the battle. Rather, it has been positioned in a larger development: the rise of the polis, and its power struggle against the aristocracy. In this thesis, the intentions and mechanics behind the Delphic monuments, both those built by the poleis and the votives offered by the aristocracy, will be investigated. Both sides are considered individually – poleis and their treasuries, and aristocrats and their votives – as well as in relation to each other. Attention is given to multiple aspects of the structures, including the context of their construction, their material and their decorations, and the key themes of the thesis are explored and illuminated case studies for either group. To this end, multiple types of sources will be combined, including literary, epigraphic and archaeological material. Following the view of historians such as Ian Morris, the treasuries will be placed in the context of the conflict between polis-aligned, or “middling” aristocracy on the one hand, and the conservative “elitist” aristocracy on the other. Ultimately, the treasuries are complex structures, with unique local circumstances determining the precise intent behind them.