Questions for article about Instruments in Antiquity

  1. The author mentions materials that provide evidence to the analysis of music iconography: writings by ancient authors, inscriptions on monuments, visual sources, and archaeological finds of ancient musical instruments. Do you agree with her? Which material do you think is the most supportive to identify the specific shape of the instrument? (33)
  2. Can you think of some works that include depictions of musical instruments? What does the instrument represent in the piece? Why did the artist choose to portray the instrument?
  3. How do you understand the author’s argument that ‘the true connotations of represented instruments remain obscure’? (38)
  4. Do you agree with the statement that ‘depicting real instruments…link an unspecific scenic composition to a specific chronological location’? Why? (39)
  5. What do you think are the positive (or negative) output of studying iconography of musical instruments?

Questions for Hellenistic Children article

1. On page 412, Vout states “when an infant was depicted without his mother, baby-fat was suggestive of divine pretentions.” Why do you think only divine children were shown this way?

2. Would the focus of the Laocoon statue still be Laocoon if his sons were depicted with a chubby child’s body?

3. Are there any similarities between the bodies shown here and the ones talked about in the article Amy presented last week about the hyperreal?

4.What do you make of the single child shown as an infant in the Niobid sarcophogus?

5. Do you think Vout’s inclusion of the Medea sarcophagus in her conclusion helped her article?