Visual Space/Ritual Space and the Agency of the Greek Priestess
February 8, 2007 – 8:00 p.m. Spencer Trask Lecture
The visual culture of ancient Greece has left a record rich with information on the active role of women in the organization and functioning of cult. Connelly draws upon images from vase painting, portrait sculpture, votive reliefs, and funerary monuments to bring to life the movement of women within ritual space. Considering this material in the context of what we know from texts and inscriptions, she argues a wider visibility for women across the polis landscape than has previously been acknowledged. Connelly investigates the ways in which portrait statues and architectural sculpture, including karyatids and figured column drums, may reflect the ritual circulation of women in procession and dance across the sacred temenos. We may thus envision the living sanctuary and the relationships of topography, image, and ritual action within this space.