The foundation of the Phrygian community of Sebaste (today’s Sivaslı in Turkey) by Augustus following an Apollo’s oracle is celebrated in a local metrical inscription dating back to the 3rd century. Such inscription features the myth of Ganymede, in particular his ascension to Olympus and his catasterismus in the constellation Aquarius. His task was to act as the cup-bearer of the gods and to send rain down to earth. In this inscription Ganymede seems to be identified with the son of a local mythical figure in the name of Azen. He was probably an ancient king and the founder of Aizanoi, another Phrygian town. His name refers back to an old Arcadian cult. The myth of Ganymede’s ascension occurs in a variety of forms also in late antique funerary epigrams found in Phrygia and in other Anatolian areas. It serves as a touchstone to compare the destiny of young men untimely dead. The myth is often related to the hope for immortality associated with a divine status. This paper is aimed at investigating, on the one hand, how Ganymede’s myth was incorporated into the Phrygian background and its role in the construction of a relatively late local identity and, on the other, the consolatory and eschatological feelings it conveyed in a funerary setting, especially in the religious environment of Late Antiquity.
The aim of the presentation is to show the figure of Amphitrite, a Graeco-Roman goddess, queen of the sea, and wife of Poseidon as an important part of Byzantine symbolic representation of the Last Judgement. In the introduction, based on ancient written and iconographical sources, the author will present the figure of Amphitrite in Greek and Roman religion and iconography. The main part of the talk will be dedicated to the figure of the goddess in chosen examples of early medieval and especially Byzantine iconography of the Last Judgement (usually part of the scene of the Resurrection of the dead from lands and seas). The author will concentrate on the symbolic role of Amphitrite in eschatological context (development and meaning of the motif). According to the author’s knowledge, the chosen motif has not yet been analysed in any monographic publication. During the talk, the author will try to analyse whether the chosen motif was an effect of collective memory of antiquity and the iconographical and cultural continuity or change between ancient and early medieval tradition based on other examples of iconographical connections between pagan thought and a new era influenced by Christian religion.