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The Boy Strangling the Goose: Genre Figure or Mythological Symbol?

October 2006 (110.4)

The Boy Strangling the Goose: Genre Figure or Mythological Symbol?

110.4
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Kunze has suggested that Hellenistic sculpture depicting themes of everyday activities that are traditionally classified as genre subjects may carry very different meanings. This note argues that, in Graeco-Roman terms, the chubby personage in depictions of the Boy Strangling the Goose is not simply a child but the personification of Dionysos/Harpokrates; the goose is not a household pet but an evil spirit over which the Divine Child triumphs. The manner of the representation is Greek and can be read at a superficial level; the deeper content is Egyptian and contains a symbolic message of rebirth and victory.

The Boy Strangling the Goose: Genre Figure or Mythological Symbol?

By Brunilde S. Ridgway

American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 110, No. 4 (October 2006), pp. 643–648

DOI: 10.3764/aja.110.4.643

© 2006 Archaeological Institute of America

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