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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
The Boy Strangling the Goose.
The Boy Strangling the Goose.

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.

DOI: 10.3764/aja.110.4.643

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