Athena and Pallas, Image, Copies, Fakes and Doubles

Abstract : The statue of Athena called palladion is not mentioned in Homer, but the important part it played in the legend of Troy appears in numerous texts: it was a key to victory or defeat. Dionysius of Halicarnassus tells that it was stolen by Diomedes and Odysseus, and that the remaining palladion was taken from the Akropolis after the fall of Troy: there are then two palladia, and several cities in Magna Grecia or Italy claimed they owned the original. [Apollodorus] tells that goddess Athena made the statue as a remembering of her friend Pallas whom she had killed by accident. As Athena's double, Pallas is incorporated into Athena's persona when her name becomes one of her favorite epikleseis. As in a mirror gallery, we know too many doubles of a single image of Pallas to believe in one and the same item. If the copy perfectly imitates the original, nobody can distinguish one from another after time. Moreover, the sacral character of god's images makes the problem much more than a mere artistic quarrel.
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Françoise Letoublon. Athena and Pallas, Image, Copies, Fakes and Doubles. Javier Martinez. Fakes and Forgers of Classical Literature. Ergo decipiatur!, 2, Brill, pp.143-161, 2014, Fakes and Forgers of Classical Literature. Ergo decipiatur! Metaforms. Studies in the Reception of Classical Antiquity, 978-90-04-26641-4. ⟨www.brill.com⟩. ⟨hal-01460188⟩

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