The swan chariot of a solar deity: Greek narratives and prehistoric iconography

  • Tomislav Bilić Archaeological museum in Zagreb
Keywords: water-birds, Apollo, iconographic analysis, Dupljaja, sun

Abstract

Literary testimonies for the Greek concept of Apollo’s swan chariot and the accompanying set of ideas were often discussed alongside some comparable Central and North European iconographic representations. This study approaches the problem by collating, with a help of structural analysis, a number of highly specific complex prehistoric iconographic arrangements (most notably the Dupljaja chariot), which suggest a similar concept was indeed current in the tradition of some European pre-literate societies. The principles employed here in the iconographic analysis of complex symbolic structures, offered a sound methodological basis for comparing literary with iconographic sources. It is concluded that their underlying muthos represents an account of the annual solar movement in terms of anthropomorphic causation.

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Published
2016-12-30
How to Cite
BilićT. (2016). The swan chariot of a solar deity: Greek narratives and prehistoric iconography. Documenta Praehistorica, 43, 445-466. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.43.23
Section
Articles