The Parthenon Enigma
Alfred A. Knopf
Virgin sacrifice, the wrappings of an Egyptian mummy, a lost masterpiece by the Greek playwright Euripides, and the decoding of the finest Greek sculptures, all this comes together in Joan Connelly’s revolutionary book on the most famous building in the world: the Parthenon. In her reinterpretation of this classical icon, Connelly reveals a surprising and essential truth: the spiritual backbone of Athenian democracy was voluntary sacrifice for the common good. Marshalling a breathtaking range of textual and visual evidence, Connelly weaves a host of fresh insights into a narrative that brings the distant past to life. The result is a wholly inspiring, resounding affirmation of just what the ancient Greek past has to teach us and how urgent its message is today.
The Parthenon Enigma, UK Edition
Head of Zeus
Built in the fifth century B.C., the Parthenon has been venerated for more than two millennia as the West’s ultimate paragon of beauty and proportion. Since the Enlightenment, it has also come to represent our political ideals, the lavish temple to the goddess Athena serving as the model for our most hallowed civic architecture. But how much do the values of those who built the Parthenon truly correspond with our own? And apart from the significance with which we have invested it, what exactly did this marvel of human hands mean to those who made it? In this revolutionary book, Joan Breton Connelly challenges our most basic assumptions about the Parthenon and the ancient Athenians.
Portrait of a Priestess
Princeton University Press
In this sumptuously illustrated book, Joan Breton Connelly gives us the first comprehensive cultural history of priestesses in the ancient Greek world. She presents the fullest and most vivid picture yet of how priestesses lived and worked, from the most famous and sacred of them--the Delphic Oracle and the priestess of Athena Polias--to basket bearers and handmaidens. Along the way, she challenges long-held beliefs to show that priestesses played far more significant public roles in ancient Greece than previously acknowledged. The remarkable picture that emerges reveals that women in religious office were not as secluded and marginalized as we have thought--that religious office was one arena in ancient Greece where women enjoyed privileges and authority comparable to that of men.
Votive Sculpture of Hellenistic Cyprus
The Department of Antiquities of Cyprus and New York University Press
This pioneering, in-depth study of limestone statuary from the sanctuaries of eastern Cyprus focuses on religious practice in the centuries following the death of Alexander the Great. Bringing together Cypriot Hellenistic sculptures long scattered across the museums of Europe and the U.S., Connelly organizes them according to sanctuaries, local workshops, and “hands” of master craftsmen. The intersection of the indigenous votive tradition with new influences from Ptolemaic Egyptian portraiture gives rise to “generic specificity,” that is, the representation of worshippers through stock types showing individualized faces. A deeper understanding of local religious tradition comes to light, one in which believers dedicated images of themselves to keep their prayers alive in perpetuity before their gods.