Well, it’s been a while since I last posted! I’ve been lost for the past month in research land, tracking down many potential meanings for my shield devices. I’ve been looking at Greek myths, period literature, anthropological studies of the late Archaic period, sociological theorizing about ancient Greek culture, and so many other things in between in my search for potential meaning! Thus far, my research has yielded some wonderful results.
By far Grimal’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology has been the greatest source of information about the potential meanings of the shield devices. I spent many days scanning the book for any mention of the shield devices I’m working with: birds, bulls, a chair, a flying boar, gorgon heads, horses, legs, lions, panthers, cups, vases, satyrs, a scorpion, sea creatures, snakes, sphinxes, and tripods. I’ve found potential meanings for most of the devices in myths alone.
There are still a few devices that I need more information about: the chair, flying boar, pottery, and scorpion. I think that there’s a good chance that the pottery shield devices fall into George Henry Chase’s “devices chosen purely from individual fancy or caprice [of the painter]” and I think that while perhaps the chair falls into this category, Perhaps they are actually thrones and they represent royalty. Who knows! When it comes down to it, we can only guess; we can’t go back and ask the artists, that’s for sure!