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The Narrative of the Goddess on Some Theran Frescoes (co-sponsored by Hellenic Studies)

Nanno Marinatos (University of Illinois, Chicago)
Nanno Marinatos
Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 11:30am
Via Zoom (email for link)

Two Minoan wall paintings from the ancient site of Akrotiri, Thera will be discussed in detail. Both of them depict the same goddess as represented on the ground-floor and upper story of a large building known with the name XESTE 3. It will be argued that these two compositions represent instances of the divine biography of one and the same deity, who is the same as the Great Goddess of Knossos. On the lower level she is depicted as an earth-goddess who has suffered an injury. On the second floor, she is depicted in her heavenly aspect and is accompanied by a celestial griffin. The two compositions were designed to be seen successively by visitors of the building. To us, they afford a unique glimpse of Minoan mythology.

Nanno Marinatos is emerita Professor of Classics and has served as Head of Department in the Department of Classics and Mediterranean Studies University of Illinois at Chicago. In 2019, she received the title of distinguished Professor of LAS.  She has held teaching positions at Oberlin College, University of Bergen, (Norway), University of Zürich and College Year, Athens. She is member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and The German Archaeological Institute.  She has been the recipient of an honorary volume Nanno Marinatos: A Tribute (2015) and received the Felix Neubergh Lecture Award, Gothenburg University, Sweden (2017).

Her research is mostly focused on the religion of Minoan Crete and Thera of the Bronze Age (c. 1600 BCE); a second area is the ancient historian Thucydides. She is the author of nine books dealing mostly with Minoan religion and ritual but also with the biography of the excavator of Knossos, Sir Arthur Evans. She has edited and coedited nine volumes and has written about 90 scholarly articles and book reviews. She is currently working on an edited volume on Minoan Religion and is writing on Thucydides. 

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