icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Picturing a World

Pompeii—dog or lion?

When I saw the animal in last week's press coverage of Breathtaking new paintings found at Pompeii, my first thought was, "It's a dog." My second was, "No, it's a lion." And lion it is. Not only that, but the mural solves a scholarly question.

An article by Christopher Nappa on "Agamemnon" 717-36: The Parable of the Lion Cub discusses how the chorus in Aeschylus's play, Agamemnon, retells the story of a man who adopts an orphaned lion cub. At first, the animal is gentle; but as it grows older, its feral nature comes to the fore and brings ruin to the house. The debate has been over whether the lion cub should be associated with Helen, wife of Menelaus, or with Paris who carries her off to Troy. Well, I'd say the ancient artist who painted the mural knew the play and clearly put the lion at Paris's feet.
For more about the archeological discovery, click here.

Be the first to comment