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Document Details :

Title: Sexy Salvific Epiphanies
Subtitle: Gods, their Sleeping Lovers, and Roman Viewers in House and Tomb
Author(s): CLARKE, John R. , GUNDERSON, Jaimie
Journal: BABESCH
Volume: 96    Date: 2021   
Pages: 151-176
DOI: 10.2143/BAB.96.0.3289465

Abstract :
Between the first and fourth centuries CE, the motif of deities approaching sleeping mortals features heavily in visual representations. Prominent among these are Dionysus Approaching Ariadne, Selene Visiting Endymion, and Mars Approaching Rhea Silvia. The mortal typically appears with an arm crooked over the head, a gesture signaling erotic readiness. In Pompeian houses, interpretation of this scene depends on conventions of picture-explanation, or ekphrasis. On sarcophagi, meaning shifts to the mortal as a representation of the deceased. In translation to an early Christian context, meaning shifts again. Endymion, rendered as Jonah, reflects a love relationship between the deceased and Christ.

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