The chariot of Triptolemos
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The story of Triptolemos is connected with the myth of Demeter. This goddess, in gratitude for the hospitality received from the parents of Triptolemos during the difficult quest for her missing daughter, Persephone, gave the young man an unusual chariot in order to help him reveal the mystery of agriculture to people and popularise this skill among them. That special moment was commemorated on vases produced in the red-figure technique in the fifth century BC and later artists repeatedly undertook this theme. However, an interesting difference in the way Triptolemos’s chariot is depicted appears on the subsequent art works. On ancient vases, Triptolemos is seated on a chariot with winged wheels, whereas two snakes are slithering beside. The following works of art depict a chariot dragged by winged dragons. The analysis of selected texts of ancient authors shows that the growing tendency to portray the chariot of Triptolemos with dragons is not justified by literary sources and is dictated by the imagination of the artist.
Anthropologist and classical philologist. Research interests: Greek classical literature, Roman literature of Cicero’s period, Renaissance literature of Florentian authors. Publications: Platońska ‘epanodos’, czyli niezwykła podróż duszy. Rozwój koncepcji, „Nowy Filomata” IX (2005), z. 1, s. 11–21; Cykl odna- wiania się świata, czyli platoński rok kosmiczny u Cycerona, „Collectanea Philo- logica” IX (2006), s. 79–83; Sen, czyli platoński czas dialogu z ‘demonem’ [in:] Kategorie i funkcje czasu w ujęciu starożytnych (Temporis categoriae ac munera ab antiquis auctoribus expressa), J. Czerwińska (edd.), Wydawnictwo UŁ, Łódź 2009, s. 143–153
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