Cacus and Marsyas in Etrusco-Roman Legend. (PMAA-44)

Cacus and Marsyas in Etrusco-Roman Legend. (PMAA-44)

Jocelyn Penny Small
Copyright Date: 1982
Pages: 208
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zvpkg
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    Cacus and Marsyas in Etrusco-Roman Legend. (PMAA-44)
    Book Description:

    This book discusses how Greek and South Italian vase paintings of the musical contest between Apollo and Marsyas became the model for Etruscan representations of Cacus ambushed by the Vibennae brothers, two Etruscan heroes of the sixth century B.C. The study demonstrates that the Etruscans knowingly adapted Greek iconographic forms to represent their own legends.

    Originally published in 1982.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5696-1
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xiii-2)
  5. I THE METAMORPHOSIS OF CACU
    (pp. 3-36)

    The formation of Rome’s legendary history took several centuries. It developed not linearly, but kaleidoscopically: as the same colored pieces in a kaleidoscope can be endlessly shaken to form new designs within the basic restrictions of the glass and pieces themselves, so each Roman period would “shake” the elements in the legends of Rome to form new patterns. As the instrument can be refined by adding new colors and shapes, so the legends were elaborated with different characters and events. The stories surrounding the figure of Cacus work in this manner.

    Cacus is best known as the horrible monster in...

  6. II THE PICTORIAL EVIDENCE FOR THE RES GESTAE OF CACU
    (pp. 37-56)

    Not until the fourth century B.C. did the Etruscans and the Romans become markedly interested in their legendary past. In the François Tomb in Vulci the Etrusco-Roman story of the freeing of Caeles Vibenna becomes the equal of the Greek tale of the sacrifice of the Trojan captives by Achilles.¹ As the Greeks used their heroic tradition to symbolize contemporary events,² so the Etruscans drew upon their own legendary background to refer to their current political situation. The François Tomb preserves a pictorial view of the increasing encroachment of Rome on Etruria: the sacrifice may poignantly capture Tarquinia’s unsuccessful war...

  7. III GREEK MODELS AND ETRUSCAN LEGENDS
    (pp. 57-67)

    The natural interest of “Greek” South Italians in mainland Greek culture, as well as the abundance of Greek material discovered on Italian, and especially Etruscan, soil, helps obscure the differences between the two areas.¹ Because so many Italian artists chose Greek subjects rendered in a Greek manner, the similarities to Greek works become so overwhelming that a scholar may falsely interpret the Italian offshoots solely from a Greek stance. That is, the success of a piece depends on how well it mirrors known or surmised Greek works rather than on whether it embodies its own tradition. Yet within the koine...

  8. IV MARSYAS IN THE FORUM
    (pp. 68-92)

    Essential for the establishment of the Etruscan adaptation of a Greek pictorial model was the conversion of the two-figure group of Apollo and Marsyas into Cacu and Artile. Of the two Greek figures, Apollo would appear to be the more important, for he and Cacu resemble each other in pose, physique, and function, while Marsyas is comparable to Artile only in pose. Yet Marsyas must have had some role in the pictorial transfer beyond a suitable stance, since he, not Apollo, has been associated by Gellius with Cacus. To understand their relationship it is necessary to distinguish the two disparate...

  9. V AUGURY AND THE STATE
    (pp. 93-104)

    Cacu and Marsyas have been studied separately to establish that both were associated with divination in Italy. Because the two played their major parts during the same periods, they were subject to the same events. Nonetheless, they adapted themselves differently. Why they changed as they did, and why both were ultimately relieved of their prophetic responsibilities is partly explained by their individual natures, but can only be truly understood against the background of the historical developments of Rome of the first century B.C.; for no other period witnessed so marked a transformation in these two figures.

    According to Cicero, “the...

  10. VI CONCLUSION
    (pp. 105-111)

    Cacus and Marsyas have so far been considered separately to establish their characters and their development. How they relate to each other remains to be explored.

    The first contact between Cacu and Greek figures occurs in the late fourth century B.C. on the Etruscan mirror (App. I, no. 1) and the South Italian vases. Since Cacu was known and represented as a seer in that period, other diviners offered an appropriate model. The actual choice—Apollo of the musical contest—worked very well. The curious thing, however, was that Marsyas, not Apollo, was the one named in alliance with Cacus...

  11. APPENDIX I. REPRESENTATIONS OF CACU
    (pp. 112-123)
  12. APPENDIX II. MISATTRIBUTIONS TO CACUS
    (pp. 124-126)
  13. APPENDIX III. MARSYAS IN THE FORUM
    (pp. 127-142)
  14. ABBREVIATIONS AND SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 143-160)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 161-164)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 165-166)
  17. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)