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Dick Osseman | all galleries >> Antakya Archaeological Museum >> Four seasons mosaic > Antakya mosaic Four Seasons
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Antakya mosaic Four Seasons

Antakya mosaic Four Seasons

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From the "Four Seasons" mosaic. The mosaic, inv. 1018, is from Harbiye, from the second century A.D. It's named after the winged figures representing the seasons. This is "Hippolyus and Phaedra" (between Winter and Spring), the man is Hippolytus. Phaedra to the left, with a servant in the middle.

In Hippolytus, a play by Euripides, (428 BC; Greek Hippolytos) Aphrodite, the goddessof love and sexual desire, destroys Hippolytus, a lover of outdoor sports who is repelled by sexual passion and who is instead devotedto the virgin huntress Artemis. Aphrodite makes Phaedra, wife of Theseus, the king of Athens, fall violently in love with her stepson Hippolytus. Phaedra is deeply ashamed of her illicit passion, but when Hippolytus angrily rejects herlove she is so mortified by his denunciation that she cannot forbear from falsely accusing him of rape before she kills herself. Her accusation provokes Theseus into pronouncing a curse on his son that eventually leads to Hippolytus' death. But Artemis reveals Hippolytus' innocence before he dies, and the young man is able to forgive his father, thus freeing Theseus from the dreadful stain of bloodguilt.

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