Mangieri to discuss new book on sacrificial maidens

Dr. Anthony Mangieri, associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History and coordinator of the minor in women, gender and sexuality studies, will discuss his new book on sacrificial maidens as part of the McKillop Library’s faculty lecture series.

“The Princess and the Knife: Virgin Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Myth and Art” will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, March 5 in the library’s special collections room. A reception will follow the presentation.

The Trojan War begins and ends with the sacrifice of a virgin princess. The gruesome killing of a woman must have captivated ancient people, because the myth of the sacrificial virgin resonates powerfully in the arts of ancient Greece and Rome. Most scholars agree that the Greeks and Romans did not practice human sacrifice, so why then do the myths of virgin sacrifice appear persistently in art and literature for over a millennium?

Published in October 2017, Mangieri‚Äôs book, “Virgin Sacrifice in Classical Art: Women, Agency, and the Trojan War,” seeks to answer this question.

In exploring the representations of Iphigeneia and Polyxena in Greek, Etruscan and Roman art, Mangieri offers a broader cultural history that reveals what people in the ancient world were seeking in these stories. The result is an interdisciplinary study that offers new interpretations on the meaning of the sacrificial virgin as a cultural and ideological construction. This is the first book-length study of virgin sacrifice in ancient art and the first to provide an interpretive framework within which to understand its imagery.

Mangieri holds a Ph.D. in the history of ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture from Emory University.

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