This chapter argues that the ways in which the ancient Greeks conceived of their dead and the ‘after-death’ share a common denominator in terms of perception. The first claim is that the world of the dead, imperceptible as it seems, is yet rendered highly perceptual by its articulation in language that reflects the experience of the living in their encounters with death and the dead. The imaginary realm of death thus involves haptic, acoustic, and visual sensations, even if only in a negative or privative sense, as the real realm of death is cold, immovable like a stone, sightless, dark, and silent. In the last section, the chapter considers the reverse process whereby imaginary projections regarding the dead, based on cultural or social norms, can shape how the dead are perceived. It focuses upon the ‘marriage-death’ metaphor, whereby dying is presented as an act of ‘engagement to’, or ‘marrying’, the lord of the dead by a young woman. While scholarship has usually explained the association in terms of the mythical abduction of Kore-Persephone, the author argues that it is figurative, based upon experiential similarities between the two transitions.
|Title of host publication||The Imagination of the Mind in Classical Athens|
|Subtitle of host publication||Forms of Thought|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||23|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2023|