The Classical Trophy: From Ritual Offering to Regal Ornament
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This thesis examines the transformations of meaning, function, and variations of anthropomorphic forms as the trophy evolves from its Greek origins on the battlefield to its broader use on numerous monuments, royal palaces, and civil buildings throughout Europe. The ephemeral nature of the materials used in its creation, the contingency of its location, and its ritualistic character are integral components of the trophy in ancient Greece. In its development over time, however, the use and meaning of the trophy became increasingly fluid, taking on a variety of forms that plot on a spectrum of meanings and functions that ranges from the specific to the generic. The anthropomorphic trophy, still a strong and prevailing symbol of victory today, eventually became a faint echo of what it once was, expanding far beyond the strictly defined votive of the past.