An Analysis Into The Persona Of Knidia
Gül E. Durna
Keywords: Knidia, Statue, History, Art, Knidos
From Visibles to Invisibles- This study is an examination into the religious significance and importance of Knidia, as a cult statue of Aphrodite, the masterpiece of Praxiteles (the 4th. century B.C.) which had been regarded as a unique example of the idealized heavenly beauty in the history of art throughout the ages. To illuminate and evaluate the divine character lying behind the appearance of the masterpiece under the guidance of the arhaeological and mythological data by an analytical approach are the chief objectives of the research. The data clearly indicate that it was the sociopsychological needs of the worshiping group that determined the characteristics of the divine personality in question. Such needs which arose under the pressure of worldly realities in life ascribed more than one role to Kinida. Archaeological findings expose her as a quite colourful figure diverging from her character well entrenched in Greek mythology and folklore; in other words she appears to have been involved in more than love and sexuality. It is clearly understood that Knidia was revered not only as a fertility goddess by the inhabitants of Knidos but also as a divine power granting unity and prosperity to society and family. Apart from these divinely roles, she was also worhipped as a goddess providing security and stability in the basic activities which constituted the backbone of the economic life on the one hand, and as a supernatural power protecting the people against any danger which threathened the living resources on the other hand. The divine persona of Knidia which was shaped within a polytheistic religious structure and developed on a fatalist understanding and thought brings a universal religious phenomenon, "Mother Goddess", to mind.