Laodikai and the Goddess Nikephoros

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2007

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Abstract En Fr

Panayotis Iossif, Catharine Lorber, Laodikai and the goddess Nikephoros. Bronze coins of Antiochos IV shows a goddess Nicephorus who shares in the king's epiphany. She is a rare form of Aphrodite, previously associated in the deification of two Hellenistic queens, including the Seleukid Stratonike. The older cult of Aphrodite Nikephoros at Argos characterized her as a matrimonial deity. Her presence on coins or seals of scattered Seleukid cities suggests the establishment of a state cult for a female relation of Antiochos IV, either his wife, Laodike IV, or his mother, Laodike III. The former was the first Seleukid queen portrayed on coinage ; the visual evidence supports the theory that she was the daughter of Antiochos III and married her three brothers in succession. Laodike III had already been the object of an ephemeral (?) state cult ordained by Antiochos III and was worshipped as Aphrodite Laodike in a city cult of lasos. In the east, the Nikephoros was probably understood as the Sumerian goddess Nanaia/Nanâ, assimilated to Aphrodite and Artemis.

Les Laodices et la déesse Nicéphore. L'article traite de l'identité de la divinité Nicéphore sur les bronzes d' Antiochos IV provenant des différents ateliers séleucides. À travers un processus de comparaisons iconographiques - notamment avec les empreintes de sceaux - et religieuses - le rôle assumé par Aphrodite dans le cadre du culte des reines hellénistiques -, l'étude examine la possibilité d'une représentation d'une reine séleucide sous les traits de la déesse Nicéphore. Deux possibilités sont considérées : Laodice III, la mère d'Antiochos IV, et Laodice IV, son épouse-sœur. Les documents iconographiques et les témoignages religieux favorisent une identification avec la reine-mère. La circulation orientale de ces monnaies permet d'examiner la possibilité d'une identification de la Nicéphore à Nanaia/Nâna, déesse assimilée à Aphrodite et à Artémis. Les bronzes à la Nicéphore démontrent la complexité de la lecture de l'iconographie royale séleucide, destinée à des milieux ciblés et des contextes culturels différents.

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