Inscriptions and Iconography in the Monuments of the Thracian Rider

by Nora Dimitrova

Hesperia, Volume 71, Issue 2
Page(s): 209-229
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3182007
Year: 2002


The Thracian rider monuments are either funerary or dedicated to various deities. The inscriptions provide the only certain way to identify the deities or the monument's type. After examining the relationship between inscriptions and iconography, I suggest in the present study that the horseman is an iconographical convention for a god/hero, and that his iconography is borrowed from Greek art. Interpreting the horseman as a conventional image obviates the current view that he represents a multifunctional god conflated with nearly every Greek, Roman, Thracian, or Eastern divinity, and produces a better understanding of both the monument type and cult.