The Bust of Athena is a sculpture that was developed by the Romans in 2nd century. Athena has been used to symbolize the goddess warfare and wisdom. It is believed that she would give warriors wisdom and struggle lucks and that was obtained from her strategies. 2000 years earlier than the Mycenaean culture begun, the Indo-European culture that was once highly influenced by the Athen’s beliefs used to be prevalent in the East. On the contrary, Kali did an Indian sculpture that represented the Greatest Goddess, filled with divine energy to fight evil. Both the artists have made crucial contribution to cultures of the East. The essay will tackle some of the similarities that the two different arts have as well as their differences. The contributions that both have towards influencing the culture of people of the East will also be explored.
Athena is a Greek_x0092_s sculpture with a Roman culture made in the minor aspects of Asia. The bust of Athena is a representation of the goddess from to head to the waste line. The statue of the bust is wholly intact if not for the small disjoint that exists between the neck and the body (Alen 45). The helmet and the observable bronze in the body parts are indicative of corrosion. The bust of Athena has a solid neck and head whereas the body is not only hollow but also has an open back which is flat on view. The statue has two separately attached arms to the body. The bronze made sculpture completely lacks a left arm while the right arm is seen to have no hands, and ends at the wrist. The helmet on her head is of a Corinthian origin. Her nose is long and thin next to her parted lips that show that the goddess is speaking (Allen 65). Athena has an incised eyelids and drilled pupils.
Kali is also made of a bronze sculpture dating back to 16th century. She is believed to have been made from the valley of Kulu in India. The statue has a presumably beautiful face with eight hands holding a sword, noose, trident, skill cup, shield, and a drum. Kali_x0092_s hair is spread out and her separated lips show that she is smiling (Bandyopadhyay 70). Kali could go to the battlefield with a motive of destroying all the demons with her eternal power. The neck and the body is a solid figure with no disconnection at any points.
Both the bust of Athena and Kali are women who are believed to be influential in the cultural norms and custody of the Indians. They both represent a symbol of belief in which Athena is believed to be the source of wisdom and war winning strategies while Kali_x0092_s sculpture is attributed with divine power. Moreover, all the two goddesses brought forth fortune to the believers. It was thus vital to have a community believe in the two for utmost fortune. The Indo-European culture mainly advocated the Green origin Athena while the native Indians clung to Kali whose symbol was widely known across India and widely appreciated.
The two goddesses were to be worshiped for the favours to be seen through. The Athens believed that Athena was never a goddess of war and would never be carried to war sites, but she would provide strategies that the warriors would use to win the battles. Moreover, she gave wisdom to all her believers. She could provide wits with which soldiers would use in war fields as well that which the leaders would apply in solving day to day practices (Bandyopadhyay 74). Kali on the other hand represented four other gods described as Mother of Universe, Devine Mother, Adi Parashaktu and Shakta Hindu. The goddesses are still worshiped by the Indians to date. Her worship is a sign of seeking all the protection that the four could give. It is also a sign of respect to all the gods just through worshiping Kali.
Kali observes the concept of time as a factor that contributes to changes in nature to bring forth death and life. The two demons that attacked goddess of Durga were killed by Kali. The story illustrates that Durga was attacked by the two demons and she remained powerless. She became furious until her facial expression darkened (Bandyopadhyay 77). The dark turn of her face indicated that she became angered at the two demons and communicated to the overall powerful Kali. In no time, Kali appeared on her forehead and fought the two demons to death. From the contexts of the story, Kali is seen to be sort for by the other goddesses for assistance. The fact that she saved a goddess out of an imminent danger shows that she is the superior and most powerful in the ranks of goddesses and worthy of worship (Guinee 36).
Athena and Kali have their origin affiliated to the religious practices that were taking place in the areas. They are all goddesses who are to be worshipped for fortune of their believers. Indians believe that Kali is the greatest goddess who has all the powers to conquer any form of evil. They also believe that Kali was above all the other gods and goddesses that she was capable of unravelling all other mysteries (Guinee 46). Athena was also well founded on religion. The warriors would seek wisdom to develop strategies that they would use to win battles. The warriors would consult the goddess so that they would grant them intelligence that they would use in wars. The cult was mainly evident when Athena had to be consulted during the times when Romans were losing battles to Spartacus and his soldiers who were mainly free slaves. The Greeks also made prayers to Athena to give them knowledge and skills that they would apply in the Trojan War (Guinee 54). They finally managed to take control of the most secure city believed to have some of the strongest troops at that time.
Kali had the divine power to fight and destroy all the demons that were present in the Indians land. She would kill them and lick their blood before it would fall on the ground as an indicative sign of taking their powers. Most of Kali_x0092_s sculpt are made when she is seen to have a red tongue that protrudes out of her mouth and she is smiling at the same time (Guinee 63). Such images show that Kali was happy to protect and defend her believers in their hours of need. Moreover, the red protruded tongue shows that she had actually drunk blood of the demons so that she would become stronger and to nullify any form of curse that the demons would bring to the Indians land. Kali and Athena are symbols of protection to both the societies (Guinee 67). They are worshiped because they are believed to have eternal powers and abilities beyond human approach.
Kali has influenced the Indian culture to date. The goddess is worshiped with utmost loyalty and Indians believe that they can only be protected by the goddess. The belief must have been influenced from the ancient times in the 16th century when Indians needed protection from demons that were then attacking even the then goddesses (Lancaster 336). Athena is constantly changing to suit situations that were likely to happen to the Greek. Her statues are painted with different colours; orange, yellow, golden and green, with each having a symbolic representation of Athena_x0092_s perception. Historians recorded that soldiers would grow more confidence when they believed that the goddess_x0092_s favour was on their side. They further documented that the symbol and belief on Athena gave the soldiers morale to fight and defend the Greek_x0092_s at the bets of their abilities without fear.
The statues also have symbols of love especially when, with the Kali who is molten with her breast out and a beautiful face. Her lips are also separated to make a smiley gesture. The art shows that Kali was a lady who loved her people and felt good at all the times that she took part in protecting them (Lancaster 338). Paintings have been made while she is at the battle field where she is seen to step on enemies who have threatened to kill her beloved people. Kali would know when her people were in danger especially from demonic attacks and would come to their rescue upon calling her name. The same statue has elements of politics in defending the contribution of the female gender towards taking part in defence. Kali is a motivational figure to all the Indian ladies and women that protection of the Indians and their culture required the participation of all genders without discrimination (Lancaster 339). Athena was also a war a lady who not only accompanied men to battle fields but also ensured that they protected their home s when men were out to fight in the name of Geek kings.
Athena was the first statue to be formed in the early 2nd century and therefore paved a way that most believers would use to represent their goddesses. Athena was by then within an Asian minority locality within which they conducted numerous trading activities with the Indians. Trade is one of the most common ways through which cultures are borrowed across the world. Bronze sculpture was initially a Roman art in the early 2nd century (Lancaster 340). The Greeks moved across Asia trading with communities and at the same time displacing some of their war enemies whose land they had conquered. The silk trade is believed by historians to be one of the areas where Indians were able to borrow the culture from the Romans in the 16th century. The Silk Road that the Romans were using during the trade is believed to have greatly contributed towards India and other Asian countries to borrow the culture which they currently use in sculptures of their important belief figures. China and Japanese sculpture are also believed to have borrowed from the Athena sculptures secondary to trading activities that was then present in the region (Lancaster 340).
The female sculpture of Athena is figurative and one of the influences that have widely been copied across Asia. The sculpture was to show both beauty and at the same time configure strong messages to the believers. The female figure was one of the beautiful images that most of the Asian cultures adopted. Hinduism for instance embraces the beauty that is portrayed by Kali as a goddess of war (Lancaster 341). Her image does not only show her beauty to the external world but also has a significant meaning to the Indians. Athena being a woman who was believed to be behind the success and strength of the then Roman Empire was a challenge to most of the Asian countries. Analysts have revealed that her gender challenged the other Asian countries to start involving their women in affairs of their countries so that they could also realize the same degree of change. It is then that Indians begun embracing their women and allowing them to take part in helping their societies. Hinduism rose from the fact that most of the people believed in Kali who acted as a symbol of unity and protection to the Indians (Lancaster 342).
Historians also believe that the story of Athena contributed largely in explaining the role of women in most societies. Historical studies have revealed that most of the Asian countries had their women perceived as instruments of male satisfactions and their responsibilities were to do domestic chores and to parent children. Women were perceived as inferior and under the control of men. Athena was a woman who at one point took part in wars and was now very knowledgeable to provide soldiers of the greatest empire then with enough intelligence to help them defeat their enemies (Petraglia, and Bettini 712). Indians and other Asian nations realized that they would achieve more if they recognized the roles played by their women in making their societies better. The village of Kulu in India was the first to realize the potential the Kali brought in fighting threatening demons that were feared even by the then goddesses. Urban development analysts have associated involvement of women in the labour force in all economical with urbanization and development of most towns and cities in the world. Asian countries, India included, may have applied the concept they borrowed from the Romans in realizing their current developmental status (Petraglia, and Bettini 715).
Athena has more influence to the Indian culture as a proof of the cultural borrowing. Kali is a female statue just like Athena was. This is the first proof that Athena had great influence to the culture of Indian. She is embraced as a goddess who is believed to have divine power which she could use to fight for her Indian people. Athena gave intellectual information that could enable sons and fathers who were soldiers to get back to their families and win battles against their enemies (Petraglia, and Bettini 716). Kali_x0092_s statue is made of bronze just like that of Athena. The Romans were the first culture to have their goddess of war and wisdom made of bronze. Her make in the 2nd century was actually during the bronze age, a time when it was one of the most valued and expensive commodities. The Indians wanted to bring out the actual figure of what their greatest goddess would look and so moulding Kali to have all the eight hands, a standing-up hair and a uncovered breasts was easily made possible by use of Bronze owing to its malleability quality (Petraglia, and Bettini 717). Moreover, Bronze is known for durability and could be effective in preserving the Indian culture.
Nevertheless, there are paintings where Athena was made of Silk. Kali is also made of silk in some art works especially the ones where she is actually seen in the battle field, with a red tongue after killing and drinking the blood of all the demons she killed. Athena is also occasionally seen to be made of silk. This is an indication that the Indians did a lot of borrowing during the trade (Petraglia, and Bettini 717). Athena was highly valued by the Romans as their goddess to whom the fate of their soldiers would lie. She could also give wisdom to the leaders so that they could make decisions that would serve societies best. Kali also has a similarity in this context, where, she is valued by the Hindus culture and worshipped by all the Indians as a symbol of protection against evil that might bring harm to Indians.
Athena has not only set examples but will continue to set many examples to many Asian countries given that it has preserved the Roman culture for many centuries. Indo-European culture mainly embraced the teachings of Athena in India and was then spread to many Asian countries. The art has since then been embraced by most of the Asian cultures in representing their zodiac as well as historical monuments that would preserve their cultures (Wace 22). The Chinese have used the cult in making images of their zodiac and prominent ancient statues that are still available to date. Japanese culture has also statues that were then available in the Japanese Empire as a historical remembrance before it collapsed.
Kali is not only a goddess of worship to the Indian people but also a symbol of unity and protection that brought people together in harmony. One of the teachings from her story is that Indians must love one another and join their forces in worshiping her so that they could eradicate all the evil powers that could bring harm to them (Wace 24). Athena has had a great impact in the Asian art culture. Even after the fall of the Roman Empire, the cult is still left to thrive because it was widely borrowed across China. Most of the current museums have bronze moulded statues as preservation of cultures that historically explain the belief and origin of particular beliefs. The statues are currently making countries huge income revenues and at the same time useful for cultural and historical education (Wace 28).
In conclusion, Athena and Kali explain so much about the Indian and Roman cultures. The statues are not only symbols but holy representation of theoretical beliefs of the Romans and the Indians respectively. Each factor of the statue is symbolic and important in a way for actual teaching of its doctrines. Some of the observable features such as smiles, head covering and hands represent small sections of theological teachings that have logical impacts in the religion of the two cultures. The Roman culture was the earliest to adopt the use of bronze to make Athena. The material is durable and was of high quality at that time. The culture has been widely spread across Asia such that it continues to thrive even when the empires collapse. The evidence of borrowing and similarities that Athena and Kali have are a proof that the Indians borrowed the culture from Romans.
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