Divine Rape as Funeral Motif: Example of Stela from Viminacium
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The theme of rape in the decorative program of the stela of M. Valerius Speratus from Viminacium and his wife Lucia Aphrodisia is expressed in the composition of the Rape of Kore and the Rape of Europa. This paper attempts to understand the said myths and their pictorial representations as funeral symbols of the after-death journey of the soul. Possible geopolitical meaning of the myth of the Rape of Europa has also been taken into consideration. The stela from Viminacium have also been viewed in relation to the monuments with the similar representations in the neighboring Danubian provinces.