The Nereid Monument relief sculptures in review
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The Nereid Monument is a 4th century funerary monument from Xanthos, Lycia. It is richly adorned with sculptural decorations. The sculptural reliefs of the Nereid Monument display a fusion of local Lycian traditions with stylistic and iconographic influences from Greece and Persia. These reliefs also carry a strong propagandistic message. This thesis aims to investigate the meaning embedded in these relief sculptures, through a historical analysis. The introduction summarizes the previous sculptural and iconographic studies conducted on the Nereid Monument. A detailed investigation of the Lycian history from 6th to 4th centuries B.C. based on epigraphic, literary, archaeological and numismatic evidence is presented in the first chapter. The sculptural decorations are presented according to their reconstructed placement on the monument. The blocks constituting the relief sculptures are catalogued and described. Each scene and iconographic detail represented on the reliefs is discussed through an analysis of the comparanda material. The cultural, political, religious and military propaganda illustrated in the relief sculptures is discussed in the eighth chapter. In the conclusion the significance of these propaganda messages is investigated within the context of Lycian history.