Reading Objects in the Contact Zone
How to cite this chapter

Tevebring, Frederika: Baubo on the Pig, in: Troelenberg, Eva-Maria, Schankweiler, Kerstin and Messner, Anna Sophia (Eds.): Reading Objects in the Contact Zone, Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2021 (Heidelberg Studies on Transculturality, Vol. 9).

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ISBN 978-3-96822-049-9 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-96822-050-5 (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-3-96822-051-2 (Softcover)

Published 10.06.2021.

Frederika Tevebring

Baubo on the Pig

Travel across Disciplines

Abstract In the mid-nineteenth century, the Altes Museum in Berlin ac­quired a small terracotta statuette of a nude woman riding on a pig. Al­though it is likely from Ptolemaic Egypt, little can be said for certain about the object—which makes its name, “Baubo,” particularly curious. The ob­ject, after all, resembles a character by the same name in Goethe’s Faust. But was, in this case, Goethe inspired by antiquity, or rather antiquity inspired by Goethe? By untangling Baubo’s modern biography, this chapter critically illustrates the mutual influences between ancient studies, litera­ture, and collecting in the nineteenth century.

Keywords Faust I Walpurgis Scene, Baubo, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, James Millingen, Instituto di corrispondenza archeologica