The famous statue of Nike of Samothrace is introduced as an illustrative example of the image of the winged female—a figure that is found as far back as the Paleolithic era, and as recently as the twentieth century, across the world’s geographical, religious, and cultural regions. Examples from these varied sources will be discussed in depth throughout the book. The motif of the flying female or winged woman, and the tales told about them, embody themes including heroism and womanhood; the conflict between freedom and domesticity; understandings of transcendence versus immanence; and ancient fears about shape-shifting, especially from animal to human and back again.
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