(ξόανον; xóanon). Greek term, attested from the 6th cent. BC, for gods' images (derived from ξεῖν/xeín, 'to polish') made of wood, ivory and stone, regardless of size or artistic period. The modern archaeological usage, however, often limits the term xoanon to an ancient cult figure made of wood, which goes back to the restricted use of the term by Pausanias, who has handed down most of the information on xoana.
Cite this pageNeudecker, Richard (Rome), “Xoanon”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 29 May 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e12213690>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510
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