A galea is a kind of Roman helmet and, as it happens, also a genus of rodents. To clarify, she’s named for the helmet.
There’s no real connection between her name and her historical function, expect maybe the not completely illogical thought process of “smart, brain, head, helmet”. It was an attempt to cling to the idea of Amazons being named for weapons and armour.
I was actually a little surprised to find that “Galea” is spelled with an eta (η), at least in Ancient Greek…
A in Greek is usually alpha (α). Eta is somewhere between an English e and a, sort of making an “uh” sound. As in “γαλέη”, which goes like “gal–ay–uh“
Now, since Galea is Eudaimonia‘s daughter, I used the same background colour and border, like I did for Fulminata and Sibylla — who, you’ll recall, are sisters.
And, of course, being the daughter of history’s most famous scholar, Galea is “Filia Doctrinae.” Filia is “daughter.” Doctrina is the root for “doctrine”, but is a little more broad than the English word. Literally, it means something like “the thing teachers do” and translates to some variation of “teaching”, or “instruction.”
For this one, I actually did the Ancient Greek pot-painting method of “outline first, details painted in later.” I don’t think it necessarily helped, expect maybe with the face.
I sort of reversed the things she’s holding and her two emblems from the first version. She was holding a quill and a book and her emblems were an owl and wolf. Now, she’s got the owl and wolf and the quill and book — though, given the Greco-Roman angle, it would perhaps be more plausible for that to be a wax writing tablet than a book proper.
The owl is both associated with Athena (and by extent the polis of Athens) and generally held up as emblems of wisdom in folklore and culture. Similarly, the wolf is associated with Apollo, who is himself associated with art, music, and rational pursuits — in fact, Aristotle‘s school at Athens was called the Lyceum, which literally means something like “place of the Wolf-God.”
For what it’s worth, wolves do have a general association with intelligence, though often in a negative way. For example, in the opening canto of the Inferno, Dante is accosted by a leopard (or some other kind of vaguely-defined variegated cat), a lion, and a wolf, representing the three kinds of sin in Dante’s Hell: Incontinence (basically, failing to do good), Violence (fairly self-explanatory, but not always physical or literal in Dante), and Fraud (actively twisting the intellect to do evil).
The wolf is described as the most dangerous of the three, reflecting that Fraud is the worst class of sin in Dante’s Hell.
Now, apparently, some commentators assign Indolence to the wolf and Fraud to the leopard, which, frankly doesn’t make sense to me. Either symbolically or based on the narrative of the poem.
Admittedly, I’m not sure how to fit this into symbolism that makes sense in the context of Realmgard. So at this point, I decree, in my official capacity as The Author, that wolves are well-known symbols of wisdom and intellect in Realmgard.
Speaking of doing the outline first and filling in the details later…
Well, at this point, I can’t mathematically fail the assignment…
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One thought on “RealmgART: Red-Figure Galea”
Interesting and informative article about the backstory of the character Galea and the symbolism of her emblems.