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This book examines the appetite for Egyptian and Egyptian-looking artwork in Italy during the century following Rome's annexation of Aegyptus as a province. In the early imperial period, Roman interest in Egyptian culture was widespread, as evidenced by works ranging from the monumental obelisks, brought to the capital over the Mediterranean Sea by the emperors, to locally made emulations of Egyptian artifacts found in private homes and in temples to Egyptian gods. Although the foreign appearance of these artworks was central to their appeal, this book situates them within their social, political, and artistic contexts in Roman Italy. Swetnam-Burland focuses on what these works meant to their owners and their viewers in their new settings, by exploring evidence for the artists who produced them and by examining their relationship to the contemporary literature that informed Roman perceptions of Egyptian history, customs, and myths.Read more
- Richly illustrated, with eight color plates and more than ninety black and white images
- Suitable for undergraduate and advanced scholarly audiences
- Careful attention to literary and epigraphic sources makes this a useful book for philologists and ancient historians
Reviews & endorsements
'The author is to be applauded for showing how important it is to think of Roman material culture as precisely that - Roman - serving the needs and concerns of its Roman patrons, despite its historical or stylistic origins. She succeeds in her aim of integrating Egyptian-style objects into the wider history of Roman art, and in showing that context matters, with objects' meanings changing along with their owners and viewers. It is an important contribution to our wider understanding of the extent to which Roman culture in general, and Roman art in particular, was forged in the crucible of appropriation.' Zahra Newby, The Journal of Roman Studies
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- Date Published: April 2015
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107040489
- length: 261 pages
- dimensions: 261 x 185 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.79kg
- contains: 72 b/w illus. 8 colour illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: from Egypt to Italy
1. Egyptian objects, Roman contexts: appropriation and aesthetics
2. Aegyptus Redacta: Augustus' obelisks and the spoils of Egypt
3. The sanctuary of Isis in Pompeii: dedication and devotion, myth and ritual
Appendix 3.1: marble inscriptions from the sanctuary of Isis
Appendix 3.2: dipinti near the sanctuary of Isis
Appendix 3.3: multiples and adaptations: Io panel paintings
Appendix 3.4: graffiti quoting
or, adapting Ovid from Pompeii
4. Images of Egypt: land at the limit of belief
Appendix 4: the structure and argument of 'Juvenal 15'
Conclusion: the afterlives of objects.
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