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Look Inside Temple Decoration and Cultural Identity in the Archaic Greek World

Temple Decoration and Cultural Identity in the Archaic Greek World
The Metopes of Selinus


  • Date Published: August 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107689374

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About the Authors
  • In this book, Clemente Marconi provides a new interpretation for the use of figural decoration in Greek temples of the archaic period, through a study of the archaic metopes of Selinus. The study of figural decoration on Greek temples has traditionally been identified with the broader study of architectural sculpture. At the same time, the original, articulated appearance of archaic temples has been fragmented into a discussion of individual types. Marconi argues against both the typological approach and the tendency to investigate style and iconography as two aspects unrelated to the cultural and social background within which temple decoration operated. He explores the relation between style and function and examines the function of figures on temples within the cultural and social context of the communities for which these images were created. Critical to this exploration are the reintegration of the figures into the fabric of buildings, the space of archaic sanctuaries and cities, and the ritual dimension that represented the context for the reception of the figural decoration of Greek temples.

    • Provides a new interpretation of the use of figural decoration in Greek temples of the archaic period
    • Gives a new interpretation of Greek monumental architecture in archaic Sicily
    • Offers a new view of the metopes of Selinus, one of the most important documents of Greek temple decoration in all the Greek world
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '[Marconi's] control of ancient literary sources, historiographies, relevant mythologies, the archaeological and archival record, the contents of dusty storerooms, and iconographic and stylistic comparanda is remarkable. The reintegration of the Selinus metopes into the fabric of the architecture, the broader contextualizations of temple into sanctuary and polis, and of the figural décor into concepts of civic identity and of the individual's place in society, open whole new avenues of research.' Journal of Hellenic Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107689374
    • length: 370 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 178 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • contains: 130 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Figure and temple in the Greek world until the beginning of the late archaic period (ca. 700–530 BC)
    2. Monumental architecture and colonization in archaic Sicily
    3. Selinus: history and urban development of an archaic Greek colony
    4. The small metopes
    5. Temple C and its metopes
    6. Gods, heroes, and monsters: the cultural identity of a Greek colony in the West.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Hellenistic World and Philosophy
  • Author

    Clemente Marconi, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
    Clemente Marconi is the James R. McCredie Professor in the History of Greek Art and Archaeology at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. A scholar of Greek art and archaeology, he is the author of Selinunte: Le metope dell' Heraion and editor of Greek Painted Pottery: Images, Contexts, and Controversies.

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