Statues in Roman Society: Representation and Response by Peter Stewart

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By Peter Stewart

Statues have been all around the Roman global. They served as gadgets of cult, honors to emperors and noblemen, and memorials to the useless. Combining shut consciousness to person Roman texts and pictures with an extraordinary wide viewpoint in this awesome phenomenon, Statues in Roman Society explains the impression that each one forms of statuary had at the old population.

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Additional info for Statues in Roman Society: Representation and Response (Oxford Studies in Ancient Culture & Representation)

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61 The various ‘denotations of life’ are invoked in both literary and artistic portrayals of statues. Yet there is a fundamental diVerence between these two forms of representation. A literary account may inform us, explicitly, or perhaps implicitly with references to signs of life, that a statue is outstandingly realistic. We may be told of the sculptor’s prowess or the artefact’s ability to deceive. In these cases we have no direct encounter with the statue. Its illusionistic eVect or lifelike features are conveyed to us by the author.

Pro dom. 2 (A statue among the ancients was called indisciminately simulacrum, imago, signum. Cicero pro Dom. ) The passage in question is perhaps the only single piece of evidence that might be exploited to show that those three words meant the same thing, but it is a diYcult passage to which we shall return. 3 Raimund Daut bases his detailed survey of statue-vocabulary on the works of Cicero, but his conclusions are generally matched in other, later texts (though naturally the subject-matter, genre and style lead to considerable variation in the frequency of particular words).

9 24 defining statues however, the very broad connotations of imago and the formulaic, almost idiomatic character of this very common expression prevent us from specifying the meaning so precisely. There is no reason why the words should be taken to refer to two quite diVerent kinds of art rather than statues alone. 12 This apparent diVraction of the very concept of the statue is not as problematic as it first seems. It is certainly the case that diVerent kinds of statuary could be viewed as fundamentally the same sort of thing.

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