Egypt in Italy: Visions of Egypt in Roman Imperial Culture
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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.
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last days of the cult, in which artworks mediated religious experience. According to the excavators, the damage to the pharaoh was the result of a Christian suppression of the sanctuary, during which the statue was torn down and hacked into large fragments. Although there are areas of particular damage to the face and head, the surface otherwise maintains a high sheen and polish, lending credence to the view that the damage was not the result of natural wear. In the excavators’ view, the
cuirass of the Primaporta, and eventually by Augustus in his Res Gestae. 63 Figure 2.7. The bronze head of Augustus from Meroe (c. 27 BCE). Photo credit: � Trustees of the British Museum. This conflict, at its core, stemmed from a failure of the Ethiopians to recognize Augustus’ regency. One sore point was that even as the Ethiopians tore down statues of the emperor, they acted as if the nomarchs were the leaders of the region. The desecration of the statues was therefore a challenge
sanctuaries to the Egyptian gods in Italy. 4 The sanctuary stood in the heart of an old and busy neighborhood in Pompeii, near the Porta Stabiana, the public theaters, and the so-called Forum Triangulare. 5 That it shares a party wall with the Large Theater provides a terminus post quem of the second century BCE, though not a fixed date for its initial construction. Some scholars believe that an existing Republican-period structure was expanded in the early first century CE, annexing space
complementary) explanations of the decision to replace this dedication: first, because Norbanus Sorex was an eminent member of the community, possibly a high-ranking official within the cult’s hierarchy, and, second, because his portrait made an impressive visual impact. It was notable foremost for its prestigious material, one of only a few bronze portraits known from Pompeii. 54 The sanctuary kept portraits of and dedications given by other members, too, though they lack inscriptions and