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The Social Dynamics of Roman Imperial Imagery

$33.99 (F)

Monica Hellström, Amy Russell, Julia Wilker, Nandini B. Pandey, Caillan Davenport, Benjamin Kelly, Megan Goldman-Petri, Nicolas Tran, Clare Rowan, Olivier Hekster
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  • Date Published: March 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108799720

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About the Authors
  • Images relating to imperial power were produced all over the Roman Empire at every social level, and even images created at the centre were constantly remade as they were reproduced, reappropriated, and reinterpreted across the empire. This book employs the language of social dynamics, drawn from economics, sociology, and psychology, to investigate how imperial imagery was embedded in local contexts. Patrons and artists often made use of the universal visual language of empire to navigate their own local hierarchies and relationships, rather than as part of direct communication with the central authorities, and these local interactions were vital in reinforcing this language. The chapters range from large-scale monuments adorned with sculpture and epigraphy to quotidian oil lamps and lead tokens and cover the entire empire from Hispania to Egypt, and from Augustus to the third century CE.

    • Explores the contributions of all levels of society to imperial imagery and image-making around the Mediterranean
    • Moves beyond top-down and bottom-up communication to consider peer-to-peer interactions
    • Introduces theories of social dynamics with wide potential application to the study of ancient history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘… an original and well-structured volume.’ Giovanni Alberto Cecconi, Bryn Mawr Classical

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2022
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108799720
    • length: 308 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.498kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: Imperial imagery and the Role of Social Dynamics Monica Hellström and Amy Russell
    2. The Altars of the Lares Augusti: A View from the Streets of Augustan Iconography Amy Russell
    3. Modelling the Emperor: Representations of Power, Empire, and Dynasty among Eastern Client Kings Julia Wilker
    4. Pvblica Nvmina: Conspicuously Consuming the Imperial Image at Tomis Nandini B. Pandey
    5. Roman Emperors, Conquest, and Violence: Images from the Eastern Provinces Caillan Davenport
    6. Court Politics and Imperial Imagery in the Roman Principate Benjamin Kelly
    7. Local Aspirations and Statues of Emperors in Roman North Africa Monica Hellström
    8. The Altar of P. Perelius Hedulus in Carthage and the Social Aspects of Provincial Image-Making Megan Goldman-Petri
    9. Imagines et tituli: Epigraphic Evidence of Imperial Imagery in Meeting-Places of Roman Professional corpora Nicolas Tran
    10. The Imperial Image in Media of Mechanical Reproduction: The Tokens of Rome Clare Rowan
    11. When was an Imperial Image? Some Reflections on Roman Art and Imagery Olivier Hekster.

  • Editors

    Amy Russell, Brown University, Rhode Island
    Amy Russell is an Assistant Professor of Classics at Brown University. Until 2020 she was an Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University. Her research interests include the political history and topography of the Republic and early Empire. Her first book, The Politics of Public Space in Republican Rome (Cambridge, 2015), winner of the 2017 C.J. Goodwin Award of Merit, investigates the concept of public space and the construction and operation of the public/private divide in the Republican city of Rome. Other research projects tackle the building activity of the imperial Senate and the contributions of multiple groups to the creation of imperial imagery and ideology. She also works on Republican political history, with ongoing interests in the tribunate of the plebs and the role of the populus and the interactions between scholarship written in German and the Anglophone world. In 2018 she was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize.

    Monica Hellström, University of Durham
    Monica Hellström is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University. She works on society and culture in the high and late Roman imperial periods, with a particular interest in visual culture. She has held the Fondazione Famiglia Rausing fellowship at the Swedish Institute in Rome. Her publications range from studies on historiography to church architecture, with current research topics including the communications and monumental output of the imperial government, inscriptions in North Africa, and the arts, social dynamics, and architecture of the city of Rome.


    Monica Hellström, Amy Russell, Julia Wilker, Nandini B. Pandey, Caillan Davenport, Benjamin Kelly, Megan Goldman-Petri, Nicolas Tran, Clare Rowan, Olivier Hekster

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