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Roman Imperial Statue Bases

from Augustus to Commodus

A part of the series Aarhus Studies in Mediterranean Antiquity (7;Acta Jutlandica 80,2; Humanistisk serie 78) og the subject area


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658 pages ill.
Hardback
ISBN 87 7934 146 2

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About the book

The study of Roman imperial statues has made remarkable strides in the last two decades. Yet the field's understandable focus on extant portraits has made it difficult to generalize accurately. Most notably, bronze was usually the material of choice, but its high scrap value meant that such statues were inevitably melted down, so that almost all surviving statues are of stone.

By examining the much larger and more representative body of statue bases, Jakob Munk Højte is here able to situate the statues themselves in context. This volume includes a catalogue of 2,300 known statue bases from nearly 800 sites throughout the Roman Empire. Moreover, since it covers a period of 250 years, it allows for the first time consistent geographic, chronological and commemorative patterns to emerge.

Højte finds among other things that imperial portrait statues are connected chiefly with urban centres; that they were raised continuously during a given reign, with a higher concentration a couple years after accession; that a primary purpose was often to advertise a donor's merits; and that they increased sixfold in frequency from Augustus to Hadrian, an increase attributable to community dedications.

Sanne Lind Hansen

Sanne

MA in ethnography and classical archeology, and trained from the Danish School of Journalism. Sanne works primarily with the travel books series Vide verden and publications in anthropology, archeology and early history. She is also responsible for foreign sales and commission agreements, and is the longest serving editor at the Press. A generation ago, she was employed at Antiquities at the National Museum.

Sanne Lind Hansen

Editor

Telephone: 53 55 07 59

slh@unipress.au.dk

Press reviews

Elizabeth Bartman Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"..brings a new dimension to the study of Roman portraiture by examining the bases on which statues of the emperor once stood...his conclusions offer an important supplement to the corpus of Roman portraiture as conventionally defined - that is, exclusively by the statues themselves. The book's many graphs and meticulous catalogue entries for the individual bases [...] will prove to be a valuable foundation for further scholarly work in a range of disciplines."

Ralf Krumeich Gnomon

"In seinem Buch hat Højte mit grossem Aufwand wichtiges Material zu Verbreitung und Aufstellungskontexten römischer Kaiserstatuen in einem umfangreichen, zum Teil sicherlich substantiellen Katalog zusammengestellt und vorwiegend statistich aufgewertet."

Werner Eck KLIO 89, 2007

"Mann kann festhalten: Das Buch stellt wichtige Fragen, geht diese auch im Grundsatz richtig an, vor allem in der umfassenden Einbeziehung des Inschriftenmaterials."

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