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The Language of Images in Roman Art


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Table of Contents

Foreword; Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. The Greek paradigm: example for lifestyle, academic subject, or building block of imperial culture?; 3. The monuments: questions, categories, theses; 4. Battle-scenes: the tradition of Hellenistic pathos; 5. Battle-scenes: their reception in Rome; 6. State ceremonial: the tradition of Classical dignity; 7. The semantic system: the elements and their use; 8. The semantic system: premises and structure; 9. The origins of the system: dynamics and statics; 10. Language of imagery and style; 11. Formal system and style in the theory of rhetoric and of imagery; 12. Conclusion: language of imagery and culture of empire; Bibliography, supplementary bibliography.

Promotional Information

This book, first published in 2004, develops a theoretical concept for understanding the Roman art of images.

About the Author

Tonio Holscher is Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Heidelberg. His publications focus on public monuments, political iconography and urbanism in Ancient Greece and Rome and on general art and cultural theory. His is a member of various scientific institutions, including the Academia Europae, London. Anthony Snodgrass is Emeritus Professor of Classical Archaeology in the University of Cambridge whose books include Homer and the Artists (HB 0521 620228; PB 0521 629810). Jas' Elsner is Humfry Payne Senior Research Fellow in Classical Art and Archaeology in the University of Oxford. His books include Art and the Roman Viewer (HB 0521 453542; PB 0521 599520, OP) and Imperial Rome and Christian Triumph (OUP, 1998).


'... a deeply thoughtful and illuminating explanation of how the Roman adoption of Greek forms and styles worked in terms of visual communication.' Art History 'Tonio Holscher's essay, The Language of Images in Roman Art ... [is] a lucid English translation ... [and] offers perhaps the most theoretically sophisticated answer to the old question of Rome's relationship to Greece. ... Holscher's essay was a landmark in the historiography of Roman art ... Tonio Holscher's interpretative framework has withstood the test of time. With the availability of his essay to a wider audience, this powerful tool can be applied to the full range of roman art's stylistic diversity.' Times Literary Supplement '... reaches to the heart of our understanding of Roman art, addressing its dependence upon and manipulation of Greek artistic forms. ... for a short work this book is full of insights, ideas, and provocations.' Journal of Roman Studies

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