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The Freedman in Roman Art and Art History (Hardback)
  • The Freedman in Roman Art and Art History (Hardback)

The Freedman in Roman Art and Art History (Hardback)

Hardback 312 Pages / Published: 31/07/2006
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From monumental tombs and domestic decoration, to acts of benefaction and portraits of ancestors, Roman freed slaves, or freedmen, were prodigious patrons of art and architecture. Traditionally, however, the history of Roman art has been told primarily through the monumental remains of the emperors and ancient writers who worked in their circles. In this study, Lauren Petersen critically investigates the notion of 'freedman art' in scholarship, dependent as it is on elite-authored texts that are filled with hyperbole and stereotypes of freedmen, such as the memorable fictional character Trimalchio, a boorish ex-slave in Petronius' Satyricon. She emphasizes integrated visual ensembles within defined historical and social contexts and aims to show how material culture can reflect preoccupations that were prevalent throughout Roman society. Interdisciplinary in scope, this book explores the many ways that monuments and artistic commissions by freedmen spoke to a much more complex reality than that presented in literature.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521858892
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 980 g
Dimensions: 253 x 177 x 23 mm

Review of the hardback: 'This monograph clearly will pave the road to future studies on freedmen and freeborn alike of a similar economic standing ... this work will become a standard reference for Roman art historians and social historians alike.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review
Review of the hardback: 'Hackworth Petersen's book is a welcome fresh look at freedmen, their status and how they projected themselves in Roman society. It is also a welcome deconstruction of a stereotype created by modern scholarship, which affects interpretations of many kinds of evidence.' Arctos

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