When we try to make sense of pictures, what do we gain when we use a particular method - and what might we be missing or even losing? Empirical experimentation on three types of mythological imagery - a Classical Greek pot, a frieze from Hellenistic Pergamon and a second-century CE Roman sarcophagus - enables Katharina Lorenz to demonstrate how theoretical approaches to images (specifically, iconology, semiotics, and image studies) impact the meanings we elicit from Greek and Roman art. A guide to Classical images of myth, and also a critical history of Classical archaeology's attempts to give meaning to pictures, this book establishes a dialogue with the wider field of art history and proposes a new framework for the study of ancient visual culture. It will be essential reading not just for students of classical art history and archaeology, but for anyone interested in the possibilities - and the history - of studying visual culture.
Katharina Lorenz is Associate Professor of Classical Studies in the Department of Classics and Director of the Digital Humanities Centre at the University of Nottingham. Her main research interest is in the methodologies for the study of Classical art and their implications for historical understanding. She is the author of Bilder machen Raume: Mythenbilder in pompeianischen Hausern (2008) and has published widely on Greek and Roman visual narrative, Roman painting and the domestic context, art historiography and intellectual history, and digital heritage engagement.