The Egypt in Italy: Visions of Egypt in Roman Imperial Culture

The Egypt in Italy: Visions of Egypt in Roman Imperial Culture

By: Molly Swetnam-Burland (author)Hardback

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This book examines the appetite for Egyptian and Egyptian-looking artwork in Italy during the century following Rome's annexation of Aegyptus as a province. In the early imperial period, Roman interest in Egyptian culture was widespread, as evidenced by works ranging from the monumental obelisks, brought to the capital over the Mediterranean Sea by the emperors, to locally made emulations of Egyptian artifacts found in private homes and in temples to Egyptian gods. Although the foreign appearance of these artworks was central to their appeal, this book situates them within their social, political, and artistic contexts in Roman Italy. Swetnam-Burland focuses on what these works meant to their owners and their viewers in their new settings, by exploring evidence for the artists who produced them and by examining their relationship to the contemporary literature that informed Roman perceptions of Egyptian history, customs, and myths.

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About Author

Molly Swetnam-Burland is associate professor in the Department of Classical Studies at The College of William and Mary. She has received fellowships from the Getty Research Institute, the Archaeological Institute of America, the Deutsches Archaologisches Institut in Berlin, and the University of Cincinnati. She has published articles in the American Journal of Archaeology, The Art Bulletin, and several edited volumes.


Introduction: from Egypt to Italy; 1. Egyptian objects, Roman contexts: appropriation and aesthetics; 2. Aegyptus Redacta: Augustus' obelisks and the spoils of Egypt; 3. The sanctuary of Isis in Pompeii: dedication and devotion, myth and ritual; Appendix 3.1: marble inscriptions from the sanctuary of Isis; Appendix 3.2: dipinti near the sanctuary of Isis; Appendix 3.3: multiples and adaptations: Io panel paintings; Appendix 3.4: graffiti quoting; or, adapting Ovid from Pompeii; 4. Images of Egypt: land at the limit of belief; Appendix 4: the structure and argument of 'Juvenal 15'; Conclusion: the afterlives of objects.

Product Details

  • publication date: 31/03/2015
  • ISBN13: 9781107040489
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 261
  • ID: 9781107040489
  • weight: 790
  • ISBN10: 1107040485

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