This project will investigate the processes by which the representations of Roman emperors were created and disseminated from a new ‘peripheral’ perspective, which emphasizes the cultural, religious and artistic background of the local communities in the imperial provinces rather than the traditional ‘central’ one in Rome. It will study the ways in which Roman emperors were portrayed, celebrated and worshipped in the provincial cities, in the western and especially the eastern regions of the Mediterranean world, from the reign of Augustus to that of Diocletian (c. 31 BC – AD 297). By taking the point of view of the civic elites and of local artists in the provinces as the point of departure, the research will challenge the traditional ‘romanocentric’ approach to this subject to reassess imperial art and its broader ideological framework in a global context. It will provide the first comprehensive discussion on how the nature and significance of Roman power was interpreted and expressed on visual media in the provinces, and how it reflects the political and cultural strategies of the local elites. It will also challenge our perception and understanding of the relation between metropolitan and provincial production in imperial art by stressing the adaptation and independence of local visual culture from metropolitan canons. The research will consider all the media through which the imperial image was propagated, but will focus particularly on the comparative study of local coinage and local sculpture (both in the round and in relief representations). It will be informed by an interdisciplinary approach marrying classics, digital humanities and manufacturing studies. This will involve a new research methodology developed by the PI with the aid of project engineers and a 3D designer, which uses 3D imaging to compare, overlap and integrate the data provided by coinage and sculpture to trace and reconstruct models used in the provinces for imperial representation.
Field of science
- /humanities/arts/visual arts
Call for proposal
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