Ancient Rome As a Museum: Power, Identity, and the Culture of Collecting

Overview


In antiquity, Rome represented one of the world's great cultural capitals. The city constituted a collective repository for various commemoratives, cultural artefacts, and curiosities, not to mention plunder taken in war, and over its history became what we might call a "museum city." Ancient Rome as a Museum considers how cultural objects and memorabilia both from Rome and its empire came to reflect a specific Roman identity and, in some instances, to even construct or challenge Roman perceptions of power and ...
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Overview


In antiquity, Rome represented one of the world's great cultural capitals. The city constituted a collective repository for various commemoratives, cultural artefacts, and curiosities, not to mention plunder taken in war, and over its history became what we might call a "museum city." Ancient Rome as a Museum considers how cultural objects and memorabilia both from Rome and its empire came to reflect a specific Roman identity and, in some instances, to even construct or challenge Roman perceptions of power and of the self. In this volume, Rutledge argues that Roman cultural values and identity are indicated in part by what sort of materials Romans deemed worthy of display and how they chose to display, view, and preserve them.

Grounded in the growing field of museum studies, this book includes a discussion on private acquisition of cultural property and asks how well the Roman community at large understood the meaning and history behind various objects and memorabilia. Of particular importance was the use of collections by a number of emperors in the further establishment of their legitimacy and authority.

Through an examination of specific cultural objects, Rutledge questions how they came to reflect or even perpetuate Roman values and identity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Classicists will appreciate Rutledge's attention to historical detail, but his greater contribution is to the history and culture of museums and collecting. The author's consideration of the daily interactions between a city's works and its inhabitants' lives takes that to a scale not often attempted. Finally, the examination of power and constructed identities as an integral element in understanding a material culture--and vice versa--is superbly and clearly articulated. Highly recommended."--F.W. Gleach, CHOICE

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Steven H. Rutledge is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is author of Imperial Inquisitions: Prosecutors and Informants from Tiberius to Domitian), and the author of numerous articles on Roman history and culture.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
List of Illustrations
Modern Abbreviations
Ancient Abbreviations
1. Introduction: Museums and Muses
2. Collecting and Acquisition
3. Viewing, Appreciating, Understanding
4. Displaying Domination: Spoils, War Commemoratives, and Competition
5. Constructing Social Identity: Pietas, Women, and the Roman House
6. The Monster and the Map
7. Imperial Collections and the Narrative of the Princeps
8. Access and Upkeep
9. Epilogue
Bibliography
Index

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