This book offers the first comprehensive study of the funerary monuments made for the Roman emperors as a genre. These monuments, which include the Mausoleum of Augustus, Trajan's Column, and the Column of Marcus Aurelius, are among the best known and most extensively excavated and documented structures of Roman antiquity In this study, Penelope Davies demonstrates that these monuments served a dual role, as memorials to the dead and as accession monuments that would guarantee dynastic continuity for the monarchy on the precarious occasion of the emperor's death.
Davies sets out to ask, How did the Romans bury Caesar? And with what monuments did they sing his praises? . . . The architectural elaboration of these structures, their siting in the capital, the lines of vision and approaches that exposed them to view, the paths their complex outworks formed for visitors to walk, are all picked out with skill and presented with care in Death and the Emperor.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review
This concise and lucidly written book is a very valuable new contribution to the studies of Roman imperial cult, political propaganda, and topography, and has the added benefit of discussing complex scholarly disputes in a manner that the non-specialist will probably follow with ease. . . . There is material in this volume that will be immensely useful to researchers in many areas: archaeology, history of architecture, iconography, history of religion, and Roman political propaganda, to name just a few. I strongly recommend it to scholars interested in any or all of the above topics.
American Journal of Archaeology
Even though its focus is on only seven specimens of architecture, the book touches upon a broad array of aspects of Roman imperial culture. Elegantly written and generously illustrated . . . this book should be of great interest to the general public as well as to the scholarly community.
PENELOPE J. E. DAVIES is Associate Professor of Roman Art and Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. Her book Death and the Emperor was first published by Cambridge University Press in 2000. It won the Vasari Award, sponsored by the Dallas Museum of Art.
List of Illustrations
1. The Monuments
2. An Image of Things Achieved
3. An Imperial Cosmos: The Creation of Eternity
4. Fire, Fertility, Fiction: The Role of the Empress
5. The Dynamics of Form
6. The Power of Place
Abbreviations Used in Notes