Art and Rhetoric in Roman Culture

Rhetoric used to be primary to schooling and to cultural aspiration within the Greek and Roman worlds. It was once one of many key elements of antiquity that slipped less than the road among the traditional global and Christianity erected via the early Church in past due antiquity. old rhetorical thought is keen about examples and discussions drawn from visible fabric. This e-book mines this wealthy seam of theoretical research from inside Roman tradition to give an internalist version for a few features of ways the Romans understood, made and favored their paintings. the knowledge of public monuments just like the Arch of Titus or Trajan's Column or of imperial statuary, family wall portray, funerary altars and sarcophagi, in addition to of intimate goods like children's dolls, is drastically enriched through being put in appropriate rhetorical contexts created by way of the Roman global.

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8, 1356a/b, with Burnyeat 1994. On pluralism in Roman art see esp. von Blanckenhagen 1942; Brendel 1979: 122–37; Settis 1989; Hölscher 2004b: 3, 10–21; Elsner 2006a: 270–6. g. g. Clarke 2003; D’Ambra and Métraux 2006. Introduction ramifications – making claims in relation to both similar and different visual choices within the system. 65 In many ways my claim here is closely related to Tonio Hölscher’s model of Roman art as a ‘semantic system’,66 but replaces the notion of ‘semantic’ with ‘rhetorical’ and the notion of ‘language’ and its associated terms (like ‘grammar’) with a perhaps more flexible model of ‘discourse’.

Note also a parallel account in Philostratus’ Dialexis 2 with translation and discussion by Swain 2009: 33–46. See Philostratus, Imagines 1. Proem, 2 with Maffei 1991. On colour, see Dubel 2009.

Rather, rhetoric is a space for the play of inter-subjective relationships where ēthos and pathos interact through a variety of media, which in the case of art are visual, material and architectural. It is a space where the problems and questions inherent in identity and alterity, individuality and collectivity, as well as specific provincial and cosmopolitan, rural and urban, military and civilian self-assertions and self-fashionings may be negotiated within a large multicultural and imperial system.

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