Statues and Cities: Honorific Portraits and Civic Identity in the Hellenistic World

Statues and Cities: Honorific Portraits and Civic Identity in the Hellenistic World

Hardback Oxford Studies in Ancient Culture & Representation

By (author) John Ma


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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 408 pages
  • Dimensions: 196mm x 250mm x 28mm | 1,080g
  • Publication date: 24 August 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199668914
  • ISBN 13: 9780199668915
  • Illustrations note: 73 in-text illustrations and plans
  • Sales rank: 1,582,568

Product description

Why say thank you with a portrait statue? This book combines two different and quite specialized fields, archaeology and epigraphy, to explore the phenomenon of portraits in ancient art within the historical and anthropological context of city-states honouring worthy individuals through erecting statues, and the development of families imitating this practice. This transaction tells us a lot about the history of these cities and how ancient art worked as a construction of relations during the Hellenistic period (c. 350 BC- c. AD 1), which is marked by a political culture of civic devotion, common decision making, and publicness. As honorific statues were considered public art, the volume also investigates the workings of images, representations, memory, and the monumental public form of permanent inscription, to see what stories the Hellenistic city-states can reveal about themselves.

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Author information

John Ma is a Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. A former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, he has taught at Princeton and has held visiting appointments in Paris. He is interested in ancient history, especially Greek, and archaeology.

Review quote

John Ma's Statues and Cities is an immensely learned and handsomely illustrated study of honorific portraits in the Hellenistic city. Clifford Ando, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Table of contents

PREFACE ; LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS ; LIST OF PLANS ; LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ; INTRODUCTION ; PART I STATUES AND STORIES ; 1. Towards a Grammar of Honours ; 2. The Politics of the Accusative ; PART II STATUES AND PLACES ; 3. Statues in their Spaces ; 4. Statues in their Places ; PART III STATUES AND FAMILIES ; 5. The Shape of Private Monuments ; 6. Private Spaces, Private Statues ; PART IV STATUES AS IMAGES ; 7. Making an Honorific Portrait ; 8. Looking at an Honorific Portrait ; CONCLUSION ; PLANS ; BIBLIOGRAPHY ; INDEX LOCORUM ; GENERAL INDEX