Roman Cult Images : The Lives and Worship of Idols from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity
In this book, Philip Kiernan explores how cult images functioned in Roman temples from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity in the Roman west. He demonstrates how and why a temple's idols, were more important to ritual than other images such as votive offerings and decorative sculpture. These idols were seen by many to be divine and possessed of agency. They were, thus, the primary focus of worship. Aided by cross-cultural comparative material, Kiernan's study brings a biographical approach to explore the 'lives' of idols and cult images - how they were created, housed in temples, used and worshipped, and eventually destroyed or buried. He also shows how the status of cult images could change, how new idols and other cult images were being continuously created, and how, in each phase of their lives, we find evidence for the significant power of idols.
- Hardback | 377 pages
- 185 x 260 x 21mm | 940g
- 16 Jul 2020
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
- Worked examples or Exercises; 94 Halftones, black and white
Table of contents
1. The birth of cult images: early Rome and the Iron Age; 2. The birth of cult images: continuity and innovation in the Imperial Period; 3. Idols at home; 4. Idols in action; 5. The end of idols.
About Philip Kiernan
Philip Kiernan is Associate Professor of Art History at Kennesaw State University, Georgia. He is the author of Miniature Votive Offerings (2009) and has also published numerous articles on Roman art, artefacts, numismatics, and religion. His archaeological excavations have included a Hellenistic-Roman market building at Alexandria Troas, a Bronze-Iron Age tumulus at Hassloch, and most recently a Romano-Celtic temple at Wareswald.