This outstanding introductory survey collects, presents and examines, for the very first time, the portraits and representations of Alexander the Great on the ancient coins of the Greek and Roman period. From 320 BC to AD 400, Karsten Dahmen examines not only Alexander’s own coinage and the posthumous coinages of his successors, but also the re-use of his image by rulers from the Greek world and the Roman empire, to late antiquity. Also including numismatic material that exceeds all previous published works, and well-illustrated, this historical survey brings Alexander and his legacy to life.
Considerations about size and scale have always played a central role within Greek and Roman visual culture, deeply affecting sculptural production. Both Greeks and Romans, in particular, had a clear notion of “colossality” and were able to fully exploit its implications with sculpture in many different areas of social, cultural and religious life. Instead, despite their ubiquitous presence, an equal and contrary categorization for small size statues does not seem to have existed in Greek and Roman culture, leading one to wonder what were the ancient ways of conceptualizing sculptural representations in a format markedly smaller than “life-size.” Even in the context of modern scholarship on Classical Art, few notions appear to be as elusive as that of “small sculpture”, often treated with a certain degree of diffidence well summarized in the formula Klein, aber Kunst? In fact, a large and heterogeneous variety of objects corresponds to this definition: all kinds of small sculpture, from statuettes to miniatures, in a variety of materials including stone, bronze, and terracotta, associated with a great array of functions and contexts, and with extremely different levels of manufacture and patronage. It would be a major misunderstanding to think of these small sculptures in general as nothing more than a cheap and simplified alternative to larger scale statues. Compared with those, their peculiar format allowed for a wider range of choices, in terms, for example, of use of either cheap or extremely valuable materials (not only marble and bronze, but also gold and silver, ivory, hard stones, among others), methods of production (combining seriality and variation), modes of fruition (such as involving a degree of intimacy with the beholder, rather than staging an illusion of “presence”). Furthermore, their pervasive presence in both private and public spaces at many levels of Greek and Roman society presents us with a privileged point of view on the visual literacy of a large and varied public. Although very different in many respects, small-sized sculptures entertained often a rather ambivalent relationship with their larger counterparts, drawing from them at the same time schemes, forms and iconographies. By offering a fresh, new analysis of archaeological evidence and literary sources, through a variety of disciplinary approaches, this volume helps to illuminate this rather complex dynamic and aims to contribute to a better understanding of the status of Greek and Roman small size sculpture within the general development of ancient art.
Alexander the Great and Propaganda explores the use of propaganda - whether literature, coinage, or iconography – in the court of Alexander the Great, as well as those of his Successors, demonstrating that it was as integral to Hellenistic courts as it was to Imperial Rome. This volume brings together ten essays from leading international scholars in Alexander studies. There is currently no equivalent collection which has a specialist focus of themes or issues relating to the use of propaganda in the courts of Alexander or his Successors. This book will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of Alexander studies, as well as those studying the use of propaganda across the ancient world, and to the more general reader with an interest in Alexander the Great and his reign.
Recent scholarship has recognized that Philip II and Alexander the Great adopted elements of their self-fashioning and court ceremonial from previous empires in the Ancient Near East, but it is generally assumed that the advent of the Macedonian court as a locus of politics and culture occurred only in the post-Alexander landscape of the Hellenistic Successors. This volume of ground-breaking essays by leading scholars on Ancient Macedonia goes beyond existing research questions to assess the profound impact of Philip and Alexander on court culture throughout the ages. The papers in this volume offer a thematic approach, focusing upon key institutional, cultural, social, ideological, and iconographical aspects of the reigns of Philip and Alexander. The authors treat the Macedonian court not only as a historical reality, but also as an object of fascination to contemporary Greeks that ultimately became a topos in later reflections on the lives and careers of Philip and Alexander. This collection of papers provides a paradigm-shifting recognition of the seminal roles of Philip and Alexander in the emergence of a new kind of Macedonian kingship and court culture that was spectacularly successful and transformative.