Hellenistic Royal Portraits

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byR. R. R. Smith

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The visual image of the ruler, particularly in sculpture, played an important role in expressing the character of the new, distinctive style of monarchy brought to Greece and the East by Alexander and the Hellenistic kings. Royal portraits survive on coins and in sculpture, and we read aboutthem in inscriptions and literature - evidence that is here combined to give an historical interpretation of the royal image from Alexander to Kleopatra. Part I looks at the historical setting of royal portrait statues, which functioned as an important medium of exchange between the king and the Greek cities. They gave a visual presentation of royal ideology and expressed the basis of the king's power in a personal godlike charisma. Part II collectstogether and analyses the major surviving portraits, grouped broadly by time and place, and Part III sets them in the wider political context of the period. The dated coin portraits are used to show broad changes in the royal image and how it responded to the major political challenges from Parthiato the East and Rome to the West.

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The visual image of the ruler, particularly in sculpture, played an important role in expressing the character of the new, distinctive style of monarchy brought to Greece and the East by Alexander and the Hellenistic kings. Royal portraits survive on coins and in sculpture, and we read aboutthem in inscriptions and literature - eviden...

R. R. R. Smith is at New York University.

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Format:HardcoverPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198132247

ISBN - 13:9780198132240

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'This important book not only provides a critical and comprehensive treatment of Hellenistic royal portraits based on sculptures and coins, but most significantly, asks 'what were royal portraits for and what did they mean to the people who saw them?' ... the enormous intellectual achievement... Each page presents a wealth of information to which scholars will return again and again. Not the least value of this book rests in its fundamental questioning of the assumptions which we bring to the study of Hellenistic and Roman portraiture.'Lori-Ann Touchette, Johns Hopkins University, The Republic