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Funerary Portraiture in Greater Roman Syria

M. Blömer, R. Raja (eds.)
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XVIII+232 p., 229 colour ill., 1 b/w tables, 216 x 280 mm, 2019
ISBN: 978-2-503-57633-6
Languages: English
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Retail price: EUR 100,00 excl. tax
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This volume provides a unique survey of locally produced funerary representations from across regions of ancient Syria, exploring material ranging from reliefs and statues in the round, to busts, mosaics, and paintings in order to offer a new and holistic approach to our understanding of ancient funerary portraiture. Up to now, relatively little attention has been paid to the way in which local and regional production of material in this area formed part of a broader pattern of sculptural and iconographical development across the Roman Near East. By drawing on material from an area encompassing modern Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey, as well as Egypt and Achaia, the contributions in this book make it possible for the first time to take a wider perspective on the importance of funerary portraiture within Greater Roman Syria, and in doing so, to identify influences, connections, and iconographical analogies present throughout the region, as well as local differences, larger-scale boundaries, and ruptures in traditions that occurred across time and place.

Table of Contents

Michael Blömer & Rubina Raja, Funerary Portraits in Roman Greater Syria - Time for a Reappreciation

Michael Blömer & Rubina Raja, Shifting the Paradigms: Towards a New Agenda in the Study of the Funerary Portraiture of Greater Roman Syria

Andrea U. De Giorgi, 'Til Death Do Us Part: Commemoration, Civic Pride, and Seriality in the Funerary Stelai of Antioch on the Orontes

Michael Blömer, The Diversity of Funerary Portraiture in Roman Commagene and Cyrrhestice

Jutta Rumscheid, Different from the Others: Female Dress in Northern Syria Based on Examples from Zeugma and Hierapolis

Michael A. Speidel, Roman Soldiers' Gravestones in Greater Syria: Thoughts on Designs, Imports, and Impact

Rubina Raja, Funerary Portraiture in Palmyra: Portrait Habit at a Crossroads or a Signifier of Local Identity?

Signe Krag, Palmyrene Funerary Female Portraits: Portrait Tradition and Change

Achim Lichtenberger & Rubina Raja, Portrait Habit and the Funerary Portraiture of the Decapolis

Karl-Uwe Mahler, Funerary Portraiture from the Coastal Region of Roman Syria

Bilal Annan, Petrified Memories: On Some Funerary Portraits from Roman Phoenicia

C. H. Hallett, Mummies with Painted Portraits from Roman Egypt and Personal Commemoration at the Tomb

Sheila Dillon, Attic Funerary Portraiture in the Roman Period


“Blömer and Raja should be commended for producing a volume that is both qualitatively uniform and conceptually coherent (not an easy task for conference proceedings).” (Ortal-Paz Saar, in Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2021.03.09)

“The result is thus a composite volume reflecting the composite nature of the topic throughout Roman Syria but providing at the same time a fundamental overview of the state of the art for the whole Roman province. The volume represents a new beginning in the research concerning the funerary portrait habits in the Roman Near East following in the footprints of the Palmyrene Portrait Project that promoted it. A new project that enjoys the collaboration, methods and experience acquired by the Palmyrene group's protagonists, will be indeed as successful and as fundamental for future research on Near Eastern art and society.” (Leonardo Gregoratti, dans Histara, 31/03/2021)

“This volume is a well-conceived and well-produced contribution to research on Greater Roman Syria. It shows the value of understanding the context of locally-produced funerary sculpture, as opposed to seeing it as merely provincial or derivative of the Greco-Roman tradition. Each chapter is richly illustrated with abundant images and the bibliographies are comprehensive and up to date. The volume as a whole is quite accessible to the non-specialist and is recommended to anyone interested in the rich memorial culture of the ancient Mediterranean.’ (MAURA K. HEYN, in Church Monuments, 35, 2020, p. 188)



Interest Classification:
Classics, Ancient History, Oriental Studies
Ancient history & archaeology: Africa & Asia
Egypt & North Africa
Palestine & Near East
Mesopotamia & Iranian plateau (Middle East)
Ancient history & archaeology: Europe
Rome (with Italy and adjacent territories)
Fine Arts & Performing Arts
Classical sculpture
Byzantine sculpture
Medieval sculpture

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