Statue habit and statue culture in late antique Rome
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The statue habit was a defining characteristic of classical cities, and its demise in late antiquity has recently attracted great scholarly attention. This article analyzes this process by focusing on the city of Rome, an exceptionally well-documented case, charting the decline and abandonment of the practice of setting up free-standing statues between the end of the 3rd and the middle of the 6th c. CE. Focusing on the epigraphic evidence for new dedications, it discusses the nature of the habit in late antique Rome, in terms of its differences and continuities with earlier periods. It will then analyze the quantitative evolution of the habit, suggesting that its end was associated with deeper transformations in its dynamic. The final section examines the broader significance of setting up statues in late antique Rome, arguing that the decline of the statue habit must be understood in the context of a new statue culture that saw statue dedications in an antiquarian light, rather than as part of an organic honorific language.
Machado , C 2021 , ' Statue habit and statue culture in late antique Rome ' , Journal of Roman Archaeology , vol. FirstView . https://doi.org/10.1017/S1047759421000325
Journal of Roman Archaeology
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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