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Ebook Augusto e il potere delle immagini by Paul Zanker read! Book Title: Augusto e il potere delle immagini
The author of the book: Paul Zanker
Edition: Einaudi
Date of issue: 1989
ISBN: 8806116584
ISBN 13: 9788806116583
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 11.84 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.1

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Perhaps I should have begun with Zanker, as he was really the introducer of the “power of images” to the field of Roman history, as opposed to art history. Quoting his preface can summarize the sort of change that his book brought to Roman studies:
Art and architecture are mirrors of a society. They reflect the state of its values, especially in times of crisis or transition. Yet it is notoriously difficult to analyze any particular work of art as an historical document in and of itself. This book tries to illustrate how a fundamental change in the political system led to a new visual language that reflects both an altered mentality and contributed significantly to the process of change. . . . I have sought to emphasize questions such as the societal forces that fueled the change as well as the effect of psychological factors. Thus the form of the work is of no less importance than its message (v).
What Zanker did was to connect analysis of the enormous body of Augustan art—complex, varied, and beautiful as it is—to the analysis of the societal and political changes of the period. Based on the evidence (amply illustrated; there is at least one image on nearly every two-page spread), he envisions an Augustus who propagated his values through a sort of dialogue with his subjects, and did not simply impose them from the top down. Rather than a one-hundred-percent cult of personality, he rather attempted to disentangle the threads of “the complex machinery of [Augustus’] cultural program,” which he described as “the collaboration and mutual influence one another of princeps, political cronies, creative poets, architects, and artistic ateliers” (102).
I was not totally convinced by this argument. While I agree that Augustus’ recreation of Rome in an “archaicized” mode owed a lot to the antiquarian interests of the Late Republic, could it have gone so far without his own intense personal interest? At times Zanker himself cannot avoid making certain aspects of “cultural renewal” in the city of Rome seem like they were imposed from above: “But in general people were reluctant to wear [the toga]. . . . Augustus had to give them a push” (163). However, the chapter on the spread of Roman “classicism” from the center of Rome to the outer fringes of the Empire is incredibly valuable. In the past, Republican Rome had absorbed artistic styles from the Hellenistic world even as it largely rejected monarchialism. Once Augustus introduced one-man rule, his persona as the center of the state was projected far and wide. Zanker argues, “ . . . in both East and West it was the rapidly spreading cult of the emperor that was the principal vehicle for propagating the Augustan program and its attendant imagery” (297). Once again, uniformity is the key to impressing as many people as possible with the power of Rome and the centrality of its at least partly-divine princeps. [from an annotated bibliography i wrote a few years ago. don't go looking for this on most goodreads entries]


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Reviews of the Augusto e il potere delle immagini


OLIVER

There are clear drawbacks

AMELIA

A book that leaves nothing behind, no feelings, no thoughts.

AIDEN

The book has disappointed, little new, lots of water!

AMELIA

A book that completely overturned consciousness




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