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Title: The portraiture of Caracalla and Geta : form, context, function
Author: Petruccioli, Guido
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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In this dissertation, I investigate the representation of the emperor's image in Rome and the provinces of the Roman Empire. This study examines portraits in the round and inscribed bases of emperors Caracalla (AD 196-217) and Geta (AD 198-211) and asks how and why patrons chose to set up honorific statuary monuments and display imperial images. I explore the process of conception, mediation, and reception of the emperor's authorised likeness, addressing a set of fundamental questions: Who commissioned copies of imperial portraits and for what occasion? How did sculptors acquire and copy portrait types? Where were imperial portraits displayed and to which extent context determined their appearance in terms of scale, material, format, and costume types? The archaeological a.'1d epigraphic evidence is interpreted from the perspective of commissioners, executors, and intended viewers, in order to define the ancient perception of the emperor's persona. In the process, I bring to attention instances in which imperial images agreed with, or diverted from, the self-image that emperors promoted through the state media. Finally, I relate Caracalla's sculpted portraiture to the broader context of art and epigraphy and define its place in the history of imperial representation from Augustus to Constantine. The result is a cross-section of the visual perception of the imperial persona in a moment of transition in Roman imperial history, between the flourishing age of the Antonines and the troubled time of the Soldier-Emperors. The scenario described is that of a tight ideological connection between centre and periphery manifested by the sensitivity of metropolitan and provincial communities to changes and re-configurations in imperial policies. Diversity in the way social constituents chose to represent the emperor shows that there was hot one uniform understanding of the emperor's status and powers, but rather a set of complementary "perceptions" which can be described as individual responses to a common desire of patrons to negotiate their place within their community and the Empire as a whole.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available