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Understanding Egyptianizing obelisks: Appropriation in Early Imperial Rome

Understanding Egyptianizing obelisks: Appropriation in Early Imperial Rome
Understanding Egyptianizing obelisks: Appropriation in Early Imperial Rome
Re-use of ancient Egyptian architectural styles outside Egypt began in the time of the pharaohs and continues to the present day. The style draws on the structures, elements and motifs of ancient Egypt using both ancient and replica/pastiche pieces. I will argue that appropriation of the style should be seen as an active process designed to create a cultural object with specific meaning within the coeval social world. Drawing on the tenets of reception theory, I aim to explore the appropriation of Egyptian obelisks to early imperial Rome by considering the social circumstances, possible producer motivation and potential audience responses to the monuments. I will propose that the appropriation of Egyptian obelisks to Rome is a creative negotiation that prioritises particular aspects of the monument to address specific economic, political and religious circumstances within the appropriating society. At the same time it is important to consider the coeval perceptions of Egypt circulating in Rome and how these perceptions impact on the selection and reception of obelisks in the city. Central to my research is the presentation of a data set relating to fourteen obelisks appropriated to Rome, a detailed discussion of the ‘transfer vehicles’ which carried crucial information about ancient Egypt and obelisks from Egypt into the Roman world, and the identification of clusters of appropriation points within the imperial period; all of which help to create a more nuanced picture of why at least fifty obelisks were raised in Rome and how we might start to understand these acts of appropriation two thousand years later.
University of Southampton
Hoare, Katharine
485ac28d-e528-4938-b7a2-6dcd858aa12c
Hoare, Katharine
485ac28d-e528-4938-b7a2-6dcd858aa12c
Moser, Stephanie
af3009ce-a7c4-4550-a180-7e1987b7deed
Jones, Andrew
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Hoare, Katharine (2017) Understanding Egyptianizing obelisks: Appropriation in Early Imperial Rome. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 326pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Re-use of ancient Egyptian architectural styles outside Egypt began in the time of the pharaohs and continues to the present day. The style draws on the structures, elements and motifs of ancient Egypt using both ancient and replica/pastiche pieces. I will argue that appropriation of the style should be seen as an active process designed to create a cultural object with specific meaning within the coeval social world. Drawing on the tenets of reception theory, I aim to explore the appropriation of Egyptian obelisks to early imperial Rome by considering the social circumstances, possible producer motivation and potential audience responses to the monuments. I will propose that the appropriation of Egyptian obelisks to Rome is a creative negotiation that prioritises particular aspects of the monument to address specific economic, political and religious circumstances within the appropriating society. At the same time it is important to consider the coeval perceptions of Egypt circulating in Rome and how these perceptions impact on the selection and reception of obelisks in the city. Central to my research is the presentation of a data set relating to fourteen obelisks appropriated to Rome, a detailed discussion of the ‘transfer vehicles’ which carried crucial information about ancient Egypt and obelisks from Egypt into the Roman world, and the identification of clusters of appropriation points within the imperial period; all of which help to create a more nuanced picture of why at least fifty obelisks were raised in Rome and how we might start to understand these acts of appropriation two thousand years later.

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Published date: May 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 422139
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422139
PURE UUID: eb4ebdb1-6e30-41e6-a679-1c2b60194a9e

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Date deposited: 17 Jul 2018 16:31
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 18:23

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Contributors

Author: Katharine Hoare
Thesis advisor: Stephanie Moser
Thesis advisor: Andrew Jones

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