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Egyptian objects, roman contexts: A taste for Aegyptiaca in Italy

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Chapter Summary

The taste for and appreciation of Egyptian-themed material has been well attested in Roman Italy in contexts as diverse as public porticos, private homes, and Isea graced with the patronage of the imperial family. The richness of this material has been matched by the wealth of scholarly work that has established the influence of Egyptian culture in Italy, particularly the wide-ranging appeal of the cult of Isis. This chapter examines larger Roman taste for Egyptian-themed material, addressing particularly the contexts in which imported Egyptian artifacts were displayed and the relationship between such material and Italian-produced emulations. By focusing on the contexts of imports, the chapter develops a better understanding of the multiple and multivalent associations all aegyptiaca, all Egyptian-themed material regardless of provenance had for their various audiences, and consider how Romans in Italy may have used these materials to adapt their sense of their own Romanitas to their expanding empire.

Keywords: Aegyptiaca; Italy

10.1163/ej.9789004154209.i-562.30
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004154209.i-562.30
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