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The Divine River: Ancient Roman Identity And The Image Of Tiberinus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Tiberinus, the divine river personified who appears in Roman art and literature near the end of the first century B.C., as one such expression. It begins by briefly surveying the visual and literary evidence for the Roman image of Tiberinus. The chapter orients Tiberinus among other river gods by examining Greek and Etruscan precedents for river god imagery. By contextualizing the earliest Roman examples of Tiberinus imagery the author suggests that the image of the Tiber river god united both native and international associations and typified Romes identity as she emerged as the multicultural capital of the Mediterranean. The most common depiction of Greek river gods is that of a man-headed bull. The emergence of Tiberinus onto the Roman stage coincides with the emergence of Rome onto the world stage.

Keywords: man-headed bull; Roman art; Tiberinus



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