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5 Art

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Chapter Summary

Art offers a glimpse at a different world than that which the written narratives of early Rome provide. Written histories and antiquarian works were produced for the consumption of the educated; monuments, provided that they were public, were to be viewed by all. Most artistic material depicting the twins comes from the Augustan era, and is more complimentary than the literary narratives. This chapter examines mainly public imagery, commissioned by the same elite who read the histories of the city. The pictorial language of the Republic was more interested in the promotion of the city and its elite members than problematizing their competition. The differentiation between artistic versions produced for an external audience and the written narratives for an internal audience is similar to the distinction made in Propertius between the inhabitants' knowledge of the Parilia and the archaizing gloss shown to visitors.

Keywords: art; Augustan era; early Rome; Parilia; pictorial language



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