The cities of Roman Asia were full of statues, stelai, sarcophagi, and architectural reliefs that embodied deeply-held ideas of honour, memory, and public magnificence. Much of this material has been well described and placed in a linear narrative from late hellenistic to late antique. The conference aims to approach these monuments from the different perspectives of (1) local contexts, whether archaeological, topographical, or mental, and (2) the lives of the monuments and sculptural complexes through time, from installation to decommissioning and destruction.
The sculptures have deep and wide cultural contexts of which they are articulate monumental expressions. The contexts in sanctuaries, tombs, and public spaces and buildings are known in extraordinary detail from coins, inscriptions, literary texts, and the archaeological record. These contexts also document the long lives of monuments so that we can follow and interpret new associations, accumulations, and, especially in late antiquity, far-reaching and purposeful reconfigurations of a city's old images.
The conference invites papers that present new or old material viewed from these broad perspectives. It asks for papers that focus on detailed case studies of different kinds of local context within cities of Roman Asia, and on case studies that can discuss the lives of monuments and sculptural complexes. The aim is a fuller and richer picture of the particular sculptural landscapes of eastern Roman cities that cuts horizontally across the old paradigm of constant linear change and connects the monuments with the dense physical and mental apparatus that accompanied them. The chronological scope is from later hellenistic times to the end of ancient statue practice in the sixth century AD.
The conference is being organized by the Austrian Archaeological Institute, in cooperation with the German Archaeological Institue, Istanbul, Oxford University,and New York University.
CFP application form.