Aegyptiaca Romana: Nilotic Scenes and the Roman View of by Miguel John Versluys

By Miguel John Versluys

This archaeological examine investigates the that means of the Egyptian and egyptianising artefacts which were preserved from the Roman global in several ways.
Its element of departure is an in depth examine at the so-called Nilotic scenes or Nilotic landscapes. The booklet offers a finished and illustrated catalogue of the style that was once well known all over the Mediterranean from the Hellenistic interval to the Christian period in addition to a contextualisation and interpretation.
Drawing at the conclusions therefore reached the total staff of Aegyptiaca Romana is for this reason studied. in keeping with a common evaluate of this fabric within the Roman international and, additionally, a case-study of the Aegyptiaca from the town of Rome different meanings of this cultural phenomenon are mapped. including different Egyptian deities renowned within the Roman international, the goddess Isis performs a massive function during this discussion.
Aegyptiaca Romana, between them the Nilotic scenes, are a part of the mirrored image of the Roman perspective in the direction of and innovations on Egypt, Egyptian tradition and the East. The concluding a part of the publication illustrates and attempts to provide an explanation for this Roman discourse on Egypt.

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Foucher further assumes that the repertoire derived from Alexandrian artists, and that originally Nilotic scenes were large wall-filling representations from which separate elements were later extracted. In the same period, Adriani observes that the popularity of Nilotic scenes in Rome probably arose from the well-known image of the Nile god in the Musei Vaticani, with a Nilotic scene on its base B'. Lavin made a similar link with the Nile god in a monograph on the hunting mosaics of Antioch: "it is possible that the Nilotic mosaics were a factor in the development of the cosmographic element (-); the Nile played an important part in Alexandrian cosmological speculation"82.

Many comments on Pompeian Nilotic scenes can be found in an article by Whitehouse, in which the painted Nilotic landscape on the walls of the triclinium in the so-called praedia of Julia Felix in Pompeii is reconstructed and discussed B6 • Whitehouse observes that this wallfilling representation is an exception, as a rule Nilotic scenes occur in a more subordinate role as small panels on walls. Pompeian Nilotic scenes generally date from the reconstruction phase of Pompeii (after the earthquake of AD 62), and would mainly occur in rooms associated with water.

The assumption of Lambrechts 1956, 3 "Dat keizer Augustus de Egyptische godsdienst vijandig gezind was, is een algemeen erkend feit" seems therefore untenable in this moral sense. 67 The presence of these motifs can probably partly also be explained by pointing at their meaning as victory symbols referring to Actium. For the Nile landscape in the Casa di Livia cf. cat. no. 0 17 . For the so-called house of Augustus cf. G. Carettoni, La decorazione pittorica della Casa di Augusto sui Palatino, RM 90 (1983) 373-419; De Vos 1980, 60-64 sv.

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