Ida Östenberg

in Staging the World

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780199215973
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191706851 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Ancient Culture & Representation


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Among the large variety of spoils analysed in this chapter, the discussion focuses on catapults from Syracuse, pirate ships, Greek statues, and Jewish temple treasures — the triumphal processions aimed at displaying great richness. Whether weapons, artistic masterpieces, or crowns presented as gifts, everything was shown and counted as pure material wealth: gold, silver, and bronze. The chapter points out that many riches on triumphal display came from a royal context and were linked to dining. These spoils manifested the defeat and moral inferiority of Hellenistic kingdoms, their royal leadership, and luxurious consumption. Another discussion concerns the catapults and statues from the besieged Syracuse and Ambracia put on display by Marcellus and Fulvius Nobilior. It is argued that these two triumphators were particularly concerned to use their processions as a means to show that Syracuse and Ambracia had been taken justly, thus legitimizing their looting of Greek art.

Keywords: Syracuse; pirates; Greek statues; Jewish temple; weapons; gold; silver; bronze; dining; Hellenistic kingdoms

Chapter.  55643 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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