Chapter

Gem Mania in Rome

Marina Belozerskaya

in Medusa’s Gaze

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199739318
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979356 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739318.003.0002

Series: Emblems of Antiquity

Gem Mania in Rome

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The ancient Romans admired and coveted colored stones and works carved from them, importing them from the territories they conquered and capturing them from their enemies. This chapter discusses possible ways by which the Tazza may have come to Rome—as war booty, Cleopatra’s gift to Julus Caesar, or Octavian’s prize seized upon the Queen’s death. It also discusses the significance of cameo carving to Augustus and his use of such objects as political tools.

Keywords: gems; exotic stones; Mithradates; Augustus; Julius Caesar; Cleopatra; luxury; extravagance; Roman temples

Chapter.  5277 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ancient and Classical Art (to 500 CE)

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