Political Monuments of the Early Spartocid State

Caspar Meyer

in Greco-Scythian Art and the Birth of Eurasia

Published in print November 2013 | ISBN: 9780199682331
Published online April 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191808555 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Ancient Culture & Representation

Political Monuments of the Early Spartocid State

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This chapter examines epigraphic and sculptural monuments from the Cimmerian Bosporus with a view to tracing the formation of a trans-cultural network of elite cooperation. More specifically, it considers the political system in which Greco-Scythian art and other objects were crafted. It first reviews the archaeology and history of the Bosporan state with the aim of integrating texts and objects in other ways and of placing Greco-Scythian metalwork within a broader spectrum of monuments. It then looks at the history of scholarship on Bosporus, with particular emphasis on Russian scholar Mikhail Ivanovich Rostovtzeff's seminal account of Bosporan statehood and culture in terms of Greco-Iranian dualism. It argues that this dualism is a feature of the ideological self-fashioning of the Bosporan elite that was consciously cultivated already in antiquity. The chapter also analyses statue dedications as a major type of political monument and concludes by describing the dualism embodied in epigraphy and material culture as an organising principle capable of shaping the dispositions of the Bosporan elite in relation to each other and to outsiders.

Keywords: monuments; Bosporus; elite; Greco-Scythian art; archaeology; metalwork; Mikhail Ivanovich Rostovtzeff; dualism; epigraphy; material culture

Chapter.  23407 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ancient and Classical Art (to 500 CE)

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