Aesthetic, Sociological, and Exploitative Attitudes to Landscape in Greco-Roman Literature, Art, and Culture
This article introduces and discusses ancient and contemporary approaches to landscape and proposes model readings for their evaluation. Model readings suggest strategies drawn from environmental and ecocritical studies alongside art historical, and more traditional literary studies approaches. This article emphasizes in particular the benefits of evaluating architectural and agricultural interventions in nature alongside one another. Perceptions of landscape in the Greco-Roman world were strongly associated with cultivation and human invention. In order better to understand how and why aesthetic interest, sentiment, mood, and movement can also be significant, this article explores what makes for “improvement” and value in landscape. It also investigates how contemporary theory offers new ways of evaluating ancient depictions of landscape and responses to the natural environment.
Bonna D. Wescoat
This chapter focuses on the patronage, financing, and sponsorship of architecture in ancient Greece and Rome. It first considers the classic relationship of patron and artist in the ancient world, embodied by Alexander and Deinocrates. It then examines some of the phenomena that characterize the relationship between patronage and construction in the ancient Greek and Roman world, with emphasis on female patrons in order to understand the dynamics of wealth, opportunity, and obligation in relation to architecture. The article also looks at building patrons in Athens and the commissioning of civic and sacred buildings by public entities, such as the polis or the Roman Senate. In addition, it cites the island Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace as an example of architectural patronage at work during the Hellenistic period. Finally, it discusses the architectural aspects of the Roman Empire, along with the roles of kings, generals, emperors, and plutocrats in building it.
Eric R. Varner
This chapter focuses on the patronage, financing, and sponsorship of art in ancient Greece and Rome, from sculpture to portraiture and triumphal arches. It begins by analyzing issues of patronage surrounding the east pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, before turning to the collaboration between Pericles as patron and Phidias as master designer in the reconstruction of the Acropolis in Athens. It then examines how artists gained more agency in the fourth century, in part because of the cultural and political interstices that opened up between the dominance of poleis such as Athens or Elis as patrons. It also looks at the Ptolemies and Attalids as the most prolific patrons during the Hellenistic period, along with Roman kings as the primary sources of patronage, including Augustus, Tiberius, and Nero. The chapter concludes by considering private individuals as patrons and collectors of visual arts such as funerary art.
This chapter examines the varied, ambivalent, and often contradictory ways in which the Romans interacted with Greek art and architecture during ancient times. More specifically, it explores the cultural practices that framed the Romans’ reception of art and architecture by the Greeks, including their looting, collecting, and theorizing of Greek art. Furthermore, it considers how the Romans copied and adapted Greek styles and turned Greek images into new Roman works, including monuments. The chapter also discusses the outcomes of the Roman reception of Greek art and architecture.