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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the sociohistorical approaches used to interpret the art and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. It begins with an overview of the problems affecting sociohistorical research in Greek and Roman art, along with the interest of Greek and Roman art historians and archaeologists in social history. It then turns to a discussion of attempts to obtain information about social reality from works of ancient art, along with the notion of “social role” as applied to the field of Greek and Roman art. The chapter also considers the relationships between “unequal” people and their patterns of interaction, as reflected in images and monuments of the Greek and Roman world. Finally, it explores the use of concepts such as elite and social coherence/conflicts in the analysis of ancient images and architectural monuments.

Keywords: ancient Greece, ancient Rome, architecture, art, elite, images, social conflicts, social history, social role, sociohistorical research

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