Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Romans interacted with their statues a great deal more than we do with statues today. Images of the gods, for example, could be bathed, clothed, fed, carried in procession, or crowned with flowers. In addition, divine statues were sometimes reported to sweat, speak, fall, or turn around. Such events were considered prodigies, signs of the gods’ displeasure, and when they occurred, the Romans often attempted to address that displeasure by doing something to or for the statues themselves. Romans’ interactions with statues were not limited to religious contexts, however: portraits of powerful men were often treated as proxies for the men themselves. Supporters might honor these men and detractors dishonor them in ways that often involved interactions with their portraits or with images of the gods who protected them.

Keywords: adornment, bathing, prodigy, expiation, lectisternium, imagines, portraits, asylum

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.