Art of Empire
The Roman Frescoes and Imperial Cult Chamber in Luxor Temple
Imprint: Yale University Press
The Luxor Temple of Amun-Re, built to commemorate the divine power of the pharaohs, is one of the iconic monuments of New Kingdom Egypt. In the 4th century C.E., the Roman Imperial government, capitalizing on the site’s earlier significance, converted the temple into a military camp and constructed a lavishly painted cult chamber dedicated to the four emperors of the Tetrarchy. These frescoes provide fascinating insight into the political landscape of the late Roman Empire and, as the only surviving wall paintings from the tetrarchic period, into the history of Roman art. The culmination of a groundbreaking conservation project, this volume brings together scholars across disciplines for a comprehensive look at the frescoes and their architectural, archaeological, and historical contexts. More than 150 stunning illustrations present the paintings for the first time in their newly conserved state, along with a selection of 19th-century documentary watercolors. This remarkable publication illustrates how physical context, iconography, and style were used to convey ideology throughout Rome’s provinces.
“With its spectacular illustrations and international team of expert authors, Art of Empire: The Roman Frescoes and Imperial Cult Chamber in Luxor Temple shows how the imperial government transformed a chamber in the ancient sanctuary of Amun-Re, probably reserved for the pharaoh, into a shrine for Roman emperor worship.”—Ingrid Rowland, New York Review of Books?~Ingrid Rowland, The New York Review of Books
Winner of the 2016 James R. Wiseman Award sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America.~James R. Wiseman Award, Archaeological Institute of America
“This book is unquestionably of great importance for the study of the Roman monarchy in the tetrarchic period, of the Roman imperial cult, and of late Roman painting. It stands alone.”—Roger Bagnall, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University~Roger Bagnall, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
"This is an important work, which will be the basic reference book on the imperial cult chamber for many years to come."—Judith McKenzie, University of Oxford~Judith McKenzie, University of Oxford