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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Depicting the Dead: Self-Representation and Commemoration on Roman Sarcophagi with Portraits
Birk, Stine

Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2013 pp. 333. €54.56

Series Information
Aarhus Studies in Mediterranean Antiquity, 11


Description: The present monograph takes its place in a now well-established tradition of seeing sarcophagi as visual statements of deceased individuals that used allegories to plot lives and personal memories against mythological and other idealised narratives. It focuses on Roman sarcophagi, often referred to as stadtrömisch, which reflects the fact that the field has traditionally been dominated by German scholars. The aim of the book is twofold: Firstly, it is an exploration of how to read Roman sarcophagi, which starts from those with portraits, but which can contribute more broadly to the study of sarcophagi in general. Secondly, this book investigates gender values as represented through images and how to locate the individual in standardised iconography.

Subjects: Greco-Roman Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Archaeology

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Review by Eric C. Smith
Published 11/10/2016
Citation: Eric C. Smith, review of Stine Birk, Depicting the Dead: Self-Representation and Commemoration on Roman Sarcophagi with Portraits, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).


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