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Achilles and the Roman Aristocrat

Title: Achilles and the Roman Aristocrat: The Ambrosian Iliad as a Social Statement in the Late Antique Period.
Name(s): Bare, Ceil Parks, author
Gerson, Paula, professor directing dissertation
Cairns, Francis, outside committee member
De Grummond, Nancy T., committee member
Emmerson, Rick, committee member
Department of Art History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The Ambrosian Iliad is a Late Antique manuscript that depicts Homer's Iliad. Originally written in Greek, much of its text was lost when the pictures were later removed from the original codex and pasted on separate sheets of vellum. Scholars have previously analyzed the Ambrosian Iliad using paleographic and stylistic analysis as a means to determine the work's provenance and date with wide ranging results. This study takes a different approach to the Ambrosian Iliad by applying contextual analysis when taking into account historical, social, and religious influences on the making and viewing of the manuscript. Particular attention is paid to the distinctly Late Antique Roman iconography that pervades the Ambrosian Iliad's imagery. The fifth-century reception of its imagery and how it contributed to the elite's self-definition of its status and place in a time of great change is the focus of this dissertation. Ultimately, this approach will contribute to the discourse by suggesting the use of the alternative methodology of contextuality to ascertain the dates and provenances for Late Antique manuscripts including the Ambrosian Iliad. Focusing on the Ambrosian Iliad's depiction of pagan sacrifices, circus games, and military battles, I propose that its mixture of antiquarian and contemporary iconography acted as reflections of the viewers' world view in the fifth century. These particular activities were connected to the mos maiorum and were a reminder and confirmation of the elite's purpose of protecting tradition. Based on primary sources during this period, it is evident that there was no other area of the Roman Empire where patricians were more driven to preserve the mos maiorum than in Rome or the surrounding areas. Moreover, the Ambrosian Iliad also spoke to the Christian viewer with its subtle reminders of their religion with its references to communal banqueting and the role of the Church in such popular activities as the circus. Finally, this study will propose that the Ambrosian Iliad was created sometime during the second through third quarters of the fifth century for a patron in the area of Rome.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-1065 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Art History in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2009.
Date of Defense: March 2, 2009.
Keywords: Ambrosian lliad, Manuscript, Late Antique, Homer, Iliad
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Paula Gerson, Professor Directing Dissertation; Francis Cairns, Outside Committee Member; Nancy T. de Grummond, Committee Member; Rick Emmerson, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Art
Art and design
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Bare, C. P. (2009). Achilles and the Roman Aristocrat: The Ambrosian Iliad as a Social Statement in the Late Antique Period. Retrieved from