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November 10, 2011 | 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Category: Lecture
Location: Art Building #157 | Map
5400 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: FREE
Audience: Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Prospective Students

Sponsored by the James Duffy Department of Art & Art History, the Program in Classics, Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Wayne State University.

The Archaeological Institute of America,Detroit Society presents:

"Roman Statues on the Move"
Brian Madigan, Associate Professor, James Duffy Department of Art & Art History, Wayne State University.

Texts occasionally report of Roman statues moving of their own volition: rotating or spitting blood. More common yet distinct from such exercises in religious imagination are statues of gods which genuinely move, although requiring human agency to do so, in fulfillment of their ceremonial function. Divine sculptures were transported, either carried by hand, on litters or carted in vehicles, and presented for view or temporarily installed in special venues where the presence of the gods was ceremonially required. All sorts of processions large and small, as well as banquets and throne ceremonies required the presence of the gods, or their visual stand-ins. A more complete understanding of Roman religion and its visual culture entails the divine apparatus which are an essential element of those practices.

Several distinct types of Roman divine statuary are attested in textual sources for use in ceremonies. It is possible, then, to refine the focus to these specific types. The textual evidence identifies statuettes to be carried by hand, large statues on litters, capita deorum (heads of gods), and exuviae (symbols). However, a more complete understanding requires the correlation with the visual evidence, consisting of a broad range of representations which correspond to the types described in the textual sources.


For more information about this event, please contact Ian Chapp at 313/577-2988 or ichapp@wayne.edu.