Download Art Forms and Civic Life in the Late Roman Empire by Hans Peter L'Orange PDF

By Hans Peter L'Orange

In this research, initially released in Norway as Fra Principat Til Dominat, Professor L'Orange units down the essence of his proposal at the an important interval of transition from decentralization to standardization in civic and cultural life-a interval now not in contrast to our own.

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6 Everywhere there is the same negation of what is concrete, plastically delimitated and determined, the same turning towards simplifying concepts and symbolic absolutes. In an imperial triumph it is no longer the historical victor who is celebrated, the victor who conquered a specific enemy at a particular time and place; rather, the historical victor is elevated to the absolute victor, the ubique victor, the victor omnium gentium; his historical victory becomes the victoria perpetua-thus the emperor and his imperial victory are named on late antique coins and thus he is represented in triumphal art.

Also in the aforementioned tetrarchic monument at Forum Romanum and in the tetrarch-group on a relief on the Arch of Galerius in Thessalonika (Fig. 40) is the similitudo of the emperors articulated in their type, dress, gesture, and entire appearance. This similitudo that we meet in the portraits of emperors by panegyrists, in coin portraits, and in monumental sculpture, has its own explanation, which gives an important glimpse into the theocratical ideas of the Dominate. The key to the understanding of it lies in the seemingly inconsequential fact that both Augusti celebrate their "birthday" on the same day: this birthday, gemini natales, is actually not their proper and personal birthday, but their joint divine birthday, calculated from the day in 287 when the two Augusti adopted the names Jovius and Herculius, after their fathers Jupiter and Hercules.

Find this profound tra11sformation of form. Examine, side by side (Figs. 12 and 13), an antae-capital from Didymaion by Milet, and a piece of a cornice, from the palace of Diocletian in Spalato; 2 compare the wonderful plastic, full-bodied eggand-dart motif in the classical capital with the bodiless clair-obscure of the same ornament in the late antique corntce. At the same time that the form thereby becomes increasingly insubstantial, it gradually loses its individual nature and becomes steadily more standardized, but with an ever more firmly crystallized significance.

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