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Statues and CitiesHonorific Portraits and Civic Identity in the Hellenistic World$
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John Ma

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199668915

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199668915.001.0001

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Towards a Grammar of Honours

Towards a Grammar of Honours

(p.15) One Towards a Grammar of Honours
Statues and Cities

John Ma

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the various ways in which honorific statues in the Hellenistic period were captioned, with emphasis on their metaphorical ‘grammar’ in the most literal sense of registering the near-universal employment of the accusative case. In particular, it analyses the politics underlying inscriptions on honorific monuments by focusing on their text and image. It also considers writing on the base of honorific statues and the way the honorand, the honourer, and the act of honouring are described, along with this description's consequences for the nature of the transaction. In addition to unpacking the workings of the formula, the chapter looks at the way the statue base functions in presenting the statue as part of an institutionalised relation.

Keywords:   honorific statues, Hellenistic period, politics, inscriptions, honorific monuments, text, image, honorand, honourer, honouring

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