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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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The Politics of the Accusative

The Politics of the Accusative

(p.45) Two The Politics of the Accusative
Statues and Cities

John Ma

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the captioning of honorific statues in the Hellenistic period, with emphasis on their metaphorical ‘grammar’ in terms of the accusative case. In particular, it analyses the politics underlying inscriptions on the bases of honorific monuments. It argues that captioning prevents the honorific statue from being an artefact of elitist eminence, and that the statue is about a transaction, where the community doing the honouring is primary. It also claims that the ‘subject’ of the honorific monument is the relationship, rather than the person represented. Finally, the chapter explains how the honorific monument affirms civic ideology and its power by re-establishing the symbolical balance involved in the euergetical exchange and displaying the primacy of the community.

Keywords:   captioning, honorific statues, Hellenistic period, politics, inscriptions, honorific monuments, transaction, community, relationship, civic ideology

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