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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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Statues in their Spaces

Statues in their Spaces

(p.67) Three Statues in their Spaces
Statues and Cities

John Ma

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a ‘grammar of space’ by focusing on various sites where communities of the Hellenistic period set up honorific portraits. It begins with an overview of space before turning to a discussion of how honorific statues were involved — and involved their viewers — in the construction of civic space. In this sense, ‘space’ can be public space, sacred space, or private space, in any Hellenistic city. The chapter considers how space affects social meaning, and how the meaning is read and interpreted by those who live it. More precisely, it explores how exactly the meaning is produced by the location where an honorific statue was set up. To illustrate the ‘grammar’ and to understand the placement of statues as a dynamic, interrelated set of meaningful possibilities, several test cases — Priene, Pergamon, Athens, and the Asklepieion near Epidauros — are described.

Keywords:   grammar of space, Hellenistic period, honorific portraits, honorific statues, civic space, social meaning, Priene, Pergamon, Athens, Asklepieion

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