The Moral Mirror of Roman Art

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Cambridge University Press, May 12, 2008 - Art - 274 pages
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This interdisciplinary study explores the meanings of mirrors and reflections in Roman art and society. When used as metaphors in Roman visual and literary discourses, mirrors had a strongly moral force, reflecting not random reality but rather a carefully filtered imagery with a didactic message. Focusing on examples found in mythical narrative, religious devotion, social interaction, and gender relations, Rabun Taylor demonstrates that reflections served as powerful symbols of personal change. Thus, in both art and literature, a reflection may be present during moments of a protagonist's inner or outer transformation.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
ONE THE TEACHING MIRROR
19
NARCISSUS AND HERMAPHRODITUS
56
THREE THE MIRROR OF DIONYSUS
90
FOUR THE MIRRORING SHIELD OF ACHILLES
137
FIVE THE MIRRORING SHIELD OF PERSEUS
169
CONCLUSION
197
APPENDIX MEDUSA AND THE EVIL EYE
203
NOTES
207
BIBLIOGRAPHY
241
INDEX
259
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About the author (2008)

Rabun Taylor is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Texas, Austin. He received his PhD in Classical Studies from the University of Minnesota and taught at Harvard University prior to his current appointment. His publications include Public Needs and Private Pleasures: Water Distribution, the Tiber River, and the Urban Development of Ancient Rome (2000) and Roman Builders: A Study in Architectural Process (2003).

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