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CLARA : Classical Art and Archaeology
Number of Followers: 6  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2464-3726
Published by Universitetet i Oslo Homepage  [16 journals]
  • An Absence of Time: Remarks on the Temporal Mode of Being in Royal Elamite

    • Authors: Milad Jahangirfar, Iraj Dadashi , Seyed Saeed Seyed Ahmadi Zavieh
      Abstract: The surviving royal inscriptions from ancient Elam (in the south and southwest of modern Iran) speak of two historical characters who occupy particular positions outside physical time. These are Šilhaha (probably active in the early nineteenth century BC) and Princess Bar-Uli (in the second half of the twelfth century BC). Šilhaha became a prominent figure in Elamite history. His position is known through a legitimizing formula used by several subsequent rulers who claimed to be the ‘son of Šilhaha’s sister’. Thus, Šilhaha became a sempiternal being as his metaphysical existence was necessary for all the future kings who would make such a claim. However, his temporal mode of being changed from sempiternal to omnitemporal when he appeared in a curse formulated in the late twelfth century BC. In this curse, Šilhaha occupies a divine position. To appear in such a position means that his metaphysical existence would become necessary for the future both within and outside physical time. As for B/Par-Uli, she is called the ‘beloved daughter’ and ‘salvation’ of King Šilhak-Inšušinak I (conventionally 1150-1120 BC). Being her father’s ‘salvation’ denotes her role in this world and the hereafter. Moreover, her image, engraved in a mirror-like scene on a chalcedony bead, further emphasises her position and role. Drawing on the terms ‘temporal’, ‘sempiternal’ and ‘omnitemporal’, this paper examines the textual contexts to see how the shift in the temporal modes of being occurred. In the end, the image on the chalcedony bead will be briefly discussed.
      PubDate: 2022-11-09
      DOI: 10.5617/clara.9934
      Issue No: Vol. 9 (2022)
  • Was Alois Riegl Colour Blind'

    • Authors: Bente Kiilerich
      Abstract: In his formalist art history, Alois Riegl (1858-1905) focuses on figure and ground, light and dark, and tactile versus optical features. Strangely, he shows little interest in colour. Thus, in Stilfragen (1893) and in Spätrömische Kunstindustrie (1901) artefacts and monuments are discussed as if they were fashioned in black and white. Even when describing mosaics and book illuminations, Riegl refrains from mentioning specific colours. In connection with baroque painting (Die Entstehung der Barockkunst in Rom, 1908) the almost total lack of colour description is even more striking. Although Riegl may have found form to be more objective than colour, and he also relied heavily on black and white reproductions, another explanation for his exclusion of chromatic features could be that he did not see colour well. The article proposes that Riegl may have been among the 8-10 per cent of males who suffer from colour vision deficiency.
      PubDate: 2022-08-31
      DOI: 10.5617/clara.9806
      Issue No: Vol. 9 (2022)
  • CLARA Review: Camilla Asplund Ingemark & Dominic Ingemark, 2020:
           Representations of Fear. Verbalising Emotion in Ancient Roman Folk
           Narrative (Folklore Fellows’ Communications, 320). Helsinki: Finnish
           Academy of Science and Letters. 362 pages.

    • Authors: Hedvig von Ehrenheim
      Abstract: Good stories were part of the ancient world just as they are today. We find them occasionally transmitted in the extant sources from Classical Greece and Rome, but too seldom are they the subject of scholarly study. The book by Asplund Ingemark and Ingemark is an in-depth study of a limited number of key texts chosen on the basis of their oral origin, as well as their focus on fear. It analyses the function of these stories using an interdisciplinary approach.
      PubDate: 2022-08-11
      DOI: 10.5617/clara.9760
      Issue No: Vol. 9 (2022)
  • CLARA Review: Maria Luisa Catoni & Gabriel Zuchtriegel (eds), 2022: Arte e
           sensualitĂ  nelle case di Pompei (Catalogo della mostra, Parco
           Archeologico di Pompei). Artem. 280 pages.

    • Authors: Astri Karine Lundgren
      Abstract: The exhibition Arte e sensualità nelle case di Pompei (21 April 2022-15 January 2023) has been curated by professor in art history and classical archaeology, Maria Luisa Catoni (IMT Lucca) and director of the Pompeii archaeological park, Gabriel Zuchtriegel. It offers a glimpse of the sensual, sexual and erotic aesthetics which decorated different spaces of ‘an ideal’ Pompeian domus. This wide repertoire brings together 69 items, including wall-paintings, statues (ranging from 139 cm to 94 cm) and statuettes (63 cm-13 cm), as well as other personal and everyday objects, dating to between the first century BC and the first century AD. Aside from the bronze medallions decorating the ceremonial chariot or ‘pilentum’ from Civita Giuliana discovered in 2021, and the newly restored wall-paintings from cubiculum 8 at Villa del Carmiano at Gragnano, all displayed works have been recovered from the storage rooms of Pompeii (rather than borrowed from other institutions or museums). The use of stored objects from depositories is a much-welcomed development for displaying sensual and erotic art from Pompeii. While current practices have a tendency to arrange exhibitions around the same familiar artefacts, Arte e sensualità nelle case di Pompei exhibits lesser-known examples—giving the audience an idea of the complex and diverse nature of such items. This review attempts to evaluate the potential of Arte e sensualità nelle case di Pompei and the accompanying catalogue. It begins with a definition of the field, continuing with an account and a walk-through of each of the exhibition areas. The review concludes with a descriptive evaluation of the lavishly illustrated catalogue.
      PubDate: 2022-07-09
      DOI: 10.5617/clara.9734
      Issue No: Vol. 9 (2022)
  • Cymbals playing in a Roman mosaic from Mariamin in Syria

    • Authors: Audrey Cottet
      Abstract: The mosaic of the six female musicians from Mariamin in Syria depicts in exquisite detail a late antique musical performance. The present study focuses on the cymbal tongs player and the finger cymbals player from this mosaic, who have raised little interest so far, yet provide much information on cymbal playing in the Roman-Imperial period. The first part of this work studies the technical aspects of cymbal playing revealed by the Mariamin mosaic. It discusses the typology and playing techniques of cymbal tongs, using a comparative iconographic approach and an experimental reconstruction approach. The Mariamin mosaic portrays a type of cymbal tongs in which the cymbals are struck laterally, in contrast to cymbals tongs in which cymbals are struck frontally, the only type discussed by archaeomusicologists to date. Significantly, lateral cymbal tongs similar to those of Mariamin appear in other late antique mosaics from Bulgaria and Algeria, suggesting that this instrument was widespread. The reconstruction of lateral and frontal cymbal tongs shows that the two instruments sounded different. The Mariamin mosaic also provides information on the use of small cymbals attached directly to fingers. It shows a finger cymbal tying system that seems to differ from the few other Roman examples known to date. It also shows that finger cymbals players could use two different pairs of cymbals to make two different musical notes, one with each hand. These findings illustrate the technical richness of cymbal playing in the Roman Empire. The second part of this work discusses the instrumental associations visible in the Mariamin mosaic, placing them in the context of other late antique representations. The trio of three resonant metallic instruments discernible in the Mariamin band (cymbal tongs, finger cymbals and acetabuli) illustrates the Roman-Imperial taste for abundant metallic tinkling. Finally, the inclusion of cymbal tongs or finger cymbals in musical bands recurs in mythological representations. The cupid disguises of the two children in the Mariamin mosaic echo these images. However, the scene depicted by the mosaic seems anchored in the reality of the late Roman Empire. Remarkably, the Mariamin mosaic shows that ‘simple’ small cymbals could hold an important place in a high-class musical band equipped with prestigious instruments.
      PubDate: 2022-06-29
      DOI: 10.5617/clara.9726
      Issue No: Vol. 9 (2022)
  • CLARA Review: Diana L. Stein, Sarah Kielt Costello, Karen Polinger Foster
           (eds), 2021: The Routledge Companion to Ecstatic Experience in the Ancient

    • Authors: Helene Whittaker
      Abstract: The aim of Ecstatic Experience in the Ancient World is to cast light on what the editors maintain has been a neglected area of ancient religious expression, an assertion that can hardly be disputed as a general statement. Although there has been considerable interest in the topic, at least regarding some areas of the eastern Mediterranean, methodological and theoretical approaches have been lacking. The editors have largely succeeded in their aim of drawing attention to the ubiquity and variety of ecstatic experiences in the ancient world and have produced an impressive volume.
      PubDate: 2022-06-14
      DOI: 10.5617/clara.9709
      Issue No: Vol. 9 (2022)
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