Statues are among the most familiar remnants of classical art. Yet their prominence in ancient society is often ignored. In the Roman world statues were ubiquitous. Whether they were displayed as public honours or memorials, collected as works of art, dedicated to deities, venerated as gods, or violated as symbols of a defeated political regime, they were recognized individually and collectively as objects of enormous significance. By analysing ancient texts and images, Statues in Roman Society unravels the web of associations which surrounded Roman statues. Addressing all categories of statuary together for the first time, it illuminates them in ancient terms, explaining expectations of what statues were or ought to be and describing the Romans' uneasy relationship with 'the other population' in their midst.
Peter Stewart is Lecturer in Classical Art and its Heritage at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London