ISBN : 9780190921897
In Destinations in Mind, Kimberly Cassibry asks how objects depicting different sites helped Romans understand their vast empire. At a time when many cities were written about but only a few were represented in art, four distinct sets of artifacts circulated new information. Engraved silver cups list all the stops from Spanish Cádiz to Rome, while resembling the milestones that helped travelers track their progress. Vivid glass cups represent famous charioteers and gladiators competing in circuses and amphitheaters, and offered virtual experiences of spectacles that were new to many regions. Bronze bowls commemorate forts along Hadrian's Wall with colorful enameling typical of Celtic craftsmanship. Glass bottles display labeled cityscapes of Baiae, a notorious resort, and Puteoli, a busy port, both in the Bay of Naples.
These artifacts and their journeys reveal an empire divided not into center and periphery, but connected by roads that did not all lead to Rome. They bear witness to a shared visual culture that was divided not into high and low art, but united by extraordinary craftsmanship. New aspects of globalization are apparent in the multi-lingual placenames that the vessels bear, in the transformed places that they visualize, and in the enriched understanding of the empire's landmarks that they impart. With in-depth case studies, Cassibry argues that the best way to comprehend the Roman Empire is to look closely at objects depicting its fascinating places.
Introduction: En Route to the Roman Empire
Chapter 1 - On the Road: From Gades to Rome on the Itinerary Cups
Chapter 2 - At the Games: Charioteers and Gladiators on the Spectacle Cups
Chapter 3 - On the Border: Hadrian's Wall on the Fort Plans
Chapter 4 - By the Sea: Baiae and Puteoli on the Bay Bottles
Conclusion: Not All Roads Lead to Rome
As Europe reopens, consider a Roman road trip that takes inspiration from an ancient travel guide. The Vicarello itineraries describe what we might call the scenic route from CÃ¡diz to Rome. Glimpses of the empire's superlative architecture can be found along the way, and emerging digital tools can put primary sources at your fingertips.
Posted on July 10, 2021