Lecture 22

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Classics 456  Dr. Soren

   Greek and Roman Painting and Mosaics



              Lecture 22:  Sacral-Idyllic Landscapes


A. The Lost Ram

   l.  Heart of wild country- rustic altar with volutes, tree

   2. Eerie double image, Silvanus and Diana?

   3. Worshipper and statue

   4. Shepherd with goat flock- goat resists getting sacrificed

   5. Nature as entity which overwhelms man

   6. Narrow, clear foreground, solid background

   7. Stock ingredients- cypress trees, small temples, shrines,  

       sculpture of Diana or Silvanus, goat, shepherd                                 

   8. K. Woermann- Le paysage dans l'art des peuples anciens

      1880 – earliest book exclusively devoted to landscape

      painting of the Romans

  1. Karl Schefold- Roman spatiality is different from the  


  1. Peter Von Blanckenhagen- Roman friezes are different from Hellenic




      a. High horizon, birds eye view

      b. Stimmung or atmosphere


B. Was there Alexandrian Landscape painting? We keep waiting for the discovery

   l. Demetrios Topographos- court of Ptolemy VI, driven out 164 BC  

   2. Serapion- worked in Rome on scenae before Varro, didn't

       do people


C. Theocritus of Syracuse- born circa 325 B.C.

   l. Idylls of shepherds- extolling the everyday and pastoral

   2. Patron was Ptolemy Philadelphus, Greek king of Egypt

   3. Bucolics include mythological narrative, love and friends

   4. Founding generation of Alexandrian writers include

       Callimachus and Apollonius Rhodius


D. Callimachus- poetry for a discriminating few, Ptolemy II

   l. Short polished cameos

   2. 285-247 B.C.- wrote 800 volumes, librarian

   3. Aitia (Causes, origins)- Apollo says offer as fat a sacrifice

      as  you can but keep the verse slender    

 4.Delicacy, high finish, episodic, influences Catullus and


 5.Hekale- Epullion of Theseus on way to fight Marathon bull,  

    entertained by old woman, tales result, Scheherazade


E. Apollonius of Rhodes- librarian of Alexandria

   l. All is not idyllic- dictionary defines Kallimachos/


   2. Argonautica – episodic    


F. Odyssey Landscapes- episodic impressions, epullion, period of

 Greco -Egyptian influence

   l. But--- not delicate and graceful entirely, brooding

   2. Lacks intellectual symbolic aspects


G. Sacral-Idyllic Landscapes- real prototype for Odyssey Landscapes

   l. Between genre and myth and vaguely sacred

   2. Shepherds and wanderers out of Theocritus

   3. Late Hellenistic?

   4. Pantheistic reverence to myth of nature- creates own


   5. No heros or villains- man animates universe

   6. World-making

   7. Difference between Palestrina Nile Mosaic and this- this is

       not topographic


For the Powerpoint to this lecture click here.