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Actualities: Decorated interiors of the sanctuaries

August 21, 2013

New Picture-bmpThe new book of Eric Moormann entitled “Divine Interiors: mural paintings in Greek and Roman sanctuaries” (Amsterdam Archaeological Studies 16, Amsterdam, 2012, august) shows some of the most important decorated sanctauries and preserved paintings of the Graeco – Roman world, focusing however especially on Italy and Greece and the sanctauries of the official or imperial cults. About the provincial archaeological examples (like some mithrea – Szombathely, Güglingen) he doesn’t write. He speak in details about the Hawarti mithraeum and also about the Mainz mithraeum too. The book is a ver yimportant contribution to understand not only the interior architectrure, but also the ritual and sacral topography of the sanctuaries.

Short review of the book:

Mighty marble facades, sculptures, and wall paintings played an important role in the decoration of Greek and Roman temples. While the official temples, which were connected with a city or a state, usually had a simple but solemn appearance, the more popular buildings were true multi-colored expressions of religiosity. Scenes from the life of the revered deity, portraits of the supporters and practitioners of the cult, and renderings of plants and animals could transport visitors to these shrines to different worlds. The wall paintings displayed differences in style and taste, but they had the same basic look everywhere. It is striking to see the similarities between temples that were widely separated in the vast Greco-Roman world.

Drawing on archaeological remains and texts of antiquity, Divine Interiors fills a void in Greek and Roman studies by exploring a large variety of decorative schemes and fashions all over the ancient world and by shedding light on the devotional practices of worshippers and the use of shrines and temples in daily life.

From → Actualities

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