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.
Divine Interiors is a unique and much-needed book that fills a conspicuous gap in the scholarship on ancient Greek and Roman wall painting. Moormann has succeeded in forging a sound methodology for investigating this subject by investigating both ancient attitudes toward temple painting as found in preserved texts and through careful analysis of preserved remains of paintings in temples throughout the Roman world. Moormann has organized this disparate material logically, by dividing the temples according to cult. First come the public temples, first in Greece and Roman Italy, then in the western and eastern provinces. Next are the shrines dedicated to the Emperor cult, followed by the shrines housing non-Roman deities such as Isis, Mithras, and Sabazios. Dura-Europos merits a separate chapter, given the unusual preservation of temples representing the cults of Bel, Zeus Theos, Judaism, Gadde, and Christianity. Throughout Moormann's scholarship is extremely thorough and accurate; he has left no stone unturned in his investigation. The result is an eminently useful account of this neglected subject. Readers will appreciate the thoroughness of Moormann's account and will find it a solid foundation for further study of the paintings found in Greek and Roman temples. --John R. Clarke is Regents Professor of Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of seven books on the art and culture of ancient Rome, with emphasis on the ways that visual culture indexes the practices of everyday life. - "Apollon, Isis, Mithra : how could the devotee identify the temple he entered ? Are there similarities between public sanctuaries, private oratories, scholae and temples for imperial cult? This highly sophisticated study is based on literary sources, but mostly on wall-paintings from Elst, Pompeii, Ostia, Luxor, Dura-Europos, and many other sites in the roman world." Helene Eristov, researcher at the CNRS (Paris), expert in ancient wall-painting, works in Italy, Gaul, Middle East.
Series: Amsterdam Archaeological Studies
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 15th April 2012
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Dimensions (cm): 29.7 x 21.0 x 2.3
Weight (kg): 1.361