Sculptures that could be placed in sanctuaries of young men and women – idealized. This particular sculpture represents the offerer himself – shown bringing a sacrificial animal, and as one foot forward as if he is approaching the sanctuary. The idea of the animal looking downward is seen as his acceptance of the sacrifice. This was in the acropolis, Athens. These statues were not just offerings, but advertisements of pride.
Different kind of sculpture from a later period. Found in international waters, could have been the subject of a shipwreck from being transported from Greece to Italy at this time. This is a nude young man with weight distributed between his legs, his arm gesture shows him putting a crown of oak leaves on his head, marking him as the victor of a competition. He is nude because he is heroic in winning a competition, ideal beauty, and competitions between men took place in the nude. This sculpture was probably set up to set up to commemorate a victory. Competitions were common to honor the gods – the victors won the right to set up trophies and monuments to themselves.
There are points of similarities between the Romans and the Etruscans. The Roman temple is more square than the Greek rectangular, there are more rooms within the temple – suggesting three different gods. It is raised up, and there is a porch, one must ascend upstairs to get into the temple. There is no colonnade extending around the entire building, only columns on the front of the building. The porch is very deep, almost half of the entire building. Roman temples had less sculpture décor on them. There is only a front entrance. Temples are not built with a lot of stone, but with mud brick, wood, and only stone foundation – did not have as much stone accent. The eves were so long to protect the building.
Italian type of temple – events of animal sacrifice. All the temples were not facing the same direction, there was not too much worry about directions that the temples were facing. Those that were Auspices, telling the future, would face the south.
The Romans wanted to understand when it was a good time or a bad time to do things. This is the back of an Etruscan mirror, containing incised artwork. Depiction a mythological character with wings performing a practice called the Haruspicy, which is the inspection of an animal’s liver to see if there are good or bad signs for foretelling the future.
This is a bronze model of an animal (a sheep’s) liver. Divided up in various regions with inscriptions within. The inscriptions are the names of deities. There are good luck places and bad luck places for certain deities.
Drawing of the liver. This was an extremely common practice within Italian religion. The person that would inspect the liver was called the haruspex. The almost obsession with figuring out when the right time to do things was wrapped up in another Roma practice of following rules to the letter. As the language developed and people forgot them and their meanings, but, even though they did not understand the meanings of ancient songs or writings, they would still do them to follow tradition and practice – very important for the Romans.
Auguri – involves looking out at the landscape and watching for certain phenomena to help decide on good or bad omens. This room is made to look fancy, contains a false door. Two figures flanking the door, making an unusual gesture – seems to be part of the act of Auguri. This would happen particularly at the temples facing south – there would be a space augmented – called a Templum – space laid out in front of the building. Aedes – the word for temple in Latin. Set up just like a castrum – a Roman military camp. It is a square and lines divided it in four parts, and those parts are them divided. Looking for two mains things: the flight of birds, and weather phenomena, like lightening. Different kinds of lightening attributed to certain gods. Also looking for certain kinds of birds, and where they are flying. According to the map they had laid out they would make interpretations.
As time goes on, Roman architecture changes, particularly with influence from the Greeks – this is the best preserved temple in Rome other than the Parthenon. Dedicated to the river god, Portunus. Can see Greek influence – columns going all the way around, but are engaged to the wall, not separate from the building. The shape is more narrow and longer. Just has the one main chamber, the cella. Still only one entrance.
Temple is placed up high on a podium. The building is all in stone. See development in the shapes and plans of the buildings.
In the ionic, which is a Greek, order. This began in the 2 nd century BCE, when Romans are conquering Italy. Can see how the columns are engaged. The porch is shallower.
Pediment – no sculpture yet.
Adoption of other Greek ideas of the round temple. This was the very first Roman temple built entirely in marble.
This temple employs the Corinthian order, which becomes the standard in Roman temples.
What is characteristic of Roman temples is how open they were to practices of other religions. Romans were polytheistic in a broad form. They allowed anyone to worship their other gods, but they also must worship Roman gods. Why the Romans were easily able to maintain control of other regions, because they did not force peoples to change their religions. The cult of the Persian god Mithras – fought a cosmic battle between light and dark. He is on the side of the sun god Sol. His victory over evil is symbolized by his slaughter of a bull. This is a painting from a Mithras shrine, called a Mithraeum. He is grabbing the bull by the nostrils to tilt its head back to slit its throat. Meanwhile, other animals are attacking the bull. There are two smaller torch bearers – one holds the torch down, one up – symbolizes life and death contrast, also day and night. This is the central image of the Mithras cult. Practiced in the east, especially in Persia.
Roman soldiers, stationed in the east, moving around the empire become devotees to the cult of Mithras. It becomes very widespread, shown on this map to be tracing the line of the Roman borders.
This is an unusual cult. Mystery cult, membership is limited. The number of worshippers that could take part in the rituals was limited, limited space was made. The worshippers were grouped into no more than 20-25 for each city. They were often underground, and worship is happening indoors. This Mithraeum is valuable because of the pavement that is perserved – shows panels depicting images. Called Felicissimus because his name is on the symbols as being the one who build this in dedication. There were ranks in the cult – mirroring the structure of military, perhaps why so appealing to Roman military. Each of the symbols signifies a rank in the cult, the top rank is Pater, meaning father. The lowest layer shows a crow, called Corax, meaning crow in Latin.
Planetary symbols, or astrological symbols that were associated with a rank within the cult.
This is the mithraeum of the seven spheres – the idea of seven ranks and the celestial reference.
Shows the pavement. The platform on the sides is raised up, so people could recline or banquet – the primary ritual that took place within the Mithras cult, a banquet – after the banquet of Mithras and the bull.
24 roman cultic practice
ARTH 2402 Classical Art and Archaeology
Rhombos, son of Palos “ Moskhophoros” (Calf-bearer) Athens 560 BCE