Synopses & Reviews
This pioneering study examines a pivotal period in the history of Europe and the Near East. Spanning the ancient and medieval worlds, it investigates the shared ideal of sacred kingship that emerged in the late Roman and Persian empires. This shared ideal, while often generating conflict during the four centuries of the empires' coexistence (224-642), also drove exchange, especially the means and methods Roman and Persian sovereigns used to project their notions of universal rule: elaborate systems of ritual and their cultures' visual, architectural, and urban environments. Matthew Canepa explores the artistic, ritual, and ideological interactions between Rome and the Iranian world under the Sasanian dynasty, the last great Persian dynasty before Islam. He analyzes how these two hostile systems of sacred universal sovereignty not only coexisted, but fostered cross-cultural exchange and communication despite their undying rivalry. Bridging the traditional divide between classical and Iranian history, this book brings to life the dazzling courts of two global powers that deeply affected the cultures of medieval Europe, Byzantium, Islam, South Asia, and China.
and#8220;This very good book is a welcome contribution . . . and is worthy of the prestigious series in which it appears.and#8221;
and#8220;An important and valuable addition to current studies in postcolonial theory and the colonial phenomenon in the ancient Mediterranean.and#8221;
and#8220;Dietler has produced an outstanding work of scholarship that is sophisticated, intelligent, and insightful, and that deserves the close attention of scholars.and#8221;
and#8220;Dietlerand#8217;s book is full of interesting . . . insights woven from a particular anthropologically driven perspective.and#8221;
and#8220;Dazzling. . . . Dietler offers in this utterly captivating study . . . an account of a colonial entanglement like nothing you have ever read.and#8221;
"An excellent account."
and#8220;Substantial and highly informative. . . . A detailed study.and#8221;
A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press s new open access publishing program. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more.
What is the role of the material world in shaping the tensions and paradoxes of imperial sovereignty?Scholars have long shed light on the complex processes of conquest, extraction, and colonialism under imperial rule. But imperialism has usually been cast as an exclusively human drama, one in which the world of matter does not play an active role.LoriKhatchadourianargues instead that things from everyday objects to monumental buildings profoundly shape social and political life under empire. Out of the archaeology of ancient Persia and the South Caucasus, Imperial Matteradvances powerful new analytical approaches to the study of imperialism writ large andshould be read by scholars working on empire across the humanities and social sciences."
and#147;This book is a true tour de force
in the scholarship of the late ancient world. Canepa has bridged the traditional divide between Classical and Iranian studies to illuminate the long-running artistic dialogue between the late Roman and Sasanian Empires. Every chapter offers exciting new insights into the development of late antique art and rituals of power."and#151;Joel Walker, author of The Legend of Mar Qardagh: Narrative and Christian Heroism in Late Antique Iraq
"The Two Eyes of the Earth is a masterly synthesis of a theme of the utmost importance for the political culture of the late antique world."and#151;Peter Brown, author of Power and Persuasion
This book presents a theoretically informed, up-to-date study of interactions between indigenous peoples of Mediterranean France and Etruscan, Greek, and Roman colonists during the first millennium BC. Analyzing archaeological data and ancient texts, Michael Dietler explores these colonial encounters over six centuries, focusing on material culture, urban landscapes, economic practices, and forms of violence. He shows how selective consumption linked native societies and colonists and created transformative relationships for each. Archaeologies of Colonialism also examines the role these ancient encounters played in the formation of modern European identity, colonial ideology, and practices, enumerating the problems for archaeologists attempting to re-examine these past societies.
"Archaeologies of Colonialism
contributes to a new understanding of a very large body of material. Its publication will be welcomed by historians and archaeologists who study ancient Greek and Roman colonialism, Mediterranean trade, and Iron Age Europe."and#151;Peter S. Wells, author of The Battle that Stopped Rome
"Dietler examines colonial encounters and entanglements through a variety of lenses (consumption, violence, space), elegantly deploying the rich archaeology and history of the Western Mediterranean, an antiquity that shaped our very notions of the colonial experience. This is a book as complex and nuanced as the process it explores."and#151;Susan E. Alcock, Brown University
About the Author
Matthew P. Canepa is Assistant Professor of Art History at the College of Charleston where he is a faculty member in the interdisciplinary programs in Archaeology and Asian Studies.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Sources and Abbreviations
2. The Art and Ritual of Kingship Within and Between Rome and Sasanian Iran
3. The Lure of the Other and the Limits of the Past
4. Sapur I, King of Kings of Iran and Non-Iran
5. Romeand#8217;s Troubled Third Century and the Emergence of a New Equilibrium
6. Contested Images of Sacral Kingship and New Expressions of Triumph
7. Unceasing Embassies
8. City as Stage and Art as Statecraft
9. The Late Antique Kosmos of Power
Epilogue: The Legacy of the Two Eyes of the Earth