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Grant number: FT-55112-07

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FT-55112-07

David Eric Petrain
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN 37240-0001)

The Tabulae Iliacae and the Development of Visual Storytelling in the Early Roman Empire

The Tabulae Iliacae are a group of carved stone plaques from early imperial Rome that retell the story of Troy in visual form. Far from being mere plot summaries, the Tabulae develop novel forms of visual argumentation in order to reshape the Troy saga so that Aeneas, Rome's national hero, seems to be its central figure. The tablets thus forge a Roman version of mythic history seemingly endorsed by the traditions of Greek epic. Drawing on ancient literature, art history, and modern narratology, I develop a conceptual framework for reevaluating this neglected group of monuments, which are unprecedented in ancient art for the intricacy of their pictorial narratives. My work illuminates the complexity of visual communication in ancient Rome.

Project fields:
Classics

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2007 – 6/30/2007