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Triumphabant aeternae domus: motifs of arms in Roman domestic decoration

Randle, Nadia Siobhan 2015. Triumphabant aeternae domus: motifs of arms in Roman domestic decoration. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Despite the wealth of research on Roman interior decoration, little has been said about the use of motifs of arms and armour in domestic contexts. Previous scholarship has generally interpreted such images as representing Roman spoils of war. This study challenges this connection with spoils, looking at a wider range of influences on the development and deployment of motifs of arms. It explores how such motifs could have been interpreted in light of their wider decorative context. Drawing on an extensive catalogue of images in painting, mosaic and stucco dating from 100 BC to 100 AD, this thesis looks at the ways real captured arms were displayed in public and private contexts to assess how closely the domestic decorations mirror these idealised practices. It also explores the influence of Greek culture on Roman decorative motifs, decorative fashions across Mau’s Four Styles, the possible influence of gladiatorial combats on the depiction of arms and begins to assess the extent to which all of these factors may have been involved in interpreting motifs of arms in the Roman home. This allows a more nuanced approach to motifs of arms in decorations, emphasising their flexibility and ambiguity. This study also begins to explore how the location of motifs of arms within the house can impact on how a Roman observer could have interpreted the images, opening up a further avenue of research on motifs of arms and understanding how they were deployed and responded to in Roman domestic contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2022 16:47

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