Greek culture as images: Menander's comedies and their patrons in the Roman West and the Greek East

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Abstract

This paper considers the iconographic tradition of Greek New Comedy in
both the Roman West and the Greek East. My specific interest is in mosaics and wall paintings illustrating New Comedy scenes, and my focus is on their original display-context and geographic distribution pattern. In addition to stressing the importance of the atrium-complex as a display venue for these images in Pompeian houses, I argue that after the Early Empire, house-owners in the Roman West largely lost interest in reproducing theatrical scenes at a time when these images were most popular with their Greek-speaking counterparts. In both the Roman West and the Greek East, illustrations of Greek drama played into ancient house-owners' self-portrayal, by fostering cultural pretensions and reinforcing Greekness in the Imperial East.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAncient Comedy and Reception: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey Henderson
EditorsS. Douglas Olson
Place of PublicationGottingen Germany
PublisherWalter de Gruyter
Pages346-365
Number of pages20
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781614511250
ISBN (Print)9781614511663
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Nervegna, S. G. (2013). Greek culture as images: Menander's comedies and their patrons in the Roman West and the Greek East. In S. D. Olson (Ed.), Ancient Comedy and Reception: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey Henderson (1st ed., pp. 346-365). Walter de Gruyter.