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Images for Classicists

Images for Classicists

Edited by Kathleen M. Coleman

ISBN 9780674428362

Publication date: 10/26/2015

How did the Greeks translate tales into images? Why do artistic depictions of ancient myths sometimes “contradict” the textual versions that we think of as canonical? What caused the Romans to be anxious about decorated ceilings? Can numismatic images solve problems in Augustan politics or explain the provenance of the Warren Cup? How are the curators of ancient artifacts to supply the high-quality digital images that scholars need in order to answer these questions? And how are text-based scholars to make productive use of them? Images have their own semantic language, and their survival, usually divorced from their original context, makes it hard to interpret them with nuance and sophistication. Images for Classicists starts from the premise that the visual and textual records from antiquity are indispensable complements to one another and demonstrates some of the ways in which text and image, taken together, can complicate and enrich our understanding of ancient culture. While attempting to dissolve the distinctions between text- and artifact-based scholars, it also tries to bridge the gap between academy and museum by exploring the challenges that the digital revolution poses to curators and sketching some of the ways in which image-based collections may be deployed in the future.


  • Kathleen M. Coleman is James Loeb Professor of the Classics at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 148 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • Harvard University Department of the Classics