Discussion 5.2: Roman Images
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You are Ionna Flumina, the premier authority on Roman fashion and celebrity in the city of Rome. You are being interviewed about your career and the Roman emperors you grew to know throughout your career. Discuss the fashionable images created by and for three different emperors – Augustus, a Julio-Claudian emperor of your choosing, and Vespasian. What image did they present through their fashionable portraits and monuments (like the Ara Pacis), why did they “fashion” these images of themselves to appear the way they do, and how does this compare to what you as Ionna Flumina would know about their personal lives from conversations with friends that would later help Suetonius write his history?
Please read the instruction carefully. Feel free to put any relevant images.
At heart, your discussion should center on how Roman emperors used public art to project messages they wanted people to connect with them. How is art being used as propaganda in various ways through styles, purposes, intended audiences, symbolic elements, clothing, and any other ways visual messages can be conveyed. Don’t confuse fashion here with the sense of fashion design and popular culture. Focus on the message and how it is projected and how it may clash with the actual person as far as we know of them. Remember that these are (almost) absolute rulers and THEY control the message.
Also, you are choosing three pieces – one of Augustus, one of any of the other Julio-Claudian emperors, and one of Vespasian.
Two sources to help you:
https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/ropo2/hd_ropo2.htm (Links to an external site.) – Met Museum essay
https://www.donottouchblog.com/home/rise-and-fall-of-hair (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) – a little cheeky, but useful