This paper, while investigating into the topic of gem collecting in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History, where it is conceptualized and termed “dactyliotheca”, pursues a twofold purpose. In the first place, the close connection between precious stones and gem-cutting technique is examined, as well as the gems’ value and connotation as symbols in close connection with the owner of the gems, in the context of the aesthetics and ethics of the luxuria. Gem collecting acts as a metonym for Rome’s further establishment of its legitimacy and authority, although the cultural model shaping such a specific image of the self stems from the Hellenistic court. In the second place, the paper focuses on Posidippus’ lithikà as the Hellenistic ancestor of such a Roman attitude. Posidippus’ Lithikà also throws light on the debate on the first production of large cameos associated with the dynastic court, supporting arguments in favour of their dating back to the early Hellenistic period, in spite of experimental evidence.

Dactyliothecae romanae: tra publica magnificentia e privata luxuria

MICHELI, MARIA ELISA
2016-01-01

Abstract

This paper, while investigating into the topic of gem collecting in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History, where it is conceptualized and termed “dactyliotheca”, pursues a twofold purpose. In the first place, the close connection between precious stones and gem-cutting technique is examined, as well as the gems’ value and connotation as symbols in close connection with the owner of the gems, in the context of the aesthetics and ethics of the luxuria. Gem collecting acts as a metonym for Rome’s further establishment of its legitimacy and authority, although the cultural model shaping such a specific image of the self stems from the Hellenistic court. In the second place, the paper focuses on Posidippus’ lithikà as the Hellenistic ancestor of such a Roman attitude. Posidippus’ Lithikà also throws light on the debate on the first production of large cameos associated with the dynastic court, supporting arguments in favour of their dating back to the early Hellenistic period, in spite of experimental evidence.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2636010
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact