The Boundaries of Art and Social Space in Rome: The Caged Bird and Other Art Forms 9781472526120, 9781474297585, 9781472532244

This volume focuses on four cultural phenomena in the Roman world of the late Republic – the garden, a garden painting,

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Table of contents :
Cover
Half-title
Title
Copyright
Contents
List of Figures
Preface
Acknowledgements
1. Introduction: Art
2. The Roman Garden
3. The Garden Room at Prima Porta
4. Tapestry in Rome
5. The Caged Bird
6. Conclusion: Self-Projecting Inside and Out
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Recommend Papers

The Boundaries of Art and Social Space in Rome: The Caged Bird and Other Art Forms
 9781472526120, 9781474297585, 9781472532244

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The Boundaries of Art and Social Space in Rome

Also available from Bloomsbury Leisured Resistance, Michael Dewar Spectacle in the Roman World, Hazel Dodge Art and the Romans, Anne Haward In Search of the Romans, James Renshaw Roman Architecture, Martin Thorpe The Hunchback in Hellenistic and Roman Art, Lisa Trentin Augustan Rome, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill

The Boundaries of Art and Social Space in Rome The Caged Bird and Other Art Forms Frederick Jones

BLOOMSBURY ACADEMIC Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP, UK BLOOMSBURY, BLOOMSBURY ACADEMIC and the Diana logo are trademarks of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published in Great Britain 2016 Paperback edition first published 2018 © Frederick Jones, 2016 Frederick Jones has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Author of this work. For legal purposes the Acknowledgements on p. xii constitute an extension of this copyright page. Cover image © Bella and Hanna. The Eldest Daughters of M.L. Nathanson by C.W. Eckersberg, 1820. Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc does not have any control over, or responsibility for, any third-party websites referred to or in this book. All internet addresses given in this book were correct at the time of going to press. The author and publisher regret any inconvenience caused if addresses have changed or sites have ceased to exist, but can accept no responsibility for any such changes A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Jones, Frederick, 1955– author. Title: The boundaries of art and social space in Rome : the caged bird and other art forms / Frederick Jones. Description: New York : Bloomsbury Academic, 2016. | Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2016018035 (print) | LCCN 2016019779 (ebook) | ISBN 9781472526120 (hardback) | ISBN 9781472532244 (epdf) | ISBN 9781472529992 (epub) Subjects: LCSH: Art and society--Rome. | Cognition and culture--Rome. | BISAC: ART / History / Ancient & Classical. | HISTORY / Ancient / General. Classification: LCC N72.S6 J64 2016 (print) | LCC N72.S6 (ebook) | DDC 701/.03–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016018035 ISBN: HB: PB: ePDF: ePub:

978-1-47252-612-0 978-1-35006-684-7 978-1-47253-224-4 978-1-47252-999-2

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Contents List of Figures Preface Acknowledgements 1 2 3 4 5 6

Introduction: Art The Roman Garden The Garden Room at Prima Porta Tapestry in Rome The Caged Bird Conclusion: Self-Projecting Inside and Out

Notes Bibliography Index

vi vii xii 1 25 55 75 99 115 131 167 193

List of Figures 1.1. Alan Graham’s barn. © Picture by Alan Lewis www.photopressbelfast.co.uk 1.2. Lawrence Weiner, (Place) sur un point fixe, Tuileries, Paris. Photo F. Jones. 2.1. Flora, fresco; Villa di Arianna, Stabiae. Su concessione del Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo – Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli. Photo Luigi Spina. 2.2. Embracing pair, painting. Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool (World Museum). 2.3. Room 39, Cubicle with alcove of the Master’s North apartment; detail of central medallion with Scene of love and immortality. Photo Mario Noto. Archivio Fotografico del Museo Regionale della Villa Romana del Casale a Piazza Armerina. 3.1. The Garden Room in the Villa of Livia, Prima Porta, with scaffolding. Cacchiatelli and Cleter, Le Scienze e le arti sotto il pontificato di Pio IX, vol. II, 2nd edition (Rome 1865), plate 73. 4.1. Jason and Medea, Coptic tapestry roundel. Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée de Cluny-Musée National du Moyen-Âge) / Gérard Blot. 5.1. Caged bird; detail from engraving of fresco at the Villa of Livia, Prima Porta. Heidelberg University Library, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (Hrsg.): Antike Denkmäler (Band 1), 1891, plate 24. 5.2. Bird-­bottle. 66.1.223 Collection of the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York. 6.1. Pompey; c. 60–50 BC. Photo Ole Haupt. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen.

14 14

39 41

42

55

81

103 106 120

Preface This book is about four cultural phenomena from the Roman world of the late Republic and Early Empire that are organically bound up with the places where aristocratic citizens lived, the domus and the villa, their interrelationships with each other and their context, and the extent to which the term art is legitimate for them. Of the four phenomena, at least two would not be regarded as art forms or media by most modern perspectives, but perhaps one or two might be so regarded. However, it is very clear that all four function in closely related and overlapping ways. They all impact on social space, they are all clearly to do with the self-­projection of the owner, and they are implicated in the mindset of the society that produced them in other, far-­reaching and complex ways. It would be possible to analyse the ways in which these four cultural entities behave without recourse to the term ‘art’. I shall be offering an analysis of them, but I shall not be dispensing with that term. As well as providing an analysis of my chosen examples, I shall actually be using them to make some approach on the concept of art. I shall be doing this by noticing boundaries between these phenomena with their varying degrees of resistance to the term, and by considering their relationships with the social space in which they are located. Boundaries, in fact, will prove to be important in another way too, for they are thematised in at least three of the four artefact types represented here, and this is a major part of their social relevance and functioning, the part they have to play in cognitive development. In very crude terms, there is an underlying argument here, to the effect that if we can regard some, or even one, of the four as being art forms or media, and if there seems to be a significant overlap or similarity in the ways in which the four function and relate to the social context, then the uncertainty of the boundary says something about what art is and how we decide what is art. Of course, there is an issue about whether we can take a modern concept-­term (art) and apply it to the Roman context, especially since the

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Romans did not have a word which corresponds in its use and application to the modern term. As a strategy, it would be nice to be able to face this issue by providing a definition of art that will work in the modern world and then look for a range of Latin, or Latin and Greek, terms that between them might be accepted as covering the semantic field with some degree of closeness of fit. There is, after all, no Latin (or Greek) word equivalent to our concept of literary realism, but some ancient literary genres inescapably seem more realistic to us than others. In this case, there is a cluster of rhetorical terms, especially verisimilitude, visualisation (phantasia) and vividness (enargeia), that validates our impression that a difference so palpable to us would also be recognised by a Roman reader. With regard to ancient art, we can indeed go quite some way with this programme, but there might seem to be a considerable impediment in the opening move: ‘providing a definition of art that will work in the modern world’. While it is possible to say things about art, it is hard to formulate a set of words that can be accepted as a definition of art, a definition that will make a dividing line between what is and what is not art; insofar as there is such a thing, it has to be seen as a social phenomenon, a process, and one which is continually subject to negotiation and argument (and we shall indeed be seeing cases of consciously tendentious claims being made by Romans). Although the term may not be readily definable, it is nonetheless possible to say things about art and works of art and provide a partial descriptive formulation, somewhat as follows: art works are material items produced by specialists or teams of specialists, typically involving a financial arrangement, typically intended for collection and/or display, and giving greater weight to variable proportions of aesthetic, intellectual, emotional, and formal properties rather than practical functionality, items which are produced with a consciousness on the maker’s part of taking part in a tradition of making such products. In the sequence of chapters which forms the main body of this book, I consider four test cases from the Roman world. These are examples of things each of which embodies a number of the features that typically we expect of artworks. However, while one of them, the garden fresco from a villa owned by Augustus’ wife is in a format typically seen as an art-­ medium, namely painting, and is recognised by numbers of modern

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commentators as being a work of art, the other cases are not so clear cut. The theme of Chapter 2, the garden, is a social phenomenon of considerable complexity which is not generally seen as an art form, except metaphorically. It provides, however, the content or subject matter of Livia’s Garden Room painting, which more readily accepts the term. The two are similar in some respects, but not the same. The garden already contains some of the same meanings and attributes that are core features of paintings of gardens, but has other meanings besides. The large public garden is an architectural edifice which bears an inscription; it may also contain trophies displaying its founder’s military prowess; it contains statues which have their own significance and programme. Nevertheless, if it is not an art medium like painting or sculpture, it still has a great deal in common with them, and when Pliny signs one of his gardens with his and his gardener’s names in topiary letters the signing seems intended to make a claim that this garden is a legitimate work of art. We are prepared to see tapestry, the subject of Chapter 4, as a viable art medium in the medieval and renaissance periods, and indeed in its current resurfacing. Here, however, the problem is that while we can tell that public and private display in Rome used coloured, patterned, and figured textiles we cannot see them; we do not know at first hand what the possibilities are. We can read descriptions which give us some idea, but at least as significant are the descriptions of imaginary textile work, such as the tapestries made by Arachne and Minerva that Ovid describes in the Metamorphoses. The ecphrastic tradition in poetry is one which can be argued to be shaping a category: to the extent that the ecphrasis becomes the description of imaginary works of art, the anthology of its accumulated subjects is a picture of what art is. It is not a picture made by a finite set of writers seeking to complete between them a full representation of the possibilities of art, but the product of individual writers reacting to, and adding to, an ongoing tradition. The descriptions of textile work in poetic ecphrases conform to the poets’ aesthetic ideals for their own literary medium, but carry also idealisations of aesthetic ideals for the visual media and specifically for textile work, ideals which would seem to overlap with those implicit in painting and mosaic work. What seems to be important in the poets’ descriptions of imaginary textile work are features such as emotional impact, narrative drama, imaginative use of the mythological repertoire, colour-­schemes, compositional coherence. They are

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not equally foregrounded in all accounts, nor together do they constitute a logical analysis of all the features of art. On the other hand, if a number of art users were to draw up lists of the important characteristic features of art, there would be differences between their results, but these features among others would doubtless keep recurring. What we would have then would still not be a full set of defining characteristics, but rather a composite image of a sort of menu from which the aspiring artist might select and balance different combinations of qualities in order to submit the resulting amalgam for wider approval. Chapter 5 considers the caged bird, which has multiple correspondences with the garden and is, in addition, the subject of a Latin poetic ecphrasis. Here, we are definitely in an area which has not been considered part of the geography of art, and yet the caged bird as a household feature exhibits many of the key properties already seen in the earlier chapters, and if we take the ecphrastic tradition as implying that its subjects are works of art, even if imaginary ones, we can see Statius’ description of Atedius Melior’s dead caged parrot as playful and tendentious, but still a presentation of this caged bird as a (lost) work of art. Of course, we would not really accept this categorisation, but we are certainly being offered the opportunity to play in our minds with the resemblances. In the conclusion, I bring together these areas as part of the domus, which is not only the site of much Roman aristocratic display and self-­projection, but is actually a medium for it. The domus behaves in some respects like a work of art; it is also a container of cultural artefacts and works of art (including the garden, the garden painting, the tapestry, and the caged bird), and it fits into a complex pattern of boundaries between insides and outsides nesting within and overlapping each other, a pattern shaped by, and helping to shape, the minds of the residents. Hence comes the material concerning cognitive development especially prominent in Chapters 2, 3, and 5. The domus embodies the physical and metaphorical boundaries that are inherent in the garden, the garden painting, and the bird-­cage, and its boundaries, like theirs, are porous. Not only do the residents enter and leave, but the ancestor images displayed there also have their exits and re-­entries. As well as the fuzzy boundaries between what might be considered art, and what might not, I am concerned with these more literal boundaries in the spaces the Romans lived in, and their

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replication in cultural artefacts. The domus reflects the outside world; it contains and is reflected by a variety of types of object that behave in related ways, and in which aesthetic, intellectual, and emotional qualities tend, in varying proportions, to have a key role, and which hover around the borders of what might be seen or presented as art.

Acknowledgements In this work I develop ideas from Jones (2011), from papers given at the Colloquium in honour of Niall Rudd (Themes In Latin Literature and Its Reception, Liverpool, Monday, 13 June 2011), at the London Latin Seminar, 11 February 2013, and at the Text and Topos Colloquium at Ertegun House, Oxford, 3 May 2013. Versions of chapters 2, 3, and 5 have appeared in Latomus, Mnemosyne, and Syllecta Classica. I am grateful for questions and comments at all of those occasions, to the anonymous readers of those three journals, and to the following, who read and commented on all or parts of the whole: Dr Fiona Hobden, Dr Phil Freeman, Prof Catherine Rowett, Prof Graham Oliver, Prof Bruce Gibson, Dr Luke Houghton, Dr Claire Holleran, Prof Michael Sommer, and Dr Kate Hammond. I am also very grateful to Dr Marco Perale for invaluable aid in acquiring permissions, and to Louisa Dare, the Courtauld Images Manager, and her team at the Courtauld Institute of Art for exceptional amounts of help in tracking images.

1

Introduction: Art This book is about four elements of Roman visual culture that have special connections with the domus and manifold connections with the cultural and cognitive contexts of the Roman citizen. They are the garden, the garden painting (in particular, one in Livia’s villa at Prima Porta), tapestry, and the domestic caged bird. Nature, in an abstracted form, is important in at least three of the four, but there are other interconnections to be made as well, particularly with regard to boundaries, and, as we shall see, cognitive development. These four elements do not make a closed set (other phenomena could easily be added), but they are chosen as a sample of inter-­relating examples of the visual environment of the Roman citizen. At the same time, they raise another issue; as well as depicting or embodying boundaries themselves, they raise the question of the boundaries of art. One of the four has some immediate credibility as an art form, the garden painting, and a claim might be made for a second, tapestry, as a possible art medium, but the garden and the caged bird might well seem to fight against being classified as genres of art, most strongly, perhaps, in the case of the caged bird. If it is true that only one or two of the four exemplar cases used here belong in the field of art, then we can fairly ask what it is that allows them into the category, or what prevents the others from being so included. Looking at the peripheries and boundaries, we should be able to say something about the internal consistency of art. Of course, the question of what art is is itself problematic. Thomas Adajian begins his entry on the definition of art in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Adajian 2012) by listing some ‘uncontroversial facts’1 before stating that the question of whether ‘any definition of art’ does or could account for these facts is a key concern for the philosophy of art.2 It is immediately evident that the lack of a pre-­agreed definition has not prevented him (or others) from

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using statements about art and artworks in the course of reviewing the problems inherent in making such a definition. A key problem is that ‘art’ is neither a simplex, nor a static, timeless phenomenon. The kinds of objects produced exhibit huge variety, the social dynamics of the relationship between producers and users changes, alignment with mainstream social values is very uneven, and so on. In an account of the ‘modern system of the arts’, Paul Kristeller (1951) argues that the grouping of five major arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, poetry, and music) is a comparatively recent development, a proposition which would be even stronger were we to add to the list prose fiction, stage drama, and film and television drama). The coherence of the ‘system’ is not stable, and, while it is certainly clear that in some periods contacts between novelists, painters, and composers, say, or dramatists, poets, composers, and architects has been close and productively intimate, suggesting some degree of commonality of assumptions, the lack of stability and the fluidity of these internal alliances might lead one to conclude that the concept of art is simply too polymorphic, too different in different periods to allow a definition to capture it.3 Institutionalist definitions have tried to allow for the historical and cultural variability of art.4 Such definitions are designed to allow for change over time and recognise as relevant factors in its integrity and continuity the producer’s intent to make a work of art, its validation by a complex social network (the artworld), and an understanding audience. As for the characteristics of the artwork, we can look to both connoisseurial accounts, and functional and aesthetic definitions.5 The element of validation is important. It is based on spoken/unspoken criteria (from which one should probably not exclude capriciousness). The net of criteria used by the not fully homogenous social entity of the artworld includes features (which are also observed in traditional definitions and critical writings) such as formal, emotional, and aesthetic properties, and experiential and moral interest.6 Of course, things that are not art may also possess these features, and validated artworks may lack some, perhaps even all.7 The idea of validation requires some unfolding. Art is mimetic, not primarily in the sense that it imitates its subjects, but in the sense that the incipient artist has a subjective experience of art and thinks ‘I can do that.’ The artist imitates art. Points of contact with a tradition or

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member of a tradition are factors in the process of validation.8 As regards the process of validation and the artworld, a system clearly subject to evolutionary and revolutionary processes, I would like to look very briefly at the nineteenth and the sixteenth–­seventeenth centuries, in the spirit of setting parameters, before going back to the Roman period. I hope, by moving backwards in time with these crude snapshots of two points on a continuum, to mitigate in some degree the potentially disorientating gulf between the Classical period and our own. In the nineteenth century, the various practitioners often lived near each other, and knew and often wrote about or painted each other. Their works were housed or presented in grandly imposing public buildings, the Opera House, the great civic and national libraries, galleries, and concert halls. That is the stereotypical portrait of the cultural creator, and it is one that still lingers and is still the target of aspiration and ideological critique.9 We know what an artist is, however hard to define art may be, and the great artist has prestige because the work is prestigious. However, if we probe what is being valued, the answer will be mixed. The nineteenth-­century art museum and opera house are embroiled in national and civic constructions of identity and implicated in nationalist rivalries. The art museum requires art to fill it, and what fills it needs to be more or less self-­evidently art. An institutional and circular definition of what art is comes into play, and the massed accumulation of art starts to build up its own battery of messages, moralisms and anti-­moralisms. In the tensions between sincerity and expressionism, aestheticism and moralism, the judging of art and sound taste in art become politicised as well as status-­indicators, although there is always more going on than just this.10 In view of this complexity, prestige is an equivocal measure, and the criterion of craftsmanship becomes ideologically charged. If we go back two more centuries, the picture is different. Although there were in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries figures trying to raise the profile and respectability of artists, musicians, and composers, and to attach a set of lofty ideals to the notion of art, there was also the idea that the painter, the poet, and the composer were skilled craftsmen producing visual or aural artefacts according to patronal job specifications. Nonetheless, the monetary evaluation of artistic work encompassed more than the expensiveness of the materials and artisanal skill and claims for special

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status for particular artists were made or implied in the same period, for example, by bodies of theoretical and biographical work.11 In the Graeco-Roman context, we do indeed find famous names for Greek practitioners like Polyclitus, Myron, and Praxiteles, and some famous works like Apelles’ Venus Anadyomene and Goddess on One Knee, Polyclitus’ Doryphoros, the Laocoon group, and Polycles’ Sleeping Hermaphrodite. In the absence of an explicit discussion of what art was, we could see this accumulation of canonical names and works as pointing toward a characterisation of what counts as art. In the Roman context, we can see an impassioned speech on art that is structured around such famous names, made by the Petronius’ poetaster Eumolpus (Petronius Satyrica 83);12 however inadequate Eumolpus is as spokesperson and critic, this way of speaking about art is still indicative of an idea implicit in the canonical list, and Eumolpus’ inadequacy itself gives a picture of one point in the totality of the cultural validation process. Prestigious canonic names are, of course, few in comparison with the actual number of producers, and we find many things in the Graeco-Roman world that bear some resemblances to things that we call art, but whose status as art can be questioned for one reason or another. Craft and skill were, of course, recognised, but so were crafts.13 Craftsmanship is manifestly a part of sculpture and painting, and also, manifestly and avowedly, a part of the composition of poetry (cf. Horace Satires 1.4; 1.10; 2.1). Equally, it is a part of building and cooking. For us, the term ‘art’ does not always and necessarily include either one type or a special group of types of culturally prestigious activity as opposed to that which is merely, as it were, craft, but it can be so used. For the Romans, ars (and equally technē in Greek) could refer to any of a range of crafts and sciences, to sets of skilled activities, to poetry, sculpture, and so on.14 We might have hoped to see prestige make a distinction between art, or the arts, and craft in the Roman world, but this is very far from being clearly the case.15 Indeed, here we can straightaway make a strong contrast between the poet, on the one hand, and painters and sculptors on the other.16 We know the names of very many more poets than painters or sculptors, especially in the Roman context, as though the identity of the artist in a banausic craft did not matter.17 In his attempt to raise the status of art and artists in his own time, Leon Alberti, the renaissance architect, artist, and theoretician, mines Classical literature for legitimising antecedents for the socially respectable

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artist (de Pictura; 1435).18 His rhetoric is persuasive, but read carefully it does not conceal the fact that the aristocratic amateur artist is virtually unknown in Rome.19 Pliny tells us (NH 35.120) that a certain Famulus painted in a toga, a clear attempt to claim respectability, and cites a handful of aristocratic examples (NH 35.19–23). These are C. Fabius Pictor, who painted the Temple of Salus at Rome (the work survived until a fire in the principate of Claudius), and the recent cases of Turpilius, an eques from Venetia, and Titedius Labeo, a man of praetorian rank. Pliny goes on to mention a Q. Pedius who had painting lessons as a boy on the advice of the orator Messala (and with the approval of Augustus himself), and made good progress, but died while still a child. Suetonius in his life of Nero, tells us that the Emperor ‘had also no mean enthusiasm for painting and sculpting’ (habuit et pingendi fingendique non mediocre stadium; Suetonius Nero 52). Tacitus suggests that these were merely boyhood interests (Ann. 13.3.7), and neither he nor Suetonius appear to be using them as part of their overall negative portraits of the Emperor.20 By contrast, increasingly from the latter part of the second century BC, the Roman aristocrat was happy to indulge in versification and felt no stigma in doing so. After something of a watershed mark in the aristocratic Lucilius (second century BC), later held up by Horace as the founding figure in Roman verse satire, the famous poets, Lucretius, Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, Virgil, and Ovid (for example), and many of the minor poets of whom we know enough to say, seem generally to have been of good family, if not in the top layers of the elite. The Augustan poet Horace famously and self-­confessedly (Satires 1.6) was the son of an ex-­slave, but a wealthy one on good terms with elevated aristocrats. Pliny (first to second centuries AD), of a significantly higher social rank, wrote light erotic and occasional verse which he justified (Ep. 5.3) with a list of respectable precedents including Cicero, Julius Caesar, Asinius Pollio, M. Messala, and the great Maecenas,21 Augustus’ diplomatic right-­hand man and the patron and friend of quality poets like Horace. The poet Statius (first century AD) points in his occasional poems both to the amateur poet in various genres, Manlius Vopiscus (Silvae 1.3.103; Silvae 1 praef.) and to Novius Vindex (Silvae 4 praef. 14; 6.30, 99ff), who was also a connoisseur and art collector (6.20–31). The Emperor Nero, notoriously, wrote poetry in various forms, including epic, and sang (Suetonius Nero 38.2; 52; Tacitus Annals 13.3.5; 14.16.1–8; 15.39; Juvenal 8.221; Dio 62.29.1; Schol. on

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Persius 1.121), and Hadrian did so too. However, the aristocratic or imperial Roman went through the aristocratic education process, which was aimed at producing adults able to speak in public fluently, eloquently, learnedly, and, when necessary, impromptu. It was an emphatically rhetorical and literary programme, heavily based on the poets and rhetorical exercises. That the Roman aristocrat should by rights be able to manipulate words, and to produce unnecessary verse was a demonstration of how completely he was able so to do. Producing artwork, however, involved workmanlike elements antipathetical to the aristocratic self-­image (cf. Cicero De Officiis 1.50; Tusculan Disputations 1.2.4): plastering for fresco, grinding of pigments, cutting, fitting, pegging together pieces of stone or wood, and so forth.22 On the other hand, such material was valued. If the Roman aristocrat did not, by and large, paint or sculpt himself, he certainly bought artworks and had his town and country houses frescoed, mosaicked, and filled with sculptuary. From the first century BC until at least the third century AD, there is archaeological evidence of an amount of manufacture of (and expenditure on) non-­productive works beyond other pre-­industrial societies. The aristocrat was paying for something on a very large scale indeed, and knew, in some sense, what he was paying for. The price, or value, has social, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions. We get a firm picture of the endemic collecting and displaying.23 The Roman aristocrat collected and displayed glassware, villas, the bones of sea monsters and many other things besides (see further in Chapter  5), but as well as these rather arbitrary items, there is a mass of evidence which suggests that a large element in this expenditure was the expensive non-­productive item which enshrined cultural values and provided aesthetic satisfaction and some sort of emotional engagement. That is not the same as a definition of art, but it clearly seems to imply a concept of art. There is, firstly, evidence in the form of the special value placed on certain artefacts which were, so to speak, culturally iconised.24 There were already famous works of art, whose fame the Romans accepted as part of their appropriation of Greek culture, like the Doryphoros statue, and famous dead, Greek, artists like Polyclitus and the others listed earlier. Their works referred to by name and attributed to the particular artist, and their works were widely imitated in varying degrees of closeness and in various media. Replication on a very large scale was nurtured by the spread of the Roman villa and its

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requirements. There was the technology for making casts and faithful replicas,25 or marble statues could be transformed into bronze statues of different size, into domestic objects like lampstands, or from three to two dimensional works. The imitation did not have to be faithful, however;26 the imitator could choose to alter features, poses, trappings, cropping, background, and so on. There is also the evidence of an awareness of the difference between an original and a copy,27 and a special value put on originals (Cicero ad Atticus 1.6.2; 1.8.2; 1.9.2; 1.10.3; ad Fam. 7.23.1–3: Pliny NH 34.48; 35.130; Suetonius Iulius 47; Statius Silvae 4.60 with Coleman ad loc.). There is, then, evidence for knowledge and connoisseurship amongst the Roman buyers of art objects.28 Display was endemic among the Roman aristocracy, and collections were shown publicly and privately by aristocratic owners.29 Art was displayed, for example, in the Porticus Pompeii and other galleries (cf. Cicero Verrines 2.4.6; Pliny NH 36.33).30 In a passage already referred to, the unreliable narrator of the Petronius’ fictional Satyrica (83–9) meets the rogue-­poetaster Eumolpus in a gallery (pinacotheca) where, according to him, works of Zeuxis, sketches (rudimenta) of Protogenes, Apelles’ Monoknemos (all of the fifth and fourth century BC), and other works were on show. Eumolpus (as well as telling an erotic, allegedly autobiographical, story and performing a tragic-­style poem in response to one of the paintings) answers the hero’s questions with a clichéd lecture about the decadence of the times and the contemporary decline of art, in the course of which he refers to the fourth and fifth century BC artists Lysippus, Myron, Apelles, and Phidias. His art criticism is comically inaccurate (Encolpius, Petronius’ narrator, typically, does not indicate in the narrative whether he realises this),31 and the names are so stereotypical that one wonders if that is the sum of their knowledge. Nevertheless, the comic fiction clearly enshrines the idea that cultivated Roman aristocrats – people like Petronius’ audience rather than the Greek wastrels in his cast of characters – would go to galleries, respond and discuss, just as the Elder Seneca in his Controversiae and Sausoriae describes his memories of going to declamation performances and listening to erudite aristocratic discussions of the rhetorical lines, epigrams, characterisations and so forth, and Pliny describes (Ep. 5.3) how he gave and attended poetry readings where discussion was part of the occasion. This notion of discussion raises the issue of the level of general ideas among the aristocratic buying audience. Theorising about art is a feature of Greek

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rather than Roman culture. Polyclitus produced his Canon (known to Pliny and Vitruvius), and Greek philosophers wrote about the relationship between reality and its representation in art (Plato Republic 10.596e-597e) or the ethics of art (Aristotle Poetics 1450a23 and 1448a1); by contrast, the Romans produced treatises on architecture, farming, rhetoric, ethical topics, read and translated Greek verse didactics, and wrote their own in Latin, on a wide range of subjects including Epicurean atomic physics, farming, gardening, hunting, cosmetics, the constellations, snake bites, attracting members of the opposite sex, but there is no Roman treatise on art.32 On the other hand, in addition to the kind of informal art criticism outlined in the previous paragraph, there is a good deal of judgmental and anecdotal material in the Elder Pliny (especially praising successful illusionism in art), Quintilian and elsewhere,33 and there are stylistic analogies with rhetoric and literature made in theoretical works by Cicero (Brutus 70) and Quintilian (Inst. Or. 12.10.1–10), and the relationship between art and reality is a theme frequently played with by Ovid. Indeed, the creative figure, a recurrent feature in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, includes Pygmalion the sculptor whose work becomes alive in a vivid realisation of a standard metaphor of ancient art criticsm, Arachne the goddess-­rivalling representational artist in textiles, and examples of other kinds of artistic creator (Orpheus, the Pierides, Daedalus, Marsyas).34 Formal properties, craft, composition, verisimilitude, and emotional resonance are clearly valued. This ongoing discourse, moreover, is a pointer to the existence of the ‘artworld’ which those who use an institutional definition of art (as referred to above) would see as providing a validating element in the concept of art. As for the material itself, its content, so to speak, looking at the material remains, frescoes, mosaics, reliefs, and sculptures in the round, we see straightaway that the core subject matters are the glorious military achievements of the Romans (a topic overlapping with epic poetry and historiography), architecture and gardens, and mythological or quasi-­mythological narratives and scenes (again, a topic shared with epic, and with other poetic genres). Where there is one painting or sculpture of a mythology, there is usually another, and another. Not only do we find frescoes of Polyphemus and Galatea repeated with changes in different households, but we also find groups of paintings repeated (this will be further detailed in Chapter 3 below). Between the different members of such groups we find thematic links, and between the

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Medea or Achilles in one house and the same scene in another we find interesting differences. Both observations point in a single direction: that the Roman art consumer was able to respond to visual intertextuality in a culture heavily leaning on imitation. In other words, subject matters and values at the heart of Roman poetry, written by and for the educated aristocracy, are also at the heart of the Roman art which was produced for them by workshops of often nameless non-­aristocrats. The aesthetics are the same, and they are the same in other respects too, for along with the learned component of painting and sculpture, the complex mixtures of naturalism and artificiality that we see in different ratios throughout Roman poetry are also visible throughout Roman art. There are various Greek-derived categorisations of literature into poetry, oratory, historiography, and philosophy (e.g. Quintilian Inst.Or. 10.1.46–131); the art consumer (which means all Roman aristocrats, since they all had houses and villas to decorate) must have acknowledged more or less consciously that the respective bodies of poetry and ‘the set made up of frescoes, panel paintings, mosaics, tapestries, and sculptures’ formed two corpora with overlapping and interacting characteristics. That is fairly close to saying that the Romans recognised a category which we could call art.35 Looking at the production of art from the producer’s point of view leads to at least two more observations. We know that, along with imitation, competition is a central value in Roman poetry (just as it was in the rest of Roman aristocratic life); what about the art-­producers?36 They too had to compete; they competed for custom and commissions. They were, indirectly, competing in their attempts to satisfy the full range of the desires of their buyers and to give value for money.37 So what did the buyer get as his part of the financial transaction? Nice colours and shapes on his walls, certainly, but also a backdrop against which to perform his role as aristocratic patron in front of his guests, and an embodiment and projection of his ownership of a decorated house, of his mastery of the cultural heritage, of his sophistication and intelligent awareness of poetic themes and emotions, of his place in society. In turn, the artist needs to have some awareness of the non-­physical elements of this composition, the cultural materials as well as the plaster and pigments. Doubtless, mythological handbooks would have been a useful aid. However, just as we know from surviving contracts from the renaissance how dirigiste some commissioners might be, we have to allow also for a spectrum running

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from detailed control of iconography (probably supplied by a committee in the case of major public monuments like the Ara Pacis) and considerable artistic freedom of hand.38 In any case, patronal job-­specification is like the physical limitations of the raw materials, the pigment and stone, in being simply part of the framework within which the artist works. The other observation to which the producer’s point of view leads us is the artist’s own perspective. We know nothing about how the different workshops regarded each other, but in a competitive field there must have been mutual awareness, and while this may have been coloured by relative commercial successes, the reputations of workshops and individual artists among each other must have had an aesthetic component too. That is to say, we are dealing with capable intelligent practitioners with a complex understanding of what works, or what might work, of what might delight a customer and his guests with its novelty or its traditionalism, its naturalness or artificiality, its intense or subdued colours, and so on, a set of aesthetics that included values likely to be shared and understood by the patrons and analogous to those of the poets.39 Emotional and cultural satisfactions are also part of what the customer is paying for. Pliny’s and Quintilian’s accounts, for example, of the Sacrifice of Iphigenia of the fifth century BC artist Timanthes show an awareness of the importance of the emotional response to art (Pliny NH 35.36.73–4; Quintilian 2.13.13).40 From this perspective, the literary tradition of descriptions of imaginary artefacts is directly relevant.41 Overall, this tradition implies a high regard for both the aesthetic and emotional values of representational art, and a number of these descriptions were culturally iconic. The description of the shield of Achilles comes in one of the two most prestigious literary works of the Graeco-Roman heritage (Homer Iliad 18.478–608); this prestige is recognised and magnified by its transformation into the shield of Aeneas in Virgil’s culturally foundational Aeneid (8.608–728). There are many other well-­ known cases, for example the temple doors at Dido’s Carthage, bearing the sad story of the Trojan War), the weaving of the love story of Ariadne and Theseus on the marital bed-­cover of Peleus and Thetis (Catullus 64), and the goddess-­ rivalling narrative weaving of Arachne, and Minerva’s own weaving, in Ovid’s Metamorphoses (6.1–145). Smaller passages are also important: the carved cup in Theocritus’ first Idyll (1.27–56) which is transformed into the three carved

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cups in Virgil’s third Eclogue (3.36–48). These cups have a thematic importance in the poems in which they are located; they express things about culture and poetry. Logically, the habitual poetry reader might feel, the artefacts themselves, if they were real, could express those things directly. The literary tradition of the ecphrasis is, effectively, an education in what kinds of things can be art, how art means, and how the viewer can respond to actual art-­objects. Indeed, it might be suggested that in the ecphrasis, the aristocratically aligned poets were annexing paradigmatic contents of art and making artworks in words. Prices also convey ideas about the value of art, although there are complications here. Fabulous prices were paid for additions to private collections (Pliny NH 35.130), but high prices were also mocked (Plutarch Life of Lucullus 39.2), and statues and paintings become part of the symptomology of luxury in moralising passages (e.g. Varro Res Rusticae 1.2.10; 1.13.7; 3.1.10; 3.2.4; Horace Odes 2.18; Epistles 1.6.17–18). There were gestures towards the idea that art better belonged in the state or public domain than in private collections (Cicero Verrines 2.1.55; Suetonius Life of Augustus 72.3), more to do with the rhetoric of praising or blaming the restraint or excess of particular aristocrats than with a programme of cultural improvement for the urban population. In 18 BC Agrippa published a speech demanding that all paintings and statues (a pairing which itself suggests a concept of art) be made public (de tabulis omnibus signisque publicandis; Pliny NH 35.9.26). That same Agrippa also bought an Ajax and an Aphrodite for himself at 1,200,000 sesterces (Pliny NH 35.9.26). Caesar, by contrast, made his collection public – and subsequently Antony made it into his own private collection. All this shows that art was an ideologically charged area; it was part of political rhetoric as well as being a social phenomenon. It seems, however, that it existed as a concept, and that paintings and sculpture are major constituents. The nature of the range of contents of this concept, however, is not a straightforward matter. If we wanted to look back at the Classical world and investigate the presence or absence of the category that we think of as art, and perhaps make comparisons and contrasts, our immediate problem would be that art is still a charged term without an agreed working definition. Its boundaries are fluid and subject to ideological and evaluative dispute and to social and intellectual prejudices and predilections.Cases and counterarguments swirl without leaving permanent landmarks. It will be largely, though not

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universally, accepted that adverts and computer games cannot be art forms, and that video installations can be. I will, in Chapter  3, be looking at the garden-­painting in Livia’s Villa at Prima Porta, but there are a number of artefacts from the modern world that have accidental, but quite pronounced, similarities to it and to each other, similarities which highlight the issue of how we can distinguish art and not art. One such artefact is a site-­specific video installation by the artist Pipilotti Rist, but also significant is the variety of functions and intents evidenced in a group of more or less similar items. For a good deal of its playing time, Pipilotti Rist’s installation (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2008), ‘Pour your body out (7354 cubic meters)’ surrounds the viewer with highly magnified fields of colour-­saturated tulips wafting in the breeze.42 They fill the visual field on all sides. To that extent they parallel the complete surround effect in Livia’s Garden Room, where the viewer sees a fresco of a gardenscape extend unbrokenly around the four walls, as though he or she is, indeed, in a garden. Of course, a room in a royal villa is a different social setting from a modern art gallery. However, that difference is more complicated than it seems. Firstly, there are many reasons for going to a gallery apart from looking at art. Secondly, it is part of the intention of Rist’s installation to erode the sense of a gallery as a temple of art in which one contemplates the sacred relics. The erosion is implemented by the provision of moveable and comfortable cushions, so that the viewers can sit or lounge in social patterns, talk, hold hands, rest, ‘feel as liberated as possible, and move as freely as [they] can or want to’ (gallery text). Any questions this raises about the status of the Garden Room are perhaps more acutely raised by the underwater Ithaa restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. Here, the consumer is surrounded on all sides (except the floor) by a living marine ‘landscape’ – the sea itself and its organic contents. Likewise, the underwater nightclub Subsix (at Niyama, a Per aquum resort in the Maldives) has floor-­to-ceiling glass walls looking into the Indian Ocean. Do these cases fail to be art in some way that makes them different from either Rist’s or Livia’s installation? If they have no moral dimension, is it clear that Rist or Livia do provide that? If the context is not one of looking at art, but of enjoying another kind of social experience, is that not also to some extent true also of Rist and Livia? Art is a social phenomenon, but the artist can bend the rules, or manipulate the etiquette protocols.

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One of the expectations we tend, perhaps simplistically, to have of art is that it have a meaning as well as an aesthetic element. Fig. 1.1 and 1.2 show two superficially similar artefacts which together show this expectation to be less than straightforward. If we start from a standard electricity warning sign, yellow with a simple graphic icon in black and a simple text in block letters, we are certainly aware of aesthetic qualities, the contrast in colour, texture, and complexity between the sign and the context. However, the pragmatic function of a warning directly related to the location by a high-­voltage machine – the ‘meaning’ – dominates other considerations. By contrast, in the first illustration (Fig. 1.1), the block lettered biblical quotation bears a message with no direct connection to its location, a barn on a farm.43 There is an apparent mismatch between the message of the text and the practical purpose of the structure bearing it, and this draws attention to itself (and arguably to the ‘meaning’). In a more or less post-Christian age, most would still see this as a religious message intended by the barn-­owner, but it looks very like one of the many art installations by Lawrence Weiner. Weiner’s texts raise the mismatch of message and matrix to a higher level by not actually having a fully meaningful sense (Fig. 1.2), but questioning meaning is itself, after all, a meaningful activity, and in any case much art has definite and clear religious or political content. One could argue that Weiner’s installation is in a public place (Jardin des Tuileries) which is filled with obvious works of art as well as being very close to the Louvre. One might, besides, have seen other similar works by Weiner in art galleries, and that would provide the seal of recognition. All that is well and good, but there have for some time been people recognized as artists who site their works in locations which fight against the categorization of the work as art. We may suppose that a categorization as art requires the artist’s intention and the consensus of the viewers. The Roman satirist Horace has one of his characters, Catius, present cooking as an art-­form analogous to poetry in Satire 2.4, and makes Catius use the same sort of language for his creations as Roman poets used for theirs.44 But if Catius is a joke, Horace’s layered irony makes the reader wonder precisely how much of a joke he is. Earlier in this chapter, I drew attention to the literary learnedness and intertextuality of Roman painting and statuary, but we find these qualities in unexpected places in Roman culture elsewhere. Notoriously, Trimalchio serves before his guests at

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Fig. 1.1.  Alan Graham’s Barn.

Fig. 1.2.  Lawrence Weiner, (Place) sur un point fixe, Tuileries, Paris.

dinner food dressed up with inaccurate poetic and mythological trappings. He is a comic fictional creation of the author, Petronius, but perhaps he is funny because he is ignorant and trying, but failing, to be clever. The republican aristocrat Hortensius gave a dinner with Orphic mythological trappings (I will discuss this in Chapter 2) and we are not invited to laugh at him at all.45 We might ask whether Hortensius’ is a piece of performance art in a society in which posturing, role-­play, and self-­dramatization were endemic.46 We might

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further ask whether Trimalchio’s dinner is a piece of performance art that fails, but here there is another complication because while it is laughable for Petronius’ cultivated audience, it is questionable how laughable it is for the freedmen guests present. For us, the boundaries of the category of art are problematic. Claims for inclusion within its boundaries are regularly made by would-­be new artists doing something purportedly new, but also by curators. It would be hard to persuade anyone that the scratched or inscribed lead curse tablets (defixiones) from the Roman world are works of art (I shall refer to this again in Chapter 6), but museum curators are happy to categorise and describe the African Nkondi (which have some superficial resemblances to the defixiones in form and function) as African Art.47 Indeed, claims to artist status are also made by individuals in a wide range of activities, including acting, singing, film-­making, fashion-­design, erotic dancing, advertising, and pornography in various media. In the Roman world, Pliny ‘signs’ his garden with the names of himself and the gardener in letters of topiary; is he thereby implying that the garden is a collaborative work of art, and amalgam of craft and concept? I shall return to that question in Chapter  2. Within the field of contemporary art, there are always accusations that some new piece is not actually art at all, and at the same time there are continually new forms applying for art status, demanding recognition and validation. For, insofar as there is a definition of art, it is not a formulation of words which will allow us to divide the sheep from the sheep in formaldehyde. The definition of art is always an on-­going process in which aspirants compete for the title of artist, and buyers, gallery-­goers, curators, critics, historian or art, and all such interested parties compete for their picture of the artistic field to hold sway, and for the right to validate aspirants. This leaves a murky swathe of works with only partial or wavering acceptance hovering on the boundaries of art.48 As regards the Romans with their need to display, prestige art – paintings, mosaics, and sculptures – were only part of the picture. Villas, textiles, tombs, carved gems, engraved mirrors, military trophies, glassware, food, triumphal arches and columns, public buildings, amphitheatrical performances, poetry readings, festivals, triumphal processions, coins-­images, executions as mythological charades, and ancestor images were all also media for self-­ projection. In the course of this study, I use four test cases (among which

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arguably borderline cases have a strong presence), in order to look at some of the boundaries of art, and investigate how artefacts of various kinds impinge upon social space and contribute to the art-­user’s self-­projection, how they work, and whether they can be called art. To this end, I apply concepts drawn from cognitive psychology, and the sociology of art to the cultural manifestations listed at the outset of this chapter, Livia’s garden-­painting, the Roman garden, tapestry, and the caged bird. In the final chapter, I locate these in the context of the domus as a complex and expressive multi-­media assemblage. We can also profitably contextualise the issue of whether there was for the Romans a category like our concept of art, by setting it in a broader aesthetic context and looking briefly at what poets wrote about poetry. I observed earlier that stylistic analogies between art and literary forms were made by various authors. We can, then, legitimately look at some passages of late Republican and Augustan poets which are productive in this regard. My sample texts are from the late Republic and Augustan period, from Horace, the slightly later Ovid, and Horace’s approximate contemporary Virgil. In the well-­known Bandusian Ode (Odes 3.13), Horace makes a strong programmatic claim about poetry in the form of a slight occasional poem. He addresses an Italian spring and promises to make a sacrifice of a goat to the spring the next day, and that the spring will become famous. In Augustan poetry, a spring almost inevitably connotes poetic inspiration via imagery in the programmatic poems of the Hellenistic Greek poet Callimachus, whose influence and poetic ideals dominated Latin poetry of Horace’s period. Horace, in other words, is inspired. The goat which will be sacrificed is described in anthropomorphic terms – indeed in terms which suggest that it is a kind of self-­portrait, with its potential future of love and war. When the sacrifice is described in terms of the blending of two liquids, cold, clear, Callimachean water, and hot, red, opaque, and living blood, we may take it that the creation of the poem involves passion and life as well as inspiration.49 This poem, Horace goes on, will make this spring famous; he alludes to the famous Greek fonts of poetic inspiration, Arethusa, Castalia, and Hippocrene. They inspire poets, just as this spring has inspired Horace. There is a further programmatic detail in that the amalgamation of the Bandusian spring with those Greek springs makes an aesthetic programme of the interweaving of Greek and Roman, and real and literary, elements in Latin

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poetry. Learning, the blend of nature and artifice, intertextuality, emotion: all these can be seen as desired values when we look at other cultural manifestations than poetry too, although there is a complication in the degree of subjectivity allowed to the target audience. In Epistles 1.20, Horace writes a verse letter to his book of verse letters. It is all nicely polished and ready to go out into the world, but it had better be careful of whose hands it gets into. The anthropomorphic metaphor presents the poetry book as an attractive youth whose attractions may fade, who may grow old and be fed to children as a school set text. The idea of poetry meaning different things to different people is, in fact, thematised by the collection as a whole. Albius (Epistles 1.4) takes poetry seriously, but, Horace implies, he needs to cheer up. Albius had appeared as a writer of elegy in Odes 1.33, a verse genre Horace mocks as whining and emotionally self-­indulgent. For Lollius Maximus (Epistles 1.2), poetry is a dressed up moral lesson. For Iulius Florus (Epistles 1.3), poetry is a thing his companions might be producing and worth gossiping about. Other addresses are more interested in health (Vala; Epistles 1.15), or money (Iccius; Epistles 1.12), the comforts of the town (the bailiff; Epistles 1.14), and so on. In Epistles 2.1, Horace deals with archaising fashions and the importance of innovation. In Epistles 2.2, he picks up and expands the idea of different kinds of poetry favoured by different audiences and the variety of human desires. Finally, in the Ars Poetica, a poem of nearly 500 lines, Horace begins by advising his addressees on form, tradition, the choice of subject matter in the light of one’s abilities, generic decorum, the need to keep the public satisfied, the need to balance aesthetic pleasure with moral purpose, craftsmanship. Taken all together, Horace’s statements about poetry suggest strongly that poetry means different things to different people, and the audience is a pluralist entity. There is another way of looking at this, however. The poetry collection is pluralist: it contains an indefinite assemblage of more or less separable and variegated parts. The moral dimension, however broadly we conceive it, need not be foregrounded in every part, but may be important in the whole assembly, or in the whole corpus. For all that there is not an objective and verifiably correct unit of assessment, the selection of the unit of assessment (and we can hardly achieve the level of neutrality whereby we would refrain from making a selection) has evaluative and interpretative consequences, a point I shall return to later.

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Horace’s picture of what poetry is and does has relevance to painting and sculpture, but in fact he himself makes the connection at the beginning of the Ars Poetica, and later when he picks the theme up again, by making an explicit analogy between poetry and painting (1–13, 361–5). Be that as it may, the poets have things actually to say directly about the visual arts, and to these I now turn. Ovid makes a number of allusions to the relationship between nature and art, which was conventionally seen as one of mimesis on the artist’s part. There is a stage simile at Metamorphoses 3.110ff in which the heads and bodies of the warriors growing from the teeth Cadmus has sown in the ground rise up, head first, like stage scenery being unrolled upwards at a theatre. The comparison between what is really happening in the story and something from the manufactured world of the visual arts has novelty value in that the material for epic similes is hitherto largely drawn from the natural world. Ovid fleetingly creates the impression of a self-­enclosed world of artistic representation in which different media refer to, and are like, each other. In the same book, in the story of Actaeon, there is a remote wooded valley with a cave and a spring (which already makes us think of Callimachean inspiration); the cave was not made by human art, but nature had imitated art (simulaverat artem / ingenio natura suo (Met. 3.158–9). Ovid reverses the conventional relationship between art and nature. Perhaps the way we see things is conditioned by our cultural context; perhaps we can make natural phenomena into art by looking at them. Perhaps Ovid is just being conceited. But the lines are there to be read and what we make of them is our own business (a point to which I shall return shortly). In Book 10, Ovid, through the mouth of Orpheus, tells the story of Pygmalion and the statue he made with wonderful art (mira arte; 247).50 It (or she; the Latin is bitonal) looks like a real, living girl, to such an extent did the art lie hidden in its own art (ars adeo latet arte sua; 10.252). The emphasis on illusionism is quite conventional in Latin discussions of sculpture and painting, but the way Ovid plays with the agency of art is clever and suggestive. Later in the same book, in the story of Hippomenes and Atalanta, nature and architecture interpenetrate each other in the temple recess where the tragic outcome of the story begins (Met. 10.691–2). These are fleeting moments in the texture of the verse, but there are larger effects at the level of story too. Just before the story of Pygmalion we are told

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about the Propoetides (10.238–242), women who deny the divinity of Venus. As a punishment, she turns them into prostitutes, an unusual transformation in the Metamorphoses, where usually a punishing god transforms a human into something other than human. Subsequently, as a result of their hardness of heart, they turn into stone. Pygmalion, disgusted by the immorality of the Propoetides, makes an ivory statue of an ideal woman, perfectly beautiful. He starts to give it presents, falls in love with it; in response to his shy and equivocal prayer, Venus allows the statue to come to life. We take the stories together and produce an interpretation: denial of love leads to stony-­heartedness; the application of sufficient love will thaw the heart of the rigid object of affections. There is just enough truth there to allow us to accept this reading. Meanwhile, there is another metaphorical message, that the creation of a truly living work of art (a recurrent piece of the vocabulary of ancient discussion of art) requires the emotional engagement of the artist in what he is creating. However, when we read on to the next story, the incestuous love of Myrrha for her father, we may notice the similar framework of this and the Pygmalion narrative. Both turn on a festival, a prayer, omens, an ambiguity about the status of the beloved (Pygmalion prays to Venus for someone like his statue; the nurse tempts Cinyras with a girl of his daughter’s age). Now, if we look again at Pygmalion we wonder if there is not something incestuous about his love for his own creation, something wrong with his inability to cope with real women driving him to make an imaginary ideal one. Typically, Ovid tempts us to interpret, but at the same time makes it impossible to settle on one interpretation. This semiotic evasiveness is, indeed, programmed explicitly, for example, in Book 3. After Diana has destroyed Actaeon for seeing her naked (a story not infrequent in Roman art), there was talk (Ovid does not specify who does the talking, but calls it rumor, 253); some thought that Diana was too cruel, while others believed that she was right, and both sides found reasons for their view. Juno was not concerned with the issue of fairness, but was merely pleased that one of her husband’s lover’s descendants had come to an unpleasant end (3.253–9). There is, Ovid indicates, room for audience subjectivity, whether reasoned or emotional, and this will apply to this poetic narrative and to artistic representations of it in paint and mosaic, but also to other poetic narratives and artistic representations of them.

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As well as the fleeting textual pointers, and problem of interpretation, Ovid shows an interest in artistic creation through the recurrent use of paradigmatic creator-­characters. Daedalus in Book 8 is one such. He is the archetypal maker and inventor; he makes the maze for Minos to keep the Minotaur in. The maze (Met. 8.159–68) is like a river meandering, changing direction, confusing whether it is going this way or that way. The river is fluid, mobile. It seems to present the maze as an image of the structure of the Metamorphoses itself, which is constantly reforming itself. Orpheus in Book 10, the prototype poet-­singer, loses his wife (Eurydice is bitten by a snake) avoids women, invents homosexuality, and sings songs (10.79ff, 148–739). He sings songs which he programmes as being about boys beloved by the gods and women rightly punished for their madness in love (152–4). Whether or not we find the application of the stories to the programme unconvincing, do we find here the idea of song (or poetry, or music) as a form of self-­therapy, or the idea that poetry (or song or music) require that the poet has suffered before he is qualified to write? Poetry must be about and from experience. Later, in Book 11, although his songs will move trees and stones, it will not prevent the thwarted Thracian women from killing him. They silence his song with their shrieks, enabling their stones to reach him. But when they tear him limb from limb and throw the remains in the River Hebrus, his head carries on singing as it drifts downstream. Poetry is based on passion, it outlives the mortal life of its author, but it can be silenced. Moreover, some people (Midas, in the next story in Book 11) are not good judges of poetry. He believes Pan is better than Apollo, and accordingly Apollo punishes him. Another creator figure is Marsyas, who believes he is a better musician than Apollo. Apollo (perhaps by cheating) wins the competition and flays Marsyas, an outcome repeatedly sculpted in Roman art. Arachne, likewise, believes she is better at making representational figurative art in tapestry than Artemis (Ovid Met. 6.575–87); Artemis turns her into a spider (see further, Chapter 4). Being an artist in a number of different media prompts the jealousy of gods and leads to divine punishment. It is not really clear whether these mortals are actually worse than, as good as, or better than the gods. The gods are certainly more powerful, but the question of quality throws us back on to the subjective responses which the Metamorphoses programmes for itself.

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In Book 5, the daughters of Pierus compete, likewise, with Calliope and the Muses in song. They are punished. The cost of being a human artist is almost always a high one. Ovid himself, or so he says, was relegated to the Black Sea by Augustus, famously, because of a poem (carmen) and a mistake (Tristia 2.207). An Ovidian passage with a rather different kind of significance occurs in the Ars Amatoria (2.123ff). Ulysses, trapped on the beautiful Calypso’s island on his way back home after the Trojan War, wants to leave, but Calypso warns him that the sea is too unsafe for travel, and over and over asks him to tell her the story of the Trojan War. Every time she asks, he tells the story, but in a different way. This must allude to the variety within similarity of both a poetic and an art tradition based on endlessly renewed versions of old narratives. Sometimes Ulysses uses a stick to trace the story on the shore, and the waves take part in the narrative, a striking mixed media approach which is at the same time an extrapolation from Ovid’s comments elsewhere on art and nature, and comparable with the interpenetration of nature and art which we will see in Chapters 2, 3 and 5. Finally, there is the climactic passage from the speech of the departed shade of Anchises to his son Aeneas in the Underworld. Anchises’ speech highlights and foregrounds some of the most important thematic elements of the whole epic – Rome’s ethos, destiny, and glory – and at its culminating moment Anchises says: excudent alii spirantia mollius aera (credo equidem), vivos ducent de marmore vultus, Orabunt causas melius, caelique meatus Describent radio et surgentia sidera dicent: Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento (hae tibi erunt artes), pacisque imponere morem, Parcere subiectis et debellare superbos. Virgil Aeneid 6.847–53 Let others hammer out more lifelike breathing images in bronze (Indeed I believe they will) and extract living faces from marble, They will better plead their causes and describe with their instruments The wanderings of the heavens and predict the risings of the stars: You, Roman, keep it in mind to rule peoples

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(This will be your art), and to impose the custom of peace, To spare the subjected and war down the proud.

Anchises’ message for the proto-Roman Aeneas, the hero of the foundational epic, and precursor of Augustus, is that the aesthetic values of sculpture, the power of the sculptor to give life to his materials, the power of eloquence, and the intellectual abstractions of astronomy are all for others (i.e. for the Greeks); all of those activities are artes and they stand for both themselves and for other kinds of ars such as poetry;51 Rome must sacrifice engagement with all of them and their kind for its role as a world power. Ars moves from a literal to a metaphoric application in the course of the lines, and we see a polarity established that aligns itself with the opposition of private and values and personal emotions against civic duties and responsibilities that are part of the thematic architecture of the Aeneid. The ability of marble and bronze sculpture to evoke the sense of what it is to be alive are recognised and valued – it is the foregrounded element in characterising what sculpture is – but, for Virgil, that is not enough when weighed against his idea of what a Roman should be.52 In this passage, then, we have both some indication of what is to be valued in art and an assessment of what value art should have within a society. We have, moreover, in the use of the word artes an indication of a grouping of activities which somehow belong together – a concept of a set of arts which is qualitatively different from other kinds of activity.53 Between them, Horace, Virgil, and Ovid provide a subtle and complex picture of how artistic creativity works, of the internal miscegenation of the audience, of subjectivity and repetition, of the interpenetration of nature and art, and of different possible evaluations of the place of art in the larger world. In this book, I am, of course, not just dealing with the physical entities of the paintings and so forth themselves, but also with the ways in which people engaged with them. Those who did engage could be owners, guests, family members, children, or slaves, but I am largely concerned with the owner and his social circle, his guests (the view is broadened somewhat in the case of gardens). The owner and guests represent, so to speak, the artistic director and the intended audience for domestic art.As regards the guests, those experiencing an owner’s collection could be related to the owner in any of a number of ways, and could be present for a variety of reasons. They could be at a dinner, a

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poetry reading, or discussing business. The guest or visitor might be present in the same room for the first, third, sixth, or twentieth time. There are major subjective and contingent elements in the nature of the visitor’s engagement with the art in the house, and so it can sometimes avoid a misleading colouration to use the term ‘subject’ (i.e. the individual locus of subjective experience) to represent the person who experiences the work in some capacity, instead of ‘viewer’, ‘onlooker’, ‘interpreter’, ‘reader’, ‘audience’ and other such substitutes. The subject, in this sense, is not a fixed and stable entity, but has all the mood alterations and flows of thought and attentiveness that are of the nature of human experience, but we may legitimately think of this subject as an imaginary character whom we are able to interrogate.

2

The Roman Garden In this chapter I deal with the Roman garden and set it in the context of identity, imagination, and cognitive awareness of the outside world. Although the implications of the argument are empire-­wide, the focus is primarily on the urban gardens of the city of Rome c. 60 BC–AD 60, and on the aristocratic owner class. We do not generally regard the garden as a work of art, but it has an objective connection with the garden painting which I deal with in Chapter 3 and which has at the very least a superficial claim to be considered a genre of art. In this chapter, I discuss the Roman garden as a cultural phenomenon, and indicate some of the ways in which it impacts on those who lived in their proximity; I do so with a view to bringing out in Chapter 3 some of the parallelisms between the garden and representations of the garden, which in turn may illuminate something of the boundary between them. In brief, the person experiencing one garden sees through it other gardens, real, historical, or poetic. ‘The garden’ becomes a place for mental play and for thinking about literature, history, identity, gender, and pleasure. Our evidence for this ‘thinking’ is a lateral or synchronic layer in the sense that the thinking for which we have textual evidence is performed by fully developed adults. However, there is another, vertical or diachronic, aspect to the process which involves the cognitive development from childhood of the garden-­user and the role of the garden in structuring the prospective citizen’s understanding of the world. From the time of the late Republic, Rome was ringed by huge gardens.1 Inside the city, within this necklace of large gardens, there was a varied multiplicity of other gardens: gardens at baths,2 gardened walkways,3 window boxes, temple groves, roof gardens, gardens in taverns and small inns, and the courtyard gardens of houses.4 Outside the city, there were also funerary

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gardens.5 Everyone in Rome, even the poorer inhabitants of insulae, had access to gardens of various kinds, and many (not excluding all of the comparatively less well-­off), had their own gardens, facilitated by the Augustan urban water programme c. 30 BC onwards.6 Nor were there only the physical gardens themselves, for these were replicated on another level by references to them in the poetry of the time.7 Pompey’s garden, for example, appears in passing as a feature of the everyday life of the city in Catullus 55 and reappears in Propertius (2.32.7–16) and Ovid (Ars Amatoria 3.387). Caesar’s appears likewise at Horace Satires 1.9.18, and Maecenas’ new Esquiline Gardens is the setting for Horace Satires 1.8.8 The window box may seem very different from the temple grove; the functionality of the market garden is different from the cultural resonance of Cicero’s plans for the garden of his Tusculan villa, with Greek works of art (Cicero ad Att. 1.4; 1.6; 1.8–11), and the statue of Plato referred to at Brutus 24, or Atticus’ garden with its bust of Aristotle overlooking a seat (Cicero ad Att. 4.10);9 the real garden may seem remote from the Garden of the Hesperides. However, as we shall see, the imaginative aspect of the garden whereby the subject sees through the present garden other gardens, landscapes, and types of garden blurs many of the possible distinctions. In general, we could usefully think of the garden as an enclosed green space, different from its surroundings, and as a culturally recognisable part of urban life. Within this outline, there is room for a very wide continuum between the poles of utility and aesthetic autonomy. In this chapter, I am concerned with the Roman citizen’s experience of this pervasive phenomenon. In particular, I am concerned with the role of the garden in consolidation and expression of the individual’s social, civic, and cultural identity (examples 1–3); the way the Roman imagination used the garden as a medium through which something other than literal reality is seen (examples 4–8), so that it becomes a fostering environment for role-­play and self-­impersonation (and mythological can in turn become garden-­like; examples 9–11); and its structuring influence on Roman cognitive development. It will become clear that this last aspect has a contributory role in preparing for the imaginative acts dealt with in the earlier parts of the chapter, and that in turn these imaginative acts tend to continue the processes of cognitive development. In all three aspects, the repetition (often the frequent or daily repetition) of garden experience is a major reinforcing element. The bulk

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of the evidence that I use comes from Rome of the late Republic and early Empire (the focus is on the gardens of the city of Rome c. 60 BC–AD 60), and relates to the aristocratic citizen, but the implications of the overall picture extend much further. It will also be clear that in many ways, and not unnaturally, the garden behaves like the painted garden in Livia’s Prima Porta villa, and that, at the very least, it functions in ways analogous to the way art-­works function. The garden, public and private, was a place designed for, amongst other things, the play of the imagination. It was, as von Stackelberg puts it (2009: 2), ‘not just a place, it was an idea of a place, experienced on both a societal and an individual level.’10 The garden and the replication of the garden in poetry and painting have a role in the social and cultural identity of the owners and subjects. There is a complex interaction with their sense of belonging to the Roman élite and taking part in the Roman cultural life, and sometimes also with their sense of historical identity as Romans. I begin with two apparently slight and fleeting references. 1. ast ubi me fessum sol acrior ire lavatum admonuit, fugio Campum lusumque trigonem. Horace Satires 1.6.126 But when I’m tired and the fiercening sun tells me to go to the baths, I flee the Campus and my game of Triangle. 2. Luserat in Campo: ‘Fortunae filius!’ omnes. Horace Satires 2.6.49 Suppose he [Maecenas] had been playing with me in the Campus: ‘Lucky man!’ say all.

In the first extract, in a generalised account of a day in the life of the poet, Horace says, when it’s time for the baths, ‘I finish my game of triangle and leave the Park’ (Niall Rudd’s translation). In the second extract, Horace modestly and almost inadvertently reveals that sometimes Maecenas does things like playing with Horace in the Park. On both of these occasions, Horace uses the word campus, referring to the Campus Martius, the immense garden-­like complex containing (amongst other things) the water gardens of Agrippa and the gardens of Pompey.11 By entering the Campus Martius (or, for that matter,

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the gardens once owned by Pompey or Caesar), the subject partakes of the myth of Roman power and shares in Augustus’ ‘new political stability’ (von Stackelberg, 2009:78). Although it was increasingly filled during the republic with temples, porticoes, and other monuments, the Campus Martius was still used in the Augustan period for the equestrian exercises which figure occasionally in major Augustan poets (Horace Odes 1.8.3; Propertius 2.16.33). But Romans who read the poetry of Horace, by taking part in these exercises, or just by entering the Campus Martius in general social activity, could become in their own minds part of an imaginary Horatian poem, and so, in turn, Horace’s poem becomes a poem about those very readers. In a recursive effect, those who read the poem are also in the poem. They might have just left it (like Maecenas with the pluperfect tense of luserat in line 49) or they may shortly be in it.12 They are doing what ordinary aristocratic Romans do but, in addition, they get an imaginary role in a poem by one of Rome’s major poets. This multiplies and reinforces their urban cultural identity. There are other literary associations present in the Campus, too. The Augustan resonance of the activities in the Campus Martius is very clear in the seventh book of Virgil’s Aeneid. The whole of the Aeneid is a poetic embodiment of a Roman foundation myth, but in the seventh book this is particularly focused, because Aeneas reaches the site of the future Rome. Here he sets up a camp and sends ambassadors to King Latinus (Aeneid 7.159ff). Meanwhile, he sees equestrian exercises being performed on the ‘campus’ outside the city (160–5), exercises which clearly foreshadow those of Virgil’s contemporaries in the Campus Martius. Thus, Virgil’s Roman listeners, as they engage in this practice, can see their forerunners in their mind’s eye. In their imagination they become united with their origins.13 At the same time, they themselves become ‘part of ’ the major modern poem, the Aeneid. This sort of cross-­media intertextuality, moreover, is happening everywhere in Rome, as when the citizen passes the statue of Aeneas, in the Forum Augusti, or the other statues in the Forum’s colonnades.14 As the citizen is day after day seeing varied combinations of these sights, according to what he is doing and where he is going, the messages are constantly being replenished. The intertextuality of the Campus Martius and the allusions in the poets are only a part of the role of gardens in identity and imagination. In the subject’s experience of the city, myths of Romanness are constantly being refreshed and

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reinforced. Augustus, as we saw in the first chapter, built on old traditions and memories to interweave an arborial mythology about his city.15 Walking about Rome, one would see the oak tree under which Romulus founded the Temple of Jupiter Feretrius, the myrtles of the Temple of Quirinus, Augustus’ palm tree at the Palatine Temple of Apollo, or the pair of laurel trees in front his door. The laurel of the healing god Apollo became, again as we will see in Chapter  3, one of the core symbols of the Augustan peace. As the citizen makes his way about the city with its new, its refurbished, its meaning-­laden buildings and statues,16 the trees add their voices to the subliminal polyphony of Romanness to which the citizen is constantly exposed, and in which he is also taking part. Of course, a tree is not a garden on its own (although example 5 will throw a different perspective on this), but in a city in which gardens are a feature, the accumulation of other trees adds resonance. Insofar as the city is a mixture of trees, gardens, and buildings, the domestic garden, which is of course part of an urban architectural edifice, can become an image of the city. A passage from Ovid demonstrates the potential for the garden to be such an image, and the importance of the image as part of the individual self-­image. 3. Tempus erat nec me peregrinum ducere caelum,   nec siccam Getico fonte levare sitim, Sed modo, quos habui, vacuos secedere in hortos,   nunc hominum visu rursus et urbe frui. Sic animo quondam non divinante futura   optabam placide vivere posse senex. Ovid Tristia 4.8.25-8 It was not the time for me to breath a foreign sky, nor lighten parched thirst with a Getic spring, but to retire now into the empty gardens I once had, now to enjoy the sight of humans and the city – That is how once I prayed to live a peaceful old age, but my mind was not aware of the future.

Here, in one of his exile poems, Ovid – on the margins of the Black Sea – conjures up an imaginary Rome whose salient features are his own gardens, the sight of the urban inhabitants, and the visual impact of the city itself. His audience, meanwhile, back in the real, physical Rome, conjures up from reading these same lines an imaginary picture of the wastes where Ovid is actually writing. In a sort of conceptual chiasmus, the real Rome with its gardens contains both the reader and the reader’s imaginary construction of Tomis,

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while, far away, the real Tomis contains Ovid’s imaginary construction of Rome with its gardens and people. The city, the life of the city, and the city’s gardens are part of Ovid’s picture of what his life ought to be, and his own gardens in Rome are specifically aligned with the city which contains them. We may think that the reader (in Rome) corresponds to Ovid (in Tomis), and that the poems have some sort of reality in both places, linking reader and poet, but this only goes to emphasise that Ovid is not in Rome, and that – as the poem says – his gardens are empty and (for him) belong to the past. The gardens embody Ovid’s dislocation and the gulf between his identity and his Romanness, on the one hand, and, on the other, his physical location in an alien setting. Given the dangers and discomfort Ovid repeatedly attributes to Tomis, his gardens are implicated in a contrast between safe home and dangerous foreign parts, and this contrast has a close connection with the architecture of the garden and the house to which I shall return later in this chapter. In the lines from Ovid’s Tristia, the garden in the poem is a lens through which Ovid sees his former life in Rome.17 Indeed, in all the material adduced so far, the subject sees through the literal garden other more metaphorical possibilities. This theme is more explicitly present in the examples to which I now turn (examples 4–8). The garden experienced by the subject is always a particular garden in a particular place, enclosed by a clear boundary and thereby separated from a qualitatively differentiated outside world, but its situation or condition is nonetheless ambiguous. A garden, as well as being a physical artefact in a particular location, is also a palimpsest of other dimensions. Two passages, one from the Elder Pliny and the other from the Elder Seneca, illustrate this further in a quite direct way, and we may also notice in them an echo of the way in which some of the passages quoted earlier show how the subject’s experience of a garden contributes to his construction of his identity. 4. iam in fenestris suis plebs urbana imagine hortorum cotidiana oculis rura praebebant, antequam praefigi prospectus omnes coegit multitudinis innumerae saeva latrocinatio. Pliny NH 19.59 Indeed the urban plebs used to serve up the countryside each day in their windows with imitation gardens before the atrocious brigandage in huge numbers forced all the prospects to be shut up.

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5.  sub hac arbuscula imaginabar divitum silvas Seneca Controversiae 5.5.24 [Rich Man has burned Poor Man’s tree – and house] Beneath this little tree I used to imagine the forests of the rich.

In the first passage, the urban window box is for its plebeian owner an imaginary garden.18 In the other, the stereotypical Poor Man of the fictive legal controversies of Roman Declamation19 imagines the woods or forests (silvae) of the rich while under his single tree. For him, this domestic tree has become a garden, and a garden through which he sees in his mind’s eye other bigger gardens – those of the rich.20 These in turn, by virtue of being called silvae, imagine that they are whole forests, part of a huge and non-­urban world of nature.21 We may be reminded of how Ovid in exile imagines his gardens in Rome, especially if we emphasise the rhetorical context of the passage in Seneca, since the Poor Man is actually remembering the single tree which was destroyed by the declamatory Rich Man, the tree which was once his garden and whose loss he mourns along with the loss of his former way of life. This passage can be pressed a little further to reveal another imaginary dimension, a literary one. The aristocratic Roman declaimer plays the part of the poor man whose one tree provided him with a complete imaginary garden. The declaimer enacts the poor man performing an imaginative act under his tree. ‘Under this little tree, I used to imagine . . .,’ he says. We can see either the poor man or the declaimer (or both) as indulging in a bucolic posture. In Virgil’s Eclogues, the herdsman sitting under the shade of a tree and using his imagination, composing song, is a programmatic and recurrent image. We are not told that Seneca’s poor man is sitting, but, given the bucolic archetype and his location ‘under’ the tree, we surely visualise him so. We will see another bucolic garden posture shortly, but before proceeding to it, a passage in Cicero will provide us with another case of one garden being a lens through which the subject sees another.22 Whereas the declaimer’s poor man sees in his one-­tree garden an image of other, richer gardens, one of the elements present in the extract from Cicero is that for a moment he sees an affluent villa-­garden as a trading market-­garden. Again there is an additional literary element. Perhaps in Cicero’s case the imaginative play is subtler, but one complication present in the declamatory passage no longer applies, for

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here there is no question about whose imagination is the primary home of the literary resonance. 6. quamquam ea villa quae nunc est tamquam philosopha videtur esse quae obiurget ceterarum villarum insaniam; verum tamen illud additum delectabit. topiarium laudavi; ita omnia convestivit hedera, qua basim villae, qua intercolumnia ambulationis, ut denique illi palliati topiariam facere videantur et hederam vendere. Cicero ad Quintum fratrem 3.1.5 Although, the house as it is now seems to have a philosophical air which rebukes the lunacy of other country houses; but still that addition will be pleasant. I commended the gardener. He has clothed everything in ivy, the foundation wall of the house and the intervals between the columns in the promenade, so that the statues in their Greek cloaks look as though they were doing ornamental gardening and selling their ivy.

Here Cicero imagines the statues in a garden as metamorphosed into humans by the nature of the setting. The ivy-­covered statues seem to him to be landscape gardeners offering their ivy for sale. We can see here an inverse of the typical metamorphoses in Graeco-Latin poetry.23 In those metamorphic tales, a human protagonist is set in an artificial poetic representation of nature and is turned into a plant or stone, say; in the passage from Cicero’s letter, the stone in the garden’s artificial version of nature becomes human. A rather complex play of the mind arises from this, in which two other ‘gardens’ are superimposed on the aristocratic villa-­garden which contains the statues. In the mind’s eye, this villa-­garden can be seen as doubly metamorphosed, into both a market-­garden and, at the same time, into the kind of mythic landscape which is the natural home of poetic metamorphoses. Indeed, in the replacement of gods and lovers with clients and salespeople there is perhaps something culturally akin to the kind of humour that humanises epic by taking the monster out of the Cyclops and turning him into a moping unrequited lover (Theocritus Idylls 11 and thence Virgil Eclogues 2). We can see the effect of an imaginary garden visible through the surface of a real one as analogous to the trompe l’oeil garden paintings which in real gardens open the view to an imaginary painted extension. Indeed we can see similarities in the way Livia’s garden room (which I discuss in Chapter 3 and to which I shall return again later in this chapter) plays with levels of real and

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imaginary; there, the guest surrounded by an imaginary painted garden full of metamorphic possibilities can in his imagination look through the painted surface to the real garden surrounding the villa. In all of these examples the garden – even the window box – is a lens through something other than superficial realities is seen as well as that reality. The corollary to the imaginative transformation of the visible garden is that the subject himself undergoes a sort of transformation and becomes part of the imagined scene. In example 6 above, Cicero is a witness of a metamorphosis and is therefore a part of an imaginary metamorphosis narrative (just as the partridge is, who witnesses the fall of Perdix; Ovid Met. 8.236–59). We see here a touch of the very Roman element of role-­play,24 which I shall now exemplify further with some lines from an anonymous elegy on the death of Maecenas. In these lines, the element of role-­play is much more explicit and in them the garden is more consciously used as a setting for the enactment of the urban citizen’s literary and cultural identity. 7. maluit umbrosam quercum lymphasque cadentes   paucaque pomosi iugera certa soli: Pieridas Phoebumque colens in mollibus hortis   sederat argutas garrulus inter avis Elegiae in Maecenatem 1.33-6 He preferred the shady oak and falling waters, and a few sure acres of fruit-­ bearing ground: cultivating the Muses and Apollo in soft gardens, he sat loquacious among the clear-­voiced birds.

In these lines from an anonymous elegy praising the late Maecenas, the vocabulary is distinctively bucolic. In Virgil’s Eclogues the recurrent setting of the archetypally bucolic song exchange is shade from trees by a stream, and all these elements are present here. In addition, the oak is one of the regular eclogic trees; fruit trees make frequent appearances, and sitting is a typical posture for the bucolic herdsman. There are not very many birds in Theocritus’ pastoral Idylls or Virgil’s Eclogues, but they are present in the idea of the bucolic landscape because of one of the bucolic passages in Lucretius’ didactic poem, the De Rerum Natura (5.1379–411).25 The herdsmen in the Eclogues meet and sing.26 Here, Maecenas is cultivating the Muses and Apollo and he has a clear musical voice (garrulus). He must then be construed as singing. If this were real life, he would be scribbling verse on wax tablets, as Catullus does in Carm. 50, but that is easily represented

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in poetry as singing. Given the setting of shady oak and falling water, Maecenas must be seen here as using the garden setting as the stage for his playing of a bucolic role and, at the same time, transforming his own Esquiline Gardens (we readily infer that these are the gardens that are alluded to) into a bucolic landscape.27 Naively, we might wonder how many times Maecenas had to pose like this for it to become part of his image, but in fact he need never actually have sung, or composed poetry, in his gardens.28 The point of the posthumous elegy is to bring together well-­known attributes of the man in an imaginative and memorable icon. What is important for present purposes is that the lines consolidate the idea that the garden is a natural setting for self-­dramatisation and depend on the metaphoric plausibility of the idea. Indeed, Virgil had already presented real Romans in bucolic guises in his Eclogues, and real Romans happily claimed to be represented under bucolic names in the Eclogues too.29 The garden, enclosed by wall and separated from the outside world of negotium, provides a nurturing setting for the self-­impersonations and role-­ plays of its owners and guests.30 In the next example we see a republican aristocrat engaging in a yet more explicitly realised and elaborate literary role-­play. 8. Apros quidem posse haberi in leporario nec magno negotio ibi et captivos et cicuris, qui ibi nati sint, pingues solere fieri scis, inquit, Axi. Nam quem fundum in Tusculano emit hic Varro a M. Pupio Pisone, vidisti ad bucinam inflatam certo tempore apros et capreas convenire ad pabulum, cum ex superiore loco e palaestra apris effunderetur glans, capreis victa aut quid aliud. Ego vero, inquit ille, apud Q. Hortensium cum in agro Laurenti essem. Ibi istuc magis thraikikos fieri vidi. Nam silva erat, ut dicebat, supra quinquaginta iugerum maceria saepta, quod non leporarium, sed therotrophium appellabat. Ibi erat locus excelsus, ubi triclinio posito cenabamus, quo Orphea vocari iussit. Qui cum eo venisset cum stola et cithara cantare esset iussus, bucina inflavit, ut tanta circumfluxerit nos cervorum aprorum et ceterarum quadripedum multitudo, ut non minus formosum mihi visum sit spectaculum, quam in Circo Maximo aedilium sine Africanis bestiis cum fiunt venationes. Varro, de Re Rustica 3.13 ‘You know, Axius,’ Appius continued, ‘that boars can be kept in the warren with no great trouble; and that both those that have been caught and the

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tame ones which are born there commonly grow fat in them. For on the place that our friend Varro here bought from Marcus Pupius Piso near Tusculum, you saw wild boars and roes gather for food at the blowing of a horn at a regular time, when mast was thrown from a platform above to the boars, and vetch or the like to the roes.’ ‘Why,’ said he, ‘I saw it carried out more in the Thracian fashion at Quintus Hortensius’s place near Laurentum when I was there. For there was a forest which covered, he said, more than fifty iugera; it was enclosed with a wall and he called it, not a warren, but a game-­preserve. In it was a high spot where was spread the table at which we were dining, to which he bade Orpheus be called. When he appeared with his robe and harp, and was bidden to sing, he blew a horn; whereupon there poured around us such a crowd of stags, boars, and other animals that it seemed to me to be no less attractive a sight than when the hunts of the aediles take place in the Circus Maximus without the African beasts.’

In this anecdote about a dinner held by Q. Hortensius’ in his Laurentan park we see an interactive Orpheus-­performance.31 The Orpheus role itself is taken by a slave (we might wonder whether the slave was always called Orpheus, or just for this particular occasion), and in that role he gathers animals for Hortensius and his guests, so that they too are part of the drama. It is true that Orpheus is not a hunter or food-­gatherer in the mythological repertoire, but it is a standard feature of his iconography that when he sings animals and even trees gather around him (as at Ovid Met. 10.10.86–105). Moreover, the evidence of the amphitheatre shows that the Romans were fully capable of re-­imagining mythological narratives in radical transformations.32 It might seem impractical, though perhaps not impossible, that the animals gathered by our Orpheus’ horn-­blowing should then be caught, prepared, and eaten at the dinner described by Appius. However, the dinner was indeed prepared and eaten, and it was surely part of the drama of the occasion that the guests allowed themselves to imagine that they were eating the very beasts that Orpheus’ legendary musical power had summoned for them, and in doing so they were taking part in a scene from virtual mythology for which the garden is the setting. Given the non-­urban context of the Orpheus myth, the park is not just the place where Hortensius’ piece of performance art occurred: it was an appropriate context which enabled the performance to work at both a literal and theatrical level.33

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The range of material garden and garden-­like types in the Roman world is very large. However, as we have seen, the typology is not stable: the subject can see through one garden another imaginary garden of a different type,34 or a mythological scene35 and the imaginary layers can always include the gardens of memory and mythology. In this sort of spirit, the Elder Pliny (NH 19.49–51) gathers together in a brief history of Roman gardens the garden of the Greek philosopher Epicurus, the gardens of Alcinous, Adonis, and the Hesperides, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. For the Romans, these had all become part of the garden of the mind along with the settings of myth and the locus amoenus of Bucolic and Lyric.36 These other gardens behind the material ones visible to the subject become building blocks for the construction of the identity projected by the individual. Cicero’s Tusculan garden contained Greek works of art and a statue of Plato (ad Att. 1.4; 1.6; 1.8–11). This philosophical decoration recalled not only Epicurus’ garden itself, but also a walk once taken by Cicero, via the garden of Epicurus, to the groves of the Academy in Athens (in the company of Atticus, M. Piso, and Cicero’s brother Quintus). In addition, Cicero’s philosophical garden will have recalled his account of that walk in De finibus bonorum et malorum 5.1.1–3.37 The more or less permanent installation of the Tusculan Garden, the ephemeral event of the walk, and the literary embodiment of the same walk aim at various partially overlapping audiences and reinforce each other in solidifying Cicero’s picture of himself as belonging to the succession of philosophers.38 Cicero’s Tusculan garden is a piece of organised self-­impersonation as a man of importance in a significant strand of Roman cultural life.39 In the same period, gardens can be seen to perform analogous functions in military and political self-­presentations.‘Lucullus, Pompey, and Caesar all used their gardens to further their own political agenda, either as a symbol of personal power, evidence of military success, or a vehicle of communication’ (von Stackelberg, 2009: 78).40 Pompey’s gardens provided a public and ‘strategic display of political as well as military power’ (Gleason 1994:13). The large gardens which performed these functions were not only present as a physical reality in the fabric of Rome, but took on an additional existence in another dimension in the references made by poets. This cross-­media interplay with politics tends to acquire a more specifically Augustan focus as the Augustan period proceeds. There is another strand of significance in Roman imaginings about gardens. While Cicero imagines one garden as the site of a sort of quasi-­mythological

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metamorphosis (example 6 above), and Hortensius actually plays out another one in his park (example 8), mythological landscapes, the settings of mythological narratives are often conceived in garden-­like terms, and this is very often in the eroticised context of abduction by a god.41 The mythological version of the garden becomes a tool for thinking about sexuality.42 There are, first of all, a number of passages in which young girls are presented picking flowers: 9. nuper in pratis studiosa florum et debitae nymphis opifex coronae, nocte sublustri nihil astra praeter   vidit et undas. Horace Odes 3.27.29-32 Only a little while ago she was concentrating on the flowers in the meadows, and working on a garland she owed the nymphs – now, in the glimmering night, she saw nothing but stars and waves.

In this stanza of a Horatian ode, Europa has been carried off by Jupiter in the form of a bull and is in mid-­sea on the way to Crete. She is in a transitional state which is registered in various ways. She moves from Phoenicia to Crete and from childhood to womanhood. She wears a zona (59, a symbol of virginity at Hom. Od. 2.245; h. Hom. 5.164; Catull. 2.14; Mosch. 2.73, 164), but sees herself as about to become a paelex, a concubine, whereas hitherto she has been a daughter (34–5) picking flowers to make garlands. The uncut meadow is a symbol of virginity (as Nisbet and Rudd observe, citing Eur. Hipp. 73ff), and the picking of flowers foreshadows defloration (h. Dem. 5ff; Moschus 2.63ff; Ovid Met. 5.392ff; Claud. Rapt. Pros. 2.128ff).43 Innocence itself may contain a suggestion of the ultimate inevitable loss of innocence, but the Europa’s crossing of the sea is manifestly a transition from one state to another, and it is also in some degree transgressive.44 Ovid’s account of Europa (Met. 2.846–75) has its own features, but still has the element of picked flowers (which Europa offers to the bull, 861) and shows Europa’s transition from innocence and timidity to boldness (866–9) while the bull offers his horns to be entwined with her garlands. Whereas Horace’s setting is in the meadows, Ovid’s is on the shore. Neither appears to be quite a literal garden, but in both (and especially in Horace) nature is like a garden. In another mythological narrative in Ovid, however, Proserpina is snatched in a

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grove; here the ambivalence between innocence and eroticisation in the motif of the flowers is very strong, and again we have a transition from the role of daughter to sexualised entity: 10. quo dum Proserpina luco ludit et aut violas aut candida lilia carpit dumque puellari studio calathosque sinumque implet et aequales certat superare legendo, paene simul visa est dilectaque raptaque Diti. usque adeo properatur amor. Dea territa maesto et matrem et comites sed matrem saepius ore clamat et ut summa vestem laniarat ab ora collecti flores tunicis cecidere remissis. tantaque simplicitas puerilibus annis haec quoque virgineum movit iactura dolorem. Ovid Met. 5.391–401 While Proserpina was playing in this grove and picking violets of dazzling lilies, and while with girlish zeal she was filling her baskets and arms and trying to outdo her playmates in the picking, almost all at once she was seen, loved, and grabbed by Dis – love is always in a hurry! The terrified goddess kept calling out for her companions and her mother in a mournful voice, and when she had torn open her clothing the flowers she had gathered fell out from her loosened tunic. Such is the innocence of youth that this loss too provoked girlish grief.

In the settings of these narratives, the young girl is surrounded by a garden-­ like nature, or nature-­like garden. The protagonists are mythological and royal or divine. In a fresco from the Villa di Arianna at Stabiae (Fig. 2.1),45 Primavera or Flora (there have been various other mythological identifications) steps through a green space whose only feature is a flowering plant from which she picks flowers to put in the basket she carries. What, however, tells us whether she is a goddess or a young woman? How can we tell whether she is in a garden or mythological space? Nothing in the pictorial field itself reveals this. The original location of the fresco was in a room which had a view of the peristyle garden and presence in the painting of a flowering plant in what could be seen as a lawn generates interesting possibilities whether the figure is human or divine. The figure is

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Fig. 2.1.  Flora, fresco; Villa di Arianna, Stabiae.

clothed, which may speak against a goddess, for nudity is the robe of divine and semi-­divine power (though gods are not always naked).46 The ambiguity of the image shows how readily transferable such images were and how they could therefore easily permeate the real world of the Romans.47 If we turn from here to a passage in Catullus we can pursue this ambiguity into a generalised, but less mythological, more real-­world, Roman marriage setting. 11. Ut flos in saeptis secretus nascitur hortis, ignotus pecori, nullo convuslus aratro, quem mulcent aurae, firmat sol, educat imber; multi illum pueri, multae optavere puellae: idem cum tenui carptus defloruit ungui, nulli illum pueri, nullae optavere puellae: sic virgo, dum intact manet, dum cara suis est;

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cum castum amisit polluto corpore florem, nec pueris iucunda manet nec cara puellis. Catull. 62.39-47 Just as a flower that is born in secret in a fenced garden, unknown to sheep, not torn by any plough, which breezes soothe, the sun strengthens, the rain rears, many boys have longed for it, and many girls; when it has been plucked by a young fingernail and lost its bloom, no boys have ever longed for it, and no girls. So a maiden while she stays untouched, while she is dear to her family; when she has lost the chaste flower, her body stained, she does not stay pleasing to boys or dear to girls.

Again, as in examples 9 and 10, the plucking of flowers is connected with loss of virginity, but here the context is explicitly a garden. We may note that both boys and girls long for the unplucked flower, and when the flower has been plucked the other children will no longer want to play with the girl. Although here the main significance of the plucking is loss of innocence and the possibility of pollution of the body, the very different idea of flower-­picking as an innocent childish pursuit is not entirely absent.48 The girl is at a moment of transition and we can see her both in terms of the childhood she is losing and the womanhood she is about to enter. In Fig.  2.2, a wall painting (some 60 × 40 cm) of the first century AD, probably from a house in Italy and now housed in the Liverpool World Museum,49 there is a very different innocence/erotic ratio from that in the poetic passages described above. Here, the woman openly reveals herself to the man – or he unrobes her, or perhaps there is complicity. As her robe falls away, she becomes like a flower emerging from its calyx. They are in a rocky outdoor setting. The scene may make us think of a nymph’s cave, but the suggestion of a cave or grotto is also reminiscent of a Roman garden.50 The same pattern is found as a mosaic on the floor of a luxurious fourth century Sicilian villa (Fig. 2.3).51 The fresco and the painting are well-­separated from each other in provenance and date, and in different media, but the compositional format is strikingly similar and the clarity of design possessed by the mosaic makes the garden context of the erotic scene wholly clear. The sexualisation of the garden is very varied, both in terms of the degree and the kind of sexualisation. The generic agenda of the medium has a strongly determining effect. The eroticisation is carried to much greater degrees of

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Fig. 2.2.  Embracing pair, painting.

explicitness and aggression in the unelevated genre of the orchard-­epigrams of the Priapea in which the sexualisation depend on the ideas of stealing fruit and on the nature of the punishments which the Priapus-­statue imagines giving to the perpetrators. Another variety of attestation for the sexualisation of the garden is to be found in the treatment of gardens in imperial historiography.52 An immoderate yearning for gardens is attributed to both Messalina and Agrippina (Tacitus Annals 11.1; 12.59). There is some background to this in first century AD

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Fig. 2.3.  Room 39, Cubicle with alcove of the Master’s North apartment; detail of central medallion with Scene of love and immortality.

moralising literature, for Seneca, who himself owned notable gardens (Juvenal 10.16), uses the garden in this mode as a typical setting for sloth, eating, drunkenness, and sex (Ep. 114.5; Ben. 4.13.1). However, already in the Republic, Cicero had linked Clodia’s gardens by the Tiber with her licentiousness (Cicero pro Caelio 36). To some extent, the difference between elegance and disgusting luxury is a matter of interpersonal dynamics and rhetoric, as Cicero’s subsequent interest in buying the same estate from Clodia shows (ad Att. 12.38a.2),53 but the extreme variety of medium and tone visible in this material is an indication of how profoundly the archetype of the garden is suffused with sexuality. This may well have something to do with the fact that in Roman life the garden was a gendered space. The child learning about the world already experiences the garden as female space,54 because for much of the time in which he is in the garden it is the domain of his mother. The importance of the garden as the space in which the Roman child does much of his growing up is important in other ways too, as will emerge shortly. There is a process at work in many of the examples treated so far which is like that of producing a metaphor, of seeing one thing as another, and this is a

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cognitive process. So far I have been dealing with pieces of evidence as snapshots of the mentality of the adult subject, and the imaginary transformations of the garden that we have seen so far are of a sophistication that belongs to the adult mind. However, there are dynamic and developmental issues involved in the experience of the garden as well. At any point, the garden (which has its own history and development) is part of the raw data of experience for the child of the latest generation, and this child is a growing thing. The nature of his experience and his mentality change with him. The relative importance of physical and cultural constituents changes as the child’s mind acquires knowledge and undergoes acculturation. As the garden is a strong part of the child’s environment and experience we can look at the physical and social architecture of the garden as the context for the cognitive development that leads to the kind of adult perceptions illustrated so far, and thereby also broaden our picture of the consequences. In what follows I am chiefly concerned with the Roman aristocratic child, although the basic principles of the argument could be applied more widely. The garden, as already observed, is multifarious in form and size. The public garden is bigger than the private urban domestic garden, but in the course of growing up the subject’s experience of the domestic garden fits into and begins both to fill, and be expanded by, his experience of the public garden. In this sense the domestic garden is seminal. Even among the villa-­owning class, more Romans had a closer, more regular and more intimate, experience of the urban domestic garden than with villa parks and the large public gardens, since the courtyard garden is part of the residence, and the domus was close to the heart of its inhabitant.55 The emotional centrality of the house as the physical symbol of the family is reflected in Cicero’s treatment of the separation of family from its home at Philippics 12.14.8–10. It is of fundamental importance also to bear in mind that the Roman citizen was born, grew up, and lived – in a home – in the Roman world. This experience not only had an organic and multisensory wholeness, but had a temporal extension reaching back into infancy. The garden, the house, and the family are in intimate connection with each other from the very earliest moments of the citizen’s life. This subjective experience must, therefore, be a strong factor in the citizen’s cognitive development. This will allow us to consider his experience of the architecture of the house and garden as evidence for the shape of his mind.

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The perceived physical patterns of the places in which the Roman aristocrat lived are fundamental formative influences. It is, of course, not the garden alone that matters; all domestic space (and the awareness of the outside) does.56 Domestic space embodies domestic values, and it is always there as the child is growing, always repeating its lessons. However, a number of features had the potential to give the child’s garden-­experience a special emphasis. The multisensory nature of the garden-­experience is a strong cognitive catalyst (a point I shall make again, and with more detail, below); the child is likely to have been in the garden more than in the triclinium (for example), and while the child was not always in the garden, the relative freedoms allowed to play, activity, and behaviour that are possible there are likely to have given the place itself a special quality. The location of the peristyle within the domus is a continuous non-­verbal indication that it is central and safe, and thus potentially marked out as important and relatively free from restriction.57 The citizen’s cognitive map of the larger Roman world is based on foundations laid in infancy and expands from there, and the garden has a seminal influence in this process. Before we proceed any further, some observations about cognitive processes and development are necessary. Before we speak or write, the world is already taking shape for us. Before we speak we are already the sentient locations of subjective experience. We see, hear, smell, taste, and feel; we are spoken to, fed, warmed, moved from room to room, crawl and so forth. All the while we are building up pre-­verbal cognitive patterns which underpin our understanding of the environment. An illustration of this kind of pattern which is used in cognitive psychology is the ‘figure on a ground’ model: when ‘two areas share a common boundary, the figure has a distinct shape with clearly defined edges. In contrast the ground is the region that is left over, forming the background . . . The figure also seems closer to us and more dominant than the ground’ (Matlin 2005: 36).58 The object on the table is generally more interesting at first sight than the table is. It can be picked up; perhaps it can be used or eaten . . . Matlin goes on to observe that even young infants show such ‘Gestalt principles of organisation’ (Matlin 2005: 36). The abstractness of the figure on a ground motif indicates how widely transferable it is in real experience, and points us towards understanding how physical structure becomes part of cognitive structure.59 At a less abstract level, for the infant and child, experience says that Inside is safe and warm, and Outside is unpredictable, unknown: the one pair

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of concepts becomes aligned with the other. How do we reach this point from the experimental model of the figure on a ground? Concept formation and acquisition is a much debated area in cognitive psychology,60 but it is broadly recognised today that the development of concepts and conceptualisation is the product of an interplay between new information from the outside world which is ‘taken into your cognitive system and is somehow influenced by your general knowledge. This knowledge allows you to go beyond the information in the stimulus in a useful productive fashion’ (Matlin 2005: 247).61 Somewhat more specifically, Hofstadter (2001) argues that the transferability and development of concepts depends on analogy, which he sees as central to cognition (and starts operating before the development of the more peripheral process of reasoning). The infant chunks infant-­scaled quanta of experience into infant-­concepts, and in the course of development these concepts grow in size and number by analogy and a recursive process of being amalgamated in larger and larger concepts.62 For the more developed subject, analogy-­making is an intuitive and often inexplicit ‘mental mapping onto each other of two entities – one old and sound asleep in the recesses of long-­term memory, the other new and gaily dancing on the mind’s center stage’ (Hofstadter 2001). The resemblance of analogy and ‘mapping onto’ to metaphor and seeing one thing through another, which were important motifs earlier in this chapter, is clear, and we should remember as well that the Romans were receptive to the idea of the architecture of the house being explicitly applicable to a meta-­level of intellectual content (this lies behind the use of the house as a mnemonic structure recommended by Cicero and Quintilian (Quintilian 11.2.20–4; cf. ad Herennium 3.29; Cicero De Oratore 2.350–60)).63 As soon as we remember that the citizen has been walking (or being transported as an infant) down such corridors, and into and out of rooms and gardens for a lifetime, this model fleshes out the mechanics of the how a Roman citizen walking down a corridor in the Villa Farnesina (or similar corridors) might come to ‘a new way of perceiving the world and Rome’s place within it’ (Spencer 2010: 153).64 We may not be able to track the cognitive development of the Roman child in detail, but we know the beginning and end points (infancy and adulthood) and can place some of the intervening points on a sequential timescale well enough for present purposes.65 As observed above, in the course of cognitive development, there is an interplay between new information from external

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reality and already existing general knowledge. The subject’s experience of external reality, however, is not static: it grows with the child, and so we find a roughly concentric set of insides and outsides superimposed on each other over time. What the subject has learned from the smaller circles is successively transferred outwards.66 At first, the infant lives in a limited world, sheltered and nurtured in the domus and perhaps mainly limited to particular parts of it, outside which is terra incognita. The inside expands as the child can walk (but the original smaller ‘inside’ retains a special sense of homeliness, comfort within the new larger ‘inside’) and the outside is less wholly unknown, but becomes a shadowy region of discomfort and potential danger. Outside the house could be mobs, poor people, complicated streets with cut-­throats and thieves (of course, children did get outside the domus, but with supervision).67 Inside the house, on the other hand, are the garden, the family, the family slaves, and immediate access to shelter. Within the house, as the infant becomes a child there is an increase in the differentiation of behaviour according to location, for although the Roman house did not contain special children-­only, or specifically children-­friendly, areas, the expectations of the child’s behaviour varied according to where in the house they were.68 Since play is an integral part of the child’s development,69 issues of where to play, where not, and what kind of play is allowed have a strong formative role in the conceptualisation of boundaries.70 It should also be noted that the identity of the garden as a place where the child can play and the role-­playing element of much child-­play have a direct impact on the use of gardens for the adult role-­playing already discussed (examples 6–8 above).71 The young adult citizen lives in the domus, but is also at home in the urban environs and used to a greater plurality of domestic interiors, whereas outside the dangers, and the preparations needed for excursions, are more consciously rationalised. The adult still lives in the domus (or multiple homes and villas), but outside the home are the choppy seas of politics, business, negotium, or indeed military activity. The adult is at home in the city, in other Italian towns, though care still needs to be exercised in the spaces between the urban centres. Outside the city there are brigands and highwaymen. Even so, the homely inside can now incorporate Italy, or perhaps the Roman world (with the domus still as the paradigm comfort zone), surrounded by an outside where dangerous foreign

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tribes and nations, barbarians, threaten war or revolt, can indeed destroy whole legions, and where climatic extremes replace the temperate zone of the homeland (praised in the Georgics) – frozen hyperboreans, torrid southern zones, the ultimate Britanni, and the semi-­mythical Indians. The successive layers of innerness are concentric. Just as Cicero uses the house as a physical symbol of the family, emphasising its emotional centrality at Philippics 12.14.8–10, so the Romans saw the patron–­client relationship (essentially based in the domus and the urbs) as the paradigm for the larger scale relationship between Rome and the provinces.72 For each Roman citizen, the innermost of the concentric circles is similar in character to that of any other, although in spatial terms there are multiple differences: this infant lives in this house, and not that one. It has a fresco of Aeneas leaving Troy, and not of Polyphemus wooing Galatea. He has two visiting aunts, not three. The domus is in Pompeii or Mantua and not Rome or Cremona. The outermost outside, however, consisting of the furthest semi-­mythical places, is, in geographical terms, very much more uniform across the range of adult Roman citizens. Returning to the house, we should observe that the whole house is not all equally ‘inside’. Many pass the front door without being allowed in.73 Some, clients, are allowed in as far as the atrium for the salutatio.74 Some, more intimate, are allowed in as far as the tablinum to discuss matters with the owner, or as far as a cenaculum to eat dinner with the host and with other guests. The most intimate part, and to which the closest intimates – or grandest guests (Vitruvius 6.5.2) – are invited, is the garden. The most public part is the atrium, not only frequented by the clients who attended the salutatio, but also visible – in part, at least – through the narrow entryway (fauces) from the street.75 Thus, the inside–­outside dyad is relative – there is a gradient of innerness.76 In this sense as well as architecturally, the garden is innermost, and only the most privileged guests reach it, although paradoxically it is outside in the sense of being in the open air.77 This open-­air quality differentiates the garden and makes it special, and we can pursue this further. The garden has plants, a fountain or fountains,78 air-­movement, wetness and dryness, smells. It is subject to seasonal variation both in terms of how it looks and how it feels to be there. Being in the garden is a more fully textured multisensory experience than being indoors, and thereby all the more multiply inscripted in the child’s cognitive patterns.79 ‘We should picture the Roman child in the garden as the

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arena for a complex mix of simultaneous bodily and mental experiences which create a holistic and typologically dense experiential model, packed with meanings’ (Jones 2011, 182 n.163). Learning the geography of the house-­ garden dyad is a way of learning the etiquette of the home and familia, levels of intimacy/privacy, degrees of friendship, and it is also a way of learning a set of patterns that can be expanded to fit the larger worlds the developing individual will have to engage with. There is another architectural paradox in the peristyle. The domus-garden pair correspond in an intuitive way to the town–­country dyad. However, in the domus the plant-­life is surrounded by the architectural element, whereas in the urbs, the architectural assemblage is surrounded by the natural element, the countryside. Nevertheless, the domus is still an image or mental model80 of the urbs and is located within the urbs itself; here again we see one inside–­ outside pattern nesting inside other inside–­outside,81 and contributing to the whole set of insides and outsides which rest inside each other. The repeatability of the underlying pattern is profoundly reinforcing. So we return yet again to the idea of recursion, known by some as mise en abyme, or the ‘Droste effect’ (after the cocoa package design). Thinking in terms of the house as a mental model, we should be aware of the ubiquity of mental modelling as a cognitive process and how it always implies some recursive element. The model is an image of part of the world inside the totality of the world. The child may hold the model, but in his imagination he is in the model too; he may be in the garden, but he is also play-­ acting a role in an outer world. He may already be animating the garden statues like Cicero (example 6). He is both actor and witness of his own acting, like Maecenas in his bucolic posturing (example 7). The domus–garden pattern, as a model of a whole set of inners and outers, influences the way the subject’s thinking about the world develops, but in addition, as observed above, the element of imagination in child-­play prepares for the adult flights of the imagination we considered earlier. The concept of inside–­outside entails a boundary. The safe is enclosed within, and protected from, the dangers without. Inside are memories and the emotional narratives binding the past to the present; we may remember Cicero’s ‘often movingly expressed determination to immortalize his dead daughter, Tullia, in a landscape-­park setting’ (Spencer 2010: 64). Outside are

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different possible futures. Of course, the relationships within vary from domus to domus and for some the home is a place of oppression and distress. Clodia’s behaviour is transgressive when she (according to Cicero pro Caelio 36) uses her gardens to watch men swimming and choose lovers, and this exemplifies how the boundary between inside and outside can be problematic – that the inside can be something to come to terms with or to escape from. The garden illustrates the concept of the boundary in other ways too. In any account of the garden one of the core elements is enclosedness. The garden is an enclosed space, separated from an outside. We can take this description a little further, since, for example, a room is also an enclosed space, and say that the garden is an urban-­cultural enclosed green space – urban, because even the villa gardens outside the city belong to aristocratic urban culture. The garden, as Purcell says (1987), ‘mediates between ideals associated with rural nature and urban civilisation’. Fundamental to its mediatory role is the fact that its boundary is porous. It is porous in the obvious sense that guests enter and leave, and the owner leaves and returns. In the garden, the owner hosts his guests for a while, and they indulge in social activity. Archaeological evidence attests dining equipment permanently installed in many gardens; garden poetry readings are attested by Juvenal (Sat. 1.12), and reflected in the song exchanges in the world of Virgilian bucolic. The subject in the garden can also look across class boundaries, for the host and guests may watch and be amused by the slaves working (Pliny Ep. 2.17.24; 5.6.9), perhaps even while they listen to bucolic accounts of the Arcadians moving some sheep around and then sitting in the shade. The host and guests may fantasize about metamorphosis, and their dramatisations of themselves as Romans may cross into imaginary worlds of myth or desire.82 The domus/garden unit has multiple boundaries, and some would have been potentially difficult to deal with. Given this background and the replication of these boundaries at larger and larger scales in the Roman world, it is no coincidence that at the tangible level, over and again, both in and outside gardens we find that the Romans showed a delight in the sense of boundaries being played with.83 In the next chapter, I describe the complex game with multiple real and imaginary boundaries embodied in the painting and construction of Livia’s Garden Room at Prima Porta. In the course of the discussion, I refer to the following passage from one of Pliny’s letters:

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12. est et alium cubiculum a proxima platano viride et umbrosum, marmore excultum podio tenus, nec cedit gratiae marmoris ramos insidentesque ramis aves imitata pictura. Pliny Ep. 5.6.20–2 There is another bedroom, green and shady from the nearest plane tree, which has walls decorated with marble up to the dado and a fresco of birds perched on the branches of trees, which does not yield to the grace of the marble.

Pliny is describing a bedroom into which the shade from the real tree outside enters the room transforming it into a bucolic setting with the aid of a fresco on the wall on which birds perch on the branches of trees as though they were also, along with the shade from the tree outside the room, a part of the real outside. This delight in playing with boundaries and levels of representation can be seen repeatedly in Roman art and architecture,84 but we also find it in Latin verse. There is an ingenious example in the metaphorical garden of Virgil’s Eclogues:85 13. Mopsus: Quae tibi, quae tali reddam pro carmine dona? Nam neque me tantum uenientis sibilus Austri nec percussa iuuant fluctu tam litora, nec quae saxosas inter decurrunt flumina ualles. Menalcas: Hac te nos fragili donabimus ante cicuta: haec nos ‘formosum Corydon ardebat Alexim’, haec eadem docuit ‘cuium pecus? an Meliboei?’ Mopsus: At tu sume pedum, quod, me cum saepe rogaret, non tulit Antigenes (et erat tum dignus amari), formosum paribus nodis atque aere, Menalca. Virgil Eclogues 5.81–90 Mopsus: What, what present shall I give you for your song? For neither the hissing of the oncoming South wind, nor the shores struck by the waves, nor the rivers that run down through stony valleys please me so much. Menalcas: I will first present you with this delicate pipe: this taught me ‘Corydon burned for lovely Alexis’, this same pipe taught me ‘Whose flock? Is it Meliboeus’?’

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Mopsus: But you take the crook which Antigenes, though he often asked me for it, did not get (and he was then worthy to be loved) – beautiful with even knots and brass, Menalcas.

The Eclogues as a whole are set in a green and benign, garden-­like landscape, sheltered and marked off from a more hostile environment where remote geographical place-­names, extremes of climate, and the dangerous indifference of the city feature. Within the bucolic world, in the passage quoted, after one of the programmatically archetypal song exchanges, the two songsters agree to exchange gifts. The gifts are Menalcas’ bucolic pipe and Mopsus’ pastoral crook. Menalcas’ pipe is deeply personalised, because it is the pipe on which he learned song; specifically it is the pipe which taught him two particular songs. Menalcas’ name is a characteristic bucolic name, and he clearly belongs in the bucolic world; it is, then, a striking effect, when the songs he picks from his repertoire are Virgil’s own Eclogues 2 and 3. The poet’s self-­allusion opens up within the bucolic world an extra dimension which acts as a sort of hyperlink to the Roman world of Virgil’s audience, a portal through which the audience can enter the bucolic world as Virgil has already done, and as Gallus will try to do in the tenth Eclogue. A rather small section of the Roman aristocracy would see either Pliny’s garden-­bedroom, or Livia’s Garden Room, but the Eclogue-book was certainly accessible (and the publication of Pliny’s description of his garden-­room was accessible in the published form of the letters). However, neither Pliny’s nor Livia’s room was a unique phenomenon. The kind of thing Pliny describes is well known, and the essential features of Livia’s rather exceptional painted room are well ­attested elsewhere.86 Both not only exemplify the theme of ‘playing with boundaries’, but also exemplify a common feature of, or associated with, gardens that contribute to the experience and development of the aristocratic child in the garden. Of course, the garden is not made for children, any more than Livia’s Garden Room fresco, or any other piece of Roman art, but it works on the child. It works on the child more directly than pure art, because it is there, because it can be played in, and because the child’s comparatively empty mind is receptive. But the garden also influences the thought patterns of the adult and gives the adult a medium through which, and in which, to think; it was to some extent the conscious expression of ideas about life,87 and by repeated exposure to gardens, the adult might well pick up both conscious and unconscious messages.

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We are never just dealing with the subject and his experience of one garden (whether painted or physical), just as the image of the city is not dependant on one route through it.88 The subject’s internalised mental model summarises numbers of his journeys through the city. Thus, the experience of one garden can accumulate and incorporate previous experience of the same garden, and indeed one garden becomes all gardens as what we see in one garden is added to the product of what we have seen in others. The garden alters the normal perceptions of space in another sense too: within the house, room leads to room in a pattern of usability, and in the city outside streets function as larger scale replicants of domestic corridors. The internal parts of the house and the city are variously the site of, represent, and embody negotium (on the house see Vitruvius 6.5). In the house and in the city (and indeed further afield) one proceeds from place A to place B, but in the garden everything is more synchronous and less goal directed – it above all embodies otium. Like the bucolic landscape, which it resembles, it is a space receptive to undirected reflection and unprompted thoughts and memories. The citizen walks around or strolls about enjoying views that cross and recross and remember each other89 as in an art gallery – as though, indeed, the garden is both the gallery and the art itself. The citizen thus moves around, or just sits, with a temporary freedom from time and responsibilities which must at some level recall the state of childhood and childhood’s experience of the garden. At the same time, he is rehearsing his place in the world, engaging in the dramas of individual, social, and cultural identity, and practising on a scale-­model of larger boundaries.90 As for the status of the garden as art, Varro (de Re Rustica 1.59) puts the words oporotheca and pinacotheca (‘fruit gallery’ and ‘art gallery’) in pointed proximity, and Pliny using the words artificis and opera (Ep. 5.6.35–6) describes how he ‘signed’ the garden with the letters of his own and his gardener’s names in topiary, a joint signature which attributes the creation of this garden to a collaboration between skill and design.91 The garden has a multi-­sensory appeal to aesthetic pleasure, carries meanings and cultural allusions, has emotional resonances, has a role to play in the construction of identities, mediates between nature and artifice, it can be seen as embodying ideas about proper ways to live, and it invites contemplation. It has had a long and complex history, during which its aesthetic aspirations have had various levels of explicitness and intensity. If it looks as though Pliny

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could have, even if only partially seriously, claimed that a garden was a work of art, that is far from showing that that perception was common or deeply rooted. However, there are strong similarities between the way the Roman garden functioned in society and the ways in which garden paintings, which we might more readily accept as viable art works, worked in the same society, as I propose to explore in the next chapter.

3

The Garden Room at Prima Porta Gardens of a multiplicity of kinds, as we have seen, were very widespread in Rome and the Roman world; their character and design was shaped by the cultural spirit of the age, but their ubiquitous presence also helped shape the mentality of the children who would grow into garden-­users. Paintings of gardens were also a frequent element of the decoration of the domus and villa and play on the same sorts of concerns with nature, culture, and boundaries. They too were something of a ubiquitous presence in the growing child’s experience as well as a constantly accessible reinforcement for the adult citizen.

Fig. 3.1  The Garden Room in the Villa of Livia, Prima Porta, with scaffolding.

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Like the garden, the garden painting contributed to the mental mapping of experience. The painting lacks, of course, some features of the garden; its three dimensionality and complex relationship with time, the motion of the plants and passing birds. On the other hand, the painting contains a stable density of experiential references that can outdo that of the real garden, at least in the sense that its selection of plants and animals is not bound by the laws of season and the rules of natural growth. There is another important difference in that, whereas Pliny’s topiarised signature might be interpreted as a tendentious claim that the garden is a work of art, the garden painting is more firmly embedded in the sphere of art. In this chapter, I consider one particular garden painting; I select it because modern commentators are particularly ready to write about it as a work of art, but also because it selects and magnifies features which are present, but not in such dense collocations, elsewhere in the tradition of Roman garden painting. As well as looking at this painting and how it might work in its social context, I have an underlying question: if one of the two entities, the garden and the garden painting which are alike in content (the garden experience) and context (the citizen’s residence), can claim status as art with any credibility, what are the kinds of grounds upon which we can deny the status of art to the other? At Prima Porta, nine miles north of Rome, on the Via Flaminia, there are the remains of an extensive villa, the Villa of Livia, according to the Elder Pliny, known as the Villa ad Gallinas.1 It was reworked on the basis of an older republican villa by Augustus and Livia from about 40 BC.2 There was in it an underground room of nearly 12 by 6 metres, now known as the Garden Room because, somewhere between 30 and 20 BC,3 its walls were painted with a single garden scene, extending around the whole room and unbroken except by the sole doorway of entry.4 It seems that this arched doorway never contained a door in which the painting might have been continued5 in order to achieve a complete enclosure in painting of those inside the room. The painting has, since 1952, been housed in the Museo Nazionale Romano in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome, and comprises many largely identifiable trees, plants, and birds behind an awning and parapet.6 Behind the plants and trees there is more indeterminate plant life. The painting is both like and more developed than other Roman garden paintings, which are by no means a rarity.7 I am concerned here with the issues relating to calling this wall-­painting

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a work of art and to assessing it on those terms. In the course of doing so I will be using a good deal of material which is well known, but I mean also to introduce a number of new ideas, particularly concerning boundaries and representation. If we put together, as in Chapter  1 above, the elements of competition, imitation, and learned content, and add the potential for emotional involvement, then we have the framework for a set of artistic values, owned by the artists and recognised by the patron class, which is clearly related to the cultural values of contemporary Roman literature, and deals in the same cultural coinage. This painting is indeed like other garden paintings in many ways, but as just observed, it is developed in a more sophisticated way. The selection of trees and plants, moreover, is not random, but has its own set of significances. In addition to this, in the field of art we are also dealing with shape, colour, texture, and composition. Two comparatively recent summaries of the Garden Room explicitly raise the issue of its mural work’s status as art. A section of Beard and Henderson’s Classical Art (2001) is headed ‘How do Pompeian paintings rate as “works of art”?’ (p. 36), and there is in the context of their discussion here a sharp awareness of the problems of assessing paintings from the Roman world. The limited use of shadow, the charge of being derivative imitations of Greek art, and the issue of how a work has been restored are some of the difficulties that have been felt. Often, the original context has been lost, and that too may be an impediment to feeling the intended impact of a work. Nevertheless, Beard and Henderson give nuanced pointers towards the aesthetic qualities of the well-­known Polyphemus and Galatea painting and the Andromeda rescued by Perseus from the Villa of Agrippa Postumus, Boscotrecase (both now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), on the one hand, and of two very similarly designed works from the House of the Priest Amandus, a few miles away, works ‘which are usually treated as (slightly) inferior copies’ of those from Boscotrecase. They are aware of colour, cropping, focus, and intertextuality between the two myths. When they come to Livia’s Garden Room, their account is brief (pp. 54–5), but the context of their account allows us to read into it the relevance of issues of social and cultural context, the use of mythology in other paintings, the question of whether this particular work is a great work of art or not, and the question of how far it is possible to evaluate through the filter of reconstruction and restoration.

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There is much that is suggestive both here and in the evident enthusiasm of the description of the Garden Room fresco. However, there is a gap here. While Beard and Henderson draw suggestive comparisons and contrasts between paintings in different locations but on the same theme, and between paintings in the same location but on related themes (see especially pp. 52–3), we are drawn down the path of thinking that one of the defining things that the subject does in front of a work of art is to relate to its thematic content in such a way as to interpret it and produce meanings (however fluid these meanings may be). This may leave important aspects of the subject’s experience in the shade and in the case of the painting of Livia’s Garden Room – non-­ mythological, non-­narrative, and thereby less directly amenable to this approach – this may be particularly acute. Diana Spencer’s (2010: 155–61) longer account is located in a discussion of landscape and architectural and garden space, and what these meant for the Romans. Although she does not actually use the term ‘art’ in regard to the Garden Room, she, too, is enthusiastic in her language. The Garden Room frescoes are ‘vividly beautiful’ (p. 156). In addition to this, Spencer considers the plant-­assemblage of the fresco in terms of its hyper-­realistic abundance, its pastoral self-­reflexivity, the use of greenery in the Augustan city, the order–­ nature polarity, and the Augustan semiotics of the laurel. Spencer also foregrounds how the room’s ‘totally immersive qualities of unified design and space’ (p.  155) make the illusory open space implied by the painting (p. 160) become paradoxical and striking. In addition, Spencer is aware of the importance of the ‘somatic’ element of the viewer’s experience (2010: 158), of how the experience of entering the room in which the painting is was for the original guests heightened by the physical aspects of entering a cool, dim room and letting one’s eyes acclimatise, or how it might be changed by stepping closer, or by viewing it from a lower elevation on a triclinium. This is, although brief, a quite rounded picture of the Garden Room, and one which suggests (though it does not say) that its multifaceted nature and resonances might allow it to be a great work of art. I mean to build on this picture here and generate a fuller conceptualisation of what is happening in this room. The immediate impact of the fresco is largely based on composition and colour.8 The subject may be struck by the alternation of strong uprights and hatching, the alternation of foreground and background. There is a

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repeated sprinkling of fruits, flowers, and birds that are similar, but not the same, and this provides a constant harmonious variatio. The verticals interwoven with the areas of hatching, add subtlety by not being pure verticals: the trunks of the trees lean or bend at different angles. They seem to sway, and feather in the breeze, and their mutually distinguished varieties of leaf types are another level of contrapuntal interest. The colour scheme picks out the bright highlights of fruits and flowers against the masses of green, and varies them with the wide range of colours and intensities involved in the painting of the birds. The green itself is not monochrome, but comes in architectural masses and is also variegated by the subtle foregrounding of individual leaves because of proximity or the angle of incidence of the light.9 Overall, there is a tension between this formal patterning and the naturalism of the local effects and textures, between aesthetic pleasure and reality effect. For the subject looking head on at any part of the whole, linear and aerial or tonal perspective is observed. However, the foregrounded trees, the trellis and balustrade, the mass of leafage behind the trees, and the hanging ‘eaves’ of the imaginary edifice from which the painted garden is seen are all parallel to each other; the subject who looks obliquely along the room is thus presented with a secondary perspective, created by the angle of incidence of the walls themselves. In this secondary perspective, the vanishing points of the lines of trees are roughly consistent with those of the edges of the room itself. After this immediate impact, the subject may become aware of similarities between this and other garden paintings, for the painted garden in this room is – to some extent – like other garden paintings.10 Landscapes of the mature Second Style are contained by frames or trompe l’oeil architectural perspectives. Late Second Style landscapes appear in framed pictures within aediculae in the centres of walls. The absence of such architectural framing devices and the all-­round continuity of the painting in Livia’s Garden Room combine to seem virtually unique, but the flora and fauna, and the fence and the balustrade all find close parallels elsewhere.11 To the extent that it is indeed unique, it is so by way of extending features we see elsewhere in Roman art. One of the most obvious characteristics of Roman art is its repetitiousness, a repetitiousness which shows itself at several levels. Trajan’s Column shows a good deal of repetition in its motifs, but they are always varied and never mechanically repeated, and the same is true for the trees and birds in Livia’s

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Garden Room. The subjects of sculpture, fresco, and mosaic appear and reappear in different locations. Bergmann, for example, compares seven Io-­paintings, but not as merely derivative. Rather she describes them as exhibiting a ‘shuffling’ which produces in each case an ‘artful compilation’ of pictorial elements (1995: 95). This practice is common in Roman art, and it does not exclude the possibility of producing great art any more than the formulations and reformulations (often based on Classical models) of Leda and the Swan or Jupiter and Antiope in renaissance and post-­renaissance art do, or the use of stencils in renaissance tapestry which still allows the production of masterpieces like the Dame a la licorne set (c. 1500) now in the Cluny Museum. Indeed, multiples, that is to say works which are not unique productions, but made in editions, are found in ‘virtually every category of Roman art’ (Gazda 1995: 137–8).12 Bronze is a medium which allows exact production in a multiple edition (Mattusch 1995). In this case the quality of the art-­product depends on the concept and execution, and assessment of its quality applies to the whole edition. Each member of the edition is still an ‘original’. However, there were also plaster casts of famous statues;13 Quintilian, moreover, mentions what seems to be the device of gridding up so that a painter could reproduce a two-­ dimensional image with accuracy (10.2.6–7), and there were techniques for the fairly exact replication of marble statues.14 Such replicas, however, were not ‘regarded as the highest sort of artistic achievement’.15 Artistic achievement comes from imaginative transference or transformation and can exist in a continuum of degrees. Bergmann gives as an example the transformation of a Doryphoros-­type figure (based ultimately on the spear-­bearing bronze statue by Polykleitos)16 into a lampstand and observes that the accuracy of the reproduction counted for less than the recognisability of their iconic value (1995: 81).17 What we find over and again rather than exact copying is translation and variation, and the transfer of motifs from one medium into another, with other secondary changes that follow from that.18 A statue has no background context, for example, but a mosaic or fresco does: a Venus moving in that direction needs to be teased into a new setting. In the context of this repetitiousness, learned imitation becomes a fundamental aesthetic principle in Roman art (as it is also in literature).19 In the case of literary intertextuality, the relevant texts are read the one ‘through’ the other, although it would be possible to look up a borrowing and lie the two

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texts physically side by side. In the case of artworks, the variant representations of one mythic scene or character are likely not to be located in the same house as each other, or readily mobile, so that where one fresco, for example, uses another, the intertextuality has to be seen through the memory and the mind’s eye. It is of course true that paintings which are like each other are found in different houses from each other, and there may be various explanations for the similarity and for differences.20 The two may be the product of a workshop not concerned to repeat exactly; or they may be the product of different workshops using a design in some degree standardised, and perhaps deriving from pattern books from which the buyer might choose ‘something like that’. There are, indeed, any number of reasons for differences in the final treatment, some quite straightforward (the size of the destination room, for example).21 However, guests may pass from house to house and may see the variant versions even if they are not visible together in the same place, and given the patterns and frequencies of similar paintings it would be unlikely that a viewer of one Europa and the Bull had not seen some others, although his memory might not preserve separately all the details of each. Of course, each variant is to be seen in its own terms in its own location, but ‘its own terms’ includes an awareness of how this version plays with its difference from other versions in the subject’s mental anthology.22 The garden painting at Prima Porta is like other garden paintings in some important differences from the actualities of real garden plantings and layout,23 but there are also significant individualities. Furthermore, some guests in the Garden Room might well be aware of a feature of Livia’s Palatine House. It is not another version of the Garden Room, but it provides nonetheless something analogous which may help point up elements in the Prima Porta painting. A largely underground ‘summer apartment’ in the Palatine house has in it three painted landscapes with a sanctuary of Diana, a deity who has some implicit importance in the Garden Room fresco too.24 The main thematic material of the Garden Room fresco consists of flora and fauna, and the initial impression is one in which the distribution of elements mingles order and chaos.25 Kellum (1994: 215–7) draws an analogy with Virgil’s Georgics and the decoration of the Ara Pacis, and reads this as a way of harmonising the concepts of nature and rule. There is also the hypernatural simultaneity of the plant-­life: in Livia’s painted garden,‘everything

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is in bloom simultaneously. The periwinkles, wild laurel, iris, roses, poppies, and daisies of spring burst forth at the same time as the oleanders of July, the chrysanthemums of September, and the quinces and pomegranates of late autumn’ (Kellum 1994: 221).26 This transcendence of the natural seasons is like that seen in the fruits of all seasons woven into the garlands of the interior altar enclosure wall of the slightly later Ara Pacis,27 and also like the assemblage of flora in Corydon’s imaginary collection of offerings in Virgilian bucolic (Ecl. 2.45–50). In a broader sense, the same sort of transcendence can also be seen in Virgil’s Eclogues as a whole, combining as it does – but without setting them in a chronological frame or sequence – poems set at different times of year, but chiefly in the warmer, more benign seasons. The cumulative atemporality and the warmth and kindness of the natural elements are suggestive of the Golden Age along with all of its Augustan resonances (as for example in Virgil Eclogues 4).28 As well as the extra-­seasonal simultaneity, one should also notice the sheer multiplicity of plant-­life in this and other such garden paintings (Castriota 1995). There is a density and variety which is certainly not matched in uncultivated nature. It might well exceed the variety shown in a real garden too, because it is a distillation or refraction of the idea of a garden rather than a transcript of what might be seen in any real garden. Again, Corydon’s floral assemblage in the second Eclogue, and the flora of both individual Eclogues and the collection as a whole provide analogues.29 The painting’s flora and fauna have also been considered in terms of the significance and associations of individual plants and birds. This brings together the cultural, social, philosophical, and moralising resonances of real gardens (as well as their translation into garden painting generally),30 the Augustan resonances in the painting’s plant-­life, and the poetic resonances of both the plant- and the bird-­life of the Garden Room fresco. As regards the plant-­life, one should, first of all, notice the background of Augustus’ urban ‘arborial mythology’.31 In his iconography, in the decoration of the city and its monuments, in stories that gathered about his person, greenery was important, and especially prominent in one way or another were the oak, pine, palm, and laurels. As Spencer (2010: 155) observes, Augustus combined a significance-­loaded and radical programme of building and refurbishing (dressed up as restoration and conservatism) and the ‘lush use of nature’ which encompassed a strong visual contrast between the ‘sparkling new public

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buildings’ and the shapes, colours, and textures of the plantlife of gardens, groves, and individual trees. These effects were, indeed, multisensory, for the movement of air through branches and leafage can be felt, smelt, and heard, and highlighted both new and older sites such as Pompey’s portico gardens, Augustus’ own Mausoleum, and Agrippa’s bathing and exercise complex’.32 The components of this mass of wood and foliage were laden, too, with meanings. Oaks recall the tree under which Romulus founded the Temple of Jupiter Feretrius (Livy 1.10; Nepos Atticus 20.3) and the oaken corona civica of Augustus (Res Gestae 34.2); myrtles suggest the ancestry of Augustus and the Temple of Quirinus; ivy recalls Dionysus and Pan, the holm oak suggests Diana; Augustus himself placed a palm tree at the Palatine Temple of Apollo (Suetonius Augustus 92.1-2) and a pair of laurel trees in front of his house (Dio 53.16.4).33 The laurel recalls triumphal garlands and the healing powers of Apollo, and became became one of the key symbols of the Augustan era of clemency and peace.34 Livia joined in and contributed a giant grapevine shading the Porticus of Livia and a giant cinnamon root which she ‘dedicated as a memorial to her deceased and deified husband at his temple on the Palatine’ (Kellum 1994: 218; Pliny NH 14.11).35 In 39/38 BC, when she was betrothed to Octavian, an eagle dropped a white hen holding a laurel branch in her lap (Pliny NH 15.136f).36 The augurs ordered the preservation of the chicken and its offspring and that the laurel branch should be planted at the site, where it became the founder of the laurel grove at Livia’s Villa ad Gallinas (where the Garden Room was to be). From this (says Pliny) Augustus picked a branch to carry in triumph, ‘while wearing a wreath of its foliage on his head’ (Kellum 1994: 222). Successive Julio-Claudian emperors planted the branches they had so held, and just before the death of each, ‘the tree he had planted withered’ (Suetonius Galba 1). In Pliny’s day (NH 15.137), sections of the grove were still ‘labelled with the names of the individual emperors who had established them’ (Kellum 1994: 222). All this is the material of the garden in the painting in Livia’s Garden Room, and especially the laurel, which is there over and again, and is outside the room in the villa’s laurel grove, with its dynastic-­marital and triumphal associations. However, this is not the limit of the associations hedging the room. The plants and birds also have resonances in the poetry of the Augustan period. There are no visible characters in the painting, but there is the possibility of mythical

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presence, partly because secluded natural surroundings are a frequent setting for mythological encounters between mortals and nymphs or gods, and partly because numbers of plants in the fresco have specific mythological associations. The most preponderant plant, the laurel, originates in the transformation of Daphne fleeing from Apollo and becoming the tree that was thereafter his favourite tree (Ovid Met. 1.452–567. Attis was transformed into a pine tree, and the cypress had been a boy loved by Apollo who accidentally caused his death; the myrtle, pomegranate, violet, and rose all have such poetic resonances.37 As well as this nexus of specific associations, there is a more composite one. The majority of the trees and bushes in the Garden Room are also found in the bucolic poetry of Virgil’s Eclogues (whose contribution to the Augustan image was noticed earlier in this chapter). The bucolic atmosphere of this assemblage of plant life is reinforced by the later poet Ovid, when Orpheus’ singing attracts a distinctly bucolic wood where there were no trees previously (Ovid Met. 10.86–108), but it is also present in the landscapes in Roman frescoes, for example in the bucolic landscape of Polyphemus and Galatea frescoes based on Theocritus’ transformation of the Homeric man-­ eating Cyclops into an unrequited pastoral lover (Idylls 6 and 11). Some of the birds, too, in the Garden Room have poetic resonance; for example, the nightingale, the partridge, lark, linnet, goldfinch, and magpie all have their mythological metamorphic stories which perhaps can be seen in the light of the Augustan transformation of the fabric of Rome.38 However, there is surely another level of significance, a cultural one, since the Garden Room’s mythological resonances together with its pastoral-­bucolic atmosphere make the painted garden a very poetic one, one charged with Rome’s aristocratic cultural heritage. Foregrounded in the fresco, there is a caged songbird (probably a nightingale). It is possible to be reminded by this of Philomela’s metamorphosis (cf. Ovid Met. 6.426–674). Reeder suggests that an allusion to the pet sparrow of Catullus’ mistress (Catullus 2–3; Reeder 2001: 90) might bring an erotic and domestic touch, but as the domestic caged bird appears to be a Roman fashion (originating in the late Republic) I would be more inclined to see it as an allusion to a feature of the same aristocratic lifestyle to which the garden itself belongs (see Chapter 5 below). However, this should not be seen as excluding other possibilities, and, given the pastoral-­bucolic echoes already present, I would see one such possibility in the caged and programmatic

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cricket described in the Idylls of Theocritus (1.52–4), and I shall return to this image at the end of the chapter. All this mythology is a fertile setting for the subjects’ self-­dramatisation. Role-­play pervaded everyday life for the aristocratic Roman.39 Occasionally, the role might involve actual disguise as with the nocturnal escapades attributed to Nero by Suetonius (Nero 26), but more often it would be a matter of socio-­linguistic roles, or cultural models. Tacitus describes how, at the end of the conversation in which he was dismissed from court, Seneca thanked Nero, ‘the end of all conversations with an emperor (finis omnium cum dominante sermonum; Tacitus Ann. 14.56), and in the comically exaggerated fiction of Petronius’ Satyrica all the main characters indulge in mythological and literary self-­dramatisations. In the real lives of the aristocracy of the Republic and Empire (until the early fourth century AD), there were portrait statues, in which male nudity is a heroic or divine ‘costume’.40 The texture of urban life was a drama in which the dead ancestors of noble families periodically walked about the streets among the living in the form of the parade of ancestors’ images at an aristocratic funeral.41 In Livia’s Garden Room too, the aristocratic guests assume personae; they behave in accordance with social roles, but over and above this they become characters as they enter the room in another sense too. For those guests, going into the Garden Room is at the same time going into a garden of the imagination, a surprising and paradoxical garden since the way in to this ‘garden’ was through a vestibule which in turn was entered from the real garden rather than from inside the villa.42 The guest entering the Garden Room is self-­dramatising as someone crossing the threshold of an imaginary, mythological or bucolic world. Going into one garden – whether painted or real43 – is in some sense going into the Platonic form of all gardens. It recaptures the memories and associations of other gardens that the subject has been in. Going into any garden, and that includes this painted one, the subject was free to feel the epic-­ historical resonances of Rome’s foundation myth that were woven into the Campus Martius by its statuary, architecture, and by allusions in the poets, and there are other mythological possibilities besides those already suggested. There are no people in the fresco, but the subjects in the room can imagine themselves momentarily in the roles of characters in narratives of encounters between humans and the numinous landscapes of the mythological poetic

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repertoire. These roles are not imposed by a libretto or instructions, but the possibilities for any number of such dramas are present as they were in a real garden. Varro’s account of a dinner dressed up as mythology by the republican aristocrat Hortensius (which I discussed in the preceding chapter) shows a Roman republican aristocrat semi-­staging just such mythopoeic imaginings in one of his parks (de Re Rustica 3.13).44 The Garden Room at Prima Porta can be seen as an imaginary garden alluding to further imaginary poetic worlds. The guest enters, but the guest must leave as well, and return to daily life. This process of crossing and recrossing the threshold is an everyday experience, played again and again in one way or another in other gardens, groves, galleries, and domestic rooms, but Livia’s Garden Room raises the notion of an imaginary world and the boundaries between what is real and what is imaginary in a highly concentrated way. Firstly, there is the sense of immersion in this imaginary garden provided by the continuity of the painting around all four walls of the room,45 a continuity which is virtually unparalleled.46 The overall effect of entering the room is that subject steps down47 into a vestibule and thence through an arched open doorway into a canopied gazebo in a garden.48 The owner of such a room becomes the owner of the imaginary garden, and of an imaginary prospect which plays on the presence of laurels within its painted bounds, and more laurels, real ones, beyond the boundaries of the room. Those are the laurels in the laurel groves being inaugurated there.49 Secondly, there is the elaborate play with boundaries in the painting.50 The guest is inside a room, but at the same time sees on all four walls a continuously unbroken painted garden. The walls are still there, though; they are themselves a primary and physical boundary between the guest and the outside, but they are disguised with the painted gardenscape. However, in the painting itself there is actually another boundary, parallel to the real wall of the room, a boundary painted on the wall, in the form of the parapet. The parapet is low, and beyond it is a third boundary, another painted one, parallel to the parapet; this is the fairly dense plant-­life which comes up to the parapet and also recedes into some depth. Further behind this again, there is a fourth boundary. This time it is one that is only visible to the imagination; it is the ultimate garden wall belonging to the painted garden, a wall which remains unseen, but must coincide roughly – in the imagination – with another unseen boundary, but in

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this case another real one, the ultimate real woodland51 and garden wall of the park which actually surrounds the room in which the subject is.52 There is here an immensely sophisticated and dexterous game with three levels of boundary, real, represented, and imaginary,53 which manifests and embodies in virtuosic fashion the tensions and ambiguities between inside and outside which we can also see elsewhere in Roman culture, in the Virgilian Eclogues where the benign bucolic world is contained by a border made up variously of the remote city, distant villas, mountains, and far-­off lands, and in architecture and landscape design.54 We see this, for example, in the public gardens surrounded by the openings between colonnaded columns and in the frescoes of trees that are ‘glimpsed between arched openings and a fictive colonnade’ which decorate part of the House of Menander at Pompeii.55 The Roman villa was always surrounded by prospects and vistas; its materiality was perforated with windows and these find a playful echo in paintings within painted illusionary frames.56 In a fresco at the Villa Arianna in Campania there is a female figure (usually identified as Flora) against a green background which suggests a lawn and in which there is a tall flowering plant. The painting is set in a room with a view on to the peristyle garden. As von Stackelberg writes (2009: 1), ‘The vegetative detail of the Flora panel connects the imaginative space within the painting to the physical space outside. It was a touchpaper to the Roman imagination, triggering associations between the gardens of myth and literature, and the gardens of personal and public experience.’ As with the country villa, the urban domus was perforated with views of an outside. In this case, the outside, the peristyle garden, was exposed to the sky, but in another sense was inside, since it was architecturally within the walls of the residence. We can find this playing with the concepts of inside and outside at lower social levels too, for there were indoor restaurants at Pompeii whose painted walls simulate garden settings, as if in emulation of garden-­restaurants.57 This interest in boundaries and the intersection of inside and outside is part of the cognitive structure of the Roman mind (as discussed in Chapter  2 above).58 Briefly, much of the life and development of the Roman citizen is based in the domus outside which is the urbs, less sheltered, less safe; outside the urbs is the countryside where brigands and highwaymen lurk and gather; outside Italy is the realm of diplomacy and military conflict; outside the

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Graeco-Roman world are dangerous barbarians and climatic extremes. There is a set of inside–­outside boundaries nesting within each other, in an expanding model of the world. One of the most striking features of Livia’s Garden Room is the lack of any painted columns breaking up the continuity (a very clear contrast with the somewhat later garden painting of cubiculum 8 in the Casa del Frutteto in Pompeii). It contributes strongly to the sense of complete immersion in a sheltered, garden-­like, and quasi-­mythological space. We can see this as an extension of the trompe l’oeil architectural painting much beloved by the Romans, for the architecture of the room is wholly obliterated by the illusionistic pretences of the painting. In a way, there is a paradoxical element in this, because the presence of painted columns framing the vistas that are seen between them is a core feature of trompe l’oeil painting whether its subject is the garden or archtitecture. The trompe I’oeil effect is common in Roman art, in both garden and architectural murals. In the latter, the wall painting depicts imaginary columns or ways into additional non-­existent rooms. The sometimes virtuoso application of linear perspective and regard for shadows is particularly noticeable in architectural illusionism around Virgil’s time, which is also the period of the decoration of Livia’s villa,59 and anecdotes in Pliny attest a widespread interest in, and esteem for, successfully illusionistic visual art (NH 35.23; 35.65; 35.155). Nevertheless, nobody is really fooled by trompe l’oeil art. It is true that Petronius’ fictional wastrel hero is (Petronius, Sat. 29), and falls into an impluvium as a result, but he is a comic buffoon, continually deceived by appearances. We cannot understand the trompe I’loeil phenomenon as showing that Roman house-­owners actually pretended by this means to have grander homes than they actually did. Even more clearly, the guest in Livia’s Garden Room could not possibly believe, even for a moment, that he was in a gazebo in a real garden. We need a better explanation of what is going on. According to Wallace-Hadrill60 trompe l’oeil paintings allude to greater wealth than the owner really possesses. The use of ‘alludes’ seems at first sight to avoid the problem that in all such paintings – garden or architectural – the illusion is transparent. However, the word seems to want to retain the flavour of ‘illusion’. For it is not easy to see the point of alluding to greater visible wealth than one can be seen to have.61 Of course, Roman society was deeply suffused with competitiveness, but ‘allusion’ has a very questionable

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function in such a competition. Indeed, it might seem to be in danger of drawing attention to the deficit of the actual house compared to the imaginary one to which allusion is made. Rather, the house owner is indeed showing off, but showing off his clever interior decoration, or rather sharing the enjoyment of the painting with his guests, just as he might share food at a dinner. What he shares in this way, is the social and aesthetic pleasure of allowing oneself to be deceived visually, and the sophisticated amusement of stepping into and out of the illusion. Paintings that are reasonably successful in their illusionism are impressive and delightful. We may certainly laugh at Encolpius being fooled by the image of the guard dog which precipitates him into the water, but we can still enjoy allowing ourselves temporarily to be taken in.62 In being ‘taken in’, we are entering into the spirit of the artwork, and playing at being an Encolpius, just as Virgil’s Roman audience plays empathetically at being Tityrus awestruck by Rome’s grandeur when it listens to a performance of Eclogues 1 (and thereby gets for itself a refreshing reminder of how Rome is indeed genuinely grand).63 If Roman trompe l’oeil art concentrates on architectural subject matter (and one can include the garden under this heading), that is because of its natural evolution from the architectural contexts of domestic art.64 In fact the absence of painted columns is more striking than I have so far implied. The continuous garden painting in the House of the Bread Merchant is in the courtyard garden, and therefore extends the garden, which is open to the sky, without need of columns. Other analogues, however ingenious and delightful they are, use painted columns. Jashemski (1964: 341–2) records a long-­since disappeared Pompeian garden painting from the Hotel of A. Cossius Libanus (excavated in 1806–9) and illustrates it with an 1824 drawing. The painting showed trees and birds behind a fence (with recesses in which are fountains), not unlike the fence in the painting in Livia’s Garden Room, extending along the east wall of the garden. The painted garden continues behind and between four painted columns, and faces, across the garden, a row of four real columns (behind which is the tablinum).65 The correspondence of illusionistic representation and real architecture is teasing and pleasureable, but quite typical. Livia’s Garden Room does not use columns, and that is not only virtually unique,66 but creates a conceptual problem. While we see the room as a gazebo in a garden, open on all four sides, it appears to have an unsupported imaginary ceiling.67 There is a thatch-­like

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fringe which creates the idea of a gazebo roof, but such a roof could not float in mid-­air above the subjects.68 The walls of the room hold up the ceiling, but nothing seems to hold up the roof in its imaginary role. I would like to suggest that there were indeed columns in the room, columns whose function was to support the illusion rather than to serve a genuinely architectural purpose. In that case, the effect would not be unlike that of the actual vine-­covered pergola supported by four slender columns in Pliny’s Tuscan villa (Pliny Ep. 5.6.36),69 and could be seen as an extension of the idea built into the two illusionistic rooms in the Pompeian House of the Fruit Orchard (I.ix.5) in which early Julio-Claudian period garden paintings extend around the room corners, but are punctuated with a painted architectural framework. In one of the two, the vaulting is decorated with a painted canopy of vine and suspended masks and Dionysiac instruments, and the interior space is defined as a pergola.70 There is, it has to be said, no solid archaeological evidence for columns in Livia’s Garden Room. Its original floor already showed signs of ancient destruction in 186371 and was covered by cement by 1924,72 but in 1955 the vaulting, according to Gabriel (1955: 5) still showed four large ‘scaffolding holes’ in each long side.73 Those above panel IV were deeper ‘and in their original state.’ On the opposite wall, Gabriel observed, the ‘scaffolding holes’ had been re-­used ‘in more modern times.’ Now, it may be that in these, or obliterated by them, are the footprints of non-­architectural ‘columns’ intended to contribute to the reality effect of the garden pergola. However, since these putative columns would be serving an aesthetic aim and not an architectural function (and could have been placed at the time of the painting, and later than the construction of the room itself), we need not expect normal, or necessarily any, traces.74 In terms of the intended effect of the fresco, I find it difficult to be convinced that an apparently ‘unsupported’ roof could have been an adventurous essay in fabulous architecture.75 These columns, to pursue the argument further, would be part of the concept of the frescoes, which would in this way go beyond pure wall-­painting in a highly innovatory way, but not one which bears no relationship to other phenomena in Roman domestic decoration. Bergmann (2008: 62–4) draws attention to the way the subject ‘moving through the House of Orpheus can never see the entire painted wall head on’, but columns and openings continually frame and reframe overlapping parts of the whole.76 In the same

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way, the putative columns in Livia’s Garden Room would provide frames through which the ‘garden’ could be seen, and this framing effect would be mobile, as in the House of Orpheus, or indeed any house using columns. The process of looking at what is between and behind the columns would be dynamic and interactive. In addition, in the Garden Room, the ‘reality level’ of the painted garden and the actual columns would draw attention to different levels of representation, at the same time that the parallax effect (which belongs to seeing actual objects) would enhance the momentary impressions of reality given by the fresco. ‘Realism’ is asserted and denied at one and the same time. We are used to the notion of columns in a room resembling trees in a forest, and trees in a forest resembling columns in a room. ‘Trees became columns; real columns and architectural members were swathed in ivies . . . In the magnificent garden complex of the villa at Oplontis, statues, pillars in the portico and large plane trees march along the great piscine in the same rhythm, the furnishings assisting the ambiguity as to whether the boles of the trees or the columns are the primary architectural members. In the porticoes of Varro’s aviary the central row of columns was replaced by a row of low-­ growing dwarf shrubs’ (Purcell 1996: 144; cf. Varro de Re Rustica 3.5.11–12).77 In Livia’s Garden Room, there are two painted trees in each long wall, and one painted tree in each short wall. These are foregrounded and emphasised by their placement in front of, and not behind, the trellis fence.78 Their locations would not coincide with four putative columns along the two long walls, but would clearly echo them (with further echoes provided by the remoter painted trees in the background). If this is how the room was laid out, then painted trees and real (but architecturally unnecessary) columns would be involved in a relationship which plays artfully with levels of reality and modes of representation. These putative columns, moreover, would carry on the room’s game with the notion of inside and outside (see above), by forming a kind of inside-­out peristyle. In the Garden Room, the greenery corresponding to the courtyard-­garden itself would be outside the edifice represented by the room’s imaginary gazebo, and this pillared edifice (the imaginary gazebo) corresponding to that part of the house which faces the peristyle would now be on the inside. There is another way of looking at the total painted surround in the Garden Room. It may be seen as an extension of themed art-­assemblages. Programmatic

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organisation is often attributed to assemblages of frescoes and sculptures.79 Bergmann treats the variations between members of assemblages as ways of drawing connections between the different stories appearing side by side, and thus resembling literary intertextualities.80 Wyler considers the complex system of allusions in the pictorial assemblage in the Villa Farnesina.81 However, there is a complicating factor in that the subject’s reaction to the components of an assemblage is coloured not only by the other elements present and in the same space, but also by possible recollections of parallel items that might be located somewhere else. There is, for example, a set of three dysfunctional tragic heroines at the House of Jason in Pompeii, namely Medea, Phaedra, and Helen.82 The Medea in this group resembles another (smaller) Medea picture, in the peristyle of the considerably larger House of the Dioscuri which is also in Pompeii.83 In each of these two cases, the Medea is in a different combination,84 for the one at the House of the Dioscuri is paired with a Perseus and Andromeda (itself the subject of four other known frescoes)85 on the other side of the opening onto the large peristyle. Here, the Medea and Andromeda provide two distressed heroines (with different outcomes) in poses that may reflect each other.86 There are, indeed, not just parallel paintings, but parallel groupings of paintings found in different locations.87 In these cases, the ancient subject may to some extent have been pushed by the collocation towards reading the group as somehow linked, but clearly we must allow for a continuum between ‘a more or less random collection of images and a patently unified design’ (Beard and Henderson 2001: 45). However, despite doubts caused by a lack of resolution among modern claims and counterclaims about thematic linking in particular groupings,88 we need not become oversceptical. The sculpture collection of the Villa of Papyri, for example, must have been subject to the contingencies of availability, cost, and circumstances and subjectivities of buying and inheriting over the century and a half leading up to the eruption of AD 79,89 but irrespective of the complexities of its compilation it was throughout its history a collection which, by virtue of being assembled together, made an impression. Furthermore, it had thoughout its history a contextualising frame by virtue of being distributed about the villa, which (like the domus), embodies the negotium–­ otium polarity (Vitruvius 6.5).90 In a way, that is not saying much more than that the assemblage is due to ‘a haphazard acquisition of generally appropriate

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sculptures’ (Stewart 2008: 44), but the difference of tone is important. Shuffling paintings and statues to produce new ensembles invites the reinterpretation of individual items and a new feeling about the reorganised whole of which they are parts.91 If we face a continuum of levels of intendedness, as indeed we must, we may fairly ask how intended or thought-­through the absence of columns painted into the frescoes of Livia’s Garden Room is. If there were no columns in the room, it could be seen as a transformation, however radical, of framed landscapes. In that case, the impossibility-­effect of the roof would surely not have been conscious.92 On the other hand, if there had been columns in the room, the effect of the assemblage could be paralleled (as we shall see below), and could therefore be understood as intentional. Effective assemblages do not necessarily have to be made out of paintings alone or sculptures alone. Wall paintings and real surroundings are sometimes elsewhere integrated in a unified concept.93 In his Tuscan villa Pliny had, he says, a suite of rooms set back from a colonnade and containing a court with four plane trees and a fountain. ‘There is another bedroom, green and shady from the nearest plane tree, which has walls decorated with marble up to the dado . . . and a fresco of birds perched on the branches of trees’ (Pliny Ep. 5.6.20–2). Reality and artifice are juxtaposed; indeed they are intermingled, since the real plane tree outside affects the lighting of the painted trees, and the levels of difference between real and represented can be enjoyed.94 The facing against each other of real and painted columns in the Hotel of A. Cossius Libanus95 is another such ontological jeu. Another again is described by Bergmann (2008: 55–6), who notices a trompe l’oeil effect using the interplay of the real and the represented in the House of Marcus Lucretius, where a picture-­window of some 3 metres opens onto the garden at ground level ‘so that the living landscape must have appeared like one more painted panel.’ As with purely painted trompe l’oeils, the effect cannot really deceive, but must be enjoyed.96 Combining the notions of drama, surround, and assemblage, particularly the kind of cross-­media assemblage97 in which reality and representation are juxtaposed for aesthetic enjoyment, we may see the guests dining in Livia’s Garden Room as acting or self-­impersonating against the backdrop of the painted setting, or indeed as themselves part of the total work of art, a living Déjeuner sur l’herbe in which, framed by an imaginative mixture of real and

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artificial boundaries, the diners are both actors and spectators.98 The Garden Room, as it were, combines installation and performance art.99 Its concept incorporates the painting, the room, the subject’s awareness of what lies outside the room, and the subjects themselves as viewers and participants.100 For the Romans, art, in the broadest sense (including literature) mirrored life (cf. Cicero ap. Euanthius de fabula 5.1). Life itself, however, was a kind of drama (Seneca Ep. 80.6–7; 120.22), lived in public and in houses whose architecture makes a good deal of private life more or less public,101 whose interior decoration often reflects the stage. Nero, who wrote poetry (Suetonius Nero 10), sang (Nero 20–5), turned the burning of Rome into a theatrical-­ mythological experience (Nero 38), roamed the streets incognito and, as noted earlier, assaulted respectable people in disguise (Nero 26), designed a fabulous palace with extraordinary features (Nero 31), and died saying qualis artifex pereo (Nero 49), embodies much of this spirit. However, the blurring of boundaries between life and art, was already already at work much earlier. In Livia’s Garden Room, the guests are themselves reflected in the fresco, for they are like the caged nightingale which is part of the fresco. The nightingale is enclosed and surrounded by nature (in the painting) just as the guests are. The nightingale sees nature through a cage, and while the guests’ view of what the bird might see is unimpeded, they are separated from the real natural world outside by the walls of the room. The songbird in the painting is silent, but it still stands for song, like Theocritus’ caged cricket; the guests in the room, meanwhile, speak and perform. They take part, so to speak, in the song of the room. They engage with the room to become collaborators in its expression. Although it had a small and aristocratic audience and its existence was inseparable from its role as background for social activity, the Garden Room at Prima Porta does many of the things we expect art to do. It is aesthetically pleasing to look at, densely suggestive in the way it has the potential to work on those who see it, engages with the traditions of art, resonates with the social and cultural life of its viewers, and takes part in dialogues about order, urban civilisation, nature, art, and fantasy.

4

Tapestry in Rome In this chapter, I consider the aesthetics of textile art in the Roman world. There is an immediate problem in that virtually nothing remains to be seen of this. However, there are descriptions by a range of authors, both Greek and Roman, in a range of genres some of which include works which are for us, and were for the Romans, prestigious and high profile. The ways in which culturally significant writers describe representational textile art is significant with regard to aesthetic aspects of design and (especially) content, though less helpful about colour, texture, and pictorial style, and there are some patchy indications of display conditions. It has also to be observed, that many of these descriptions are of imaginary works. While, on the one hand, we may ask how far such descriptions go beyond what was actually done in textile art, or even could be done, we can suggest that the tradition of literary descriptions of various artefacts with representational figurative designs gives the various media a special status that goes beyond the boundaries between them and, at the same time, makes them comparable to the medium that hosts the description – typically, that is, elevated poetry with high cultural aspirations. In short, Arachne’s tapestry (which I will consider in more detail below) is conceived of as a work of art. I have one other preliminary issue to deal with, and that is the role of boundaries. I made a case in the two preceding chapters for the importance of boundaries as a theme built into both the garden and the garden painting and the role these have in the cognitive development of the habitual viewer. For textiles, there is not so much to be said in this regard, but there is something, and in the context of daily domestic experience that has a value. We shall see among the passages cited below that one of the functions of domestic textile work was dividing rooms and curtaining archways and window spaces. Hangings contribute to the assemblage of porous boundaries that make up the residence.

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Given the paucity of remains for figurative representational textile work from the Graeco-Roman world a rather larger contextualisation might be useful here. Coloured and patterned textiles have great antiquity. In the first millennium BC, textiles from the Near and Middle East ‘were apparently distinguished from their counterparts in pharaonic Egypt and the GrecoRoman world by rich, often figural decoration and glorious colours’,1 although in Egypt gods, royalty, and priests stand out.2 In Greece, climatic conditions have not favoured the preservation of ancient textiles, but there is material evidence of textile work and the use of patterns and figurative elements from the sixth century BC onwards.3 As regards more elaborate and narrative figuration, there are few remains. A terracotta relief cited by von Hofsten (2011: 12) in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, shows a woman dressed in a peplos decorated with figures, including Ajax carrying Achilles’ body from the battlefield, and, in Kertch in the Crimea, a fourth century BC burial mound has provided fragments of a resist-­dyed wool coverlet with mythological scenes.4 In the Greek world, decorated garments were woven and presented to the tutelary deities of cities at regular intervals. Athena received such a peplos every four years; the new offering would be paraded through the streets, made by noble women and girls, and ‘woven in a design which portrayed the mythical battle between gods and giants.’ (Jenkins 2003: 75).5 What the material evidence suggests is the presence of furnishings and also clothing for special occasions which could be worn, or could be displayed and paraded without being worn. The size of the items that are evidenced does not seem ever to be large, although Hooper (1911) argued for the technical possibilities of the production of large tapestries in the Greek and Roman worlds. While the material evidence is rare, though not entirely unproductive, there is a considerable amount of literary evidence,6 and here some of the passages indicate a size, sometimes manifestly imaginary, larger than we have physical evidence for. From here on, I report detail more liberally, since the Greek literary record is a foundational element in Roman culture, and includes seminal texts and authors. In Euripides’ Iphigenia in Tauris, Iphigenia, deprived of home, laments what she has lost, her former life and figuring embroideries of Pallas and the Titans on her loom (222–4); likewise, in Euripides’ Hecuba Athena’s robe has figurations of the horses and chariot in brilliant varied colours, and the Titans conquered by Zeus, (466–74), and in the Iliad (6.288–

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95) Hecuba goes to her chamber where her robes embroidered by Sidonian women are kept, and chooses the biggest and most beautiful as a gift for Athena. In this last case, the work is not specially made for the goddess, and there are other references to figured clothing whose function is not specified as for offerings. Earlier in the Iliad (3.125-8), Iris comes in disguise to Helen and finds her weaving a double cloak of purple cloth in which she was weaving scenes of the fighting between the Trojans and the Achaians. Orestes’ memory of Iphigenia’s weaving of the story of Atreus and Thyestes acts as one of the prompts in their recognition scene (Euripides Iphigenia in Tauris 811–17), and a figured robe performs the same function in the recognition scene of Orestes and Electra in Aeschylus’ Choephoroe (231–2). In all of these passages, we see weaving and doing figured work as part of the iconography of gender roles.7 Late sixth and early fifth century votive reliefs from the Acropolis ‘frequently depict female figures seated in profile who are spinning thread’ (D’Ambra 1993: 53) and Penelope’s weaving is ineluctably connected with her fidelity to Odysseus. The three Fates, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, are also mythological female spinners, but on a more cosmic level. There are also figured garments for men referred to in the literary sources.8 Apollonius Rhodius provides a lengthy ecphrasis (in the tradition of the Homeric description of Achilles’ shield; Iliad 18.462–615) describing Jason’s cloak in the Argonautica (1.721–767).9 A great deal of mythological figuration, including seven narrative scenes, is attributed to the cloak, which has been made by a goddess. Closer to the observed world, Aristotle gives hearsay evidence that Alcimenes the Sybarite had a mantle made, so magnificent that it was displayed at Lacinium during the festival of Hera. It was, we are told, eventually sold to the Carthaginians for 120 talents, and that ‘it was of purple, fifteen cubits in width, and was adorned on either side with little figures inwoven, above with Susa, below with Persians, in the middle were Zeus, Hera, Themis, Athene, Apollo, and Aphrodite. Near each extremity was Alcimenes, and on both sides Sybaris’ (ps.-Aristotle de Mirabilibus auscultationibus 96.838a).10 In a good proportion of these passages, the textile work is on robes, but clearly these are sometimes at least partly intended for display unworn, as is evidently the case with Alcimenes’ robe. Similarly, in Theocritus’ Idylls (15.78– 86), two Alexandrian women, Gorgo and Praxinoa,11 go to the royal palace at the festival of Adonis and see wonderful garments tapestried with mythological

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figuration. However, textile figuration in both the mythological and the historical record is not always based on robes. An extraordinarily elaborate hundred foot square tent adorned with mythological figured tapestries is described in Euripides’ Ion (200–69, 1132–65). However fabulous this is, there is a point of contact with reality provided by a description of the covers, cushions, and hangings which decorated Ptolemy Philadelphus’ state barge and banqueting tent in the third century BC (Athenaeus Deipnosophistae 5.204ff), and which were described by Kallixenos of Rhodes (Athenaeus 5.196). As well as the literal level of descriptions of figured textile work, there is a metaphorical value attached to weaving in general which reinforces its cultural significance. Vetter (2005) traces the evolution of weaving as metaphor in Homer, Aristophanes, and Plato as having political applications. The state is a fabric woven together from the threads that are its citizens (Plato Laws 311), a metaphor that ultimately extended to applications to gender relations and the fabric of text,12 and there is the cosmic level already noted above of the three Fates with their spinning the stories of humans’ allotted lives. Weaving as metaphor was taken up also by the Romans. At first sight paradoxically, the shield of Aeneas is a good example. It is a metal artefact, made by Vulcan the god, at Venus’ request, for Aeneas. Its description in Virgil’s Aeneid (8.609–732) is, like Jason’s cloak in Apollonius’ Argonautica, a contribution to the tradition of the ecphrasis, and harks back to the Homeric shield of Achilles. Its thematic function is to link Roman history with the Roman foundation myth and the traditions of Greek epic. The figuring on the shield tells a story, but not in strictly chronological order, for the thematic structure is more important. It weaves the themes together, and Virgil refers to it as a woven object (textum, Aeneid 8.625).13 Weaving as a symbol of gender roles is also a feature of Roman literature and iconography. Augustus’ wife Livia conspicuously wove Augustus’ clothes as part of his programme of simplicity and old-­fashioned morality (Suetonius Augustus 73).14 Propertius’ mistress Cynthia presents herself as waiting at home for the feckless Propertius to return from a drunken spree and consoling herself with her spinning. She is not married to Propertius, but projects herself in a quasi-­marital posture.15 There are, of course, literal textiles referred to in Latin as well, some mythological and some belonging to the real, or imagined real, world. In a quite lengthy account of coloured textiles (NH 19.22–5), Pliny refers back to

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the officers of Alexander the Great using vari-­coloured insignia on their ships on the Nile, and to a purple sail used by Cleopatra on her way to and from the debacle of Actium. A purple sail was thereafter, he says, the distinguishing mark of the emperor’s ship. He goes on to refer to awnings at the theatres as models for Caesar when he stretched awnings over the whole Roman Forum, as well as the Via Sacra, from his domus to the Capitol. He writes that according to tradition this was even more amazing than the gladiatorial show he put on. Next, Augustus’ nephew, Marcellus, fixed awnings over the forum to shelter those engaged in lawsuits. Recently, however, Pliny writes, awnings the colour of the sky and spangled with stars have been used in Nero’s amphitheatres. He goes on to say that in domestic use red awnings are used in the inner courts of houses, and white elsewhere in the house. Augustus’ bier (made of ivory and gold) was covered with purple embroidered with gold (Dio 56.34); the mime-­ actors wearing the ancestral masks at aristocratic funerals would wear (if they represented a triumphator) a toga embroidered with gold (Polybius 6.53.7). And there is the theatrical figured textile referred to in a simile by Ovid (Met. 3.110ff) in which the heads and bodies of warriors growing from the teeth Cadmus has sown rise up, head first, like scenery being unrolled upwards at a theatre. In Horace’s satiric (and probably mainly fictitious) account of a dinner given by Nasidienus, the host had hangings in the cenaculum (Satires 2.8.54) which fell down and nearly put an end to the dinner. It is not clear whether these are in the form of a canopy (less likely to be figured) or hangings suspended on a free-­standing frame (like those depicted on the votive relief of Dionysus and Ikarios relief in Naples National Museum (first century BC to first century AD), or those in the first century BC, first century AD. Sacrifice of Ipigenia mosaic from Emporiae; Museo Monográfico de las Excavationes, Ampurias), nor are colours part of Horace’s description, nor in Virgil’s account of Dido’s feast (Aeneid 1.697), but purple is a likely candidate (cf. Odes 3.29.15), and in the historian Quintus Curtius’ account of Alexander, purple and gold hangings are used at a feast (9.7.15). At another feast, they are on rails going around the dining couches (Quintus Curtius 8.5.21). It is clear from a number of these passages that textile decoration was moveable. It could be set up in a cenaculum, a royal barge, or a tent for a dinner; it could be taken down and stored or moved from room to room, or even villa to villa. As well as providing

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magnificence in display, it could separate rooms, reduce drafts, and provide insulation; hung between the pillars of a portico, it could provide shade and shelter from heat. As well as magnificence, textile work (whether figured or not) could enhance or provide a sense of shelter and interiority. Fine textiles were an important part of both interior decoration and public display in the Roman world. Propertius refers to the magnificence of the hangings in the Pompeia Porticus in the Campus Martius (2.32.11–12) with its columns and ‘Attalic hangings.’ Attalic refers to the weaving of cloth of gold (Valerius Maximus uses the same term to describe wall hangings; 9.1.5). It is clear that these hangings are magnificent, but not clear how they were arranged, nor whether they were figured or not. However, there is some material evidence from the Roman world, albeit largely from the fringes and largely from later times than I have been mainly concerned with. Palmyra, on the threshold between the empires of Rome and Parthia, and Arabia, Palestine, Syria, Masada, and Kertch provides examples of tapestry which belong to roughly the first to the third centuries AD.16 The earliest tapestry remains from Egypt are dated to about AD 250–300. Going further still beyond the core time-­zone of this study, there is material evidence from the fourth to the ninth centuries, much of it from Egypt,17 which shows the tip of an iceberg of textile display in clothing and hangings, and seems to give some corroboration to the general picture of the earlier period. Often there is just a geometrical pattern, or the figurative element is limited to the border, but there is also a good deal of work in which figuration of heads, full figures, birds, architectural features, and so forth, appear in two-­colour work or in multicolour with shadow effects,18 and sometimes in large pieces. Tapestries might also be designed in sets; the palace of Theoderic (AD 475–526) is shown having patterned hangings in a row of arches and doorways in a mosaic from San Vitale, Ravenna, and there is also evidence from illuminations in the Ashburnham Pentateuch, and from now-dispersed parts of ensembles.19 Some incidental indication of the growing value and importance of tapestry is also given by Cyril of Alexandria, who, in AD 430, bribed an imperial eunuch with (amongst other things) six large and four medium tapestries (Letter 96). In this rather late and peripheral material, there is evidence for mythological figuration as well as for patterns, although we have to look widely to find it. A good amount of what evidence can be found is Coptic, because of the

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Fig. 4.1.  Jason and Medea, Coptic tapestry roundel.

preservation conditions. A third-­fourth century Coptic roundel in two colours shows a crouching Aphrodite (Cluny Museum, Cl. 22453).20 A fourth century linen and wool tapestry from Coptic Egypt has a nude Dionysus and Ariadne,21 whose bodies are expressed by means of line, while robes and the framing arches are achieved with flat colour and pattern. Attached to this were textile scraps of New Testament scenes, and it may be that they originated in the same setting, a setting in which Christian and pagan are blurred.22 A nude Jason and semi-­nude Medea (Fig.  4.1) is also linear and irregular,23 with flat areas of colour, in a small fourth- or fifth-­century Coptic roundel (Cluny Museum; Cl. 22813). The two figures are disposed around a tree with a snake twined in it, so that there is a resemblance to the iconography of Adam and Eve. Jason reaches

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for the fleece.24 A Coptic roundel from a vestment of the sixth century has four cupids (Cluny Museum, Cl. 13171). A silk band with repeated figurative patterns from the eighth century in the Abegg Foundation, Riggisberg, shows scenes from the life of Mary with Greek captions:25 we ought to see part of the Nativity and then Mother bathing Child, but in fact we see a reclining nude nymph with the infant. Christian symbols and Dionysus, Herakles, Nilos, and Aphrodite overlay each other in Egyptian Hellenism.26 The physical remains do not allow us to assess regional differences in the textile art of the Roman world, but do suggest a context of display (especially involving robes) against which we can place the extended descriptions in Apollonius and Euripides, to which I have already referred, and those in Catullus and Ovid, to which I now turn, for it is here above all that we see the expression of an idea about the possibility of complex expressiveness and figurative detail and finesse as elements in the aesthetics of textile work. It seems to go well beyond anything actually to be seen in the material remains. The closest parallel to the detail and complexity in these descriptions that we can see in the Roman material world is perhaps in the form of monumental carving, as on Trajan’s Column.27 However, these passages express a sort of aesthetics of visual art, irrespective of whether the medium is metalwork, sculpture, painting, engraving, or textile-­work. In addition, their siting in the tradition of the ecphrasis itself implies a high degree of aesthetic interest inherent in these imaginary works.28 Moreover, because of the narrative framework and thematic consistency of Ovid’s Metamorphoses as a whole, we can align his Arachne as an artist with his other depictions of creative figures (see Chapter 1 above) and take it that the weaver has all the agonies and competitive strivings that other artistic creators do, and that the product is subject to the same sorts of receptions by its audience as the products of those other creators. It is an art form, we infer, and the artist necessarily struggles with the medium and the artist’s expressiveness is read through the medium of that struggle. I want now to look at the key Latin passages dealing with imaginary textile-­ art,29 Catullus 64, the account of the daughters of Minyas who defied Dionysus and honoured Athena with their weaving instead of joining his festival (Ovid Met. 4.1–415), the account of Philomela, who, raped and deprived of her tongue, nevertheless wove her story and communicated her fate to her sister, and the account of Arachne’s weaving (Ovid Met. 6.575–87) for which we also

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have a parallel in another medium, relief carving, in the frieze of the Forum Transitorium. Catullus 64 describes a bed cover, a display piece for the wedding of two mythological characters, Peleus and Thetis.30 At the beginning of the poem, their meeting is recounted briefly, and the scene is set for the wedding. The whole of Thessaly enters the palace bringing gifts (32–4). Catullus describes the magnificence of the palace, shining with gold, silver, ivory, and tables and cups (43–6); at the centre (sedibus in mediis, 48) is the goddess’s bridal bed (pulvinar Divae geniale, 47), inlaid with ivory and covered with the coverlet which is dyed rosy-­purple (tincta roseo conchyli purpura fuco, 49). The coverlet is ‘variegated with antique figures of men, showing the virtues of heroes’ (50– 1). Catullus does not say that the coverlet is tapestried (nor does he do so at 265–6, when the poem reverts to the marriage context), but the figuration implies this rather than a dying process. Catullus then tells the story which unfolds on the coverlet (52–264). He does so in a non-­linear manner, emphasising emotional highlights and Ariadne’s deserted-­heroine speech, and moving freely back and forth in chronological sequence. Now, in one way this can be construed as an early experiment in Roman Callimacheanism (and readily fits into the aesthetics of the Catullan corpus),31 but it can also be seen as a sequence of scenes whose design is only partly determined by time – like a series of tapestried roundels on a coverlet. At the beginning of the description of the coverlet scenes, we see Ariadne alone on the beach at Naxos (unnamed in the poem). We do not see her in a fully realised description of one moment; instead the words focus now on Ariadne standing and staring, bereft, as Theseus is sailing away, now on her prior moments of waking on the sand, now on the oars of the heedless and swift Theseus, and now on Ariadne standing in the waves at the sea’s edge, with her clothes fallen away from her body into the water (52–72). The mind’s eye of the reader focuses alternately on Ariadne and Theseus as though one were looking at a two-­dimensional depiction, and likewise we see Ariadne at different moments and slightly different locations, doing different things and naked. There are connections with Roman art here, which indeed Fitzgerald takes as his starting point in his reading of the poem (1995: 140–68).32 The depiction of two stages in a narrative within the same organically unified scene can be seen in the Polyphemus and Galatea painting from the Villa of Agrippa

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Postumus at Boscotrecase (now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), where Polyphemus appears in bucolic guise in the mid-­foreground as the enamoured swain of the sea-­nymph Galatea and also higher and further off as the blinded Homeric savage who subsequently throws rocks at the departing ship of Odysseus. In addition to this, the nude heroine, both abducted and deserted, is a recurrent motif in frescoes and mosaics (as well as in subsequent Latin poetry). We see, again in the Villa of Agrippa, Andromeda chained to a rock to be eaten by a sea-­monster, just about to be rescued by Perseus. There is, indeed, a considerable number of art-­depictions of Ariadne herself, deserted on the beach.33 Catullus goes on to deal with the reason for Theseus’ voyage to Crete, the inception of Ariadne’s love for him, the death of the Minotaur and Theseus’ escape from the labyrinth, the deserted Ariadne’s speech on the beach of Naxos,34 the previous instructions given to him by Theseus’ father (with the father’s speech), the picture of the father waiting and watching the empty sea until Theseus’ ship appears and then committing suicide because Theseus has forgotten the instructions, and the appearance of Bacchus with his satyrs, about to find Ariadne. Bacchus’ appearance in the final part of the story is set ‘in another part’ (parte ex alia, 251) which reminds the audience of the context of the woven coverlet. It suggests that the various scenes of the story are discrete tapestry elements arranged in compartments on the cover, which, we already know, is itself dyed rosy-­purple (48–9). There are three issues here, the placing of the references to the coverlet as textile, the implied compartmentalisation, and the pictorial representation of a narrative sequence. To take these issues in turn, firstly, as Gaisser (2009: 155–7) points out, actual presence on the coverlet is only verbalised in the poem with any explicitness for only two of the narrative scenes, namely the initial picture of Ariadne waking deserted on the beach and the discovery of Ariadne by Bacchus that is implied in the final scene, and it is probably not merely coincidental that these two scenes were well known in Roman wall-­painting. Catullus’ coverlet is like a fresco transferred to a new medium (verse) in such a way that the distinction between what is possible in fresco and in textile is blurred. Secondly, compartmentalisation is widely evident in Roman art, in the roundels and polygons containing figures, heads, and scenes disposed within geometric patterning on mosaic floors,35 in the separation into segments by painted pillars

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in landscape frescoes, in the use of painted architectural features in interior domestic decorative schemes, in the framing of separate paintings in wall-­ assemblages, the more fluid framing of vistas by the pillars in porticoes and the peristyle garden, and so forth. Finally, as for the depiction of narrative, the uncompartmented successive stages of the Polyphemus story in the fresco at the Villa of Agrippa has already been mentioned, and there is the doubling of Perseus in its companion piece in the same room, and again in the house of the Priest Amandus. This phenomenon is frequent in Pompeian wall-­paintings, where, for example, we can also see Actaeon at three points in his story in the Diana and Actaeon panel in the Casa del Frutetto.36 On a larger narrative scale, there is the sequence of Odyssean scenes known as the Odyssey Landscapes, now in the Sala delle Nozze Aldobrandine at the Vatican.37 These, painted in the second half of the first century BC, make an almost continuous frieze divided into sections by painted pillars (red)38 and architrave, with the landscape context flowing from one division into the next. The architectural framing suggests a fictive portico which one walks along and from which one sees the successive episodes of Odysseus’ journey, or perhaps a painting (complete with Greek captions) of them.39 The pillars sometimes cut off parts of minor characters, and some thematic elements run on from one division into the next, but essentially each division contains an episode or key event.40 There is – as indeed there is in Catullus’ Ariadne – some uneven weighting in the continuity of the narrative. The first four panels all deal with the Laestrygonians, and in the sixth panel, the Circe episode, two stages of the action are represented within the same frame (as with Polyphemus and Galatea, mentioned just above). The following treatments of Odysseus and the Dead, and of the Sirens are more fragmentary, but are clearly gone through at a brisker pace. Turning back to Catullus, we may be able to see, as some have done, the whole poem, and not just the Ariadne section, as a succession of pictures with visual interconnections41 such as the foregrounded watcher against a background of a sea empty but for a solitary ship, a compositional role played by both Ariadne and Theseus’ father. The narrative is based on scenes, like the Odyssey frieze, and as we might imagine a tapestried coverlet might have been. Catullus’ poem, however, is not a sequence of short poems, nor does it have any equivalent to the red pillars in the frieze. Taking it seriously as description or imaginary description, we would say that the interstices of rosy-­purple textile

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between the tapestried squares or roundels are easily elided in the act of description once it has been established that the plain coloured matrix is there. We do not need to think of a mythological version of Trajan’s Column. However, we should not think of Catullus inspired by a particular work of art, still less describing one. In a sense, he is not even describing an imaginary work, since his text is free to move about, incorporate similes, report direct speech, and perform as text does, and he does very little – even less than Virgil does in his description of Aeneas’s shield – to locate his set of scenes on particular parts of the coverlet, but his poem may reflect two-­dimensional strategies and reflect on the different possibilities of the media.42 If we consider the Ovidian daughters of Minyas and Arachne we may be able to use the same approach, and we will also see that it is not only the description of the tapestries that bears meaning for what tapestry might have been able to do. A final point about Catullus’ coverlet (and it is a point which will apply to Ovid as well) is that the description is – obviously – in verse, just as the framing context of the wedding of Peleus and Thetis is. For the reader, that blurs the distinction between the description of textile work at the core of the poem and the description of mythological events in its frame. We could imagine the whole sequence as like a mythological ensemble or compendium in painted or textile domestic decoration. This way of looking at Catullus’ poem helps prepare the way for looking at the Ovidian textile mythological compendia, but has also the parallel aesthetic context of the mythological compendium in literature too.43 Ovid’s Metamorphoses is a very large ensemble (some 260 stories), but it breaks down into the smaller units of the individual books, and yet again into smaller units with their own formal unity. The stories gathered in the descriptions of textile work show one such formal unity, but there are others. Orpheus’ sequence of mythological stories in Metamorphoses 10 likewise resembles the rest of the Metamorphoses in its variety and multiplicity of thematic linkage. In the light of this material, we can see the issue of the correct unit of assessment arising. The linkage is always in greater or lesser tension with the element of variety, so that there is always an ambivalence about whether the correct object of interpretation is the individual story, the group, or the larger still group, or even a personal selection. Since there are no objectively validated criteria for the reader’s response in this respect, variety of interpretation is built into the design, and indeed seems to be legitimised by

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the variety of response Ovid himself draws attention to in the text, as where there are various opinions about whether Juno’s treatment of Actaeon (Met. 3.253–8) was too harsh or fair. Before proceeding to the Ovidian textiles of the daughters of Minyas, I would like to consider briefly Virgil’s chronologically intervening account of Aeneas’ shield.44 Not textile, but textum, the shield, modelled on the shield of Achilles (Iliad 18.483–608), presents Aeneas as a version of a Homeric hero. It is not, of course, a tapestry, but a piece of metalwork. However, Virgil describes it as enarrabilie textum, an ineffable woven thing, or unspeakable text (Aeneid 8.625). We can think of the shield as description in which themes are woven rather than put in a linear narrative order, or we can think of the shield as like textile art in terms of its two-­dimensional representationalism. As far as the latter goes, we have a composite multi-­scened work, although we are not told how the scenes are divided from each other, nor, with one exception, how they are arranged in relation to one another. There are location pointers like ‘there’, ‘next’, ‘at a distance’, but there are only two indicators that point to specific locations, in summo (652) and in medio (675). Manlius in 390 BC led the defence which saved the Capitol from the Gauls, and Augustus saved Rome with his victory at the battle of Actium, and these two events are highlighted by their position (and by the fact that their position is actually revealed). Around these two fixed points, a variety of scenes show the establishment and preservation of the city of Rome and the extension of Roman power under Augustus throughout the world. The various scenes weave together to create these themes both in the verbal description and in the imagined artefact itself. There is an epic dimension in the subject matter, both in the overlap with Ennius’ epic of Roman history, the Annales, and in the katabasis, the descent to the Underworld, which is a characteristic feature of epic, and which is implied by the description of Tartarus and the treasonous Catiline’s punishment there, and the noble Cato’s presence in Elysium (666–70). When Aeneas picks this shield up and carries it, he is carrying an image with global ramifications; he, and Augustus for whom he stands and who is at the centre of the shield, is not just a new Achilles, but an Atlas carrying the world. So, in this multi-­scene work, the interaction of the constituent scenes, their arrangement on the matrix, and the epical resonances conspire to give an overall programme of meaning.45 For Aeneas, the shield is prophetic, a divinely reassuring harbinger

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of a still obscure future. For the Aeneid’s audience, the themes of the shield cohere with the mytho-­historical and ethical themes of the Aeneid as a whole; the shield has a meaning which encapsulates the meaning of the poem. In a sense, the shield is a work of art which has its own significance, and which is described within a narrative frame to which that significance contributes. In the story of the daughters of Minyas (Ovid Met. 4.1–415), we have another set of scenes, and the possibility of their having a programmatic unity, and a connection with weaving. Now, it is true that the stories told by the daughters are not literally woven stories, but stories told to pass the time while they weave. However, the idea of weaving which goes through the whole of the narrative and frames the included stories, gives the sense that they are metaphorically woven in the same way that the contents of Aeneas’ shield comprise a textum.46 The daughters, led by Alcithoe, deny that Bacchus is the son of Jupiter, just as Pentheus had done to his own cost in the preceding book. They choose to abstain from the rites of the Bacchic festival, preferring to stay indoors and spin and weave, arts that Alcithoe attributes to Minerva. The polarity of the two gods suggests a framework of disciplined craft versus anarchic exuberance. Ovid portrays Alcithoe contemplating some other stories before beginning with that of Pyramus and Thisbe. Leuconoe tells of the loves of Apollo. She begins with the discovery of Venus and Mars by Vulcan as a reason for Venus’ vengefulness against Apollo, and then tells of his unhappy love for Leucothoe, whose death is caused by Clytie whose bitterness in turn destroys her. Alcithoe tells her second story (again with a preamble referring to yet others), the story of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus. There is a clear unifying principle, the heartaches and disasters of love, but what do we make of the unity? Ovid has grouped these stories together in a single frame. He does the same in Book 10, where Orpheus sings a sequence of love stories, and lets Orpheus make a programmatic utterance about the thematic consistency of the cycle. Orpheus’ stories are about boys beloved by gods, and about the rightful punishments that have fallen on women maddened by love. However, it is not really clear that this fits more than superficially with his desperate state of mind.47 In his own story, he loses his wife and in grief turns away from women, but we cannot really take his song cycle as cathartically intended. Rather, it is a miniature Metamorphoses by Ovid with thematic links in unexpected and unprogrammed places.

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If we consider the implications of this, we see the idea of story-­assemblages as a mode of entertainment, of passing the time, and we also see the idea of thematic unity as something that can be played with as part of the entertainment, or as part of an unspoken agreement that all these stories will be about x. The reading group, so to speak, agrees on a genre for the season just as the guests in Plato’s Symposium agree to speak in turn about love. Significances and significant connections emerge, as it were, by chance and through the medium of the social context and interaction. We can apply this also to the social context of assemblages of paintings or paintings and sculptures within single rooms, corridors, suites of rooms, and porticoes. However, there is another element that comes into play in this sequence in Ovid. The daughters of Minyas tell sad stories about the lives of others to entertain themselves, but in the course of this their own lives are overwhelmed as Bacchus, who is repeatedly associated with the dissolution of boundaries, wildness, and destructiveness, destroys them. Art and literature are no defence against disastrous upheaval. At the same time, Bacchus transforms their weavings: the cloth on the looms turns green, the woven cloth grows leaves and becomes ivy and grapevines, spun yarn becomes tendrils, and balls of wool become grapes. This transformation is like that of artistic creation, but is beyond the control of the daughters of Minyas. The event is neither quite natural nor unnatural, it inspires aesthetic pleasure (as metamorphosis does over and again in Ovid’s epic), but it is woven out of human disaster. Ovid contrives a complex semiotic package, but one without any bottom line. The story of Philomela (Met. 6.412–676) also involves weaving and the construction is different again. Philomela, tricked, abducted, imprisoned in a forest hut, and raped by Tereus the king, has her tongue cut out. Tereus returns to his wife and makes up a story about Philomela’s death. A year passes, and (574–87) Philomela hangs cloth on loom and weaves purple marks into the white threads (purpureasque notas filis intexuit albis, 577). She gives the cloth to a servant and gestures that she take it to Tereus’ wife, Philomela’s sister. The rest of the story is disguise, revenge, infanticide, unwitting cannibalism, and triple metamorphosis. Again we see weaving as a suitable occupation for respectable (in this case royal) women, but there are differences in this story too. We are dealing here with an artefact which has a single and specific message for an audience of one, and does not express it with a diversity of

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scenes. Indeed, it is not even clear whether the message is conveyed in the form of one or more images, or indeed writing. Ovid only says purple marks in white threads, and the vagueness is itself ominous, and suggestive of blood-­ spatter (and again so when they appear as marks on the plumage of the birds the sisters become; 669–70). When Procne receives the cloth, she unrolls it (evolvit, 581) as though it is a text-­roll and reads (legit) her sister’s pitiable message,48 but this does not settle the issue, nor is it meant to;49 rather, it indicates vividly that Procne understands what has happened. Other characters in the Metamorphoses are deprived of speech by their transformation, but Philomela lives through the enforced dumbness and uses a conventional medium for expressing something urgent, personal, and new50 and resembles the idea of the Ovidian creators Orpheus or Pygmalion transforming bitter experience into art rather than Actaeon whose human voice is removed, or Chione whose tongue is pierced by Diana’s arrow as punishment for her boasting (11.324–5). The most important passage in the Metamorphoses dealing with tapestry is the story of Arachne (6.1–145).51 Its importance resides not solely in itself and the central place representational figured tapestry has in it, but also in the nexus of connections between it and the preceding and following stories, those of the Pierides and of Niobe, and in its metamorphosis into stone in the frieze of the Forum Transitorium. Arachne, of undistinguished birth, daughter of a Colophonian dyer of wool, and resident of a small village, Hypaepa, has nonetheless managed to acquire a reputation for her loom-­work through the cities of Lydia, and nymphs from Mount Tmolus and the Pactolus River like to come and see the garments she weaves (vestes is the word Ovid uses for Philomela’s loom-­work). They are conspicuous for their ars. However, she denies that she gets her skill from Minerva and is eager to settle the matter by contest. Minerva, disguised, advises her against this, only to prompt Arachne’s anger and reiterated challenge. Minerva reveals herself and the contest begins. They both weave in purple and subtly different shades (umbrae 62) as when the sun falls through rain: although there are a thousand colours they dissolve into each other (65–7). Gold is interwoven too, and so too in Ovid’s metaphor is the subject matter (69). We notice, first of all, the social setting and background; insofar as epic can, it acknowledges the non-­aristocratic milieu of the craftsperson. We notice also

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that Arachne is a single operator, and does not belong to a workshop; that, however, reflects the typical narrative mode of mythological poetry, especially were humans compete in art-­forms either with each other (as in the bucolic world) or with gods. Not being based in a workshop, Arachne makes small items, specifically garments, and from the material fragments discussed earlier in this chapter we saw that tapestry-­work often figured on robes in the real world. In some of the fragments, there were shading effects which find a parallel in Ovid’s account of the colours used by Minerva and Arachne. We notice, furthermore, that the craftsperson depends on and prides himself or herself on a following and in his or her craftsmanship. Ovid proceeds to describe the two pieces of work. Both are multi-­scenic, which fits well with the literary tradition of descriptions of imaginary artworks and has some analogues in Roman painting. Both assemble mythologies in a way that manifestly resembles Ovid’s own mythic assemblages in the host epic. When Ovid describes the two tapestries, of course, there is no real-­world source which his audience could see or remember. There is no evidence which can be applied to the question of how much of the description actually describes and how much elaborates freely on the source image.52 We read the text, and whatever it says is there in our mind’s eye image of the tapestry. Thus, when Ovid says that Antigone is in one corner of Minerva’s tapestry and then writes that neither her father nor her city could prevent Juno from turning her into a bird, we have to see in the imaginary tapestry Antigone, both as human and as bird, Juno, and Antigone’s father and city. We have to see stages of the same story contained in the same section of the art-­work, as was the case with the Polyphemus and Galatea in the Villa of Agrippa Postumus. Minerva’s complex design has a main central element surrounded by four corner images. The centrepiece is the divine competition between Neptune and MinervaAthene for the naming of Athens and has details of the story.53 In the corners are four tales of divine punishment wreaked on presumptuous mortals. Rhodope and Haemus take the names of the highest gods for themselves and were transformed into mountains. In this scene we must imagine the two are depicted in human and in mountain form (and not as a bare landscape). In another corner, there is the story of the unnamed pygmy woman whom Juno defeated in a contest and turned into a crane; again we have to imagine that the tapestry includes the pygmy before and after the transformation. In the next,

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Antigone, who set herself up against Juno, is turned into a bird, and in the fourth, Cinyras lies weeping on the temple steps that had once been his daughters. The whole is surrounded with olive branches, the emblem of peace. There are four things to observe in particular here. Firstly, there is the civic-­ cultural theme of the main portion; there is the border which is typical of much of the material evidence for tapestry; there is the value of individual likeness applied to the figures, for tapestry as a medium is rather recalcitrant to naturalistic likeness and the specific meaning of the four ancillary corner-­ scenes (which warn Arachne of what is likely to happen to her for her presumption), a meaning relevant in the first instance to a single individual. However, the whole concept, bound as it is within a single border, could be given a unitary reading in which the power of the gods to destroy the presumptuous is aligned with the power of the gods to protect the city. Indeed, the whole ensemble could be given a unitary meaning as far as Arachne is concerned, for the central scene too involves a god (Minerva herself) winning in a contest. Hardy (1995) draws attention to the increasing pitifulness of the victims in the corners, but this does not exclude an Augustan moralism;54 Roman historiography often presents the doomed native opponents of the empire with a considerable degree of nobility.55 All in all, we have the concept of a work of art which would be at home in a public place in Augustan Rome and whose Augustanism has been compared with that of Aeneas’ shield.56 Arachne’s piece of work is riotous, baroque, exuberant, and prolific. Its aesthetic principles are very different from those of Minerva (although likeness is important to both; 121–2).57 We are not given any location indications of how the scenes are disposed within the overall design, and there are twenty-­ one of them (as opposed to the five in Minerva’s composition); some described with extreme brevity, and none on the same scale as Minerva’s central compartment. We have nine stories of Jupiter using metamorphic disguises to deceive mortal women, six analogous stories of Neptune, four of Apollo, one of Bacchus, and one of Saturn. There appears to be a chaotic absence of proportionality reinforced by our observation that two of the stories are of gods disguising themselves as bulls (Jupiter and Neptune), and four of gods disguised as birds (Jupiter twice, Neptune once, Apollo once). The progeny of two of these unions are specified, and this makes the imaginary viewer of the tapestry aware of a sprawling network of descendants. The first story was

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comparatively well-­known (Europa), and likewise the third (Leda), and sixth (Danae), but there is no patterning of the iconographies of the metamorphoses, no organisation in the arrangement of items in the catalogue other than that of which god is involved, and there is no climactic conclusion to match the climax of pathos in the account of Minerva’s tapestry. Instead, a border contains all the stories, a thin border, as though the proliferation of stories clamours for space. There is, however, a clear programme, simpler than Minerva’s, in that every story is one of the deception of women by male gods. Arachne’s assemblage is certainly like a scale model of Ovid’s Metamorphoses58 and includes links with rape stories elsewhere in the Metamorphoses,59 but it is not entirely the same. The Metamorphoses has more variety of both of theme and of structure,60 and in this there is perhaps a closer correspondence between Orpheus’ song-­cycle in Book 10 and the poem as a whole than there is between Arachne’s tapestry and the rest of the Metamorphoses. At all events, Minerva cannot fault the work, but Arachne’s success (not the message, so far as we are told) offends her, and Arachne is duly punished. The internal arrangement and the context of the Arachne episode are both important. Internally, it is a competition, specifically a competition in the creative sphere between a god and a human. The artist who suffers divine punishment is a recurrent type in Ovid.61 Marsyas (6.382–400) is, like Arachne, another such figure. He contended with Apollo on the flute, lost, and was flayed and became a river. By contrast, Pan contends with Apollo in Book 11. The superior god Apollo wins, and Pan is not punished, but the human Midas (who disagreed with the verdict of the judge Tmolus) is (11.146–79). The presence of Pan, the song competition, the mountain landscape, the settling of the contest by a judge all conspire to make this episode a sort of burlesque of bucolic poetry, where the formalised song contest is an emblematic generic feature. We can, indeed, see this contest as one between two Augustan genres, bucolic (here sung by Pan) and lyric (sung by Apollo). For Ovid the prime representatives of these genres were Virgil and Horace. Augustan poetry presents itself as divided up into a generic grid with frictions and hostilities between the genres (Jones 2007: 26–40). While lyric was in formal terms the more elevated genre, this does not mean that Horace was a better poet than the Virgil of the Eclogues. There is room for legitimate subjectivity, and this casts some doubt over the validity of Tmolus’ judgement against Pan. Likewise, in Ovid’s generic model

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for this episode, there is an ambivalence about the judgements made in the song contests in Virgil’s Eclogues. We can apply all this to the two tapestries in the Arachne episode. It is just not the case that one is self-­evidently better than the other as a work of art or as an embodiment of artistic principles (the third edition of the Oxford Classical Dictionary states that Arachne’s tapestry ‘outclasses’ Minerva’s ‘routine effort’).62 There must be some validation, and validation always involves some audience-­subjectivities. The external context of the Arachne episode reinforces and broadens this implication. The story plays against those that precede and follow it.63 The immediately preceding story is that of the Pierides (5.290–678). They challenge the Muses in song, are judged and punished.64 Their song tells of Typhoeus’ attack on the gods (5.318–31) and Calliope’s is of the rape of Proserpina (5.341– 661),65 a subject that can be seen as playing on the feelings of the nymphs who judge the contest. Again the issue of which is the better performance receives a formal judgement which is subject to doubt on the part of the reader. There is also the notion that the performer must needs take into account the nature of the audience. These notions play off against the Arachne episode in different ways. This contest prepares us in advance to question the judgement on Arachne, but we notice that it is not a failure in subject matter or the relationship between subject matter and audience that brings about Arachne’s defeat; it is just Minerva’s jealousy. Arachne is presented as a skilful and dedicated artist, rightly proud of her ability and work, and she comes to a bad end because life with its external factors and other people is complex and difficult. The episode that follows Arachne’s is the story of Latona and Niobe (6.143– 312). Whereas reading the stories of the Pierides and of Arachne together suggests that Arachne’s craft is analogous to the art of singing (and singing is the mythological stand-­in for poetry as a Roman verbal art-­form), looking back to Arachne’s story from the perspective of Niobe adds a new resonance. Niobe was a childhood friend of Arachne (and thus Ovid prepares us to see them as parallel figures), but does not learn from Arachne’s fate. On being summoned to worship Latona, Niobe claims that she is more worthy of worship on grounds of lineage, status, beauty, and her fourteen children (and the prospect of fourteen sons- and daughters-­in-law). Her fertility is the core of her sense of self and security. Latona, outraged, shoots firstly Niobe’s sons, and then, when Niobe is still defiant, her daughters too. Niobe, in grief, turns into a

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mountain stream. Given the similarity of the narrative shapes and the incidental linkage between the two stories, we cannot but see the respective creativities of Arachne and Niobe as parallel. The childless Arachne produces textile art-­works, and Niobe produces children. They both have an emotional connection with their product, and the process of producing children is like that of producing works of art (an analogy we see used also by the Platonic Socrates). The analogy between human relationships and artistic production is made even more closely in the story of Pygmalion in Book 10, where Pygmalion’s involvement with his creation becomes identified with the love of a man for a woman, and Pygmalion’s love for his statue brings it to life in a literalisation of a frequent metaphor of art-­criticism (cf. Aeneid 6. 847–8, ‘breathing bronzes’ and ‘living faces’). Taken as a whole this sequence of stories presents tapestry as a fully-­fledged art-­medium in which aesthetic choices and programmes based on a common repertoire of material are yet individual and distinctive in their realisation, in which the intense involvement of the artist together with technical skill with the product generates the quality of the work, and in which the element of meaning is complicated by the plurality of the audience and comes from the interaction of a plurality of components in the design. This dependence of meaning on the internal intertextuality of components in a multi-­scenic assemblage is something we see throughout Roman culture, in the art of painting and mosaic, in the assemblages of paintings and statues in the domus, the villa, and in the urbs, in the material remains and non-­mythological accounts of textile work, and in poetry like the Metamorphoses itself. This construction of poetic meaning from juxtaposed elements, however, is much broader than the Metamorphoses alone, for it is there already in the format of entwining stories within stories that we know in Catullus 64, in the Aristaeus episode in Virgil’s Georgics 4, and in the miniature assemblage of Virgil’s sixth Eclogue. In all of these cases there is a unifying frame provided in one way or another, just as there is in the compendium tapestries of Alcimenes the Sybarite’s mantle and the weavings of Minerva and Arachne. To us, Arachne is a well-­known myth, perhaps a favourite. To the extent that this was so at all for the post-Ovidian Roman, it was Ovid that made it so. Arachne does not have a very high profile in the totality of Graeco-Roman mythography. The only storiform version is indeed that of Ovid,66 although the

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oblique reference in Virgil’s Georgics (‘the spider hateful to Minerva’; 4.246–7) suggests by its allusiveness that Virgil knew the story from a Hellenistic poet. Apart from this, there is only the depiction of Arachne’s fate among scenes of weaving on the frieze of the very partially surviving Forum Transitorium in Rome.67 However, its architectural presence in a public place certainly suggests that it had become an easily recognisable story and that it could be thought a viable medium for a public message. Work on the forum was begun by Domitian before his death in AD 96 and completed during the reign of Nerva. It served purposes that covered both civic design and imperial image-­making, for it both increased urban mobility and contributed to the Domitianic building and restoration programme and the moral refurbishment marked by the Secular Games of AD 88. The key structure within the forum was the Temple of Minerva, a Goddess of some importance to Domitian’s Flavian image (cf. Statius Silvae 4.1.22),68 and the frieze was on its precinct wall.69 Against the background of the revaluation of domestic values and women’s domestic skills, the goddess Minerva has a clear appropriateness. The extant scenes of women weaving, moreover, emphasise the traditionalising assignation of gender roles, and in this context we could see Arachne as a transgressive figure, a warning against attributing to what should be a domestic craft good for a respectable household more aspiring ideas of artistic programmes. Weaving is part of the traditional iconography of women’s funerary inscriptions, defining her role in the familial home,70 but Arachne defies the goddess in presenting her tapestry as art. This transgressiveness implicitly distinguishes two kinds of textile craft. The traditional and stereotypical domestic kind undertaken by the respectable women of the household, and the aesthetically ambitious kind that would decorate the rooms of the domus and villa along with and in the same sorts of ways as artwork in fresco and mosaic, work which would be produced by a trading workshop. Minerva stands for both – for art and for craft, but the human practitioners belong to two separate classes.71 Given the paucity of other pictorial and literary remains, one has to believe that the Roman viewers’ main sources of prior knowledge of Arachne would be Ovid (himself not necessarily straightforward to read) and an uncontrolled oral tradition based on retelling Ovid. The raw material of the iconography, then, must have been labile, but Arachne must be different from the respectable

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weaving women in the panels around her; she must be a moral counter-­ example, be seen to be punished and to deserve punishment. To her transgressive claim to be above the status of a domestic artefact-­maker might be added a reading of her depiction of the Gods’ lying and lustfulness in which it was not so much a critique of that behaviour, as a subversive wallowing.72 Alternatively, one might see Arachne’s critique (if such it were) as a claim to have a view and to be able to express it which was itself a transgression of gender roles (cf. Juvenal 6.398–412, 434–56). It is not entirely clear that one should have to decide one or other of these readings; either way, her art is transgressive, and is so at least in part because she is a woman. Her transformation into a spider restores her to acceptability, since the spider’s weaving is domestic and utilitarian, and not an art-­form.73 The direct message of the weaving elements in the remaining part of the frieze, then, is that women have an important domestic role in a literal sense and perhaps also in the metaphorical sense of weaving bonds between families by their marriages, but that they should not let this go to their heads and get ideas about self-­expression and the female voice, and the underlying message is that this traditional view is the one rightly accepted and espoused by Domitian and the Domitianic élite. Fundamental to this messaging is the role female weaving had in the iconography of domestic ideology, but the Arachne element only works fully if a more elevated form of textile production were readily accessible in Roman visual culture. Of course, we are dealing with perceptions as well as looking through mythologised refractions rather than having a safe quantity of primary evidence. Arachne’s weaving might be astounding in a hypothetical or imaginary sense, but we have virtually no access to what a Roman of Ovid’s time might have been able to see in his house or in a public place. We know that tapestry cannot achieve the textural verisimilitude of paint, and that it can nonetheless produce deeply impressive works of art with strong colouration, but we do not know what Roman tapestries really looked like. The artist struggles with the medium to produce something, and the viewer reads the product through a sense of the struggle, so we can imagine even primitive attempts being astonishing in their own context, but we do not know in what ways Roman tapestry was or was not primitive. We do know what mosaicists tried to do, because the material is durable, and we also know that they were often successful in attempting to give

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effects and subtleties of contour and shading. However, although this is something that Ovid mentions (and we can see it, to some extent, in some Coptic tapestries) we cannot really tell how much Roman tapestry tried to achieve this, nor the extent to which it used multi-­scenic and intertextually significant designs or narrative sequences, though it certainly seems likely that these were components of the tapissier’s technical repertoire. Instead, we have to make a mental reconstruction of a Roman world in which textile was a ubiquitous part of the interior decoration of the house, and in which (Roman competitiveness being what it was) the house-­owners sought to have more magnificent textiles than other householders. Of course this would include patterns (as is also the case with mosaics), but figuratively representational textile art is referred to often enough by ancient sources, and sometimes in awed terms, that we must presume that it played an important part in public and private display, and we know that it could be represented and judged in terms that applied to other art media. At a broader level, we also guess that they contributed to the literal and metaphorical warmth of the house, that their use as mobile festive screens and as bedcovers and other furnishings reinforced notions of interiority and intimacy, that their use in doorways and between columns could reinforce the presence in the mind of porous boundaries between inside and outside, that they often shared in the aesthetic of complexity and intertextuality that we see in painted, sculptural, and poetic assemblages and compendia.

5

The Caged Bird In this chapter, I shall be dealing with another domestic phenomenon, the caged bird. Like the other phenomena so far considered it has a place in Roman display culture. Moreover, like the garden and the garden painting, it can be seen as a way of bringing a controlled amount of nature into the domestic sphere. There are clear continuities between the subject of this chapter and those of Chapters 2 and 3, but I would like also to make a connection with Chapter 4 as well. There, it was suggested that the ecphrasis tradition contributes to the possibility of seeing tapestry as a viable art-­form in the Graeco-Roman world. Here, one of the key pieces of evidence for the caged bird as a cultural phenomenon in the Roman world is itself ecphrastic. If we could see the domestic caged bird as analogous to a miniature garden or window box, or as a representation or scale model of a garden, we would still be a long way from seeing it as an art form. However, we can certainly see Statius as playfully toying with the idea of a dead caged parrot being a lost work of art. If that is a point of view possible for one poet and for at least some of his audience, it is at most a very individual perception, but that leaves us with a group of domestic-­based cultural phenomena which impact on their social space in analogous ways and whose straddling of the boundary between art and artefact can only be seen subjectively. In the context of the classical Mediterranean world, the domestic caged bird as a feature of interior decoration is a specifically Roman phenomenon; its appearance is related to late Republican and imperial Roman habits of acquisition, collection, and display. As a cultural artefact, it has aesthetic aspects and an impact on social and mental space, both directly and through its reflections in the media of painting and literature. It also shows semantic possibilities. The caged bird, it will be seen, picks up metaphorical associations so that it acquires the potential for having meanings read into it, and in this light its place in the physical and emotional structure of the Roman house

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become important. In the final part of the chapter, I investigate the hazy area between art and fashion to which we might assign this artefact, compounded, as it is, of a living thing and a manufactured container. In short, I am concerned with the ways in which the caged bird relates to the social, cultural, cognitive, and emotional spaces in which it is located in Roman life. From the time of the late Republic, there was a steep growth in the habit of collection and display among the Roman aristocracy.1 Military spoils and the proceeds of governing provinces fed luxury goods, crafted items, and artworks into Rome and this, in turn, acted as a catalyst to local production. At the same time, the kinds of things that were collected and displayed expanded in variety. Not only do we hear of such things as Vedius’ collection of glassware (Seneca de Ira 3.40), but we also hear of the seemingly more outlandish collection and display of the bones of huge sea monsters and the weapons of the heroes made by Augustus (Suetonius Augustus 72). A little later, we are told of the display of curiosities such as Nero’s water organ (Suetonius Nero 42.1; cf. Dio 63.26.4), and in satire we are told of Domitian’s display (and consumption) of a huge fish (Juvenal Satires 4).2 The domus and villa themselves become key settings for display; indeed, architectural fancy and the development of domestic wall-­painting, ubiquitous in the houses of the aristocracy, but spreading far beyond this social milieu, turn the residences themselves into objects of display. Textiles, mosaics, silverware and so forth all contribute to this competitive self-­projection. Domestic gardens also become an important element in this process, both in their own right, and as settings for the display of painting, statues, and plants, and the larger urban gardens become sites for display of art and other collections. The double role of the domus as both setting for display and as a complex display item in its own right, incorporates much more than collection; as a stage for the self-­projection of the owner, it showcases the family and its ancestry; already in the entryway to the aristocratic house, the family imagines were on display. Since these were also paraded in public at funerals, presenting the family as a member of a larger group of similar families, we see the domus as taking part in a much wider context of urban display. In this wider scale, public celebrations, religious rituals, urban architecture and refurbishment, civic design, triumphal displays, and the executions dressed up as mythological charades3 all have a part to play, and to such an extent that the living city itself comes to be a form of display.4

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These phenomena are deeply connected with the creation and performance of individual and group identities, and they are highly competitive, as so much else is in the Roman context. The arena for much of this competitive display is the domus, and the caged bird is a part, albeit a small one, of this complex dynamic. The sociology of animals in general and the bird, caged and uncaged, in particular is comparatively understudied in Roman art and life,5 and yet the appearance of the domestic caged bird in Roman culture is very striking. It is not a feature of Mesopotamian or Egyptian domestic interiors. The frequent birds in Egyptian art are all in other contexts. Nor is the domestic caged bird a feature of the Greek interior.6 By contrast, from the late Republic onwards, there is Roman evidence for it in prose and verse, in a diverse range of genres, and also in frescoes and mosaics.7 This apparently new and distinctive feature fits well into the background of Roman luxury and display, and it is therefore attractive to think of it as a specifically Roman fashion (a context to which I shall return at the end of the chapter). Specific references to, and depictions of, the domestic birdcage cross genres, but are small in number. On the other hand, references to birds as pets, to talking birds, and to expensive birds – all of which imply cages – are frequent.8 Pliny specifies numbers of birds good for training to talk or good as songbirds, and supplies various anecdotes involving royal personages and talking or singing birds.9 Manilius decries the fashion for and expense of talking and otherwise performing birds (5.378–87). Martial’s apophoreta, his epigrams in the form of labels for after-­dinner presents, include a parrot (14.73), a nightingale (14.75), and a talking magpie (14.76), and these are likely to be meant to be understood as pet birds (probably also the crow at 14.74).10 His mockery of the practice of giving pet birds funerals (7.87) is also certainly aimed in this direction.11 The caged bird appears to have made a significant appearance in the Roman world. I want here to consider, what the caged bird meant to the Romans, and in doing so I will consider it under the headings of craftsmanship, metaphoric content, mental modelling, and drama and emotion. These headings should not be taken as constituting a definition of art, but (as I argued in Chapter 1) they are the kinds of features that observers of art notice and discuss. If they are assembled in one artefact, the result may or may not be a work of art, but it

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has properties shared with artworks; properties which, in any case, help to produce a rounded picture of its impact on the owner and his circle.

Luxury and craftsmanship No remains identified as those of Roman bird cages survive, but the elements of craft and craftsmanship were clearly important. There are, firstly, both aesthetic and practical considerations in the choice of material. We hear of gold (for a magpie at Petronius 28.9), ivory (e.g. for a sparrow at Martial 14.77), a construction of silver, ivory, and either gold or tortoiseshell12 (for a parrot at Statius Silvae 2.4.11–15), and a somewhat implausible wicker (for a parrot in Crinagoras, AP 9.562). Muriel Gabriel (1955) interprets the cage in the wall paintings of Livia’s garden room at Prima Porta (Fig. 5.1) as made of gold wire. This cannot be proved, but it is not an unreasonable supposition. The late antique mosaic of a caged bird from the Carthage area (Bardo museum) is also hard to interpret, but gold seems reasonably likely.13 There are also aesthetic elements in the construction, shape and design. Here is a passage from one of the two dead parrot poems in Classical Latin.14 Here, Statius gives a fairly elaborate description, in which we see more than just the issue of material. The complexity of construction is clearly artful in its combination of materials and features, the contrast of colours and textures, and in the conceptualisation of the design as analogous to human architecture. 1. at tibi quanta domus rutila testudine fulgens, conexusque ebori virgarum argenteus ordo, argutumque tuo stridentia limina cornu et querulae iam sponte fores! vacat ille beatus carcer, et augusti nusquam convicia tecti. What a home you possessed, gleaming with its red cupola, what a fine row of silver rods woven with ivory, the gates sounding shrilly to your beak, and the doors now, making their own lament. That happy prison is empty and your narrow dwelling’s clamour is no more. Statius Silvae 2.4.11–15

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Fig. 5.1.  Caged bird; detail from engraving of fresco at the Villa of Livia, Prima Porta.

Statius’ attention to colour, material, texture, and design echoes the kind of detail used in his account of the villa of Pollius Felix (Stat. Silvae 2.2; cf. 1.3).15 Just as the villa is a medium for self-­representation,16 so the parrot’s cage contributes to Statius’ characterisation of its grandeur, elegance, and beauty. In her commentary, Newlands (2011) also sees allusions to music in the description of both the cage and the parrot (especially in testudine, a common metonym for ‘lyre’, and cornu) which might playfully echo each other. She also sees literary resonance in argutum and querulae, as though the home reflected its dead owner’s cultural accomplishments. As with human architecture, so here too craft is seen as expressive. The bird itself has at least partially integrated with the idea of craft, in that it requires housing, feeding and looking after, but it has clearer associations with luxury. The exotic birds that appeared in Hellenistic royal parades (Athenaeus 387d) and were given to kings and potentates (Aelian 13.25, cf. 13.18; ps.-Callisthenes Alexander 3.18) and are distilled in the display description of

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a peacock in the work of the fourth century AD Greek rhetorician Libanius (Progymnasmata, description 24) add glamour to exotic domestic caged birds like the parrots in Ovid and Statius; so too does the fabulous Phoenix which appeared in Egypt in the consulship of P. Fabius Persicus and L. Vitellius (AD 34; so Tacitus Annals 6.28)17 and figures in Hesiod, Herodotus, Ovid, Pliny, Lucian, and the Latin poem in elegiacs ascribed to Lactantius (c. AD 240–c. 320), de Ave Phoenice. In the same way that the window box or the Senecan Poor Man’s single tree (Seneca Controversiae 5.5.24) recalls the gardens of the rich, the domestic caged bird suggests the atmosphere of both nature and the Royal park.

Metaphoric content In one of Hjalmar Söderberg’s short stories, an artist in a tipsy state of jollity goes into a shop and shows a picture to a shopgirl. She does not understand what he is doing and finally asks, beginning to cry, ‘But what does it mean?’ The artist is unable to answer. Rightly or wrongly we tend to expect works of art to have meaning. Using the word ‘significance’ tones down the air of naivety. However, the expectation is not wholly childish; ‘meaning’ is one of the optional features on the art-­producer’s menu. The Roman caged bird certainly has a cultural significance which we can investigate, and Romans could read meanings into it, but that does not mean that it has a meaning or set of themes which it systematically conveys to a significant part of its audience. Its place in this regard is fraught with subjectivities; all the same, these temporary and partial meanings are an important part of the way it works in Roman society. In Statius’ poem, the cage is the home (domus) of Melior’s parrot.18 In his description of it, the bird-­home is a metaphor for a human villa. Melior’s parrot was anthropomorphic in another way too: as a talking bird it could ‘speak’ like a human. In this way, it could also be seen as symbol of education and civilisation (cf. Ovid Am. 2.6).19 This metaphorical value can be embodied, moreover, in any talking bird. In any case, however, whether a caged bird speaks or not, it still represents the human in a home. The bird or birds in a cage have a dramatic existence which runs parallel to that of the residents of the house in which it is located. Talking birds can more explicitly cross the boundary between these human and the animal worlds,

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since they can be both dramatis personae in their own bird drama which parallels that of the human house, and they can also become ‘speaking’ characters in direct dramatic interaction with the occupants of the house. In either way they are metaphorically humans. Varro’s aviary manifests one side of this metaphor on a much larger scale, since it contains a bird theatre (de Re Rustica 3.5.13–15).20 As a broad context to this dramatic potential, birds have human characteristics and associations widely in the Graeco-Roman cultural tradition. In the mythological metamorphoses of the poets they often preserve some of the character or emotional state of the person who has been transformed into a bird, and there is in this an echo of the idea of Pythagorean metempsychosis. In the many Homeric and post-Homeric bird-­similes,21 there is an equivocal boundary between the human and animal levels. The normally anthropomorphic gods have bird associations and can sometimes be birds; Athena’s image, for example, is an owl, Aphrodite’s chariot is drawn by doves or sparrows, Jupiter is, at his convenience, an eagle or a swan.22 Birds are fully fledged characters in Aristophanes’ play, the Birds, and have human roles in the genre of the Fable. Timon of Phlius (c. 325–235 BC) in his Silloi describes the scholars at the Library of Alexandria as ceaselessly squabbling in the ‘chicken coop of the Muses’ (mouseōn en talarōi; 786 SH= 12D). Indeed, poets are often presented as, or compared to, birds in both Greek and Latin;23 Horace was in his infancy protected by doves (Odes 3.4.12–13) and as a poet he sees himself as being turned into a swan (Horace Odes 2.10), and the song itself is bird-­like. There seems to be an implied connection between poetry and birdsong also in the presumed book-­title of Heraclitus’ Nightingales (Greek Anthology 7.80, Callimachus). For Lucretius, (5.1379–411) birds figure as part of the account of the origin of music. The frequent use of bird names as terms of endearment (evidenced in Plautus, for example) also fosters the parallelism of birds and those who own birds as pets, and further supports a dramatic reading of the caged bird by its owners. Another metaphoric reading of the caged bird also anthropomorphises it, making it the human soul trapped in the body. According to Plutarch, ‘The soul, being eternal, after death is like a caged bird (haliskomenais ornisi) that has been released’ (Consolation to Wife, Moralia 611E). Plutarch is thinking of any caged birds (in the market, for example) rather than the domestic caged bird specifically, but the metaphor fits all caged birds.

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A connection can be made between the bird-­soul analogy and a common type of material artefact, the birdshaped glass perfume bottle. There is a good number of extant examples, including one (Fig. 5.2) in the Corning Museum of Glass.24 They come in various bird shapes: those in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (inv. SGTI 109433) and the Louvre (CP9051, first century AD) are, like the Corning Museum example, dove shaped.25 That in the Musée Archéologique, Strasbourg (inv.1870), of the late third or early fourth century, is swan shaped.26 The connection depends on seeing a partial identification between perfume and personal essence (for this cf. Propertius 2.29.15–18).27 Once this is accepted, the idea of a personal essence inside a bird-­shaped ‘body’ may be seen as analogous to the personal essence (soul) inside the physical person (body). The bird-­bottle is not, of course, caged, but it has, nonetheless, such a definitively domestic context that we can see the bird bottle together

Fig. 5.2.  Bird-­bottle.

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with its contents as an image of the user as well as, in a rather more literal sense, a secret part of the user’s identity. The idea of the caged bird as the soul trapped in the body depends on the bird as a metaphor for freedom. It is stereotypically an inhabitant of the air. It is free in ways in which humans are not. When Daedalus and Icarus are imprisoned in a tower in Crete, they are like birds in a cage. Conversely, Melior’s parrot’s cage is a prison (carcer at Statius Silvae 2.4.14–15).28 Daedalus and Icarus make their escape by using wax and feathers to transform themselves into artificial birds (Ovid Met. 8.183–95).29 Even when caged, the bird yearns for freedom (cf. Plautus Captivi 1.2.5–15). Pliny writes that ‘We have begun to confine in prison the living things to which nature had assigned the sky’ (coepimus carcere animalia coercere, quibus rerum natura caelum adsignaverat; NH 10.141). The bird, even a caged bird, remains a symbol of freedom and a stimulus for thinking about the relationship between freedom and human society. Birds, after all, says Aristophanes, have different laws from us. Whether we see the bird as the soul or as freedom, we are making a partial identification with it. The domestic caged bird is looked at by its owner (and guests), but it is also an image of the owner. In the garden-­painting which surrounded the guests in the garden room in Livia’s Prima Porta villa, there is a caged nightingale, and there are several points of contact between the nightingale and guests in the room. Like the guests, the nightingale has been brought into the room (the cage has a ring at the top, so that it can be moved from room to room, or into the garden; see Fig.  5.1). Like the guests, the nightingale is enclosed, the bird by the cage, the humans by the room. Like the guests, the nightingale can look out on to an open garden (the one in the painting); the cage intervenes between bird and painted garden, but the wall of the room itself intervenes between the humans and the real garden behind the wall. Boundaries are the theme of elaborate play in the painting. There is a contrast between the caged nightingale, and the uncaged birds in the garden in the same painting, and a somewhat similar contrast between these uncaged birds and the guests in the room. The guests in the room talk, and the painted nightingale – in the viewer’s imagination – sings. This caged nightingale, were it real, could have been taken in its cage into the garden, or brought back into the house. It is very clearly a piece of moveable domestic furniture. However, free birds as well as caged ones frequented the

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Roman garden.30 Fountains and water features may well have been partly intended to attract passing birds (which often feature in garden paintings on the lips of such features). This presence of birds in the garden – caged and/or free – allows the viewer to see himself in a bucolic role. In Livia’s garden painting, the effect is assisted by the hyper-­realistic synchronicity of the flora in the painting; the painted garden goes beyond nature in combining flora and fauna that do not belong in any one time and in this it is suggestive of the Golden Age and of the landscape of Virgilian bucolic. In another garden, Maecenas’ Esquiline Gardens, we have already seen (Chapter 2) the great man composing poetry among the trees and birds (Elegiae in Maecenatem 1.33–6) with the air and trappings of a Tityrus. The presence of garden-­birds as a metaphor for a lifestyle can easily be transferred from birds in the garden to the individual caged bird (just as Seneca’s poor man sees a single tree as his garden (Seneca Controversiae 5.5).31 I conclude this section by calling the caged bird a peg, so to speak, upon which the some Roman viewers sometimes hung metaphoric values, which they expected to be able to convey to other Romans, metaphoric values based on a range of possible associations, including the home, freedom, lifestyle, individual essence.

Cognition, mental modelling and drama As I move on to mental modelling and pick up again the theme of drama, I am not wholly leaving metaphor behind. Mental modelling and metaphor are both key elements of cognition and cognitive development. So I take a step back and consider the pervasive presence of the bird and the caged bird in the life-­story of the Roman citizen. The possession and enjoyment of caged birds is surrounded by all the subjectivities and contingent circumstances of life, but the continuity of the presence of domestic caged birds and garden-­birds in the citizen’s life from infancy onwards allows subliminal resonances with other experience and with art and literature to accumulate and interact at a profound level. The garden bird (i.e. any bird passing through or resting in the garden) and the caged bird are both features of the domus and contribute to its formative

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influence on the cognitive development of the growing citizen which I outlined in Chapter 2. Though mobile, birds are fixtures, as it were, of the garden, which lies at the heart of the Roman childhood experience and remains a core and special feature of the Roman adult experience of life. The bird in its cage is always there for the Roman, both as child and as adult. The arrangement of the house, its furnishings, decoration, and protocols all have a formative influence on the development of the child into an adult, on attitudes to levels of privacy and to what kinds of behaviour are acceptable where, and so forth. The house is imbued with patterns of social behaviour. In this context, the metaphorical parallelism between the birdcage and the home can be seen to have a developmental significance, and the constant presence of the birdcage in the home has a reinforcing effect. Cognitive development proceeds by playing with analogies32 and the caged bird, as we have seen, readily picks up human analogies. The bird in its cage is a scale model of a human home; it is, indeed, a recursive ‘house within a house.’33 When Trimalchio’s magpie in a golden cage greets Trimalchio’s guests (Petronius Satyrica 28.9), it welcomes them both to Trimalchio’s house and to its own. The constantly available analogy of the house-­inhabitant and the bird in its cage presents itself as a platform for the proto-­thought that is embedded in play, pretending, acting out, and the various modes of interaction between the child and the bird cage.34 In short, the bird cage is like a scale model of the house and the relationships it contains,35 and the child’s mind works with models and builds on them36 and the birdcage replicates patterns implicit in the house itself. The cage prevents the bird from flying away; at one level this is simply a way of keeping possession of the bird, but from the child’s perspective it could also be read as a way of protecting the bird. Similarly, the child is protected in the house which is sheltered from, and surrounded by, a dangerous outside to which the unaccompanied child is not allowed access. This pattern still has force for the adult: inside, the house is peaceful and familial, but outside are the choppy seas of politics and business. As the child grows, this model expands to contain the relationship between the city and the outside, again a polarity of comparative safety and external danger; outside the city there are brigands in real life and dangerous nymphs in mythology. The same pattern is replicated again at a broader level with the Roman world being the safe area of civilisation

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surrounded by barbarian tribes and extremes of climate. The recursiveness of the pattern reinforces the messages at all stages. When the child imagines the bird in a cage as like a family member in a human house, it is a form of play characteristic of the child, and play is fundamentally important in cognitive development.37 However, although transformed, the various kinds of behaviour that come under the heading of play remain important in adult life too. We can see an example of this in the context of the adult world of the emotions as reflected in the two sparrow-­ poems by Catullus.38 2. Passer, deliciae meae puellae, quicum ludere, quem in sinu tenere, cui primum digitum dare appetenti et acris solet incitare morsus, cum desiderio meo nitenti carum nescio quid lubet iocari et solaciolum sui doloris, credo ut tum gravis acquiescat ardor: tecum ludere sicut ipsa possem et tristis animi levare curas! Sparrow, my darling’s pet, With whom she is used to playing, whom she is used to holding in her lap, To whom she’s used to giving her finger-­tip when it seeks it, And to incite sharp pecks, When it pleases the shining desire of my life To play some or other game And a little solace of her grief, So that, I’m sure, her burdensome ardour may calm: If only I could play with you, just as she does, And lighten the sad cares of my mind! Catullus 2

In the first of the two poems (example 2), Lesbia’s behaviour with her pet sparrow is a sort of game (and, of course, so too is Catullus’ poem). Despite major problems of grammar and local interpretation in lines 5–6, it is clear that Lesbia plays out a quasi-­human relationship with the bird. Her behaviour is a performance and whether Catullus is the intended audience or an

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accidental witness we may feel (we are, of course, only given his version) that he is the target. In this game (the ludic element is emphasised: iocari, ludere), Catullus feels that there is too little room for him, and too much quasi-­sexual excitement for Lesbia. In Catullus’ game (which is this poem and the next in the corpus as we have it, Catullus 3),39 the inconvenient sparrow is soon going on that dark journey to that place from which they say no-­one returns. Unlike the nightingales which outlast the dead Heraclitus mourned in Callimachus’ epigram (Greek Anthology 7.80), it is Lesbia’s sparrow, rather than she herself, which is snatched away by the underworld. Like a pet slave (cf. the servile register of ipsam, 3.7), it has escaped this vale of tears, and left tears for the surviving Lesbia. Do we let Catullus convince us that Lesbia is over-­sentimental? That her emotions are volatile and too easily given? That she is using the sparrow as a prop with which to play up her emotions? Catullus’ first response is a comic prayer which he then caps with a spoof dirge. However, whosever side we may take in this psychodrama presented by Catullus, it is clear that in the drama of the poems both he and Lesbia are working out their feelings by means of role-­plays centred on the bird. The caged bird is an image of the home and its dramas, and its own drama is interactive with the viewer. It engages the emotions, and in some measure contributes to emotional and cognitive development. In the latter respect, reiterating patterns that are also present in the house itself and in larger contexts.

Social context: collectability, value, and fashion The growth of the luxury item trade and the interest in art objects, decried by Sallust and the moralists, but pursued eagerly in the late Republic onwards brings with it a notion of fashion. The late Republic is characterised as a period of endemic competition among the aristocracy in every sphere, including personal expenditure. This is the period when we begin to hear of the notorious fishponds as features of aristocratic gardens (e.g. Cicero ad Att. 2.1.7; Pliny 9.81.171), the aviaries (Varro de Re Rustica 3.5; Cicero ad Q. fratrem 3.1.1; Pliny 10.141),40 the display of performing birds (Manilius 5.385–6),41 and the great gardens themselves. Catullus’ pair of pictures of Lesbia and the sparrow was later used by Juvenal to typify the sophistication and moral flimsiness of

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modern (= post-Golden Age) women (Juvenal Satire 6.7–8). The sparrow-­ mourning Lesbia is there paired with the central figure of Propertian elegy. The impression is given that the sparrow poems characterise an age, for Juvenal does not name Lesbia, but refers to her in a periphrasis based on the sparrow. Lesbia, possibly one of the Clodia sisters, had a newly fashionable pet sparrow; Catullus, the modernising poet of celebration and aristocratic fashions,42 celebrates her as fashion-­leader by writing the sparrow into his corpus. This growth in collection, display, and fashionability points towards two issues that are perhaps in some tension with each other, value and modernism. On the one hand, the habit of collection creates the category of collectibles and imparts value; and, on the other, the elements of display and especially fashion suggest an atmosphere of something like urban modernism. Firstly, there is issue of value. The caged bird is, as we have seen, a crafted composite item, often involving precious materials. Furthermore, in an age of collection and display, items can acquire additional value. Now, it may seem very unlikely that any individual might have collected domestic caged birds, but the spirit of acquisition and display itself creates the category of ‘collectible’ and a collection of collectibles does not have to concentrate on any single type of item. The bird in its cage certainly has a place among the glassware, silverware, exotic furniture and furnishings, statuary, mosaics, and wall paintings of the house. In addition, it has a number of characteristics which we might think of in the context of art, itself another value-­adding concept. In this respect, I recall especially from the discussion above the elements of craft and metaphorical content. The caged bird is a product of skill which allows itself to have meanings read into it. The Romans recognised craft, aesthetic and emotional content, interpretability, and value, all of which can be attributed to the caged bird in one way or another. To some combinations of these elements considerable cultural prestige applied. The idea of skill was itself extended in a perhaps rather fuzzy way by its metaphorical applications. Ars, for example, was used metaphorically in connection with a range of activities including the shaping of souls in education (Persius 5.40) and, in a structurally climactic passage in the Aeneid, and one in which sculpture and oratory are put together, rule (Virgil Aeneid 6.852). There is also, as we saw in Chapter 1, extensive evidence for knowledge and connoisseurship among the Roman buyers of art objects,

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and the high value put on quality items. There are, moreover, clearly aesthetic values at work in sculpture and painting that are more or less equivalent to those at work among the poets. Competitive imitation and intertextuality, too, are clearly important in poetry, and in painting and sculpture, and much of the visual artists’ subject matter draws on the same mythological repertoire as the poets. This is the background against which we can try to set the caged bird. It would be hard to imagine that one bird cage successfully alluded to another, but that does not mean that intertextuality is inescapably absent. The composite entity of bird-­in-cage can certainly be taken by the viewer as alluding to metamorphic myths, and Statius does indeed make intertextual profit out of his response to Melior’s caged parrot. It would very likely be impossible to convince many that the caged bird is an art form, but we need to remember that the art-­field is a mêlée in which candidates compete for recognition. There is no universally agreed definition of art even within a narrowly defined period: rather, the definition of art is a process in which many voices pull in different directions and partial congruences form and reform. There has to be some element of validation, but, given the classical tradition of writing about works of art, we can see Statius’ poem on Melior’s caged bird as his validation – however playful – of that caged bird as a lost work of art. There are, in addition, enough metaphorical readings of the bird in its cage available in the literature for us to believe that a response to a caged bird in which interpretation was significant was possible at any time. Secondly, there is the issue of fashion. It will not take us irretrievably out of this ambiguous territory, but it is worth pursuing. While Clarke (2005) suggests that Roman interior decoration is fashion rather than art, art and poetry have their fashions too, and this instability hints at an atmosphere of urban modernism. Fashion is a major contributor to a feeling of modernity. We can find much corroborating evidence for change together with a sense of newness in the late Republic and the early Augustan period. In the late Republic, we hear of the neoterics and the new poets, and one of Virgil’s bucolic herdsmen tells us that Pollio made new poetry (nova carmina, Virgil Eclogues 3.86). A little later, Horace, who mocked the archaizing backlash, claimed to be the first to introduce iambic and lyric into Latin (Odes 3.30.13–14; Epistles 1.19.23–33, and this sort of claim is repeated by other Augustan poets. In the same time

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zone, painting styles change (though old paintings do not automatically disappear) and we see that Augustus restored/rebuilt Rome, altered its axes, districts and water supply, and was proud of leaving a marble city where he had found a brick one (Suetonius Augustus 28). Ovid, the avowed poet of civilisation and sophistication, praises the newness of Rome as a result (in terms that might have been embarrassing for Augustus; Ars Amatoria 3.113–28). Although Augustus uses the language of restoration, there was such an amount of change in such a range of media that the language of newness taken up by the poets may be an indicator of a more widespread sense of modernity, and this is certainly how Ovid sees the Augustan urban programme.43 The caged bird is one of the many new features of the texture of life beginning in the late Republic. There is most certainly an element of fashionability inherent in its appearance (and in its celebration by Catullus), but this in itself allows us to see it as part of the complex currents and countercurrents in Rome’s aesthetic space, toing and froing at the edges of art and contributing to Rome’s emotional life and to its ambivalent modernity.

6

Conclusion: Self-Projecting Inside and Out A recurrent idea in this study has been the way certain cultural artefacts imply a pattern of concentric circles dividing insides and outsides, but dividing in such a way as to allow the boundary to be crossed and recrossed. This self-­ repeating pattern of inner–outer polarities, which is such a strong feature of the garden, the garden painting, the birdcage, and the house, the city, and so forth, is part of the structure of the world of experience. Its affective aspect filters into language, and this becomes another, and reinforcing, source of influence on the subject’s mindset. Thus, for example, the words intimi and externi – ‘intimates’ and ‘outsiders’ – have their literal and metaphoric levels integrally inwoven with each other. The domus is the home of this generation of mentality. By way of conclusion, I want to draw together the ideas of the previous chapters and put them in a broader setting by considering the domus as an assemblage containing the features already dealt with, but with, in addition, its own semiotic outreach programme,1 a programme especially focused in another ‘thing that has some resemblances to an art-­form’, the images of the ancestors. This projection of meaning gives the domus some family resemblances to works of art. The garden, the garden painting, domestic textile work, and the caged bird all belong to the domus (or its country extension, the villa). Like other features of the domus, the furniture, dining and drinking equipment, statuary, mosaics, frescoes, and so forth, they project the wealth, cultivation, and identity of the owner. The setting of the domus allows us to take them together as a single composite entity which, as well as its practical functions, acts as stable and rounded representation of the owner (for his own part, while the owner moves from one to another of his daily occupations, his full identity reveals itself in more or less compartmentalised fragments). In addition to this, the domus, with all its contents, embodies and manifests the pervious boundaries of his

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existence. The owner can oscillate between the public and private roles and the house provides a set of calibrated boundaries between the two. Access to the owner, despite the open doors of the house, is controlled and different types of people have different degrees of access; social boundaries are reflected in the structure of the house, in the location of the garden, and echoed in the construction of garden paintings, in the nature of the bird cage, and even in the textiles hanging in doorways. Thinking of the domus as a metaphorical portrait of the owner, one could present it in the context of the range of Roman portraiture and portrait-­ like phenomena. This context includes, of course, statues, busts, and reliefs, coin images,2 and written descriptions such as Suetonius’ descriptions of the Caesars, typically located near the ends of his biographies.3 The writings of the physiognomonici confirm that appearance was seen as an important index of the inner character of the subject.4 That appearance and physical demeanour are a rhetorical language is well known in ancient literature.5 Notices asking for information leading to the return of lost or runaway slaves also feature physical description. They also emphasise the name and mannerisms, providing verbal portraits which demanded a good degree of recognisability in order to have a hope of functioning successfully (we can see examples in the Oxyrhinchus papyri (P.Oxy 3616–17) and their comic literary reflection in Petronius Satyrica 97).6 Clearly, ‘likeness’ does not entail artistic aims. In a sense, it does not even entail figurative representationalism, for in the case of the curse tablet (defixio) reliable identifiabilty is crucial, but achieved by quite other means. The curse tablet, a phenomenon whose remains are found across the whole Graeco-Roman world from the fifth century BC to the sixth AD 7 is not a portrait in any ordinary sense of the word, but it has properties in common with portraits and provides a manifest instance of how material objects can be endowed with the ability to signify a particular individual. This significance replaces visual resemblance with the inscription of the target’s name and/or details, and this is optionally supported by body parts (in the form of hair or nail clippings) and/or a list of body parts. The combination is intended to make an inescapable one-­to-­one connection with the target so that the chthonic deities to whom the tablet is addressed can attack the correct person. We have, then, a clear case of a binding ‘likeness’ not based on representational figuration, and of something in some way like a portrait which is clearly not an art form.

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No-one in Rome collected or displayed defixiones; no-­one sold them. The finished tablet is theoretically never seen by a human audience.8 They lack any serious attempt to provide aesthetic pleasure, a key element in the ancient idea of art.9 Both perspectives – ‘portraits’ which are not works of art, and ‘portraits’ which are not based on likeness – are relevant to the domus and its contents. The garden painting, the garden, domestic tapestry, the domestic caged bird, and all the other contents of the domus, all embody ideas about the owner. They project a self-­image or contribute to a self-­projection. Key elements in the message of these parts of the domus have been the owner’s wealth and lifestyle, and social and cultural status. Individually and together, the contents of the domus, together with the domus itself, also reflect and embody ideas about the larger context of society and the social or ethical structure of the world. That is, of course, not all that they do. They also delight the eye and prompt emotional engagement. They make the house into a home; they give it a voice so that the domus (or villa) itself becomes as expressive as the material contents. We could anthropomorphise the house quite effectively, making some of its various rooms correspond to the head, stomach, bowel, and so forth, extrapolating from the Latin metaphorical application of fauces (throat) to denominate the entryway. However, it is not necessary to do that in order to be able to see the house as having a portrait-­like function. Just as it has a metaphorical voice, it has, in a somewhat less metaphorical sense, a face. It has the face of the family, conspicuously displayed in (rather than on top of) the house’s ‘throat,’ at least for those aristocratic enough to have the ancestral facial images called imagines. The concerns of this study are appropriately embodied in the imagines, because their visual similarity to the art form of the sculpted portrait makes them like art without being art, and because they are threshold markers between the insides and outsides that are thematic in the case studies of the earlier chapters, and because, indeed, they actively mediate between inside and outside. It is in their nature that the imagines cannot be collected or sold without losing their meaning. They are organically linked with the identity of the owner of the domus, and among the expressive contents of the domus they have a special role reflected in their placement near the entrance (which is also the exit), in the most public part of the house. Furthermore, unlike the other

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contents, they have a role actually outside the boundaries of the house. They are an extension of the domus’ projection of its owner. The public appearances of the imagines, which I will deal with shortly, together with their inherent quality of likeness (about which, too, more will need to be said) make a partial alignment between them and public statues. Against the background of which they need to be considered. The late Republic and imperial periods are characterised by a proliferation of portraits.10 They are especially to be found in the form of carved likenesses, statues and reliefs in public places and in funerary contexts. They are an extension outside the domus of the domus’ projection of its owner. Where the subject is long dead, the degree of likeness becomes more questionable, and portraits of Homer, Plato, Aristotle, and the like base their expressiveness on the moral qualities that the appearance would have shown. A coin image has to be recognisable across a wide geographical reach to an audience most of whom will not have seen the subject. There are generic differences, but there is also a language in which likeness and idealisation negotiate with each other. Augustus’ public portraiture is, not surprisingly, prolific and suggestive of a brand image.11 The public portrait statue is projected at the outside world. Any given nobilis might well have numerous statues of himself visible in various degrees of proximity to each other. L. Volusius Saturninus, albeit posthumously, received ‘a variety of statues that linked his public roles to places apparently relevant to their performance. . . . Saturninus’ array of statues in the city of Rome collectively embodies the different facets of his public, political persona, and in a rather less systematic way, other public portraits evidently sought to do the same’ (Stewart 2008: 101). The messaging of such statues is more efficient if the likenesses are more or less like each other. Making them reasonably like the subject is a reasonably effective way of achieving that. Roman portraiture was – as other art forms – heavily influenced by Greek habits and models, but its development of a veristic manner is distinctive and exceptional. The apparently unflattering realism of carved portraits of late Republican aristocrats is also visible in funerary reliefs of freedmen (perhaps in imitation of the aristocratic manner).12 However, what seems unflattering at first sight (and is only too tempting to regard as concerned with actual likeness), may actually be the presentation of the aristocratic subject with an emphasis on seriousness, directness, acumen, and the qualities of mature or

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elder statesmen, and the freedman subject as like an aristocrat. If we look at the carved portrait head of Pompey the Great (c. 60–50 BC) in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen (Fig.  6.1), it looks less starkly honest than some examples, but there are still the lines on the forehead and around the mouth area, perhaps the smallness of the eyes, and the slight pudginess of the jowls. The hair, which is brushed up and away from the forehead, may allude to images of Alexander the Great, but it may also look rather uncontrolled, as though the statesman, as presented, was not over-­concerned with perfection of hair-­style. We should be allowing for the possibility of a controlled mixture of veristic and idealising elements. Even in the nude portraits of Romans in the role of gods,13 a genre which is inherently flattering and idealising, there may be suspicions of non-­idealising elements.14 Both Greek and Roman portraiture have been seen as primarily ‘commemorating the dead or notable people of the past; honouring the living for their achievements and benefactions; providing permanent votive memorials in sanctuaries; and communicating power and authority’ (Stewart 2008: 77). However, the group, indeed civic, dynamic of image production is important, and this applies to the commissioning and erection of portraits, the erection of major buildings, works, monuments and tombs,15 the construction and opening of gardens, and so forth. It also includes the ancestral images displayed in the domus. We are dealing with expressions of membership of a group, which is also played out in putting on games, attending dinners (where the placements embody social distinctions, but the event embodies social unity), playing ball games or riding in the Campus Martius, attending poetry readings, celebrating marriages and funerals, and the whole battery of social activity; in all of this behaviour, we are also dealing with a complex and fluid assemblage of individual contributions to a corporate idea. The Roman aristocrat is a player in a socio-­political system that is partly competitive and partly cooperative; the individual aims to advance his own position, but is also locked into the nexus of friendship relationships (amicitiae). The individual and his friends are potentially hostile to other individuals, but at the same time all contribute to and share in what it means to be Roman. In this process the membership of the Senate, of boards and priesthoods is profoundly important. However, while multi-­addressed poetry books such as Horace’s Odes and, later, Statius’ Silvae could be seen in part as metaphorical

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Fig. 6.1.  Pompey; c. 60–50 BC.

group portraits of parts of the ruling elite, actual group portraits are not strongly forthcoming in the visual evidence. We certainly have the relief of the Ara Pacis, but we have no Roman formal group portraits of the Senate, and none of smaller and more readily representable groups such as the Arval brethren, although Rome was a city packed with the statues of magnates, dynasts, consuls, heroes, and other public figures going back into the deep past, and other major monuments. The Ara Pacis16 does display group portraits. On the north wall lictors lead a procession, followed by priests of the Septemviri epulones and twenty-one members of the college of the quindecimviri sacris faciundis, who are followed in turn by members of the imperial family. On the south wall, the processing figures appear to include Augustus, Agrippa, Tiberius, and others of the imperial family. The Ara Pacis is ‘signed’ by the Senate (or Senate and people: SPQR)17 and those in the procession wear togas; the reliefs make a very Roman statement as well as a dynastic one. The two shorter walls on the Ara Pacis display allegorical and mythical-­historical scenes, embedding Rome and Augustus in a continuum with the deep past. In

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a way, this is what the Aeneid also does, for Augustus, Roman practices and rituals, the names of Roman aristocratic families, and Rome itself are all given their origins in this foundational poem (and the processional format is strongly present in the parade of heroes in Book 6). Processions like the one depicted on the Ara Pacis displayed the aristocracy in their public Roman roles,18 but are transient events, albeit recurrent ones. However, if we return to the ancestral images, the imagines, which were housed in the domus, we can see an overlap between the ideas of individual portraiture and processional group portraiture, and a medium available to all those whose ancestors had held the higher magistracies. The display of the imagines seals the projection of the owner’s status that is made through the medium of the domus, but their message, like that of the carved portrait, the inscribed building, the coin image, and the tomb, also reaches out to the urbs beyond the domus. At the basic factual level, the Latin use of the term imagines is wider than its modern use as a technical term for a particular kind of artefact.19 The word is now the conventional one used to refer to the wax ancestor-­images that were kept in individual cupboards (singulis armariis) in the atrium and accompanied family funerals (Pliny NH 35.6).20 The cupboards were opened during public sacrifices (Polybius 6.53.6) and at least sometimes more frequently (HA Tacitus 19.6); several passages suggest strongly that the images could be seen (e.g. Ovid Amores 1.8.65; Juvenal 8.19), and the use of the descriptive term ‘smoky’ (fumosus) would seem odd were this not so (Cicero In Pisonem 1; Seneca Ep. 44.5).21 The issue of what they looked like is in some ways more complex. It depends largely on how one reads Polybius’ account of how the imagines were used (6.53). They were, it seems, marked by a considerable degree of resemblance to their models. There is no evidence that they were, in fact, death masks, but it appears to be the case that they represented very closely the facial appearance of the subject at the time of death. They have indeed been regarded as a formative influence on the veristic manner of late Republican aristocratic portrait heads.22 They have in that respect an arguable place in the history of art, although they were not described in any way as being works of art; they were not collected in any meaningful sense, nor was there a market for them as there was for sculpture. They may, perhaps, have involved some exaggeration,23 for when they went out into the public they were recognisable in unideal conditions of a variable natural light, motion, partial obstructions of view by other people,

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and so forth. At any rate, the clear sense of likeness to the freshly dead subject is important, despite possible elements of exaggeration and a kind of idealisation. Somewhat paradoxically this may be one of the factors that prevented the imagines from being seen as art, for though they were not casts of the faces of the dead, the sense of resemblance appears to have been such as to make them appear, in however illusory a sense, more like replicas than interpretations. As to the functionality of the imagines, we know that they were stored and sometimes displayed in the atrium of the aristocratic house, in the room in which the great man’s clients would assemble in the morning for the salutatio (Juv. 3.126–30), one of the key events in manifesting and cementing the amicitia relationships upon which Roman society turned.24 Not as intimate as the dinner, but more populous, this event embodied social structure and the physical presence of these signs of aristocratic lineage was thematic and important. The atrium is, as it were, the interphase between domus and urbs, a focal point of communication. Not only did the visiting amici/clients gather here in the presence of the imagines, but the imagines themselves went out into the urbs from here. Several sources attest the role of the imagines at aristocratic funerals (e.g. Dio 65.34; Diodorus 31.25.2; Pliny NH 35.6; Polybius 6.53.6–9).25 In Dio’s account of Augustus’ funeral, we see three portraits, one wax, one gold, and the third unspecified, coming by different routes and followed by the masks of Augustus’ ancestors and those of other relatives,26 and the masks of other distinguished Romans including Romulus. Pompey’s image was also seen, and portraits of conquered peoples. The inclusion of Pompey and Romulus give a sense that Roman history was visibly being traced back from the present to its origins in a way analogous to the parade of heroes shown to Aeneas by his father in the underworld (except that these are there presented as the future Romans waiting to be born) in Aeneid 6. The sense of a magnificent show being put on may be exceptional because of Augustus’ pre-­eminent position, but it is already clear in the account given by Diodorus of the funeral of Lucius Aemilius in 160 BC (31.25.2). Diodorus here also refers to actors (mimētas), as does Suetonius (Vespasian 19.2), who adds the detail that the leader of the troup of mime actors who was wearing Vespasian’s mask (personam eius ferens) also imitated his manner and his manner of speaking ‘as is the custom’ (ut est mos). Although he does not specify actors, Polybius gives us a deeper

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perspective on this impersonative element. His account is worth quoting at some length. When any of the illustrious men dies, when the funeral has been arranged, he is carried in procession with the rest of the funeral pomp, to the place called the rostra in the Forum; usually he is placed conspicuously in an upright posture, sometimes, though less frequently, reclining. While the people are all standing round, his son, if he has one left of sufficient age, who is then at Rome, or, if not, another family member, mounts the rostra, and praises the virtues of the deceased, and the achievements that were accomplished by him in his lifetime. By this discourse, which brings his past actions to mind, and places them in in the mind’s eye for the whole crowd, not only those who were sharers in his deeds, but also the rest who had no part in his exploits, are moved to such sympathy of sorrow, that the misfortune appears to be a public misfortune rather than a private loss. He is then buried with the usual rites; and afterwards an image, is set up in the most public part of the house, enclosed in a shrine of wood. The likeness (eikon) is a mask (prosopon) which expresses an exact resemblance of his face both in features and complexion. On public festivals, these images are uncovered, and adorned with the greatest care. And when anyone of the family dies, these masks too are carried in the funeral procession, putting them on men who seem most like them in height and the rest of the general appearance. They are dressed likewise in the costume that belongs to the ranks which they filled when they were alive. If they were consuls or praetors, in a gown bordered with purple: if censors, in a purple robe: and if they had triumphed, or obtained any similar honour, in a toga embroidered with gold. They are drawn along in chariots preceded by the rods and axes, and other ensigns of their former dignity. And when they arrive at the Forum, they are all seated upon ivory stools, and there exhibit the noblest sight that can be offered to youthful minds, warmed with the love of virtue and of glory. For who can see without emotion the forms of so many illustrious men, thus living, as it were, and breathing together in his presence? Polybius 6.53

What Polybius adds to the passages already mentioned is not so much detail, as a firm sense of the occasion as one attended by the whole family, both the living and the dead, en masse as though all they were all alive, all fully individual, but all belonging to the one single family and sharing the same

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values and sense of honour. The ancient sources commonly present the imagines as standing for the family and its values (see e.g. Cicero De Oratore 2.225–6), but the physical presence of the family dead along with the still living which is brought about by portrait-­like artefacts and mimicry is more than a metaphor. Rather it is one thing embodying another through a ceremony which uses a combination of dramatic and material representation in an organic unity. The funeral with its parade of dead ancestor-­images is a group portrait, but it is more than that, for it is a group portrait in which the living and the dead are both present as though death were no barrier. Here, perhaps, is a second factor in the absence of any ancient feeling that the imagines were works of art, for to a large extent the Romans responded to them as if they were not representations so much as representatives – as real people. The element of group portraiture implicit in the funeral parade can be taken further. It is always apparent that the kind of ceremony described by Polybius is recurrent. Funerals like this took place through the year, and drew attention to themselves with wailing and the hooting of trumpets (Horace Satires 1.6.43; Epistles 2.2.74; Propertius 2.7.12; Ovid Heroides 12.129–40). They were conspicuous and noisy; they filled streets. For the wider Roman public, aristocratic and non-­aristocratic alike, the succession of funerals made a pattern. Deaths occur within and outwith any given family, so that the calendar of funerals would show different families interweaving with each other. The pattern of funerals and triumphs is, effectively, an extended portrait of the whole ruling elite, a sacrament in which the elite shares with itself to foster solidarity, and one in which it parades itself to the city for which it is responsible, and a representation of the Romanness of Rome itself. In important ways, the imagines are intermediaries between the domus and the urbs. They pass back and forth between the two contexts, and have a role in the representation of the family both as a domestic entity and as a public or state entity. Collectively, the parades of imagines portray as a single group the families that constitute the state. The urbs, like the domus, is the setting for display, and, also as with the domus, there is a programme. Much here is dependent on individual contributors, but they belong to the same culture and so the language is mutually comprehensible. As the imperial contribution becomes more important the programme is more organised, but not qualitatively different. The city remains another medium for aristocratic and imperial self-­projection, and

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there are elements of design. In that way, we could consider Rome as a display-­ case on a huge scale, showcasing its gardens, buildings, and statues, but as a thing that is itself displayed as well.27 Augustus clearly had a vision of what Rome could be, worked to realise that vision, and expressed some satisfaction with his achievement (Suetonius Augustus 28). The extent to which the difference between the Rome of the deep past and the Rome of their own day occupied their minds can be gauged in the contrasts built up by Propertius, Virgil, and Ovid, not to mention Augustus’ own reported pride in transforming Rome.28 Rome was an achievement, and embodied the place of the Romans in the world, a material symbolism concentrated in such features as the Capitol, with the Vestals climbing its steps (Horace Odes 3.30.8–9). Rome meant things and provided aesthetic and intellectual satisfaction; its identity fostered the sense of identity of its citizens,29 and it is constantly being portrayed and turned into historical narrative in the works of the historians and poets, in fleeting references, in general texture, and in large structures. There are references to places as texture, background, and setting in Lucilius, Catullus, Horace and the elegists; there are the narrative and structural textures of the foundational stories of Livy and Virgil. There are coin images of buildings and monuments. However, there are no painted or mosaicked portraits of Rome.30 To some extent, of course, in the peripheries Roman architecture and cultural institutions like the baths signified Romanness adequately, and in the centre Rome was in a palpable sense its own image. It would be tendentious to call the urbs an art-­work. Once we get a little way from the context of paintings and sculptures, the element of metaphor in statements of this form starts to grow. However, the element of conscious design and the recognition of a symbolism inhering in the fabric of the city suggest that calling Rome an art-­work would be a metaphor comprehensible to the Romans. Pliny signed his garden with topiary letters, but Augustus signed Rome with the Mausoleum, the Obelisk, the temples, districts, and aquaducts, and wreathed it, it has been said, in arborial mythology and the poetry of foundations (especially the Aeneid). I would like now to set the domus and its contents in the frame of the construction of the image of Rome. The best image of something as large, multifarious, and complex as the city is the city itself, with all its facilities, institutions, invented traditions, its buildings, parks, forms of transportation. The totality of this composite entity is something with which its inhabitants come to identify as a natural part of

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maturation, in the same way that the child identifies with the home.31 Areas within the house have distinct functions and characters; in the same way, but on a larger scale, localities within the city are attributed with distinct characters, and the city itself is distinct from its near and remote surroundings, and different from other cities. The perceived differences become part of the self-­ image of the inhabitant, and are prioritised and personalised in the process. A city, of course, is a fluid coming together and dissolution, but the process is slow enough not to impede the personal appropriation of place by person, and urban dynamism can itself be part of the image which is so internalised. This process of appropriation is carried on at both individual and group levels, and requires more than just individual internalisation; it needs also to be signalled within the group in order to establish the group identity and its boundaries, and this process is dynamic and complex, since individuals are inter-­ reacting with each other and with only partially defined ideas. The city is itself an assemblage of fluid internal groupings and the host of a variety of cultural and acculturating manifestations which are also continuously influencing each other.32 The signalling of the individual’s appropriation of the city and taking part in its identity happens at a multitude of levels: the individual talks about things, negotiating individual and group identity, attends festivals, shows, poetry readings, dinners, weddings, plays in the Campus Martius, and the like, but he may also have an image of the city to which a new building or park will contribute, and the means to erect it. Another, the writer may have an image of the same city which he projects, and which becomes part of the group image of the city, as with the Rome of Horace’s Satires, the Athens of Pericles’ funeral speech as refracted in Thucydides, or the idea of Rome to which Cicero appeals in the conclusion of his second speech against Catiline (63 BC), imploring the gods to defend ‘the city they wished to be most beautiful, most flourishing, and most powerful’ (quam urbem pulcherrimam florentissimam, potentissimamque voluerunt; Cicero in Catilinam 2.13.29). The city is an image of the city, constantly filtered and reproduced by writers and artists both directly and via their transformations of their models and antecedents. It is true that we do not find a well-­established Roman tradition of paintings of the city, but we certainly do find paintings of the urban races, amphitheatrical shows, and the gods and heroes of the cultural heritage, coin images, and portrait sculpture presenting individuals in the framework of civic identities. The city is not just the city, it is a process in which

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decline and renewal constantly interact with each other through palimpsests of social, material, and cultural media. The Capitol, for example, represented, symbolised, and embodied for the Romans the permanence of Roman power with its complex of ancient monuments and rituals, and mythic and religious associations (Horace Odes 3.30.8; Virgil Aeneid 9.448). It was destroyed by fire in 83 BC and restored on the same foundations, to a greater height than before. The work was completed in 69 BC (Tacitus Hist. 3.72; Cicero Verrines 4.69) at which point the roof was gilded, though not to everyone’s approval (Pliny NH 33.57). Augustus made further renovations in 26 and 9 BC and added a new temple (Suetonius Augustus 29; Dio Cassius 54.4).33 However, it was not enough that it be there with some sense of continuity: the Romans needed its continuity to be replenished and celebrated, and this is what the poets did, allowing Horace and his audience to see the Capitol (and Horace’s Romanness and fame) through the eyes of posterity (Horace Odes 3.30.7–8), or Rome through the awe-­stricken eyes of outsiders (Virgil Eclogues 1.19–25) to remind them of how magnificent it was. A good deal of this study has been about reception; what people do with art, how they internalise it, how they act as conduits for its messages, how they express themselves through owning it. There is always a subjective element. The woman in Juvenal who reads the Aeneid, praises Virgil, and forgives Dido (Juvenal 6.434–7) and Propertius’ Cynthia who faults Homer because of the fickleness of Helen (2.1.49–50) are two explicit examples of criticisms of subjectivity which themselves give an extra layer of subjectivity. Variant readings are part of the nature of cultural production, even wild ones like Trimalchio’s transformations of the cultural heritage in Petronius’ comic Satyrica readings, certainly slanted ones like Cynthia’s reading of Helen, fraught with rhetorical intent. Accidental misreadings, too, are part of the cultural fabric.34 There is, however, a mainstream, a culturally approved and evolving set of stories and images told by the city and contributed to by the individual households. The domus and the villa are key sites and settings for works of art and for a range of other types of artefact which are to a greater or lesser extent like works of art. The domus and the villa replicate the patterns and structures and textures of the urbs. They embody and project the persona of the owner in terms of

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The Boundaries of Art and Social Space in Rome

social standing, cultural and material affluence, prestige, personal lifestyle affiliation – his place in the larger social structure of the urbs. The architecture and materials of the residence obviously count, but so do the statues, mosaics, tapestries, gardens, frescoes, furniture, tableware, and other trappings of the house. The house is a setting for display, and with its contents it is a composite display itself, communicating with other houses. The social life of the domus and villa are in circulation with each other, as the owner and family move from the one to the other and back, and these circulatory movements interconnect with the circulatory systems of other domus and villae. They all, as it were, speak the same language as each other. Their messages also reach out in the form of benefactions, public building programmes, funerals and the parade of the imagines. In addition, the urbs replicates the structures and textures of the domestic abode, with statues for statues, gardens for gardens, temples for shrines, events for events, and so on, and the messages conveyed are very much the same kinds of message – power, prestige, culture.35 Like the domus and villa, the messages of the urbs also reach out to the hinterland. They do this with benefactions, military presence, and also with art and architecture (cf. Tacitus Agricola 21 on porticoes and baths as imperialising tools). There is a system, but one composed of many thousands of partially autonomous entities who learn the same cultural and behavioural language, a language which expresses both competition and co-­operation. Art and architecture, literature, domestic crafts, clothes, and coins all take part in the messaging as well as having their individual operative characteristics. Art is not transcendentally unique, but shares features with other cultural phenomena, and so there are things which hover in the penumbra. Music was not the same for the Romans as for the Greeks, but it had at least some recognition. A musical instrument, however, lacks sufficient independence to satisfy in itself, however crafted it may be, however valuable, or collected; it exists for being performed with, and we may think that strong functionality gets in the way of something being seen as art. Some textile work must have been recognisable as artwork, and some not – curtains, door hangings. The caged bird is a cultural artefact which belongs in this grey area; some might sometimes have treated the caged bird as like art. Statius, arguably, treats one dead caged bird as a lost artwork. The domus, the villa, and the urbs have pragmatic functions, but they

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also all have characteristics like large art installations. The garden, likewise, had social functions, but its association with otium perhaps puts it more comfortably within the area of art. Even the curse-­tablet has expressive features in common with mainstream art-­objects, although its overall profile is sufficiently different to enable us to see it not as art, but as another cultural phenomenon with some shared features. Then there are dinners, fishponds, aviaries; they are all, of course, part of the social existence of the Roman world; they all convey messages with varying degrees of explicitness and consciousness. They all impact on social space; they all give aesthetic pleasure. However, they do not all sustain intellectual pleasure or emotional complexity with the same facility, and so while we accept that there is not, and never was, a definitive boundary between art and not-­art and that there was always a fluid boundary area, we can say that an emergent consensus about aesthetic, emotional, and intellectual content is a key element. We do not have to see that every entity accepted as a work of art has ticked all three headings (or four if we count craft as an independent aspect)36 in equal proportions; rather we should see these and other features as more like a menu or list of ingredients from which the artist selects varying amounts and combinations and submits the product within the framework of fluidly defined units of assessment.

Notes Chapter 1   1 These are: ‘(i) entities (artifacts or performances) intentionally endowed by their makers with a significant degree of aesthetic interest, often surpassing that of most everyday objects, exist in virtually every known human culture; (ii) such entities, and traditions devoted to them, might be produced by non-­human species, and might exist in other possible worlds; (iii) such entities sometimes have non-­aesthetic – ceremonial or religious or propagandistic – functions, and sometimes do not; (iv) traditionally, artworks are intentionally endowed by their makers with properties, usually perceptual, having a significant degree of aesthetic interest, often surpassing that of most everyday objects; (v) art, so understood, has a complicated history: new genres and art-­forms develop, standards of taste evolve, understandings of aesthetic properties and aesthetic experience change; (vi) there are institutions in some but not all cultures which involve a focus on artifacts and performances having a high degree of aesthetic interest and lacking any practical, ceremonial, or religious use; (vii) such institutions sometimes classify entities apparently lacking aesthetic interest with entities having a high degree of aesthetic interest; (viii) many things other than artworks – for example, natural entities (sunsets, landscapes, flowers, shadows), human beings, and abstract entities (theories, proofs) are routinely described as having aesthetic properties’ (Adajian 2012).   2 See further, Adajian (2012b).   3 This notion of a system has, not unreasonably, given rise to some debate; cf. Porter 2009; Shiner 2009; Porter 2009b. However, ‘the arts’ although there is no canonic list of what makes up the set, and the likewise unifixed Latin terms artes and artes honestae clearly suggest the existence of cultural patterns.   4 Cf. Dickie 1974; Danto 1981; Dickie 1984; Matravers 2000; Davies 2004.   5 Cf. Beardsley 1982; De Clercq 2002; Iseminger 2004; Davies 2004.   6 On experiential property, cf. Witkin’s concept of ‘visualisation’ as a necessary component of art. ‘A work of art raises experience to the level of contemplation. It makes it “visualizable”. Art is, therefore, an important resource for thinking and making experience’ (Witkin 1995: x).

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  7 The notions of features contributing to family resemblances, used by Wittgenstein in his account of games in the Philosophical Investigations has been taken up by art theorists; cf. Weitz 1956; Beardsmore 1995; Kaufmann 2007.   8 The point of contact with established art fits with the institutional theory of art and the desire to imitate can be seen as forming an artistic intent. For intentional resemblance to a model artwork or type as a fundamental concept in historical definitions of art; cf. Levinson 1990; Levinson 2005; Stecker 2005. While the issue of slavery and the workshop in Rome are complications, the power of the patron’s will is also another factor, and his taste and habit of collecting are also mimetic and competitive. In the Roman context, see the discussion of Roman art’s pluralistic appropriation of Hellenistic, Italic, Egyptian, and other oriental elements in Elsner 2006.   9 There is also, of course, that other stereotype, the unrecognised and invalidated would-­be artist starving in a garret. 10 Cf. Bordieu 1964; Bordieu 1984. Porter 2009b writes of ‘competing sensibilities’ as a feature of modernity (post-1750), but the ancient world too expresses itself in polarities (e.g. the ‘useful’ and the ‘pleasurable’ of the Stoics and Epicureans) and eclecticism; here, luxury, as the expression of taste, can imply status as well as decadence. 11 The list would be large. A sample of those concerned with visual art would include Leon Battista Alberti, Piero della Francesco, Vasari, Cellini, Bartolomeo Facio, Albrecht Dürer, and Carel van Mander 12 Petronius’ narrator, Encolpius, has, before Eumolpus’ intervention, been responding primarily to the love-­story elements of the paintings, pushed in that direction by his own unhappy love. A similar scenario opens Achilles Tatius’ Clitophon and Leucippe, where a painting is described at length, and becomes the point from which Clitophon’s romantic autobiographical recounting begins (Ach. Tat. 1.1–3). 13 See further, Burford 1972; Strong and Brown 1976. 14 Cf. Porter 2009b, responding to Shiner’s (2009) defence of Kristeller against Porter (2009); Porter notes that the Romans had no word for homosexuality or literature and a range or other phenomena, ‘which is not to say that these categories were lacking either conceptually or in practice’ (2009: 174). Likewise, there is no Latin term for ‘realism’, but a range of other words would have allowed them to think of levels of what we call realism (Jones 1991). There has, indeed, been a reluctance on the part of some writers to use the term ‘art’ in the context of the Graeco-Roman world. See, e.g. Jordanova (2009), 89; Burke (2001), 16; Smith (2002), 64; Scott (2003); Squire (2010); Platt and Squire (2010). Clarke (2005) has a rather different position, in which he merely moves the boundary line, arguing that much Roman

Notes

15

16 17

18 19

20

21

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art is just ‘fashion’ and not art; cf. also Neudecker 1988 where it is implied that the criteria for choosing for, and arranging statues in, the villa was based on thematic rather than aesthetic grounds (although the two are not incompatible; cf. Ravasi 2015), and see also Hölscher 2004 and Kousser 2008 for analogous semantic approaches to selection. For a subtle brief account of the concept of art in antiquity, see Porter 2009b: 174–6, and with more detail Squire 2010; 2015. Tanner 2006: 268 ingeniously applies the Wittgensteinian concept of family resemblances to the alignment of ancient and modern theory of art. There is legal evidence from the latter half of the second century AD which points to a special quality given to a wooden panel by the ‘hand of an artist’ in the Institutes of Gaius (2.73–8) in the distinction between panel painting and other forms of material production; see Elsner 1998: 241–3 on this and later development of the legal distinction. For still later developments, see Madero 2010. On the issue of the artist in Rome, see Limentani 1958; Bianchi-Bandinelli 1957; Squires 2004; Thomas 2007; material in the introduction to Kansteiner et al. 2014. On the anonymity, despite occasional signatures, of mosaicists, see Dunbabin (1999), 269–78). A non-­art status would be especially plausible in the case of patterned rather than figured mosaics, that the Romans themselves made a qualitative distinction is clearly implicit in that the former were sometimes lifted and re-­used elsewhere (Dunbabin 1999: 38). Ling (1998: 25–6) observes that the only mosaic pavement to be attributed to a named artist in an ancient literary text is a non-­extant one attributed to Sosus at Pergamum (Pliny NH 36.184), although a number of Hellenistic mosaic panels are signed. On artist signatures, see Toynbee 1951: 17–50; Limentani 1958: 151–80; Siebert 1978; Thomas 2007; Squire 2013. A slightly abbreviated translation into Italian by Alberti followed in the next year, 1436. Stewart (2008), 10–11, 22–3; on the low status of artists and the almost complete lack of documentary evidence for contemporary artists, see Ling (1991), 212–20; Stewart (2008), 18–24. Suetonius’ comment is in the concluding character survey at the end of the Life, along with his account of Nero’s poetry-­writing, and separate from the list of follies programmed at 19. Fragments of his poetry survive, which seem to show a dated post-Catullan manner, and his verse is criticised on ethical grounds by Seneca, but Seneca has a particular point to make, and the fact that Maecenas’ poetry was not seen by any ancient writer as great poetry does not mean that he had no judgement or that writing was demeaning for him.

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22 For an account of the skills required, see Ling (1991), 198–211. 23 Neudecker 1988; Saladino 1988; De Maria 1983; Neudecker 1998; Fuchs 1999; Corso 2001; Beard 2008; Rutledge 2012; Bravi 2012; Lapatin 2015. Bounia (2004) draws attention to a qualitatively new aspect to Roman collecting in the transition from the first century BC to the first century AD. Mattusch 2005 looks at the collection in one villa, the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum. 24 On aesthetic values, cf. Perry 2005; Sluiter and Rosen 2012. 25 Von Hees-Landwehr 1982, 1985; Donati 1999: Fredriksen 2010. 26 On replication and variation, see Neudecker 1988; Bergmann 1995; Gazda 1995; 2002; Perry 2005; Trimble and Elsner 2006; Marvin 1989; Marvin 2008; Junker and Stähli 2008, for whom there is a continuum between copy and invention (including the imaginative contaminatio of different models), and for whom Roman sculpture is always more than merely imitative. Wünsche 1972 draws on the Latin terminology of literary imitation in looking at imitation in the visual arts; cf. Ridgway 1984; Perry 2002; 2005: Fullarton 1997 uses the terminology of intertextuality, and Marvin 2008 and Squire 2009 that of ‘dialogue’. On ancient terminology, see further, Chevallier 1991: 178–200; Benediktson 2000: 94–108; Anguissola 2006; 2012. On rhetoric and rhetorical theory in relation to Roman Art, see Elsner and Meyer 2014. 27 See Talamo 1995; Vorster 1999; Cirucci 2005; Bravi 2012. On forgery, see Anguissola 2007; 2012: 146–9. 28 See further, Pollitt (1978); Tanner 2006: 255–76; Stewart (2008), 2; Rutledge (2012), 82–93. Cf. also Quintilian Inst.Or. 12.10.3; Cicero de Or. 3.25.98. For Cicero’s judgements on art, see Neudecker 1988. 29 Vessberg 1941; Isager 1991: 157–67; Chevallier 1991; Bergmann 1995: 98–102; Rouveret 2015; Ravasi 2015. 30 Kuttner 1999; Leach 2004: 5, 123–55; Stewart 2008: 2–3. 31 On Eumolpus’ inaccuracy, see Walsh 1970: 96–7; Elsner 2007b:193. 32 For the late republic sculptor Pasiteles’ lost nobilia opera in toto orbe, see Stewart (2008), 24. For ancient Art History, cf. Platt and Squire 2010; Tanner 2006; Pollitt 2014. 33 See Pliny NH 35.23; 35.65–6; 35.155; Isager 1991; Tanner 2006: 277–302; Squire 2012; Pollitt 2014; Squire 2015: 312–19. 34 On Daedalus as a case in the thematic recurrence of artistic failure in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, see Davisson 1997. On artistic achievement in the Metamorphoses, see Norton 2013: 185–212. 35 If pattern books had a significant existence (cf. Stewart (2008), 35–6; Ling (1991), 128–34, 212–13, 217–20. cf. also Bergmann (1995), 82), they need not be seen as strong counterargument here. We do not know what such pattern books might

Notes

36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

46 47

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have looked like; Clarke 2010 draws a distinction between three possibilities, model books (whole compositions), simpler sketch books, and books with standard images of individual figures or figure groups. Going further, Bruneau 1984, expressing doubts about the importance of pattern books in the context of mosaicists, sees the recurrence of compositional formats as due rather to the designing painter’s internalised store of images; see too Bruneau 2000. Commentators (see further in Chapter 3) see subtleties of nuance, emphasis, and intertextualities both between different paintings in the same location and between thematically and compositionally related paintings in different locations, and this is legitimate because the Romans were guests in each other’s houses; they could see, admire, remember and compare (and, if they wished, find out which workshop to go to in order to get something more or less similar). See Gallazzi et al. 2008 for the publication of the Artemidorus papyrus (with its drawn animal and fantastic beast repertoire) and a bibliography for the issue of sketchbooks. On workshops and the transmission of images, see Mulliez 1999. Fundamentally, the pattern book mise-­en-scène is as irrelevant to artistic quality here as it is in the field of medieval and renaissance art where pattern books, cartoons, and templates certainly circulated (Holt (1957), 88–90; Elen (1995); Nash (2008), 169–76; Gualdoni (2014), 67). On workshops, see Beyen (1951); Allison and Sear (2002), 80 n.570; Allison (1995); Stewart (2008), 28–32. On a particular workshop and the distribution of its wares and the customer-­ tastes implied, see Gasparri 1995. See Cornell 1987; Gazda 1995: 131; Stewart 2008: 32–8, 113–14. On the artists’ own perspectives and self-­image, see Bianchi-Bandinelli 1957; Fuchs 1999; Thomas 2007; Stewart 2008: 21–8. See also Philostrates’ Imagines, and on Pliny and art, Isager (1991). On the Iphigenia, see Platt 2014. See Zeitlin 2013 and see further, Chapter 4 below. A cut-­down version, ‘Lobe of the Lung’ (2009) was installed in the Hayward Gallery, London. Telegraph 27.09.11. See Jones 2007: 80–1. See Champlin (2011) for more parallels, including Glaucus dancing as a merman (Velleius Paterculus. 2.83.2), and Domitian’s banquet in black (Dio Cassius 67.9). Theodora’s display, as reported by Procopius (Anecdota 9) perhaps alludes to the common art motif of Leda and the swan. See Jones 2007: 135–6. Cf. Vogel 1988.

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48 Taking account of borderline cases is an important feature of the rationale of institutional definitions of art; see Stecker (2005). 49 Horace works on similar lines in Epp. 1.19. 50 On Pygmalion, see Hardie 2002:173–226; Elsner 2007b: 113–31; Stoichita 2008. 51 Since the brief list is of representative samples, we cannot see what Virgil would have excluded. It would seem very unlikely that he was thinking of cooking, but Catius (Horace Satires 2.4) would. There is no objectively authorised list of approved members of the set, but there is, nonetheless, the idea of a set which resemebles Kristeller’s (1951) system. Virgil does not include Architecture in his sample range, but one might see that coming under the heading of the art of rule. 52 Virgil’s polarity between public and private resonates through Augustan poetry (Jones 2007: 34–8). It is prefigured in the city–country contrast of the Eclogues (Jones 2011: 51–7, 107–12), and in the bee section of the Georgics, in which the survival of the group counts for more than the song which (very unusually in Virgil’s account of them) is absent from their description (Griffin 1979). 53 Looked at more closely, there is a messiness here, since oratory, at least, certainly had practical, political effects in the world of power.

Chapter 2 1 See Hartswick (2004); Häuber 1998; Kuttner (1999); Kaster (1974). For the appearance of horticultural treatises in Rome in the Augustan period, see Reeder (2001), 12. Maecenas was the dedicatee of one by Sabinus Tiro (Pliny NH.177). On Roman gardens generally see: Andreae 1996; Bowe (2004); Carroll (2003); Coleman 2014; Conan (1986); Farrar (1998); Frazer 1998; Gleason (1994); Hartswick (2007); Hunt (1991); (1997); Jashemski (1979, 1994); (2002) (2007); Kaster (1974); Purcell (1987); (1996); (2001); Hales (2003), 153–62; von Stackelberg (2009); Spencer (2010), 139–41, 161–85. For aesthetic aspects, cf. Worman 2015. The corpus of Roman gardens begun by Jashemski is expected from Cambridge University Press under the executive editorship of K. Gleason. On the ‘meaning’ of gardens, see von Stackelberg (2013). 2 Jashemski (1979), 163–5 3 See O’Sullivan 2007: 497–9. 4 On the range of type and the amount of urban space, see Jashemski (1979), 24; (2002), 6–28; Carroll (2003), 34–5; Nielsen (2013). On temple groves, see Jashemski (1979), 155–60; Carroll (2003), 69–71. For roof-­gardens, see Cic.

Notes

5

6

7 8

9 10 11

12

13

14

15

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Hortensius frag. 78 ap. Nonius 216.14; Sen. Contr. 5.5; Sen. Ep. 122.8; de Ira 1.21.1; Thyestes 464. Jashemski (1979), 141–53; Bodel (1986); Purcell (1996), 123–6; Carroll (2003), 76–9; von Stackelberg (2009), 24. See Spencer (2010), 64 on Cicero’s ‘often movingly expressed determination to immortalize his dead daughter, Tullia, in a landscape-­park setting’. Pliny (NH 19.51-2) recalls that in early Rome all citizens had their own gardens. Umbricius, the speaker in Juvenal’s third Satire, makes getting a small hortus of one’s own a reason for leaving Rome (Juv. Sat. 3.223-31). On the water supply, see Purcell (1996b), esp. 122 on Roman self-­image and horticulture; cf. also Frontinus Aq. 11. Pagán (2006); Littlewood and von Stackelberg (2013); Myers (forthcoming) On Hor. Sat. 1.8, see Wiseman (1998), 13–22; Edmunds (2009). On Caesar’s garden across the Tiber, see D’Arms (1998), 33–44; on the Esquiline Gardens, Häuber 1998. On Greek statues in Roman gardens, cf. Talamo 1995. See further on use and reception, Macauley-Lewis (2013). For the Campus Martius, see Coarelli (2007), 61–304; Favro (1996), 252–70; Strabo 5.3.8. For Campus Martius and the public gardens as arenas in which memories, narratives, and resonances revolve, cf. von Stackelberg (2009), 63–6; Spencer (2010), 161–24. On the Ara Pacis, see Zanker (1988), 120–3, 203–4. This is true of any location mentioned in Horace (such as the Via Sacra at Sat. 1.9.1), and indeed of any location mentioned by one of the poets, but to the extent that the public gardens and the Campus were focal points for social activity this effect is multiplied. On recursion, see Dällenbach (1989); Deremetz (1995); Jones (2011), 116–7. For the garden as ‘a potential locus for historical memory’, see Kuttner (1999), 9. Virgil’s Elysian Fields, a haven of Romanness (Aen. 6), are imagined with garden-­like attributes. Cf. Zanker (1988), 201–10; Beard and Henderson (2001), 168–9. Aeneases were widespread; we see an Aeneas and a Romulus on the doorposts of the Fullery of Ululutremulus at Pompeii which are thought to reflect statues in the Forum Augusti (Beard and Henderson 2001: 174). There is another flight of Aeneas as a panel on the Sebasteion porticoes (‘an elaborate processional arcade’) at Aphrodisias (Beard and Henderson 2001: 190). On the reception of Aeneas, see Erskine (2001). On ‘multiples’ see Gazda (1995); Bergmann (1995). Cf. Kellum (1994), 211, 218–9; von Stackelberg (2009), 89–93. See Kuttner (1999), 10, 32 n.32 for antecedents.

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16 The city embodied and displayed their Romanness for its citizens (Pliny NH 36.101-2 on Rome’s embodiment of 800 years of conquest; on the Forum Augustus, see Ov. Fast. 5.545–98; cf. Zanker (1988), 201–5, 209–15; Beard and Henderson (2001), 164–75; on art, architecture, and the politics of urban design, cf. Beard and Henderson (2001), 147–202. However, the Augustan city is a dynamic and pluralistic entity with a capacity to include the visions of many individuals as well as ‘to incorporate and represent the unfolding saga’ of Roman identity (Beard and Henderson 2001: 175). In this sense, the many thousands of statues of Augustus commissioned and erected voluntarily by individuals across the Roman world may allow us to think of ‘Augustus’ as a collective concept (Stewart 2008: 112), but one which contains its own tensions too. In his celebration of the New Rome (AA 3.113–28), Ovid uses perhaps embarrassingly similar terms to those of Augustus (cf. Suetonius Divi Augusti Vita 28). 17 Purcell (1996b: 125) cites an inscription in which the tomb-­lot becomes, as well as their monument, the eternal home, farm, and gardens of Hostius Pamphilus and his wife (CIL 6.9583). Here somewhat as with Ovid, the home and the garden unite to embody the couple’s former life. 18 On this passage, see Linderski (2001); Pliny is talking about window boxes, and not paintings. But the issue of theft must be an exaggeration. It would impact less on the upper floors of insulae, and lower floors relatively rarely had windows. Purcell (1996: 123) takes the sense quite differently, as seeing the countryside out of the window as an image of gardens. On window boxes, cf. also Martial 11.18, a whimsical and conceited play on the window box as an imaginary garden; see Spencer (2010), 142. 19 Declamation is doubly important, as the educational exercises to which young Romans were exposed, and as the adult socio-­cultural activity which was so influential in the early empire. 20 The garden as a sign of aspiration is reflected in Pompeii in ‘some property owners’ disproportionate investment of space in gardens, rather than in “useful” rooms’ (Stewart 2008: 51). 21 Pliny (NH 19.50-1) reports country villas inside the city. See Zanker (1998) for a ‘rural idyll within the city’ at Pompeii. 22 Dixon Hunt (2004) uses the term ‘implied viewer’ which has some merit, though sometimes we are dealing with actual responses rather than the potential responses the garden may be thought to be programmed to provoking. 23 Metamorphosis is widely implicit in Topiary, a valued feature of Roman gardens. Pliny (NH 12.13) attributes its invention to an equestrian friend of Augustus, C. Matius. See also Pliny NH 12.22; 16.76; 16.140: Pliny Ep. 5.6.35–6; Hartswick (2004), 15.

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24 Role-play is endemic in Roman society (Jones 2007: 133–6). We find it in the seminal arena of the declamation hall, in the stagification of much house-­ decoration, in the persona of the besotted lover of elegy, and at another level in the literary allusion of the persona in love elegy, as – say – when Propertius and Cynthia are respectively Penelope and Odysseus in Elegies 4.7; again Horace is a Homeric hero in Sat. 1.9 and Odes 2.7. 25 On Lucretian ‘bucolic’, cf. Jones (2011), 19–22. For birds in the Eclogues, see Jones (2011), 40. 26 On nature as a place for poetic inspiration, see Hor. Epp. 2.2.77; Pliny Ep. 9.10.2; Tac. Dial. 9.6, 12.1; Juv. 7.58–9; cp. also Cic.ad Fam. 6.18.5. The opening of Plato’s Phaedrus shows a quasi-­bucolic setting with stream and plane tree as a place for poetic memory, imagination, and discussion. See also Spencer (2010: 26–30) and Newlands (2011) ad loc. on Statius Silvae 2.3 and Atedius Melior’s plane tree. 27 Maecenas’ Esquiline Gardens were previously celebrated in Horace Satires 1.8. 28 Maecenas did, of course, write poetry – in a post-Catullan mode as we see from the fragments, even if in the Elegiae he is presented as a Tityrus or Meliboeus. 29 For example, Virgil assumes the role of Menalcas (Ecl. 5; 9) and has Gallus play the Dying Daphnis (Ecl. 10); Remmius Palaemon (Suet. Gramm. 23) read himself into the song-­judge in the third Eclogue. On bucolic charades, see further, Jones (2011), 103–11. 30 For the garden as self-­display, cf. Beard (1998), 32. 31 On this passage, see also Spencer (2010), 82–3. Von Stackelberg (2009), 83 discusses the same passage in the context of the garden as ‘stage’ (2009: 80–6). For other kinds of revision of the Orpheus myth, see Coleman (1990), 62–3. 32 See Coleman (1990). 33 Pliny records a dinner held for himself and eighteen guests in a hollow tree by Licinius Mucianus, and a dinner held by Caligula in an arborial dining room capacious enough for fifteen guests and their servants (NH 12.3.9). 34 Hunt (1997). 35 Bergmann (1998). 36 Pliny connects luxury gardens within the city (Rome) with the garden of Epicurus, who is called the instigator of the practice (NH 19.50–1). Cf. Hartswick (2004), 16. On the garden of Epicurus see Clay (2009); Spencer (2010), 109. On the complex relation between the real and the imaginary garden cf. Hunt (1997); Pagán (2006), 1–2. For an echo of Alcinous in the garden of Manlius Vopiscus, see Stat. Silv. 1.3.81. On the locus amoenus, see Hass (1998). 37 The garden is a scale model of that walk which provides a convenient setting for playful recreations of it (cf. O’Sullivan 2007: 498–9).

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38 See further Carroll (2003), 52–4. Atticus had a statue of Aristotle in his gardens; Cic. ad Att. 4.10.1, Hartswick (2004), 18. On the philosophical garden, see Myers (forthcoming). 39 On such sculpture collections see Stewart (2008), 43, citing also Cicero Orator 110; Seneca Epistles 64.9–10. 40 Cf. Spencer (2010), 155–6. The gardens of Lucullus, as imperial property would have had restricted access, but Pompey’s and Caesar’s gardens were publicly accessible. Kuttner (1999) connects Pompey’s park with the iconography of world conquest (on which see also Nicolet 1991: 1–56), and sketches how it figures in contemporary and later poetry. See further Spencer (2010), 167–71. On the element of political display from the late republic into the Augustan period, see von Stackelberg (2009), 74–80. On the imperialistic significance of imported plants see Pollard (2009) and cf. Pliny NH 12.111 and Sen. Contr. 5.5; Meiggs (1982), 276–8. 41 There is often an implicit or explicit threat of violence in such abductions, which is thematised in landscape paintings; Newby (2012). The trees, flowers, and birds in the garden may embody the victims of metamorphosis in the stories of the mytho-­poetic repertoire; indeed, this may already be happening in the natural settings of that repertoire, where the secluded forests and springs could be seen as already embodying the kind of fate the protagonist is about to undergo. On landscape in Ovid, see Hinds 2002. 42 On the eroticisation of the garden in literature, see Myers, forthcoming. On the eroticisation of the garden itself, see von Stackelberg (2009), 27–30, 97–9. 43 Flowers have a long background as metaphor for youth, girlhood, defloration; cf. the Cologne Archilochus (Archil. 196aW), where the girl is literally among the flowers in the erotic encounter, but metaphorically she is also a garden to whom Archilochus promises that he will ‘dock at the grass borders’ – Neoboule, meanwhile, the older negative image of the unnamed girl, has lost the petals of her girlhood’s flower. Flowers also at Mimn. 1.3–5; Sappho 81; 94.12–17; 96.11–14; Anacreon 346.7–9. 44 Sea-­crossing is often transgressive in Latin verse; see e.g. Hor. Odes 1.3. 45 Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (inv. nr. 8834). 46 Cf. Beard and Henderson (2001), 112, 115. 47 Von Stackelberg (2009: 1) writes, ‘The vegetative detail of the Flora panel connects the imaginative space within the painting to the physical space outside. It was a touchpaper to the Roman imagination, triggering associations between the gardens of myth and literature, and the gardens of personal and public experience.’ Beard and Henderson (2001: 140–4) cite representations (the drunken old woman and the boy clutching a goose) which could be seen as human or as travesties of divine images.

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48 Cf. also the secluded scenes of Callimachean inspiration frequent in Augustan poetry, which Catullus’ secluded garden seems to foreshadow. The plucking of flowers is a transferable motif which can accommodate itself to different situations. 49 In 2009 this wall painting was given a new accession number, LIV.2009.23, the original number having been lost. It may have been one of a set of six paintings, one from Sorrento, another from Pozzuoli, the others from unspecified locations, five of which appear to have been lost in the 1941 bombing of Liverpool (I am grateful to Georgina Muskett for this information). 50 For the grotto as a garden feature, see Lavergne 1988. 51 A wall painting in the Naples Archaeological Museum (inv. 27687) identified as Polyphemus and Galatea (an unusual variant in which Polyphemus is not rejected by Galatea) on the basis of the sheep and shepherd’s crook also has a similar compositional format; we also see yet again a very similar compositional format in a Dido and Aeneas mosaic from a Roman villa in Low Ham, Somerset (on the unusual episodic form and the possibility of derivation, perhaps at second hand via pattern books, from manuscript illumination, see Dunbabin 1999, 96–7). It is noteworthy that the compositional format transcends the mythological identities of the subjects. 52 See Boatwright (1998), 71, 77–8; Beard (1998), 26–8. 53 On this double aspect of gardens, see Myers (forthcoming). The ars inherent in the garden, when rhetoric demands, is characterised as transgressing against nature; cf. Hor. Odes 2.18.21; Sen. Contr. 2.1.13; 5.5; Ep. 122.8; NQ 3.17.2; Pliny NH 12.13; 16.140. 54 See von Stackelberg (2009), 70–2. 55 On the house as a marker of identity for its owner, see Stewart (2008), 41–53; Hales (2003). 56 Domestic space is gendered and temporal: it provides a different experience when the home-­owner is out and about doing masculine things, while the women, slaves, and children are left, from when the home-­owner is present. On temporal space, see Laurence (1994), 122–32. On space syntax analysis, see von Stackelberg (2009), 49–60. On the anthropological perception of buildings as a cultural system, see Elsner (1995), 49, 85–7. 57 The peristyle begins to appear in the plan of the domus from the third century BC. It seems to be drawn from Greek culture in the form of public buildings rather than from private gardens. It can be seen as part of the ‘theatrical’ tendency of Roman architecture; see Lauter 1998; Carroll (2003), 31–2; von Stackelberg (2009), 21, 23. For the historicisation of the peristyle to deep antiquity, see Kuttner (1999), 10 and cf. Purcell (1996b), 121–2. See further, Dickmann (1997).

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58 See further Matlin (2005), 31–66; Kelly and Grossberg (2000); Palmer (1999); Quinn et al. (2002). This pattern-­creation facility underpins the perception, understanding, and use of language; cf. Osgood and Bock (1977); Jones (1991), 26; Fauconnier (1994); Hofstadter (2001); Matlin (2005), 58–66; Turner (2006). 59 Cf. Spirn (1998); Hillier and Hanson (1984). There is, necessarily, feedback, as linguistic structures become part of the processing of spatial experience: see Spencer (2010), 49–50. 60 For some of the main models for concept formation and acquisition, see Potter and Wetherell (1987); Pinker (1997); Fodor; (1998); Hofstadter (2001); Ratcliff (2006). The interaction of emotions and conceptual development is still being integrated into cognitive psychology; see Gray, Braver, and Raichle (2002); Duncan and Barrett (2007). 61 See further Matlin (2005), 245–94. 62 See Hofstadter (2001). On recursion, language, and cognition, see van den Hulst (2010). 63 Cf. Elsner (1995), 76–80; von Stackelberg (2009), 64; Spencer (2010), 161–2 with a bibliography of contemporary approaches to memory. 64 Cf. Purcell (1987), 187 on the conscious connection between domestic garden architecture and Roman ideas about life; Elsner (1995), 49–87 on experiencing the house, and on the interplay of its expressions of public and private values. 65 On cognitive development throughout the lifespan, see Matlin (2005), 451–93. On cognitive maps and mental models see Craik (1975); Cosgrove and Daniels (1988); Agnew and Duncan (1989); Barnes and Duncan (1992); Gould and White (1992); Porteous (1990); Tuan (1993); Tilley (1994); Kitchen (1994); Bryant (1998); Tversky (2000); Tilley (2004); Massey (2004); Matlin (2005), 229–42; Jones (2011), 116, 142, 146. On lived space, cf. von Stackelberg (2009), 52–3, citing Soja (1996). 66 For the process of cognitive transfer, see Meadows (1993), 81–7. Hofstadter (2001) explains in terms of analogy for this process. Fauconnier and Turner (1994) explain the mechanics using the terms ‘blending’ and ‘projection onto middle spaces.’ On spatial cognition, see Meadows (1993), 97–101. On children’s use of concepts, see Meadows (1993), 101–18. The progression through a series of concentric circles described here naturally also involves social categorisation, on which cf. Tajfel (1969); Hillier and Hanson (1984); Billig (2002). 67 See Huntley (2011) 83–7. 68 See Wallace-Hadrill 1994: 9–10; Huntley 2011. 69 On play, see Fromberg and Bergen: 1998; Goldman: 1998. 70 For children’s freedom of access to parts of the house, see Huntley (2011: 83). For children playing, see Wallace-Hadrill (1994), 10, citing Lucr. 4.401-4; Virg. Aen.

Notes

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72 73 74 75

76

77 78 79

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7.379ff; Huntley (2011), 79–81. Of course, the child is also increasingly exposed to adult social and cultural behaviour and discourse and is learning what a garden is from this as well. The adults can be seen as re-­enacting and building on an aspect of their childhood. They can also be seen to be consolidating the concept of what a garden is; effectively, they are creating the garden which becomes the locus of the next generation’s childhood development. Cf. Rich (1989). Cf. Grahame (2000). Cf. Leach (2004), 21–8. There were doors (and janitors), but the doors would normally be open; Livy’s description of Camillus at Tusculum states that the doors were all open when he entered the city, signifying normality (Livy 6.25.9); for Pompeian doors, see Adam (1994), 292ff. Typically the doorway at the far end of the atrium from the front entrance and fauces is wide – wider than the fauces itself – and the passer-­ by could perhaps see right through so long as no doorway curtains were in place; however, the strip of visibility would be narrow, and at some distance. On the partial view from the street, see Hales (2003), 107–22. On public and private in the domus, see Grahame (1997); Hales (2003), 132–4, 162–3. On doors and internal boundaries, see Lauritsen (2011); Lauritsen (2013). On the gradient of intimacy within the Roman house see Clarke (2003), 222. Stewart (2008), 46, 52–3; cf. Riggsby (1997); Kuttner (1999:10); von Stackelberg (2009), 67–9. Wallace-Hadrill (1994: 10–14) and von Stackelberg (2009: 62) have a double-­axised gradience, with humble–­grand on on axis, and public–­private on the other. Gradience holds good even if room use is not fully stable; see Allison (1993), (2001), (2007); Leach (1997); Hales (2003), 122–34. Evidence from internal doors at Pompeii may reinforce this impression (Lauritsen: 2013). Cf. also Jansen (1997) on private toilets at Pompeii. Cf. Hales (2003), 131, who draws attention to the fact that the atrium is also open to the sky, although in a more limited sense. On water features, see von Stackelberg (2009), 39–41. Multisensory teaching styles are much written about: Dunn and Dunn (1978); Honey and Mumford (1982); Gardner (1983); Kolb (1984); Curry (1990); Sprenger (2003); Pashler et al. (2009). Classroom applications are strongly disputed (see e.g. Hall (2004) and Coffield et al. (2004)), although the DfES endorses Learning Style based approaches (cf. www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/ thinkingskills/resources). However, irrespective of the educational practices based on the importance of ‘learning styles’, the power of multisensory reinforcement in cognition and cognitive development is clear.

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80 For mental models see Matlin (2005), 229–42. For the domus as a re-­applicable mental model see above on Quintilian 11.2.20-4. 81 Agrippa’s map of the Empire was housed in the Porticus Vipsania (Pliny NH 3.17), built by himself and his sister, but completed by Augustus (Dio 55.8.3-4). There was a garden attached, which Martial could imagine as his own when he saw it from his cenaculum (Mart. 1.108.3). We are close, here, to having a garden complex, itself an image of the urban centre and the outside, containing another sort of image of the urban centre (Rome) and the outside (Empire). 82 Cf. Stewart (2008), 42 on Epicureanism and Dionysus/Bacchus, satyrs, nymphs, and Maenads in Roman Villa art. 83 On boundaries and the garden, cf. von Stackelberg (2009), 96–100; Bergmann (2014). 84 Cf. Bergmann 2002. 85 On this passage see Jones 2007: 119–22. 86 For analogous cross-­media trompe l’oeil effects, cf. Varro RR 3.5.11–12 with Purcell (1996b); Bergmann (2002), 115–8; 2008: 55–6. 87 On the garden as an expressive medium, see Purcell 1987: 187. On the involvement of the owner in design, cf. Purcell (1996b), 144. 88 Cf. Favro 1996: 24–41, 252–80, and on viewing art in the city of Rome, Jenkyns 2013. 89 On ‘the variety of spatial articulation provided by the peristyle’, see von Stackelberg (2009), 61–2. 90 On otium, the stroll, thinking about things, and philosophy, especially in the context of the villa, see O’Sullivan (2007). 91 On artist-­signatures, see n. 37 above. ‘Signatures’ have a broader context than art (and include brick and tile stamps), but Pliny’s gesture must recognise the ars topiaria of gardening and preserve his aristocratic status.

Chapter 3 1 Pliny NH 15.136-7; Suet. Galba 1 refers to the villa as Livia’s Veientanum; see further Carrara (2005); Kellum (1994), 222; Klynne (2005); Klynne and Liljenstolpe (2000); Liljenstolpe and Klynne (1997–8); Reeder (2001). 2 Reeder (2001: 13–34). 3 See Gabriel (1955), 2–3; Reeder (2001), 13–29, 65. 4 Gabriel (1955) includes 1863 engravings since features of the garden painting had been lost in the interim; cf. H. Plommer’s review of Gabriel (1955) in Classical Review 7 (1957), 151–2.

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5 The arched doorway is 2.12 metres high and 1.43 wide (Gabriel 1955: 3). On the basis of the photograph in Sulze (1932: plate 39) it seems that there is no evidence in the floor of a threshold or cuts indicating the presence of cardines (door turning-­posts); nor do the jambs appear to have been cut for door fittings. The fact that the doorway is arched may also perhaps reinforce the tendency of this evidence. I owe these details to Taylor Lauritsen. According to Kuttner the sides of the portal continued the fresco (1999: 27), but this does not seem to be substantiated by the photographs. 6 See further Gabriel (1955); Jashemski (1979), 79–80; Conan (1986); Bergmann (1992); Beard and Henderson (2001); Kellum (1994); Leach (2004), 124–7; Zarmakoupi (2008). 7 On Garden Rooms more generally, see Kuttner (1999); Settis (2002); Hales (2003), 153–5; Leach (2004), 124–32; Spencer (2010), 155–61. On garden painting in general see Jashemski (1979), 55–87; Ling (1991), 149–52; Kearns (2013), and the volumes of Carratelli’s Pompeii: Pitture e Mosaici (1990–2003). 8 See Gabriel’s (1955: 17–27) excellent account. 9 On the light, see Gabriel (1955: 21–3). 10 There are, of course, different emphases in different garden paintings. In the painting on the four walls of cubiculum 8 in the Casa del Frutteto, Pompeii (c. 40–50 AD), the comparatively stylised leafage is sectioned by columns and each wall has in the painting a small column holding a picture with a Dionysiac theme; statues of Egyptian deities also appear amidst the bushes (Elsner 2006: 278–84, setting this in the context of the various cultural appropriations made by Roman art). For the tradition, see Kuttner (1999), 12–23. For the position of Livia’s Garden Room in the tradition, see Ling (1991), 150; Kuttner (1999), 27–30; for the murals in which architectural openings show trees, gardens, and buildings (as at Boscoreale), Ling (1991), 29, 143. 11 On fences, boundaries and materials, see Bergmann (2014). 12 Cf. Bergmann (1995), 94–8. 13 Von Hees-Landwehr 1982, 1985. 14 For a full account of marble copying and the technique of pointing, see Pfanner 1989. See illustrations by Woodford (2004: 143–141-4). Touchette 2000 draws attentions to evidence for difference in the technique used by the Romans and pointing as it is practised now. 15 Gazda (1995), 127–32; the quotation is from p.131; Bergmann (1995). On replication, see further Chapter 1, n.26 above. 16 Cast c. 440 BC; a number of Roman copies were made in chiefly in marble. 17 Cf. Zanker (1998), 178–9; Stewart (2008), 146–8. 18 Bergmann (1995), 97–8.

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19 On imitation Lippold 1951; Wünsche 1972; Ridgway 1984; Gazda 1995; Fullarton 1997; Beard and Henderson (2001), 71–4, 100–2; Perry 2005; Elsner (2007); Marvin 2008; Anguissola 2012. Hallett 2005b is more cautious in applying literary-­style emulation to Roman art. 20 More examples of remote variants at Bergmann (1995), 94–8. 21 See Chapter 1, n. 35 above for pattern books and the uncertainties attached to them. 22 Cf. Bergmann 1995: 94–8. 23 See Conan (1986); Kuttner (1999), 8; von Stackelberg (2009), 44, 49. 24 See Rizzo (1936); Clarke (1996), 81–107; Reeder (2001), 27. 25 Cf. Purcell (1996), 135. 26 Kellum (1994), 21 draws an analogy with the fruits of all seasons woven into the garlands of the interior altar enclosure wall of the slightly later Ara Pacis Augustae in Rome. See also Hales (2003), 159. 27 See Kellum 1994: 221; Hales 2003: 159. 28 Cf. Reeder (2001), 75–6. Reeder reads the painted grove of the Garden Room as a sacred grove with Augustan resonances (2001), 77–107. On groves and painting, see also Bergmann (1992). 29 On the flora of the Eclogues, see Jones (2011), 29–37. 30 Myers (forthcoming) gives a good overview. See also Purcell (1996); Carroll (2003); von Stackelberg (2009); Spencer (2010), 139–42, 161–83; Jones (2011), 135–47. 31 Kellum (1994), 218; cf. von Stackelberg (2009), 89–93. 32 Spencer cites Strabo 5.3.8 on the Mausoleum; Suet. Aug. 92-1-2 on the Palatine palm tree; Pliny NH 14.11 on Livia’s vine; 15.70, 139 on her new fig and laurel varieties. See further Favro (1996), 176–80; von Stackelberg (2009), 89–92; Pollard (2009), 320–4. Clarke (2005) is more guarded about the ‘Augustanism’ of interior decoration. 33 Reeder (2001), 88–90 also connects the laurel and flowers, shrubs, and birds with Livia’s wedding and marital happiness. 34 The laurel appeared in at least ten other key locations in the city’ (Kellum 1994: 213, citing Solinus 1.18; Serv. at Virg. Aen. 6.230 and 8.276; Macrob. 3.12.3; Martial 1.108.3; Strabo 5.3.8; [Virg.] Culex 402 and archaeological evidence; cf. Miller (2009). Cf. also Reeder (2001) on the association of the pine with Cybele, the pomegranate with Proserpina, and the holm oak with Diana (pp. 95–102), the ivy and palm with Pan (pp. 103–7; Pan also appears in the vault stuccoes above the mural; see pp. 109–15). Reeder also notes the association of the dove with Venus (p. 89), and discusses the Augustan connections. See generally Kellum (1994), 218–19. 35 Kellum (1994), 218 points out that cinnamon is found in the immortal and self-­resurrecting Phoenix (Pliny NH 12.85-94; 10.2-5), and that it gives its name

Notes

36 37 38 39 40 41 42

43 44 45

46

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to the Palm (Pliny NH 13.42), a pair of which, growing outside his house, Augustus transported to the temple of Palatine Apollo. On the omen, see Reeder (2001), 84–7. Gabriel (1955), 12–14; Kellum (1994), 219–21; Reeder (2001), 82–3, 88–90. Cf. Kellum (1994), 221, nn. 48 and 49; Gabriel (1955), 12–15. See Jones (2007), 133–6; (2011), 103–6, 109–111. See Hallett 2005. Female nude and divine portraits also occur, but later and less frequently (Hallett 2005: 219–22). For the imagines, see Polyb. 6.53 with Walbank ad loc. and Flowers (1996). On the careful ‘staging’ of the surprise, see Zarmakoupi (2008), 273. For plans of the room and context, see Sulze (1932), 175, 177; Reeder (2001), 8 and 21; Beard and Henderson (2001), 255. In real gardens there are strong imaginary currents at various levels; see further Chapter 2. On this passage, see also Spencer (2010), 82–3. Von Stackelberg (2009), 83 discusses the same passage in the context of the garden as ‘stage’ (2009: 80–6). On immersion, cf. Gabriel (1955), 6; Kuttner (1999), 8; Grau (2003); Spencer (2010), 82. Modern technology allows the idea of immersion and wider scope. As well as the Ithaa restaurant cited in Chapter 1, observe the Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin which has a giant aquarium through which a glass-­walled lift ascends and descends. In the villa, the painting crosses the boundary from wall to wall; for a glimpse of a different sort of continuity, from wall to floor, see Dunbabin (1999), 122 on the second century mosaic of the Volutes from Zliten (Archaeological museum, Tripoli) in which, on the floor, the tips of a pair of feet and a pair of goat hooves protrude from the wall, as if a nymph and satyr mosaic continued on to the no-­longer surviving wall This continuity can be seen also in the small courtyard garden in the house of the Bread Merchant (VII.iii.30); see Jashemski (1979), 59–60. A very different and unusual sort of continuity, not crossing from wall to wall, but from wall to floor, appears to be evidenced on the floor in the Volutes mosaic at the possibly second century AD North African villa at Zliten, where the tips of two pairs of feet, one human, possibly female, the other goat’s, are visible ‘as though protruding from the wall . . . They can only be explained as the remains of figures, most likely a nymph and satyr, the rest of whose bodies were portrayed on the vertical wall behind . . . the Volutes mosaic is therefore to be seen as a direct continuation of a wall mosaic upon the floor . . .’ Dunbabin 1999: 122. By contrast, the garden painting on the four walls of cubiculum 8 in the Pompeian Casa del Frutteto is sectioned within each of the walls by two painted columns, with a further column in each of the room corners.

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47 Apparently stairs, though it is possible that it was originally a ramp (Gabriel 1955: 3). 48 It has also been suggested, the room might represent a cave or grotto. See Ling (1991), 150; Kuttner (1999), 27; Reeder (2001), 35–44. Spencer (2010), 160; Gabriel’s arguments for the painted fringe at the top of the walls representing a form of thatch seem very convincing: (1955: 7–8). On grottoes in gardens, see von Stackelberg (2009), 37. The winged Victories on the stuccoed vault above the painted ‘eaves’ (Kellum 1994: 221; Pan also figures in the stuccoes, on which see further Reeder (2001), 109–19) could be part of either a cave or a gazebo. The Victories stand on candelabra against blue grounds and alternate with figural scenes on white grounds (see Color Plate IA, Reeder (2001), 72; see further, Reeder, (2001), 67–71, 109–19. Likewise, the cornice (white stucco leaf moulding on blue ground) clearly visible in one of the 1863 engravings reproduced in Gabriel (1955: pl.25) does not decide the matter. 49 The garden in the Garden Room is imaginary, but in a fit of recursion gardens themselves are implicated in the imaginary world: cf. Jones (2011), 116–18; Beard (1998). On the laurels, cf. Kellum 1994: 222, 224. 50 Cf. Bergmann 2014: 250. 51 See Pinto-Guillaume (2002), especially pp. 56–7. 52 On the garden terrace of the villa, see Klynne (2005). 53 Bergmann (2002); Jashemski (2002: 18) reports a garden wall painting of distant landscape bringing the ‘outside’ into the garden but marking it as outside. 54 See Klynne (2005); Jones (2011), 142–3. 55 See Ling 1991: 150. 56 Windows and views are an important running motif in Pliny’s description of his villa in Ep. 2.17. See further, Leach (1974b), 263–4; Leach (1988), 104–5; Clarke (1996), 85, 87. 57 Cf. Jashemski 1979: 178–9. 58 Nicolet (1991); Jones (2011), 116, 122–3, 142–3. 59 On linear perspective in architectural illusionism see Ling (1991), 25; Elsner (1995), 69–70; Bucci de Santis (2004), 403; on the perspective systems in architectural painting of second style wall painting, see Stinson (2011); on regard for shadows, see Ling (1991), 21, 24, 51; on still-­lifes and illusionism, cf Leach (2004), 80–2, but see also p.124 for the citation of doubts about the illusionistic intent. Bucci de Santis (2004) describes the process of projecting backwards from lines of perspective to construct architectural models of three examples of painted virtual space (the Corinthian oecus in the House of the Labyrinth, Pompeii, Oecus 15 at the villa of Poppaea, Oplontis, and the viridarium in the house of the Ceii, Pompeii), showing how sometimes an elaborate set of illusions combines into a satisfying unity.

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60 Wallace-Hadrill (1994), 28–31. Elsner (1995: 74–5) retains the term, but in the framework of a more nuanced discussion which develops the ideas of levels of representation and reality and the thematisation of the ideologically significant inside and outside dyad (64–73). 61 The artistic decoration of the Villa at Oplontis seems to Stewart (2008), 48–50 to be ‘humbler’ than the villa itself, and to aim at an ‘impression’ of luxury, especially with its trompe l’oeil paintings. Still using the idea of allusion, Stewart, however, recognises that the illusionistic skill of these paintings invites ‘the viewer to marvel at them and to think about how the illusion works’ and that therefore they are ‘boasting of their own unreality’ and ‘amount to more than just ersatz luxury for the owner of limited wealth’. Cf Leach (2004), 89. It is true that one could, sitting in one’s garden, imagine (that one is sitting in the) gardens of a much richer man (Pliny NH 19.59; Seneca Controversiae 5.5.24), but creating the illusion of a larger garden is not needed for this; likewise, having wall paintings at all enables the owner to imagine a greater house and larger lifestyle, but the trompe l’oeil effect per se is not needed to prop this up. See Hales (2003:153–62), arguing that gardens and garden paintings are more to do with familial projection of identity than simple allusion to wealthy lifestyles. 62 On Petronius’ dog, realism, and illusionism, see Elsner 2007b: 191. Trompe l’oeil effects have optimum viewing positions which the host and guests may move into and away from, bringing the illusion into and out of true; it is not quite so simple as a room being designed to be seen from one particular point (as. Elsner 1995: 69–70 seems to imply). 63 Clearly the inhabitant citizen cannot walk around his city looking continually awestruck, but it is nonetheless part of his self-­image that he lives in an awe-­ inspiring city. The image of Tityrus at Ecl. 1.19-25 is a displacement which expresses and legitimises this sense of awesomeness. 64 The trompe l’oeil scroll carriers at Boscotrecase give a literary ambience, as though the scrolls have reached their destination somewhere in the room in which the paintings are: a table for example (see Knauer 1993: 18–28 for full details). But they are still part of the equipment of the house. 65 Cf. also the garden painting of the Casa della Fontana Grande (Jashemski 1979: 128). 66 For a much smaller, but continuous, garden painting, see Jashemski (1979), 59–60. 67 If we saw it as a cave, it is missing any back opposite the entrance, and the roof of the imaginary cave would also be unsupported. 68 A wall-­less house has columns; cf. Dio 75.4.2, describing the baldachin over the bier of Pertinax as an oikema atoichon peristylon (see Purcell 1996: 146).

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69 On this and similar Pompeian structures, see von Stackelberg (2009), 26. The pergola Pliny describes had columns of marble, but many such structures used wood or masonry. 70 See Leach 2004: 126–7. Cf. also the garden painting of the House of the Golden Necklace: see Moorman (1995). 71 See Reeder (2001), 47, citing Brunn (1863), 81; Sulze (1932), 186; Messineo (1992–3), 21. 72 Reeder (2001), 36. Sulze (1932: 191) suggested that a nearby water channel may have continued into the room and that there may have been a fountain or bath in the centre of the room (see plate 40). If the Garden Room were conceived of as a cave, a water feature would not be inappropriate, and the self-­mythologising Roman might see the setting as fitting for a revision of various stories: Narcissus, Diana and Actaeon, Hermaphroditus, for example. On Diana see Reeder (2001), 42. 73 The vault had already been damaged in antiquity by the construction of a new hall above the frescoed room; Reeder (2001), 46. The marble floor of the hall above the frescoed room was propped up by the excavators in 1863 with wooden scaffolding (Fig. 3.1, from Cacchiatelli and Cleter (1865: pl.73) and reproduced in Calci and Messineo (1984: Fig.3) and Messineo (1992–3: Fig. 3); see Reeder (2001), 47. 74 This would be true particularly if the columns were of (salvageable) wood (for the stripping of other rooms in the complex see Reeder (1997), 302). The comparative cheapness and simplicity of wooden columns would be a piquant contrast to the expense and elaboration of the underground room itself. The first excavators found debris and stucco fragments in the room which had been filled with earth in the first sixty years of the first century AD, when a new hall built above cut through the vault of the Garden Room; see Sulze (1932), 185–6, 190; Reeder (1997), 296–7; (2001), 20, 48. 75 Nero’s round dining room (Suet. Nero 31) which revolved in time with the sky is fabulous, but does not involve the same implausibility, and likewise the ingenious mechanical ceiling showing night and day in real time (Varro RR 3.5.17). Trompe l’oeil gives an illusion, however temporary, of reality rather than impossibility. Some or other of the guests in the Garden Room would have noticed and been struck by the oddity, and the puzzle would be inappropriate. 76 This mobile framing effect is visible in the fluid obscuring by columns of the Parthenon frieze (see Osborne 1987); for analogous effects in the Telephus frieze at Pergamum, O’Sullivan (2007), 508–9. 77 Cf. also Bergmann (2002b), 115–18; Hartswick (2004), 12; von Stackelberg (2009), 35.

Notes

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78 On such fences, see Bergmann (2014), 263–72. 79 Bergmann, for example, draws attention to the grouping of the Theseus and the Minotaur from the Villa Imperiale, Pompeii, with the fall of Icarus, and a Theseus abandoning Ariadne as providing a ‘harmonious visual ensemble with a Cretan theme’ (1995: 96–7). On sculptural assemblages and programmatic intent, see Bartman 1988; Bartman 1991; Gazda 1995, 132–3; Slavazzi 2002; Anguissola 2007. For assemblages of paintings, see Badoni (1990), 88, (appendices 1 and 2 for lists); Elsner (2007), 31–3; Häusern and Hodske (2007); Lorenz (2008). In general, see Vermeule 1977. 80 Bergmann (1995), 97; cf. Pappalardo (1985); Badoni (1990); Bergmann (1994); Elsner (2007). 81 Wyler 2006. On the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, see Mattusch 2005. 82 All three are now in the Museo Archaeologico Nazionale, Naples (the Medea (140x83 cm.), inv.114321; the Phaedra (115x83 cm.), inv.114322; the Helen (115x87 cm.), inv. 114320). See Beard and Henderson (2001), 43; Beard (2008), 77–9. See further Richardson (1955); Bergmann (1996); and cf. Bergmann (1994), 249–50. On two Achilles groupings see Beard and Henderson (2001), 40ff. 83 Museo Archaeologico Nazionale, Naples inv.8977, 120x97 cm. See Beard and Henderson (2001), 30. 84 Bergmann (1995), 96. 85 Bergmann (1995), 95; Schmalz (1989); Phillips (1968). 86 Indeed, ‘the prominent yellow drapery, the shape of heads and bodies, even the white highlights playing off the projected knees betray a common hand’ (Bergmann 1995: 96), or at least an artistic intelligence in making the pairing. 87 We find Polyphemus, Hercules, Andromeda and Daedalus together – and in clearly similar pictorial compositions – at the house of the Priest Amandus at Pompeii (Beard and Henderson 2001: 45). Here it is the pairing itself – of a Polyphemus (132×80 cm.) and an Andromeda (138×88cm.) on the south and west walls of the dining room – which is repeated elsewhere, in the villa of Agrippa only a few miles away at Boscotrecase where we find a Polyphemus (193.7×128.3 cm.) and an Andromeda (195×125.7 cm.) together again (both are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York); see von Blanckenhagen and Alexander 1990; Beard and Henderson (2001), 50–2. In fact, the Pompeian ‘pair’ is part of a set of four (each of the four walls has its own painting), whereas the Boscotrecase ‘pair’ is part of a set of three (a non-­extant painting faced the door which the remaining pair frame (Knauer 1993: 28). Since the lost painting faced the door directly, and the other two are on the side walls, perhaps the lost painting was indeed the focus or centrepiece, as with the three dysfunctional heroines in a cubiculum in the Pompeian House of Jason (cf. above), where the tallest of the three, the Medea, likewise faces the door.

152

88

89 90 91 92

93

94

95 96

97

Notes However, if the Pompeian ‘pair’ copy two of the Boscotrecase paintings, to what extent can the ‘set of four’ to which it contributes legitimately be seen as a unified suite rather than a casual assemblage? It should also be noticed that one of the four (Beard and Henderson 2001: 45), the Hercules, is regarded by ‘modern art historians’ as a ‘later make-­over of the original decoration’. See Stewart (2008), 45. On the collection of sculptures at the Villa of the Papyri;Warden (1991); Warden and Romano (1994); Stewart (2004), 252–9; (2008), 4–5; Stewart is somewhat more ready to accept programming at the House of the Vettii (2008: 56) and observes that whether or not the contents of the panels in Room P were deliberately linked, the owner and guests could still discuss the stories eruditely. Cf. the eighty-five years during which landscape paintings were commissioned by successive patrons in the Villa of Oplontis (Clarke 1996: 81). Cf. Stewart (2008), 52–3. See cf. Bergmann 1995: 91. Nero’s revolving dining room (Suetonius Nero 31) and Varro’s mechanical ceiling showing night and day (Varro RR 3.5.17) are ingenious and adventurous, but qualitatively different. Cf. Elsner (1995: 72–3) on real and false columns and fencing in the atrium of the Samnite House, Herculaneum (first century BC); von Stackelberg (2009: 30–3) on the interweaving of real and painted at the Villa of Poppaea, Oplontis. Cf. Bergmann (2008), 55–6. A violent juxtaposition of art and reality is found at the villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale, which has in cubiculum M a trompe l’oeil with columns and landscape seen between the columns. The painted ‘reality’ is interrupted by the window which provides an alternative ‘outside’ and which in its open-­air colour and lighting would provide an insistent contrast with the predominantly red interior. At the villa at Oplontis, the doorway on the east wall of oecus 15 interrupts a painted pillar (Clarke 1996: 86), just as the doorway of Livia’s Garden Room interrupts the continuity of the garden fresco. For a phase reconstruction in the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii in which a low-­walled peristyle imitated the painted decoration of a second style room, see Elsner 1995: 64–7. See Jashemski 1964: 341–2. Such trompe l’oeil games depend on the viewer moving around the house and/or garden; on a larger scale the effect of moving about a city, see Chapter 5 (‘Space’) in Trimble 2011. On multimedia display see Bartman (1991); Bergmann (1995), 106; Bergmann (2008).

Notes

153

98 Cf. Spencer (2010), 81 on the Theatre of Birds in Varro’s aviary (RR 3.5.9–17; theatridion avium at 3.5.13). 99 The indoor experience of manipulated outdoor visuals is a major feature of a Pipilotti Rist’s ‘Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters)’ (2008) in the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the cut-­down version, ‘Lobe of the Lung’ (Hayward Gallery, 2009). In a soft-­furnished area the subjects are surrounded by video projections of, inter alia, huge tulips. The installation plays with womb-­like inclusion, ideas of primal innocence, and the inadequacies of these ideas. The audience, scattered about on the cushions which are also part of the installation become part of the installation, especially in the New York version, where they could be watched from a balcony. 100 On competitive inclusion in literature see Jones (2007), 34–6. Bergman (1995: 106) refers to the gallery of the Villa Farnesina as a ‘composite, totalising ensemble’. 101 See Wallace-Hadrill (1994), 17–37 on public and private in the Roman house; on the gradient of intimacy within the Roman house, see Clarke (2003), 222, Stewart (2008), 46, 52–3; Lauritsen (2011) and (2013).

Chapter 4 1 2 3

Stauffer 1996: 7; cf. von Lorentz 1937; Keller and Schorta (2001); AllgroveMcDowell 2003: 37. For Achaemenid Persia, cf. Wild 2003: 52. Cf. Allgrove-McDowell 2003: 38–9. For early Greek textiles, see Barber (1991); for fifth century Greek textiles, see Vickers (1999). Greek vases show images of wool-­working and various kinds of clothing, some patterned and figured (von Hofsten 2011: 9–14). An Attic black-­ figure lekythos by the Amasis painter (c. 550–530 BC; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Fletcher Fund, 1931 (31.11.10); Jenkins 2003: 72 shows implements and techniques, and more than that: it shows the women wearing coloured and patterned clothing (ethnicity is also largely marked in Greek vase-­painting by clothing, using style and patterns; Lissarrague (2002); Shapiro (1983). As for surviving remains (von Hofsten 2011: 14–16), a patterned tapestry coverlet in purple and gold from the tomb at Vergina of Philip II of Macedon (fourth century BC) has been reconstructed, and Hellenistic ‘wool coverlets with rich and varied tapestry-­woven decoration, depicting ducks, deer heads, buds and lotus flowers’ have been discovered in wealthy graves in Kertch in the Crimea. Other vases show soft furnishings with patterns, and a fragment of linen (c. 400BC) from Kotopi shows traces of a lozenge pattern with lions (Jenkins 2003: 76).

154 4 5 6 7

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

24

25 26

Notes See Wild 2003: 103–6; von Hofsten 2011: 14. See also Barber 1992. See von Hofsten 2011: 5–9. See Thompson (1982) for the role of men in Athenian commercial weaving; cf. Vickers (1999), 31–3; von Hofsten (2011), 18; D’Ambra (1993), 103; Wild in Jenkins (2003), 102. Herodotus says that among the Egyptians it was the men who wove (2.35), and Q. Curtius Rufus in his history of Alexander the Great (5.2.19) reports that Persian women felt it was a disgrace to work in wool. On women’s weaving in the Odyssey, see Mueller (2010). See von Hofsten 2011: 5–9. Cf. Shapiro 1980; Bulloch 2006. See von Hofsten 2011: 8. Von Hofsten (2011: 19 n. 6) observes that Praxinoa comments on her own engagement in the embroidering of her own dress at Idylls 15.34–7. Cf. Scheid and Svenbro 1996; D’Ambra 1993: 79, 102. On the literary metaphor, see also Nagy 1996: 59–86. Cf. the treatment of text at Quintilian 9.4.2–23. Cf. D’Ambra 1993: 100–1. See D’Ambra (1993), 48 for Roman women and spinning, and 106–8 for funerary images and a sepulchral inscription in verse of the second century BC, the epitaph of a Claudia, CIL 6.15.346. See Stauffer 1996: 7–8. Cf. Schrenk 2006. See Stauffer 1996. See Stauffer 1996: 8, 10. See Sani et al. 2009: 91. Willers and Niekamp 2015. There is an illustration given at Elsner 1998: 111. Cf. Bowersock 1990: 52–3. The irregular form and especially the linearity of the body in this Jason and Medea is not unlike that of some contemporary and widely dispersed mosaics. The technical demands of the two media may be a contributory factor in this. The fleece is portrayed as a lamb, seems to produce an odd tension with Christian imagery. Admittedly much later, a coincidental but interesting compositional analogue can be seen in an illumination of Adam and Eve with a crucified Christ visible in the serpent-­bearing tree (BM Harley ms 3000 f.92b, c.1460s) by a Flemish artist for an English market. See Stauffer 1996: 12–13; Wild 2003:149. See Bowersock 1990; Willers 1993. Over the course of the fourth to the seventh centuries AD mythological figuration in textiles (as in other forms) gradually

Notes

27 28

29

30

31 32 33 34 35 36 37

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becomes less and less important compared to the new iconographies of Christianity, non-­classical mythology, and history. See Holliday 2002. For some passages see: Homer Iliad 18.462–615 (Shield of Achilles); Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica 1.721–67 (Jason’s cloak); Theocritus Idylls, 1.25–57 (the carved rustic cup); Moschus 2.44–61 (the design on Europa’s golden flower-­ basket); Catullus 64 (bed cover of Peleus and Thetis); Virgil Ecl.3.37–48 (two rustic cups); Virgil Aen. 1.453–93 (temple doors in Carthage); 8.609–732 (Shield of Aeneas); Ovid Met. 6.1–145 (Arachne’s weaving); Petronius Satyrica 83, 89 (scene in art gallery); Statius Silvae 4.6 (Novius Vindex’ statue of Hercules); Statius Thebaid 9.332–8 (shield of Crenaeus); Apuleius Metamorphoses 2.4 (statue of Diana and Actaeon); 10.30–2 (Judgement of Paris, tableau vivant). See also Longus, Daphnis and Chloe prologue; Achilles Tatius Leucippe and Clitophon 1.1–2 (for which, cf. Elsner 2007b: 3–11). The bibliography on ecphrasis is very large; see Leach 1974; Fowler 1991; Kurman 1974; Elsner 2007; Elsner 2007b: 67–112; Francis 2009; Webb 2009; Squire 2011; Squire 2013c; Dufallo 2013; Norton 2013. For Virgil, see Bartsch 1998; Beck 2007; Squire 2013b. For Silius Italicus, see Manuwald 2009. For Catullus 64, see below. The tradition goes beyond these passages. See Claudian De Raptu Proserpinae 1.246–68 for Proserpina weaving a cosmogony with divine figures and Epicurean atoms, and a description of the world, all bordered with Ocean, and 2.36–55 for the mythological figurations on her dress. Scheid and Svenbro 1996 argue in Chapter 4 for a thematic metaphoric and thematic appropriateness in the use of the bed cover in the context of the marriage. For Sklenář 2006, the metaphorical application is to the poem’s compositional technique. See further, Laird 1993; Fitzgerald 1995: 140–68; Gaisser 1995; Morwood 1999; Theodorakopoulos 2000; Gaisser 2009: 150–65. Minyard (1985); Levene (2005), 41–3; Knox (2011). Fitzgerald is reacting against such accounts as that of Klingner 1956. Cf. also Fredrick 1995; Theodorakopoulos 2000. See Laird 1993: 19; Bergmann 1995: 96–7; Elsner 2007. Ariadne’s extensive speech is played in real time, and stands in strong contrast to the different ratio of real and narrated time in the surrounding context. See Ling 1998: 18. See Leach 1981; cf. Leach 1986. One fragmentary panel is housed in the Palazzo Massimo. See Biering (1995) for a full treatment. It is no longer possible to tell what the original architectural context of the frieze was, nor whether the frieze was significantly more extensive than the remains.

156

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38 On the architectural nature of the pillars, see O’Sullivan (2007), 506. O’Sullivan points out that there is a second row of pillars partially hidden by the first and that the perspectival effect makes the sixth panel the key viewing position (2007), 505. 39 See O’Sullivan 2007. 40 On continuous narrative in Greek art, see Stansbury-O’Donnell (1999), and in Etruscan and Roman art Brilliant (1984), making, in Chapter 2, connections between contemporary literature and groups of pendant paintings of the first century BC to the second century AD See also Squire 2011 and 2014 on the Tabulae Iliacae. 41 Cf. Morwood 1999. 42 Cf. Laird 1993. 43 Leach 1988: 361–408 deals with mythological ensembles in painting and literature, opening the discussion with the characteristic trio of evocative mythological comparisons for the sleeping Cynthia at Propertius 1.3.1–6 (on this passage, cf. also Breed 2003). Fitzgerald’s account of Catullus 64 uses the painted ensemble as a starting point (1995: 140–68). On ensembles, see further at n. 223 above. (N.B. Chapter 3, n. 79 for ease of reference.) 44 Cf. Hardie 1985; Hardie 1989; Putnam 1998: 119–88; Bartsch 1998; Casali 2006; Squire 2013b. Gale 1997 compares with the shield of Aeneas the shorter description of the shield of Turnus (Virg. Aen. 7.783–92). For another shield, cf. Statius Theb. 9.332–8 and Harrison 1992; Chinn 2010. 45 The Romans might well have thought of another piece of decorated armour, the breastplate on the statue of Augustus at Prima Porta which figured the return of the Roman Standards lost to the Parthians, or the golden shield, the clipeus virtutis, awarded to Augustus by the Senate in 27 BC (Res Gestae 34) and publicised in coin images and probably also by copies in many cities of which that found in Arles survives (Zanker 1990: 95–7). 46 Cf. Anderson 1997: at 4.36–9, 415. 47 Leach (1974) sees an emphasis on the artist’s identity, performance circumstances, and eventual fate, but Ovid is unpredictable. 48 As for what she reads, editors are divided between carmen miserabile and fatum miserabile, her sister’s pitiable song, or her pitiable fate (Ovid Met. 6.582). 49 The message made of lethal marks in a folded tablet which Bellerophontes is given to seal his own doom (Homer Iliad 6.168–9) is likewise ambiguous. 50 Cf. Barkan 1986; Segal 1992. 51 On the episode, see Feeney (1991), 190–4; Vincent (1994); Smith (1997), 54–64; Wheeler (2000), n. 88; Oliensis (2004); Fletcher (2005), 303–9; Hejduk (2012); Ziogas (2013), 94–109.

Notes 52 53 54 55

56 57

58 59 60 61 62

63

64 65 66

67 68 69 70

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Cf. Laird 1993. Ovid blends the Areopagus and the Acropolis; 6.293. Cf. Barkan 1986: 3; Curran 1972: 84. For anti-Roman’ native speeches in historiography, see Caes. BG 7.77; Sall. Bell. Jug. 81; Livy 10.16.4f; 21.19.9f; 26.13.4f; Tac. Agr. 15, 30–33; Hist. 4.14; 4.68.4; Ann. 1.59; 14.31–32; Dio 62.3–5. See Pavlock 2009: 5; Ziogas 2013: 96. On the programme of Arachne’s weaving (and on the possibility of a connection with Hesiod’s Catalogue of Women), see Fletcher (2005), 303–9; Ziogas (2013), 94–109. See Curran (1972), 84; Galinsky (1975), 82–3; Ziogas (2013), 97–8, 100. See Wheeler 2000: 304. Cf. Leach 1974: 103–4. See Johnson 2008; Lyons 1997: 97–8. Ziogas (2013: 95) sees the competition between Minerva and Arachne as playing on the contest of Homer and Hesiod and standing for a contrast between Virgil and Ovid. See Ziogas (2013), 94–5. For Arachne as a sequel to the Pierides, see Harries (1990), 65–7; Heckel (2000); Johnson (2008), 74–81, 84–5. For Arachne as one in a set of Ovidian artistic creators, see Norton 2013: 185–212. They have an antecedent in Thamyris, the Thracian singer who also challenged the Muses (Homer Iliad 2.594ff) and was blinded. On the complexities of narratives embedded in other narratives, and possible links with the Orpheus cycle of songs in Book 10, see Nagle (1988). A scholion to Nicander Ther. 12 mentions a certain Theophilus of the school of Zenodotus, who seems to have a mythological variant (Arachne from Attica): see Johnston (2009). In the art-­record a Corinthian aryballos of c. 600 BC showing weavers is sometimes mentioned (Weinberg and Weinberg 1956; Lyons 1997: 97), but nothing suggests a competition or punishment there. Pliny NH 7.196 mentions Arachne as the inventor of linen and nets, and her son Closter as the inventor of spindles. Arachne’s broader cultural profile begins with Dante (Purgatorio 12.16–24, 43–5), Boccaccio (in De Mulieribus Claris), Christine de Pizan (L’epistre d’Othéa à Hector, chapter 64) and the painters of the Italian renaissance. See von Blankenhagen 1940: 116–27; D’Ambra 1993. Picard-Schmitter (most recently 1965) does not accept the identification with Arachne. See D’Ambra 1993: 4, 10–11. See further, D’Ambra (1993), 19–46. See further, D’Ambra 1993: 49–50.

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71 For a resumé of readings of the frieze, see D’Ambra (1993), 14–18. 72 It is hard to imagine the extent to which it might have been possible to replicate on the frieze any of Ovid’s pictorial selections with paint (cf. D’Ambra 1993: 52). 73 D’Ambra (1993: 59) draws attention to the proximity of law courts as substantiating the frieze’s themes of transgression, punishment, and justice.

Chapter 5 1 See e.g. Beard 2008; Rutledge 2012; see further Chapter 1, n. 29 above. 2 Cf. Townend 1973: 155–6. Cf. also Ps.-Acro on Hor. Sat. 2.2.47; Dio 67.9 (Domitian); 55.5.5 (Caligula); SHA Heliogab. 11.2–5. Although Juvenal’s satiric account of Domitian’s huge fish (Juv. 4) foregrounds the issue of its role as something to be eaten, Townend is surely right to see the episode also in the context of display of natural freaks and curiosities. 3 See Coleman 1990. 4 Cf. Favro (1996); Zanker (1988); Rutledge 2012, and see further, Chapter 6 below. 5 See Matteucig 1974; Tammisto 1997; Jennison; 1937; Lazenby 1949; Toynbee 1973. Kalof 2007 has only three references to birds as pets, none illuminating. 6 One can see many uncaged birds about the house in Greek vase paintings. These and such other birds as Penelope’s geese (Od. 19.536–7), Socrates’ pigeon aviary (Theaet. 197c), and the exotic birds given to kings and potentates (Aelian 13.25, cf. 13.18; ps.-Callisthenes Alexander 3.18) or featuring in royal parades (Athen. 387d) all lack the element of contributing to the interior decoration of the house. See also Lazenby (1949); Ashmead (1978). 7 Statius Silvae 2.4.11–15; Petronius 28.9; Mart. 14.77; Crinagoras AP 9.562; Pliny Ep.9.25.3. References in Plautus and Cicero are not domestic examples: Pl. Cist. 4.2.66; Curc. 3.1.79; Capt. 1.2.15; Cic. Div. 2.73; Natura Deorum 2.3.7. In art: caged nightingale in Livia’s Garden room painting and three inadequately attributed mosaics, respectively from Carthage, Israel, and Amman found on Google, including a late antique mosaic, from the Carthage Area held in the Bardo Museum, Tunis. 8 Catullus 2–3 (cf. Juv. 6 init). On what bird the passer is, see Arnott (2007); Ovid Am. 2.6, Corinna’s dead parrot (on parrots see also Varro RR 3.9.17); Petronius 46.4, the boy in aves morbosus has three cardeles (normally cardueles), goldfinches (it is not quite clear where they were kept: the father says that he killed them and claimed that a mustella (weasel) killed them, but weasels could be pets; see Smith

Notes

9

10

11

12

13 14 15 16 17 18 19

159

on Petr. 46.4 citing Pliny 29.60); Statius Silv. 2.4, Atedius’ dead parrot; at Martial 1.7.3, Stella’s pet dove vicit passerem Catulli; Martial 7.87.6–8, a salutatrix pica and nightingale. For the attractiveness of cardueles as pets, see Pliny 10.116; for nightingales and blackbirds kept for their song, cf. Pliny 10.81ff; Pliny Ep 4.2.3. Cf. parrots, magpies, thrushes, starlings, nightingales, and a raven at Pliny 10.120–1. Other less usual cases: corvus, cornix (Pliny 10.120–4). At Ap. Met. 8.15, children, women and household animals are looked after in a sudden desertion of the house (pullos, passeres, haedos, catillos). See Balsdon (1969), 91, 151f. A corvus had learned to salute the three Caesars and was considered sacred and given a funeral process and pyre on the Appian way (Pliny NH 10.121–3); a nightingale was sold for 600,000 sesterces and given to Agrippina (Pliny NH 10.84); Agrippina’s talking thrush (Pliny NH 10.120); Britannicus’ and Nero’s talking starling and nightingales (Pliny NH 10.120). For crows, cf. Mart. 3.95.1–2; 14.72. Of course, it should be remembered that large numbers of birds were raised for eating (cf. Varro RR 3.4.1–11.3) and that even talking birds could be eaten: Clodius Aesop the tragic actor and his dish of talking birds appear in Pliny; 10.141–2. See Herrlinger (1930), 14–51 on animal epitaphs, real and literary. Herrlinger dates the origin of both to the third century BC. See also Van Dam on Statius Silvae 2.4, pp. 336–7. Amongst the various domestic and non-­domestic animals which receive sepulchral epigrams in A.P. 7.197–215 are locusts, the cicada, the elaeus (unknown), partridges, the swallow (and a horse, dog dolphins, an ant . . .). Some are clearly not pets. Testudine (Stat. Silv. 2.4.11) could mean tortoiseshell or dome; see van Dam ad loc. Newlands sees no need for this reading, but if it is accepted rutila may mean that it is made of gold. There is a reference to iron in the second century AD Onomasticon of Julius Pollux (19.160). For subsequent dead parrot poems, see Van Dam’s (1984) commentary, p. 340. On the materials and the architecture, see Newlands (2011) ad loc. No material is specified at Pliny Ep.9.25.3. Cf. Bodel 1997. On the Phoenix, see Harrison 1960. On the Phoenix in Tacitus, see Jacobson 1981; Keitel 1999. On domus for bird nests, see van Dam on Stat. Silv. 2.4.11. In the Prologue to the Satires, Persius mocks humans who are like speaking birds, but even here the parrots and magpies still connote education and civilisation (the parrot is taught to say chaere); the reverse perspective makes a different point about education and civilisation.

160

Notes

20 See Green (1997); Kronenberg (2009). 21 For some quantification of the level of bird similes in Homer, Apollonius of Rhodes, Virgil, and Ovid, see Wilkins (1920, 1921, 1921, 1932). 22 At Georgics 1.351–423 Virgil reworks Aratus (Phaen. 90–1043) and his Latin translators on weather-­signs; the signs are largely based on the behaviour of birds. However, Virgil denies that the birds have any divinely inspired intelligence (ingenium, prudentia; 1.415–6), which is not an issue in Aratus. Bird omens and the use of birds in divination are well attested in literature and historical practice, but are remote from the context of the domestic caged bird. 23 See passages listed at Thompson (1936), 182ff; cf. also Virg. Ecl. 8.55; 9.29, 35–36; Hor. Odes 1.6.2; 4.2.25. 24 See Harden et al. (1987). 25 See also Cologne, Römisch-Germanisches Museum, inv. N 6042 (Sani et al. 2009: 133). 26 See Sani et al. 2009: 112. 27 The lines in Propertius are used to support a comparable understanding of the perfume referred to in Catullus 13; see further Kilpatrick (1998). 28 Carcer is used of the cages used for woodland beasts at Lucan 4.237. 29 In many of the stories in Ovid’s Metamorphoses characters escape death or anguish by transformation into (amongst other things) birds. 30 Birds could get into the house from the garden: this is the basis of a haunting simile at Virg. Aen. 12. 469ff. 31 With the bucolic context in mind, it might be possible to see an intertextual effect between Livias’s painted caged nightingale, and the caged cricket in Theocritus Idyll 1 (crickets are not strongly distinguished from birds in animal sepulchral epigrams or in Virgil’s Eclogues). 32 See further Chapter 2 above. Two items which present key issues very clearly are Hofstadter (2001) and Matlin (2005). 33 For recursion as a key tool in cognitive development see Hofstadter (2001); for recursion more generally see Deremetz (1995) and Dällenbach (1989); van den Hulst (2010). 34 In this respect, perhaps, the special connection between children and pet birds is worth noting (cf. e.g. Petr. 46.4; Pliny Ep. 4.2; Fronto 181N). 35 This remains true even though the bird cage typically does not have separate rooms and may have only one occupant. It can always be seen as having separate areas (perch, door, feeding area . . .) and the humans, although physically outside the cage, can be inside in their imaginative interaction with the bird. 36 See further, Chapter 2 above. 37 Fromberg and Bergen (1998); Goldman (1998).

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38 On the background to Catullus’ passer poems in Greek epigrams relating to pets, see Ingleheart 2003, and in relation to object-­based Greek epigrams, see Hutchinson 2003. There is no justification for taking the passer as a penis; see Jocelyn (1980); Adams (1982: 32–3); Jones (1998); Parker (2000: 457–8). Some birds sometimes have some erotic associations (cf. Leda and the swan (Jupiter) in Roman art and poetry, and probably alluded to in the erotic stage performance attributed to Theodora by Procopius; Anecdota 9, and the sparrows attendant upon Aphrodite; Sappho 191.9–12; Apuleius Met. 6.6), but the idea is unconvincing in the Catullus poems (and in the context of the domestic caged bird). 39 We cannot tell what Catullus’ little book was like in any detail, but Catull. 2 and 3 clearly make a pair and demand to be read together even if they were separated by other poems (as 5 and 7, and 11 and 51 are in the extant assemblage). 40 See Van Dam on Stat. Silv. 2.4, p. 341. 41 Cf. Toynbee 1973 on bird circuses. 42 Key words in the short poems centring on ideas of charm, elegance, wit ((il) lepidus, (in)venustus, (in)elegans, iocosus, beatus, ineptia, facetus), recurrent turns of phrase, and games with the same semantic items used across different forms (verb, noun, adjective (positive, negatively prefixed, and comparative)) all contribute to this characterisation. 43 The picture is complicated because Rome’s fabric and texture as well as its cultural identity were continually in a state of rebuilding and change. We can see another ‘renaissance’ with Nero (see Mayer: 1983) who introduced a new style of architecture in Rome (Suet. Nero 16) and sang, attempting to give music a hitherto undreamed of claim to respectability (Suet. Nero 20–5). Later still, Domitian refurbishes Rome again (D’Ambra 1993), and architecture is promoted and poetry transformed under Hadrian.

Chapter 6 1 Cf. Bartman 1991; Gazda 1991; Laurence 1994; Neudecker 1998; Wallace-Hadrill 1994; Laurence and Wallace-Hadrill 1997; Wallace-Hadrill 1998; Beard 2008; Mattusch 2008. 2 Coins are primarily functional, and they are not collectible in the sense that art-­works are, nor are they the subject of that kind of display. The medium is small in dimensions and needs to be produced in large numbers. Value, authenticity, and messaging on a fairly simple level are priorities.

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3 Cf. Trimble 2014. 4 Cf. Hallett 2005: 281–9. On the Roman physiognomists, see Stewart (2008), 91. 5 Ovid in the Ars Amatoria gives instructions (in book three) to women on how to attract men, gathering from the elegiac tradition precepts on what kind of clothes and cosmetics to wear, what hair-­styles, whether to laugh, how to move (always a charged phenomenon in ancient literature), and going beyond this into what sexual positions to use. The brief, evocative descriptions of Sempronia in Sallust’s Catiline 25 and Poppaea in Tacitus’ Annals 13.45 depend on a moralising tradition of commenting on body language (cf. Jones 1999). 6 See further, Jones 1999: 68–9. 7 See Wünsch (1897); Audollent (1904); Besnier (1920); García Ruiz (1967); Solin (1968); Tomlin (1988); Wortmann (1968); Preizendanz (1972); Jordan (1985); Faraone (1985); Faraone and Obbink (1991); Gager (1992); Jones (1996), 4–7; Blänsdorf (2010); Kropp (2010). While the practice was most widespread among the less educated, the practice was known to aristocratic writers and readers. The appearance of defixiones in connection with Germanicus’ relapse (Tacitus Ann. 2.69), must always have been a fiction, since the tablets, spells, and remains of bodies were found in his room. Therefore, they were planted with mendacious intent. 8 Some degree of invisibility in art work is provided by funerary paintings inside tombs. These have at most only a tiny audience, and those that might be in a position to see would not be able to enjoy good viewing in the cramped space 9 See Rutledge 2012: 110–15. The professional magician needs to make them look right, and to have convincing rituals, but that is a rather different aesthetic demand. 10 See further, Johansen (1994, 1995, 1995); Walker (1995); Bažant (1995); Trimble (2011); Newby 2011; Borg (2012). 11 Augustus did not orchestrate or control the proliferation and dissemination of sculptural portraits. ‘The thousands of portraits that existed were not imposed by the centre but willingly purchased and commissioned by the imperial populace’ (Stewart 2008: 89; 101–4). Given the voluntary nature of the commissioning of thousands of sculptural portraits of Augustus by individuals throughout the Roman world, one could perhaps even talk of ‘Augustus’ as a collective concept (cf. Stewart (2008), 112). The portraiture of Augustus is part of a much larger context in which civic design and restoration, statues, coins, literature, inscriptions, and festivals all take part in the Augustan image (Zanker (1988); Stewart 2008: 108–42; Patterson (1992)). On the now well-­known statue of Augustus from the villa at Prima Porta, see See Zanker (1990): 188–92; Pollini (1995); Reeder (1997); Squire 2013d.

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12 Cf. Stewart (2008), 65–7, 77; on portraits generally, see 77–107. The mosaic head of a woman from Pompeii (VI 15,14) in the Museo Archaeologico Nazionale, Naples (late first century or early first century) is taken to be a portrait because nothing identifies it as mythological, and because of the format and the clothing and hairstyle. It has the look of a remarkable likeness, though it is impossible to assess the level of verism or idealisation, and is very remarkably painterly in effect (see further, Dunbabin 1999: 48–9). 13 Cf. Hallett 2005; Stewart 2008: 98–101. 14 Hallett (2005: 210–11) illustrates three mid-­third century statues of the same man, one in a toga, one cloaked nude, and one nude with the costume of a hunter. The execution of the face is very similar in all three, and all three show facial lines on the brow and around the mouth area. Other examples also seem not to have idealised with complete success, if that was the intention, perhaps especially among the much rarer female nude portraits. For examples, see two well-­known statues of Roman women in the guise of Venus, one late Flavian, from a villa near Lake Albano, now in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, the other Antonine, from Rome, now in the Vatican, Belvedere Court, in both of which the faces have a dourness that contrasts with the Venusine body (Hallett (2005), 201; Stewart (2008), 98–100). 15 On the empire-­wide erection of statues of Augustus as a form of taking part in a Roman identity, cf. n. 372 above. (N.B. Chapter 6, n. 11 for ease of reference.) For the concept of freedmen’s funerary reliefs as ‘a collective expression of identity’, see Stewart (2008), 65–7. For Greek portraiture and civic values, see Tanner (1992) and, for Roman portraits, Tanner (2000). 16 See further, Zanker (1990), 120–3, 158–60, 203–4; Holliday (1990); Rehak (2001). 17 Stewart (2008), 115–6. 18 The Triumphal procession of the victorious general is another visual manifestation of Roman identity (as well as of the personal glory of the general), though one with an individual rather than an aristocratic group focus. Triumphing generals commemorated their triumphs with the erection of arches. The earliest examples do not survive, but the Augustan Triumphal Arch of Orange is decorated with military scenes and the Arch of Titus, constructed in c. AD 82 by Domitian in memory of his brother Titus, has a programme including the apothesosis of Titus, the joint Triumph of Titus and Vespasian (AD 71), spoils from the temple of Jersusalem, and Titus as triumphator attended by genii and lictors carrying the fasces together with allegorical figures. Likewise, the triumphal column celebrates Romanness with an individual focus. 19 See Flower 1996: 32–5, 40–6.

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20 For other kinds of domestic ancestral images and for the display of family trees (cf. Pliny NH 35.6; Sen. De ben. 3.28.2; Suet. Nero 37.1), see Flower (1996), 40–6. 21 Juvenal’s use of the word pictos suggests that they were painted (Juv. 8.2–3, pictos ostendere vultus/ maiorum), but he may be meaning actual painted portraits (cf. those on the family tree at Pliny NH 35.6). 22 See Hallett 2005: 279–81. 23 See Hallett 2005: 280. The comic exaggeration of Vespasian’s way of talking in which the actor wearing his mask at Vespasian’s funeral indulged (Suetonius Vespasian 19.2) may lend some support to this possibility. Suetonius says that this kind of behaviour was customary. 24 For various aspects of amicitia and patronage see Wallace-Hadrill (1989); Mayer (1989); Jones (2007), 184 n. 45. 25 Flower (1996: 281–325) collects a large number of literary testimonia. 26 Caesar’s funeral mask is not present since he had been deified (cf. Dio 56.46.4–5b). 27 Cf. Rutledge 2012; Saliou 2015. 28 See Prop.4.1; Virg. Aen. 8; Ovid AA 3.113–28; Suet. Aug. 28. 29 For the construction of social identity, see Rutledge (2012), 159–92. 30 Not at any rate until Late Antiquity: there are then, for example, Rome-­based urban images in the villas, but these hark back to the idea of Rome as an index of cultural unity after the reality had lost much of its real significance (see Elsner 1998: 45–6 on the Villa del Casale and this isolated villas’ recreation of a remote Rome). 31 Part of the modern home is, indeed, marked off as the child’s own, the territory signposted according to taste, but for the Romans too, although their room-­usage worked more fluidly, the home has sociologically distinct spatio-­temporal rules. 32 Cf. Witkin (1995), 23, drawing on Panofsky (1951). 33 See further, Jones (2011), 55–6. 34 Procopius, writing in Greek in the Eastern Empire in the sixth century AD transforms a damaged and repaired statue of the first century Roman Emperor Domitian into a statue modelled on the sewn-­together corpse commissioned by his widow as a memorial to his tragic end (Anecdota 8). Despite claims that Domitia was complicit in the death of her husband (Dio Cassius 66.15), it seems that she remained devoted to his memory (see Jones 1992: 37), but his body was cremated (Suetonius Domitian 17; see Jones 1992: 38). Procopius has turned a feature of the road from the Forum to the Capitol into a piece of the Roman historical tradition with a colourful aetiology. The idea of a commemorative portrait showing the butchered flesh and the signs of the labour it took to piece it together gives the reader an image worthy of the museum of the embalmed and

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Index Aeschylus, Choephoroe (231–2) 77 Aesthetics 2, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 22, 52, 57, 69, 70, 73–4, 75, 82, 83, 89, 92, 95, 99, 129 Agrippa 11, 27, 57, 63 Agrippina 41–2 Alcimenes the Sybarite 77, 95 Anchises 21–2 Andromeda 57, 72, 84 Apollonius Rhodius 82; Argonautica (1.721–67) 77, 78 Arachne 8, 10, 20, 75, 82, 90–7 Architecture 43–4, 45, 47–8, 58–9, 67–8, 69–71, 74, 89, 100 Ariadne 10, 81–2, 83–6 Aristophanes 105, 107 Aristotle 8, 26, 77 Ars 22, 90, 112–13 Art 1–23, 27, 52, 55, 56–8, 74, 75, 82, 94, 95–7, 99, 112–14, 116–18, 121–2, 125, 127–9; ancient theory 7–8; artist’s point of view 10; canon 4, 7; definition 1–5, 8–9, 11–12, 13, 101–2; famous works; 4, 6; and literature 8, 9, 16, 18, 60–1, 83–4; poets on art 18–22; properties of 8, 58, 74; and rhetoric 8 Artists, status of 4–5 Assemblage 16, 17, 71–3, 84–5, 89, 91, 95 Assessment, unit of 17, 86 Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae (5.196, 204f) 78 Attalic hangings 80 Augustus, augustanism 5, 26, 28–9, 56, 62–3, 78, 79, 87, 92, 113–14, 125 Barn, Alan Graham’s 13 Bird, caged 74, 99–114 Birds 64–5, 103–4; bird-bottles, 106–7; bird-theatre 105; bird similes 105; birds and poets 105 Boundaries; 15, 25, 48–9, 50–2, 57, 66–8, 69, 74, 75, 98, 107, 115–16, 128–9

Bucolic postures 31, 33–4, 83–4, 93 Callimachus 16, 83, 105, 111 Campus Martius 27–8, 65, 80, 119, 126 Capitol 127 Catullus 26, 33, 82, 112; Carm. (2–3) 64, 110–11; Carm. (62.39–47) 39–40; Carm. (64) 10, 82, 83–6, 95 Cicero 6, 7, 11, 26, 31, 36, 42, 47, 48, 74; ad Quintum fratrem (3.1.5) 31–3; de finibus bonorum et malorum (5.1.1–3) 36; de Oratore (2.350–60) 45; Philippics (12.14.8–10) 43, 47; pro Caelio (36) 42, 49 City 29, 31, 46, 49, 52, 58, 62–3, 67–9, 87, 95–6, 100, 124–7 Clodia 42, 49 Cognition 25, 26, 42–8, 67–8, 75, 108–11 Collection, collectors 5, 6, 11, 100, 111–14 Columns 68–71, 73, 84–5 Competition 9–10, 57, 82, 93, 100–1 Continuous enclosure 56, 58, 59, 66, 68, 69, 73 Cooking, food 4, 13–14, 35 Copies see replication Craft, craftsmanship 3, 4, 6, 8, 15, 17, 88, 90–1, 94, 96–7, 101–4, 112–13 creators 20–1, 82, 90, 93, 94–5 curators 15 curse see defixiones Daedalus 8, 20, 107 Declamation 7, 31–2 Defixiones 15, 116–17, 129 Display 7, 15–16, 36, 68–9, 77, 79–80, 82, 83, 98, 99, 100, 124–5 Domus 16, 43, 46–7, 48–9, 52, 55, 67, 72, 79, 95–6, 98, 100–1, 104, 109, 115, 122, 127–8 Doryphoros 6, 60 Droste effect see recursion

194

Index

Ecphrasis 10–11, 75, 77, 78, 82, 99 Education 6, 11 Emotion 10, 43, 57, 99, 101 Epicurus, garden of 36 Euripides, Hecuba (466–474) 76; Ion (200–269, 1132–1165) 78; Iphigenia in Tauris (222–224) 76; Iphigenia in Tauris (811–817) 77 Europa 37, 93 Exercises, equestrian 28 Fabius, C. Pictor 5 Fashion 113–14 fauces 47, 117 fence 59, 69, 71 Flora 38–9, 67 Forum Augusti 28 Forum Transitorium 82–3, 96–7 Galleries; 7, 12, 13, 52 Garden painting; 25, 32–33, 55–74 Garden 12, 25–53, 100, 108; birds in 107–8; Esquiline Gardens 26, 34; gendered space 42; imagination in 26; mythology in 32, 36–7; philosophy in 26, 36; politics in 36; sexuality 37–42; works of art in 26 Gender 42, 77, 78, 89, 96–7 Golden Age 62 Gradient of intimacy 47–8 Hesperides 26, 36 Homer Iliad (3.125–8) 77; Iliad (6.288–95) 76–7; Iliad (18.478–608) 10, 77, 87 Horace 4, 5, 11, 16–18, 26, 28, 93, 105, 113; Ep. (1.20) 17; Odes (1.13) 16–17; Odes (3.27.29–32) 37; Satires (1.5) 13; Satires (1.6.126) 27–8; Satires (1.8) 26; Satires (2.6.49) 27–8; Satires (2.8.54) 79 Hortensius, Q. 14, 35, 36/37, 66 Hotel of A. Cossius Libanus 69, 73 House of the Bread Merchant 69 House of the Dioscuri 72 House of the Fruit Orchard 70 House of Jason 72 House of Marcus Lucretius 73 House of Orpheus 70–1 House of the Priest Amandus 57, 85 Hypernaturalism 61–2

Identity 26, 27, 28, 29–30, 36, 52, 100–1, 106–7, 115–29 Illusionism 8, 18, 58, 67, 68, 69–71 Imagination 26, 27, 28, 29–34, 35, 36, 43, 66, 67, 75, 76, 86, 110 Imagines 65, 79, 100, 117–18, 121–4 Imitation 7, 9, 18, 57, 60–1 Inside-outside 30, 34, 44–5, 46–9, 51, 67, 71, 98, 109–10, 115, 122, 124 Intertextuality 9, 13–14, 17, 28, 36, 57, 61, 72, 95, 113 Iphigenia 10, 76–7, 79 Ithaa restaurant 12 Laurel 63, 66 Learning 9, 17, 57 Locus amoenus 36 Lucretius 33, 105 Luxury 11, 42 Maecenas 26, 27–8, 33–4, 48; Elegiae in Maecenatem (1.33–6) 33–4, 108 Manlius Vopiscus 5 Marsyas 93 Martial 101 Meaning 13, 17, 19, 29, 58, 62–3, 86–8, 89–90, 92, 95, 96–7, 99, 101, 104, 108, 127 Medea 72 Mental model 48, 52, 56, 67–8, 101 Messalina 41–2 Metamorphosis, transformation; 31–3, 35, 36–7, 43, 49, 60, 64, 73, 84, 89, 90, 92 Midas 93 Minyas’ daughters 88 Modernism 112, 113–14 Moralizing 11–12, 111–12 Mythological settings 37 Nature 18, 21, 31, 37–8, 48, 49, 55, 61–2, 74, 99 Nero 5, 74, 79 Nkondi 15 Novius Vindex 5 Odyssey landscapes 85 Orpheus 8, 18, 20, 35, 64, 88, 90 Ovid 8, 18–21, 26, 31, 33, 35, 37–8, 82, 86; Ars Amatoria (2.123f) 21; Met. (3.110f)

Index 18, 79, 114; Met. (3.158–9) 18; Met. (3.253–9) 19, 87; Met. (4.1–415) 82, 88; Met. (5.290–678) 94; Met. (5.391–401) 37–8; Met. (6.1–145) 10; 90–6; Met. (6.143–312) 94; Met. (6.382–400) 93; Met. (6.426–674) 64, 89–90; Met. (6.575–87) 20, 82–3; Met. (8.159–68) 20; Met. (10.86–107) 64; Met. (10.252) 18; Tristia (4.8.25–8) 29–30 Ownership 11, 28, 43 Painting lessons 5 Pattern books 61 Pedius, Q. 5 Performance 9, 14–15, 26, 31, 33–4, 35, 36, 65–6, 73–4, 101, 104–5, 110–11, 122–4 Petronius 13–15, 65; Satyrica (29) 68; Satyrica (83) 4, 7 Philomela 89–90 Phoenix 104 Plato 8, 78 Pliny the Elder 8, 101; NH (10.141) 107; NH (19.22–5) 78–9; NH (19.49–51) 36; NH (19.59) 30–1; NH (35.1.30) 11; NH (35.9.26) 11; NH (35.19–23) 5, 68; NH (35.36.73–4) 10; NH (35.65) 68; NH (35.120) 5; NH (35.155) 68 Pliny the Younger 15; Ep. (5.3) 5, 7; Ep. (5.6.20) 49–51, 73; Ep. (5.6.35–6) 52–3, 55, 70 Plutarch 105 Poetic theory 16–17 Poets, famous 5 Poets, status of 4–5 Polybius (6.53.7) 79, 122–4 Polyclitus 4, 6, 8, 60 Polyphemus and Galatea 57, 64, 83–4 Pompey 26, 28, 36, 63, 119 Portraiture 65, 116–24, Propertius 26, 28, 78, 80, 112 Propoetides 18–19, Proserpina 37–8, 94 Ptolemy Philadelphus 78 Pygmalion 18–19, 90, 95 Quintilian 10, 45, 60

195

Reality and representation 8, 18, 50, 67, 69–71, 73 Recursion 28, 45, 48, 52, 109 Replication 6–7, 8–9, 21, 26, 27; 40–1, 52, 57, 59–60; Gridding up 60 Rist, Pipilotti 12 Role-play see performance Salutatio 47 Sea monsters, bones of 6 Self-impersonation see performance Self-projection 15–16, 100 Seneca the Elder 7; Controversiae (5.5.24) 31, 108 Seneca the Younger 42, 74, 100 Senses 44, 47, 52, 55, 58, 63 Shuffling 60 Signatures 15, 52–3, 55, 120, 125 Söderberg, Hjalmar 104 Statius 5, 99, 113; Silv. (2.4.11–15) 102–3 Subjectivity 17, 19, 20, 20, 22–3, 43, 86–7, 93–4, 97, 99 Suetonius 11; Augustus (28) 114; Augustus (73) 78, 100; Nero (10) 74; Nero (20–5) 74; Nero (26) 65, 74; Nero (31) 74; Nero (38.2) 5, 74; Nero (42.1) 100; Nero (49) 74; Vespasian (19.2) 122 Tacitus Annals (11.1) 41–2; Annals (12.59) 41–2; Annals (13.3.7) 5; Annals (14.56) 65 Tapestry 75–98; textile as metaphor 78, 87, 88, 90 Theocritus 33, 74; Idylls (1.27–56) 10–11; Idylls (1.52–4) 64/65; Idylls (6) 64; Idylls (11) 32, 64; Idylls (15.78–86) 77–8 Theoderic 80 Timon of Phlius 105 Tityrus 69, 108 Toga, painting in 5 Tomis, 29–30 Transformation see metamorphosis Trees 29, 31, 35, 56–7, 58, 62–4, 69, 71 Trompe l’oeil 32–3, 59, 68–9, 73 Urbs see city Validation 2–3, 4, 13, 15, 94 Value 6, 11, 22, 57, 112–13; of originals 7

196

Index

Varro 11, 111; de Re Rustica (1.59) 52; de Re Rustica (3.5.11–12) 71; de Re Rustica (3.5.13–15) 105; de Re Rustica (3.13) 34–5, 66 Villa 31, 43, 55, 57, 65, 67, 71–3, 95, 96, 100, 103, 115, 127–9 Villa of Agrippa Postumus at Boscotecase 57, 83–4, 91 Villa di Arianna 38–9, 67 Villa of Livia 12, 27, 32–3, 49, 51, 55–74 Virgil 49, 93, 113; Aeneid (1.697) 79; Aeneid (6.847–53) 21–2, 95, 122; Aeneid

(7.160–5) 28; Aeneid (8.608–728) 10, 78, 87–8; Eclogues 31, 33–4, 51, 62, 64, 67; Eclogues (1) 69; Eclogues (2) 32; Eclogues (2.45–50) 62; Eclogues (3.36–48) 11; Eclogues (5.81–90) 50–1; Eclogues (6) 95; Georgics (4) 95; Georgics (4.246–7) 96 Virtual mythology 35 Vitruvius 47, 52 Weiner, Lawrence 13 Window box 25, 26, 33, 99, 104 Windows 67, 73, 75