Jane Fejfer (Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen), "Just Façade? The relationship between sculpture and architecture in the Roman East"
…..propter amplitudinem maiestatemque populi Romani, cuius istae coloniae quasi effigies parvae simulacraque esse quaedam videntur,….
…..because of the greatness and majesty of the Roman people, of which these colonies seem to be miniatures, as it were, and in a way copies; Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights Book XVI.XIII.9
A significant part of Classical sculpture in the large universal museums in Europe and the USA is so-called Roman ideal sculpture, mythological human figures in Greek styles and so-called decorative sculpture, large vases, candelabras, table supports, masks, fountain figures, etc. When entering a national or regional archaeological museum in a region that was once a province within the eastern part of the Roman Empire a similar situation of galleries populated by life-size ideal Roman marble statuary, pertain. However, the typical so-called decorative sculptures are almost totally missing. This paper discusses the relationship between the eastern and western part of the Roman Empire during the imperial period and above all how the Greek East accommodated itself into becoming and being part of the larger Roman Empire. It is argued, that monumental marble sculpture qua its powerful presence, material property, semantic message and aesthetic value, participated in a process of mutual exchange between the Roman West and the Roman East.