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ELISA CHIARA PORTALE

Una “nuova” Livia da Leptis Magna: osservazioni sul contributo delle botteghe attiche nell’elaborazione e diffusione dell’immaginario imperiale

  • Autori: Portale, EC
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: Capitolo o Saggio (Capitolo o saggio)
  • Parole Chiave: Livia, Demetra Capitolina, Leptis Magna, Atene, ideologia augustea, officine attiche
  • OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/66053

Abstract

the paper focuses on a very fine peplophoros from leptis Magna, now in the local archaeological Museum, which was briefly mentioned in two wide-ranging studies about the iconography of livia (Freyerschauenburg 1982, Bartman 1999), but more recently omitted by a. alexandridis (2004) as unidentifiable. in spite of difficulties in respect of the lack of provenance or restoration record (it was probably found during the “new excavations” conducted by E. Vergara Caffarelli 1954-1960), stylistic and some iconographic details confirm that the body and portrait head can belong together. the head combines a very idealized, classical face with a hairstyle which is a Typenklitterung of two portrait types of livia, i.e. mingles the Noduszopf- and the Mittelscheitelfrisur. While the head was personalized by using the well-known Nodus motif, the body was also adapted to an iconic subject by substituting calcei muliebres for sandals and adding an inserted portrait head. it is one of the earliest copies of the “Demeter Capitolina” type and surely of attic workmanship, as certain stylistic features and the (Pentelic) marble used for the body confirm. Given livia’s prominence at leptis at the very beginning of tiberius’s reign, the likeness is identifiable as Julia augusta (mater patriae) in formam Cereris. several copies, most probably of attic workmanship, of statues of divinities from the Classical period, combined with portrait heads, are known from Greece and italy (especially Campania), as for example those of the agorakritan types Nemesis and Munich-syon house. they confirm how attractive the iconography of such fifth-century athenian models was to the Julio-Claudian artists, allowing them to depict virtues and female excellence by pairing roman princesses and Greek goddesses. this encomiastic formula could have originated in athens itself, alongside the reshaping of civic and cultic topography, in the attempt to integrate the imperial power and its representatives into the local religious landscape. the cultic association of emperors and their relatives with traditional deities (more frequently expressed through inscriptions and epitheta in the Greek world) probably provided the background for the recreation and successful dissemination of classical iconographic models by attic sculpture workshops, as in this classicizing statue from a far-away North african city, from as early as the beginning of the tiberian period.