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Hellenistic Sculpture III
The Styles of ca. 100–31 B. C.
Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway

Wisconsin Studies in Classics


Greek and Hellenistic sculpture at the beginnings of the Roman Empire

This is the final volume in Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway’s series of books covering the entire range of Greek sculpture, from its inception to its virtual end as it merged into the production of the Roman Imperial world. Volume III discusses sculptural works, both architectural and free-standing, from approximately 100 B.C. to the Battle of Actium (31 B.C.), which removed from power the last Hellenistic ruler. Although some monuments may belong to the years just before or just after this timespan, Ridgway’s aim is to concentrate on works plausibly dated to the first century B.C., even those with highly controversial chronologies.

Famous sculptures—the Laokoon, the epic groups from the Sperlonga cave, the Belvedere Torso, the bronze Boxer in the Terme Museum, and many others—are discussed together with less well known pieces. Ridgway gives special emphasis to the finds from two shipwrecks—the Mahdia and the Antikythera wrecks—that provide a reasonable terminus ante quem, and argues that many of the stylistic trends and decorative objects usually considered typically Roman instead have their roots in the Greek world. This last Hellenistic phase is perhaps the most interesting of the three because it documents, to a great extent, the transformation of the products of one culture into those of another with different interests and priorities. Far from being an unimaginative, inferior output driven by commercial considerations, the statuary of the first century B.C. is vibrant and inventive, drawing from many sources in a stylistic eclecticism.

Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway is Rhys Carpenter Professor Emerita of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. An authority on Greek sculpture, she has written many books on the subject, including Hellenistic Sculpture I: The Styles of ca. 331–200 B.C., Hellenistic Sculpture II: The Styles of ca. 200–100 B.C., and Fourth-Century Styles in Greek Sculpture, all published by the University of Wisconsin Press. She is the recipient of the Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement from the Archaeological Institute of America.



Praise:

“There are no other authors who present complex theories and often little-known evidence with such clarity and enthusiasm. Throughout the book Ridgway’s themes are reinforced. One of the most important of these—that styles persist once they have been introduced—must now be built into all future scholarship on Greek sculpture.”
—Carol Mattusch, George Mason University


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Greek sculpture on blue background

July 2002
LC: 89-40266 NB
456 pp.    8 x 10    
150 b/w photos, 29 illus.
Cloth ISBN 978-0-299-17710-2

OUT OF PRINT
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