Hellenizing Art in Ancient Nubia 300 B.C. - AD 250 and its Egyptian Models

A Study in "Acculturation"


Presenting a large body of evidence for the first time, this book offers a comprehensive treatment of Nubian architecture, sculpture, and minor arts in the period between 300 BC-AD 250. It focuses primarily on the Nubian response to the traditional pharaonic, Hellenistic/Roman, Hellenizing, and “hybrid” elements of Ptolemaic and Roman Egyptian culture. The author begins with a history of Nubian art and a critical survey of the literature on Ptolemaic and Roman Egyptian art. Special chapters are then devoted to the discussion of the Egyptian-Greek interaction in the arts of Ptolemaic Egypt, the place of Egyptian Hellenistic and Hellenizing art within the oikumene, the pluralistic visual world of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt, as well as on the specific genre of terracotta sculpture. Utilizing examples from Meroe City and Musawwarat es Sufra, the author argues that cultural transfer from Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt to Nubia resulted in an inward-focused adaptation. Therefore, the resulting Nubian art from this period expresses only those aspects of Egyptian and Greek art that are compatible with indigenous Nubian goals.

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László Török, Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in History (1992), Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (1995), and Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2004), is Research Professor at the Archaeological Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He has published extensively on the history and archaeology of ancient Nubia, and Hellenistic and Late Antique art in Egypt, including Transfigurations of Hellenism (Brill, 2005) and Between Two Worlds. The Frontier Region between Ancient Nubia and Egypt 3700 BC-AD 500 (Brill, 2009).
Introduction: The Nubian Scene
Chapter One: Ergamenes, Aktisanes, and the Modern Discovery of Hellenizing Art in Meroe
Chapter Two: Reception Without Understanding?
Chapter Three: An Elusive Model: Images of Egypt’s Multicultural Identity in the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods
Chapter Four: Early Contacts With Ptolemaic Egypt and the Early Imports
Chapter Five: Hellenizing Architecture and Sculpture in Meroe City
Chapter Six: The Great Enclosure at Musawwarat es Sufra
Chapter Seven: From Mass-Product to Luxury and Back. Decorated Fine Pottery and Meroitic Vase Painting
Chapter Eight: The Hellenistic Egyptian Style Kiosk at Naqa or “Acculturation” Sidetracked
Chapter Nine: Media and Messages. The Autonomy of Nubian “Acculturation”
All those interested in culture transfer and acculturation, in the ancient history, architecture, sculpture and minor arts of Nubia, and the history of Hellenistic and Roman Egyptian art.
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