Sol: Image and Meaning of the Sun in Roman Art and Religion, Volume I


With this analysis of Sol images, Steven E. Hijmans paints a new picture of the solar cult in ancient Rome. The paucity of literary evidence led Hijmans to prioritize visual sources, and he opens this study with a thorough discussion of the theoretical and methodological issues involved. Emphasizing the danger of facile equivalencies between visual and verbal meanings, his primary focus is Roman praxis, manifest in, for instance, the strict patterning of Sol imagery. These patterns encode core concepts that Sol imagery evoked when deployed, and in those concepts we recognize the bedrock of Rome’s understandings of the sun and his cult. Case studies illustrate these concepts in action and the final chapter analyzes the historical context in which previous, now discredited views on Sol could arise.

This is part I of a two-part set.

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Dr. Steven E. Hijmans, Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Alberta in Canada, studied Classics and Archaeology at Groningen University. He has published numerous articles on Sol, other aspects of Roman religion, and visual meanings.
All interested in the Roman god Sol, Roman religion, ancient solar cults, or the (religious) policies of Aujrelian and Constantine; anyone interested in using visual material as sources for Roman religion
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