The polytheistic religious systems of ancient Greece and Rome reveal an imaginative attitude towards the construction of the divine. One of the most important instruments in this process was certainly the visualisation. Images of the gods transformed the divine world into a visually experienceable entity, comprehensible even without a theoretical or theological superstructure. For the illiterates, images were together with oral traditions and rituals the only possibility to approach the idea of the divine; for the intellectuals, images of the gods could be allegorically transcended symbols to reflect upon. Based on the art historical and textual evidence, this volume offers a fresh view on the historical, literary, and artistic significance of divine images as powerful visual media of religious and intellectual communication.
Joannis Mylonopoulos, Ph.D. (2001) in Classical Archaeology, University of Heidelberg, is Assistant Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. He has published extensively on the archaeology of Greek religion including Πελοπόννησος οἰκητήριον Ποσειδῶνος. Heiligtümer und Kulte des Poseidon auf der Peloponnes (CIERGA, 2003) and Archäologie und Ritual (Phoibos, 2006).
"The articles all exhibit a very high quality of scholarship and command of their topics. The fifty-plus-page bibliography of works referenced in all the chapters is an extremely valuable tool for students and scholars. There is also an excellent index of classical passages cited and a full subject index, making the contents eminently accessible. The plates are also exquisitely rendered in black-and-white gloss."
Dennis P. Quinn, California State Polytechnic University, Religious Studies Review, Vol. 37, No. 2
"This book is an altogether worthwhile read and successfully covers many different aspects and questions concerning the visualization of divine images and the human treatment of, and reactions to, these. [...] The articles collected here comprise an interesting, informative, and refreshing anthology."
Anne Lykke, University of Vienna, European Journal of Archaeology 14 (1–2)