Aegyptiaca Romana

Nilotic Scenes and the Roman Views of Egypt


This archaeological study investigates the meaning of the Egyptian and egyptianising artefacts that have been preserved from the Roman world in different ways.
Its point of departure is a detailed study on the so-called Nilotic scenes or Nilotic landscapes. The book presents a comprehensive and illustrated catalogue of the genre that was popular all around the Mediterranean from the Hellenistic period to the Christian era as well as a contextualisation and interpretation.
Drawing on the conclusions thus reached the whole group of Aegyptiaca Romana is subsequently studied. Based on a general overview of this material in the Roman world and, moreover, a case-study of the Aegyptiaca from the city of Rome the different meanings of this cultural phenomenon are mapped. Together with other Egyptian deities popular in the Roman world, the goddess Isis plays an important role in this discussion.
Aegyptiaca Romana, among them the Nilotic scenes, are part of the reflection of the Roman attitude towards and thoughts on Egypt, Egyptian culture and the East. The concluding part of the book illustrates and tries to explain this Roman discourse on Egypt.
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EUR €206.00USD $276.00

Biographical Note

M.J. Versluys, Ph.D. (2001) in Archaeology, Leiden University, is currently Lecturer in Roman Archaeology at the University of Leiden and Research Fellow at the University of Amsterdam.

Review Quotes

'Aegyptiaca Romana brings together a large amount of important material […] Versluys has provided not only a convenient repository of Nilotic scenes but also a new perspective on Egypt in Rome.'
P.J. Jones, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2003
'Vorbildlich ist die Behutsamkeit, mit der verschiedene Ansätze aus der kulturwissenschaftlichen Debatte zu Identität und Alterität (z.B. Kolonialismus, Orientalismus) zu den Belegen gestellt und auf IhreTragfähigkeit in diesem Zusammenhang untersucht werden. Beeindruckend ist außerdem die Souveränität, mit der die enorme Menge der Belege und der Sekundärliteratur zum Thema der Aegyptiaca gehandhabt wird. Grundsätzlich weiterführend und, wie mir scheint, für einen Teil zumal der jüngeren archäologischen Forschungen durchaus paradigmatisch ist ein Bewußtsein für die geistes- und wissenschaftsgeschichtliche Bedingtheit von Interpretationen und für die Notwendigkeit kontextueller Interpretation archäologischer Funde.'
M. Haase, Archiv für Religionsgeschichte. 2003
'L’étude de Versluys fait prevue de grandes qualités intellectuelles: un discours prudent, la volonté de resituer un problème dans un cadre beaucoup plus large [..], finesse de l’analyse, volonté de comparatisme avec d’autres époques, large inventaire des Aegyptiaca de Rome, excellente connaissance de la bibliographie. [..] l’effort courageux d’une jeune chercheur qui a pris, à bras le corps, un sujet aussi complexe.'
M. Malaise, Chronique d’Égypte, 2003
'The great merit of this fascinating book is that wide-ranging and original thinking is constantly informed by the results of sound empirical research. [..] Even a lengthy summary would do no justice to the author’s wealth of insights and vividness of thought [..]. Aegyptiaca Romana will certainly become the standard of reference for Nilotic scenes, but it can also serve as an exemplum of how our silent archaeological witnesses can be made to speak in a variety of fresh and captivating discussions.'
R.A. Tybout, Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2003
'The book is well written, well argued, and the product of deep research. [..] This is a sensitive and intelligent account, full of valuable insights.'
J. Elsner, Journal of Roman Studies, 2003
'I applaud his thorough catalogue and survey of the study of Aegyptiaca; in this aspect Versluys leaves few stones unturned.'
J.R. Clarke, New England Classical Journal, 2004
'His aim is to highlight shades of meaning rather than search for an (one) answer. The overall result is a stimulating addition to the subject. [..] Versluys’ book is one of the most thought –provoking archaeologically. It has the potential to motivate new and exciting forays in this field.'
C. Vout, Ancient West & East, 2005
'... précision de vocabulaire, clarté de l’expression, ampleur de réflexion, richesse de la documentation. [..] la somme des connaissances et la richesse de la documentation rendront le livre indispensable à tous les spécialistes de la mosaïque, de la peinture et des rapports de l’Égypte avec Rome.'
H. Lavagne, L’Antiquité Classique, 2005
'This is not only a very useful book but also a thought provoking one. [..] One hopes his book, with its persuasive insights and promise, will therefore inspire more comprehensive explorations of Roman systems of visual signification.'
S.E. Hijmans, Bulletin Antieke Beschaving, 2006


All those interested in Archaeology, esp. Roman archaeology and theoretical Archaeology, the Roman world, Egyptology & Egypt, Ancient History, Iconography, the city of Rome, the 'life of images', and Orientalism.


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