Tragic Imagery of War in Roman Visual Culture

Lindsay Prazak


In this paper, the scope of Roman attitudes towards warfare is examined through an analysis of Roman artwork and inscriptions in victory monuments. Due to the integral nature of warfare to Roman society, the portrayal of victorious campaigns was essential to the maintenance of the Roman perception of their own indomitable nature. This paper argues that this inherent reinforcing of Roman attitudes was especially important in the wake of the various civil wars and related disputes of the last century of the Republic, and undertakes this analysis with a special emphasis on the portrayal of the conquered to examine the subtleties of perspective towards Roman warfare.

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