Hellenistic monumental sanctuaries in late Republican Latium : the advantages of a semantic approach

Title: Hellenistic monumental sanctuaries in late Republican Latium : the advantages of a semantic approach
Author: Ricci, Luca
Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2019, vol. 24, iss. 1, pp. 181-194
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Article
Summary language

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This article explores the advantages that a semantic system could provide to the group of Hellenistic monumental sanctuaries in Latium. Initially conceived as expressions of local reactions against Rome or as local adoptions of Roman socio-cultural practices, a semantic model allows us to see (architectural) style as a communication tool in different contexts. In this setting, there is a shift from Hellenisation, as an acculturation pheomenon, to Hellenism, as a phenomenon of social expression. Thus, a semantic model also sheds light on modes of self-perception and how style was perceived by various audiences. In particular, Hellenistic sanctuaries should be examined from local, regional and pan-Mediterranean prespectives. The emphasis on contextual applications of the semantic model should also make us take into consideration diachronicity. Given that the phenomenon spanned two centuries (the second and first centuries BC), style and, its meaning and function(s) in society would have changed due to more intense building activity and the increased presence of Hellenistic architecture in Central Italy. This consideration further allows us to move away from a static acculturation approach and acquire a better understanding of cultural contact and ethnogenesis in both the ancient and contemporary worlds.
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