War suffused Roman life to a degree unparalleled in other ancient societies. Through a combination of obsessive discipline and frenzied (though carefully orchestrated) brutality, Rome's armies conquered most of the lands stretching from Scotland to Syria, and the Black Sea to Gibraltar. The place of war in Roman culture has been studied in historical terms, but this is the first book to examine the ways in which Romans represented war, in both visual imagery and in literary accounts. Audience reception and the reconstruction of display contexts are recurrent themes here, as is the language of images: a language that is sometimes explicit and at other times allusive in its representation of war. The chapters encompass a wide variety of art media (architecture, painting, sculpture, building, relief, coin), and they focus on the towering period of Roman power and international influence: the 3rd century B.C. to the 2nd century A.D.
Sheila Dillon is Associate Professor of Art History at Duke University. She is the author of Ancient Greek Portrait Sculpture: Contexts, Styles and Subjects (Cambridge University Press, 2006). Katherine E. Welch is Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She is the author of The Roman Amphitheater: From its Origins to the Colosseum (Cambridge University Press, 2006).