Ancient Graffiti in Context

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-10-12
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Graffiti are very common within the ancient world, but remain underexploited as a form of archaeological or historical evidence. This volume interrogates this cultural phenomenon and by doing so brings it into the mainstream of ancient history and archaeology. Focusing on different approaches to and interpretations of graffiti from a variety of sites and chronological contexts, Baird and Taylor pose a series of questions not previously asked of this evidence, such as: What is graffiti, and how can we interpret it? What ways, and with whom, do graffiti communicate? To what extent does graffiti represent or subvert the cultural values of the society in which it occurs? By comparing themes across time and space in the ancient world, the authors are able to define and contextualize graffiti, and provide a series of interpretative strategies for scholars and students of the ancient world.Ancient graffiti range from texts and images written or drawn both inside and outside buildings, in public and private places, to those on monuments in the city and on mountains in the countryside; what unites them conceptually is that they can be seen as actively engaging with their environment in a variety of ways. This book explores these engagements and demonstrates how differences of scale and spatial dynamics can be negotiated, and as such will be essential reading for Classical archaeologists and historians alike.

Table of Contents

List of Tablesp. vii
List of Figuresp. ix
List of Abbreviationsp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
Ancient Graffiti in Context: Introductionp. 1
Dialogues of Graffiti in the House of the Four Styles at Pompeii (Casa Dei Quattro Stili, 1.8.17, 11)p. 20
The Graffiti of Dura-Europos: A Contextual Approachp. 49
Identifying Children's Graffiti in Roman Campania: A Developmental Psychological Approachp. 69
Graffiti and the Epigraphic Habit: Creating Communities and Writing Alternate Histories in Classical Atticap. 90
Transcripts of Dissent? Political Graffiti and Elite Ideology Under the Principatep. 110
The Materiality of Graffiti: Socialising a Lekythos in Pheraip. 134
Egyptian 'Inscriptions' and Greek 'Graffiti' at El Kanais in the Egyptian Eastern Desertp. 153
Blogging Rome: Graffiti as Speech-Act and Cultural Discoursep. 165
Graffiti in Aphrodisias: Images-Texts-Contextsp. 191
List of Contributorsp. 209
Bibliographyp. 211
Indexp. 237
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