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JulianaDunn
ENGL101S
KelseyKerr
October21,2015
TheAncientRomanForm

Pario,Marmo.
VibiaSabina
.117138CE.Unknown.
StatueofMarcellus
.N.d.
Marble.VillaDiAdrianaTivoli,Tivoli,Marble.MuseeDuLouvre,MuseeDuLouvre,Paris,
Italy.1France.2

Romanstatueportraitsareoftenviewedasanimportantglimpseintothepopularculture,
powerstructure,andtrendsthroughouttheagesoftheancientRomancivilization.Whilethey

Pario,Marmo.
VibiaSabina
.117138CE.VillaDiAdrianaTivoli,Tivoli,Larghe,Italia.
Reppublica.it
.Web.
<http://www.repubblica.it/speciali/arte/gallerie/2013/05/19/foto/archeologia_ritrovamenti59134207/1/#7>.
2

Unknown.
StatueofMarcellus
.20BCE.MuseeDuLouvre,MuseeDuLouvre,Paris,France.
Bookdrum.com
.
Web.<http://www.bookdrum.com/images/books/175029_m.jpg>.
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maybeviewedbyarthistoriansasmasterpiecesoftheidealform,thewaydifferentforms
themselvesarerepresentedisoftenoverlooked.Inheressay
PortraitStatuesforGenderRolesin
RomanSociety
,GlenysDaviesdirectlyaddressestheformsofRomanportraiture,drawing
comparisonsbetweenthoseofmenandwomeninordertoillustratehowtheformsdisplayed
theirdifferentrolesinRomansociety.
Arthistory,especiallythatoftheWest,canundoubtedlybeshowntohaveanimportant
staplethatpertainsdirectlytothistopicthefemaleportrait.BeginningwiththeearlyGreekor
EtruscanPeplosKore3,thefemaleformcontinuedtobeamuseofartiststhroughtheGreekand
Romanempires,expressingdifferentvarietiesoffemalepower,femininity,andsexuality.While
inwholeRomanportraiture(evenintheportrayalofwomen)issomewhatdiverse,Davies
directlyinvestigatesoneofthemoreuniformformsportraitureinRomansocietythatofthe
(mortal)femaleelite.

Unknown.
PeplosKore
.530BCE.Marble.
AcropolisMuseum,Athens,Greece.

Unknown.
PeplosKore
.530BCE.AcropolisMuseum,Athens,Greece.
Classconnection.s3.amazonaws.com
.Web.
<http://classconnection.s3.amazonaws.com/1804/flashcards/660868/jpg/peploskore.jpg>.
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Whilestatuesdisplayinggoddessesareunafraidofthepower4orsexuality5ofthese
figures,therichhumanwomenofancientRomeweredisplayedinanalmostremarkably
differentfashion.

Unknown.
AthenaGiustiniani
.400BCE.Unknown.
LovatelliVenus
.200BCE.Marble.
Marble.IlVaticano,CittaDelVaticano,MuseoArcheologicoNazionaleDiNapoli,
Roma,Italy.Napoli,Italy.

UnliketheLovatelliVenus,however,mostwomenintheseportraitsdonothaveanopen
orselfcontrolledsexuality.Eyesturnedawayfromtheviewer,handslightlyplacedonthefolds
ofherclothes,thetypicalportraitdisplaysthesubmissivenatureRomanwomenwereexpected
touphold.Whilethepostureoftheirlegsarecontrappostolikethemensportraits,theirbacks

AthenaGiustiniani
Thissculpture,similartomanyothersofAthena(orMinerva)illustratesmilitaristicpower
directgaze,pointinghandandbattlearmourusuallyfoundonmalemilitaryorgovernmentalfigures.Thisvarietyof
attireandposturedirectlyparallelmasculinity,whichinturnimpliesstrength,wisdom,leadership,andallother
qualitiesattributedtomalesinancientRome.
Unknown.
AthenaGiustiniani
.400BCE.IlVaticano,IlVaticano,CittaDelVaticano,Roma,Italia.
Wikimedia.org
.
Web.<https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1a/Athena_Giustiniani.jpg>.
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LovatelliVenus
Thissculptureopenlyexudessexuality.Hergarmentdrapedfallingoffherhips,breastsexposed,
outreachinghand,Venusismademoresexualbyherdirectgazewiththeviewer.Whileshemaybesexualized,itis
notinasubmissiveway.
Unknown.
LovatelliVenus
.200BCE.MuseoArcheologicoNazionaleDiNapoli,Napoli,Italy.
Getty.edu
.Web.
<http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/aphrodite/images/lovatelli_250.jpg>.

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arenotdirect,andtheirshouldersarenotstraightorupheld.Thestraightnessanddirectnessof
themenssculptures,contrastedwiththesoftpostureofthewomens,showaclearcontrastin
powerandcontrol.

Inthemajorityofportraiture,womenaredressedinthetraditionalPalla,adraped
dresslikegarmentcarvedrichinfoldsandfabric.Sometimesevenwithahoodandfallingto
coverthefeet,thegarmentcouldhypotheticallybeconservativeandunrevealing.However,the
waythestatuesarecarvedmakesthefabricthinandalmostwetinappearance,lyingclosetothe
skininawaythatrevealsthecurvesofthebodyinaclearlyunconservativestyle.Whilemortal
womenaredisplayedcovered,notallmortalmenare.Somearedisplayedinbattlearmoror
togasthatalludetopowerwithinthestateorsociety,andmanyaredisplayedcompletelynude.
Unlikethemostlynudestatuesofwomen,thenudestatuesofyoungmenarenotsexualized.
Rather,theywerecarvedinanattempttocreatetheidealhumanform,representedasnude,
athleticallybuiltmale.Allthesedifferencesandtheirsignificancesplayanimportantroleinthe
understandingofromansculpture,aswellasitsfunctionsandmeanings.
Throughoutheressay,Daviesproducesathoroughargumentevidencingtheeffectof
Romanstatuesongenderroles.Inherargumentsheutilizestwotoolsofrhetoricethosand
logos.Ethosiseasilyestablishedthroughherlackofbiasedlanguagethroughouttheessay,as
wellasheruseofmultiplereferencestobothliteraryandvisualworksthathelpsubstantiateher
argument.Imagesofstatuesprovidedinthetextthathelpprovethecredibilityofherworkare
themostevidentandeffectiveformofethosinheressay.Imagesofstatuesonpages208,209,
212,andotherswithintheessayhelpvalidatepointsofDaviesargumentregardingthemessuch
asclothinginrelationtopower.Writtenreferencestotheworksofotherarthistoriansand

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historiansillustratespecificexamplesofportraitureandthehistoricalfiguresoftheportraits.
ReferencetospecifichistoricalfiguresBecauseethosplayssuchalargeroleinherargument,the
presenceofpathostheessaywouldnotonlybeinaffective,butdetrimental.Presenceofa
personalargumentoropinioninahistorically,strictlyfactbasedessaysuchasthiswouldonly
hurtitscredibility.
LogosisanotherobviouslypresentmethodinDaviesessay,foundespeciallyasshe
pointstohowdifferentvisualfeaturesofthestatuesrelatetocertaingenderrolesorsocial
expectations,andhowtheseprovetheimportanceofgenderrolesinRomanportraiture.She
arguesthatthemalestatuesrepresenttheirmasculinitythroughtheirstancesandgarments,and
sexualitythoughpowerratherthansuggestiveness.Femalestatuesdisplaysubmissiveness
throughindirecteyecontactandmorebowedposture,andsexualitybythinnerclothing.By
displayingstatuesofwealthyRomans,sculptorsandtheownersofthestatuesthemselvescreated
modelsthatotherRomancitizensweremeanttofollow.Daviesassertsthatbybothrepresenting
whatgenderrolesandclassbasedexpectationswere,sculptorsechoedthesocietytheysaw
aroundthemandpresentedaculturallycorrectrolemodel.Logos,whilepresent,isscarcely
distinguishablefromethosintheessay.Becausetheessayissofactandhistorybased,thereis
scarcelyroomforanythingthatcouldresembleanargumentoropinion,andbysimplystating
factsDaviesbuildsanalmostcompleteargumentwithouthavingtoargue.Inaddition,thereare
nocounterargumentsmentionedintheessay,whichlessensaneedforlogosintheessay.
Exigenceisabsent,despiteDaviesmentionofmodernbodylanguageinheruseof
logos.Becausethetopicpertainstosculpturesoftheancientrolesthatdisplaylongdeadpeople
andgenderrolesofanothertime,exigenceisnotpresent.WhileDaviesbrieflymentionsthat

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someofthebodylanguagefoundinthestatuescouldbesimilartomoderngenderedbody
language,shedoesnotfocusonitinawaythatcreatesanysignificantexigence.Thiscouldbe
accomplishedbyspeakingmoreaboutmodernbodylanguage,oraddressinghowRomanstatues
andtheirbodylanguagehadaneffectontheportrayalofthefemaleandmaleformthroughout
arthistory.
Overall,IfoundDaviesessaytobefascinating,wellwritten,andwellproven.WhileI
havestudiedarthistoryinthepastandgenderedbodylanguage,IbelieveDaviesessaywould
beeasilyaccessibletoeventhosewhohadnot,althoughjudgingbyitsdictionanduseof
specificvocabulary,itwasclearlymeantforanacademicaudience.Bystudyingtrendsinart,
gender,andbodylanguagethroughoutarthistory,historiansandsociologistsmaybeableto
understandtrendsingenderrolesthroughouthistory.