Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

1/1/2005 - 12/31/2005

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

Ethnic Portraits in Roman Art

FAIN: FB-52128-05

Elizabeth Bartman
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar (New York, NY 10024)

This project will investigate the role of ethnicity in Roman portraiture. By deliberately incorporating specific ethnic "markers" into their portraits, members of the Roman provincial elite produced images that would resonate with the local populations; at the same time, these images were meant to appeal to the ruling powers at Rome by virtue of their conventional "Roman" style, material, or format. As hybrids, the portraits epitomize the cultural straddling between native and Roman that Romanization as a social process entailed. This study will be the first to examine portraits from Egypt, the Greek East, and the Latin West as evidence for defining ethnic and cultural identity in the Roman empire.