We are pleased to announce the publication of Dr Amy Smith’s monograph, Polis & Personification in Classical Athenian Art, in Brill’s Monumental Graeca et Romana series: http://www.brill.nl/polis-and-personification-classical-athenian-art.
In this book, Dr Smith assesses the development and expansion of the use of personifications in the visual arts of Athens during her golden age (480-323 BCE). Smith’s focus on personifications of political relevance, which one finds decorating objects that served either in private roles (e.g. decorated vases) or public roles (e.g. cult statues and document stelai), reveals that these personifications represented aspects of the state of Athens – its people, government, and events – as well as the virtues (e.g. Nemesis, Peitho or Persuasion, and Eirene or Peace) that underpinned it. Athenians used the same figural language to represent foreign places and their peoples in their arts.
This is the only comprehensive study of visual personifications as a manifestation of intellectual and political concerns in Athens in the Classical period.