Added: February 4, 2017 – Last updated: January 6, 2018


Author: Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow

Title: Violent Stages in two Pompeian Houses

Subtitle: Imperial taste, aristocratic responsse, and messages of male control

In: Naked Truths: Women, sexuality, and gender in classical art and archaeology

Edited by: Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow and Claire L. Lyons

Place: London and New York

Publisher: Routledge

Year: 1997 (hbk.), 2000 (pbk.)

Pages: 243-266

ISBN-10: 0415159954 (hbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-10: 0415217520 (pbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-10: 020318274X (ebk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Ancient History: Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome | Cases: Offenders / Ajax; Cases: Victims / Cassandra; Representations: Art / Ancient Roman Art; Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / Trojan War



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Author: Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, Department of Classical Studies, Brandeis University

Abstract: »The architectural design and painted decor of Roman houses created a symbolic stage where the performance of social rituals intersected with private activities. Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow argues in “Violent Stages in Two Pompeian Houses: Imperial Taste, Aristocratic Response, and Messages of Male Control” that the paintings and architecture of these houses give clear illustrations of a passion for theatrical themes, which may actually reflect imperial taste for the theater in the time of Nero and its influence on the popular culture of his day. The mythological repertoire of the wall decorations of the Casa del Menandro and Casa degli Amorini dorati in Pompeii, when read along with architectural spaces which “stage” specific social functions, communicate messages of control, domination, and the violence of power. Koloski-Ostrow applies modern feminist theory on visual pleasure in order to reinforce her assertion that many mythological scenes – the rape of Cassandra (whom we observe in the moments after the crime in Cohen’s study), the abduction and return of Helen, Agamemnon receiving Briseis from Achilles – function to reinforce the authority of the patronus as much as the architectural layout of the house.« (Source: Claire L. Lyons and Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow. »Naked Truths about Classical Art: An introduction.« Naked Truths: Women, sexuality, and gender in classical art and archaeology. Edited by Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow et al. London 1997: 6-7)


  Introduction (p. 243)
  Nero, the Theater, and Imperial Taste (p. 244)
  Casa del Meandro and Casa degli Amorini Dorati (p. 246)
  Popaea, the gens Poppaea of Pompeii, and House Ownership (p. 252)
  A New Way of Seeing House Decor at Pompeii (p. 254)
  Notes (p. 258)

Reviews: See here.

Wikipedia: Ancient history: Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome | Art: Roman art | Mythology: Greek mythology / Ajax the Lesser | Mythology: Mythological rape victims / Cassandra | Sex and the law: Wartime sexual violence | War: Trojan War