Christian History Project. This site contains the text of 12 volumes on the history of mankind over the last 2,000 years written from a 'collectively-denominational' Christian perspective.

Roman Life in Art |
Snapshots in stone of city life in Rome

Roman Life in Art is drawn from Chapter Three, beginning on page 78, of Volume Two, A Pinch of Incense of the twelve-volume historical series The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years. If you would like to order this book please visit www.TheChristians.info.

Sales gimmicks like live monkeys and display counters show that some things haven’t changed

Roman Life in Art - Snapshots in stone of city life in Rome

Roman Life in Art – Snapshots in stone of city life in Rome
An enterprising vendor uses two monkeys (right) to attract customers to her stall

Snapshots in stone: Sturdy bas-relief sculpture, with its carved figures rising slightly from a stone surface, provides vivid glimpses of life in the streets of Ancient Rome. The play of light and shadow on the flat background adds depth and realism to human forms, and the technique was widely used by the Romans to illustrate social or historical events, especially in commemoration of an individual’s death. Quite lifelike figures adorned funerary stele (commemorative stone tablets) and the marble caskets known as sarcophagi. Many well preserved examples still survive. A butcher prepares the day’s cuts for sale (1). Meanwhile, an enterprising vendor uses two monkeys (left) to attract customers to her stall (2). Boots are fashioned as they would be for centuries afterwards in a cobbler’s shop (3). Except for the togas, the exchanges depicted in these memorial carvings might occur in contemporary stores–as in the cases of the cutlery merchant (4), and the silversmith assisting a shopper with a selection from racks of his wares (5).

This is the end of the Roman Life in Art category article drawn from Chapter Three, beginning on page 78, of Volume Two, A Pinch of Incense. To continue reading more about Roman Life in Art from The Christians, Their First Two Thousand Years we suggest experiencing the rest of the book, complete with hundreds of magnificent illustrations, by ordering it at www.TheChristians.info