This book is an archaeological and art-historical study of the images and monuments of Roman "client" kings in the Near East from the Taurus to Edom (modern South East Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan) in the important transitional period between the downfall of the Seleucid empire and Rome's establishment of provincial administration across the entire region. In this volume, Kropp treats royal portraits, tombs, palaces, coins, and temples as historical documents and aims at uncovering royal identities and ideological aspirations. In particular, he focuses on the six major players: the Kommagenian, Emesan, Ituraean, Nabataean, Hasmonaean, and Herodian dynasties.
The images and monuments discussed show an endless variety of eclectic styles, shapes, and types - a result of individual, deliberate choices from an array of cultural and artistic options, such as Hellenistic, Roman, and Persian. The study of their origins and importance therefore places monuments, like the Khazneh at Petra or the Temple at Jerusalem, in their proper context and allows a more nuanced understanding of their creation as expressions and constructions of royal personas.
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