The Roman Marble Sculptures from the Sanctuary of Pan at Caesarea PhilippilPanias (Israel).

AuthorGersht, Rivka
PositionBook review

The Roman Marble Sculptures from the Sanctuary of Pan at Caesarea PhilippilPanias (Israel). By ELISE A. FRIEDLAND. American Schools of Oriental Research Archaeological Reports, vol. 17. Boston: AMERICAN SCHOOLS OF ORIENTAL RESEARCH, 2012. Pp. xiii + 186, illus. $89.95. [Distributed by ISD, Bristol, Conn.]

In her revised and updated dissertation-turned-book on the Roman marble sculpture from the sanctuary of Pan, situated about 47 km east-southeast of Tyre, Elise A. Friedland sets two main goals: a) to identify, describe, and analyze (technically and stylistically) the sculptures from the Paneion, and b) to assess their significance within the contexts of the sanctuary, the region, the Roman Empire, and modern Roman sculptural studies. Both have been effectively accomplished.

The book consists of five chapters (pp. 1-71), a catalogue of twenty-eight marble pieces and one limestone fragment (pp. 73-151), four appendices (pp. 153-60), bibliography (pp. 161-79), and general index (pp. 181-86). Notes are placed at the end of each chapter and of the catalogue; the text is enhanced by eight data tables, two maps, a plan of the sanctuary, and ninety photographs.

Chapter one (pp. 1-20) introduces the reader to the scholarship of Roman marble sculpture from the Levant, and the historical (from the third century B.C. to the seventh A.D.) and archaeological contexts of the sanctuary sculptures. A brief description of the grotto and of each of the monuments--the Augusteum, the Court of Pan and the Nymphs, the Temple of Zeus, the Court of Nemesis, the Tripartite building, and the Temple of Pan and the Goats--provides the reader with an overview of the chronology of these constructions, as well as of the architectural, epigraphic, and numismatic evidence for the sculptures that once graced the sanctuary. Not one of the 245 sculpted fragments uncovered at the site was found in its original Roman stratum, let alone its original display, and only twenty-nine identifiable pieces were found in a state of preservation that allows for a thoroughgoing fulfillment of the author's objectives.

In chapter two (pp. 21-34) three factors relating to the origins of the Paneion sculptures are considered: a) the geological origins of the marble, b) the carving tradition in which the sculptors were trained, and c) the place where the sculptures were carved. To clarify the geological origins of the marble, isotopic analysis was performed on samples taken from fifteen...

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