Ancient artifacts such as statues, reliefs, and paintings gave tangible form to knowledge and abstract ideas, making them vivid, convincing, and lasting. At the same time, they emphasized, concretized, and combined only certain aspects of the ideas in question, while reducing or omitting others.
The book examines the emergence of artifacts as material manifestations of epistemic elements and the medial conditions of these shaping processes, as well as the effects of the resulting form. It combines case studies from Classical Archaeology with reflections on central aspects of material culture. With this approach, the book offers new perspectives on famous Greek and Roman works of art.
Autobiographies and self portraits can be understood as figures of image control that try to express and secure a person’s reputation for contemporary and future generations. However, there have always been competing perspectives between self-descriptions and descriptions of oneself by others. It is this interplay that determines the current effects and the lasting impact of self-fashionings – and produces the distinction between “Dichtung und Wahrheit” (facts and fiction), between illusion and reality. Morphomata’s annual conference thus questions the cultural, historical, and medial figures of these distinctions in case studies from antiquity to the present.