This is an online event hosted in Spokane, WA United States.
Sponsored by: Spokane Society
Speaker: Alyson Roy (University of Idaho)
Title: Crisis and Competition: Roman Victory Imagery in Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul, 125-45 BCE
Abstract: It is often assumed that conquest and colonization contribute to the development of new visual languages of power in imperial contexts. This is particularly true in ancient Rome, where power was highly performative, and visual culture became a fundamental part of imperial ideology. Scholarship, however, tends to focus on the city of Rome and the role of triumphal imagery in elite self-representation and competition. How and in what contexts the Romans deployed this visual language of power in the provinces during conquest, however, remains under-studied. Gaul and its warriors had long played a critical role in Roman military glory, and images of defeated and captive Gallic warriors became integral to triumphal symbolism. Through an analysis of coins, inscriptions, and architectural reliefs, this paper examines the influence of the Gallic provinces on Roman conquest imagery, focusing particularly on the competing visual narratives of Roman generals in search of Gallic triumphs. Finally, it traces the circulation of those images back into the Gallic provinces in the context of imperial expansion in the region.