We talk to Dylan Rogers about his discovery of the true significance of the garlands that feature in Pompeii murals.
Pompeii offers a snapshot of Roman life in 79AD. It reveals the prevalence of murals, not just as decoration, but as instructions for living. As part of his investigation of “lived religion” in Roman times, archeologist Dylan Rogers uncovered the real purpose of these garlands.
The inclusion of painted garlands on walls is an enduring reminder to individuals and the community that garland-giving is a vital part of the veneration of the deities depicted in that space.
This discovery emphasises the true meaning of garlands as “living” objects that help maintain cultural order. This is a challenge for our understanding of art as made of fixed objects that live separate from life in galleries and museums.
Visit this world of ancient Rome with Dylan Rogers.
Rogers, Dylan. 2020. “The Hanging Garlands of Pompeii: Mimetic Acts of Ancient Lived Religion.” Arts & Health 9 (2): 65.
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