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Editorial Advisory Board’s ‘Recommended Read’ - September 2019

For September, our Editorial Advisory Board’s ‘Recommended Read’ comes from Dr Julia Fischer, Assistant Professor of Art History at Lamar University (USA). Julia is an art historian who specialises in Greek and Roman art; currently, her research focuses on the iconography, reception, and propaganda of Roman Imperial cameos.

Julia is the author of the introductory art appreciation textbook How to Speak Art: Understanding Its Language, Issues, and Themes. She is also the editor of More Than Mere Playthings: The Minor Arts of Italy and Breaking with Convention in Italian Art, which were published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016 and 2017 respectively. She contributed chapters to both books, most notably "A Woman's Weapon: Private Propaganda in the Imperial Cameos of the Early Roman Empire" in More Than Mere Playthings and “Establishing an Augustan Date and Interpretation for the Tazza Farnese” in Breaking with Convention in Italian Art.

In 2016, Julia was named Lamar University's Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, one of the highest honours that can be bestowed upon a Lamar University faculty member and one that is reserved for outstanding teachers and scholars.

We are offering all of our readers a 50% discount on Julia’s choices. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code EABSEP19 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 16th October 2019.

Dr Julia Fischer’s ‘Recommended Reads’: 


Patterns in the Production of Apulian Red-Figure Painting by Edward Herring

Most of the previous scholarship on Apulian red-figure pottery has focused on the cataloguing of collections and stylistic matters. Herring takes a different approach by identifying patterns in the decoration of Apulian vases that cast light on the choices made by vase-producers.

Dr Fischer notes how this approach separates the book from its predecessors:

“Previous scholarship of Apulian vase-painting tends to concentrate on cataloguing, attribution to specific painters and potters, iconography, or the study of the shapes of the vessels. Having no provenance or archaeological context for these Apulian red-figure vases has made it difficult to do more than these types of studies, though most of the vessels were discovered in tombs. But Herring utilizes a different methodology in his new book, in which he first creates a database of over 13,500 South Italian vases. By doing so, his goal is ‘to examine certain issues around the production, design and use of the Apulian red-figure across its entire history.’ Consequently, Herring arrives at a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which the ancient people of South Italy commemorated their dead.

Herring’s book is a valuable resource for scholars of Greek art, especially those who specialize in vase-painting. Using a holistic methodology and approach, Herring tracks the patterns of production of Apulian red-figure vases and is able to cite the changes that occur in the iconography, which leads to a better understanding of the tastes of the South Italian consumers of these vases and the ways in which they utilized these vessels in a funerary context.”


Political Religions in the Greco-Roman World: Discourses, Practices, and Images edited by Elias Koulakiotis and Charlotte Dunn

As with Edward Herring’s volume, the aspects which distinguish this collection from previous scholarship are also significant.

“Koulakiotis and Dunn are doing something different here: they and the contributors are trying to ‘diversify our understanding of political religions by assembling new, original research that investigates the political conceptualizations and implementations of religious practice.’

The volume, which has the work of fourteen leading scholars in various areas, from linguistics to political science to art history, investigates the intimate connection between religion and politics in Greece and Rome from the 7th century BCE to the 4th century CE.

The book is a valuable contribution to the study of religion, politics, and the ancient world. Unlike other recent compendia like The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Mediterranean Religions and The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion, Political Religions in the Greco-Roman World encompasses both Greece and Rome and focuses exclusively on expanding the scholarship of political religions.”


For further information on Dr Fischer, please click here.


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