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March 15 , 2009

The Hunchback in Hellenistic and Roman Art


The subject of deformity and disability in the ancient Greco-Roman world has experienced a surge in scholarship over the past two decades. Recognizing a vast, but relatively un(der)explored, corpus of evidence, scholars have sought to integrate the deformed and disabled body back into our understanding of ancient society and culture, art and representation. The Hunchback in Hellenistic and Roman Art works towards this end, using the figure of the hunchback to re-think and re-read images of the 'Other' as well as key issues that lie at the very heart of ancient representation.

The author takes an art-historical approach, examining key features of the corpus of hunchbacks, as well as representations of the deformed and disabled more generally. This provides fertile ground for a re-assessment of current, and likewise marginalized, scholarship on the miniature in ancient art, hyperphallicism in ancient art, and the emphasis on the male body in ancient art.

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