Portraiture and the Royal Cult Old Gods, New uises Materials, Style, and Technique

 

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Portraiture and the Royal Cult

The Ptolemies were part of a new breed of rulers, the Hellenistic autocrats, who put portraiture—the principal artistic innovation of Hellenistic times—to use for political purposes. Their attitude toward portraiture was based on the ruler cult, which had a long tradition on the fringes of the Greek world. Macedonia had a strong cult of the ruler. Under Alexander's Macedonian leadership, the ruler cult spread to semi-independent Greece and other conquered territories, eclipsing the Greek tradition that all citizens had a direct responsibility in the life of the city. In Egypt, the pharaonic cult was as old as its archaic religion.

 

 

 

 

 

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