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Medusa’s GazeThe Extraordinary Journey of the Tazza Farnese$
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Marina Belozerskaya

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199739318

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739318.001.0001

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Gem Mania in Rome

Gem Mania in Rome

(p.31) 2 Gem Mania in Rome
Medusa’s Gaze

Marina Belozerskaya

Oxford University Press

The ancient Romans admired and coveted colored stones and works carved from them, importing them from the territories they conquered and capturing them from their enemies. This chapter discusses possible ways by which the Tazza may have come to Rome—as war booty, Cleopatra’s gift to Julus Caesar, or Octavian’s prize seized upon the Queen’s death. It also discusses the significance of cameo carving to Augustus and his use of such objects as political tools.

Keywords:   gems, exotic stones, Mithradates, Augustus, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, luxury, extravagance, Roman temples

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