Classical Studies 3400E Chapter Notes -Roman Art, Pottery Of Ancient Greece, Cretinism
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A dwarf (due to some pathological condition such as cretinism or some other
disease that produces disproportion or deformation of features and limbs). A midget is
someone perfect in form and normal in function, but diminutive. A pygmy From the
Greek pygme or pygmaios, meaning the “distance from elbow to knuckles.”
Dwarfs in Roman art Were there many of these given the Roman propensity for
exposure of the physically or mentally deformed at birth? these do appear in the slave
staffs in the imperial and noble households. Slaves who were bought to amuse their
masters/as jesters were called moriones (sing. morio).
In the Iliad and on Greek vases pygmies appear fighting battles with cranes.
Artists and patrons beginning in the Hellenistic era delighting in depicting life on the Nile
The constant in visual representations of pygmies is not their color but their short stature
and non-ideal somatotype. They represent the maximum possible contrast to the ideal
classical body: they are short, and the women are macromastic or steatopygous. They
also copulate in open spaces. Many of these depictions occur in dining rooms and other
rooms designed for entertainment (not cubicula).
Africans are viewed as hypersexual
Censured acts (bestiality; very young sexual partners). These often occur in Roman
literature/art usually as a comment on female sexuality (i.e, occur mainly between women
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