The Tabulae Iliacae are a group of carved stone plaques created in the context of early Imperial Rome that use miniature images and text to retell stories from Greek myth and history - chief among them Homer's Iliad and the fall of Troy. In this book, Professor Petrain moves beyond the narrow focus on the literary and iconographic sources of the Tabulae that has characterized earlier scholarship. Drawing on ancient and modern theories of narrative, he explores instead how the tablets transfer the Troy saga across both medium and culture as they create a system of visual storytelling that relies on the values and viewing habits of Roman viewers. The book comprehensively situates the tablets in the urban fabric of Augustan Rome. New photographs of the tablets, together with re-editions and translations of key inscriptions, offer a new, clearer view of these remarkable documents of the Roman appropriation of Greek epic.
In The Press
'… this is an instructive and rewarding study of a topic that can seem abstruse and that has endangered controversy. … Given this work's clear presentation of evidence, balance of iconographic and literary interpretation, and lucid argument, I would advise scholars new to the topic to start with it first.' Jonathon Burgess, The Classical Journal