Transfigurations of Hellenism: Aspects of Late Antique Art in Egypt, AD 250-700

By László Török | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION:
A VISIT TO THE COPTIC MUSEUM IN OLD CAIRO

… anyone who has attended closely to the move-
ment of artefacts in a museum will know that the
assumption that, in a museum, artefacts are some-
how static, safe, and out of the territory in which
their meaning and use can be transformed, is demon-
strably false.1

Visiting the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo before the current renovation of the museum’s buildings would have turned their surroundings into a desolate construction area,2 the candid late twentieth-century tourist entered a shady, lush garden opening from the noisy Mari Girgis Street running along the western side of the formidable remains of the Roman fortress of Babylon.3 The old-fashioned garden’s winding palm alleys were lined with ancient marble columns, sculptures and monumental vases. In its centre stood an enchanting Oriental palace decorated with finely carved and inlaid wooden latticework window grilles, or mashrabiya screens, which protected the interior from the scorching sunshine of Egypt.

The surroundings did not fail to cast their spell on the tourist who started his/her visit as if s/he would be allowed to walk through the cabinets housing the collections of a fine patron of art rather than studying the exhibition of a public museum mounted with the sober impartiality of scholarship. Not only the opulent garden and the halls of the palace with their marble tiles and wall panels, ornamental

1 C.S. Smith: Museums, Artefacts, and Meanings. in: P. Vergo (ed.): The New Museology. London 1989 6–21 9.

2 I wrote this chapter in spring 2002.

3 For the tetrarchic military camp, see Pensabene 1993 25 ff.; P. Grossmann – C. Le Quesne – P. Sheehan: Zur römischen Festung von Babylon—Alt-Kairo. AA 1994 271–278; P. Lambert (ed.): Fortifications and the Synagogue: The Fortress of Babylon and the Ben Ezra Synagogue, Cairo. London 1994; P. Sheehan: The Roman Fortress of Babylon in Old Cairo. in: Bailey (ed.) 1996 95–97.

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Transfigurations of Hellenism: Aspects of Late Antique Art in Egypt, AD 250-700
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 400

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.