Introduction: Collecting the Eclectic in Roman Houses
Abstract

Abstract:

This paper introduces the four essays in this collection on eclecticism and display in Roman houses; works by Emanuel Mayer, Eugene Dwyer, Lauren Petersen, and Francesca Tronchin address archaeological evidence from Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as ancient written sources on decorating and collecting from the perspective of social history. The essay also provides a historiographic account of discussions of eclecticism in Roman visual culture, noting that this stylistic heterogeneity has long been acknowledged in the material, yet has only rather recently been described in a positive light. As pertains to domestic decoration, this introduction and the papers that follow note that employing various eclecticisms within the home could have addressed an audience diverse in religious affiliations, economic status, and intellectual abilities.