This week’s interview features Dr Michael Squire of King’s College London, talking about his current research project on the Imagines. This text, which was written by the third-century AD Greek author Philostratus the Elder, contains accounts of 65 paintings displayed in an (imaginary?) gallery on the Bay of Naples.

Mike introduces us to some of the paintings described by Philostratus, including a representation of the Cyclops Polyphemus and an image of the Trojan river Scamander (the image on the left shows an imaginative reconstruction of the latter in a 1614 French edition of the text; you can also download a copy of the passage here). He touches on questions of authenticity and fiction, ecphrasis and imagination, and explains how the images in Philostratus’ gallery relate to one another, as well as referring out to other ancient literary texts including Homer and Sappho.

Click on the image below or follow this link to our Youtube channel to watch our interview!