The Serpent Column. A Cultural Biography.
Oxford University Press, 2016. 304p. Hardback. Series: Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture. Paul Stephenson has set a new landmark and a new benchmark in writing the history of objects and the writing of history through objects. The extraordinary fertility of his research, the subtlety of his arguments, the elegant economy of his prose, and the uniqueness of the object all make this a hard act to follow. ... He is, however, the first to label his work a cultural biography. It sounds pretentious, but it aptly echoes late antique and Byzantine beliefs in the animation of statues, and effectively states what should be every historians ideal: to ensure that the relics of the past get a life however inanimate and truncated they may be. Paul Magdalino, University of St. Andrews, Emeritus, American Historical Review |a 27/06/2019 (Publisher's information).