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Marble Monuments and Imperial Identity: stone as symbols of power in ancient Rome
April 9, 2019 @ 6:00 pm EDT
2500 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN United States
Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
Lecturer: Hazel Dodge
A visit to Roman sites in the Mediterranean is memorable not only because of the scale of the buildings and their survival, but also because of the very noticeable use of a wide range of decorative stones, both white and coloured. The Romans employed these in both public and private building on an unprecedented scale, being prepared to quarry them in huge quantities and transport them the length of the Mediterranean and beyond. This practice had its origins in the capital of the empire, where Initially these stones were brought back to Rome as spoils of war and used by triumphant generals to advertise military victories and to enhance their political position. Later, the emperors’ building projects transformed this exploitation to a level of activity never seen before or since.
This lecture will examine not only the technology involved in the quarrying and transport of these resources, but also the ideologies of imperial power and the role these stones played in transforming not only the city of Rome but also the other cities of the Roman Empire.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
ASMOSIA (Association for the Study of Marble and Other Stones in Antiquity
H. Dodge and B. Ward-Perkins (eds), Marble in Antiquity Collected Papers and lectures of J. B. Ward-Perkins, British School at Rome Archaeological Monograph No 6, London 1992
L. and T. Mannoni, Marble. The History of a Culture, New York/Oxford 1985