Abstract: The Petrified City: Reading the Marble Plan of Rome


Nearly 1,800 years ago, a map of ancient Rome was carved on several dozen slabs of marble on the wall of a room within the complex of the Temple of Peace. The surviving fragments of this map, the Forma Urbis Marmorea – also known as the Severan Marble Plan – offer us a tantalizing glimpse of the urban structures of ancient Rome.  The audience will learn about the erratic fortunes of the Marble Plan that followed its initial discovery in the 16th century. The lecture will then explore several issues surrounding the original form and setting of the Marble Plan – e.g., what was its purpose? How was it read? Was it unique?


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

Stanford Digital Forma Urbis Romae Project:  http://formaurbis.stanford.edu/

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