Weeks 13 & 14: Monuments to/of Roman Imperialism

As Neils Hannestad pointed out in your reading from a couple of weeks ago, the Romans had no word for ‘imperialism’ as we know it, even though the English term is derived from a Roman title (imperator) and the Romans certainly engaged in what we might consider imperialistic behavior.  The ideology behind such behavior, although never spelled out in any sort of self-reflective treaty for us to read, nonetheless informs a range of Roman media, including literature, art and architecture.  We’ll look at the last two of these categories for the next week and a half, and I’m having you read a series of articles on some particular monuments of interest, including three of the most iconic ancient monuments still standing in today in Rome: the column of Trajan, the column of Marcus Aurelius, and the Arch of Septimius Severus.  In general, we’ll look at the Roman use of myth and allegory to express ideas about imperial ideology; the representation and attitude towards enemies; representations of war and the army; and representations of the emperor in this context.



Tuesday, April 12:

Scarre, Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome, selections[for a very cursory overview of the history of Rome in the imperial period. Lots of maps and pictures] Scarre Penguin Atlas of Rome Selections

Hölscher, T. 2006.  The transformation of victory into power: from event to structure. In Representations of War in Ancient Rome, ed. by S. Dillon and K. Welch, 27-48.  Holscher 2006

Kousser, R.  2006.  Conquest and Desire: Roman Victoria in Public and Provincial Sculpture.  In Representations of War in Ancient Rome, ed. By S. Dillon and K. Welch, 218-243.  Kousser 2006

Thursday, April 14:

Ferris. I.  2003.  The Hanged Men Dance: Barbarians in Trajanic Art.  In Roman Imperialism and Provincial Art, ed. by S. Scott and J. Webster, 53-68. Ferris 2003

Brilliant, R.  1984.  Visual Narratives: Storytelling in Etruscan and Roman Art, ch. 3, “The column of Trajan and its heirs: helical tales, ambiguous trails,” pp 90-123.  Brilliant 1984

Tuesday, April 19:

Dillon, S.  2006. Women on the columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius and the visual language of Roman victory. Representations of War in Ancient Rome. S. Dillon and K. Welch. pp. 244-271.  Dillon 2006

Lusnia, S.  2006.  “Battle imagery and politics on the Severan Arch in the Roman Forum.”  In Representations of War in Ancient Rome, edited by S. Dillon and K. Welch, 272-299.  Lusnia 2006


Images coming soon!



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