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About This Event



Please join us for a lecture by Classical Studies faculty candidate Elizabeth Wolfram Thiss who will present a lecture based upon her research:

“Constructing Romans: Architectural Depictions, Power, & Identity in Ancient Rome.”


We live surrounded by depictions of architecture. They are on our money, in our magazines, on our stamps. Yet we rarely think of what effect this onslaught of architectural images has on our consciousness of our world. At the height of her empire, Rome was also full of depictions of architecture. In particular, such depictions appeared frequently on sculptural monuments set up by the state. I argue that these architectural depictions were intended to shape Romans’ views of what was important about being Roman, in a way that was favorable to the ruling elite. This codified sense of Roman identity was an important tool in gaining and maintaining power in the capital of the largest empire the world had ever seen. This talk will explore the relationships between architecture, art, and attempts to control identity in Rome, and what this can tell us about how we understand architectural depictions and politics today.

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