The ‘Modern’ Ruins of Bosra

The ‘basalt city’ of Bosra is best known from its wonderfully well-preserved Roman theatre. However, the city is not only rich in ancient ruins. Large parts of the ‘modern’ city that was built reusing bits and pieces of ancient buildings as well as utilising the Roman street grid have themselves been abandoned. This makes for […]

Roman Sculpture as “Hunting Trophy”

Sometimes you come across interesting things while doing research on an entirely different subject (as also recently noted by Mary Beard). For example, I quite like this rather odd case of Classical reception that I came across the other day. The small image to the right shows a Roman portrait head of a woman, datable […]

The Survival and Reception of Roman Antiquities in the Middle Ages

This is just a brief note to state that Michael Greenhalgh’s The Survival of Roman Antiquities in the Middle Ages (Duckworth 1989) is available online. This is a very interesting study that presents some fascinating data concerning the fate of Roman monuments in the Western provinces, and especially France. It is, however, not as often […]

Rome Reborn – but showing no signs of life…

A University of Virginia-based Virtual Reality project Rome Reborn 1.0, that aims to digitally reconstruct ancient Rome has recently received a lot of media attention. I somehow feel that the story has been heard before. Here is an example of their digital model of the Roman Forum: Empty space. The western end of Forum Romanum […]

A Hercules Divided

The purchase of illicit antiquities by North American museums has received a lot of media attention recently, and deservingly so. An internal report by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles concluded that 350 ancient artefacts were purchased from dealers currently suspected of looting. This includes a third of the ‘masterpieces’ that form the core of […]

Breaking the Forma Aedificii Gatesensis

To state that almost all extant Roman sculpture is fragmented in one way or another is fairly banal. To answer why, when and how it was broken is anything but. Differentiating between the many different ways that fragmentation of sculpture occurs has been one of the main challenges of my thesis work. There are several […]