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Article

Geoffrey Waywell

(b Ilford, June 22, 1894; d Peebles, Feb 25, 1988).

English archaeologist . One of the most distinguished Classical scholars of the 20th century, specializing in Greek and Roman sculpture, he was equally well-known for his skills as an administrator and teacher. He was appointed Assistant Curator of Coins at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in 1922, leaving the post to become Director of the British School in Rome in 1925. Tempted by the opportunity of proximity to the British Museum collections and library, Ashmole returned to England in 1929 to take up the Yates Chair of Classical Archaeology at the University of London (1929–48), soon arranging a transfer to the university of the museum’s collection of plaster casts. As Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum (1939–56), he was largely responsible for the eventual display of the Elgin Marbles in the Duveen Gallery. He returned to Oxford in 1956 as Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology, from which post he retired in ...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Charles Buchanan

Type of large-format Bible, usually found in pandect (single-volume) form, produced in central Italy and Tuscany from around 1060 to the middle of the 12th century. They came out of the efforts of a reformist papacy intent on wresting control over ecclesiastical investiture from the Holy Roman Emperor. The Giant Bibles were produced in reformed canonries and monasteries and then exported to the same, not only in Italy but throughout Europe.

The term ‘Atlantic’ (from the mythological giant Atlas) is derived from their impressive size; dimensions range from 550 to 600 mms by 300 to 400 mms. Their script, derived from Caroline minuscule, is placed in two columns of around fifty-five lines. The texts are decorated with two initial types, which Edward B. Garrison designated as ‘geometrical’ and ‘full shaft’, both of which are derived from Carolingian and Ottonian exemplars, respectively. The iconography consists of full-length prophets, patriarchs, kings and saints as well as narrative scenes. The last are at times found as full-page cyclical illuminations and preface important textual divisions, especially Genesis. The iconography of the Giant Bibles is a specific Roman iconographical recension with its sources based in part on Early Christian pictorial cycles, such as the wall paintings of Old St Peter’s in Rome. These came from an era considered by the reformers to have been uncorrupted by the abuses that afflicted the Church when these Bibles were being made. While the Giant Bibles were promulgated by the Church of Rome as a symbol of its supreme authority, they also allowed the clergy to perform the liturgy, and the Divine Office in particular, properly....

Article

Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....

Article

Carmela Vircillo Franklin

(b Berlin, Aug 18, 1911; d Cambridge, MA, Sept 6, 2006).

German historian of antiquity and the Middle Ages, active also in Italy and America. Bloch was trained at the University of Berlin under the historian of ancient Greece Werner Jaeger, art historian Gerhart Rodenwaldt and medievalist Erich Caspar from 1930 until 1933, when the rise of National Socialism convinced him to move to Rome. There he received his tesi di laurea in ancient history in 1935 and his diploma di perfezionamento in 1937. He then participated in the excavations at Ostia, Rome’s ancient port, which was an important site in the revival of Italian archaeology under Fascism. At the outbreak of World War II, he immigrated to the USA, and began his teaching career in 1941 at Harvard University’s Department of Classics, where he remained until his retirement in 1982. His experience of totalitarianism shaped both his personal and professional beliefs.

Bloch applied a deep knowledge of epigraphy, history and material culture, art history, literary and archival sources to his research and he had a propensity for uncovering the significance of new or neglected evidence. One such area was Roman history. His first publications, on ancient Rome’s brick stamps (many of which he discovered ...

Article

Cicero  

Valerie Hutchinson Pennanen

(Marcus Tullius)

(b Arpinum [now Arpino, nr Frosinone], Jan 3, 106 bc; d Formiae [now Formia, Campagna], Dec 7, 43 bc).

Roman orator, statesman, philosopher and patron. His reverence for the past was reflected in both his public and private life. Having studied in Greece and apparently read at least one treatise on Greek art (see Brutus xviii.70), he was familiar with the work of the greatest Greek artists and alluded to Myron, Polykleitos, Pheidias, Lysippos, Apelles and to Greek art in general throughout his writings. That he was an avid collector is revealed by his Letters to Atticus, through whom he bought numerous sculptures for his villa at Tusculum. Fondness for Greek art is also reflected in his choice of similes, so that he compared Caesar’s straightforward prose with ‘nude, well-proportioned’ statues (Brutus lxxv.262), strong-souled men with rust-proof Corinthian bronzes (Tusculan Disputations IV.xiv.32) and man’s acquisition of wisdom with Pheidias’ ability to perfect a statue (On the Ends of Good and Evil IV.xiii.34). His admiration for Greek art is further evident in his impassioned speech ...

Article

Maria Adelaide Miranda

[Virgílio]

(b Régua, Oct 19, 1888; d Coimbra, June 3, 1944).

Portuguese art historian, writer, archaeologist and museum official. He studied Law at the Universidade de Coimbra but soon became involved in research in the history of art, archaeology and ethnography, and in 1921 he was appointed as a lecturer in art history and aesthetics at the university. He was also a distinguished museum official, serving as Curator of the Museu Etnológico Português and of the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, in Lisbon. In 1929 he was appointed Director of the Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro, in Coimbra. Among his archaeological activities was that of directing the excavations at Conímbriga, south of Coimbra. Aware of the lack of objectivity in the study of archaeology and art history in Portugal, he investigated these disciplines thoroughly and sought to found them on direct observation and the consultation of sources. He favoured a method of research based on the study of documents, believing that only the document and the work of art remained constant, whereas aesthetic appreciation constantly changed. However, he thought that the document alone was not enough but had to be supported by material from photographic archives and by the gathering of data from museums, such that everything that might clarify the subject of study was brought together in one place. His vast body of published work includes ...

Article

John Curran

(Valéry Marie)

(b Aalst, Jan 3, 1868; d Woluwe, Brussels, Aug 20, 1947).

Belgian archaeologist and religious historian. Educated in Ghent, Bonn, Berlin and Paris, he taught at the University of Ghent from 1896 to 1910. He made a fundamental contribution to the understanding of the complexity of ancient paganism and its symbols, and he travelled widely in Syria and Turkey in search of ancient astrological drawings and symbols. Other important early works of this prolific scholar focused on the influence of ancient oriental cults, particularly Mithraism, on the Roman world and on Christianity. He developed an interest in pagan representations of the afterlife and collected widely dispersed information for his great work Recherches sur le symbolisme funéraire des Romains. This broke decisively with the tradition of romantic scholarship, which had concentrated on style, aesthetic quality and dating: Cumont marshalled his impressive archaeological knowledge to present a scientific categorization of the material remains of ancient funerary art, including sculpture, painting and sarcophagus reliefs, together with a penetrating and influential analysis of the selection and meaning of the artistic themes used....

Article

Sarah Morgan

[Eusebios Pamphili]

(b c. ad 265; d c. ad 340). Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, church historian and prominent supporter of Constantine the Great. Eusebios studied under the learned presbyter Pamphilus (c. 240–309), whose name he adopted, in Caesarea, an important centre of Christian learning since the time of Origen (c. 185–254). He achieved a formidable reputation as a scholar, yet managed to escape harm during the Great Persecution of the Church (ad 303–12). In 313 he was appointed Bishop of Caesarea, which position he held until his death. When the Arian controversy broke out c. 318, Eusebios attempted to present Arianism in a more acceptable form. At the Council of Nicaea (325), however, it was condemned as a heresy and Eusebios was required to recant his position and to accept the doctrine of the Council. From this time he gave full support to Constantine’s drive for unity in the Church, and in return he enjoyed considerable imperial favour....

Article

T. F. C. Blagg

(b c. ad 30; d 104).

Roman administrator and writer. He was a senatorial aristocrat. During his early career he served as governor of Britain (ad 74–8). His conquest of Wales led to the establishment of Caerleon and Chester as permanent legionary fortresses. He was probably responsible for initiating the programme of Roman urban development in Britain for which Tacitus (On the Life of Agricola xxi) gave credit to his father-in-law, Agricola, who succeeded Frontinus as governor. In ad 97 Frontinus was commissioned to reorganize Rome’s water supply and in 100 was awarded the unusual distinction of a third consulship.

Frontinus wrote on the aqueducts of Rome, surveying, the art of war, stratagems and farming. In De aquis urbis Romae (On the water supply of the city of Rome) he showed his appreciation of the management of Rome’s aqueducts and revealed a typical Roman pragmatism; he contrasted the practicality of the great Roman system with ‘the idle Pyramids and the useless but famous works of the Greeks’ (...

Article

Barry Bergdoll

(b Cologne, June 15, 1790; d Paris, Dec 31, 1853).

French architect, writer and archaeologist of German birth. In 1810 he left Cologne with his lifelong friend J. I. Hittorff for Paris, enrolling at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1811 under the tutelage of the ardent Neo-classicists Louis-Hippolyte Lebas and François Debret. But from the beginning Gau was exposed to a wider field of historical sources, first as assistant site architect under Debret on the restoration of the abbey church of Saint-Denis (1813–15) and then from 1815 in Nazarene circles in Rome, where he met the archaeologist and philologist Barthold Nieburh (1776–1831), who arranged a scholarship for him from the Prussian government and a trip through the eastern Mediterranean. In Egypt Gau undertook an arduous trip down the Nile to visit and record the monuments of Nubia, which he published as the lavish folio Antiquités de la Nubie. He noted assiduously every trace of colour on the remains, just as he was to do in ...

Article

John Curran

(b Oslo, March 2, 1903; d Rome, Dec 5, 1983).

Norwegian art historian and archaeologist. Founder of the Norwegian Institute in Rome, he played a major part in establishing late Antique art as an independent and worthy subject of research. His early work concentrated on portraiture, where he collected, published and analysed many little-known late Roman busts and portraits. In 1939 he produced with A. von Gerkan an unsurpassed study of the Arch of Constantine in Rome, which interpreted the monument as a crucial link between late Classical and early medieval art. His treatment of the composite nature of the construction and hierarchy of figures on the arch was particularly significant. His interest in art and political power led to studies on the symbolism of monarchy and the heavens in history, from the Ancient Near East to 11th-century Europe. He also studied the civic art of the later Roman empire, revealing the richness and variety of its themes. A collection of articles published on his 70th birthday (...

Article

Karolina Lanckorońska

[Karl Anton Leo Ludwig]

(b Vienna, Nov 4, 1848; d Vienna, July 15, 1933).

Polish archaeologist, writer, collector and patron, active in Austria. As an archaeologist his main interest lay in the architectural ruins of the late Roman Empire in Anatolia. In 1884 he organized an expedition of which he later published an account, Stadt Pamphyliens und Pisidiens. Sketches made by Jacek Malczewski (e.g. Warsaw, Royal Castle; mainly watercolours) are also records of the expedition. Lanckoroński and Malczewski later toured Italy and travelled to Munich together. Other artists patronized by Lanckoroński included Antoni Madeyski (1862–1939), Henryk Rodakowski and Hans Makart. During 1888 and 1889 Lanckoroński made a round-the-world voyage and subsequently published a diary of this trip, entitled Rund um die Erde. He brought back to Vienna various works of art, mainly sculptures and textiles. Between 1890 and 1895 a Baroque Revival palace was built for him in Vienna to designs by Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Hellmer (1849–1919). In it Lanckoroński installed paintings, mainly Dutch and French, that he had inherited and Italian paintings he had purchased (e.g. Masaccio’s ...

Article

Charles T. Little

(b Berlin, March 5, 1924; d London, May 19, 2003).

German curator and art historian of medieval art, active also in England. Born in Berlin, Lasko arrived in London in 1937 as a refugee from Nazi Germany. His first teacher was Professor Nikolaus Pevsner at Birkbeck College at the University of London. After continuing his studies at the Courtauld Institute, Lasko was appointed in 1950 as an Assistant Keeper at the British Museum in the Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities, a post he held until 1965. This position launched his interest in metalwork and ivories, which ultimately matured into his volume for the Pelican History of Art devoted to Ars Sacra: 800–1200. This volume was enriched by his involvement in a number of the Council of Europe exhibitions: Romanesque in Barcelona, European Art around 1400 in Vienna, Byzantine Art in Athens and Charlemagne in Aachen.

In 1965, Lasko became the founding Dean of Fine Arts and Music at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. As a brilliant administrator, he secured the gift of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts designed by Norman Forster. With his long time friend, George Zarnecki, he established the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland. Possessing a ...

Article

Dominic Montserrat

[Gr. Loukianos]

(b Samosata, c. ad 120; d before 180). Author, writing in Greek, of North African birth. Towards the end of a prolific literary career, around 163 ad, he wrote the Imagines (Gr. Eikones), a panegyric couched in dialogue form, which is one of several texts surviving from the age of the Second Sophistic that include extensive descriptions of works of art (see also Philostratos family). Also of interest for the history of painting is Lucian’s Zeuxis, a discussion of the idea of innovation, which includes a detailed description of a copy of the Centaur Family, a famous work by the Athenian painter Zeuxis, depicting a family of centaurs in an idyllic landscape. In the Renaissance the popularity of Lucian’s art writings influenced such artists as Sodoma and Botticelli; the latter incorporated many elements from Lucian’s description of Aetion’s Wedding of Alexander the Great and Roxane...

Article

Ovid  

Willem F. Lash

[Publius Ovidius Naso]

(b Sulmo [now Sulmona, Abruzzi], 20 March 43 bc; d Tomis [now Constanţa, Romania], ad 17–18). Roman poet. His work is an important source for mythological subjects in Western visual art. He studied in Rome and held minor judicial posts there before becoming a poet. For two decades he was the leading poet in Rome, but in ad 8, for unknown reasons, the Emperor Augustus banished him to Tomis on the Black Sea, where he remained. The principal works of his maturity are the Metamorphoses, stories from mythology related in a historical frame, and the Fasti, a poetical treatise on the Roman calendar. The Metamorphoses is undoubtedly Ovid’s most important work, both for its ingenious structure and its cultural implications. The stories were derived largely from Hellenistic mythography and Virgil’s Aeneid, but Ovid’s treatment, linking them in a narrative structure and retelling them with overtones of irony, was innovative. The transformations referred to in the title are essentially a linking motif; the real subject of the ...

Article

Mark D. Fullerton

(fl Rome, 1st century bc).

Greek sculptor and writer from South Italy. He is generally regarded as the head of a school producing eclectic, neo-classical statuary related to Neo-Attic decorative reliefs. Virtually everything known about Pasiteles is derived from a few literary references. No signatures of his are extant, although a marble statue of a youth (c. 50 bc; Rome, Villa Albani) is signed by Stephanos as his pupil. Pasiteles received Roman citizenship around 89–88 bc, when enfranchisement was extended as a result of the Social War (Pliny XXXIII.lv.156; XXXVI.iv.40). He is mentioned as an expert in the chasing of metal (caelatura), especially elaborately decorated silver vessels (Pliny XXXV.xlv.156; Cicero: On Divination I.xxxvi.79). Despite being both a sculptor and metalworker, Pasiteles is never mentioned by Pliny in his section on sculptors in bronze. Rather, he is specifically identified as a modeller and ivory carver (XXXV.xlv.156; XXXVI.iv.40). He must have worked in marble as well, since his name occurs twice in book XXXVI, where marble sculpture is treated, and his student ...

Article

John Wilton-Ely

[Giambattista]

(b Mogliano, nr Mestre, Oct 4, 1720; d Rome, Nov 9, 1778).

Italian etcher, engraver, designer, architect, archaeologist and theorist. He is considered one of the supreme exponents of topographical engraving, but his lifelong preoccupation with architecture was fundamental to his art. Although few of his architectural designs were executed, he had a seminal influence on European Neo-classicism through personal contacts with architects, patrons and visiting artists in Rome over the course of nearly four decades. His prolific output of etched plates, which combined remarkable flights of imagination with a strongly practical understanding of ancient Roman technology, fostered a new and lasting perception of antiquity. He was also a designer of festival structures and stage sets, interior decoration and furniture, as well as a restorer of antiquities. The interaction of this rare combination of activities led him to highly original concepts of design, which were advocated in a body of influential theoretical writings. The ultimate legacy of his unique vision of Roman civilization was an imaginative interpretation and re-creation of the past, which inspired writers and poets as much as artists and designers....

Article

R. L. P. Milburn

(Aurelius Clemens)

(b ?Saragossa, ad 348; d c. ad 410).

Spanish writer. Born into an élite family, he gave up a successful career in the civil administration to devote himself to the dissemination of Christian doctrine through his Latin Christian poetry and hymns. His verse is modelled on that of Virgil, Horace, and other Classical poets and shows a command of various metres; he is often acclaimed as the chief Christian poet of the early period. Loyalty to the Church, however, failed to quench his admiration for ancient Rome or an awareness of beauty in pagan art forms.

His Peristephanon, a series of lyrics inspired by veneration for the martyrs of Spain and Rome, offers valuable descriptions of Roman catacombs and churches (e.g. St Peter, S Paolo fuori le mura, the basilica near the grave of Hippolytus, and the Lateran baptistery) together with their marbles, painting, and mosaics. The theme of his Psychomachia is the contest between Christianity and pagan beliefs: it became an important source for the medieval art form of Allegory, in which vigorous personifications of the Seven Cardinal Virtues are described (and often portrayed) in combat with the Vices for mastery over the human soul....

Article

John Onians

[Marcus Fabius Quintilianus]

(b Calagurris [now Calahorra], Spain, c. ad 40; d c. ad 100).

Roman rhetorician, writer and teacher. He was educated in Rome, where he studied rhetoric with the orator Domitius Afer; he later returned to the capital in ad 68, becoming himself a highly successful teacher before being appointed by the Emperor Vespasian (reg ad 69–79) as the first professor of rhetoric paid by the State. During his retirement he served as tutor to members of the family of Domitian (reg ad 81–96), and around ad 95 he completed the Institutio oratoria (‘Principles of Oratory’), a comprehensive treatise on the training of the orator, which became the foundation of education in the Late Empire. Quintilian’s importance derives from his close association with the policy of the Flavian dynasty and the subsequent influence of his writing. He shared with Vespasian a concern to define a distinctively Roman culture after the excesses of the Grecophile Nero, and his description of Roman rhetorical style as ‘forceful’, ‘weighty’ and ‘copious’ (XII.x.36) may have helped to form contemporary taste not only in oratory but also in the ...