Athens Under Roman Domination

Wednesday, 19 March, 2014, 6:30 pm
Theatre A, Elisabeth Murdoch Building, University of Melbourne

Professor Michael Hoff (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Few cities of the ancient world can rival Athens’ rich array of cultural splendors.  Monuments such as the Parthenon, Erechtheion, and Theater of Dionysos (to name only a few) serve as visual reminders of Athens’ glory during the Classical Age.  But scholars have neglected the era in Athenian history when Rome held dominion over all of Greece and the “Golden Age” of Athens was long passed. The Romans heavily patronized the city with endowments of magnificent buildings and monuments that outwardly reflect and honor Athens’ past glory, yet also readily testify to Roman domination.  Considering the heavy debt the Romans owed to Greece with respect to their own art and culture, it is curious to note the Roman contributions to Athenian art and architecture. This talk traces the topographical and architectural changes Athens underwent during the formative period of Roman control, which occurred during the late Hellenistic period and to the mid-first century AD.  There is a particular emphasis on the role Augustus played in the civic transformation based on research by the lecturer.  Monuments to be discussed include the Parthenon, Agora, Temple of Roma and Augustus, Roman Market, and others.

Michael Hoff is Hixson-Lied Professor of Art History in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he has taught since 1989.  His research interests include Greek architecture, the architectural topography of Athens during the Roman period, and the archaeology of Asia Minor.  He is Director of the Antiocheia ad Cragum Excavations in Turkey, and has participated in excavations in North Wales, Corinth, Crete, Nemea, and Rough Cilicia in southern Turkey. He is co-editor of “The Romanization of Athens” (1998), and has published articles in a wide array of scholarly journals.

This public lecture is sponsored by the Classical Association of Victoria, and The University of Melbourne’s School of Historical and Philosophical Studies (SHAPS).

The lecture is free but registration is requested.