Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Rom Und Mailand in der Spätantike: Repräsentationen Städtischer Räume in Literatur, Architektur Und Kunst

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Rom Und Mailand in der Spätantike: Repräsentationen Städtischer Räume in Literatur, Architektur Und Kunst

Article excerpt

Rom und Mailand in der Spätantike:Repräsentationen städtischer Räume in Literatur, Architektur und Kunst. Edited by Therese Fuhrer. [Topoi. Berlin Studies of the Ancient World, Vol. 4.] (Boston: Walter De Gruyter, 2012. Pp. xx, 448. $124.00. ISBN 978-3-11-022213-5.)

Recent years have seen an impressive amount of research on the late-antique city of Rome, a general growth of interest in late-antique capitals, and a flourishing of work on late-antique urbanism in general. Until very recently what had been lacking was work looking at late antique (capital) cities in properly comparative perspective so this volume, the first to focus directly on Rome and Milan together, is bound to be welcome. This edited collection stems from a May 2009 conference in Berlin and features the work of both historians and archaeologists. Because space does not permit detailed discussion of all sixteen chapters, this review will aim at a broad overview of the volume and its strengths and weaknesses.

After a brief introduction the volume is divided into four parts. The first looks at the city and (and without) the emperor. Here the focus is primarily material, looking at the topography and archaeology of the two cities. Inevitably, the focus is primarily on Rome, due to the vastly more extensive ancient remains surviving from this city. This section includes a useful account by Vincent Jolivet and Claire Sotinel of the early-fifth-century imperial palace recently excavated at the Villa Medici, the so-called Domus Pinciana. Part 2, consisting of only two chapters, focuses on literary representations of the two cities, in imperial panegyric (Rome and Milan), and in the writings of Ammianus Marcellinus (Rome alone). Part 3, which focuses exclusively on Rome, looks at the currently fashionable concept of the (late-antique) city as "Erinnerungslandschaft" (landscape of memory), focusing on both literary texts (including Macrobius, Prudentius, Sidonius Apollinaris, and Servius) and topography (including the Roman Forum, Forum of Augustus, and the Lupercal). …

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