Color photograph of the head and torso of a light skinned woman with long blond hair standing in an outdoor location with a mountain in the background; she smiles directly at the camera

Emily L. Hurt

Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Rome Prize
5 settembre 2022–14 luglio 2023
PhD Candidate, Department of History, Yale University
Titolo del progetto
Palimpsest Cities of the Roman Empire
Descrizione del progetto

My project shows how Roman culture was produced and negotiated through the destruction and rebuilding of conquered cities. I operate in the space between two perspectives: that of the Roman conqueror and that of civic communities in cities that had once been violently destroyed. I trace Roman actions against rival cities in conjunction with the formation of Roman myths about their own history, finding that the construction of Roman identity was intimately connected to forms of intellectual and cultural violence which erased and overwrote the communal memory of civic groups. I then look at the long afterlife of rebuilt cities and how constructions of “Romanness” were imposed upon, and then appropriated and transformed, by newly established civic groups. Untangling the complex encounters between these two deeply entwined perspectives, I view destroyed cities as both literary and material palimpsests, formative spaces in which communities negotiated past and present identities.