Supplements to the Memoirs

Cosa: The Sculpture and Furnishings in Stone and Marble - book cover

Cosa: The Sculpture and Furnishings in Stone and Marble

Jacquelyn Collins-Clinton
University of Michigan Press
360 pages

Cosa, a small Roman town, has been excavated since 1948 by the American Academy in Rome. This new volume presents the surviving sculpture and furniture in marble and other stones and examines their nature and uses. These artifacts provide an insight into not just life in a small Roman town but also its embellishment mainly from the late Republic and through the early Empire to the time of Hadrian. While public statuary is not well preserved, stone and marble material from the private sphere are well represented; domestic sculpture and furniture from the third century BCE to the first CE form by far the largest category of objects. The presence of these materials in both public and private spheres sheds light on the wealth of the town and individual families. The comparative briefness of Cosa’s life means that this material is more easily comprehensible as a whole for the entire town as excavated, compared for instance to the much larger cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Cosa: The Roman and Greek Amphoras

Cosa: The Roman and Greek Amphoras

Elizabeth Lyding Will and Kathleen Warner Slane
University of Michigan Press
304 pages

This long-awaited volume presents the work of Elizabeth Lyding Will on the important group of transport amphoras found at Cosa. This town has been widely recognized as a prototypical colony of the later Roman Republic and a source for trade with Gaul and Spain, so this publication of its finds has important implications for archaeologists and historians of the ancient world. Will’s initial work was on Latin amphora-stamps in the eastern Mediterranean, and through the 1960s and 1970s she developed an amphora typology based on materials found in the region and at Cosa. What has not been appreciated is that this typology was not limited to stamped Republican amphoras but also included unstamped vessels, such as imperial Spanish, African, and eastern amphoras dating as late as the fifth century CE. This book shows that Will was far ahead of her time in documenting the Mediterranean trade in commodities carried in amphoras: her work not only provides a record of the amphoras found on the town-site of Cosa, but also includes a comparison between the finds from the port and the town.

At the time of Will’s death, her manuscript consisted of a typed catalogue of the amphora stamps from Cosa and an equal number of unstamped vessels, but was missing important elements. On the basis of extensive notes and photographs, Kathleen Warner Slane has reviewed and updated the manuscript, adding type descriptions and footnotes to materials that have appeared since Will’s death as well as a framing introduction and conclusions. Appendices highlight an Augustan amphora dump on the Arx and add a catalogue of the Greek amphora stamps found at Cosa.

Ritual Matters

Ritual Matters: Material Remains and Ancient Religion

Claudia Moser and Jennifer Knust, editors
University of Michigan Press
160 pages

Ritual Matters: Material Remains and Ancient Religion interrupts the anachronistic binaries of religious practice and belief, the material and the theological, by taking a new approach to the study of archaeological remains of ancient religions. Focusing on the materiality of ritual—inherent in everything from monumental temples and altars, to votive offerings and codices, to sanctioned inscriptions and reliefs—allows for a novel vantage point from which to consider ancient religious practices, as well as an important counterbalance to more traditional conceptual perspectives often privileged in the field.

Material remains of religious practices may reveal striking local continuity, but they also highlight points of change, as distinct moments of manufacture and use transformed both sites and objects. Yet not every religious practice leaves a trace: the embodied use of imperial statuary, the rationale for the design of particular sacred books or the ephemeral “magical” implements designed by local religious experts leave few traces, if any, and are therefore less amenable to material investigation. What does remain, however, challenges any neat association between representation and reality or literary claim and practical application.

This volume represents a significant contribution to the material approach of studying the ancient Mediterranean’s diverse religious practices. In addition to volume editors Claudia Moser and Jennifer Knust, contributors include Henri Duday, Gunnel Ekroth, David Frankfurter, Richard Gordon, Valérie Huet, William Van Andringa, and Zsuzsanna Várhelyi. Topics covered include funerary remains, sacrificial practices, “magic,” Roman altars, imperial reliefs and statuary, and the role of sacred books.

Hellenistic, Roman, and Medieval Glass from Cosa

The Hellenistic, Roman, and Medieval Glass from Cosa

David Frederick Grose
University of Michigan Press
304 pages

The Hellenistic, Roman, and Medieval Glass from Cosa continues the exemplary record of publication by the American Academy in Rome on important classes of materials recovered in excavation from one of the principal archaeological sites of Roman Italy. Over 15,000 fragments of glass tableware, ranging in date from the mid-second century BCE to the early fifth century CE, were found at Cosa, a small town in Etruria (modern Tuscany). Cosa’s products were chiefly exported to North Africa and Europe, but its influence was felt throughout the Mediterranean world.

The research and analysis presented here are the work of the late David Frederick Grose, who began this project when no other city site excavations in Italy focused on ancient glass. He confirmed that the Roman glass industry began to emerge in the Julio-Claudian era, beginning in the principate of Augustus. His study traces the evolution of manufacturing techniques from core-formed vessels to free blown glass, and it documents changes in taste and style that were characteristic of the western glass industry throughout its long history.

At the time of Grose’s unexpected passing, his study was complete but not yet published. Nevertheless, the reputation of his work in this area has done much to establish the value and importance of excavating and researching Cosa’s glass. This volume, arranged and edited by R. T. Scott, makes Grose’s essential scholarship on the subject available for the first time.

Collection of Antiquities of the American Academy in Rome

The Collection of Antiquities of the American Academy in Rome

Larissa Bonfante and Helen Nagy, editors
University of Michigan Press
408 pages

The foundation of the American Academy in Rome dates back more than one hundred years to the early decades of the last century. Over the years, the Academy has acquired a study collection of material goods from antiquity, including coins, statues and figurines, lamps, stucco and other architectural fragments, jewelry, and inscriptions. While most are Roman in origin, some pieces are Greek or Etruscan. Some were gifts, others come from long-ago excavations, a few were bought. The Collection of Antiquities of the American Academy in Rome focuses on highlights of the collection. Sections of the work are written by area specialists, with introductory material contributed by volume editors Larissa Bonfante and Helen Nagy, both of whom have published widely in archaeology and art history.

Memoria Romana - book cover

Memoria Romana: Memory in Rome and Rome in Memory

Karl Galinsky, editor
University of Michigan Press
212 pages

Concern with memory permeated Roman literature, history, rhetorical training, and art and architecture. This is the first book to look at the phenomenon from a variety of perspectives, including cognitive science. There is no orthodoxy in memory studies and the approaches are both empirical and theoretical. A central issue is: who and what preserved and shaped cultural memory in Rome, and how did that process work? Areas and subjects covered include the Romans’ view of the changing physical fabric of the city, monuments (by etymology related to memory) such as the Arch of Constantine, memory and the Roman triumph, Roman copies of Greek sculpture and their relation to memory, the importance of written information and of continuing process, the creation of memory in Republican memoirs and Flavian poetry, the invention of traditions, and the connection of cultural and digital memory.

The ten chapters present original findings that complement earlier scholarship from the perspective of memory and open up new horizons for inquiry. The introduction by volume editor Karl Galinsky situates the work within current studies on cultural and social memory, and the concluding chapter by Daniel Libeskind provides the perspective of a contemporary practitioner.

Additional contributors include Richard Jenkyns, Harriet I. Flower, T. P. Wiseman, Karl-J. Hölkeskamp, Gianpiero Rosati, Diane Favro, Jessica Hughes, Anna Anguissola, Lisa Marie Mignone, and Bernard Frischer.

Symbols of Wealth and Power

Symbols of Wealth and Power: Architectural Terracotta Decoration in Etruria and Central Italy, 640–510 B.C.

Nancy A. Winter
University of Michigan Press
728 pages

Although initially intended for the innovative, if prosaic, purpose of providing waterproof and fireproof cover for earlier thatch-roofed homes, fired clay tiles, in seventh- and sixth-century Etruria and Central Italy, combined with Etruscan love of adornment to create exceptional domestic and religious building decoration. Featuring statues and figured friezes of humans, animals, and mythological figures intended to convey the status of the owner or dedicator, the surviving terra-cotta roofs provide important insights into the architectural history of Etruria. With Symbols of Wealth and Power, Nancy A. Winter has provided a definitive overview of the evidence for these roofing elements that will enhance our knowledge of Etruscan—and more broadly, ancient—architecture.

Excavations in the Area Sacra of Vesta (1987–1996)

Excavations in the Area Sacra of Vesta (1987–1996)

Russell T. Scott, editor
University of Michigan Press
256 pages

Dedicated to Vesta, the goddess of the hearth, the temple of Vesta was one of the most ancient sanctuaries in the Roman Forum. The priestesses of Vesta, known as the Vestal Virgins—Rome’s only female priests—were in charge of keeping the sacred fire housed in the temple, while they themselves lived in the Atrium Vestae at the eastern edge of the Roman Forum, between the Regia (originally the residence of the kings of Rome) and the Palatine Hill. Together, the Atrium Vestae, the temple of Vesta, and the Regia formed the religious center of the Roman state until a fire destroyed much of Rome and largely burned all three buildings to the ground in 64 CE. Over the years, numerous excavations have taken place in the area and have often produced unreliable results. In Excavations in the Area Sacra of Vesta (1987–1996), Russell T. Scott compiles a definitive chronology of the history of the Atrium Vestae, clarifying much of the earlier research.

Role Models in the Roman World

Role Models in the Roman World: Identity and Assimilation

Sinclair Bell and Inge Lyse Hansen, editors
University of Michigan Press
328 pages

The tendency of ancient Romans to look to mythical and historical figures for role models is everywhere evident in their surviving literary and material culture. This book broadens the horizon of the long-standing scholarly interest in role models in several ways, looking beyond the more familiar famous heroes—such as Achilles and Alexander the Great—and the paternal figures, both mythological and historical, that gave inspiration to later leaders and authors. From the adoption of specific aspects of a favored role model, to the creation of new visual languages for different social groups, to the deliberate counter of common models, this collection demonstrates the importance of exemplary figures in inspiring imitation and assimilation in the creation of new identities. Featuring world-renowned scholars and essays from a broad range of fields, including literature, art, and historiography, Role Models in the Roman World is a groundbreaking collection at the cusp of the newest scholarship of the classical world.

Maritime World of Ancient Rome

The Maritime World of Ancient Rome

Robert L. Hohlfelder, editor
University of Michigan Press
352 pages

It was not until the third century BCE that geopolitical realities beyond Italy forced Rome to recognize the importance of the sea to its own fate. Two centuries later, following the fall of Egypt in 30 BCE, Rome emerged as the dominant maritime power. Once in place, Rome’s dominance of the sea became an important component of its imperial history. No other power before or since has controlled the Mediterranean basin or exercised an imperial naval tenure to such an extent.

Derived from the proceedings of the conference “The Maritime World of Ancient Rome” held at the American Academy in Rome from March 27 to 29, 2003, this volume was conceived to provide a forum for recent research on subjects relating to the maritime life of Rome and the vast empire it created. With contributions from eminent scholars from around the world, this volume builds upon and extends the scope of the American Academy in Rome’s first volume on Rome’s maritime life, The Seaborne Commerce of Ancient Rome: Studies in Archaeology and History. It will be of interest to scholars investigating maritime aspects of the Roman period and to upper level students studying the maritime affairs of the Roman period.

Cosa: The Black-Glaze Pottery 2

Cosa: The Black-Glaze Pottery 2

Ann Reynolds Scott
University of Michigan Press
304 pages

This study of an important class of ceramics from the key coastal colonial site of Cosa in southwest Tuscany documents the rise of republican Rome to dominance in central Italy in the third and second centuries BC. The town and territory of Cosa constitute one of the most extensively explored sites of the Roman republican period on the Italian peninsula. Excavation and survey work by the American Academy in Rome and others at Cosa over the past half century have greatly enriched our knowledge of the development of public and domestic urban and rural architecture, the organization and exploitation of the resources of the countryside, and the patterns of economic exchange to which they testify. These latter are particularly evident in the varieties of imported and locally made black-glaze pottery that have been recovered in the excavations. While we tend to think of the ubiquitous Greco-Italic amphorae as the commercial indicators par excellence of mid to late republican Italy, this class of tableware is no less important for understanding both the maritime and inland routes of exchange.

The Serpent and the Stylus

The Serpent and the Stylus: Essays on G. B. Piranesi

Mario Bevilacqua, Heather Hyde Minor, and Fabio Barry, editors
University of Michigan Press
280 pages

Piranesi was an architect, engraver, antiquities restorer and dealer, draftsman, archaeologist, furniture and fireplace designer, author, and bookseller. His creations in paper and in stone garnered considerable renown in his own lifetime, allowing him to transform himself from a penniless son of a stonemason to a wealthy entrepreneur. However, despite attempts to catalogue and analyze his work, little is known about Piranesi. Since Henri Focillon published his monograph on the artist in 1918, scholars have sought to expand his interpretive strategies used to examine Piranesi and his work. This volume is a representative sampling of the contemporary scholarship on Piranesi, with each essay scrutinizing a particular aspect of his oeuvre. By engaging with material found in eighteenth-century manuscripts and printed materials, as well as the texts and images Piranesi produced, the nine essays by esteemed contributors add to the rapidly growing and diversifying field of eighteenth-century studies. The outcome is a volume that will add to the expanding, glittering mosaic of Piranesi’s life and his work.

Cosa: The Italian Sigillata

Cosa: The Italian Sigillata

Maria Teresa Marabini Moevs
University of Michigan Press
296 pages

This book details Maria Teresa Marabini Moevs’s findings of Italian Sigillata pottery at the Cosa excavation site, an invaluable source of information on Roman colonization, urbanism, and daily life since excavation began in 1948. The exceptional external conditions at Cosa preserved archaeological levels of natural strata from the early and late first century BC, allowing documentation of the earliest phases of Italian Sigillata, which quickly became a major empire-wide export. This widely used pottery went through many changes in color and presentation during the Roman Colonial era, in response to various transitions and developments in Roman society. The research presented in this volume of the series from the American Academy in Rome will be of great interest to the archaeological and classical studies community.

Cosa V: An Intermittent Town

Cosa V: An Intermittent Town, Excavations 1991–1997

Elizabeth Fentress
University of Michigan Press
428 pages

Since excavation began in 1948, the site of Cosa has become one of our most important sources of information on Roman colonization, urbanism, and daily life. The excavations published here throw light on every phase of the site’s history, from the construction of a magistrate’s house that encapsulates the Republican and early imperial period to the remains of a medieval castle destroyed in the fourteenth century.

This book includes a narrative account of the history of the town seen in the light of the excavations, as well as the publication of all of the medieval finds from the site. Illustrated by over 150 figures and plates, including numerous reconstruction drawings and an important sequence of Roman pottery, it will be useful to all those interested in Roman and medieval archaeology and history.

An innovative aspect of this publication is the simultaneous web publication of the site’s stratigraphy. In this manner, all of the detailed site information is available to specialists and those of the general public who closely follow new directions in Roman archaeology.

Ancient Art of Emulation - book cover

The Ancient Art of Emulation: Studies in Artistic Originality and Tradition from the Present to Classical Antiquity

Elaine K. Gazda, editor
University of Michigan Press
320 pages

All too often, museums throughout the world label their Roman sculpture and wall paintings as “Roman copy after a Greek original.” In this book, Elaine K. Gazda and the contributors question the often too simplistic, deeply ingrained thinking that underlies this view of the relationship between Greek and Roman art.

Examining the problems associated with such thinking by situating them within a broad chronological framework, The Ancient Art of Emulation calls attention to many of the sources underlying traditional ingrained prejudices. The essays in this book underscore the need, in the case of Roman art, to distinguish more clearly than we have done in the past what “originality”—or invention—meant to the Romans, and how those notions differ from what our Romanticist/modernist expectations have led us to expect in the present.

This book builds upon revisionist scholarship of the past three decades, which redefines a number of the terms of discussion of “Roman copies” by reclassifying many of them as neoclassical or idealizing works and treating them as legitimate expressions of Roman cultural concerns. The contributors extend that line of inquiry by considering recent discourse on copying and originality as well as on related issues such as imitation, artistic agency, influence, appropriation, and authenticity. The chapters are presented in an unorthodox reverse chronological sequence in order to emphasize how thought and tastes of recent centuries have conditioned our views of the classical past and how “the Roman copy” must be seen as an artificial construct, the product of modern prejudices and their intellectual sources.

The Ancient Art of Emulation will appeal to a broad range of intellectual interests and humanistic disciplines. In addition to classical archaeologists and historians of ancient art, it will speak to art historians of later periods, practicing artists, and art critics, as well as scholars and students who have an interest in the phenomenon of artistic imitation.