Penelope J. E. Davies, Professor, Department of Art & Art History, University of Texas at Austin
As political unrest seethed in late Republican Rome, a series of violent acts were perpetrated against well-known public and private buildings by the citizens and their elected representatives, the tribunes of the plebs. On the rare occasion when scholars mention these acts, they tend to be treated as random, isolated acts of vandalism; conspicuously missing is any accounting for them in commentaries on Rome’s built environment. This lecture assesses the acts against the broad spectrum of political activism over the ages and in the narrower context of contemporaneous politics, when strict, exclusionary norms governed the sponsorship of public architecture. The lecture argues that these acts were, in fact, deliberate, ideologically driven attempts to defy and circumvent a language of power established by the dominant class.
Free; no reservation required.
This lecture is hosted by the Department of Art History and Art at Case Western Reserve University and cosponsored by the Cleveland Museum of Art.