Category Archives: Pliny the Elder

When I take students to Rome, I try to get them to to visualize the immense scale of what the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus must have looked like on the Capitoline Hill by asking them to imagine a ‘Pantheon in the sky’. According to our typical itinerary, we would have seen the Pantheon the […]

When we think of sport in the ancient Roman world we are immediately confronted with the image of epic gladiator contests in the Colosseum. Yet during the Roman Republic, such contests were held in an area called the Forum Boarium and then, eventually the Roman Forum itself, the epicenter of Roman political and social life. […]

Louise Lawler Monogram — Arranged by Mr. and Mrs. Burton Termaine, New York City 1984  ‘the resources of the emperor allowed for the display of enormous public collections. But the emperors themselves were avid private collectors of art works and historical artefacts…Augustus’ private collection was an eclectic array of artistic, historic and natural objects that […]

Dani Leventhal, Untitled, 1999 This startling quotation comes from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Essay on the Origin of Language, which I stumbled across while idly leafing through Jacques Derrida’s Memoirs of the Blind. The statement is a reference to the famous anecdote about the origin of drawing or painting that was first described by Pliny the Elder […]