Chanel took over New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Arts on December 4 for its annual Arts et Métiers fashion show. This year’s theme? Egypt. Except that, in many ways, it was not. What, and most importantly, who was showcased, then? The answer is unsurprisingly predictable, yet for this very reason, it powerfully illuminates the current, Orientalist and colonial reception of ancient Egypt in contemporary fashion and pop culture, and the ways in which this reception hasn’t changed much (if at all) since Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of the country in the late 18th century.
Over the past year I have had the amazing opportunity of being a Rome Prize Fellow in Ancient Studies at the American Academy in Rome. In this month’s blog, as a sort of farewell to the city, I briefly discuss my own research on holidays and festivals in ancient Jewish literature and the research I completed in Rome. I also briefly describe the evidence of the intersection and interaction of Jews, Judaism, and Rome found in the city.
The Circus Maximus, the Colosseum, and the Roman Fora. What could be more Roman? These sites typically exemplify the power of the ancient Roman Empire and its lasting impact on the modern world. These are some of the definitive sites to visit on any trip to the eternal city, but how did these sites contribute to imperial propaganda and memory?
In her monthly SCS column, Dr. Cate Bonesho provides a photo essay recounting her trip inside of Trajan's Column and underneath the oculus of the Pantheon during Pentecost.
Living in Rome has its perks. In addition to the amazing food and constant museum visits, there are a couple opportunities that are impossible to pass up. This past week in Rome, I took part in two of these events and, in the process, was able to cross two items off of my bucket list: climbing Trajan’s Column and watching the rose petals drop from the oculus of the Pantheon on Pentecost.
In a photo essay, Roman tour guide and classicist Agnes Crawford spoke to the SCS Blog about the newly reopened House of Augustus on the Palatine, which was uncovered by archaeologists in the early 1960s. Although it underwent extensive renovations for the events surrounding the 2000th anniversary of Augustus' death in 2014, other portions have now been reopened to the public in time for the summer crowds. Crawford also comments on the myriad restoration projects going on in Rome, Pompeii, and elsewhere in Italy. Together, these initiatives are bringing the color and grandeur of the ancient world back to life within Italy.
I recently sat down with John Ochsendorf, the new Director of the American Academy in Rome to discuss Classics, the American Academy in Rome, and his own work in historical preservation. He is the Class of 1942 Professor of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT, was a Rome Prize Fellow in Historic Preservation in 2007-2008, and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2008.
CB: You’ve just begun your time at the American Academy in Rome, which has such a rich history for the study of Classics. Can you speak about Classics and Ancient Studies at the Academy?