The Department of Art History and Art, in conjunction with the Cleveland Museum of Art, will host Penelope J. E. Davies of the University of Texas at Austin for this year’s Julius Fund Lecture in Ancient Art.
Davies will present “Destruction and Defiance in Late Republican Rome” Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 5:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Recital Hall.
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 will assess 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 will argue these acts were, in fact, deliberate, ideologically driven attempts to defy and circumvent a language of power established by the dominant class.