Goldberg Lecturer Margaret Miles Addresses Augustan Renewal in Athens on January 21

MilesAgora4.15 copy (4)Archaeologist Margaret Miles, Professor of Art History and Classics, University of California, Irvine, will deliver the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Lecture in Art History entitled “Transferred Temples and Augustan Renewal in Athens” on Thursday, January 21, at 4:10 pm in Cohen Memorial Hall, room  203.  A reception will follow in the Cohen atrium.

Soon after defeating Cleopatra and Marc Antony at Actium, Augustus required populations (and cults) in western Greece to be uprooted and moved to create a new city, to be called Nikopolis, and to a now much larger Patras. Thereby Augustus created new Roman administrative centers in Greece that had easy links by sea to Italy.  Meanwhile Athens was still trying to recover from the devastating siege of Sulla a generation earlier.

Augustus supported an extensive program of religious renewal and architectural reconstruction, apparently forgiving the city’s support of Cleopatra and Marc Antony.  The architectural renewal is reflected in the importation of several 5th century BCE temples and one double stoa from the Attic countryside into central Athens. New construction was sponsored as well, and at least one temple in the countryside was rebuilt and rededicated.

In her lecture Miles will present the latest evidence for these remarkable transfers and deliberate recycling of 5th century BCE architecture and investigate the implications of this classicizing building program for the political realities in Augustan Athens.

Miles recently served a six-year term as the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Classical Studies at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.  Her publications include a study of the Temple of Nemesis at Rhamnous (Hesperia 1989), Agora Excavations XXXI: The City Eleusinion (Princeton, 1998), Art as Plunder: the Ancient Origins of Debate about Cultural Property (Cambridge, 2008), and three edited volumes: Cleopatra: A Sphinx Revisited (Berkeley 2011), Autopsy in Athens: Recent Archaeological Research in Athens and Attica (2015), and Blackwell’s Companion to Greek Architecture (forthcoming 2016).  Miles begins new fieldwork at Segesta in Sicily in June, 2016.

Cosponsored by the Department of History of Art, the Department of Classical Studies, and the Archaeological Institute of America, the Goldberg Lecture is free and open to the public.  Parking is available in Lot 95 outside Cohen Hall, off 21st Avenue South on the Peabody campus and across from Medical Center East.  For more information, call the department at 615.322.2831.

*View of the Agora, Athens, Greece


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