Category Archives: first response

Rachel’s response to the first readings

Paul Baxa, “Resurrecting a Pagan Landscape,” Road and Ruins: The Symbolic Landscape of Fascist Rome (2010), 121-134.

In Resurrecting a Pagan Landscape, it is noted how figures like Pius XI were concerned with preserving ecclesiastical Rome from the emerging secular Italian state. In the Lateran Accords of 1929, Article 10 states: “No building open to worship can be demolished for any reason, unless previously agreed upon with the competent ecclesiastical authority”. With that in mind, what do you make of the violation by destructing St. Jerome pontifical college in the Piazzale Augusteo? Noting the letters between Grandi and Duca might help you formulate an opinion and response.

Do you think Grandi’s response by noting that only a few of the rooms being used for religious purposes makes a difference? Do you think that removing its annexed buildings was an artistic crime? Elaborate.

For more readings on the Master Plan in fascist Rome, you might find the following article interesting;

History through Objects: BBC’s A History of the World in 100 Objects. Warren Cup.

Visual and material cultural objects are imperative when trying to reconstruct or gain knowledge on an ancient civilization. Objects like the Warren Cup show aspects of society that are scandalized. They remind us about the often ignored aspect of Greek and Roman society that was homosexuality between an eromenos and erastes. The episode starts by talking about Rodin’s The Kiss being seen as pornographic and explicit. It is seen as less so when shown in comparison to the Warren Cup. What are your thoughts on the changing way society views sexuality throughout the ages? Do you think it is explicit? Why or why not? Think about the comment on the way society sees sexuality is unfixed throughout history.

John Bodel, “Epigraphy and the Ancient Historian,” Epigraphic Evidence: Ancient History from Inscriptions (2001), 1-18.

In “Epigraphy and the Ancient Historian” Bodel notes the need for a “sense of audience” and “asserting identity…suggest[ing] that the epigraphic habit may be viewed as a barometer for social anxiety expressed by individuals seeking to establish their place in an increasingly changing world”. I personally find this very interesting in the scope of modern day society. Think about our own need of an audience today through social media. Can social media be seen as a kind of modern day “barometer for social anxiety”? Do you think Bodel’s point about inscriptions for an audience is valid?