Rome: History, Place & Imagination

Rome as a metropolis, a political and religious centre, and a city which preserved, recreated and reinterpreted its past through monuments and architecture, art and literature, film and politics, remains a potent inspiration and a challenging model. Rome’s metaphorical and symbolic significance through its rise, fall, global reach, and religious centrality make it a continuously relevant example for other histories and practices.

The BSR supports research on Rome through lectures, conferences, publications and its acclaimed City of Rome postgraduate course.

Award-Holders since 2008


Marden Nichols (Cambridge) : The Odyssey frieze, a Roman wall-painting of the first century BCE considered in a spatial and cultural context
Jane Draycott (Nottingham): The gardens of Hygieia: the role of the Roman hortus in domestic medical practice
Claire Holleran (King’s, London): Shopping in ancient Rome
Kavita Ayer (Macquarie): (1) Poverty and identity in the Roman Republic; (2) Landscape and belonging in Republican Rome
Amy Russell (California at Berkeley): The transformation of public space in Republican and Augustan Rome
Elizabeth Munro (Oxford): Recycling the Roman villa: the use of architectural components as raw materials for small-scale production in the late Roman period
Ellen Westcott (Macquarie): (1) ‘Memoriae sacrum: commemorative practice on the sacred island; (2) The perception of images by the ordinary (non-élite) Roman viewer
Duncan Keenan-Jones (Macquarie): Water, society and environment in ancient Rome and its hinterland
Barbara Borg (Exeter): Tombs and the art of commemoration in second-century CE Rome
Susan Walker (Ashmolean, Oxford): Gold-glass, inscriptions and sarcophagi from the catacombs of Rome
Clare Rowan (Macquarie): 1. Building an emperor: Roman visions of imperial monuments; 2. ‘Under divine auspices’: patron deities and the visualization of imperial power in the Severan period
Caillan Davenport (Oxford): New élites in Rome and Italy, AD 235–337
Rebecca Usherwood (Nottingham): Unwriting usurpation: political memory culture in fourth-century Rome
Meaghan McEvoy (Oxford): The resurgence of Rome in the fifth century AD
Caroline Vout (Cambridge): Rome: city of seven hills

Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque

Peter Fane-Saunders (Warburg): The Septizonium and its architectural reception, c. 1459–1546
Michael Bury (Edinburgh): Divergent judgements: works of art in contention, Rome 1540–1610
Anita Sganzerla (Courtauld): Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione and the ‘Republic of Letters’ in Seventeenth-century Rome
Natacha Boucher: Piranesi’s architecture: metaphor in the constructive use of fragment
Tao Sule-DuFour: Projecting Piranesi’s Rome, toward the Savage Mind‘s natural world
John Robertson (Oxford): Sacred history and enlightenment history: Rome and Naples 1650–1750
Mark Shepheard (Melbourne): Musicians and artists at the court of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni in Rome, 1689–1740
Dhwani Patel (King’s College London): Mirabilia Urbis Romae: classical topography and public ritual in late mediaeval Rome


Dominic Holdaway (Warwick): A return to cinema d’impegno – Contemporary cinematic engagements with organized crime
Alex Bremner (Edinburgh): G.E. Street in Rome: a Victorian architect and his churches

Selected Publications

Marden NICHOLS (Ralegh Radford Rome Scholar 2008–9) Contemporary perspectives on luxury building in second-century BC Rome. Papers of the British School at Rome 78 (2010): 39–62
Claire HOLLERAN (Rome Award 2008–9) Shopping in Ancient Rome: the Retail Trade in the Late Republic and the Principate (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Roslynne BELL (Rome Awardee2006–7) Revisiting the pediment of the Palatine metroön: a Vergilian interpretation. Papers of the British School at Rome 77 (2009): 65–100.
Caroline VOUT (Rome Scholar 1998–9; Hugh Last Fellow 2009–10) The Hills of Rome: Signature of an Eternal City (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Stephen HEYWORTH (Hugh Last Fellow 2008–9) Roman topography and Latin diction. Papers of the British School at Rome 79 (2011): 43–70.
Clare ROWAN (Macquarie Gale Scholar 2009–10) The public image of Severan women. Papers of the British School at Rome 79 (2011): 241–74.
Jason MANDER (Rome Award 2006–7) Portraits of Children on Roman Funerary Monuments (Cambridge University Press 2012).
Caillan DAVENPORT (Rome Award 2008–9) Soldiers and equestrian rank in the third century AD. Papers of the British School at Rome 80 (2012): 89–124.
Robert COATES-STEPHENS (Rome Scholar; Cary Fellow) The Walls of Aurelian. In R. Behrwal and, C. Witschel (eds), Rom in der Spätantike: Historische Erinnerung im Städtischen Raum (Heidelberger Althistorische Beiträge und Epigraphische Studien 51) (Stuttgart, 2012), 83–109.
Meaghan MCEVOY (Rome Scholar 2008–9) Rome and the transformation of the imperial office in the late fourth–mid-fifth centuries AD. Papers of the British School at Rome 78 (2010): 151–92.
Miles PATTENDEN (Rome Scholar 2006–7) Governor and government in sixteenth-century Rome. Papers of the British School at Rome 77 (2009): 257–72.
Emiliano PERRA (Rome Fellow 2008–9) Conflicts of Memory: the Reception of Holocaust Films and TV Programmes in Italy, 1945 to the Present (Verlag Peter Lang, 2010).
J. BENCI (Assistant Director Fine Arts) Michelangelo’s Rome: towards an iconology of L’Eclisse, in Richard Wrigley (ed.), Cinematic Rome (Leicester 2008): 63-84.
J. BENCI (Assistant Director Fine Arts) ‘An extraordinary proliferation of layers’: Pasolini’s Rome(s), in Dorigen Caldwell, Lesley Caldwell (eds.), Rome: Continuing Encounters between Past and Present (Ashgate 2011): 151-86.
J. BENCI (Assistant Director Fine Arts) Identification of a city: Antonioni and Rome, 1940-1962, in John David Rhodes, Laura Rascaroli (eds.), Antonioni: Centenary Essays (London: 2011): 21-63.

Related Events since 2010

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Cupid punished: reflections on a Roman genre scene

Monday 7 April 2014

Early Roman blown glass – a half century of innovation

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Early Roman historiography and the beginnings of Rome

Thursday 27 March 2014

SIS Interim Conference 2014: Interstitial Italy: reassessing global questions through the ‘peculiar’ Italian case

Monday 3 February 2014

Portus. Opera in natura

Monday 9 December 2013

Forum: Strutture, funzioni e sviluppo degli impianti forensi in Italia (IV sec. a.C. – I sec. d.C.)

Friday 6 December 2013

Santa Maria Antiqua Conference

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Book launch: Old Saint Peter’s, Rome

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Sepolcro degli Scipioni: il monumento, la storia, il contesto

Friday 15 November 2013

Persia and Rum

Thursday 14 November 2013

Grand Strategies of the Great Powers in Late Antiquity

Monday 11 November 2013

From Trajan to Belisarius. Recent research in the area of the Palazzo Imperiale at Portus

Saturday 9 November 2013

The Age of Tarquinius Superbus. A Paradigm Shift? (Invitation only)

Friday 1 November 2013

omnium annalium monumenta: HISTORICAL EVIDENCE and HISTORICAL WRITING in Republican Rome

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Sir Joshua Reynolds in Rome, 1750-1752

Monday 24 June 2013

BSR Members’ Lecture ‘Reconstructing the temple of Apollo on the Palatine’ by Professor Amanda Claridge

Wednesday 29 May 2013

To the lands of the Sultan of Babylon: The papacy and trade with Muslims during the later Middle Ages

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Roma, Tevere, Litorale: 3000 anni di storia, le sfide del presente

Monday 27 May 2013

The Valle Giulia Dialogues

Thursday 23 May 2013

Conservare e rivelare Ostia: un secolo di esperienze tra restauro e manutenzione

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Function, message or status symbol? The mixed reasons behind the form of Early Christian baptisteries

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Xenodochio degli Anici e Santa Lucia de’ Calcarario. Nuovi dati dalle indagini a via delle Botteghe Oscure

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Aurelian’s wall and the infrastructure of Rome in late antiquity

Thursday 2 May 2013

Le terme repubblicane di via Sistina

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Family honour: the long life of Roman tombs

Wednesday 17 April 2013

The gates intra muros and the question of the growth of the city in the archaic period

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Roman Kings: the place of allied monarchs in the Augustan cultural programme

Monday 8 April 2013

The Italian Contribution to Renaissance Rhetoric

Wednesday 3 April 2013

The triumph of scepticism? Thoughts on the early Roman triumph

Saturday 23 March 2013

Conference: Epigrafia e ordine senatorio 30 anni dopo

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Saints and Salvation: Gold-glass, Sarcophagi and Inscribed Memorials from the Catacombs of Rome

Monday 11 March 2013

BSR Members’ Lecture, 11 March 2013 at The British Academy

Thursday 21 February 2013

Cultural Memory and the Resources of the Past in the Early Middle Ages

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Book Launch: Le Pietre Rivelate. Lo Studio di molte pietre di Pier Leone Ghezzi, Manoscritto 322 della Biblioteca Universitaria Alessandrina

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Displaying Art in Seventeenth-Century Roman Houses

Tuesday 22 January 2013

The Concept, Chronology and Construction of Trajanic Buildings at Portus, Ostia and Rome

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Film Viewing – San Lorenzo: Luoghi e memoria

Monday 10 December 2012

Rome under the bombs: the city, its monuments and the civilian population in the Second World War

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Sibyls, Goddesses and Women in Republican Rome

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Archaeology of Lived Religion in Antiquity

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Rome on the Balance: Varro and the Foundation Legend

Friday 19 October 2012

Roman Modernities

Saturday 7 July 2012

Boni e il Genio. La nascita della fotografia aerea archeologica

Wednesday 20 June 2012


What does Antonioni tell us about Rome?

Friday 8 June 2012


Subterranean Archaeology in Italy. The Lateran and beyond

Wednesday 6 June 2012


Sir William Chambers and the Grand Tour: Reconciling Classicism and the Orient in 18th Century Rome

Wednesday 23 May 2012


Concordia between east and west: Rome and Constantinople as rivals and allies in the 4th and 5th centuries

Wednesday 9 May 2012


Homes and Gardens: towards an understanding of Roman domestic medical practice

Thursday 3 May 2012

Approcci all’economia romana arcaica

Wednesday 2 May 2012


Vesta Palatina

Tuesday 24 April 2012


Presence or absence? Public construction in Rome under Diocletian and the Tetrarchy

Wednesday 18 April 2012


Progetto e costruzione delle Terme di Traiano

Wednesday 11 April 2012


Thinking about kings: the case of Numa

Wednesday 4 April 2012


An imperial succession and the monuments of Trajan

Wednesday 29 February 2012

Planning for pilgrims: St Andrews as the Second Rome

Friday 24 February 2012


La Cloaca Maxima tra la Subura e il Foro Romano. Le nuove indagini

Thursday 1 December 2011

Architecture exhibition

Return to the Archaeological Site: Rome re-examined and re-defined

Monday 21 November 2011


The Roman Shipyards of Portus

Wednesday 22 June 2011


When in Rome – 2000 years of Roman sightseeing

Tuesday 21 June 2011


La forma da pochi intesa: the architectural reception of the Septizonium, c. 1450 – 1550

Wednesday 25 May 2011


The Roman buildings at S. Maria Antiqua. Late antique transformation and decoration

Wednesday 18 May 2011


Episcopal sponsorship and the churches of Rome in late antiquity

Wednesday 11 May 2011


Colossal portraits in late antique Rome

Saturday 7 May 2011

Lecture (in italian)

Dalla crisi del Medio Evo agli acquedotti di Roma moderna: riuso e nuove realizzazioni tra la fine del secolo XVI e l’inizio del XVII

Thursday 5 May 2011

lecture (in italian)

I vici del Palatino

Wednesday 27 April 2011


Measuring sentiment. The tombs and epitaphs of Isola Sacra

Wednesday 20 April 2011


Augustan picture galleries: real and fictional

Saturday 16 April 2011

Lecture (in Italian)

Il Vergine: un acquedotto nei secoli

Wednesday 13 April 2011


Roman topography and Latin diction

Tuesday 1 February 2011

Society for Renaissance Studies Annual Lecture

Giovanni Vitelleschi – The Third Founder of Rome after Romulus

Wednesday 17 March 2010


Old St Peters


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