Hortus inclusus: Expanding Boundaries of Space and Time



Hortus inclusus: Expanding Boundaries of Space and Time

The British School at Rome

Tuesday 27–Wednesday 28 June 

In celebration of the twenty years since the landmark Horti Romani conference opened new directions for the study of cultural landscapes, the British School at Rome will host Hortus inclusus: Expanding Boundaries of Space and Time, June 27–28, 2017.

This conference aims to deepen out historical and environmental understanding of garden landscapes in the Roman empire and shape the conversation for the next generation of scholars. Taking inspiration from Virgil’s complaint in Georgics 4.147-8 that he cannot speak any longer on the subject of gardens because he is constrained (excludo) by space and time, Hortus inclusus expands the boundaries of the Roman garden beyond the Horti of the city of Rome by focusing on the following themes:

New Knowledge: Highlighting advances in archaeological recovery techniques, the application of digital technologies, and the discovery of new garden sites.

Intersections: Developing a multidimensional understanding of the function and meaning of gardens and gardened landscapes through the application of critical theory.

Afterlife: Investigating the resonance and reception of the Roman garden in post-classical contexts.




Conference Organisers: Kathryn L. Gleason, Diana Spencer, Katharine T. von Stackelberg

Confirmed Participants:

Kathryn L. Gleason (Cornell University): Towards a Systematic Methodology for Garden Archaeology

Mark Robinson (Oxford University): Gods in the Soil: A New Assessment of the House of the Greek Epigram

Daphna Langgut (Tel Aviv University): Herod’s Exotic and Prestigious Royal Gardens: An Archaeobotanical Investigation

Rachel Bar Nathan (Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem): Herod and the Court of Augustus: Understanding the Politics of Early Roman Gardens from the Ceramic Evidence

David Fredrick (University of Arkansas): Secrets in the Garden: Vulnerability and Information Exchange in the House of Octavius Quartio.

Mantha Zarmakoupi (University of Birmingham): The Place Between: Villa Gardens and Garden Paintings

Victoria Pagán (University of Florida): Deerit nihil? Environmental Sustainability and the Rhetoric of Roman Gardens

Sara Myers (University of Virginia):Gendering the Roman Garden

Lena Landgren (Lund University): Varia’s viridia: Female Garden Ownership and Euergetism

Laurence Totelin (Cardiff University): Faithful Marriages and Wild Unions: PalladiusDe insitione

William Tronzo (University of California, San Diego): Space, Time and Landscape: The Case of Constantinople in the Sixth Century

Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis (The Graduate Center, City University of New York): From Hortus to Hayr: The Connections between Classical and Early Islamic Gardens

Luke Roman (Memorial University): Gardens and Villas in Italian Humanist Poetry (ca. 1450-1530)

Bettina Bergmann (Mount Holyoke College): Reconstructions and Visualisations of Roman Gardens

Susan M. Dixon (LaSalle University): Rodolfo Lanciani on the Ancient Gardens of Rome

Katharine T. von Stackelberg (Brock University): Medusa’s Gaze: The Petrified Garden of the Achilleion

Amina-Aïcha Malek (CNRS, École Normale Supérieure): Deploying The Society for Garden Archaeology: A Forum for Archaeology of Gardens and Design Landscapes






This event is open to the public free of charge. However, if you would like to be included in the catering, there will be a cost of €25 per day (including refreshments and lunch) OR €45 for both days (including refreshments, lunch, and conference dinner on 28th). Places for the conference dinner are limited and will be allocated to conference organisers and speakers, then on a first request basis.

Please pay at the registration desk on the morning of the conference.


If you wish to attend the conference, please fill in the registration form and return it to Miriam Bay (mxb494@bham.ac.uk) no later than Tuesday 6 June.