Photo by Guido Petruccioli

Rome: History, Place and 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


Kavita Ayer (Macquarie): (1) Poverty and identity in the Roman Republic; (2) Landscape and belonging in Republican Rome
Simon Barker: Discovering the statue within the sculpture: the art of re-carving spoliated sculpture
Barbara Borg (Exeter): Tombs and the art of commemoration in second-century CE Rome
Caillan Davenport (Oxford): New élites in Rome and Italy, AD 235–337
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
Yukiko Kawamoto (King’s College London): Silvae: the Roman gardens depicted in wall paintings
Duncan Keenan-Jones (Macquarie): Water, society and environment in ancient Rome and its hinterland
Annalisa Marzano (Reading): Horticulture and elite identity in ancient Rome
Meaghan McEvoy (Oxford): The resurgence of Rome in the fifth century AD
Elizabeth Munro (Oxford): Recycling the Roman villa: the use of architectural components as raw materials for small-scale production in the late Roman period
Marden Nichols (Cambridge) : The Odyssey frieze, a Roman wall-painting of the first century BCE considered in a spatial and cultural context
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
Amy Russell (California at Berkeley): The transformation of public space in Republican and Augustan Rome
Jana Schuster: Living heritage: the continuous use of ancient buildings in Rome
Rebecca Usherwood (Nottingham): Unwriting usurpation: political memory culture in fourth-century Rome
Caroline Vout (Cambridge): Rome: city of seven hills
Susan Walker (Ashmolean, Oxford): Gold-glass, inscriptions and sarcophagi from the catacombs of Rome
Ellen Westcott (Macquarie): (1) ‘Memoriae sacrum: commemorative practice on the sacred island; (2) The perception of images by the ordinary (non-élite) Roman viewer

Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque

Natacha Boucher: Piranesi’s architecture: metaphor in the constructive use of fragment
Michael Bury (Edinburgh): Divergent judgements: works of art in contention, Rome 1540–1610
Tao DuFour: Projecting Piranesi’s Rome, toward the Savage Mind‘s natural world
Peter Fane-Saunders (Warburg): The Septizonium and its architectural reception, c. 1459–1546
Austeja Mackelaite (Courtauld): Encounters in the Eternal City: Netherlandish drawings after antique sculpture in Rome, 1522-1617
Dhwani Patel (King’s College London): Mirabilia Urbis Romae: classical topography and public ritual in late mediaeval Rome
John Robertson (Oxford): Sacred history and enlightenment history: Rome and Naples 1650–1750
Anita Sganzerla (Courtauld): Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione and the ‘Republic of Letters’ in Seventeenth-century Rome
Mark Shepheard (Melbourne): Musicians and artists at the court of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni in Rome, 1689–1740
Arthur Westwell (Cambridge): The dissemination and reception of the ordines romani in Carolingian Europe, c. 750–900


Serena Alessi (Royal Holloway): Images of Rome in Italian postcolonial women writers
Stefano Bragato (Reading): The Roman avant-garde: art, culture, politics (1910–40)
Alex Bremner (Edinburgh): G.E. Street in Rome: a Victorian architect and his churches
Anne Bush (Hawaii at Manoa): A ‘modern means to accurate knowledge’, John Henry Parker’s historical photographs of Rome
Federico Casari (Durham): Roman journalism between 1901 and 1925
Dominic Holdaway (Warwick): A return to cinema d’impegno – Contemporary cinematic engagements with organized crime§
Mark Kelly: Ancient and modern concrete vaulting in Rome
Caspar Pearson (Essex): The renaissance of the Renaissance? Architecture and urbanism between Italy and England

Selected Publications

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.
Jacopo BENCI (Senior Research Fellow in Modern Studies and Contemporary Visual Culture), ‘Michelangelo’s Rome: towards an iconology of L’Eclisse‘, in R. Wrigley (ed.), Cinematic Rome (Leicester, 2008): 63-84.
Jacopo BENCI (Senior Research Fellow in Modern Studies and Visual Culture), ”An extraordinary proliferation of layers’: Pasolini’s Rome(s)’, in D. Caldwell and L. Caldwell (eds), Rome: Continuing Encounters between Past and Present (Ashgate, 2011): 151-86.
Jacopo BENCI (Senior Research Fellow in Modern Studies and Visual Culture), ‘Identification of a city: Antonioni and Rome, 1940-1962’, in J.D. Rhodes and L. Rascaroli (eds), Antonioni: Centenary Essays (London, 2011): 21-63.
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.
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.
Claire HOLLERAN (Rome Award 2008–9), Shopping in Ancient Rome: the Retail Trade in the Late Republic and the Principate (Oxford 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.
Jason MANDER (Rome Award 2006–7), Portraits of Children on Roman Funerary Monuments (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
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.
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.
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).
Clare ROWAN (Macquarie Gale Scholar 2009–10), ‘The public image of Severan women’, Papers of the British School at Rome 79 (2011): 241–74.
Caroline VOUT (Rome Scholar 1998–9; Hugh Last Fellow 2009–10), The Hills of Rome: Signature of an Eternal City (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Forthcoming events in this theme