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The Borghese Mosaics, Its Gladiators, and Late Roman Spectacles of Death (Lecture sponsored by UW Art History)

Anne McClanan (Portland State)

Monday, March 4, 2013 - 4:00pm
Art 317

The Late Antique mosaics now installed in the Borghese Gallery in Rome render the gruesome world of violent spectacles that were a commonplace public entertainment in the Roman Empire. The probable dating though of these mosaics in the third or even fourth century places them at the end of the period when the gladiatorial and venatorial combats were popular, and thus the Borghese mosaics’ representations need to be interpreted as part of the changing culture of public violence and its visual culture at this time.

Anne McClanan is Professor of Byzantine and Western Medieval Art History at Portland State University, where she also directs the Hellenic Studies Program. She is the author of Representations of Early Byzantine Empresses: Image and Empire (Palgrave, 2002) and co-editor of The Material Culture of Sex, Procreation, and Marriage in Pre-Modern Europe (Palgrave, 2002), and Negating the Image: Case Studies in Iconoclasm (Ashgate, 2006).