The Garden in Antiquity: A Workshop at the Fondation Hardt

Prof. Annalisa Marzano at the Fondation Hardt

Prof. Annalisa Marzano at the Fondation Hardt

From August 19 to 23, 2013 the Fondation Hardt pour l’étude de l’Antiquité Classique in Geneva hosted the 60th Entretiens sur l’Antiquité classique on the theme ‘The Garden in Antiquity,’ organized by Kathleen Coleman. Papers covered different historical periods, starting with the gardens of ancient Mesopotamia and ending with the early Christian period. Prof. Marzano was part of the lucky group of invited speakers who could enjoy the Fondation’s superb hospitality, the villa’s fine grounds, and, last but not least, the cook Heidi’s excellent dishes. She spoke on ‘Roman gardens, military conquests, and elite self-representation’, exploring the reasons behind ‘botanical imperialism’, such as the case of general Lucullus introducing into Italy the sour cherry tree from Pontos, and elite interest in grafting (according to Pliny, even someone like Pompey the Great had time to graft a new variety of fig tree). The event was very successful and now the volume is being prepared for publication in 2014.

The speakers of the 60th Entretiens and organizers, from left to right: Évelyne Prioux, Pierre Ducrey (Director of the Fondation), Stephanie Dalley, Christian Loeben, Kathleen Coleman, Annalisa Marzano, Bettina Bergmann, Giulia Caneva, Robin Lane Fox, Rabun Taylor.

The speakers of the 60th Entretiens and organizers, from left to right: Évelyne Prioux, Pierre Ducrey (Director of the Fondation), Stephanie Dalley, Christian Loeben, Kathleen Coleman, Annalisa Marzano, Bettina Bergmann, Giulia Caneva, Robin Lane Fox, Rabun Taylor.

The Fondation was created by Baron Kurd von Hardt. In his vision, the exchange of ideas among international scholars was crucial in order to advance knowledge. He described the Entretiens, first held in 1952, with these words: ‘Each year, at the Fondation’s home in Vandœuvres, the Entretiens sur l’Antiquité classique will be held, during which specialists from all over the world will speak about their chosen fields, and in the course of further discussions, will thus foster an enriching exchange of views’. The Fondation has a specialized library of almost 40,000 volumes and welcomes researchers who wish to stay in order to pursue their studies; research scholarships are available for young scholars. Our own PhD student Maria Lloyd was awarded one of these scholarships and will be going to the Fondation in October.

 

New Monographs by Reading Classicists

Reading’s Department of Classics is delighted to welcome the two most recent additions to our Faculty bookshelf by Prof. Annalisa Marzano and Dr Katherine Harloe:

Harvesting the SeaProf. Annalisa Marzano published her monograph ‘Harvesting the Sea. The Exploitation of Marine Resources in the Roman Mediterranean‘. Harvesting the Sea provides the first systematic treatment of the exploitation of various marine resources, such as large-scale fishing, fish salting, salt and purple-dye production, and oyster and fish-farming, in the Roman world and its role within the ancient economy.

Bringing together literary, epigraphic, and legal sources, with a wealth of archaeological data collected in recent years, Marzano shows that these marine resources were an important feature of the Roman economy and, in scope and market-oriented production, paralleled phenomena taking place in the Roman agricultural economy on land. The book also examines the importance of technological innovations, the organization of labour, and the use of the existing legal framework in defence of economic interests against competitors for the same natural resource.

WinckelmannDr Katherine Harloe published her monograph ‘Winckelmann and the Invention of Antiquity. History and Aesthetics in the Age of Altertumswissenschaft‘. This volume provides a new perspective on the emergence of the modern study of antiquity, Altertumswissenschaft, in eighteenth-century Germany through an exploration of debates that arose over the work of the art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann between his death in 1768 and the end of the century.

Winckelmann’s eloquent articulation of the cultural and aesthetic value of studying the ancient Greeks, his adumbration of a new method for studying ancient artworks, and his provision of a model of cultural-historical development in terms of a succession of period styles, influenced both the public and intra-disciplinary self-image of classics long into the twentieth century. Yet this area of Winckelmann’s Nachleben has received relatively little attention compared with the proliferation of studies concerning his importance for late eighteenth-century German art and literature, for historians of sexuality, and his traditional status as a ‘founder figure’ within the academic disciplines of classical archaeology and the history of art. Harloe restores the figure of Winckelmann to classicists’ understanding of the history of their own discipline and uses debates between important figures, such as Christian Gottlob Heyne, Friedrich August Wolf, and Johann Gottfried Herder, to cast fresh light upon the emergence of the modern paradigm of classics as Altertumswissenschaft: the multi-disciplinary, comprehensive, and historicizing study of the ancient world.