Arnaldo Momigliano, the most influential modern student of antiquarianism, advanced the view that there was a late antique antiquarianism, but also lamented the absence of study of the history of antiquarianism in this period. Part of the challenge, however, has been to define the object of such a study. Rather than “finding” antiquarianism in late antiquity as Momigliano did, this article argues that a history that offers explicit analogies between late antique evidence and the avowed antiquarianism of early modern Europe allows a more self-conscious and critical history of late antique engagement with the past. The article offers three examples of this form of analysis, comparing practices of statue collecting in Renaissance Rome and the late Roman West, learned treatises on the Roman army by Vegetius and Justus Lipsius, and feelings of attachment to a local past as a modern antiquarian stereotype and in a pair of letters to and from Augustine of Hippo.

You do not currently have access to this content.