As political unrest seethed in late Republican Rome, a series of violent acts were perpetrated against well-known buildings, public and private, by the people (the plebs) and their elected representatives, the tribunes. On the rare occasions when scholars mention these events, they tend to treat them as random, isolated acts of vandalism; conspicuously missing is any accounting for them in commentaries on Rome's built environment. In Vandalism and Resistance in Republican Rome, Penelope J. E. Davies assesses these acts against a broad spectrum of political activism over the ages, as well as in the narrower context of contemporaneous politics, when strict, exclusionary norms governed the sponsorship of public architecture. She argues that the destructive acts were, in fact, deliberate, ideologically driven attempts by Rome's less powerful to defy and circumvent the language of power established by the dominant class.
Vandalism and Resistance in Republican Rome
Penelope J. E. Davies is author of Death and the Emperor (Cambridge University Press, 2000) and Architecture and Politics in Republican Rome (Cambridge University Press, 2017), as well as numerous articles and essays in scholarly publications. Her research focuses on Roman state architecture and its ideological purposes, investigating the interdependence of building and diverse political systems. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Penelope J. E. Davies; Vandalism and Resistance in Republican Rome. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 March 2019; 78 (1): 6–24. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2019.78.1.6
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