Welcome to the Loyola University Newsroom

Print this page

Archaeology Lecture, April 10

Loyola press release - April 7, 2005

The American Institute of Archaeology (AIA) is sponsoring a Martha Sharp Joukowsky lecture titled “Ghostwriting? Or Lying in Stone?: Can We Believe Roman Building Inscriptions?,” on Sunday, April 10, 2005 at 8 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium, Monroe Hall.

James C. Anderson, Ph.D., will investigate the truthfulness or lack thereof found in the inscriptions that Roman dedicators placed on their buildings. He will begin with an examination of two notorious examples from famous monuments in Imperial Rome: the Pantheon and the Column of Trajan. In both cases, what the Latin inscriptions preserved on those monuments say can be shown, through archaeological and historical evidence independent of the inscriptions, to be false. Using the inscription of the arch of Septimius Severus that stands in the Roman Forum, Anderson will discuss building inscriptions in Rome which were altered after they were inscribed.

The chronology for the ancient monuments of Gallia Narbonensis previously have been based on the text of inscriptions ascribed to two Romano-Provençal monuments, the “Maison Carré” at Nîmes and the free-standing arch at Orange. Anderson contends that no legible text for either inscription survives at all. The clamps used for bronze capital letters of the Roman alphabet were never carved into stone. Most upper case letters of the Latin alphabet, in this setting, would leave behind a square or rectangular pattern of holes, making it virtually impossible, Anderson says, to ascribe any text whatsoever to them.

Anderson dates these monuments from the second century A.D. or later. He will use this knowledge to examine other surviving ancient monuments, including the temple at Vienne, the so-called “temple of Diana” at Nîmes, the mausoleum at St. Remy, and the arches that survive at St. Remy and Carpentras.

Anderson is director and professor-in-charge for the University of Georgia Classics Studies Abroad Program in Rome. He has taught for the UGA Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy, and the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. Anderson earned a master’s of art degree and doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the 2004 - 2005 Martha Sharp Joukowsky Lecturer for the AIA and recipient of numerous awards including M.G. Michael Award for Excellence in Research and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Award. In addition to the many books Anderson has authored, he is working on The Architecture of Roman Provence.

This lecture is sponsored by the New Orleans society of the AIA and the Department of Classical Studies.

For additional information, please contact Loyola Professor of Classics Connie Rodriguez, Ph.D., at 865-2287 or rodrigue@loyno.edu.