K. ARK Ark. tema 1: Reframing the Antique Sculptures in Roman Greece

Course content

In the last decades, sculptural reuse in the Greco-Roman world has become a topic of growing interest. More recent research in this field is increasingly - and convincingly - adopting a material cultural perspective, shifting the emphasis to the sculptures themselves and to their transformation over time and space, often conceptualized as afterlife . The vast majority of these studies focus on Late Antiquity as the period during which the better documented evidence dates, although there is ample consensus that sculptural reuse is ongoing and widespread in civic, religious, and domestic spaces throughout the ancient Mediterranean. Particular attention is also paid to the transformation of honorary statues as a consequence of social, political, or economic changes. Precious information on the Greek and Roman attitudes towards antique sculptures comes from studies dealing with the translocation of artworks from Greece as booty during the Late Roman Republican period and, more recently, on the phenomenon of collecting.

We aim to discuss sculptural reuse in Roman Greece by focusing on the itineraries of stone sculptures produced between the sixth and the second centuries BCE.

In particular, we aim to address the following questions:

  • What different motivations may we identify behind the attention for antique sculptures in different geographic and chronological contexts?
  • What can these forms of attention for antique sculptures reveal about Greco-Roman antiquarianism and attitudes toward the past?
  • What were the sources and channels of supply and distribution of the reused sculptures?

What may the provenance of the reused sculptures tell us about the transformation of Greek civic, religious, and funerary landscapes over time?


Classical Archaeology

Class teaching, lectures, exercises, excursions

C. Leypold et al. eds., Weiter- und Wiederverwendungen von Weihestatuen in griechischen Heiligtümern, Zürich 2014

T.M Kristensen, L. Stirling eds., The Afterlife of Greek and Roman Sculpture: Late Antique Responses and Practices, Ann Arbor 2016

R. Kousser, The Afterlives of Greek Sculpture. Interaction, Transformation, and Destruction, Cambridge 2017

F. Queyrel, F., R. von den Hoff eds., La vie des portraits grecs. Statues-portraits du Ve au Ier siècle av. J.-C. Usages er re-contextualisations, Paris 2017

D.Y Ng, M. Swetnam-Burland eds., Reuse and Renovation in Roman Material Culture, Cambridge 2018

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assessment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 154
  • English
  • 238


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

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Study Board of Archaeology, Ethnology, Greek & Latin, History
Contracting department
  • SAXO-Institute - Archaeology, Ethnology, Greek & Latin, History
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinators
  • Jane Fejfer   (6-78777c787784527a877f407d8740767d)
  • Gabriella Cirucci   (17-536d6e7e757178786d3a4f757e816f6f754c7481793a77813a7077)
Saved on the 17-05-2023

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