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The Swedish Institute in Rome is a research institute, subordinate to the Swedish Ministry of Education (Utbildningsdepartementet). It is the base for excavations and other scientific research in Italy and pursues academic instruction in archaeology and art sciences as well as arranging conferences with themes of interest to the institute. The Institute has at its disposal a building in central Rome with a relatively well-supplied library, archaeological laboratory and c. twenty rooms and smaller apartments for the use of visiting researchers and holders of scholarships.
The board of directors and the chancellery have their seat in Stockholm, the chancellery being also responsible for the Swedish Institute in Athens and the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul. The latest statute was stipulated in 1993. The San Michele foundation on Capri is also subordinate to the institute’s board of directors. The daily activities of the institute are led by a director. The institute’s premises in Rome include a library, archaeological laboratory and rooms for researchers. There is a supportive society (Föreningen Rominstitutets Vänner) with five sections in Sweden.

Seminars at the Institute

Seminar 2019: II
Tuesday 22 January 17.00

Gaius SternUniversity of California at Berkeley (retired)
Correcting the Reconstruction and Some Interpretations of the Ara Pacis

Modern students and scholars sometimes forget the Ara Pacis looked somewhat different in the year 1 than it does today.  Despite his best efforts, Giuseppe Moretti, building upon the work of Eugen Petersen, was able to reconstruct only an approximation of the Ara Pacis, unveiled to the public on 30 January 9 BC.  Missing material made it impossible to fill in certain gaps, and in a few places, Moretti deliberately or accidentally hid the loss of characters with an illusion of completion.  The combination of the missing pieces and the slightly flawed reconstruction have misled scholars, whose interpretations, in turn, deviated from the Roman vision of a New Golden Age, especially if they imagined they were looking at a perfect reconstruction of a great piece of imperial propaganda.  The result resembles a performance of a bad translation of a Shakespeare play.  The elegance of a great work of art is partly lost.   However, it is possible to correct some of these approximations and thereby get closer to the Augustan (and Senatorial) vision for the future, even though that future never took place as planned, for the death of Agrippa upended the stability of the regime and set in motion more than one crisis.




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