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The library

The library of the Swedish Institute of Classical Studies in Rome contains c. 70.000 volumes and 200 current periodicals in the fields of classical archaeology, Mediterranean topography, with particular regard to Italy and Rome, etruscology, classical art, ancient history, classical philology, prehistory, history of art and architectural history, conservation and restoration of cultural property. The library also houses small collections in archaeology, art, history and literature of Sweden.

Special collections: the Swedish Minister Carl Bildt’s (1850-1931) collection of literature on Saint Bridget, Queen Christina of Sweden, and cultural relations between Sweden and Italy; Carl Hernmarck’s (1916-1978) books on Rome and travels to Italy; Leon Yarden’s (1920-1988) collection of Judaica; the Danish art historian, Jørgen Birkedal Hartmann’s (1910-1998) donation, consisting of monographs, periodicals and off-prints within his field of research, the Neo Classical period.

The library is open on appointment.

Admission: to use the Library a letter of introduction and an identification card are required.

Staff contacts:
Librarian: Dott.ssa Astrid Capoferro, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Assistant Librarian: Dott.ssa Federica Lucci, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Address: Svenska Institutet i Rom - Biblioteca, Via Omero, 14, 00197 Roma
Phone: + 39 06 3207771 + 200
Fax: + 39 06 3230265

The Library does not lend books.

- Wi-Fi connection is available in the Library.
- Scanning: a self-service scanner is available in the Library. Ask the librarians for further information.
- Photographs: it is possible to use digital cameras in the Library. Ask the librarians for further information.

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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