The power of memory at the Forum Romanum and Palatine hill. Romans and their cityscape AD 410-751

Friday 24 November 2023, 12:30 pm
PhD student
M.W.A. van Deventer MA
prof. dr. S.L. de Blaauw, prof. dr. E.M. Moormann, prof. dr. D. Slootjes
Faculty of Arts

This research deals with the city of Rome between 410 and 751 AD, a period of great political, economic and social change, during which the city dramatically changed its appearance. The focus is on the interaction between, on the one hand, the memories and meanings embedded in Rome's urban landscape and, on the other, the people who lived and functioned in the midst of this urban landscape. At a time when old certainties were under threat, residents and users shaped this landscape but were also influenced by it. The concepts of memory and identity - both embedded in this urban landscape but also derivable from it - prove to be key concepts for interpreting the changes in the Romans' physical environment during this period. Through the study of some seven monuments on the Roman Forum and the Palatine, detailed information emerges on the handling of this urban landscape and its significance for the Romans and their rulers. 

Maarten van Deventer (Utrecht, 1987) studied classical archaeology at Leiden University, where he graduated in 2009 with a master's thesis on memory culture in late antique Rome. In 2011, he obtained a second master's degree in art history at Utrecht University with a thesis on early Christian inspiration in restoration and renovation projects in Roman churches at the time of the early Counter Reformation. He received several grants from the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome to spend several months in Rome to write a PhD research proposal. In 2014, he received the Gerard Brom CRM Humanities Grant from Radboud University. From 2008 to 2014, he worked at the municipality of Utrecht as assistant curator of the archaeological collections of the PUG and as an archaeologist. In 2015, he started his NWO-funded PhD research at Radboud University. He is currently employed as a lecturer at the RU's Department of History, Art History and Classical Languages.