Studies On The Roman Garden: Theoretical, Methodological, And Empirical Approaches
The following volume comprises a collection of three essays (in the form of chapters) on the theme of the Roman garden as a source of various types of archaeological information. Each chapter takes a different approach (theoretical, methodological, and empirical) when considering a particular aspect of the garden. The first chapter approaches the garden from a theoretical perspective, asking if it is possible to approach the question of the Roman garden in the same way scholars approach texts. Using John Moreland's definition of what texts are and what texts do, gardens are compared to texts using three different sets of criteria: that they are created things, that they can encode memory and other information, and that they have power or agency. The second chapter is based in methodological approaches, focusing on palynological analysis and its relationship to garden archaeology. The chapter discusses new developments in palynology as they apply to reconstructing taxonomic profiles for garden sites, especially focusing on the relatively novel use of plaster-sourced pollen in reconstructing the gardens of the Roman Mediterranean. The third chapter takes an empirical and interpretive approach to the garden's ability to encode political programs in its flora, and explores the ways in which the Garden Room at the Villa of Livia ad Gallinas Albas displays Augustan political messages. The chapter further explores how Roman garden paintings are able to inform an understanding of the appearance of physical gardens, and how these gardens and their encoded programs might be perceived through the physical experience of them.
Roman gardens; Palynology; Villa of Livia ad Gallinas Albas
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis