Mistaken Identities: How to Identify a Roman Emperor

Mistaken Identities: How to Identify a Roman Emperor

Lecture by Mary Beard

Given at Stanford University, September 29, 2011

What did the Roman emperor look like? Among the thousands of surviving Roman imperial marble heads, how do we put a name to a face, or a face to a name? This lecture will take a critical look at this process: it will not only question some of our modern certainties about who is who, but it will ask what we can learn from our mistakes.

One of Britain’s best-known Classicists, Mary Beard is a distinguished Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge and recently named Fellow of the British Academy. Her interests range from the social and cultural life of Ancient Greece and Rome to the Victorian understanding of antiquity. Mary is Classics editor of the Time Literary Supplement and writes an engaging, often provocative, blog, A Don’s Life.

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