RESP - The Roman Emperor Seen from the Provinces. Imaging Roman Power in the Cities of the Empire from Augustus to the Tetrarchs (31 BC - AD 297)

Starting date
September 1, 2021
Duration (months)
Cultures and Civilizations
Managers or local contacts
Calomino Dario

This project will investigate the processes by which the representations of Roman emperors were created and disseminated from a new ‘peripheral’
perspective, which emphasizes the cultural, religious and artistic background of the local communities in the imperial provinces rather than the
traditional ‘central’ one in Rome. It will study the ways in which Roman emperors were portrayed, celebrated and worshipped in the provincial cities, in
the western and especially the eastern regions of the Mediterranean world, from the reign of Augustus to that of Diocletian (c. 31 BC – AD 297).
This study will provide the first comprehensive discussion on how the nature and significance of Roman power was interpreted and expressed on visual media in the provinces, reflecting the political and cultural strategies of the civic elites and the taste and skills of local artists. It will also challenge our perception and understanding of the relation between metropolitan and provincial production in imperial art by stressing both the adaptation and independence of local visual culture from metropolitan canons.
The research will consider all the media through which the imperial image was propagated, but will focus particularly on the comparative study of local
coinage and local sculpture (both in the round and in relief representations). It will be informed by an interdisciplinary approach marrying classics, digital humanities and manufacturing studies. This will involve a new research methodology, which uses 3D imaging to compare, overlap and integrate the data provided by coinage and sculpture to trace and reconstruct models used in the provinces for imperial representation.

Project participants

Dario Calomino
Associate Professor
Research areas involved in the project
Storia e civiltà del mondo antico
Ancient history
Archeologia del mondo antico e medievale
Archaeology, archaeometry, landscape archaeology
Lingua, letteratura e filologia greca e latina
Classics, ancient literature and art
Storia e Antropologia
Cultural heritage, cultural identities and memories


Research facilities