Confronting the Past in the Critical Third Century

Brandon Stuart Green, M.A.

His current dissertation project focuses on the turbulent years of the so-called "Crisis of the Third Century" (c. 217–284) and considers the ways in which the Romans constructed, recycled and manipulated their past[s] at a time when their future looked increasingly uncertain. Using inscriptions, sarcophagi, and above all portrait sculpture, the dissertation argues that the third century witnessed a massive realignment of attitudes towards Rome's material legacy. Of particular interest are the nuanced and highly variegated uses of retrospective styles, changing notions of time in epigraphical culture, and novel forms of recarving and reuse that would prefigure the Late Antique practice of spolia.

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