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Lea Stirling: “Traveling Statuettes and Traveling Aristocrats? Networks of Acquisition in the Statuary Collection at the Late Antique Villa of Séviac (France)”

November 5, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

The luxury décor of the Late Roman villa of Séviac (France) includes mosaics and statuary, including heirlooms, locally-made elements, and imported items. Though most surviving fragments of statuary are physically small, they provide evidence for up to ten marble statues and statuettes, some of which originated in the East Mediterranean. Moreover, an exceptional portrait wearing an Eastern-style toga suggests a connection to the imperial court or administration. The statuary collection at Séviac provides an opportunity to examine aristocratic networks of acquisition in Southern Gaul around A.D. 400, a period when easy connectivity within the Mediterranean world was declining. Personal travel and networks probably account for the imported items at Séviac.

Dr. Lea Stirling is Professor of Classics at the University of Manitoba and held the Canada Research Chair in Roman Archaeology 2002–12. One stream of her research investigates the role of Roman and late Roman statuary in society. She is the author of the Learned Collector: Mythological Statuettes and Classical Taste in Late Antique Gaul (Ann Arbor 2005) and has published on statuary from France, Greece, and Tunisia. Another long-term interest is the archaeology of North Africa, and for many years she co-directed excavations at the Roman site of Leptiminus (Lamta, Tunisia). She is the editor (with David Stone) of Mortuary Landscapes of Tunisia (Toronto 2007).

This event is possible thanks to the generous financial support of the UW Anonymous Fund. The Center for Visual Cultures would also like to thank The Department of Art History, The Buildings, Landscapes, Cultures Program, and The Material Culture Program for their support.


November 5, 2019
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, Room L150
800 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706 United States
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